ELAINE (MEI LIN) TAM



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is an itinerant curator, writer, researcher from Hong Kong currently living and working in London. She collaborates with artists and thinkers to create new forms and forums for critical engagement; her practice is an interdisciplinary site for play, pleasure, gesture, enquiry and, importantly, failure. Research interests include psychoanalytic theory, performance writing and feminist new materialisms.



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Interfaces Monthly was a regular get-together for people working at the junction of art and technology, organised by the Barbican and The Trampery. A monthly platform for ideas and exchange, the series ran between 2016-18, with each event including selected artwork, presentations and discussions in an informal social setting with a low-priced bar. The sessions were occasionally guest-curated by other professionals; featured below are those curated by Elaine.



Interfaces Monthly 062018: Exercises in Health and Wellness

June's Interfaces Monthly discussed territories of health and wellness in terms of their adaptation to the suffusion of new technologies. The contemporary phenomenon of "wellness" has seen to an increasing stylisation of life choices, as well as new tropes, measures and standards pertaining health. From the aesthetics of policy to personal rhetoric, technological advance has necessitated a re-thinking of how we engage the practice or performance of these notions. In what ways do concepts of health and wellness articulate themselves in social and political domains? How does technology intercede in defining, understanding and relating to the enactment of physical and mental self-care?

Featuring Dr Stefan Nowotny and Ilona Sagar in conversation.

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Interfaces Monthly 042018: Flesh and Feeling

April's Interfaces Monthly Flesh and Feeling was an elaboration on discussions from previous sessions IM112016: A Matter of Materiality and IM112017: Technofeminisms. Technological intervention changes the relationship between the embodied and the emotional; a call to different ethics, sensibilities and modes of expression. How do flesh and feeling interface with technology to "speculate out" other potentials? And conversely, how does this exchange with our technoculture impact us? The evening will traverse topics from attention economies, to data funerals and emotion capture.

Speakers included Alvaro Marquez, Arthur Gouillart and Audrey Samson

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Interfaces Monthly 022018: Technology and the Occult

IM022018: Technology and the Occult explored the presence of occult thinking in new media technologies, through artistic practice and theory. Terms like medium, simulation and disembodiment are becoming part of the ordinary register we use to describe how we interface with the world around us. As screen-based media colonise our spaces, equally we are colonising the space of the screen. Their surfaces summon a possible boundary to transgress and offer an exciting departure point for considering the occult. With this in mind, how can we account for a dimension of magic and mysticism that accompanies the latest (and by implication, least understood) technologies?

Speakers included Patricia MacCormack, Thomas Yeomans and LaTurbo Avedon

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Interfaces Monthly 112017: Technofeminisms

November's edition of Interfaces Monthly revolved around Technofeminisms and its discontents. Technofeminist discourses are a call to address how gender and technology are constituted by each other, with political implications on our past, present and future. In what ways can we re-think technology, its concerns and obstacles, through feminist perspectives? The evening will traverse topics from performativity and embodiment to cyborg gender connotations.

Speakers included Joanna Zylinska, Jasmine Johnson and Rebecca Salvadori.

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Interfaces Monthly 062017: (Tele)presence, (Tele)communication

June's edition looked at the dynamics between physical / virtual bodies, specifically the inhabitation of and interaction between them. With the advent of digital mediums, artists and researchers are defining and interrogating the meeting points and roving diasporas made possible by new interfaces. The evening re-addressed audio / visual telepresence and telecommunication; how does this affect our day to day realities? And what does this mean for a wider politics of technological visibility?

Pannelists included Michael Takeo Magruder, Helen Benigson, with keynote by Paul Sermon.

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Interfaces Monthly 052017: Speculative Societies

May's edition explored the possibility to speculate on space and its construction with technological tools. Both individual logics and collective experience are affected by how we build and intend to build, the world around us. Through biopolitical and architectural concerns, practitioners propose alternative narratives that encourage us to critique our lived realities, offer ideas for reform and imagine societies beyond our time. How can we use art and technology to invite a deeper look at the social interactions that underpin community formation?

Pannelists included Max Colson, Ling Tan and Iain Ball with Valinia Svoronou.

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Image courtesy of LaTurbo Avedon, Club Rothko



Interfaces Monthly 032017: Release / Distribute


The March edition looked at at commissioning and communicating digital art, through the experience of three professionals working beyond the physical gallery space. In response to the expanding role of technology in contemporary art practice, curators, collectors and audiences have adapted to handle new media practically and conceptually. How do these conditions shape our access to art and artists? What potentials are offered by these changing ways to release / distribute?

Pannlists included David Gryn (Daata Editions), Estela Oliva and Xavier Sole (Mbryonic).

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Image courtesy of Oliver Sutherland



Interfaces Monthly 022017: Performance & Participation

February's edition discussed 'Performance & Participation'. The term performance now relates to a spectrum of human and non-human behaviours, from embodied human experiences to disembodied technological adaptations. When the distinction between user and performer blurs, how can we re-imagine our participation online and offline?

Pannelists included Siobhan Shah (Random International), Oliver Sutherland and Sisters From Another Mister.

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Image courtesy of Richard Healy



Interfaces Monthly 112016: A Matter of Materiality

November's edition discussed 'A Matter of Materiality', the translation between the material and the immaterial. The evening was a look into practices that navigate the realms of both virtual and real, interrogating how spatial politics are implicated in each.

Pannelists included artists Clara Jo and Jack West, with keynote by Richard Healy.

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Image courtesy of Werkflow


Interfaces Monthly 102016: Machine Gaze

October's edition interrogated the concept of the Machine Gaze. Through three artists' practices, this session will reframe visual arts in the context of various image-making technologies existing today. In this, the artists will consider our ways of seeing and the tools through which we see.

Pannelists included artists Geiste Kincinaityte and Alex Anikina. With special guests Tom Wandrag and James B Stringer (Werkflow).

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Image courtesy of Yuri Suzuki


Interfaces Monthly 092016: Sonic Arts

September's edition of Interfaces Monthly was centered around the creative use of sound and technology. The evening was a look into how technological intervention has affected the production and consumption of sound art, through three artists' practices.

Pannelists included artist Gregory White, and musician and technologist Tom Szirtes. Special guest Yuri Suzuki delivered a keynote talk.

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