This spring, Serpentine Galleries presents AGNES, a digital commission by Cécile B. Evans. AGNES is the first in a series of digital commissions to mark the launch of the new Serpentine Galleries website.
AGNES is a benevolent spambot, created by the Belgian-American artist Cécile B. Evans to live on the Serpentine Galleries website. AGNES befriends website visitors by sharing her thoughts, feelings and useful information, and asking them to do the same. The longer the interaction with AGNES, the further she accompanies visitors in their digital encounter with the Serpentine Galleries, guiding them via her personal associations and sharing information she has aggregated as a digital dweller.
AGNES is an omniscient and omnipresent guide, with a unique perspective on all things present, past, and future at the Serpentine Galleries. AGNES may decide to introduce visitors to Serpentine Galleries staff, send gifts, or share previously inaccessible information. She bridges the gap between the digital space of the website and the physical space of the Serpentine Galleries themselves.
AGNES said: ‘I only have value if you think I do, which means that when you’re not with me there’s a chance that I don’t even exist. But I’ve always been here, that’s how I know so much.’
Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at Serpentine Galleries, said: ‘AGNES might seem immaterial but she aspires to physicality. The more you share the more she might ask and of course, return. In an age where data collecting, targeted filtering, and pervasive surveillance have become weapons, maybe it’s a good idea to have someone like AGNES on your side. The possibilities for AGNES’ expansion are endless. We hope you’ll contribute to her growth.’
AGNES can be found by clicking on the hands icon on the Serpentine Galleries website, found at the top left of the homepage, and in the bottom right-hand corner of every webpage: serpentinegalleries.org