TRANSMISSION DETOX, Marian Tubbs – online commission by The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) launches its first online commission, transmission detox, by Sydney-based and Primavera 2014 artist Marian Tubbs.

transmission detox (2015) comprises a series of interlinking websites, combining video, interactive collage and live analytic data. This major new work explores the spatial possibilities of the Internet and draws on the artist’s research into the global flow of currency, images and information.

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE says: “This daring new work by Marian Tubbs represents the Museum’s commitment to artists working online and in new media — artforms rarely exhibited in major institutions but forming an important strand of contemporary practice.” She continues: “In launching this new commission, MCA takes a leading role in Australia working with new models of digital engagement, joining international peer such as Tate, Serpentine Gallery and New Museum in supporting artists working online and developing audiences for their work.”

The artwork takes a nuanced and critical approach to the material conditions which influence the continued expansion and operation of the Internet. Many early proponents of the World Wide Web espoused its utopian potential as a space for collaboration and the free sharing of knowledge. While the rapid spread of the Internet and social media has surpassed many such expectations, it has done so as the result of corporate interests, predicated on the commodification of information, images and personal data.

Drawing together surveillance footage, found video and images, and website infrastructure itself, the work refers to a diverse range of sources, including the Great Pacific garbage patch, consumer aesthetics, and image editing software. In doing so, transmission detox questions the means of production which enable its existence.

“In transmission detox, images are hidden and subject matter often distorted,” says Blair French, MCA Director, Curatorial & Digital, “perhaps suggesting that digital images are by their nature evasive; that the transmission of information is not the same as the transmission of knowledge; that the systems we use to communicate are loaded in favour of particular ideologies and the values they sustain. This is a work that encourages you to slow down, listen and think.”

Access the work at www.mca.com.au/transmissiondetox.