Artists from the United Kingdom and the Philippines have launched Toolkits for Counterparts, an interdisciplinary virtual collaboration that has culminated in an online exhibition of six original new media works.

Curated by April Lin 林森 and Mac Andre Arboleda, the pieces have emerged from an iterative series of workshops across two months that centered around the ways that art can be produced and utilized in a transnational digital context straddling differing but entangled sociopolitical realities.

The result is a collection of works that surface anxieties and possibilities working through and within the digital space we inhabit, from a gamified library about data and its physicality, to a satirical video about how to create a starter pack meme.

Disinformation, disability justice, and the logics of code, anatomy, and infrastructures are only some of the themes presented by UK-based Yifan He, Kate Frances Lingard, and nil00, and Filipinos Mirjam Dalire, Paolo Lorenzo, and cj silva aka frameweaver.

“One of the impulses for this project was for us to create a space for digital artists working with film, video games, and new media, and encourage them to have critical conversations on technology and society,” said Toolkits for Counterparts’ Mac Andre Arboleda, who invited the team of Philippine-based artists in the project.

April Lin 林森, who was responsible for bringing the UK-based artists into the project, added, added, “It’s been fundamental to activate a practice of solidarity based on a grounded listening to one’s counterparts. There’s a strong desire for sincere dialogue outside of our algorithmically fashioned online circles, and in gathering this group of artists together, we have really witnessed how embodied an online collaboration can be.”

On Thursday, March 3, the exhibit will have its official launch event at 10AM UK time and 6PM Manila time via Zoom. Interested parties are encouraged to register on Eventbrite. ‘Toolkits for Counterparts’ is a project generously funded by the British Council’s Connections Through Culture grant. 

The exhibit can be viewed here: https://toolkits-for-counterparts.xyz until Feb 28, 2023.