At the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in St. Petersburg now is open a solo exhibition by the Russian art group Recycle.
Kandinsky Prize winners and participants of the exhibition in the Russian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, artists Andrey Blokhin and Georgy Kuznetsov continue to explore the cultural and visual codes of Homo Virtualis, and his world, in which citation indexes, engagement rates, and the number of people who viewed and “liked” your material are cherished values, and where virtual reality has supplanted religion, wooing away its followers.
General partner of the project – SIBUR. The exhibition is supported by St. Petersburg Committee for Culture.
In their new project New Nature, created especially for Manege, Recycle analyses the transformation of human personality under the influence of modern technology. They focus on the interaction between man and machine, studying the possibility of telepathy between them. True to the central theme of their work, Andrey and Georgy reflect on the possibility of eternal life inside a network, and stage startling and ironic experiments on our human mind.
The project New Nature spotlight the artists’ interactive sculptures and dynamic art objects that turn viewers into participants in a virtual, technological performance.
A separate project website became the virtual dimension of the exhibition and the main portal into the futuristic world of Recycle Group: recyclexmanege.com. What inspires the artists? What codes are hidden in their art? What’s happening at Recycle’s studio and at Manege during preparations for the exhibition? What events are planned for after the exhibition’s opening? The website is regularly updated with new audio-visual content. There you can journey through the world of the Recycle Group (from their studio in Paris, to a New York Gallery, and back to the exhibition in St. Petersburg); talk with the artists and the team at Manege; find information on Manege’s lectures and events accompanying the exhibition; get an expanded version of the list of films, music, and books that inspired Recycle; and see what is happening at Manege in real time.
Likening themselves to metronomes, unfolding their project in three dimensions – the material, the spiritual, and the virtual – Recycle attempts to foresee and foreshadow the ideas that will one day become the foundation of the art of the future.
It has taken two years to prepare this show at the Manege, and in the meantime the project’s central idea has undergone multiple transformations before taking its current, final shape. The artists’ focus has become learning whether telepathy might be possible between humans and machines, between natural and artificial intelligence. Replacing human vision with a digital code, Recycle attempts to put the viewer in the machine’s place, to gain first-hand experience of how the programme reads and processes the information it gleans from the world around it.
Recycle describes their show as a reflection on the information age and the present day, where data volumes and transmission speeds are critically important. The project deals with information flow, our ambition to immortalise ourselves in cyberspace, and our brainchild artificial intelligence, which is already changing how we see the world and transforming our customary methods of person-to-person communication.
The New Nature exhibition is accompanied by a supplemental educational programme, whose main themes will include post-internet art, the influence of digital technology on the work of contemporary artists, the transformation of personality and of the material environment in the era of virtual reality, the expansion of the capabilities of our brains, global changes in the environment and climate, and innovation in the spheres of science and medicine. More than twenty scientists involved in IT technology, genomic medicine, robotics, neurobiology, psychology, physics, chemistry, and other sciences will share their knowledge about the main scientific ideas of our time and about their own studies. Members of the creative professions will discuss schools in contemporary art in which the artwork is created with the help of modern technologies, materials, and new means of expressions based on scientific methods.
An exhibition partner for New Nature, the premium service Ultima Yandex Go works to actively promote contemporary Russian art. At the 8th international Cosmoscow contemporary art fair in September of 2020, Ultima Yandex Go provided support for Recycle Group’s installation Garden of Diverging Stones, a dynamic reflection on place and time. This installation will also be part of the exhibition at Manege in 2021. While visiting the New Nature exhibition at Manege, guests will be able to charge their mobile devices in the Ultima Lounge on the exhibition hall’s ground floor.