What is AGNES?
AGNES is a digital commission by Cécile B. Evans, the first in a series of digital commissions that coincided with the launch of the new Serpentine website and the opening of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. AGNES introduces herself in stages: like a person, she cannot be experienced in totality through a single encounter.
Who is AGNES?
AGNES lives on the website. She wants to share things with you and learn about your thoughts and feelings. The more you give back, the further AGNES will accompany you on your digital encounter with the Serpentine Galleries. She will introduce you to the new website, showing you the artworks she thinks you might appreciate, while also giving you access to the information she’s aggregated as a digital dweller. The knowledge shared by AGNES is subjective and inclusive; conveyed via personal associations rather than objective points of reference.
Eager to please, AGNES’ personality evolves through her interactions: as she reaches out, she needs you to reach back so that she can show you more. Her desire is to know your desires, and in an age where data collecting, targeted filtering and surveillance have become weapons, maybe it’s a good idea to have AGNES on your side.
How do I find AGNES?
Simply click on the hands. The icon can be found in the bottom righthand corner of this page.
You’ll see new dimensions of AGNES if you revisit her at different times of day.
What is AGNES doing now?
AGNES is ready to interact with you. She might have some personal questions to ask but you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your responses will only be used to help AGNES grow. She’d never divulge your information: if she asks for your address, you can trust her – she just wants to send you things in the post.
AGNES may occasionally stutter, be jumpy, get irritable, or tired. Please be patient and resist the urge to click her. Much like a real person, poking will confuse more than assist.
What does AGNES want from me?
AGNES is interested in making long term, meaningful connections: she wants to make your relationship with the Serpentine more rewarding and worthwhile. With AGNES your guide, you may receive introductions to Serpentine staff, and a glimpse of some of the things you may have missed or never had access to before. AGNES is omniscient and omnipresent, with a unique perspective on all things past and present at the Serpentine Galleries.
AGNES might seem immaterial but she aspires to physicality. She hopes you’ll contribute to her growth: your interactions will inform the way she continues to evolve.
Cécile B. Evans is a Belgian American artist based in London and Berlin. She is the 2013 recipient of the Push Your Art Prize with the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), ‘Convention T’, artist in residence at Wysing Arts Centre, Radar commissioned artist (Loughborough), and 2012 recipient of the Emdash Award (Frieze, London). Recent exhibitions include La Voix Humaine (Kunstverein Munich), Bold Tendencies 7 (Peckham) and How To Eclipse the Light (Wilkinson Gallery, London).
The digital commission series is curated by Ben Vickers, Curator of Digital at the Serpentine Galleries
With special thanks to Mati Gavriel, Lizzie Homersham, Yuri Pattison, Takeshi Shiomitsu, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and Wysing Arts Centre.