Preview :: Social Experiment No. 9

June 15th 2011


Normally when I think of technology my head starts to hurt a little. Don’t make me, I start to think. I get so caught up in a fear of nano-bots and incomprehensible HTML mumbo-jumbo that I forget how ubiquitous technology has become. Sure, the Macbook I’m writing on is technology, but so are the Target trackies my Macbook is nestled on. The world is made of machines.

Social Experiment No. 9, opening at Index this Saturday, takes a look at the many and varied impacts of technology on our world today. The show features work from three emerging local artists, Aesha Henderson, Kolet Hodgson and Tolmie Macray. “I have collaborated with Aesha on previous exhibitions and projects,” says Hodgson, “[but] this is the first time I have worked with Tolmie. It’s been a great experience developing the group show with both of them. We’ve all offered input to each others projects and all have been equally dedicated.”

While Henderson and Macray have chosen to focus on the sinister side of some very modern technologies with works on technological warfare and surveillance within virtual realms, Hodgson has chosen to strip the theme back to basics, looking at the effects of technology on the clothing industry.

“My background is in fashion design. Clothing to me is not just something I wear for shelter and comfort it is the ‘looking glass’ through which I view the world,” Hodgson explains. “In general I have opted to consider the sustainability of what I produce and use. The artwork for this show is a combination of handcrafted collages embellished on to three suit blazers. All materials have been have had a life and purpose born out of technology. The ravages of time have compelled their previous owners to part with them. I have collected these pieces, over the years, to be recycled into a new story.”

Each of the works explores the slow, subtle and often unnoticed impact of our easy assimilation of new technologies. Hodgson muses, “The change is most often unintentional, secondary and not immediately discernable, much in the same way that global warming is produced by the carbon based technologies intended to improve and vouchsafe human life on earth.” With the industrial, converted warehouse vibe of the Index space as a backdrop, Social Experiment No. 9 sounds like it’s more than worth the train fare to St Pete’s.

What: Social Experiment No. 9

Where: Index, 60 Hutchinson Rd, St Peters

When: Opening BBQ this Saturday 2 – 4pm, Weds – Sun, 10am – 6pm until July 3rd.

How much: Free


Read more from Nick La Rosa