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Porto: Ewa Ciechanowska, Artur Urbanski

May 18, 2019 - July 2, 2019



Ewa Ciechanowska & Artur Urbanski

PHOBOS EX MACHINA – Ewa Ciechanowska & Artur Urbanski Exhibition at STORIES ON EARTHLY SURVIVAL program of Bienal’19 Fotografia do Porto. Phobos Ex Machina examines how manipulation through fear affects our choices. The internet and social media held out the promise of a ‘many-to-many’ forum, of a truly democratic communication tool free from government or corporate influence. But this promise is under assault. Beneath the destabilization of the Middle East after the Arab Spring, the revival of the far right, the rupture of Brexit and the ascendance of Donald Trump we can detect the influence of algorithms, information bubbles and other social media activity. Powers have employed fear as a tool to stimulate a desired action. Algorithms amplify one view at the expense of another. They build narration which is independent from facts with intention to ‘organize our entire knowledge’ according to the theory of history of Frank Ankersmit. Distorted perception of reality leads to real choices which we believe we have taken independently. Emotion and the media are in a dangerous circularity. An exaggeration can be reproduced millions of times over by social media’s vast reach. And politicians are part of this circularity, both reacting to and inciting certain social emotions, leading us into a fear-driven world.

STORIES ON EARTHLY SURVIVAL is curated by Krzysztof Candrowicz in collaboration with Emma Bowkett.