Upcoming

Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art

4. October – 24. November 2019
Group Show, Coventry, Coventry

The highly anticipated second Coventry Biennial will unfold across the city from the 4th October to the 24th November 2019 and we invite people to learn, look, make, talk, think and walk with us.

The biennial’s title this year is The Twin and it comprises a series of exhibitions, events and activities about relationships.

We are an international city; Coventry and Volgograd, Russia, were the first modern twin cities in the world and this year marks the 75th anniversary of that historic bond of friendship.

The core programme of The Twin will unfold across the city in medieval and modernist buildings as well as in artist studios, galleries and museums. We will be exhibiting new and existing artworks by individual artists, duos and groups from Coventry, across the UK and from many of our international twin cities as well as other international locations. We are delighted to be exhibiting the artists listed below and will be announcing a small number of additional practitioners over the coming weeks and months:

Isobel Adderley & Jazz Moreton, Tully Arnot, Art & Language, Jonny Bark, Aram Bartholl, Jordan Baseman, James Birkin, Simon & Tom Bloor, James Bridle, Lorsen Camps, Paul Chan & Badlands Unlimited, David Cheeseman, James Clarkson, Anna Columbine, Maud Cotter, Paul Crook, Matthew Darbyshire, Joseph DeLappe, Lisa Denyer, Jacqueline Donachie, Caitriona Dunnett, EVOL, Anne Forgan, Dylan Fox, Darryl Georgiou & Rebekah Tolley, Zuza Golinska, Noémie Goudal, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mona Hatoum, Corey Hayman, Nicky Hirst, Clare Holdstock, Fred Hubble, Andrew Jackson, Juneau Projects, Navi Kaur, Smirna Kulenović, Liz Lake, Ollie Ma, Ioana Marinescu, Tony McClure, Lorna Mills, Anna Molska, MTAA, Alexandra Muller, Edie Jo Murray, Uriel Orlow, OUTLINE & Smirna Kulenović, Paper Rad, Bharti Parmar, Parmar & Piper, Partisan Social Club, Mathew Parkin, Matthew Picton, Duncan Poulton, Adele Mary Reed, Lis Rhodes, Rafaël Rozendaal, Ana Rutter, Richard Scott, Shirana Shahbazi, Larissa Shaw, Thomson & Craighead, Leonid Toprover, Chidera Ugada, Mhairi Vari, Nilupa Yasmin

Immortality – The Ural Bienniale

12. September – 1. December 2019
Group Show, uralbiennale.ru, Ekaterinburg

The Ural Industrial Biennial is the largest regional art project with international participation among those existing on the territory of the Russian Federation. The Biennial takes place at former industrial and non-exhibition spaces in Ekaterinburg and other cities of the Ural region.

In its 5th edition, the Ural Biennial explores concepts behind the Immortality, both secular and sacred; it is seen as a powerful utopist idea, as technocratic obscurity, as a symbolic tool and as a condition which might cause evident ethical schisms.

One night stand

30. June – 1. July 2019
Group Show, Horse and Pony, Berlin

Please don’t stand in the middle of the road waiting for me to get you on camera

23. June – 22. July 2019
Group Show, isthisitisthisit.com, Online

Vienna Biennale 2019

28. May 2019 – 27. May 2020
Group Show, MAK Design Labors, Vienna

SF MOMA: Snap + Share

24. March – 4. August 2019
Group Show, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco

SFMOMA: snap+share
transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks
March 30–August 4, 2019
https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/snap/

The exhibition snap+share gives visitors a new way to visualize — and experience — how photographs have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives. Whether through early examples of 1960s and ’70s mail art, physical piles of pictures uploaded to the Internet over a 24-hour period, or a working refrigerator that allows participatory meme-making, visitors can trace the evolution of sharing photographs.

