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The Internet: Is it helping us or hurting us?

10 August 2018

The Internet: Is it helping us or hurting us?


Gotcha ;) is a three person show with video and prints works by Duncan Poulton, Ralph Pritchard and Emily Sparkes. Curated by QUAD’s Young Advocates, a group of creatively minded 16-25 year olds mentored by QUAD’s curatorial team. Sarah Younis, a member of the Young Advocates group, gives us a tour of the exhibition and tells us more about the artworks that were selected.

We start with the work of Emily Sparke.

“We're in the culture that’s moving away from talking to people. The exhibition that we've curated talks about a culture that some people won't get. It's kind of about internet speaking. It’s weird because not everyone will know what it’s about. Things like memes: sometimes they can turn a serious matter into a laugh. Sometimes they connect people but sometimes they can cause harm.”

We move on to Ralph Pritchard’s work Shouldr. 

“It’s quite a funny piece, it is satirical and has humour running through it. If you didn't realize what it was, you would think it was about an app that helps people with depression or anxiety. It looks like a real thing, an app that you can download. There is also a fake Guardian article that is based on similar debates that we see in the news, for example the way that some companies are treats their employees. That the more likes and good reviews that they get, the more money you will earn. Workers don’t know when they can stop.”

We finish with the work of Duncan Poulton.

“The clip of being pulled through the sewer in ‘Tunnel’ is a representation of the dark parts of the internet and that you are a user of it. You realise how toxic it can be to a person. 

Here in ‘zzzzzzzz’ we have a human face with a pig’s nose. To me that symbol represents something. A pig is a creature that is represented as dirty but intelligent and that’s kind of saying something to me on a wider level because the combination of those two things.

I think ‘Avatar Tattooed with the History of its Own Making’ represents how far we’ve come as humans in society. It shows things like the iPhone, historical times, inventions like the camera and philosophy. It shows the evolution of human development and our understanding of the world.”

Sarah ends the tour by telling us more about her experience of curating an exhibition and what she has learnt from the process.

“Gotcha ;) is a good representation of the dark side of the internet. It can bring you happiness and sadness at the same time without you realizing you’re dependent on it. Each piece of work on its own tells a story, but when you combine them it creates a deeper meaning. When we looked through the artists proposals we saw pieces of artwork that were amazing. We narrowed our selection down to these pieces because they made more sense as a collection of works that answered our question: is the internet helping us or hurting us?”

Gotcha ;) exhibition is on in the Extra Gallery Spaces until 12th August 2018.