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Authoring Evolution 

When: Dec. 6-Jan. 2 2014
With technology rapidly evolving before our eyes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between science fiction and reality. Genetic modification is commonplace, drones are hovering in our skies, and Edward Snowden has revealed that Big Brother is all too real. The show Authoring Evolution, now on view at Loakal Gallery (560 2nd St., Oakland), situates itself in that blurry area between the real and the fantastic — all the better to negotiate the ambiguity of our contemporary relationship to technology and nature. Curated by Nastia Voynovskaya and Eddie Colla, the show features paintings by Bay Area-based artists Robert Bowen, Xiau-Fong Wee, and Lauren YS. Bowen offers eerie photo-realistic paintings of militaristic insect-and-machine hybrids. Wee’s gorgeously intricate paintings take species hybridity further, imagining a future in which scientific meddling has opened the door for spectacular possibilities of integrated existence. Meanwhile, the paintings of Lauren YS visually realize the duality of Donna Haraway’s feminist cyborg with provocative female figures topped with angular robot heads. In the large-scale “RoboGhost,” a woman’s limbs multiply into translucent doubles in a sensual depiction of the cyber citizen’s postmodern fragmentation, or perhaps a clone’s quantum existence.
— Sarah Burke


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