From June 30 to September 24, 2017
EPFL ArtLab dedicates its second temporary exhibition to the work of !Mediengruppe Bitnik, whose acidic yet playful take on our digital everyday will occupy ArtLab’s central exhibition space all summer long.
Building on a project which the Zurich-via-Berlin duo Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo initially developed for Kunsthaus Langenthal, Come Chat With Me follows up on exhibitions held at Centre culturel suisse de Paris and swissnex San Francisco and is produced in cooperation with these two institutions.
While the exhibition features no direct input from EPFL laboratories, it offers a potent artistic take on topics that are at the core of contemporary science – society relationships, such as the ever- growing presence of automated process in our digital environments, human – bot relationships, artificial intelligence, and the heated battles surrounding ownership and use of personal and institutional data.
Seductive but diffusing a creeping air of unease, Ashley Madison: Angels at Work in Lausanne is at the core of the exhibition. Built around the renowned 2015 data leak of the Canadian dating website, the installation gives a physical presence to the chat bots that constitute most of the female community of the website. It thereby probes our uneasy emotional relationships in environments where human and machine interactions are increasingly difficult to tell apart.
Building on that core piece, Come Chat With Me takes a retrospective look at the work of !Mediengruppe Bitnik with works produced between 2012 and 2017, effectively making the exhibition the largest so far by the duo in French-speaking Switzerland.