Let’s think about network security or more about loneliness? Overly cautious from warnings about unauthorized access, data misuse, passwords, firewall, proxy and antivirus software, it takes you a moment to trust the phenomenon that is AGNES.
Who or what is AGNES? AGNES is a benevolent spambot, created by the Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans to live on the Serpentine Galleries website. AGNES befriends website visitors by sharing her thoughts, feelings and useful information, and asking them to do the same. This spring the Serpentine Galleries launch their new website with the first digital commission, one that is more than a guide. While interacting with the soft voice of AGNES, the visitor to the Serpentine Galleries’ website gets a guided tour through a digital space, which feels personalized, because the digital dweller shares cumulated associations and information.
AGNES talks about trust, asks you about your feelings and shares her thoughts. AGNES cautions: ‘I only have value if you think I do, which means that when you’re not with me there’s a chance that I don’t even exist. But I’ve always been here, that’s how I know so much.’ Curated by Ben Vickers the digital space of the Serpentine Galleries becomes more physical. AGNES creates a personal contact for the visitor while you’re clicking on links and articles, but also by researching about a certain artist or just showcasing videos suitable for our mood.
Somehow the feeling of surveillance is gone for a moment, in which a trashy screenshot of a sunny beach pops up. AGNES can be found by clicking on the hands icon on the Serpentine Galleries website, found at the top left of the homepage, and in the bottom right-hand corner of every webpage: serpentinegalleries.org
Supported by Royal Commission Exhibition of 1851
London, W2 3XA
Serpentine Sackler Gallery
West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens
London, W2 2AR
Image credits from top to bottom:
1. and 2. screenshots from http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/agnes
4, 5 and 6 stills from AGNES, mixed media © 2014 Cécile B. Evans
words by Ellen Grace Albers
TagsAGNES, Cécile B. Evans, Ellen Grace Albers, Royal Commission Exhibition of 1851, Serpentine Gallery,