Artists offer a wake-up call on global techno-politics in new exhibition

Recent and newly commissioned artworks from Australian and international artists can be seen for the first time in a new exhibition about the Internet at The University of Queensland Art Museum.

Don’t Be Evil explores the hidden power structures behind the networked technologies that are dominating our everyday lives.

UQ Art Museum Curator Anna Briers said it was a timely interrogation of the dramatic social, political and personal impacts of artificial intelligence and the Internet.

“In this COVID-19 moment there has been much talk about how the Internet brings people together,” she said.

“However, in the last decade we have seen it used as a powerful tool to undermine truth and democracy by shaping our behaviour and the way we think, vote and act.

“There is an urgent need to critically examine the corporate agendas and techno-politics built into the everyday devices, known as the Internet of Things, that are shaping our world.”

The exhibition features screen-based works, interactive installations and virtual reality experiences.

Don’t Be Evil takes its name from a line that appeared in but was later removed from, Google’s corporate motto.

A series of public programs will accompany the exhibition, including a speaking event at the State Library of Queensland in December with high profile artificial intelligence ethics researcher and author Dr Kate Crawford.

Dr Crawford’s work with Vladan Joler is also featured in the exhibition.

Don’t Be Evil opens 30 July 2021-22 January 2022 and is the second part of UQ Art Museum’s exploration of the dramatically changed socio-political conditions produced by networked technologies, following the success of the first web-based exhibition, We Met Online.

Exhibition highlights include Eugenia Lim’s ON DEMAND, a bicycle-powered video work exploring the politics of the gig economy, made in collaboration with workers from companies such as Uber and AirTasker, and Simon Denny’s Extractor, an interactive board game on the dynamics of the data mining industry.

Xanthe Dobbie’s newly commissioned virtual reality work Cloud Copy explores the omnipotence of the internet, while Kate Geck’s rlx:tech, is an augmented reality installation where audiences can stream bespoke meditations to combat social media anxiety.

UQ Art Museum manages and curates one of Queensland’s most significant public art collections.

The museum is in the James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre at the St Lucia campus, and has expert staff working across areas including curatorial, collection management and art education.

Photo opportunities

  • Kate Geck’s bold large-scale installation across the front of the UQ Art Museum
  • Visitors attending the opening event on Friday 30 July 5-9pm

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