Every pressing of a button signaling a decision is preceded by a not always fully realized and evident choice of a technology that enables it all. Do we still have a choice, though? Last but not least there is Endless Doomscroller, a web page by an American artist and theoretician Ben Grosser, that offers an experience of endless scrolling through bad news headlines. Reading through shocking and negative news which are more often than not created to rather shock and capture attention than to inform can lead to deterioration of mental health. Perhaps, however, the repetitive movement of the thumb works as a form of meditation and therefore as a tool to fight depression.
The year-long exhibition cycle App Art in Galerie Kontext focuses on how shared user experience with mobile apps is reflected in production of apps with artistic content. The current exhibition pays closer attention to the textual component of apps which is present on multiple levels: texts for the user, texts related to the app operation and texts hidden from the user that ensure communication between the app and sites and other programs. Obvia Gaude by an artist duo Ľubomír Panák & Zuzana Husárová is a rather personal, sensual remediation of a poetic baroque text to a mobile app setting. The Bots of New York, a Facebook bot by the artist(s) Botmin, works with and parodies the famous project Humans of New York by using a neuron site. Furthermore, the app Nomin by Andreas Gajdošík thematizes another textual app level by offering visitors to send an email from an address of one of the famous curators and land, for themselves or for someone else, an exhibit opportunity that is difficult to obtain. Aforementioned approaches are tied in together by the Obsure motif app which reflects the poetics of annoying catchphrases of pop-up windows. It combines it with personal data research and our compulsive need to look for shortcuts in trying to understand each other, be it palm reading or screen reading.
The second exhibition of the App art cycle also focuses on the user experience which we all share thanks to mobile technologies. One of the phenomena of this experience is the so-called selfie: a self-portrait taken by a mobile device. In the context of the exhibition cycle we examine current technologies - apps and web pages - as modifications of the camera. Instead of displaying mainly images, we focus on the machines used to create them. The first exhibition Send Me To Endless Happy Warning presented among others the controversial app S.M.T.H. by Petr Svárovský that allows users of the app S.M.T.H. to film themselves as they are using it and then post the recordings on their social media. This time the exhibition focuses on a selection of artworks exploring the motif of the face which uniqueness is considered a part of our identity, identity we may have already sold. Darius Kazemi offers a simple tool for the creation of people. By one mere click we can generate a portrait of a non-existing person. The products are based on a neuron network consisting of a dataset of real people who are generally unaware that their photos were put in the dataset. Another displayed artwork is Strange Attractions by Lenka Hámošová who interrupted the process of a learning network before it was finished to reveal the disturbing picture of an algorithm attempting to figure out and pin point the proper human form.