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23/06 — 23/08, 2018
(+dis-)embodiment is an exhibition by techno-feminist collaboration Proxy Mund that play with ideas of hegemony, self-optimisation and work culture. The duo present over 70 images of 3D scanned hands which pop up in a sequence of random loops, each picture dotted across the screen in varying sizes and orders with every refresh. This is the first show by External Pages, an online exhibition space that focuses to develop a new wave of net art relating to post-capitalist and xenofeminist thought.
Often applied as a reference to agency and free will, the representation of hands in this exhibition instead looks at how they are vehicles of compulsory production, and function as elements that define labour in both productive and reproductive (such as self-optimising) work. With the idea of physicality wanting to achieve “non-physicality” — fingers working to create virtual content or bodies enhancing to attain happiness — Poxy Mund explore the possibility of defining our anatomies beyond biological borders.
Using 2D screenshots of 3D scans, the pictured arms have a deceivingly interactive aesthetic to them and an audio track automatically plays on loop in the background, teasing the viewer with negligible command over what is happening on the webpage. (+dis-)embodiment applies this lack of power for the user to further question the agency involved in self-reinvention and the consequences of our online identities.
While Proxy Mund’s hands are here viewed as connectors between identity and its surrounding environment, we are introduced to "the lie of disembodied cyberspace" (C. Kraus, I Love Dick, 1997) and how the tangible and intangible operate as non-binary units.
Proxy Mund is an art project made up of Eleni Odysseos and Sofia Albina Novikoff Unger. They examine the connections between technology and the body, reflecting on economic, ecological and feminist discourses. Their medium is a combination of text, sound art, video, 3D modelling & scanning, motion capture, and sculptural objects. Based in London and founded at the Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art course, they are from Russian, Danish and Cypriot backgrounds.
Edited by Chris Hayes
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23/08 — 29/10, 2018
In a translucid internet experience, Acqua Vrzal presents us with ?/§nake/girl/?, the second show by online exhibition space, External Pages.
Currently transitioning from visual to movement, dance and performance art in Berlin, Vrzal’s practice has largely consisted of anonymous admin work, graphic design, and self-portraiture that she “mutilated” by editing and collaging, published under multiple aliases.
This is explored further in the disfigurement of computer graphics or online photography in our first solo show with the interdisciplinary artist. Vrzal introduces us to six main digitally-manipulated pictures that have either been stockpiled from google images or shot through her webcam. They float around our browser in multilayered arrangements and twisted, gelatinous pulsations while little visual assemblages of moths or winged “fairies” are randomly scattered, hovering between the self-portraits like spirit animals. Normal maps are stretched and used as background sets or core elements of a composition while reptiles, aliens and insects append to her photographed skin. References of eggs crop up in a variety of symbols, poems, urls and selfies, which oppose the incessant question of “girl or boy” with “girl or snake”.
While the page is laid out in ways that reminds us of a tumblr blog code that’s been fucked with, the topic of the show rests on how the artist copes with dysphoria, accumulated from her “tumblr trans teenager times”. Mixing liquify filters and magic wand selection tools in Photoshop with glitches and lags in CSS animation filters, ?/§nake/girl/? marries gentle fluid movements with distortion, and asks us what alternatives can be found in exploring the self via grainy DIY imagery and fantasy narratives.
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30/10 — 17/03, 2019
Fully committing to gush out her browser content in Overshare, Georgina Tyson collaborates with External Pages to produce it's third exhibition of the year.
Between the 12th and 18th of June, 2018, Tyson shares the entirety of her online activity with us, that for some would seem too personal, to examine how we give out information that nobody asks for. Her internet history is completely disclosed and used as a structural basis for her video Overshare, which has been recreated as a website experience for External Pages. The virtual timeline demands to be scrolled through as short, private notes appear along the list of visited URLs, which vary from social media and online shopping services to sex work websites. Vines located next to these intimate logs automatically play only when visible, like reaction gifs on twitter, and alleviate her confidential entries from the contextual soreness of topics that cover emotional insecurity, mental health, and sex addiction.
The low-cost/brow/res multimedia artist showcased Overshare during September 7th — 13th at Chelsea College of Art, London, September 22nd at The Royal Standard as part of “Bye Hun!” for the School of the Damned handover show, and October 25th at Hotel Elephant as part of Micro Acts 4.
Georgina Tyson focuses on sex work, social class and the internet, and runs low_res_camera_roll, an instagram residency account. She is currently looking at the fetishisation of food and working class culture via personal experiences in the sex industry and art academia.
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18/03 — 31/05, 2019
External Pages presents its fourth exhibition titled a memory, built by Toronto-based artist and designer Mackenzie Davidson.
Embedded in the centre of Davidson's web-page, a round-edged frame displays a poem which loses parts of itself every time the page is loaded. With each successive visit to this website, the poem renders a newly fragmented text, and the previous text is deleted permanently. This process repeats until the full poem is completely erased, predisposing a blankness that is collectively produced by site visits of past internet users. By viewing the poem, the visitor automatically agrees to participate in destroying it.
