MTCD – A Visual Anthology of My Machine Life
“How old are you? I’m seven iPhones old,” reads one of the statements in the iconic book The Age of Earthquakes (Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, Hans Ulrich Obrist, 2015), in response to the provocative question “Are generations still measured by years?” Are they, indeed?
Since the end of WWII, our life has been marked – at an exponential rhythm – by a number of technological inventions, which have changed the way we communicate, as well as socialise, represent ourselves, work, create and experience content and more. Other historical events in that period – from the Moon landing in the 1960s to the Arab Spring in 2010 – have not impacted our existence as much as our media experience of them has. Many of these inventions, from the personal computer to the World Wide Web, to iPhones, have been game-changing, impacting our lives in ways that make us forget how it was before them; others have not survived the descending curve of the hype cycle. But even the latter, often commercially presented as the “next big thing”, have succeeded in polarising our attention and desires.
Taking this basic truth as a starting point, MTCD – A Visual Anthology of My Machine Life is a monologue in which artist and researcher Teresa Dillon takes one “machine” from each year of her life, reflecting on the uses, misuses, and abuses of technology. From radios to home recording devices to her first experiences on the internet, Dillon’s sonic and visual journey explores the key “machines” that have come to shape her technological know-how and imagination, in turn revealing the contradictions and realities of a generation born as “digital natives”. This multimedia, personal, auto-ethnographic performance piece (which premiered at Berlin’s Transmediale in 2018), will be presented in Ljubljana for the first time in the framework of the 22nd edition of the international festival Mladi levi.
Artist, curator and researcher Teresa Dillon creates and tells stories about the techno-civic, that is, the relationships that exist between people, communities, technologies and governance. She is particularly interested in issues related to survival; repair cultures; environmental monitoring; interspecies relationships; sonic folklores; histories and heritages of technology and the built environment; surveillance; and open source civic resources.
Trained in theatre studies, set design and psychology, Teresa has since the mid-2000s created performances and works under the name Polar Produce. Along with MTCD – A Visual Anthology of My Machine Life (2018), recent pieces include Canary Songs, a sonic re-enactment and choral performance, drawing on the history of female workers in WWI ammunition factories, and AMHARC (2017), a sculptural work made from recycled materials, drawing attention to how surveillance architectures affect other creatures’ habits and ecologies.Teresa’s work has been published and exhibited internationally (Ars Electronica, Helsinki Design Week, LABoral, 7a*11d, Locws International), presented at various conferences and symposia (ISEA, Make City, EcoCity, Istanbul Biennale) and reviewed in Nature Magazine, Wire, Creators,BBC online and we-make-money-not-art. Currently, she is professor of City Futures at the School of Art and Design, UWE Bristol and principal investigator at the international programme and network Repair Acts.
Author: Teresa Dillon
Set design and live image: Teresa Dillon, Rod Maclachlan, Luke Bennett
Production of the event: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art and Festival Mladi levi / Zavod Bunker, Ljubljana, 2019
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.
Aksioma’s programme is additionally supported by the Ministry of Public Administration as part of the public call for co-financing projects for the development and professionalisation of NGOs and volunteerism as well as by JSKD