CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #14: Kialy Tihngang

Kialy Tihngang is a Glasgow-based textiles graduate working in moving image. Her work exists as a collision of hand and machine. She is interested in the inability of the human hand to replicate the accuracy and cleanness of mechanised objects, the inability of mechanised objects to replicate the spontaneity and rawness of the human hand, and the tension elicited when those principles are played with. Her practice mixes hand craft techniques with digital drawing and making, and documents the results with analogue animation processes.

"My project 'Automated Living' is a collection of beautifully crafted comedy gadgets and a spoof advertising campaign that make fun of Western overconsumption of technology. It is a multidisciplinary response to the neo-colonialist practice of electronic waste dumping. This is when affluent countries in the global north dump electronic waste (like old phones and laptops) in poorer global south countries without the infrastructure to process it.

This is something I, as a person of Cameroonian heritage born and raised in the UK, feel a combination of guilt and cognitive dissonance about. My own contribution to the electronic waste crisis which primarily affects countries of colour causes internal conflict, which I use my art to investigate.

My response to this is to create
 a collection of bizarre gadgets with humorous applications ranging from sinister to pointless, like a date night tooth checker with an overzealous electronic toothpick that leaves any would-be lothario bloody-mouthed, or a VR peekaboo headset that fully automates the peekaboo process, or a code-activated perfume with a comedically long wait between entering the code and releasing the scent.

The handmade machines will have retrofuturist 1970s/1980s aesthetics, commenting on how quickly the cutting edge of technology appears dated. I will create a series of tongue-in-check photographic advertisements and a video infomercial, riffing on late night teleshopping spots. I will also create a clunky website that viewers can browse through and 'shop', blurring the line between subject matter and viewer. Altogether, the project will create a humorously dystopian glimpse of a future where manufacturers continue to thoughtlessly accelerate superfluous production, hurtling down a path of continued societal and planetary degradation."


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