UNBOXING is a nomadic project of digital exhibitions. Inserted in the form of Websites, Viewing Rooms, Slide Shows, Instagram Stories, Live Videos, and Zoom calls, UNBOXING investigates the digital spaces of contemporary art institutions. From one chapter to the next, emerging artists – gallery-represented or not – are invited to explore the potential of these platforms. Their language/creation opens up a new, immaterial exhibition space.
It is not a question of using the virtual as a substitute for reality, but rather of exploiting its codes and reversing its lexicon in order to generate new interactions, reflections, and content.
UNBOXING invites the participating artists to narrate, interpret and document their work, using the digital tool, theoretically making it accessible for all time. It is up to the artists to define which clues to reveal, which packaging to choose to present the work from the screen to the gaze of the other, the unknown spectator, who is called on to pass from contemplation to inter·action.
UNBOXING analyses how digital technology influences the perception of an artist’s work, from the studio to the gallery, from the idea to the digital product. How do artists observe and perceive themselves, express themselves and act by means of this filter? What is the importance and value taken on by the object-work, the image of the work, the narrative, the chosen lexicon?
As more or less accurate sounding boards of information, social networks (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) call into question the multiple relationships that we have with the surrounding matter, with the gestures and entities that define our identity between the physical world and the digital world. The idea is to explore a porous terrain, a terrain of confluences, a terrain that challenges established roles (or otherwise). The goal is once again to use the digital medium by “sidestepping”, by analysing its impact in order to contextualise it in the face of a possible posterity.
On the website, the project becomes an archive where information branches out and proliferates. We explore the idea of an archaeology of the present, of the ruins or relics that make up our personal and collective memory.
Transcending the opposition between reality and virtuality, UNBOXING opens up the discussion about the use of digital technology, and its impact. The project generates new questions thanks to the reactions of artists using a medium that is never fixed, whose future we cannot predict.
Ombeline de Nombel
(trad. Juliet Powys)