Full project page here!! –> http://www.datenform.de/keepalive-eng.html
Aram Bartholl 2015
permanent outdoor installation
material: rock, steel, router, usb-key, thermoelectric generator, fire, software, PDF database
size: 100 x 110 x 90 cm
at Landart Kunstverein Springhornhof Neuenkirchen, Niedersachsen, Germany
commissioned by Center for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg
curated by Andreas Broeckmann, Leuphana Arts Program
inauguration: Sunday, August 30, 2015, 11:00 am at Springhornhof
The boulder from the region Neuenkirchen, Niedersachsen contains a thermoelectric generator which converts heat directly into electricity. Visitors are invited to make a fire next to the boulder to power up the wifi router in the stone which then reveals a large collection of PDF survival guides. The piratebox.cc inspired router which is NOT connected to the Internet offers the users to download the guides and upload any content they like to the stone database . As long as the fire produces enough heat the router will stay switched on. The title Keepalive refers to a technical network condition where two network endpoints send each other ’empty’ keepalive messages to maintain the connection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keepalive To visit the piece please arrange an appointment with Springhornhof.de.
The project “Keepalive” by Aram Bartholl was realised in the context of the research project “Art and Civic Media”, as part of the Innovation Incubator Lüneburg, a large EU project funded by the European Fund for Regional Development and the Germna State of Lower Saxony.
Official Invitation (german)
You are warmly invited to the Keepalive opening on Sunday, 30th of August 2015
11.00 a.m. Meeting point at Kunstverein Springhornhof
Leave for Hartböhn by car (approx. 10 min) or by bicycle (approx. 20 min, rental bikes are available)
Greeting: Prof. Dr. Martin Warnke (Chair of Art Association)
In discussion: Andreas Broeckmann (Leuphana Arts Program) & Aram Bartholl
Food, drinks and data sharing at the campfire
“Keepalive” by Aram Bartholl (*1972 in Bremen) looks just like a normal rock from the outside. There is no sign that the stone, which lies inconspicuously in Lüneburger Heide on the edge of idyllic Hartböhn, contains hundreds of digital books. An internal thermoelectric generator and WiFi router must be activated by a lighting a fire under the rock before an electronic survival guide library can be accessed. Data and text can also be added by smartphone or laptop.
Media artist Aram Bartholl works with paths of knowledge and information communication that work against the developments of the digital age and question our handling of data. In this and other projects, he undermines power structures and control mechanisms in the use of internet services and data transmission, mostly through the introduction of a random, uncontrollable element.
In “Keepalive” the stone itself becomes the data medium. In a very archaic, but at the same time clandestine manner, information can be exchanged only locally — in contrast to networked servers, services and clouds worldwide, this rock is not connected to the internet. You have to get close to nature in the countryside, find the stone and make a fire to activate the data source. Anyone can do it once they have found out the exact location of the stone from either the nearby Kunstverein Springhornhof or another source.
Following the advice in the survival guides prepares you — this is the promise at least — for solo survival in the chaotic world of computer programming as much as for solo survival in the wilderness. “Keepalive” examines what “survival” really means and sounds out our true needs. The work resists the centralising forces of the Internet, raises questions about the democracy of knowledge management and ignites an autonomy backlash.” (Jennifer Bork)
The “Keepalive” project by Aram Bartholl was created in conjunction with the research project “Art and Civic Media” as part of Innovations-Inkubators Lüneburg, a major EU project supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the State of Lower Saxony.
Ihr Paket ist abholbereit
On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Kunsthalle Osnabrück is showing Aram Bartholl’s most comprehensive solo exhibition to date. Aram Bartholl is one of the pioneers in Germany who deals with socially relevant conflicts of digitality and automation through art. Originally coming from the field of architecture, he uses his performative interventions, sculptures and workshops to question our current media behaviour as well as the public economies that are linked to social networks, online platforms or digital distribution strategies. He puts socially relevant topics such as surveillance, data security or dependency on technology up for discussion by transferring the gaps, contradictions or absurdities of our digital everyday life into spatial settings.
For the Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Aram Bartholl transformed the Kunsthalle´s church space into a walk-in recycling yard for electronic waste. The scenery is illuminated by three sculptures hanging from the ceiling, reminiscent of chandeliers that are made from recycled televisions. The result is a sensual as well as functional installation of complementary exhibition parts that invite us to reflect on the cycles, consequences and future perspectives of our daily consumption of media and goods. The walk-through parcours made of piled up electronic waste makes the amount of recycled material of our belongings visible and creates a unique environment for a diverse art mediation programme including workshops, plena by local climate activists, repair cafés, excursions, lectures and film screenings. Oversized QR codes on the church walls frame the setting and raise critical questions about our handling of energy resources, raw materials and labour rights in the digital society. Opposing the electronic waste, the exhibition contains a 30-metre-long DHL Packstation, which is put into operation during the exhibition period. Osnabrück citizens and visitors are able to pick up their parcels at the Kunsthalle Osnabrück and drop them off in the respective lockers.
Curators: Anna Jehle and Juliane Schickedanz
Curators public programme: Louisa Behr, Joscha Heinrichs, Anna Holms and Christel Schulte.
Funded by the Stiftung Niedersachsen (Foundation of Lower Saxony) and the Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture). The VGH Stiftung (VGH Foundation) is funding the accompanying exhibition’s art mediation programme. With the kind support of Deutsche Post AG, Lerec Elektrorecycling GmbH and Osnabrücker ServiceBetrieb.
Curated by: Anna Jehle, Juliane Schickedanz (duo team, directors of Kunsthalle)
Curatorial assistance: Anna Holms
Public Programming: Aram Bartholl, Louisa Behr, Joscha Heinrichs, Anna Holms, Christel Schulte
Installation team: Norbert Hillebrand, Timo Katz, Andreas Zelle
Exhibition office: Natali Märtin
Visitor service: Frank Berger, Ulla Brinkmann, Harcharan Gill, Sina Lichtenberg, Kaan Ege Önal, Josef Wegmann
Finances: Viktoria Puskar
Janitor: Wilfried Wienstroer
Janitorial assistance: Frank Berger
PR: Kristina Helena Pavićević
Art mediation and education: Christel Schulte