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Student Showcase Archive

Thomas Ellmer

MA work

MA work

CCA Graduate Project Title: Alt-Age: Designing Belief, Dissertation Title: Generating Meaning and Exhibitions Through Algorithms

Alt-Age: Designing Belief was a one-day festival of talks, live performances and interventions at the Design Museum, London, exploring how contemporary conspiracies and belief systems are born, broadcast and believed.

From the emergence of memes and message board communities to Cambridge Analytica and Twitter trolls, we have witnessed the shaping of a precarious online environment where new conspiracies emerge and spread. In our current age of Photoshop, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, social media hacking, invisible algorithms and alternative facts, how can we believe anything we are presented with? When everyone has the power to produce, edit and subvert images and information, how do the technologies themselves shift and adapt?

A series of newly commissioned live performances and installations transformed the Design Museum’s atrium. These include a sound performance from the Demystification Committee, a reconstruction of a hacker’s workspace by Bora Akinciturk in collaboration with coder Mehmet Duran, and a variety of film works, including The Internet Warriors by Kyrre Lien. In the Bakala Auditorium, a new series of moving image works by artist Joey Holder were screened alongside talks and panel discussions by leading thinkers and practitioners from visual art, design and technology, including Clare Birchall, Natalie Kane, Daniel Keller, Timandra Harkness, Factmata and Michael Dieter, who will question the inherent racism of algorithms, the future of cryptocurrencies, data harvesting, the behavioural design of ideologies and echo chambers, and how these are shaping our futures.



  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2018

  • Alongside my studies at the RCA I have realised a number of exhibitions & projects, including Ways of Seeing by Paul Schneider at Turf Projects, the domestic exhibition, Unproductive Creatures by Samuel Keelan and Benjamin Dawton, Alt-Age: Designing Belief at the Design Museum and The Man 'o' War by Mary Furniss at Zona Mista.

    Throughout my time as a CCA student, I have developed an interest in Benjamin's Aura, and how the auratic is translated between mechanisms of display. I don't consider myself a curator of a certain field, discipline or media, but rather a facilitator to artists and practitioners who use 'Contemporary Art' as a prism to engage with, focus on and develop certain ideas that are unable to exist elsewhere. 
  • Exhibitions

  • Ways of Seeing, Turf Projects, London, 2017; Unproductive Creatures, London, 2017; Alt-Age: Designing Belief, Design Museum, London, 2018; The Man 'o' War, Zona Mista, London 2018