ACCA’s summer season exhibition Feedback Loops presents six immersive installations that explore the material and digital worlds of our past, present and speculative futures. Populated by characters and conceptualisations that are at once real and fictive, and inherently performative, the works of participating artists are informed by aesthetics of the internet and the ethics of new materialist philosophies, presenting a kaleidoscopic positioning of familiar and unfamiliar references.
Mythology, spirituality and philosophy are mashed together with personal and collective narratives, popular culture and art history, in visual, aural and spatial configurations that simultaneously confront and confound. Belonging to a generation born in the 1980s, the participating artists have an everyday approach to new media and computational thinking, from gaming software and CGI to the ripping and rehashing of internet content, that sits seamlessly alongside live performance and material practices of sculpture, textiles, drawing and painting.
In the simplest sense, a feedback loop is a process of systems analysis, whereby outputs and their past impacts are taken into consideration in the present to affect the nature of future outputs. Traditionally the feedback loop has a binary structure: where negative feedback maintains an equilibrium; while the positive is characterised by amplification, and the possibility of entropy and collapse.
The term “feedback loop” is used in diverse frameworks, from sciences of biology, climate and computing, to the fields of sound engineering, product development and human psychology. As a phrase, it also evokes ideas of the echo, reiteration and re-articulation, as well as an understanding of time, knowledge and cultural production as cyclical and generative.
Curated by Miriam Kelly, Feedback Loops comprises new commissions and presentations of recent works by Madison Bycroft, Tianzhuo Chen, Lu Yang, Sahej Rahal, Justin Shoulder and Zadie Xa. The works of participating artists register these dynamics in circuitous disruptions of linear approaches to narrative, time, space, value and power, along with their considerations of empathy – towards both humans and non-human forms.
The works and worlds presented in Feedback Loops are spectacular and theatrical; in equal measure unsettling, absurd, fantastical and joyous, offering high-energy hits, as well as sites of reprieve.