Dymchuk Gallery presents a project The Modern Newts by Krolikowski Art duet carried out during the art residency at PRAM (Prague, Czech Republic). It`s a reflection on modern information warfare through the prism of the novel by Karel Čapek “The War with the Newts”.
Who are the newts of the present? What is their live environment? What impact do they have, and why they can lead to a new world war?
The duet Krolikowski Art has investigated who the modern salamanders are, the newts of the 21st century. Artists have focused on information warfare as on the modern form of war.
The exhibition consists of the visual objects which present the mechanisms used in media for manipulation of the public opinion.
Astroturfing is one of the main technologies of network manipulation, the practice of simulating “grassroots initiatives” by falsifying public opinion. The term astroturfing comes from AstroTurf, an American trademark of synthetic carpet that convincingly imitates genuine grass.
Sock-puppet – a term used in relation to the use of false identity on the network in order to praise, protect, support a person or organization, manipulation of public opinion, etc.
Post-Truth is the term of modern political science and philosophy, the content of which is disclosed in a series of photo collages, in which popular images of the consequences of the information warfare (armed conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, demonstrations in the USA and the Czech Republic) have been used.
Part of the exposition is made in ASCII art technology, imitating a low-level computer code and representing the technological nature of information wars. The explanatory text to the objects of the exposure is made as a salamander, where the text is connected with the computer code.
Interactive and virtual part of the exhibition include:
– Facebook salamanders account: after creating troll factory created by artists and integrating fake identities into a social context, visitors get the opportunity to become “internet troll”, temporarily using an account for any activity on the network.
– The Newts News fake news site, based on excerpts from the novel by C. Chapek, as proof of the cyclical nature of global events and common features in socio-political processes at the beginning of the last century and present.
– Designer clothing brand from “salamanders” (pattern “salamander hacks” can be used in the production of souvenir products).