John Powell-Jones: CYBERJUNK 

17 October 2021 — 19 December 2021

LATE OPENING: 6pm-8pm, Thursday 2 December 2021
Book your free ticket HERE

CYBERJUNK takes place on the planet Durt 1,000 years after the Quantum Crash: a botched experiment that saw the first humanoid quantum teleportation result in a disaster of apocalyptic scale. 

This post-crash present is populated by Borgs: evolved residue of the humanoid teleporter, now known as Awl-The Original Walker. The Borgs inhabit a walled enclosure, the only liveable area left on Durt. They were brought here by Droer – The Carrier of the Maggot, the only entity who can survive outside the walls. Droer then left their settlement in order to protect the Borgs from any outside threat, long before first consciousness. This history is remembered by monument and artefact, the story of Awl and Droer passed from one Borg to the other, carrying out their daily duties making sure everything is as it should be, awaiting Droer’s return.


John Powell-Jones’ first major solo exhibition
CYBERJUNK includes: 3D and 2D animation, life-size characters, a comic book, ceramics and tufted wall hangings. His work is informed by the ways in which dominant ideologies and power structures influence our perceptions of reality. In particular, how the warped western view of progress and success affects our understanding of morality. These ideas are explored through the use of speculative fiction, taking inspiration from European folklore, body horror, survival horror and science fiction. Powell-Jones aims to form a dialogue with our present and an imagined dystopian future in which the horrors of capitalism and neoliberal ideology are present as cyborgs, demons and maggots.

Characters from CYBERJUNK also recently appeared in Technotrash: The Fellowship of Technoid (2020) a performance for the Holden Gallery, Manchester and Quantum Loop (2020) a video series exhibited as part of This Is A Not Me, IMT gallery, London. 

Castlefield Gallery is partnering with IMT Gallery, London to deliver this exhibition in two parts across both venues. CYBERJUNK: QUANTUM CRASH will be on show at IMT Gallery London, 8 October – 12 December 2021.

Special thanks to Castlefield Gallery Commissioning Patrons Allan & Jo Melzack.


PODCAST: John Powell-Jones in conversation with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and David Blandy

To coincide with the CYBERJUNK exhibition we invited John Powell-Jones, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley and David Blandy to talk about how computer and role playing games help us make sense of the world: unpacking our perceptions of reality, our understanding of morality and our awareness of different communities. They discuss their inspirations, working instinctively with different digital technologies and how embracing difficulty is integral to their work.

CYBERJUNK soundtrack with Love, labour, unravelling by Lauren de Sá Naylor

This is a recording of a performance by John Powell-Jones and Lauren de Sá Naylor which took place at Castlefield Gallery on Thu 2 Dec 2021. The performance  included a reading by Sa Naylor from a text she wrote in part inspired by the CYBERJUNK universe. A pdf of the text can be downloaded HERE. Please note the text contains adult themes and language that may not be suitable for young readers.

Lauren de Sá Naylor writes prose and poetry; she also makes film and audio collages with interacting layers of electronic sound, voice and field recordings. Her work is informed by mythopoetics, myth making, world building and how these practices relate to her understanding of herself. Drawing from oneiromancy (a form of divination based upon dreams) and biophilia (the belief that humans are predisposed to seek connections with nature and other forms of life) her practice is a way to think through how we relate to the world, our sense of embodiment within it and our subjectivity.