No stranger to the peripatetic lifestyle, Dublin-born, London and Berlin-based artist Yuri Pattison brings his preoccupation with the internet and its physical effects into stark focus with commission and exhibition Free Traveller at London’s Cell Project Space, running September 17 to November 2.
Concentrated on the contextualisation of time and space through documentation, as well as the failed promise of an unregulated internet, the exhibition expresses an overspill of a now contained and corporatised online into real life, where movement is not only restricted to the texts and guides of reference materials but tethered to the grids and devices that have fully infiltrated modern living. That insidious integration comes in a row of identical IKEA VITTSJÖ shelving units bearing air mail packages, a bubble-wrapped photo of a building and screens projecting images embedded with images embedded with images of scenes from around the world, as ‘AIBO’ the robotic dog looks on, perched on a pile of travelogues.
In an interview with aqnb, Pattison expressed concern over the “ghettoising effect” of Google’s personalised algorithms and the streamlined searches they perpetuate. With Free Traveller the artist disrupts this process with a repurposed Google Mini server, stacked on a shelf and hosting a “bespoke rogue scraper site” at the Cell Project Space public IP address featuring a tab title that drolly pronounces “familiarity breeds contentment“. Utilising artificial intelligence, the indexing system searches the web for content relating to the themes of the exhibition – from an image of an NYC Rally to Save the Web to Easter Island’s “fascinating” moai statues – collating them via free association, rather than tying them to an experience and a perspective already understood. **
Exhibition photos, top-right.