This proposal was submitted during Apexart 2019-20’s International Open Call. The proposal ranked 18 among 463 proposals. 

Curated by Brunno Silva and Carollina Lauriano

30 November 2018 – 9 December 2018

with Laura Fong Prosper, Mari Nagem, Tina Wilke, Julia Mensch, Mercedes Lozano

at Prenzlauer Studios, Berlin and Ateliê 397, São Paulo

Recent shifts in technology and migration behaviors have caused the emergence of new possibilities of connectivity and presence. The term ‘connected migrant’, coined in 2010 by sociologist Dana Diminescu, offers a new understanding of the phenomenon whereby the (i)migrant’s relation to their localities is no longer represented by rupture from their place of birth or by strict assimilation to their new country of residence. Leaps in technology over the last decade have created an environment that allows the (i)migrant to exist in multiple cultural realities simultaneously, thus becoming a multi-facetted presence in the physical locations where they find themselves. This concept is a disruptive third option to the current binary views on the (i)mmigrant as the other that must change and assimilate or must be assimilated and remain immutable. Most pro versus anti-immigration debates still revolve around these reductive and redundant arguments.

In today’s digital age one is able to explore and discover localities and their social fabric without any need of physical presence. Whilst this process is not all new, since the internet’s conception information has been gathered and dispersed, the increased use and availability of augmented reality has brought about a change in the transnational research act from one of the passive observer to a deeper cross border engagement. Social media has become the predominant way of meeting, interacting  and keeping in contact across nationalities and time zones. This connectivity also takes place across parallel realities and timelines, where the (i)migrant discovers and rediscovers stories through research into their heritage and historic migratory patterns.

The connected migrant embodies a post internet existence where digital living is as relevant as physical presence. Thus, reflecting the social effect of the many-worlds interpretation theory, a major theme in popular culture through the multiverse concept, often appearing as a narrative device in blockbuster movies and television/streaming productions.

The exhibition ‘Connected Migrant’ presents contemporary artworks, predominantly installation and video, from five artists that explore the concept of the effects of technology, cultural assimilation, migrant living, cross border communication and cognition processes of the self and social surroundings. The show strives to explore and disseminate the ideas around new possibilities for the (i)migrant both within continental America and a multitude of other locations around the world. The exhibition will take place in New York a multi cultural hub with 37% of its inhabitants being born in another country. The city with its ever-changing multi-ethnic demographic provides the ideal context for discussions around such themes.

In an existence where the (i)migrant embraces a plurality of localities and becomes an active member within them, contemporary artworks serve not only to raise discussion and exploration of contemporary life, but also to reveal and share new forms of existing, stories, places and unforeseen configurations of belonging. ‘Connected Migrant’ investigates contemporary social interactions and a new reality of how to be present.