KQED: Wattis Exhibition Mechanisms is a Show to See This Fall

Artwork from Mechanisms exhibitionHarun Farocki, ‘Deep Play’ (video still), 2007

Source: KQED Arts

Mechanisms

In these parts, art and technology get paired up on the regular, reinforcing the false binary the very words have come to represent. On art’s side: artists, affordable housing, the city’s creative soul. And for technology: tech workers, the housing crisis, venture capitalism run rampant.

But Wattis director Anthony Huberman has managed to turn this old and tired juxtaposition into an exhibition that looks at technology not as a local industry, but as a group of machines — objects, devices, systems and infrastructure. And does so in a large-scale group exhibition with surprising inclusions — Jay DeFeo and Louise Lawler, to name two. In Mechanisms, art doesn’t merge with machines courtesy of a plus sign or an ampersand, it gums up the gears, calls attention to efforts towards efficiency and critiques the very mechanisms that make it.

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