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
Robots and computers are acting more and more like people. They’re driving around in cars, hooking us up with new lovers and talking to us out of the blue. But is the opposite also true— are people acting more and more like robots?
What aesthetic and political strategies may counter the quest for collecting data and measuring and predicting human behaviour, characteristic of informational capitalism?
Pazugoo, a gooey, collectively modifiable uranium glow-stick waving Pazuzu, the Sumero-Asyrrian demon of contagion, epidemic and dust, is proposed as a marker for the presence of nuclear waste products
“It is perhaps in the post-human space away from ‘the money’ that the blockchain and smart contracts have the most original things to offer.”
Artists and researchers explore, unpack and critque the blockchain
In 2007, three artists officially changed their names and adopted the one of Janez Janša, a very powerful, right-wing and generally unpleasant political figure embroiled in accusations of corruption and authoritarianism.
The administrative procedure not only turned their lives into a perpetual performance but it also altered their private, civil and artistic lives in ways they had not always foreseen
The internet is everywhere. Set free from the websites and the screens, it now penetrates our thoughts and our bodies and everything around us. Each day, the digital and physical become more integrated – but how does this effect our experience and how do we express the new, augmented reality?
Man-made virgin forest, plants that remove toxic substances from polluted waters, community urban orchards, mobile library, etc. Today’s short selection will focus on artistic attempts (many of them successful) to restore environmental damage
Alone or with the help of local communities, these artists have cleaned up polluted areas, planted wheat field, provided pollinators with colourful and appetizing flowery landscapes, built hanging and floating gardens, initiated edible and medicinal urban farms, developed schemes for sharing excess food and bred more resilient chicken breeds
“A new perspective on a traumatic chapter in German history.”
Arwed Messmer begins with the various photographs made by police photographers at the time—pictures of demonstrators, crime scene images, and mug shots. He poses the question of how this past search for criminological evidence can be employed artistically
Over the past few years, Robertina Šebjanič has been collaborating with scientists hackers, thinkers and other artists to explore themes such as interspecies communication, underwater sound pollution, the possible coexistence of animals and machines, chemical processes, the origin of life, etc.
Looking beyond the modernist vision of a utopian nuclear age, contemporary artists are engaging with the lived experience of radiation through nuclear objects, architectures and landscapes
If you ever find yourself in or around Brussels and are interested in art that explores technology in a meaningful way, then do visit the exhibition The State of Things 2017 at iMal, the center for digital cultures and technology
Trebor Scholz exposes the uncaring reality of contingent digital work, which is thriving at the expense of employment and worker rights. The book is meant to inspire readers to join the growing number of worker-owned“platform cooperatives,” rethink unions, and build a better future of work
Sonic Radiations. In search of a nuclear musicology is online. The compilation is pretty eclectic. Among the tracks you’ll find educational records from the 1960s, electronic sounds mixed with Nigerian afro beat grooves and other wonderfully weird sounds
I interviewed Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke about The 3D Additivist Manifesto and The 3D Additivist Cookbook for this year’s edition of the Digital Design Weekend 2017 in London
Maya Jay Varadaraj sees the glass bangles worn by married women in India as objects that condone the oppression of women and normalize violence towards them. Her Khandayati project uses household objects to reduce these bangles to dust and then transform them into spinning weapons
The Atacama desert in Chile is one of our closest analogues for Martian surface conditions. Benjamin Pother, an artist and anthropologist traveled there with team of scientists to conduct a range of experiences for future space missions
The volume assembles the works of contemporary photographers for the purpose of lending visual evidence to the blatant discrepancy between people’s living conditions, which can be as fascinating as it is shocking
There are many reasons why i wanted to interview Mandiberg. He is an artist whose work i’ve admired for years, the co-founder of the brilliant Art+Feminism Wikipedia Editathon and a dedicated archivist of logos of failed U.S. banks
The essays are organized around two key figures: the Ghosts of long-gone creatures and wiped-out plants and the Monsters that both result from and bring about ecological disruption
“Every day that I was there I didn’t see anything else but the wall, and I can tell you I couldn’t stand it longer than three weeks. I was so depressed that I needed to go away,” said Koudelka about Wall, a series that documents the wall erected by the state of Israel in the West Bank as well as around Israeli settlements
The filtering capacity of flowers is a neglected area of research. However, the 3D structures of flowers make them valuable allies when it comes to regulating air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere. Dust Blooms juxtaposes the beauty and function of urban flora using a synthesis of artistic and scientific methods to create awareness about the every-day importance of ecosystem services in cities
Creditworthy highlights the leading role that commercial surveillance has played—ahead of state surveillance systems—in monitoring the economic lives of Americans. Lauer charts how credit reporting grew from an industry that relied on personal knowledge of consumers to one that employs sophisticated algorithms to determine a person’s trustworthiness
The artists and activists of Art the Arms Fair want to raise awareness about the London arms fair and the deadly consequences of selling arms. Hundreds of artists have submitted work, including Guerrilla Girls, Peter Kennard & Darren Cullen
In January 2017, artist Louise Ashcroft invited herself to be an artist in residency at Westfield Shopping Centre. That’s the mega mall in Stratford, East London. Because there’s nothing remotely boring, mass manufactured nor glittery about her work (and also because she is quietly plotting the demise of capitalism), Ashcroft spent her time there undercover, pretending she was only looking for a bit of shopping fun
Sholette lays out clear examples of art’s deep involvement in capitalism: the dizzying prices achieved by artists who pander to the financial elite, the proliferation of museums that contribute to global competition between cities in order to attract capital, and the strange relationship between art and rampant gentrification that restructures the urban landscape
Do artists using biotechnological materials and scientific processes have the same obligations, rights and responsibilities as scientists? Or should they enjoy more liberties and particular prerogatives?
What policies are we voting for as citizens of European countries, and what is our relationship to this issue? How does the asylum system illegalise people? How are technologies used as processes of making and discrediting evidence?
Intuitively, we already know that the key to more unified societies lies in a mix of resistance, remembrance, borrowing from other cultures, dreams and empathy. Many of the artists in the show illustrate what happens when these abstract notions are turned into real life stories
Because it’s almost 40 degrees this week in Turin and i’m in a murderous mood, i’m going to split my review of the show into two parts. Today, you get the depressing bits and as soon as temperatures have cooled off a little, i’ll be back with the works that speak of solidarity, hope and compassion. It’s not all bad though because 1. i loved that show so much i visited it twice and 2. i’m going to open the quick gallery tour with one of my favourite artists
Beat to the Balance introduces participants to a ritualistic sauna practice which consists of whisking bodies with branch bundle of different tree species. The goal is to open energy flow and make more perceptible the interdependence between tree communities and humans
Artist Aleksandra Mir interviews scientists about technological innovations, politics of outer space, the place of the humanities in research and imagined futures that already affect our lives
Informed by several years of research in the Australian outback desert, It Was Like Experiencing a Fold in Time, She Said bridges the gap between, on the one hand, the landscapes, mythologies and life of outback and aboriginal communities and on the other hand, the brutal origins of our technological ‘progress’