John Powell-Jones’ first major solo exhibition CYBERJUNK will transport audiences to the CYBERJUNK universe 1,000 years after the Quantum Crash in a new exhibition opening this week at Castlefield Gallery in the City Centre.
This post-crash present is populated by Borgs: evolved residue of the humanoid teleporter, now known as Awl-The Original Walker. The Borgs inhabit a walled enclosure, the only liveable area left on Durt. They were brought here by Droer – The Carrier of the Maggot, the only entity who can survive outside the walls. Droer then left their settlement in order to protect the Borgs from any outside threat, long before first consciousness. This history is remembered by monument and artefact, the story of Awl and Droer passed from one Borg to the other, carrying out their daily duties making sure everything is as it should be, awaiting Droer’s return.
John Powell-Jones’ first major solo exhibition CYBERJUNK includes: 3D and 2D animation, life-size characters, a comic book, ceramics and tufted wall hangings. His work is informed by the ways in which dominant ideologies and power structures influence our perceptions of reality. In particular, how the warped western view of progress and success affects our understanding of morality. These ideas are explored through the use of speculative fiction, taking inspiration from European folklore, body horror, survival horror and science fiction. Powell-Jones aims to form a dialogue with our present and an imagined dystopian future in which the horrors of capitalism and neoliberal ideology are present as cyborgs, demons and maggots.
A B-movie aesthetic runs through the work with bright blues, fleshy pinks and slime greens. Powell-Jones puts his self-taught skills to work in a variety of mediums. Characters from the CYBERJUNK story recur in comic illustrations, ceramic figures, life-size models and textile pieces throughout an exhibition which takes on the form of a museum of sorts; transporting audiences to the CYBERJUNK universe as spectral observers of a looped timeline spanning a thousand years.
In places, Powell-Jones makes good use of inexpensive materials such as cardboard, tape and recycled wood, as well as open-source software; embracing a DIY ethos and a culture of openness that runs contrary to the toxic neoliberal ideology that places the gains of a small human elite and technological progress above the health and wellbeing of the Earth and the rest of its inhabitants.
Characters from CYBERJUNK also recently appeared in Technotrash: The Fellowship of Technoid (2020) a performance for the Holden Gallery, Manchester and Quantum Loop (2020) a video series exhibited as part of This Is A Not Me, IMT gallery, London.
Castlefield Gallery, 2 Hewitt Street, Manchester, M15 4GB
Admission is FREE
Visiting information including our covid-safe measures can be found HERE
Opening Times: Wed to Sun, 12noon – 5.30pm
The gallery is fully wheelchair accessible, including provision of an accessible bathroom.