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Hannah Sawtell’s newly commissioned exhibition @dividend_plus for Art Shefﬁeld 2016, presented at Site Gallery, explores the boundaries of image production, creative commons and economics. Sawtell is interested in vocabularies of access and excess, how images and objects are made and cirulate in a global and technologically advanced economy.
For this exhibition, Sawtell has created Dividend, a ‘people’s currency’ for Shefﬁeld, modelled on alternative cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and made available to acquire through an open source application of her own design. When Dividend currency is exchanged online it triggers an algorithm that directly affects the visual content of a computer generated moving image work which forms the centerpiece of the exhibition.
Drawing on her activity as a musician, a new electronic sound work is played through bespoke speakers and strobe lighting alters the atmosphere of the galleries. Sawtell has collaboratively designed the speakers and light with specialist manufactures based in Britain. Her work often fuses the interdependencies of globalised trade with small scale, local production. All the elements of the exhibition are conceived as one interconnected system; from the open source application directly inﬂuencing the moving image work, to the exhibition’s title @dividend_plus which takes on an additional life via Art Shefﬁeld and Site Gallery’s social media platforms.
Hannah Sawtell (born 1971) lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include New Museum, New York (2014); Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2014); Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-sea (2014); ICA, London (2012); Bloomberg SPACE, London (2012); Vilma Gold, London (2013).
@dividend_plus, 2016. © the artist, courtesy Site Gallery, Shefﬁeld.