This exhibition investigates the stories behind the rapidly expanding Internet of Things. There are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet. The exhibition looks at the impact these objects have had on entertainment, communication, lifestyle, security and health, and at consequences that in some cases have only recently been considered. It explores how the culture of surveillance first developed and how today’s smart devices have brought it to unprecedented heights.

What happens when everything is connected? This exhibition investigates the stories behind the rapidly expanding ‘Internet of Things’. There are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet. Smart homes, virtual assistants and connected toys offer more ways to be online than ever before. These devices can make us safer, bring people together, and make everyday tasks easier. Yet for many, the connected world is uncharted territory. Does being permanently online make you feel safe—or suspicious? At this exhibition, we invite you to think about the decisions you make when you click ‘OK’, discover how the newest smart devices might improve your life, and see objects from our collection that prove concerns about privacy and surveillance are not unique to the internet age. Never Alone shows how being connected is changing the world—and what it means for you.

- Never Alone

Artwork: Streaming

How many hours do you spend daily using your smartphone? The war of seeking attention on social media platforms is at its peak, some consider it a virtual existential crisis, and the majority believe that we are witnessing the golden age of human communication. This work depicts the experience of the exhibit visitors using their smartphones and then publishes it on social media, a mirror of our obsession with documentation and a question about the loss of privacy.

- Eyad Maghazel

Artwork: Scanning

A foreshadow of a futuristic dystopian surveillance world order, where everything is being scanned. The age of information brings about the paradigm shift spinning the cog wheels of the clockwork of technology. The prophecy of the singularity sprouted the neural path ways of Artificial Intelligence to integrate with the human condition. We are here and now, and we are being watched.

- Naser Alshemimry

Artwork: A Garden of Men

A Garden of Men is an AI-generated artwork that raises the question of machine perception of different cultures. It addresses the issue of cultural exclusiveness and biases of machine learning through a practical critique of culturally biased datasets. These datasets are, in analogy, the modern archeological record of material culture, through which we perceive—contemporary— societies. The concept of the piece is to layer; to layer either to conceal or to expose. The process of making the piece consists of three main layers: the original image, the texture, and finally the model treatment. Conceptually, that layering could also be found in the composition of the seated men, how that manifests both dystopic and cynical impressions especially with using DeepDream, all of which created a pseudo-archival piece of the history of the “other”.

- Alia Alqarni & Sara Khaled