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DAZED’s new digital landscape: Post-pandemic nostalgia?

Written by Arts, Culture, Exhibitions

Wolfgang Tillmans, Vivienne Westwood and many more offer an online exhibition to raise funds for the NHS.

A digital landscape can exist. You can’t touch it, yet it feels real.

Radiohead’s Kid A is one such digital landscape I keep returning to. It’s made out of rhythms and sends nonsensical phrases at you. It was described as post-apocalyptic in its late-2000 release date, marking itself alongside the Y2K crisis and the event horizon of the digital era, yet it has since become nostalgic. That is until recent listens, which invites the anxiety of the new-world once again.

The anticipation of a post-pandemic world has become the central motivation of 35 artists to create an exhibition for DAZED

The anticipation of a post-pandemic world has become the central motivation of 35 artists to create an exhibition for DAZED, as a part of the #AloneTogether campaign. The campaign’s objective is to offer a centralised hub of online content that places more emphasis on the cultural and political importance of art. This digital landscape is able to send messages showing us the past, present and future.

Messages like “WHEN THE REAL IS NO LONGER WHAT IT WAS, NOSTALGIA ASSUMES ITS FULL MEANING” sent by Boot Boyz Biz have become representative of lockdown culture. Returning to digital editions of albums that are abstracted out of the physical realm. Viewing images of what once was and may never be again. Printed onto two gloves, this message tells us a precautionary tale of the past and what remnants of real we may still try and grasp.

“WHEN THE REAL IS NO LONGER WHAT IT WAS, NOSTALGIA ASSUMES ITS FULL MEANING” sent by Boot Boyz Biz

Fai Khadra’s “See U Soon” is presented as a collage of faded memories imposing over a naturalistic setting of the sea. These memories are laid out in a way that is analogous to social media, strictly organised and geometric. The shapes sharply contrast against the soft colours of the cliff-side, obscuring a large portion of the frame. Unable to recognise the present, this piece shows our nature to recall and yearn for contact.

“See U Soon” by Fai Khadra

Presenting the future in this exhibition offers the same mystery as real life. Remember – any digital landscape is malleable. Katherine Hamnett’s “SAVE THE FUTURE” presented in a clear and bold font shows the uncertain future of art. The new digital landscapes needs to be intimate and vulnerable but brutally honest, as the ability to instantly share and communicate ideas and symbols shows it can help save lives.  

“SAVE OUR FUTURE” by Katherine Hamnett

This project and DAZED are in collaboration with Barts Charity, which supports NHS workers on the front-line

This project and DAZED are in collaboration with Barts Charity, which supports NHS workers on the front-line, £10 offers the donator the opportunity to receive a singed copy of one of the artworks in a prize draw. Only a small fraction of the exhibition was talked about here and the digital landscape, as a whole, does something wholly unique about the microcosm of lockdown culture.

Donate to Barts Charity here.

All Image Credits: Instagram @Dazed

Last modified: 8th May 2020

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