As daily life becomes increasingly mediated by technology, there is a growing interest in the original interface between human consciousness, the body, and the outside world: the senses. See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception brings together a combination of young and established artists and designers to show work that pushes boundaries both conceptually and technically, harnessing existing and developing technologies to challenge our perceptions of ourselves, and the ways we communicate and inhabit space.
Using anything from elaborate robotics and slick product design, to experimental scientific procedures and prosthetics, the artists and designers engaged in this field destabilise distinctions between mind and body, and blur boundaries between organic and artificial, internal and external, and public and private. And indeed, between fiction and fact.
Whether hi-tech or lo-fi, this work deals with human emotions and senses. Ranging from the practical to the fantastic and absurd, the futuristic projections of this cross-section of designers and artists whose practices envision new ways of relating to and experiencing the world around us provide glimpses of strange new tomorrows in which humans and technology coexist - often within the same body.
The exhibition looks at the material spatially, from the body outwards to three-dimensional space. Exhibits in which body and device become one, or are so closely linked as to be almost indistinguishable from one another, are shown alongside those that, in some way, impact upon the space around us. Others that examine how we engage with our immediate surroundings and how we interact are exhibited side-by-side with those that play without senses and feelings, sometimes enhancing—sometimes disorientating—our perceptions.
Simultaneously playful and incisive, these propositions inevitably produce more questions than answers, inviting critical dialogue on issues such as bioethics, simulated reality, post-humanism and genetic modification. Artists and designers in this field constantly push boundaries, sometimes working at the edges of conventional respectability, challenging our most basic assumptions about our own bodies and minds.
See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception has been developed in conjunction with the publication of the same name, authored by Madeline Schwartzman, and released in June 2011 by Black Dog Publishing.