Site Gallery launches new online programme Digital Realness

Site Gallery launches new online programme Digital Realness

04 March 2021

Digital Realness opens online at Site Gallery, from 4 March – 31 May 2021. The programme is set to explore the merging of digital and physical realities through immersive online exhibitions, discussions, family workshops, reading groups, screenings and more.

Site Gallery will open the programme by asking questions and hosting discussions with artists, thinkers and audiences. These discussions will centre on how we touch and feel online, how we enable digital learning, and will examine what biases and systems of oppression are built into our online structures and what we can do to subvert them. 

Digital Realness showcases the work of artists Sian Fan, Rebecca Jagoe and Vishal Kumaraswamy, commissioned through Site Gallery’s Fresh Takes programme. Each of the artists have developed new performance-based work to engage with the specificities of online spaces and expand the understanding of performance. 

Sian Fan’s piece, Phantom, uses motion capture to record a live performer’s movements, and maps these actions onto ghostly video game characters, recreating her performance in an interactive 3D environment. Simulating a vast, digital forest the virtual space is filled with glitched greenery, emulating a corrupted video game. The world exists online, embedded into a webpage where the user navigates via their computer arrow keys, exploring it in three dimensions.

Based on a close reading of The Peterborough Lapidary, Rebecca Jagoe’s A Sicknesse, A Ston will be an online, broadcast performance in audio-only and visual-only formats. Each version of the work will create a series of interwoven accounts of instances where human bodies interact with specific stones from the Lapidary, where the interactions between flesh and rock, and intense lithic intimacies, become means of understanding illness and embodiment. 

Vishal Kumaraswamy's yet to be titled work is imagined as a networked performance occurring gesturally upon a range of physical and digital spaces. The work navigates contemporary concerns of Race and Caste through a speculative construct of engaging with the Subaltern body in Hyperspace. It is an ever evolving conversation conducted as an experimental moving image work.

Site Gallery will also run a series of workshops as part of the Digital Realness programme. This includes Family Workshops that have been programmed and developed with Society of Explorers, and New Tricks, Site’s digital skills programme.

Site Gallery is Sheffield’s contemporary art space specialising in new media, moving image and performance. Pioneering emerging art practices and ideas, Site works in partnership with local, regional and international collaborators to nurture artistic talent and support the development of contemporary art.

Site Gallery is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation with revenue funding from Sheffield City Council. For more info visit: www.sitegallery.org