New digital exhibition Desktop Holiday by Xanthe Dobbie explores notions of fractured identity, on now until 21 June 2020

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery is presenting new digital exhibition Desktop Holiday by Xanthe Dobbie in partnership with NETS VictoriaDobbie explores notions of fractured identity in the age of globalisation and instant digital travel, where information is available immediately and comprehensively. This timely exhibition highlights themes that have become frighteningly and unexpectedly relevant in this obscure time of Covid-19.

Showing now until 21 June 2020, the work is a triptych of digital collage loops, juxtaposing queer internet aesthetics with religious iconography and historical imagery. Desktop Holiday plays on ideas of a plugged-in society that is incapable of switching off. Audio-visual fragments are carefully curated in an unsettling mix of holiday snapshots, emoji’s, relaxation tracks, and ever-impending message alerts.

Xanthe Dobbie explains: “Now, more than ever, we live as dual citizens of on and offline reality. The distinctions between IRL and URL have become irrevocably blurred. We have arrived at the ‘cyborgian’ future where our lived experiences are filtered through our technologies. We love them, we live through them and, in a sense, we fear them.”

In Desktop Holiday, each loop is made up of sourced digital content and recorded footage from Malta, shot by Dobbie in 2016 on an iPhone 5 and then superimposed onto “paradise themed” stock backgrounds.

Dobbie adds: “It is deliberately trashy, self-aware in its campness – a collision of high and low-brow culture. The dense history of Malta competes with stock animated backgrounds ripped from YouTube. This is a comment on the democratisation of information in the internet age – there is no quality control, there is no absolute truth, just ongoing and ever-expanding digital detritus.”

Xanthe Dobbie is an Australian new media artist and filmmaker working across on and offline modes of making. Dobbie’s work aims to capture the experience of contemporaneity as reflected through queer and feminist ideologies that draw on humour, pop, sex, history and iconography, they develop shrines to a post-truth era.

Claire Watson Director of NETS Victoria said, “Desktop Holiday showcases the extraordinary and unique vision of Xanthe Dobbie. For many of us spending a significant amount of time at home right now, a screen-based holiday may provide unexpected respite.”

Image credit; Xanthe Dobbie: Desktop Holiday, 2017, Digital video. Courtesy the artist

Desktop Holiday by Xanthe Dobbie
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery in partnership with NETS Victoria
Showing now until 21 June 2020
https://mprg.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Exhibitions/Current-exhibitions/Xanthe-Dobbie-Desktop-Holiday