Guest-curated by Olga Tarasova
29 June - 22 July 2023
@ Seager Gallery, SE8, London
In 1957 Sputnik beeped, it had gone live…
In 2023 my Boxes beeped, were given a few words and started talking to each other.
Like earlier generations of artists I am simply looking at the world around me and trying to understand it, unlike previous generations however a very large chunk of our world is invisible – I can see my iPhone but I can’t see the wifi signal it is connected to.
Invisible Things is exploring the relationship between the visible and invisible by using ever changing computer programs to interact with visible material objects or structures.
In 2016 a Youtuber was exploring a long abandoned 1990s online game with no other real players. There he received a message from a NPC (Non-playable) character -
‘are you lost?’
…’ I am real, aren't I? Please tell me I exist.’
in|visible things is a solo exhibition by London-based artist Jo McGarry, offering a grasp into the intertwining of the digital and the tangible. Contemplating on forces which are unavailable for the immediate grasp, what she calls ‘the slow ones – religious, imaginary, emotional, intellectual’, McGarry’s practice takes forms of installation, painting and audio. In her works, the Being presents itself as a reversibility between the flesh of the bodies and the digital entities of the world – where the two are complete yet not merged into a unity; both are total yet not superposable; their touching is a close proximity yet an infinite spacing.
We are at the heart of the visible yet at an inexhaustible distance from it. The body and the thing of the world are simultaneously separated and connected by thickness of flesh which is constitutive of the visibility of the thing and the bodily corporeity. This thickness is a welding of the sensible mass and the mass of sensible, an infinite opening arising from palpation with the look. It is a prototype of Being, to which our bodies are notable variations yet its paradox of existence lies within the visible itself. The visible here is the capsule of the colossal depth – it is an initiation towards grasping visions varying from our own, a realm that can never be closed. in|visible things is a trace of this faint, deferred, suspended reality uniting with the finite tangible horizons and the infinity of maximal existence.
in|visible things guides throughout McGarry’s practice which spans across two categories. Stripping away representational imaginary, Tubes and the Babble Boxes are digital ‘entities’ in their own right, driving a ‘never ending sequence of events’. The aim is for these pieces to become integrated within and beyond the habitual environment – neither art nor architecture, invisible and without categorisation or defined boundaries. The second group is using digital media (currently 3D scanning and modeling tools) to look at, explore and record the world around us. Paintings and green crosses are based directly on 3D scans of McGarry’s habitual surroundings. What we can record is not necessarily what we can see, from Hito Steyerl’s lessons in invisibility to Hockney’s Joiners. As Marshall McLuhan pointed out, how we see/hear and record things has profound implications with regard to how we manipulate and interact with everything around us.
The exhibition programme will include the following supporting events:
8th July – Artist’s & Curator’s discussion
15st July – Gaming Night
20th July - Show Invites: Thursday Club
21st July – Closing Vernissage
Main exhibition text by Olga Tarasova
Poster design by Will Dalton
For more information please visit the Seager Gallery website here.