Curated by Sergio Edelsztein and Hila Cohen-Schneiderman.
The artists whose works are displayed in Search Engine spend long hours in front of their computer’s screen in search of online images. Vagrant by their nature, these searches are equipped with internal engine – any given Web site leads to another, and each link leads to another. The term “dérive” (drift), coined by Guy Debord, refers to conscious wandering through urbanscapes as a means to understand the psychogeography of the modern city. Debord’s theories can easily be applied to our social patterns concerning the Internet and “virtual tourism”. Wandering makes it clear that the Web is not merely a repository of knowledge and images, but has long since transformed into a landscape in its own right. Google is not only a substitute landscape, but substitute universe.
Although the artists whose works are displayed in Serch Engine differ in their styles and fields of interest, one thing is common to all of them – they all search the Web, deliberately and intensely, draw from it the images they intend to work with and appropriate them in different ways. The appropriation relates not only to the changed ownership of the image, but also to the material-structural transformation it undergoes – from virtual image into physical, through a series of sometimes excessive or, at least, unnecessary labor-intensive activities. This labor-intensive activities seem to rest on low-tech practices such as drawing and painting, but they also imply other procedures: scanning, printing, cutting etc. – regardless whether the finished product is printed on photographic paper or on canvas, and whether the cutting, pasting and stitching are Photoshopped or manually done with scissors, glue and thread.
Participating artists: Gilad Baram, Yitzhak Livneh, Ofra Lapid, Noga Inbar, Eli Petel, Ariel Caine, Hillel Roman, Elham Rokni