The exhibition Machines & Souls. Digital Art and New Media explores the convergence between science, art, technology and society at the beginning of the twenty-first century to reflect on the transformations that underlie the practices carried out by the artists that are part of this exhibition. The collection includes the work of 17 artists who have the use of digital technology as a tool in common, along with a long and distinguished artistic career. Some of them, like Antoni Muntadas, Daniel Canogar and Antoni Abad have already been part of previous exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
In this exhibition essential pieces from the past decade have been gathered for the first time in the same space, along with new productions that have never before been exhibited. The exhibition’s purpose is to draw a map that guides one on a journey through the main conceptual strategies and directions that shape today’s hybrid territory of new media. Through areas such as robotics, software art and social network tools, information display or biotechnologies, approaches emerge such as the new dimensions of identity, public interaction with artistic creation, privacy and the monitoring of a connected society, as well as the transformation of the notions on ownership and collaboration, or fascination for reproducing the mechanisms of life and intelligence. The exhibited works take digital art as a reference, with a special emphasis on the more human and creative aspects of new technologies, aware that the new tools are called to improve humanity and not to limit it.
The end result is a journey of tremendous diversity; very representative of this type of art are the interactive portraits by Rozin, the anthropomorphic robot by David Byrne & David Hanson , the video installation by Harun Farocki, the light sculptures by Paul Friedlander, the reported installation by Antoni Muntadas, the "ferrofluids" by Sachiko Kodama, the marginalised groups on the Internet by Abad, "software art" by John Maeda, the interactive installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the digital paintings by Evru, the installation by Daniel Canogar, the "beasts of the beach" of Jansen, alongside works by Chico MacMurtrie, Ben Rubin & Mark Hansen, Vuk Cosic, Pierre Huyghe and Natalie Jermijenko & Angel Borrego.