The New York–based artists Eva and Franco Mattes have a practice that focuses exclusively on the effect that the internet has on our daily life. They claim to devote “their waking hours almost exclusively to exploring this platform —its possibilities, pitfalls, and implications for the creation and dissemination of content and data.”
In their current exhibition Data Doubles at the Team (Bungalow) Gallery in Venice, California, the duo has spatialized or, in their words, “concretized” the physical infrastructure of the internet by installing a network of cable trays or “exostructure” throughout the gallery house. These modular units of lightweight sheet steel are traditionally joined together and hung from a ceiling to join or hide the cacophony of wires that otherwise snake across desks and avenues of travel in an office workspace. Here they are in our face at eye level and below, circumnavigating the indoor and outdoor spaces of the site. A cute addition to the exhibit is a taxidermy cat peeking through a hole in the ceiling, a direct interpretation of the meme Ceiling Cat, which surged in popularity from 2006 onwards concomitant with the lolcat phenomenon. We are being watched or even monitored! The installation makes clear, if it were not already, how powerful our lived space merges today with the virtual space of technology and the internet.
Finally, is it really important to actually visit the gallery or is it enough to simply see it in this review? I am writing this review from New York without actually visiting the gallery. But the images are so seductive they take me there via the internet to the Venice bungalow.
Eva & Franco Mattes
May 12 – June 23, 2019
306 Windward Avenue, Venice, California