[up]Loaded Bodies

Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies

Trondheim international biennale for art and technology
Norway – The Netherlands / April – October, 2024

Meta.Morf 2024 – [up]Loaded Bodies explores the physical and technological body caught between virtual ecstasy and digital obesity.

Time and again, we have been attracted by grand narratives of digital escape. The decades-old travel brochure advertises a one-way ticket to a limitless experience inside your perfect avatar body. It sells a utopian dream of a never-ending party on the other side of the screen. Yet, while the mind indulges in spectacular virtual tourism, the body is put into the bargain.

While we are eager to board the shiny flight toward the digital world of ecstatic meta-fun, we are still stuck in the departure hall. In this liminal space, our bodies are repeatedly squeezed through security checks and buying overpriced data snacks. Once on board, we fasten our digital extensions to the Internet of Bodies and find ourselves strapped between the physical and the virtual world, remotely controlled and monitored. Loaded with digital anticipations, our disengagement with the physical world is growing. Yet to no avail. The physical reality never truly disappears.

All digitally tangled bodies—human and non-human—endure extreme tension. While technology blurs the horizon between the virtual and the real, the bodies stick with their materiality. Even entities such as the Internet, AI, and the gadgets enabling our virtual voyage have their physical footprint. Everyone has to carry their own oversized luggage.

On- or offline, the turbulent digital itinerary continues to affect bodies and shape identities. Whether a human longing for a digital beach or an AI looking for a foothold in physical reality, this is no holiday. This is life as we know it in the 21st century.

Zane Cerpina / Boris Debackere / Espen Gangvik / Florian Weigl, 2024

About Meta.Morf

About  Meta.Morf

Meta.Morf 2024 – Trondheim Biennale for Art and Technology is an international gathering initiated and organized by TEKS – Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre. The biennale explores the intersections between art, technology, and science, aiming to showcase cutting-edge projects and critical ideas that develop new outlooks and offer unique perspectives on our technologically entangled lives.

Since its establishment in 2010, Meta.Morf has grown into the most extensive biennale for art and technology in Scandinavia. The latest edition in 2024 presents 60 participants spanning 25 partner organizations, and for the first time, expands its program internationally with a program in the Netherlands.

Artistic and scientific research continuously challenge and change our perspectives on life, often leading to new philosophical and existential questions. Biotechnology, nanotechnology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and new communication and computer technologies are some of the fields that push the boundaries of artistic practice, contributing to alternative approaches to scientific problems and technological developments.

The artist, as a conveyor and interpreter of new knowledge and research, plays a crucial role in society’s ability to critically reflect and engage in discussions about new technologies, and scientific advancements.

Through a variety of artistic perspectives and curatorial approaches Meta.Morf presents artists, writers, scientists, and researchers that extend our understanding of contemporary socio-political, technological, and cultural developments.


Meta.Morf initial advisory board 2007 – 2010

Alex Adriaansens (NL), former director, V2_, Rotterdam († 2019)
Clive Kellner (ZA), former director, Johannesburg Art Gallery
Jemima Rellie (UK),  
Jeremy Welsh (UK/NO), Artist, former professor, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art,
Bergen Academy of Art and Design
Zhang Ga (CN/US), Curator, The National Museum of Modern Art, Beijing