In Asset Pack, 2019, Baden Pailthorpe intensifies his examination of the cultures of late capitalism by reinterpreting the material culture of digital marketplaces. In doing so, he recontextualises these objects and redefines their potential as artefacts of
our contemporary moment. Like an archaeologist unearthing speculative objects from the networks that increasingly define our lives, these artworks speak to the complex and unstable nature of society today.
Digital marketplaces define our contemporary experience - they represent billions of dollars of trade, yet are almost entirely immaterial. Data is the lifeblood of capitalism - from Russian disinformation campaigns targeting US elections, Facebook’s Libra digital currency, Chinese ‘click farms’, facial recognition datasets and robodebt algorithms - all of these converge to create complex forms of power and capital. Assets in this context are not only tradable commodities, they are the neo-relics of our age.
This exhibition is in itself an ‘asset pack’, since it becomes modular and deployable for any kind of exhibition space. It is a dark maze of seductive animations, liquid-cooled extreme gaming PCs, weapons, plants, dragons, partially destroyed scooters - all pumping, flowing, circulating and nourishing each other.