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In Search of the Present at EMMA—Espoo Museum of Modern Art

August 27, 2022–January 15, 2023

A significant look at our world, which is characterized by technology and its impact on who we are, is taken in the expansive worldwide exhibition of contemporary art called In Search of the Present. 16 forward-thinking contemporary artists have been invited to the show by EMMA—Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Through their study, they investigate the connections between artificial intelligence, human thought, and technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is sometimes viewed as the antithesis of nature and a threat to civilization. Technology is primarily seen by the artists of In Search of the Present as an opportunity to develop a new sort of art and a tool for seeing things that can improve our relationships with nature and our understanding of ourselves. The show, which is co-curated by Chief Curator of EMMA Arja Miller and Curator Ingrid Orman, examines the intricate relationship between people, technology, and the natural world. Numerous artists highlight the potential of both artificial intelligence and other forms of intelligence found in nature.

According to the curators, “Artists have a special ability to think outside the box; this is why it is especially interesting to turn to them for new perspectives on our own time. The artists of the exhibition deal with contemporary phenomena through processes that combine art, technology and science. However, all of the art works can be experienced firsthand, without having prior understanding of technology.” 


Refik Anadol, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams, 2021. © Paula Virta/EMMA—Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
Refik Anadol, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams, 2021. © Paula Virta/EMMA—Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

EMMA’s exhibition offers a varied selection of artworks from the artists Refik Anadol, Dora Budor, Sougwen Chung, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Stephanie Dinkins, Teemu Lehmusruusu, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Agnieszka Kurant, Brandon Lipchik, Jaakko Pietiläinen, Sondra Perry, Anna Ridler, Raimo Saarinen, Jenna Sutela, Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Lu Yang

The show is the second installment of EMMA’s In Search of the Present series, which debuted in 2016. The collection of essays by Finnish author Olavi Paavolainen, published in 1929, with the same name examines the experiences and identities of contemporary people in a time of fast change.

EMMA—Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Ahertajantie 5
FI-00120 Espoo
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm,
Wednesday–Friday 11am–7pm

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