September 12 – November 30, 2019
TILT Institute For The Contemporary Image (Formerly Philadelphia Photo Arts Center)
To Be Real is a multimedia exhibition that meditates on the contemporary magic and radical future of artificial intelligence. The conceptual center of To Be Real is Newsome’s ‘child,’ the cloud-based, A.I. creation Being (2019). Being’s mind has been populated with the works of radical authors, revolutionaries, and theorists including Paulo Freire, Michael Foucault, bell hooks, and Janet Mock, and will be further influenced by interactions with audiences. Being explores their own existence and the state of the world into which it has been ‘born,’ and confronts the reality that they are not free.
Being’s body is represented in the exhibition by a humanoid figurative sculpture – non-racial, non-binary, and comprised of materials traditional and futuristic. The sculptural collage of the body is echoed in To Be Real by new analog collages by Newsome that further explore the nature of identity. With candy-coated frames and non-binary bodies traversing multiple planes, these collages speak to the layering of identity, performance and consumption. These works function in tandem with Being, alluding to the same tension of subjective freedom.
To Be Real is part of Black Magic, a project in three parts that reflects on Blackness, gender, and futurity. Black Magic includes a performance of FIVE, a generative multilayered work that sequentially incorporates choreography, performance, video, digital and two-dimensional drawing, and sculpture, and The Champion Ball, which will showcase local artists performing in a traditional vogue ballroom competition. Black Magic is offered in partnership with New York Live Arts.