‘How does entanglement in the technical circuits of ‘progress’ shape not just dreams, but the capacity to dream?’
– Jem Noble
Dream Dialects is a solo exhibition of online, offsite and gallery-based artworks by Jem Noble, a British artist based in Vancouver (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) and Melbourne (Kulin Nation). In this Te Tuhi-commissioned exhibition, Noble draws from ongoing research investigating technical media artefacts and processes as intimate entanglements of matter, subjectivity and culture, through which the conditions of globalisation are both produced and contested. To do so, Noble takes materials and ideas on diverse journeys of translation and transformation, featuring widespread and obscure forms of technical media including but not limited to 16mm film, VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, books, posters and networked devices – fabricated, documented, ordered, outsourced, collected, uploaded and broadcast.
Specifically, the exhibition includes a series of responses to the New Zealand film Sleeping Dogs (1977), directed by Roger Donaldson, and to the novel Smith’s Dream (1971), by C. K. Stead, on which the film is based. Both the novel and film tell a fictional tale of an insidious authoritarian power supplanting liberal democracy under familiar mantras of economic crisis and national security. Dream Dialects takes the contemporary resonance of this story as a starting point to consider the media through which narratives circulate and how they affect the nature of subjectivity and its capacity for political action.