Conflict in My Outlook_We Met Online
A web-based exhibition, 21 August 2020 - 1 March 2022

Artists: Zach Blas, Natalie Bookchin, Chicks on Speed, Xanthe Dobbie, Sean Dockray, Kate Geck, Elisa Giardina Papa, Matthew Griffin, Kenneth Macqueen, Daniel Mckewen, Jon Rafman, Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman

The Internet has been variously described as a cloud, a network, an archive, an information superhighway, a urinal, a supermarket, and a brothel. All are at once fitting and failed analogies. Within our hyper-mediated world we are drowning in an ocean of images, data has been classified as the new oil, and the consequences of our technologically networked existence have surpassed anything that has gone before.

Featuring Australian and international artists, Conflict in My Outlook is a major group exhibition that will unfold in two parts across 2020 to early 2022 entitled We Met Online (URL) and Don’t Be Evil (IRL). Investigating the way the Internet mediates and shapes social relations and ideas, it reveals the erosion of boundaries between online and offline, public and private. It foregrounds the Internet as a source of both human connection and societal division, illuminating the precarious nature of reality in an era of fake news, post-truth politics, and echo chambers of disinformation.

Departing from the utopian impulse of early Internet culture to its current dystopian realities, Conflict in My Outlook examines the dynamics of power and control. It asks, ‘what will become of our privacy in the context of data mining, Artificial Intelligence and weapons-grade surveillance capitalism? Are data rights human rights? How can I disappear?’

Across a series of new commissions and existing projects, artists harness the Internet and its contents to consider the world in which we live. They co-opt and remix user-generated content sourced from video blogs or social media platforms, they employ geolocation technologies, and they explore Augmented Reality filters, Virtual Reality environments, and data visualisation.

A ‘conflict in outlook’ describes a glitch, an error message or a scheduling clash. It suggests a sense of cognitive dissonance or a failure to connect via email. A phrase lifted from the ubiquitous software program Microsoft Office, this exhibition frames a complexity of social relations and power dynamics in our COVID-19, post-Internet age – a time when every aspect of our lives has been irrevocably changed.

Conflict in My Outlook: Don't be Evil will open at UQ Art Museum on 30 July 2021. Additional artists to be announced.

Kate Geck
Schema.jpg 2020 
digital image
Image: Courtesy Kate Geck