Momentum 9, The Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, opened a few days ago in Moss, Norway. Its focus is Alienation, a pertinent theme for a time characterized by deep social and economic inequalities, new forms of rabid colonialism, atmospheric turmoil, transhumanism, closing borders and relentless questioning of democracy
Can art help us understand the ethical complexities of emerging (bio)technologies? Are artists able to uncover our hidden desires and demystify the promises emerging technologies represent? Are living artworks allowed and is art allowed to alter life?
Drawing on fieldwork, philosophy, literature, history, and a range of other perspectives, each of the chapters in this book tells a unique extinction story that explores what extinction is, what it means, why it matters—and to whom
Where are we going to find satisfaction and self-worth in the coming years when, as experts predict, automated systems replace 50 percent of all jobs? Will our countries have to face waves of unrest as citizens flood the streets asking for employment, dignity and a reason to get up in the morning?
In this age of Brexit and shortsighted nationalism, of austerity and politicians pinning for the crucifixion of abortion, same-sex marriage and freedom of movement, an exhibition that breathes hedonism and transgression is not just amusing, it is also necessary because it compels us to reflect on the fights we fought, won and lost again. On the values and rights we should never take for granted
The booklet’s manifesto calls for design (or art) that gets out of the sleek graduation shows and galleries, confronts sociopolitical issues head-on and bites back. As he sums up, “Design can be how to punch Nazis in the face, minus the punching”
Over the past couple of years, Maria Roszkowska, Clément Renaud and Nicolas Maigret from DISNOVATION.ORG have been quietly smuggling odd-looking phones from China to Europe. They’ve got a phone that doubles up as a stun gun, one that’s shaped like a big strawberry, one you can use to light up your cigarette, one that will assist you in your religious rituals, etc.
Socle Du Monde, the biennale that opened a few weeks ago in Herning (Denmark), celebrates artists who have “accepted the challenge of turning the world upside down”
Socle du Monde, the oldest Danish biennale is one of the most aesthetically pleasing art events i’ve attended over the past few years. But because the event is inspired by the masterpiece of a renowned exponent of conceptual art, it is also a biennale that conveys ideas, provocations and moments for reflection. I’ll get back next week with a post discussing these ideas and provocations but right now, here are some visual impressions of the biennale
The festival’s rallying cry was that time had come to discuss the economy without inviting the economists to the table. The videos of the keynotes are online and i’d like to highlight 2 of them: Frank Trentmann‘s chronicle of the consumerist society and Geerat Vermeij‘s theory about how a closer study of biological ecosystems can teach us more about the economy than we might suspect
EE #2 moves Beyond Nature, investigating experimental and emerging ways of understanding as well as making art/nature. This issue visits not just hybrid, but also parasitical ways of doing art in times of danger and apocalyptic visions. In the current ecological and socio-political crisis, the function of the artist emerges as more critical than ever
The short films, animations and documentaries screened at the festival exposed the world of finance under the most human perspectives: from the bank robbery that goes terribly wrong to an economic system so complex they become incomprehensible for humans, from the bankers trying in vain to avoid massive troubles to people forming endless queues in order to receive free soup and bread, etc.
Why not start by treating economics like any other technology? Play with it, hack, use input from other disciplines, unleash science fiction on it, approach it in an artistic manner
Karolina Sobecka’s video game reverses the logic of First Person Shooter games. In her work, the gun is AI-assisted. It fires automatically when a ‘target’ enters its field of view and guides the player’s hand to aim more effectively. The player cannot drop the weapon or stop it from firing, but he/she can obstruct it (and the gun’s) vision. The object of the game is to shoot as few people as possible
The case studies in this volume include the analysis of the shrapnel fragments in a room struck by drones in Pakistan, the reconstruction of a contested shooting in the West Bank, the architectural recreation of a secret Syrian detention center from the memory of its survivors, a blow-by-blow account of a day-long battle in Gaza, and an investigation of environmental violence and climate change in the Guatemalan highlands and elsewhere
Taking as their central subject the self-driving car, the works in the exhibition test the limits of human knowing and machine perception, strategize modes of resistance to algorithmic regimes, and devise new myths and poetic possibilities for an age of computation
The Socle du Monde biennale in Herning is currently showing Koen Vanmechelen’s Planetary Community Chicken, a cross between his now iconic Cosmopolitan roosters and commercial hens
Presented as a traditional four-act play, ‘The Ascent’ attempts to examine the discrete nature of class politics; paralleling contemporary workplace geometries from multiple vantage points. The production centre’s around the story of law firm attending a mandatory training day that takes place on board a one to one scale replica of an American Airlines Boeing 747. Although fruitful in its intentions, the experiment unfolds into chaos and bloodshed
This year the theme, Senses & Sensors, explored perception: how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. How we absorb and comprehend what we see, and how rapidly progressing technological advances expand and augment our perceptions
In 1982, the French public telecommunications company launched a revolutionary system combining the telephone and information technology. It was a beige, plastic box and it was called the Minitel. In 2013, members of the Graffiti Research Lab France decided to explore the sonic and visual possibilities of the defunct technology
And Now for Something Completely Different: two photo series by Chris Steele-Perkins: the iconic one that documents the teddy boys and a more recent one that looks at a football competition for Roman Catholic priests
Last year, the Flatbread Society embarked on a year-long sailing expedition that will take them from Oslo to Istanbul. On board is a rotating crew of artists, sailors, anthropologists, activists, writers, ecologists, etc. As for the cargo, it consists mostly of grain seeds that had been lost or forgotten
Italian photographer Valerio Spada is interested in the daily existence of Mafia bosses who spend decades on the run. What do you carry with you when you decide to disappear? What do you take along when you are forced to move from one place to another?
