Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. Suffolk, UK) is a London-based artist, curator and writer working in installation, sculpture, video and digital media. Using found objects and tools made readily available by the Internet, as well as drawing from a unique sensibility influenced by participation in online communities and virtual games, Bicknell-Knight’s work explores the divergent methods by which consumer capitalist culture permeates both online and offline society. Utopian, dystopian, automation, surveillance and digitization of the self are some of the themes that arise through Bicknell-Knight’s critical examination of contemporary technologies.
Bicknell-Knight is also the founder and director of isthisit?, a platform for contemporary art, exhibiting over 800 artists since its creation in May 2016. Online, it operates as a gallery producing monthly exhibitions showcasing emerging to mid-career artists, hosting a roster of guest curators experimenting with the medium of the internet to interrogate a variety of concepts. The website also hosts monthly residencies, where artists are given a web page to create new work that exists on the internet as a piece of net art. Offline, it has held exhibitions nationally and internationally and is the publisher of isthisit?, a book series released on a triannual basis.
Selected solo and duo exhibitions include Bit Rot at Broadway Gallery, Letchworth (2020), The Big Four, duo show with Rosa-Maria Nuutinen at Harlesden High Street, London (2019), Wellness, Ltd., duo show with Erin Mitchell at Galerie Manque, New York (2019), State of Affairs at Salon 75, Copenhagen (2019), CACOTOPIA 02 at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2018), Sunrise Prelude at Dollspace, London (2017) and Are we there yet? at Chelsea College of Art, London (2017). Selected group exhibitions include They Live at Platform Southwark, London (2019), To cite a body at Sluice HQ, London (2019), GROUND ZERO EARTH at Alison Richard Building, Cambridge (2019), Inside Intel at Goldsmiths, University of London, London (2018), Total Power Exchange at Galerie Manque, New York (2018), Paper Cuts at Saatchi Gallery, London (2018), Terms and Conditions May Apply at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2018), The Museum Has Abandoned Us at State of the Art, Berlin (2017) and The Choice of a New Generation at The Muse Gallery, London (2017).
Bicknell-Knight has spoken on panel discussions and given artist talks at Tate Modern, London (2019), University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2019), Camberwell College of Arts, London (2019) and Goldsmiths, University of London, London (2018).
His work is held in private collections in London (UK), Suffolk (UK), Paris (FR), Netherlands (NL), ( Berlin (DE), Copenhagen (DK), New York (USA), Montreal (CA) Hong Kong (HK).
Title: Mark’s Fifth
In a series of works, Bob Bicknell-Knight portrays various tech billionaires as trophy hunters. Trophy hunting is the act of hunting of wild game for human recreation. The trophy is the animal or part of the animal kept, and usually displayed, to represent the success of the hunt. The game sought is typically a large or impressively ornamented male, such as one having large horns or antlers. At the end of a successful hunt, the hunter will usually pose next to the slain animal for a photograph, to be distributed to friends and family members.
The works were originally inspired by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, and a personal challenge he had set himself, to only eat meat he’d killed himself for a year. Zuckerberg had entered into the challenge in an effort to be more thankful for the food he has to eat. He felt it was irresponsible not to remember that the animals he ate used to be alive. In a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated that there was a year when Zuckerberg was only eating what he was killing and had a penchant for goat meat. Supposedly he would stun goats with a taser, cut their throat with a knife and have their bodies sent to a butcher to prepare. Being served goat for dinner whilst attending a dinner party at Zuckerberg’s house was Dorsey’s most memorable encounter with Zuckerberg. The original trophy hunter works, depicting Zuckerberg, imagining that he took this interest in animal killing further, becoming a trophy hunter.