The Underlying by Ami Clarke

19 Sep 2019 – 16 Nov 2019

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arebyte Gallery

England, United Kingdom


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arebyte Gallery are pleased to announce The Underlying, a new body of work by London based artist Ami Clarke, including Derivative (Virtual Reality, 6 mins), Lag Lag Lag (video interface with live sentiment analysis), and The Prosthetics (prosthetic optics, blown glass).


In The Underlying, Ami Clarke expands on her work on speculation in language and the economy, as a state of contingency becomes an everyday mode of operandum and a strategy to acquire informational dominance, in todays volatile media sphere.  Her multimedia approach draws upon personal history, to work within the complexities, multiple temporalities and scales that coalesce around new and old power relations that come of, and are revealed by, technologies associated with the interdependent ecologies of social media, finance, and the environment.  The work seeks a critique through consideration of the contractual condition of both finance and insurance, that reveals the negative effects of capitalism on the environment, through a relationship with the past, that indicates the future is coming up increasingly short. 

Clarke’s video work Lag Lag Lag utilises live sentiment analysis of online news production and social media, relating to BPA’s (Bisphenol A*) to consider how surveillance, rather than a rogue element of capitalism, enmeshes with the effects of market forces upon the environment happening at a molecular level.  Her VR work Derivative draws from the popular imaginary of film productions such as Mars, and Bladerunner 2049, but located amongst the City of London’s financial district via the moment that London experienced similar weather conditions in 2017 (evoking a flurry of comments on social media), for something more akin to ‘Bladerunner 2019: the burnout’, in the year the first film was set.  As BPA’s flood the planets water supplies it becomes clear that the re-boot of the re-boot of the future ends with a twist, in that there is no prequel, nor sequel yet to come, and questions regarding alternative models of living become increasingly more compelling and everyday.

Whilst much emphasis is put upon the individual as a consumer with the suggestion that lifestyle choices might bring about the dramatic changes necessary to avert environmental disaster, the extractive principles of capitalism, that point to colonial pasts and digital presents, remain unchallenged. In contrast, the work in the exhibition seeks to position the subject emerging in synthesis with their environment, which sites the individual enmeshed within collective action, through expanding mutual ecologies that include environmental concerns, as well as contemporary digital milieu.

The discussions started within the work will continue with a talk bringing together speakers for Art Licks weekend: Interdependence, with transfeminist, geo-communist and postcolonial responses to the incredible complexities of the environmental crisis with Diann Bauer, Arun Saldanha, and Ami Clarke. (Saturday 19th October, 2-4pm, arebyte Gallery)

* (Bisphenol A - a chemical compound and synthetic oestrogen produced in the manufacture of plastics, recently found to be in water supplies the world over)

The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England.


Nimrod Vardi

Rebecca Edwards

Exhibiting artists

Ami Clarke


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