Spanning the history of mail art to social networks, the show presents a variety of artists working in various media, from framed paper-based art to immersive installations. Some of these artists include On Kawara, Ray Johnson, Moyra Davey, Erik Kessels, Corinne Vionnet, and David Horvitz. Exploring how networks are created through the act of sending images out into the world, this exhibition reveals just how those networks have changed in the age of the Internet.

curated by Clement Cheroux
with: Thomas Bachler, Ray Johnson, Aram Bartholl, On Kawara, Joseph Beuys, Erik Kessels , Moyra Davey, William Larson, Jan Dibbets, Eva and Franco Mattes, Walker Evans, Peter Miller, Jeff Guess, Ken Ohara, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Stephen Shore, Kate Hollenbach, Endre Tót, David Horvitz, Corinne Vionnet

Blog

Modell und Ruine

May 9, 2019


‘Common Ground’, Aram Bartholl 2019

Werkleitz Festival 2019
Modell und Ruine [Model and Ruin]
May 25–June 10

modell-und-ruine.werkleitz.de
The 2019 Werkleitz Festival Modell und Ruine [Model and Ruin] curated by Daniel Herrmann and Alexander Klose presents the works of 13 international artists as part of the Bauhaus Centenary celebration. Their projects are developed for the festival and play with the tension between the phenomena of models and ruins and their relevance in modern history. The works will be shown from May 25 to June 10 2019 in Dessau, Germany.

As powerful images, models—much like ruins—serve to construct history, explain the present and generate the future. The recurring rise and fall of Dessau seems somehow to draw such connections together like a burning glass. The exhibition parcours connects the classicistic Georgengarten with the classical modern architectural ensemble of the Meisterhäuser and the historicistic Mausoleum. The intention is to present Bauhaus in the larger context of the 250-year history of the modern age.

The featured artists are:
Haseeb Ahmed (US/BE), Rosa Barba (IT/DE), Aram Bartholl (DE), Michael Beutler (DE), Haris Epaminonda (CY/DE), Holmer Feldmann feat. Piotr Baran (DE), Angela Ferreira (MZ/PT), Nikolaus Gansterer (AT), Christoph Girardet (DE), Cornelius Grau (DE), Romain Löser (FR/DE), Andrea Pichl (DE) and Magdalena Rude (DE).

0,16 – Resolution

May 9, 2019



0,16 – Resolution

RAUM SCHROTH im Museum Wilhelm Morgner
Soest, NRW  http://www.museum-wilhelm-morgner.de

11. Mai – 30. Juni 2019

Die Stiftung Konzeptuelle Kunst widmet dem Medien- und Konzeptkünstler Aram Bartholl eine Einzelausstellung im RAUM SCHROTH im Museum Wilhelm Morgner.

Aram Bartholls Werk bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen analoger, digitaler und kultureller Realität. Das Spannungsfeld von öffentlich und privat, online und offline, von Technologieverliebtheit und Alltagsleben liegt im Kern seines Schaffens. Seine von Humor und großer Sensibilität geprägten Interventionen und Installationen bringen oft eine erstaunlich physische Manifestation der digitalen Welt mit sich und stellen unsere Konzepte von Realität und Virtualität infrage.

So ist die zentrale Arbeit dieser Ausstellung, „0,16“, eine Lichtinstallation, die das Pixelprinzip von Bildschirmen in die analoge Welt überführt. Digitale visuelle Kommunikation wird nachvollziehbar und sinnlich erfahrbar, ihre Methoden mit realen Inhalten gefüllt. Das verpixelte Bild eines lebendigen, in Echtzeit vorbeilaufenden Menschen erscheint in einer Auflösung von 0,16 ppi (pixels per inch) auf einem Schirm aus Holz, Papier und Stoff.

‘Map’ at SMFMOMA

March 25, 2019

Map is being installed on the roof of SFMOMA for the upcoming ‘snap+share’ show. I made the first iteration of this piece in 2006, more than a decade ago—an epoch in Internet time. It is fascinating to see how much the context and meaning of this piece have changed over the years. Thirteen years wouldn’t usually be a huge timespan for a work of art to age, but in this particular case the speed of developments mean Map now looks very different. It has already become a historical work.

