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How to make a dent in the universe

22 maart 2016, Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum

Elephant is a quarterly art culture magazine that focusses on contemporary art, visual culture and fresh faces and material. Their content is always original and manages to pinpoint current and up-and-coming trends and artists and creators in the visual world of art and design.

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Their latest issue, #26, focusses on the impact of Silicon Valley on the art world, and its (in)direct effect on our culture. They feature rule-breakers that have come up with increasingly mysterious and newfangled methods of creation and artists that have managed to deploy and employ technology in unbelievable ways. Names like the illusive and nonconformist David Hammons, Emily Steer (see photograph above), Isa Melsheimer and concrete architecture lover Claire Shea are at the heart of showing how technology, computer science and being a nerd has left its permanent stamp on the art and design world we know and love today.

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‘How to make a dent in the universe’ is Elephant’s spring issue’s slogan, a question that resurfaces in every feature and article. The issue basically offers a narrative of the presupposed indentation of technology and science on our culture, and its permanent effect. Yet where it builds a solid argument and assumes an unwavering position in the art versus Silicon Valley debate, its final notes are open questions. Can we go back to human feelings? Can art break free from computer animated graphics, social media, and pre-fabricated and packaged human emotion? Can we just go back to ourselves? This is the ‘dent’ they’re hoping to claim, the gap they’re hoping to push modern artists and designers towards. Albeit a gentle push, Elephant is a magazine that has the authority to do so, and the goods to back it up.

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