As a co-founder of the design and technology studio 4 us and 4 others (past: 56, Temporary Studio), Davidson continues to think about the impermanent connections between people and art — especially in digital contexts — and how that may reflect in personal relationships in general. Their multidisciplinary coding practice retains writing as a foundational medium, having published their first poem in damp (archive), a group web project that requires user interaction and object orientation to unveil texts. Davidson’s past work has been exhibited at Ambiguous Ardour, Furthermore, and Centerfold Gallery, where they later became a creative director and partner.
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UPDATE: a memory's poem is now entirely deleted due to a sufficient amount of site visits. Enter to
For its fifth exhibition External Pages collaborates with digital artist and designer Anna Tokareva to display BYMG™, a fictional pharmaceutical company website.
Fade and slide animations, habitually implemented in commercial websites to reveal dramatic background images and marketing slideshows, are instead employed to unveil Tokareva’s graphics in BYMG™. Molecular diagrams, schematic cell structures and labeled bin-genome networks are mutated and modified, displaying colourful hyperreal imitations of technical drawings. Various illustrations appear and vanish on random mouse hover commands, while others ease in and out of the window.
Baba Yaga Myco Glitch uses aesthetic means and promotional tactics from biotech companies that seek to enhance their online presence, to question their effect in producing vague company ethea and cryptic narratives. By adapting a specific set of UI and UX methods to increase website visibility, BYMG™ explores how such SEO processes encourage a fabrication of ambiguous tales around medical research institutions. Tokareva has executed this through designing BYMG’s website as a front for the ulterior motives of the antagonistic Baba Yaga, a character often described in Slavic folklore as a villainous witch with equivocal intentions.
While this project aims to expose such storytelling procedures found in SEO management, Tokareva has faith in BYMG™. Baba Yaga’s intentions are routed in miscellaneous alchemic experimentation with chemical reactions, generative codes and homespun agency. The lab’s secret objectives lie in spreading their wild yeasts and self-growing cultures to infect its users with hallucinogenic visions of alternative futures.
Currently based in London and working in digital project management, Anna Tokareva (Rostov-na-Donu, 1988) explores entanglements between technoscience and contemporary mythologies, at micro and planetary scales. Her work has been exhibited in Auckland, Edinburgh and Madrid. Her essay “Nooscope: The Political Myth of Planetary Scale Computation” was recently published by the Digital Cultures Institute in New Zealand.
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External Pages presents it’s sixth online exhibition in collaboration with Nahee.app’s family programming series, titled Daddy Residency. Built by digital artist Nahee Kim, the single-page site displays an “open call for daddies”, where users are given the opportunity to apply for a co-parenting experience with the artist. The residency will begin in 2025 when her planned pregnancy by artificial insemination is expected to start.
Using the faces of a hexagonal prism to set out the call’s content information, viewers are guided through it’s sections via arrow buttons. Animated reproductive cells and faintly glowing diagrams are tinted with soft hues of pink and blue throughout Kim’s background imagery. As we click through each paragraph, she states her conditions, expectations, selection process and the advantages of joining this experimental family “deployment”. She offers a stipend, her home as a place of residence and the priceless enlightenment of parenting experience, while requiring the applicant to be able and willing to relocate, attend family meetings and events, speak fluent English and Korean and be at least 30 years old by 2025.
Nahee Kim is an artist and a web developer exploring the programmability of human sexual behavior, a former resident at MassMOCA and member of Soft Surplus and Eobchae. Based in New York and Seoul, she graduated from School for Poetic Computation and now studies and teaches at Hunter College.
This show will continue as External Page’s featured exhibition until October 6th.
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External Pages is an online exhibition space, presenting digital projects inspired by anti-capitalist and xenofeminist thought. Every other month, we showcase an artist or collective who push the potential of viewing art on our browsers. External Pages exists on the outskirts of the Internet, where bottom-up approaches to public art can be explored.
We are always looking for artists, curators or collaborators that want to get involved. To ask questions, talk about a project or join External Pages, please do not hesitate to email Ana on email@example.com or direct message us on social media – we’re on Twitter and Instagram. So far, EP has received incredible support through various means, such as: theory insight from GB Hasewend, editing by Chris Hayes and direction and web development help from Mackenzie Davidson.
All code: Github.
Reading channel: Are.na.
Application to exhibit with us: Google Form.
Founded in 2017 by Ana Meisel, External Pages experiments with web coding to question the placement of internet art in galleries, cheat curatorial hierarchies and look at how websites can be appropriated as an emancipatory technology. Although the internet’s current state seems exhaustive and impenetrable, “from a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again”. Using conceptual breadths of art practice to rethink web-based functionalities, this organisation provides coding assistance for the artists, who have full control over how the show is curated.
External Pages is editable, downloadable, open source/access and post-cyberfeminist.
We are a small baby organisation that would like to pay our artists through any possible donations, merchandise, and outside finance. You can help us stay public and independent by making a donation or buying some of our products.