In 2004, Google bought Where 2 Technologies, a company that had worked on the digital map service that became Google Maps a year later. It was still the mid-early days of the web. The Internet was not as present in society as it is today, but tech giants like Google were already taking shape.

It was part of my practice back then to make such translations, to take an object from a computer game or an icon from a web service and to transform it into a physical sculpture. What would happen if I turned this 15-pixel computer icon into a real thing and put it in the city? Is this the center of the city? These and other projects were an attempt to understand how this new world of computers, networks, and screens would affect society and physical space. They were a sign of what was to come.

Today the situation is very different. We have the famous oligarchy of Internet tech giants who are constantly squeezing more data and money from every bit of communication, movement, and interaction everyone produces worldwide. They have expanded into all kinds of markets in a never-ending run of disruption with little objection or regulation from government. Today, data extraction markets are deeply woven into a very physical fabric of everyday life in cities, business, homes, and personal communication. The dualism of digital versus analog has been obliterated; everything is deeply interconnected.

Of course, it is an honor to show Map in such a prominent location at the SFMOMA in downtown San Francisco. But in a way, it is also an irony of history that this piece from 2006 is ‘coming home’ today to the heart of Silicon Valley in an era dominated by full-blown surveillance capitalism data markets.

Aram Bartoll

Map, 2019
dimensions: 900 x 530 x 20 cm
material: steel, aluminum mesh, steel cables

Thanks to the whole team at SFMOMA making this possible!!

SFMOMA: snap+share
transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks
March 30–August 4, 2019
https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/snap/

curated by Clement Cheroux
with: Thomas Bachler, Ray Johnson, Aram Bartholl, On Kawara, Joseph Beuys, Erik Kessels , Moyra Davey, William Larson, Jan Dibbets, Eva and Franco Mattes, Walker Evans, Peter Miller, Jeff Guess, Ken Ohara, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Stephen Shore, Kate Hollenbach, Endre Tót, David Horvitz, Corinne Vionnet


.

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NON A L’#ARTICLE13

March 23, 2019

Today there have been massive demonstrations all around EU against #article13 and other paragraphs in the coming new EU copyright reform directive. The parliament will vote about this in three days. This law will only help big publishers, labels and content dealers but not the artists. It is very annoying to be used as an excuse by lobby controlled politicians that ‘the poor artist’ needs to protected while this will break Internet culture on a large scale. Required uploadfilters will give even more power to Internet tech giants Google, FB etc. Culture is based on imitating, quoting and remixing, especially online! It is very likely that you wont be able to post your own art any more….

#openinternet #article13 #saveyourinternet

pic taken by @mathieutremblin during Strasbourg visit three weeks ago, thx!

SFMOMA: snap+share

March 23, 2019

Beautiful time-laps of the setup of ‘Map’ by Jason Wittig, thx! I arrived in SF and we are doing some the final touches on the show install. “snap+share” will open to the public Saturday, March 30. Looking fwd to meet all the artists for the preview next week!

SFMOMA: snap+share
transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks
March 30–August 4, 2019
https://www.sfmoma.org/exhibition/snap/

curated by Clement Cheroux
with: Thomas Bachler, Ray Johnson, Aram Bartholl, On Kawara, Joseph Beuys, Erik Kessels , Moyra Davey, William Larson, Jan Dibbets, Eva and Franco Mattes, Walker Evans, Peter Miller, Jeff Guess, Ken Ohara, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Stephen Shore, Kate Hollenbach, Endre Tót, David Horvitz, Corinne Vionnet

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Digital Vasari: Interview

March 15, 2019

An interview I gave during my visit at ‘Laboratoria Arte Alameda‘ in Mexico city last summer 2018.

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‘Touch Me’ article – Dominique Moulon

March 11, 2019

An excerpt of the article “Touch Me” about the Biennale de Strasbourg by Dominique Moulon

http://artinthedigitalage.net/blog/2019/02/17/touch-me/

[…]


Aram Bartholl, Are you human?, 2017.

