October 30, 2015 - Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) - First online commission by Marian Tubbs
October 30, 2015

First online commission by Marian Tubbs

Marian Tubbs, transmission detox (still), 2015. Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, 2015. © the artist.

Marian Tubbs
transmission detox


The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is delighted to announce the launch of its first online commission, transmission detox, by Sydney-based and Primavera 2014 artist Marian Tubbs.

transmission detox (2015) comprises a series of interlinking websites, combining video, interactive collage and live analytic data. This major new work explores the spatial possibilities of the Internet and draws on the artist’s research into the global flow of currency, images and information.

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE says: “This daring new work by Marian Tubbs represents the Museum’s commitment to artists working online and in new media—artforms rarely exhibited in major institutions but forming an important strand of contemporary practice.”

She continues: “In launching this new commission, MCA takes a leading role in Australia working with new models of digital engagement, joining international peer such as Tate, Serpentine Gallery and New Museum in supporting artists working online and developing audiences for their work.”

The artwork takes a nuanced and critical approach to the material conditions which influence the continued expansion and operation of the Internet. Many early proponents of the World Wide Web espoused its utopian potential as a space for collaboration and the free sharing of knowledge. While the rapid spread of the Internet and social media has surpassed many such expectations, it has done so as the result of corporate interests, predicated on the commodification of information, images and personal data.

Drawing together surveillance footage, found video and images, and website infrastructure itself, the work refers to a diverse range of sources, including the Great Pacific garbage patch, consumer aesthetics, and image editing software. In doing so, transmission detox questions the means of production which enable its existence.

“In transmission detox, images are hidden and subject matter often distorted,” says Blair French, MCA Director, Curatorial & Digital, “perhaps suggesting that digital images are by their nature evasive; that the transmission of information is not the same as the transmission of knowledge; that the systems we use to communicate are loaded in favour of particular ideologies and the values they sustain. This is a work that encourages you to slow down, listen and think.”

Access the work at www.mca.com.au/transmissiondetox.

About the artist
Manifesting across internet, video and assemblage-based installations, Marian Tubbs’ art conflates material binaries between body and object, physical and virtual, and high and low culture. Her assemblage-based installations and digital works critique cultural ascriptions of value and act to slow down accelerated modes of looking.

The MCA’s relationship with Tubbs began when she was selected to exhibit as part of Primavera 2014: Young Australia Artists. Primavera is the MCA’s annual exhibition of Australian artists aged 35 and under. Since 1992, the series has showcased the works of artists in the early stages of their career, many of who have gone on the exhibit nationally and internationally.

The artist’s upcoming and recent exhibitions include Pleasure and Reality, National Gallery of Victoria, 2015; Contemporary Print Culture, National Gallery of Australia, 2015; Riven, Station, Melbourne, 2015; Relational Changes, Christine König Galerie, Vienna, 2015; Hairy Plotter and the Polygrapher’s Tones, Toves, Copenhagen, 2015; Primavera 2014: Young Australian Artists, MCA, Sydney, 2014; Quake 2, Arcadia Missa, London, 2014; and Glean, Minerva, Sydney, 2014. Tubbs has also curated shows including Care (with Dana Kopel) at Interstate Projects, NY and Witness at Minerva, Sydney. In 2015, she became the inaugural recipient of the MCA’s Online Commission. Marian’s work is held at the National Gallery of Australia and in local and international collections. Tubbs has published and presented art and philosophy research at international and local conferences. In 2014, she was a contributing author to the philosophy volume Intensities & Lines of Flight, published by Rowman & Littlefield International. Tubbs holds a BFA (Hons) from RMIT, a MFA from UNSW Art & Design, is completing a PhD at UNSW Art & Design, and is a casual academic at UTS, PSM and Art and Design UNSW.

Media contact
Claire Johnson, MCA Public Relations, Sydney
T +61 2 9245 2417 / claire.johnson [​at​] mca.com.au

First online commission for Museum of Contemporary Art Australia by Marian Tubbs
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)
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