A painting by Michael Mandiberg, depicting someone's backdrop on a Zoom call.
Online Event

Sleep Mode Broadcast

Fri 26 Jun
18.00 - 18.45
Online Event

A frenetic programme of screen-based work by international artists competing for your attention and ultimately reminding you to switch off.

What are we really paying attention to when we are on-screen? The backgrounds in the homes of your co-workers? Whether your friend has put lipstick on before logging in? Who hasn’t turned their camera off before yawning? Maybe there is unexpected poetry to be found in the endless scroll of information appearing on screen. In times of social distancing perhaps the sound of a voice from afar can be as evocative as getting a letter in the post. 

The artists whose works feature in Sleep Mode were all part of our recent exhibition 24/7 and this broadcast screens those works as well as new iterations of their projects: Douglas Coupland’s Slogans for the 21st Century series, now given new meaning in a global pandemic; new paintings from Michael Mandiberg of backgrounds seen during Zoom meetings; and Addie Wagenknecht’s cybersecurity films masked as beauty tutorials, including a new film commissioned since lockdown.

Cut together in a frenetic manner, this intense online programme of, at times, mundane short works aims to mimic the feeling of your attention being pulled by the important and the banal in equal measure. The screening is crafted to remind you that properly turning off, and sleeping, might in fact be the best form of resistance we have to living our lives in sleep mode.


Tune in here

About the Artists

Douglas Coupland, the Canadian author and artist has written thirteen novels published in most languages. He has written and performed for England’s Royal Shakespeare Company and is a columnist for The Financial Times and a contributor to The New York Times, e-flux, DIS and Vice. In 2015 and 2016 Coupland was artist in residence in the Paris Google Cultural Institute. Coupland was an early adopter to the internet, working at Wired magazine in its first few years in the early 1990s. He has distinct and idiosyncratic thoughts about sleep which appear in his essay 'In Your Dreams' in the 24/7 exhibition publication.

Michael Mandiberg (b. 1977, Detroit, USA) lives and works in New York, USA. An interdisciplinary artist, Mandiberg’s work manifests the poetics and politics of the information age. Mandiberg works within systems to make visible processes that are often hidden in plain sight, or on public web servers. While technically sophisticated, Mandiberg’s work exceeds simple novelty to make propositions about how our lives are being shaped by these tools, and the ideologies undergirding them. Their work has been included in exhibitions at venues worldwide including: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New Museum, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Arizona State University Museum and Library, Denny Gallery, Eyebeam, and Transmediale.

Addie Wagenknecht (b. 1981, Portland, USA) lives and works in New York and Austria. Wagenknecht's work explores the tension between expression and technology. She seeks to blend conceptual work with forms of hacking and sculpture. Her work has been seen at venues worldwide including: MuseumsQuartier Wien, Vienna, Austria; La Gaîté Lyrique, Paris, France; The Istanbul Modern; Whitechapel Gallery, London and MU, Eindhoven, Netherlands. In 2016 she collaborated with Chanel and I-D magazine as part of their Sixth Sense series and in 2017 her work was acquired by the Whitney Museum for American Art.

Alan Warburton is an artist working critically with CGI software, hardware and virtual reality and a former Somerset House Studios resident. In a creative climate in which technology is often subject to suspicion, evangelism or nostalgia, Alan’s technologically articulate practice seeks to confront the tricky world of high-end digital imagery head on. Through his work – which includes digital images, CGI films, AR and VR experiences, critical writing and video essays - he instigates an investigation into what it is that software does, how it both shapes and is shaped by culture.  

Hyphen-Labs is an award winning, international team of women using technology, art, science, and futurism to test the boundaries of physical and digital space, currentl in residence at Somerset House. Alumni of the New Museum’s cultural incubator NEW INC in New York, Hyphen-Labs use large scale installations and immersive experiences to explore the nature of reality, place, environmental impact, and political activation using emerging technology platforms. Through their global vision and unique perspectives they create meaningful and engaging ways to explore human-centered and speculative design. 

Garnet Hertz (b. 1973 in Canada) lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. Hertz’s art and research investigates DIY culture, electronic art and critical design practices. He has shown his work at several international venues in fifteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr University.



Curated by Sarah Cook.
Produced by Eleanor Scott.
All works are courtesy of the artist. 
Douglas Coupland’s work is courtesy of the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto
Addie Wagenknecht’s most recent work was commissioned by HEK, Basel
Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s work was originally commissioned by Somerset House Studios with support from the Finnish Institute in London, Adonyeva Foundation, and Wysing Arts Centre
Hyphen-Lab’s Gospel According to Yawn was originally commissioned by Somerset House with support from the Adonyeva Foundation.
Additionally supported by the University of Glasgow.

Image courtesy of Michael Mandiberg.