Digital Zoo UK TOUR 2014, The Bridges, Sunderland, 23 May – 1 June 2014 http://www.furtherfield.org/projects/digital-zoo 23 May – 1 June 2014 – The Bridges, Sunderland Featuring Andy Deck, Mary Flanagan, Pete Gomes, Genetic Moo, Liz Sterry, Thomson & Craighead, and Transnational Temps. A new touring exhibition curated and produced by Furtherfield in partnership with CultureCode and Land Securities. The tour is accompanied by a series of creative workshops for children aged 6-11 years old, inspired by Crow_Sourcing by Andy Deck Furtherfield presents Digital Zoo – Life from the world wild web – a touring exhibition that explores how our lives – personal and political – are being shaped by digital technologies and how our relation to the natural world is changing. A trip to the zoo is still considered a good day out for all the family – its unique mix of experiences and encounters – surprising, smelly, tragic and beautiful. By exchanging personal information with increasing frequency in every moment, on the move, we perform our daily digital lives in public for each other, as if in a public zoo. We are the animals and the visitors, the hunters, trackers, observers, naturalists, zoo-keepers, and educators and pundits. The social effects of this collective public performance are still unknown. Digital Zoo invites everyone to take a few moments out from their shopping to marvel at the new ecology of human and digital behaviours as they come into existence. Nicola and Tim create an interactive sea of playful small creatures which wiggle up from the depths of a virtual pool towards a torchlight controlled by visitors. Liz lives in England. Kay lives in Canada. Liz has been following Kay’s blog for a while. Now she knows enough about Kay to build an exact physical copy of her bedroom and a lot more. Andy asks us to share the wildness in our everyday language. He invites people to contribute with your own animal expressions to his bestiary of idioms via twitter and on the gallery wall! Jon and Ali listen to the collective stream of consciousness of people in a place, gathering their tweets to print out and paste onto the venue walls. Mary travels overland and undersea in virtual worlds. The work explores borders geographically, politically, and conceptually. Pete captures a silent sequence of people acting on video, performing a single look directly to camera in a specific emotional state. Visitors are invited to view videos, software art, interact with art installations and social media and get involved with creative activities to explore how our lives are being shaped by digital technologies. ABOUT THE TOURING PROGRAMME Furtherfield’s mission is to co-create and make accessible experimental international digital art; providing platforms for creating, viewing, discussing, and learning about experimental practices at the intersection of art, technology and social change. We want to change the way people think about art and technology, to invest in their own artistic and technical cultures and have fun doing it. We are interested in how media arts can be used to co-create a virtual layer of culture with the people in the area and how this connects with locality. This touring programme aims to bring high quality digital art to people and places with the least engagement by working with non traditional art venues that have ready-made new-to-art audiences to whom the works will appeal for their participatory nature and response to local context. Our touring exhibition Digital Zoo, featuring artworks by UK and international artists already exhibited at Furtherfield Gallery (London), targets shopping centres and retail parks in London, the North East, the North West and Yorkshire. Furtherfield will deliver the touring programme in partnership with CultureCode, an organisation that creates opportunities for cultural and digital communities to work closely together, and Land Securities, UK’s largest commercial property company which managing 41 shopping centres across the country. Exhibitions in each venue will create different and distinct opportunities for art making and appreciation, critical debate, and exchange; and incorporate participation and collaboration with local audiences via social media or personal devices. These particular artworks will develop different local identities shaped by the people in the places where they are sited.