Mais qui pourrait aujourd’hui se passer des services des GAFA ? Quand ce sont des machines qui, régulièrement, nous demandent de prouver que nous n’en sommes pas. Avec cette série Are you human?, Aram Bartholl n’a de cesse de détourner les codes de l’esthétique dominante : c’est-à-dire celle du numérique. Celui-ci s’est d’abord intéressé aux Captchasque l’on doit décrypter sous peine de se voir refuser quelques accès avant de se focaliser sur les systèmes de grilles où il nous faut sélectionner toutes les images de ponts ou de panneaux de signalisation entre autres véhicules. Les tirages grand format de l’artiste berlinois n’offrent toutefois que des vues de paysages où l’on devine parfois des frontières. L’idée étant de nous inciter à reconsidérer les tâches que nous effectuons en cette ère mondialisée. Car souvent, sans même le savoir, nous renseignons des entreprises mieux que ne le feraient des robots. Que les machines ne soient pas encore si intelligentes que cela pourrait être de nature rassurante. Et effectuer très régulièrement de petits travaux sans salaire aucun devrait nous irriter. A moins que l’on ne considère ces travaux comme d’intérêt général.


Bartholl, Point of view, 2015.

Il est admis que les smartphones que Aram Bartholl représente dans son installation sculpturale Point of view, en seulement une dizaine d’années, ont changé notre rapport à l’image. Ce n’est plus le boîtier qui est reflex, mais la photographie elle-même que l’on pratique par réflexe. Puisque l’on documente tout, de ce que l’on adore à ce que l’on déteste, sans omettre les images d’autrui que l’on commente sans retenue aucune sur les réseaux. Le Selfiesymbolisant merveilleusement bien ce désir immodéré que nous avons d’être dans l’image. Au risque parfois de créer des situations incongrues quand, par exemple, tous les fans d’une foule tournent le dos à leur icône pour être au plus près d’elle dans l’image capturée. Il est intéressant de remarquer ici que ce sont essentiellement des jeunes ordinaires qui ont initié cette tendance ô combien narcissique du Selfieavant que les célébrités du monde entier ne les copient. Citons les propos de Charles Baudelaire qui, déjà en 1859, soit vingt ans seulement après l’invention de la photographie, s’exprimait ainsi : « À partir de ce moment, la société immonde se rua, comme un seul Narcisse, pour contempler sa triviale image sur le métal».

[…]

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Let´s talk about 01 // Aram Bartholl

February 21, 2019

InterMedia an der FH Vorarlberg, Published on Jan 7, 2019

“Wir durften mit dem Medienkünstler Aram Bartholl nach seinem open idea Vortrag an der FH Vorarlberg im Oktober 2017 ein hochinteressantes Interview über seine Arbeiten und seine Sicht der Dinge auf unsere Kommunikationswelt führen.”

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NOVO 53

February 15, 2019

Interview by Emma Cozzani
NOVO 53
Published on Feb 8, 2019
53ème numéro de NOVO, le magazine qui se prend pour une revue.
Photo: Henri Vogt

issuu.com/media.pop/docs/novo_53

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Interview – SMAC

February 4, 2019

Interview with Aram Bartholl

With a wry sense of humour and a lightness of touch, German artist Aram Bartholl subverts the symbols and functions of the internet to draw our attention to its darker side. Through his prolific output of installations and performances around the world – from the beaches of Thailand to the Strasbourg Biennale – Bartholl dissects the back end of new media, shedding light on the capitalist imperatives that have come to dominate and track our every click and tap. How can we navigate the current – and future – digital landscape without lapsing into disillusionment, or relinquishing our agency as internet users? Ahead of his upcoming show at SMAC in Berlin, where he lives and works, Bartholl shares his take on surveillance capitalism, selfie culture, and what to expect at his new exhibition [hint: there’s a disco ball.]

