transmission detox (2015) by Sydney-based artist Marian Tubbs is the MCA’s first Online Commission. The artwork is made up of interlinking webpages that combine found images, video and audio with surveillance footage, text and data sets. It explores the implications of our activities online, the limits of user experience, and the value of data and metadata today.
The MCA Online Commission represents the Museum’s developing and ongoing commitment to artists working online, providing opportunities for the creation of new work as well as developing audiences for it.
'transmission detox' is a work that encourages you to slow down, listen and think.
Blair French, Director, Curatorial & Digital, MCA
Born 1983, Sydney. Lives and works Sydney.
transmission detox 2015
Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2015
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
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.
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 very means of production which enable its existence.
In transmission detox, images are hidden and subject matter often distorted, 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.
Marian Tubbs discusses transmission detox .
Manifesting across internet, video and assemblage-based installations, Marian Tubbs’ art conflates material binaries between body and object, physical and virtual, and high and low culture. Her assemblage-based installations and digital works critique cultural ascriptions of value and act to slow down accelerated modes of looking.
The MCA’s relationship with Tubbs began when she was selected to exhibit as part of Primavera 2014: Young Australia Artists, curated by artist Mikala Dwyer. Primavera is the MCA’s annual showcase of Australian artists aged 35 and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of who have gone on the exhibit nationally and internationally.
The artist’s upcoming and recent exhibitions include Pleasure and Reality, National Gallery of Victoria, 2015; Contemporary Print Culture, National Gallery of Australia, 2015; Riven, Station, Melbourne, 2015; Relational Changes, Christine König Galerie, Vienna, 2015; Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones, Toves, Copenhagen, 2015; Primavera 2014: Young Australian Artists, MCA, Sydney, 2014; Quake 2, Arcadia Missa, London, 2014; and Glean, Minerva, Sydney, 2014. Tubbs has also been involved in curating shows including Care (with Dana Kopel) at Interstate Projects, NY and Witness at Minerva. In 2015 she is the inaugural recipient of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s Online Commission. Marian’s work is held at the National Gallery of Australia, and in local and international collections. Tubbs has published and presented art and philosophy research at international and local conferences. In 2014 she was a contributing author to the philosophy volume Intensities & Lines of Flight, published by Rowman & Littlefield International. Tubbs holds a BFA (Hons) from RMIT, a MFA from UNSW Art & Design, is completing a PhD at UNSW Art & Design, and is a casual academic at UTS and Art and Design UNSW.