DIFFERENCE MACHINES: TECHNOLOGY AND IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART
Dates: January 28 to April 29, 2023
Opening Reception: January 28, 2023 – 2:00pm
Curated By: Tina Rivers Ryan and Paul Vanouse
Image: Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THOSE THAT ARE NOT, 2020; Digital game displayed on projector; gaming chair; pink lights; and vinyl text. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Tina Rivers Ryan for Buffalo AKG Art Museum.
Morehshin Allahyari, Zach Blas, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, A.M. Darke, Stephanie Dinkins Hasan Elahi, Sean Fader, Rian Ciela Hammond, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Joiri Minaya, Mongrel, Mendi + Keith Obadike, Sondra Perry, Keith Piper, Skawennati, Saya Woolfalk, and Lior Zalmanson
In response to ongoing conversations about systemic inequities, Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art presents a diverse group of seventeen artists and collectives who creatively reimagine the digital tools that shape our lives. The exhibition includes projects that span the last three decades, ranging from software-based and internet art to animated videos, bioart experiments, digital games, and 3-D printed sculptures.
Together, these works explore the aesthetic and social potential of emerging technologies. Some emphasize how digital tools can be repurposed to tell more inclusive stories or imagine new ways of being. Others show how becoming visible within digital systems can be a trap that leads to the technological exclusion, surveillance, and exploitation of marginalized communities. Dynamic and interactive, these projects transform the space of the museum into a laboratory for reflecting on and experimenting with our increasingly powerful “difference machines,” in the hopes of achieving a more equitable future.
The exhibition is co-curated by University at Buffalo Professor Paul Vanouse and Buffalo AKG Art Museum Curator Tina Rivers Ryan, who bring to the project over thirty years of experience working with media art, as well as their own personal experience of how technology can both help and harm marginalized communities.
Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art is supported by The Beall Family Foundation.