Tim Barnes



In a discussion about painting in Artforum in 2003, Lane Relyea wrote: 'We don't read theory anymore, and we don't critique institutions; what we do is hang out, and make artworks with which it would be nice to hang out. We eat pad thai and chitchat in a Jorge Pardo bar.'

But that was nearly a decade ago, and so much has changed since then. The proliferation of smart phones, the ascent of the iPad, the ubiquity of social media: artists today have to deal with the fact that their work will be viewed primarily on a screen, and shared very rapidly. The implications of this are devastating. If the Internet is a territory that is truly democratic, in which there are no passive recipients, only participants, then the dilemma confronting artists today is how can I make art that is better than some kid's Tumblr, meme or Youtube video?

Through this exhibition of nine young London-based artists, and an accompanying discussion event, we intend to ask (but do not presume to be able to answer) questions such as how do we make and exhibit art 'post-internet'? How can the creativity of a single artist compare with the communal ownership of online material? Does the physical presence of artworks, the fact that you cannot simultaneously occupy that same space, really matter? And, what does your screen smell like?