Raqs Media Collective are showing their ongoing project „The Euphoria Machine“ comprised of two demonstration tables, various drawings, prints and monitors. The large installation takes the form of a laboratory, which works as a diagram for a conceptual engine of the desire that fuels capitalism. The artists put forward the hypothesis that it the human desire for joy, beauty, satisfaction and love, which fuels economic growth and perpetuates our continuously growing culture of consumption. The point of departure for this project is the existence of the machine and to examine the evidence of it around us, in plans, projections, advertisements, policy statements, blueprints, balance sheets and reports.
The current global financial crisis has emerged through acquiring and transacting things that are notional rather than real. This is due to the fact that, for some time now, we have been told that the calculus of prosperity depends on the acquisition and transaction of virtual assets, but not that they are in fact tied to very real costs. The title of the show, “Reverse Engineering” refers to the inversion of the financial apparatus at work during the economic crisis, which at current is fuelled by fear and sentiment rather than by euphoria. Currently, the euphoria machine’s exhaust only produces despair.
The Raqs Media Collective enjoy playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as a curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. They make contemporary art and films, curate exhibitions, edit books, stage events, collaborate with architects, computer programmers, writers and theatre directors and follow their self-declared imperative of ‘kinetic contemplation’.