arebyte Gallery presents emerging Glasgow-based artist Kate Frances Lingard’s first solo exhibition, tender spots in hard code… Kate is the 2020 finalist from the gallery’s annual young artist development programme, hotel generation. The programme mentors the next generation of UK digital artists, based outside of London, during the critical early stages of establishing a career in the arts.
Exploring the role of care in society, this interactive exhibition uses ideas of play to deconstruct socio-political structures surrounding how we care for ourselves and one another.
Care and its labour has been systematically undervalued and constrained by the distribution and management of economic resources. Popular emphasis on care as an individual undertaking removes the necessity of interdependence and promotes self-care over communal care. The exhibition challenges this view and looks to an understanding of care as a collective activity, not only for others but with others.
At the centre of the exhibition, visitors are presented with a set of playing cards that have been re-imagined by the artist and their collaborators. The images on the cards use metaphors of the body as portals to the digital commons, blockchain systems and the social relations formed within them. Visitors are invited to play either competitively or cooperatively, both modes of engagement reveal various alternatives to the status quo and provide thought experiments for ways of thinking differently around relationships of people, object and ideology. Using the cards as prompts, visitors can “read” meaning from the cards and their signifiers, opening up conversations.
The show aims to dissolve the narrative that there is a single privileged vantage point, and instead posits that value comes from collaborative methodologies. Through engaging with the game, visitors are invited to consider how the rules they follow engender priorities of attention, to rethink how they relate to the other player, and to prioritise an ethics of care in life beyond the realms of the game.
Accompanying the card game is a collection of web games made by peer artists in response to the overarching themes of the exhibition. The hypertext games allow visitors to choose-their-own-destiny by clicking through hyperlinks to reveal a non-linear narrative, running in parallel to tender spots in hard code... The various interactive elements of the exhibition create a patchwork of thought, perspective and knowledge within the exhibition, providing each visitor with a unique experience.
The peer artists who were invited by Kate to make work for the exhibition include: Emelia Kerr Beal, Colm Guo-Lin Peare, Rebecca Gill, Leo Robinson and Benjamin Hall.
An events programme of talks, special online play sessions with the artist, and workshops to accompany the exhibition can be viewed here.
Each year, hotel generation connects arebyte gallery with UK cities by working with a gallery from the finalist’s hometown to form new networks and create relationships with other digital spaces and scenes. This year, tender spots in hard code... will travel to David Dale Gallery, Glasgow in Summer 2021 - dates to be announced.