8th March – 7th April at Galloire, London Street, Dubai
Gretchen Andrew hacks systems of power with art, code and glitter. She has manipulated Google, Facebook, and even re-programmed the art world. Growth Hacking presents new Vision Boards which both act as technical vectors for her digital performances whilst acting as gorgeous physical metaphors for our own financial and personal growth.
Continuing her hacks of major art institutions, including taking over the search results for “Contemporary Art Auction Record” (try it yourself: Google “Contemporary Art Auction Record”), Vision Boards in this series explore the art auction system, Andrews’ place in that system, and how women make up only 2% of the contemporary art market. The series of works visualize how it will feel when the dream of increasing women’s market share is accomplished.
Often pairing digital work and physical, her hybrid works further illustrate the conceptual digital life each piece is undertaking as it hacks the global internet and re-programmes Google to believe a new reality. The NFTs presented in the exhibition exploit the fact that Google only sees the first frame of any animation, so whilst we as humans can parse complexity and look at a full picture (in this case an animation based on the adjacent Vision Board), Gretchen Andrews’ Glitch GIF series NFT works show in their first moment a split second image of the artwork selling for a new auction record at Sotheby’s: Seen to us as a subliminal flash followed by an animation incorporating her signature affirmations, growing flowers and butterflies.
“Growth hacking” is a subfield of marketing which focuses on the rapid growth of a company. It rose to prominence in relation to early-stage startups like Airbnb that needed rapid growth before its funding ran out. A product of Silicon Valley herself, Gretchen is famous for deploying her own methods of growth hacking through search engines, press and postal mail, which have resulted in the sort of meteoric rise known as a Unicorn in the technology industry. Gretchen makes use of these symbols within her work, both celebrating and appropriating the success of the technology industry, while casting a more playful and critical eye on the implications of its power and how easily she is able to manipulate it.
“I believe AI is creationary, not just predictive. It creates our futures as much as it anticipates it. By injecting my Vision Boards, which represent my visual hopes for the future, into the developing brain of big tech’s AI, I am teaching our computers to dream wider than our current world. I am educating AI based on the world that I want and not just the one I’ve lived so far.”
“In this future women can and will make up more than the two percent of the art market they currently have. There’s a lot of work to do in this area and sometimes progress can be frustratingly slow,so the works in this exhibition remind us not only to celebrate each stage of growth in the evolution of our personal becoming, but to also always look at the larger systems in which we operate and the ways in which we can hack and reprogram them to create the world of our dreams.” Gretchen Andrew