An art/science research instrument,offering participants the possibility to listen in on the electro-chemical messages transmitted by their bodies, in exchange for donating their personal biodata to scientific research
This book explores recent and historic artworks in the context of present-day environmental concerns, considering the future consequences of the age of the anthropocene, and humanity’s harsh imprint on our planet
Linked from one another by a uniform protocol, from Marseille to Yellowknife, airports might be today the suburbs of an “invisible world capital”, foreseen by the SF writer J.G. Ballard, the tarmac of a global village, the doorstep of an artificial and virtualized world
In May, i will be running online classes that focus on activist art and provide an overview of the most inspiring and thought-provoking actions performed and orchestrated by members of the ‘creative resistance’
An exhibition in Paris explores how women have been judged according to different sets of values -and often with less impartiality- than men. From the XIVth Century to the end of the Second World War, French women were judged for their crimes (or what was perceived as such) but also simply for being women. Something in their pertaining to their gender made them more likely to commit certain crimes…
Joana is an artist and a researcher whose work critically explores the way post-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research topics include Internet materiality, surveillance, online tracking, critical interfaces and language
Featuring original essays from prominent media scholars discussing Banksy and Shepard Fairey, foundational texts such as Mark Dery’s culture jamming manifesto, and artwork by and interviews with noteworthy culture jammers including the Guerrilla Girls, The Yes Men, and Reverend Billy, Culture Jamming makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of creative resistance and participatory culture
Navine G. Khan-Dossos‘ painting series Expanding and Remaining is looking at the Dabiq magazine under a whole new perspective. Eschewing the indoctrinating articles and apocalyptic illustrations, the artist stripped back the pages of their content and laid bare the main graphic composition of its layout
Since last year, HeK, the House of Electronic Arts in Basel and Swiss art magazine Kunstbulletin have been awarding a prize for “net based” artworks. The prize aims to support works that use the Internet as the site for production and as a medium for distribution
Finding the Operator presents the documentation of a series of attempts to find out who the operator(s) of a specific government owned CCTV camera is, initially through freedom of information requests and later through the construction of an electronic device that broadcasts messages that can only be read using a CCTV camera
Colonialism is not an era, it is a system of military/police, legal, administrative, social, and cultural system of domination; and, architecture is not (only) an aesthetic vessel, it is an apparatus organizing and hierarchizing bodies in space
A speculative near-future scenario, where mining companies are using genetically modified micro organisms to harvest rare earth elements from e-waste dumps around the world
It seems that humans have an inherent need for the unaccountable and the illogical. That’s why progresses in science and technology have often been accompanied by the arrival or renewal of paranormal phenomena
Artefact: The Act of Magic explores how we can understand magic and the magical in contemporary society. This inherently ambiguous concept evokes notions such as illusion, enchantment and awe, but is equally related to a deeper understanding of magical powers, the occult or supernatural, rituals and animism
Kirsten Stolle examines the global influence of chemical companies on our food supply and explores the connection between corporate interests and public health. Using post-WWII America as her stage, Stolle’s collages, drawings and site-responsive installations investigate corporate propaganda, environmental politics and biotechnology
The French collective RYBN.org has applied the numerological system of transformations, associations and substitutions of Kabbalah to computing. Their Dataghost 2 installation seeks to reveal the hidden messages buried within the data traffic…
Using historical and contemporary examples gleaned from political campaigns, PR stunts, advertising or interior design, Nato Thompson efficiently demonstrates how culture can be turned into a set of tools and tactics that allows those in power to quietly manipulate the impressionable, irrational and social creature that we are