Anna Ørberg: Tech-High!
Algorithms are complicated mathematical models that control everything from Google searches to consumer behaviour monitoring, financial speculation and surveillance equipment. Programmed by humans, algorithms direct the ubiquitous computer technology. The models are created by tech companies and military
institutions with different agendas and are based on calculated beauty which is why they are far from neutral.
In her exhibition Tech-High!, Anna Ørberg depicts the back side of the hyper-technological world that surrounds us through a video work and a felt sculpture.
The video work shows six algorithms dressed in rabbit costumes gathered in a closed room for an AA meeting. A meeting at Algorithms Anonymous. In the small, closed circle, they share their stories and use AA’s 12 steps for personal recovery. They each process their dark past facing it. They are algorithms that have been involved in activities such as data collection, manipulation of debt certificates and drone warfare. Actions that have led them deep down the rabbit hole and of which they only now understand the consequences.
Together with the video work hangs a felt sculpture that keeps us in the material world. The sculpture takes shape after a scene from a presentation video for the new social media Metaverse where all togetherness is limited to virtual reality. Unlike weaving and similar textile production, which is based on a pixel structure and therefore
has a close connection to the digital, felt is made by entangling organic fibres into a random and unpredictable mass.
Ørberg’s sculpture can be seen as an appropriation of the founder of Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg’s, future vision for the internet. For this exhibition, the figure is no longer a digital simulation but in Ørberg’s version contains a tactile and aesthetic quality that can only be experienced in the physical world.
The title of the exhibition, Tech-High!, not only refers to advanced high technology but with its reversed word order becomes an expression of the obsession with getting high from the latest technological developments. The wordplay of the title refers to the tech giants’ compulsive attempts to keep the addiction alive with inventions such as web3, blockchain and NFTs and with the consumer’s desperate yearning for the dopamine-triggering notifications. At the same time, the title points to our fear of having to do without something if we defy the paradigm of eternal growth.
Anna Ørberg (b. 1988) was educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. Tech-High! is Ørberg’s first solo exhibition at an art institution.
The exhibition has been curated by Anders Kjær Rasmussen and Emil Busch Madsen.
Where: Middle step
When: 17/9 2022 – 22/1 2023