''That we exist through technological means shouldn't be news to anybody, but nor is our resistance surprising. Socrates the great luddite objected that the technology of writing would ruin the authentication of memory – plus ca change'' (Gary Zhexi Zhang)
“There is... no air tight divide between virtual and real, online and off” (Nathan Jurgensen)
Touch, curated by members of Edinburgh's Esbat Collective is an exploration of how contemporary art practice is affected by a cultural environment increasingly dominated by digital technology and online networks. Is art becoming lost in the virtual clouds, losing touch with the hands on spaces of studio and art gallery?
The traditional gallery is now just one space among many in which to discover and engage with art work. Some artists reject the gallery space altogether showing their work primarily via web communities such as Instagram, Vimeo, Reddit, etc. Even very traditional makers will showcase their work digitally in the first instance – possibly using image manipulation software – to present it exactly how they want it to be seen.
Encompassing film, objects, printing, painting and costume, 'Touch' is about these interfaces - between making and networking, between real and online community, between what is touched and what is caught behind a screen.
Esbat Collective is a group of women artists who came together for a group show in 2016. Forming a creative community based around studio practice and a shared artistic sensibility, many of them first met at ECA. This will be their 5th show together.
The artists are:
Tessa Berring, Fee Scroggie, Fiona Michie, Komachi Goto, Olivia Irvine, Mel Roy, Rachael Forbes, Caroline Fulton, Penny Forbes, Angela Wingate Burdon, Rosaly Johnston, Julie Louise Bemment, Rebecca Green, Antonia Dickson, Heather Craig, Carolann Alexander, Sarah Wilson and Mary Trodden.