Interview: Anna Dorothea Ker

SMAC: Your work acknowledges the vast possibilities presented by the internet while altering us to the pitfalls of its ever more commercialised reality. What should we be most concerned about?
Aram: I would point to questions of privacy or personal data, as well as how platforms work. We need to acknowledge that Google and Facebook are purely advertising companies. There are a lot of concerns. One thing I’m thinking a lot about is how we can escape the current monopolisation of the internet. The web of the ‘90s was very vibrant and diverse. It started as a user-driven, non-commercial space. Over time, many companies and start-ups employed it to achieve their commercial goals, and today we have five or six huge companies, with whom no-one can compete. They probably need to be broken up at some point – this is likely to come from the US.

“We need to acknowledge that Google and Facebook are purely advertising companies

How would you characterise your own internet use?
Aram: I try to avoid the big players by using an Android phone without Google on it, for example, having my own NextCloud servers at home, by avoiding Dropbox, and not ordering on Amazon any more. I try to be conscious of where I leave my data. At the same time, I use Twitter and Instagram. Most of my online input comes via Twitter. I depend on it, though it frustrates me. There’s a recipe for each – on Twitter you have to be negative to attract attention, and on Instagram you have to be positive, and post beautiful pictures. It’s very convenient to use all these platforms, but to be conscious about things is more complicated. I feel as though there’s a certain sense of fatigue with social media at the moment. Many people I know feel caught in between – it’s hard to leave these platforms, but people don’t want to be on them any more.

“ I feel as though there’s a certain sense of fatigue with social media at the moment. Many people I know feel caught in between – it’s hard to leave these platforms, but people don’t want to be on them any more.

Your work often employs tools of surveillance, such as surveillance cameras, in subversion of their purpose. Can the master’s tools dismantle the master’s house in this regard?
Aram: A surveillance camera is a valuable symbol because it’s a tool everyone understands. It’s an eye, it takes a pictures, it sends that picture somewhere else. Today it’s usually algorithms that scan them to look for, say, unusual movements. But then there’s what happens in your browser – tracking with cookies, for example, which no-one really understands.

Most people have a sense of what’s going on, but don’t feel like they can do anything about it. So I like to take these tools and use them in other ways – to have people re-think, question them. In my installation [“Pan, Tilt and Zoom”] last year [2018] I placed the cameras on the floor of the gallery. They were motorised, equipped with a tracking system they roll over the floor and seem helpless. People had other kinds of interactions with them, and hopefully questioned their purpose.

Does the right to privacy exist anymore? Have we eroded it through our collective obsession with self-surveillance – take selfie culture, and oversharing on social media?
Aram: There are two things at play here. Yes, a lot of people willingly share information on where they are and what they’re doing, but at the same time there’s this mass-scale surveillance – not in terms of the kind of government surveillance that [Edward] Snowden revealed, but rather commercial surveillance. When you walk around with your phone with the wifi on, it projects all the wifi connections to wherever you’re going. Even supermarkets have wifi tracking systems to see how you pass through the market or and when you return. We are already aware of this on a certain level – for example, when you go into a mattress store and get served advertising from them the next day. But it’s very hard to understand how this works. That happens on a very technical level, which seems very abstract to us. This is something we should be concerned about, as it’s a wild west out there right now. Companies can basically do whatever they want. Of course, since May [2018] there’s the [European Union] General Data Protection Regulation which is a first step towards regulation, but much more regulation still needs to occur.

“… it’s a wild west out there right now. Companies can basically do whatever they want. Of course, since May [2018] there’s the [European Union] General Data Protection Regulation which is a first step towards regulation, but much more regulation still needs to occur.

