Using digital techniques, comedic performance, song and an elaborately disorienting installation, Tom’s work at g39 explores modes of communication and the levels of understanding - and mis-understanding - that occur on social media platforms. The work is presented in a space that is usually not open to the public, leading you through store cupboards and out of date technology, projector screens and cardboard boxes. This passage leads you to what looks like the reverse of a wooden theatre stage set before opening out into a room full of screens.
The same CGI face peers out from each screen, but seems to be unaware of you, or of the other identical faces as the multitude of tired, ventriloquised masculine avatars mumble, shout and rant trying to get a word in edgeways.
I see there being a genuine demand for art to speak through a modern language: how people and culture respond to developments of media and communication, and the evolving manner in which social engagement and communication shift, particularly in terms of the fragmented and chronically distracted forms of communication of memes, tweets and other such social media avenues.
Eventually each voice finds accord, and they harmonise into the parts of the same song, a shared voice in a familiar pattern of chorus and verse. Cardew takes technologies that seem very artificial and distant and finds them compelling, finds something very human and vulnerable about a deep rooted need to connect.