Everything You See Is In The Past

  • Francesco Imola

Everything You See Is In The Past is a project including an exhibition and accompanying catalogue exploring the impact of the internet and contemporary digital culture on the practice of artist-curators.

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The exhibition featured works by Enes Alba, Dario S. Bucheli, Perce Jerrom, and Atom Chen Zidong. The catalogue includes documentation of these works; Q&As with Lisa Barnard (indexstring), Pita Arreola-Burns Elliott Burns (Off Site Project), and Valentina Peri; and interviews with Ghislaine Bodington and Walter Corneli.

Everything You See Is In The Past — Exhibition Catalogue (Slideshow GIF)
This project is part of Francesco Imola's coursework for Advanced Projects at the University of Greenwich in the academic year 2019-20. The main objective of this module is for the student to complete, submit and exhibit a research-led practice-based project.


• Designed a 7‑month curatorial strategy, curated an exhibition, wrote a catalogue, and launched a social media campaign in support of the project. • Recruited and guided 12 project participants to submit work, essays, and perform interviews leading to the creation of an online exhibition and supporting catalogue which were experienced by 190+ people. • Demonstrated exceptionally high levels of research, conducted directly from reviewing 20+ exhibitions both live and online, and leading interviews with senior stakeholders. • Showcased ability to adapt to changing priorities and to forecast risk by transitioning from a physical exhibition to an online exhibition due to COVID‑19 and following restrictions. • Executed a 2-week online fundraising campaign to seek additional revenue funds. • Led 6 Q&A and 2 interviews with practising artists, curators, and academics; building strong relationships at all levels. • Hosted 2 live events (Zoom‑based curator’s tours) and started a blog about the project to increase and diversify new audiences. • Enforced university Code of Practice briefing participants on GDPR, use of personal information, and ethics.

Learn more https://linktr.ee/everythingyousee

Visual Documentation of the Everything You See Is In The Past exhibition and Are.na channel

Extract from the exhibition press release

The big shift in the way people talk about the internet today is that when they say internet, they do not necessarily mean online. The internet has such a pervasive effect on our lives that it is hard to imagine living without it. People use it as a tool, a companion, a vehicle for communication, a space for self-reflection, an entertainment platform. As a result, we now begin to speak of post-internet because the internet has become so ubiquitous that we stop to notice its existence. No more does the internet exists to indicate the online web, accessible through a device connected to a network. Instead, it endures as an online-offline heterotopian space that connects faces and machines from around the world. A location that is neither here nor there. According to writer and curator Stephanie Bailey, the internet is a non-dimension of "consensus and dissensus, convergence and divergence" (Bailey, 2014, p.130). Public —but very much privately owned. In an essay based on a lecture given in 1967, Michael Focault defines heterotopia as space that, like the internet, is mythic and real at the same time, such as the moment when you see yourself in the mirror:
"In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent..." — Foucault and Miskowiec (1986, p. 4)
Instagram, for instance, is the 2010s heterotopia. A place that represents society, but in a distorted way. Have you noticed how on Instagram we come across very particular idealised aspects of culture? It happens so often that we have started to believe life should be as organised and peculiar—but spotless—as our feed. Yet, what else can be gained from suggesting that the space of the internet is a heterotopia?