Diggermode questions the social and environmental ethics of technology in constructing, storing and sharing our images, whether in surveillance databases, museum archives or online. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Joel Sherwood Spring has created landscapes in the style of acclaimed Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira being torn apart by mining machinery, and has trained another AI to answer questions like ‘Who’s your Mob? ’Presumably, anyone could do this – but should anyone be able to appropriate Indigenous art from the internet? How do we protect our knowledge in digital spaces? Does sand used to make silicon microchips contain memories of Country?
Sherwood Spring’s work confronts the viewer with uncomfortable and overlooked aspects of our hyper-networked age, grounding the possibilities of ‘the cloud’ and AI in the broader context of ongoing colonisation. Diggermode considers the environmental damage caused by new technology and data storage, and the ways in which Indigenous peoples’ lands and ways of being are profoundly impacted by capitalism’s extractive processes. A screening of Diggermode will be followed by an artist talk by Joel Sherwood Spring.
Joel Sherwood Spring is a Wiradjuri anti-disciplinary artist and Powerhouse design resident. Sherwood Spring works collaboratively on projects that sit outside established notions of contemporary art and architecture, attempting to transfigure spatial dynamics of power through discourse, pedagogies, art, design and architectural practice. Sherwood Spring is focused on examining the contested narratives of Australia’s urban cultural and Indigenous history in the face of ongoing colonisation. He is a co-director of Future Method Studio, a collaborative interdisciplinary practice working across architecture, installation and speculative projects. He guest-edited Runway Journal’s 44th issue TIME in 2021 and was a commissioned artist for Ceremony, the 4th National Indigenous Art Triennial in 2022 at the National Gallery of Australia.
On Gadigal land
UTS Gallery, Peter Johnson Building
University of Technology
702 Harris St
Ultimo NSW 2007
Free, bookings required
20 September 2023