Kieran Sellars reviews Dani Ploeger’s exhibition at Arebyte fronterlebnis – Boy’s Toys on the Frontline.
Dani Ploeger’s fronterlebnis takes us to a frontline where digital consumer culture and traditional warfare meet. Combining filmed footage of a journey to the frontline in the Donbass War, Ukraine, alongside vintage military paraphernalia, "Ploeger puts the artist in the field with the ‘real’ soldier" http://bit.ly/2o9d3Ba
In frontline, as in all of the pieces that are exhibited as part of fronterlebnis, Ploeger subverts our expectations by combining and repurposing technology to make us question our relationship with our technological devices and how we perceive and engage with them in everyday life. In addition to its examination of digital culture, fronterlebnis also seems to suggest that warfare remains a man’s game. We encounter men who are still prone to having their boy’s toys, but it would seem that in this case they are a GoPro in one hand, and a Kalashnikov in the other. Ploeger’s documentation of these conflicts, made with his own personal technological devices, arguably envelopes him in similar mechanisms of fetishization as the soldiers he was with. Neither soldier nor artist seem able to extract themselves from the seductive realm of audiovisual gadgets and self-mediatization in an era of omnipresent digital consumer culture that even reaches as far as the trenches of a dirty ground war.
Co-Founder, Co-Director and main editor of Furtherfield.
Art, technology and social change, since 1996
Furtherfield Gallery & Commons in the park
Currently writing a PhD at Birkbeck University, London
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