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’
The exhibition explores the enduring influence of alchemy over art. The alliance between the two fields is an intimate one: both art and alchemy are about creation, both rely on experimentation, knowledge-seeking and passion.
The aim of the gamma-radiation project, is to develop an emergency-infrastructure that can be deployed within minutes, by activating your (covered) webcam from a webpage
Work it, feel it! is dedicated to the work of the future and the future of work. The exhibition focuses on the demands placed on the human body and its possibilities to act, as seen against the backdrop of an increasingly automated workplace. What are the mechanisms of discipline and control that have been applied to the mind, and above all to the body, to make it an efficient production tool and a pillar of consumerism?
The reason why i wanted to write about the website of MOMENTUM 9 the Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art is that it doesn’t look like anything i have experienced before. First of all, it doesn’t seem to pride itself in being user-friendly…
Throughout history, declaring a group to be nonhuman or subhuman has been an effective tool for justifying slavery, oppression and genocide. Conversely, differentiating humans from other species has paved the way for the abuse of natural resources and other animals
Allan Wexler’s works can be broadly described as tactile poetry composed by re-framing the ordinary. They sustain a narrative about landscape, nature, and the built environment that highlights the intriguing and surprising characteristics latent in the elements and rituals that pervade daily life
Alienation represents a potential to expand the horizons of our current lives, to think and act progressively and usher in change. Thus M9 wants to welcome the alien, also the alien in us, without preconceptions of familiar and foreign. It wants to welcome the alien as a challenge to the present as well as a promise of better, extraordinary futures
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