PRAKSIS x RAM
THE VALIDATION JUNKY
6 - 28 October 2023
Adam Peacock’s The Validation Junky takes a critical look at the entangled relationships between social media, emerging technologies and the human body.
April 2023, Statista recorded that 60% of the world's population have active social media accounts, giving rise to a globally interlinked, constantly changing network of billions of highly personalised, multilayered images of the self. At the same time, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and genetic engineering are starting to transform society and the evolution of the human body. Led by multinational corporations, these new developments are far outpacing legislation.
The Validation Junky, a collaboration between PRAKSIS and RAM Galleri, brings together ambitious new artworks and research by British post-disciplinary artist/designer Adam Peacock. At the front of RAM gallery, drawings and video works by Peacock speculatively map possible futures of a technologically enabled human evolution, while the rear gallery showcases a major body of research generated by Peacock in Oslo during his September 2021 PRAKSIS residency Perfection / Speculation. Peacock’s research features thought-provoking video interviews between the artist and four leading protagonists in the fields of new technology, identity, the body and the perception of self: author of The Transhuman Manifesto Natasha Vita-More, Professor in the History and Theory of Architecture at MIT Mark Jarzombek; Presidential Professor at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Lev Manovich; and science-fiction artist, filmmaker, inventor and body architect Lucy McRae.
Residency partners The Vigeland Museum and queer live events coordinators Karmaklubb* helped shape this research. Peacock’s interviews are staged within the Museum’s dramatic display of works by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943), reminding that lived experience for both normative and non-normative bodies is modelled by body cultures of the past as well as present and future technologies such as social media, AI and CRISPR/Cas9. The interview questions were developed by Peacock and his fellow Perfection / Speculation residents: Marte Aas, Jonathan Armour, Louis Alderson-Bythell, Trinley Dorje, Erika Stöckel, and Bobby Yu Shuk Pui.
Adam Peacock is a British post-disciplinary artist, architect, and academic. His work has appeared in museums, galleries, scientific forums and educational institutions worldwide. Recent exhibitions include Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh (2023), Tecnológico De Monterrey Mexico (2022-23), and Ars Electronica Linz Austria (2021).
As a Visiting Professor at the School Of International Art Beijing, Peacock leads the Future of Fashion, Identity and the Metaverse Masterclass (2020- present) and has held teaching positions at universities including London College of Fashion, the Royal College of Art and Melbourne School of Design. He has consulted and designed for architects, fashion and vehicle designers, urban planners, and educational institutions, including Audi, FIAT, Heatherwick Studio, NEOM Saudi Arabia, Science Gallery Network, and Stella McCartney.
Established in 2015, PRAKSIS is a not-for-profit centre for art and learning located in Oslo. PRAKSIS’s programmes foreground collective activity and the exchange of ideas, skills and information, generating dialogue between artists, thinkers and organisations locally and internationally, at all career stages and across diverse cultures and disciplines. By working in collaboration with partners, PRAKSIS seeks to place its activities within the widest possible contexts. Since its founding in 2016 it has worked with over sixty partners ranging from national museums, universities and leading art centres to wrestling clubs and an Oslo-based self-organised support group for paperless migrants. Its core activities include organising and running artists’ residencies, staging public events, youth programming, and online and in-print publishing.