I was expecting the curator’s ideas of transience, instability and uncertainties to be translated into powerful works that directly engage with some of today’s most pressing and depressing concerns. I got very little of that. I got plenty of clouds (including a couple of atomic ones), foam, puddles, waves and fountains though.
Fortunately, the biennale also features a surprisingly high number of sound works, extraordinary visual and emotional experiences and, here and there, a couple of more politically-minded artworks
Gambiologia is the Brazilian art and science of kludging. Someone with gambiarrá displays a cunning ability to improvise, kludge, hack and make do with whatever is available. Gambiologia, however, is far more than a demonstration of one’s own resourcefulness, it is also a political and ethical gesture. It questions industrial processes and mechanisms, rejects consumerism and postulates the need for greater autonomy
Public Space? Lost and Found considers the role of aesthetic practices within the construction, identification, and critique of shared territories, and how artists or architects—the “antennae of the race”—can heighten our awareness of rapidly changing formulations of public space in the age of digital media, vast ecological crises, and civic uprisings
Exploitation Forensics is a collection of maps and documents created as a result of investigations conducted in the last few years by the SHARE Lab. The maps will help visitors explore the invisible layers of contemporary technological black boxes and their fractal supply chains, exposing various forms of hidden labour and the exploitation of material resources and data
Breath (BRH) explores how the body can perform the computational process of mining crypto-currencies by converting lung exhalation into a computer’s hashing rate. The velocity of human exhalation determines the hashing rate of a small micro computer that is mining on the XMR (monero) blockchain
As usual, this year’s program was packed with dramatic commissions and entertaining debates but it was also anchored in today’s most pressing concerns: the plight of refugees in Europe, the legacies of colonialism, the plague of fake news, violation of human rights, climate change, etc.
The conference brought together leading artists and thinkers from the world of art, technology, science and documentary. The food was a bit revolting. Everything else was amazing