The Machine Stops is a group exhibition by artists Adam Hogarth, Clare Mitten, Gabriela Schutz and composer Martin Ward. It takes as its starting point E.M. Forster’s 1909 science fiction story of the same title, which describes a future in which humans live underground, with a global, omnipresent machine fulfilling all physical and spiritual needs. Direct experience between people and/or nature is rare and repellent; communication is instead made virtually through the blue, glowing plates of ‘The Machine’.
Applying Forster’s dystopian vision to the present day, the four artists in this exhibition attempt to understand how screen-based technologies are mediating contemporary experience. Through painting, sculpture, sound and installation, they explore their fascination with the future of these technologies. This excitement is tempered, however, by an increasing disquiet as humanity’s reliance on the hi-tech escalates. Forster’s story serves as both an inspiration and a warning — just what does happen when the machine stops?
An accompanying essay by Natasha Stallard will be available as part of the exhibition.