What can visitors to SMAC expect to encounter your upcoming exhibition?
Aram: “True Depth” refers to Apple’s technology for the iPhone X, which has infrared cameras implemented within the front camera. Whenever you look at the phone, there’s a infrared light dot pattern projected onto your face. Through measuring the distribution of these dots on your face, the software can build an actual 3D model of it. This is how facial recognition works. It’s convenient – you can unlock your phone just by looking at it – but its inner workings are invisible. For the show I have this disco ball, which represents disco – this fun, pop-culture, “let’s party” attitude, freedom. Then I have these two cameras. One projects infrared light onto the disco ball in a typical way, so dots of light are dispersed over the room, but the viewer can’t see them. The disco’s happening, but we can’t take part. The work is related to this phone technology, but it also relates to the commercial party that’s going on around us, tracking us, extracting information. All without any of it being visible to our eyes. Elsewhere in the gallery there will be the infrared view of the CCTV camera being streamed on a screen, so you can see the dot patter and get the view from the other side.

Then we have the webcam privacy screen. I saw it online and liked it very much as a sculpture – this round screen which attaches to the back of a chair. These screens are made for being on a webcam in front of a neutral background. They’re advertised as being good for business, with a blue or green background allowing you to look more professional – and you can also key out the colour and replace it. I’m interested in the simultaneous acts of looking at a screen and filming yourself while hiding what’s behind you. The process is similar when it comes to selfie culture. You see this often in the street – young kids taking ten or twenty just to get the right one. It’s very deliberate. It all ties in to the presentation of the self in a digital space, and how we cut out the noise and the background of our lives in the way we film ourselves.

This theme was explored in your recent work for the 2018 Thai Biennale, “Perfect Beach”. What sparked the idea for this work?
Aram: People fly to Thailand to find the perfect tropical beach, ones which are advertised all around us but also embody our collective idea of paradise. The empty beach has always been a symbol for freedom. The performance at the Biennale involved two performers carrying a big screen featuring an image of an idyllic beach across an already perfect beach. I was interested in confronting tourists with the question of why they went there. Because, of course, it’s never empty when you get there. Many people wanted to stand in front of the beach screen and take a picture – we’re so programmed to do that. I was hoping that would happen, but was amazed by how well it worked. But of course there were also people who were annoyed by it [laughs].

“I’m interested in the simultaneous acts of looking at a screen and filming yourself while hiding what’s behind you. The process is similar when it comes to selfie culture.

You’re currently presenting three works at the first Strasbourg Biennale, the theme of which is “being a citizen in the digital age”. What can visitors expect to experience when viewing your art there?
Aram: One work is part of the series “Are You Human?”, which is all about captcha codes. These used to be a string of characters we had to type in to prove that we’re human, but today all this has been replaced by the Google reCAPTCHA test. It has the same function, but we have to select these images, like ‘select all the cars’ you can see in the picture. On one hand, the purpose of this is to train Google’s self-driving cars, and on the other, to prove we’re human. The installation consists of this big code on the floor with twisted characters made from steel, and the reCAPTCHA prints on the wall. I’ve swapped in pictures of European borders and spam advertising text to remix this whole idea of reCAPTCHA, while drawing attention to the issue of borders, access to space and digital services.

2018 saw a slow – and far overdue – global public awakening to the risks and dangers of social media, largely due to a series of hacks and privacy scandals. What will this lead to in 2019?
Aram: Next step would be to get out of our current situation of a monopolised internet, and to take back control over our own lives. To decide what we want to do with our data. On one hand, there are policy questions, then there’s public awareness, but there’s a lot more that needs to happen on that front. The recent [January 2019] data leak that affected German politicians and celebrities invoked a paranoid press reaction. Which is perhaps good – for people to realise that we’re vulnerable. Once your information is out there, you can’t get it back. What we’re seeing now, with the links between populism and social media, makes it very easy to feel dystopian about these questions. But let’s try and stay positive. We need smart people to sit down and craft new plans that will allow us to use technology in ways that will help us, not just make a lot of money for a few.

“What we’re seeing now, with the links between populism and social media, makes it very easy to feel dystopian about these questions. But let’s try and stay positive.

Interview: Anna Dorothea Ker
Photos: Pamina Aichhorn

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