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Interactive exhibition examines the selfie phenomenon

An exhibition will explore the modern selfie culture by allowing visitors to take images of themselves with flatbed scanners and help shape the artwork.

Publishing Rooms – by brothers Andrew and Iain Foxall – is open at the Bonington Gallery between 15 April and 20 May.

Visitors will be greeted by various scanners which will take images that can be projected onto a wall, uploaded to a website and used on social media. A3 print outs will also be exhibited in the gallery as part of the exhibition.

Iain (left) and Andrew

“It’s very much about self-publishing,” said Andrew, of Foxall Studios, London. “Everyone can self-publish in their hands now, and are doing so many times a day.

“The exhibition is adding to that and seeing what happens when you provide this alternative set-up with scanners strapped to the walls of a gallery space.

“We’re not trying to achieve too many prescriptive aims in the output of the exhibition. It’s about providing a framework so that people can use it to make something and uncover different aspects of how the see themselves and then publish those images.

“We think as an interactive exhibition, it will be quite impactful. We have done similar things before, but never on this scale. It’s quite ambitious.”

The brothers have artistic interests in flatbed scanners and have used them in other design work, including a commissioned brand campaign by British jewellery designer Jo Hayes Ward. They believe that things such as the slow pace and the loud noises that the scanners make provide a different experience to digital media.

Iain, also of Foxall Studios, said: “We’re always looking for interesting ways to use different objects or inputs to make images. What we’ve created is an input and a process.

“We’re using scanners, which are very old fashioned and slow to take an image, and combining them with modern technology which has the same input, but in an alternative way.

“It should make for a unique experience. For instance, when you’re waiting for a scanner to scan, it’s a bit like sitting for a portrait.

“Everyone is going to be thinking different things. And because none of it’s prescribed, people will be able to express themselves in different ways. Some people will get a lot from it.”

A talk will take place at the gallery on 29 April, from 1pm to 2pm, about the relevance of printed media in a digital age. It will be with Andrew, Iain and Alex Smith, of Cobden Chambers-based independent magazine retailer Ideas on Paper.

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