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Julien Scheffer - PhD Examination Exhibition


PhD Examination Exhibition

Start Date

Apr 7, 2017 12:30 pm

End Date

Apr 23, 2017 5:00 pm


Plimsoll Gallery

Being There While You Are Here: an artistic study of blended presence shaped by new mobile technologies

Woman from the series Figures

Image Credit: Julien Scheffer, Woman from the series Figures, 2014, inkjet print on paper, 208cm x 145cm.


My project is an artistic exploration of aspects of human behaviour that emerge from the ordinary use of electronic mobile devices. Smartphones and other kinds of modern gadgets are changing our understanding of what it means to live with computers and bridge the different kinds of environments — virtual and physical — in which we live. While these devices enable us to extend ourselves, by facilitating new ways of communicating, they also let us control and restrict our availability to others, online as well as in our immediate ‘real world’ surroundings. In this project I have explored some characteristics of the effects of mobile device use on the human experience of presence. My enquiry has led to the production of five artistic works that question aspects of the kind of ‘being there’ shaped by our relationship to, and use of, mobile devices. These works reveal that this kind of presence can be thought of as fluctuating, as it continually shifts between physical and virtual realms, and as unsettled, due to the constant availability of a coexisting realm to the mobile device user. The works unveil the notion of background presence and offer an understanding of the experience of ‘being there’, as encountered from the perspective of mobile device users and from that of onlookers, as well as an appreciation of the ambiguous relationship that exists between the two.

Exhibition opening: Fri 7 April, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Exhibition dates: Fri 7 - Sun 23 April

Gallery Hours: Wed - Mon 12pm - 5pm during exhibitions

Closed Tuesdays and Public holidays