If you’re wondering why the inside of your head feels so strange these days, this exhibition is for you.
Age of You is a timely exhibition about how the self has become more extreme, and what it means to be an individual today. It is curated by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist, with graphic design by Daly & Lyon and over 70 visual contributors from the worlds of art, design, filmmaking, photography, performance and electronic music. Age of You has been commissioned and produced by MOCA Toronto.
Guess what this century’s most valuable resource is? It’s you — and all your online behaviours, enriched data sets and millions of meta-data points.
In this process, a large part of you is extracted from you, and now exists everywhere and nowhere, independently of your five senses. Are you really built for so much change so quickly? And what if individuality is in fact morphing into something else?
Age of You previews a forthcoming book by Basar/Coupland/Obrist, The Extreme Self, a sequel to their acclaimed previous title, The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present (2015).
Visitors to Age of You at MOCA will walk through 13 immersive chapters that chart how individuality is changing today, from the psychological (such as beauty, belief and empathy) to the social (work, wealth and democracy). In this graphic print space, wry words and slogans by Basar/Coupland/Obrist are juxtaposed with wildly eclectic portraits from the contributors.
Interspersed with the book chapters are major works in film, photography, fashion, sculpture and installation. Each articulates a salient aspect of The Extreme Self. New commissions from Satoshi Fujiwara, Stéphanie Saadé and Yuri Pattison, deal with the paradoxical physicality of data, as found in crowds, screens and emoji. Films by Trevor Paglen and NVIDIA Research, and sculptures by Agnieszka Kurant, are informed by Artificial Intelligence and machine vision. Sophia Al-Maria, Farah Al Qasimi, Toronto-born Victoria Sin and Vancouver-born Sara Cwynar all explore transformed perceptions and performances of the self. Craig Green‘s collection for Moncler fuses menswear, machine and habitat. And Toronto-based Dennis Kavelman visualizes visitor’s remaining mortality.
Throughout Age of You, visitors will encounter a recurring presence of “the face,” today’s dominant data metric, as well as new ways in which crowds are being composed or computed.
A series of public programmes will run in parallel and expand upon the exhibition’s themes.
Additionally, MOCA has partnered with HXOUSE to provide mentorship and have their Tenants respond to the themes in Age of You, creating a local graphic interpretation that will be shared during the exhibition runtime.
An evolved version of Age of You, a collaboration between Art Jameel and MOCA Toronto, will be presented at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, in fall 2020.