Current Events

The Glass Room

18. January – 26. November 2022
Group Show, MOD, Adelaide

The Glass Room MOD
The Glass Room is a public intervention that aims to educate about technology. With a sleek tech shop vibe, visitors can freely and critically discuss their relationships with data privacy.

Having toured Europe and the US, it will be visiting Australia for the first time in 2022.

From the tech boom to tech backlash, our understanding of the digital has become both deeply personal and deeply political. Our desire for convenience has given way to questions about the trade-offs for how much we can control our data and our understanding about how it is used.

The Glass Room is a place to explore these ideas. The objects here bring to life the hidden aspects of everyday technologies and examine how they are changing the way we live. The objects in The Glass Room provide unconventional and unexpected ways of seeing your relationship with your data.

As technology becomes embedded in every part of our lives, The Glass Room helps you look deeper into the digital: Does your personal data say everything about you, or is it an imperfect portrait? Do more tools, apps, and information make us better and more efficient, or are we giving away more than we want in return? What goes on behind the screens and inside the black boxes of the devices we interact with everyday? If we knew, would we still sign in or click ‘I agree’? How much trust do users invest in big tech companies, and what can be done if that trust is broken? If you want to learn more, you can visit our Data Detox Bar to pick up our Data Detox Kit, which offers you simple tips to enhance your digital privacy, security, and wellbeing.

Featured Artists:

Dries Depoorter, Aram Bartholl, Kiki Mager, Bengt Sjölén, Danja Vasiliev, Sebastian Schmieg, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, Tega Brain / Sam Lavigne, Kyriaki Goni, La Loma, and Tactical Tech

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Upcoming Events

On Equal Terms

15. – 25. September 2022
Group Show, Uferhallen, Berlin

From September 15 to 25, the Uferhallen will present the group exhibition On Equal Terms.

A large majority of Berlin-based artists are trying to resist the eco‐ nomic displacement of spaces for artistic experimentation. However, their language is sometimes forced to conform to a similar logic, as workplaces and artistic networks are labelled as “creative hubs” and “cultural capital.” In the struggle against the gentrification of spaces for living and working, these same spaces necessarily become subject to the cultural economy’s valorization process. What is the price to pay for entering the political bidding war for space? What is the relationship between cultural and monetary capital? Are both sides of the conversation on equal terms?

The group show examines, among other things, how art deals with mechanisms of the partly voluntary, partly forced commodification of cultural and artistic values. The exhibition will showcase works by approximately 25 artists from Uferhallen

Recent Events

DFG-Schwerpunktprogramms „Das digitale Bild”

7. – 9. July 2022
Talk, Online, Munich, Marburg

Metapolitisches Hüpfen

10. June 2022
Performance, Grosse Bergstrasse / Goetheplatz, Hamburg

Symposium und antifaschistische Hüpfburg
Große Bergstraße/ Goetheplatz, Hamburg
13:00-19:00 Uhr

Mohamed Amjahid (Vortrag & Diskussion)
Wie aus der Parallelgesellschaft herausspringen?
Über homogen weisse Räume in der Stadt

Aram Bartholl (Performance & Gespräch)
Greetings from Hamburg!
Wie umgehen mit geschichtsrevisionistischer Architektur?

Eduard Freudmann (Vortrag)
Kontextualisierung, Umgestaltung, Weggestaltung
Künstlerische und aktivistische Auseinandersetzungen mit geschichtspolitischen Manifestationen im öffentlichen Raum

Cornelia Siebeck (Thesen & gemeinsames Nachdenken)
Was wir „vergessen“ haben, oder:
Für eine Erinnerungsarbeit ohne Selbstvergewisserung

Nora Sternfeld (Vortrag)
Errungene Erinnerungen
Kontaktzonen umkämpfter und geteilter Geschichte

Gegenwärtig sind wir mit einer rechten Metapolitik konfrontiert, die mit kulturellen Setzungen versucht zivilgesellschaftliche Überzeugungen und kulturelle Diskurse jenseits von Parlamenten nach eigenen Vorstellungen zu verändern. Während das Konzept der Metapolitik eigentlich für den Aufbau einer demokratischen Zivilgesellschaft gedacht war, zielt die Neue Rechte darauf ab, gesellschaftliche Komplexität auf essentialistische Vorstellungen von Kultur, Nation und Volk zu reduzieren. Mit Rekonstruktionen historischer Architektur, ideologischer Inanspruchnahme von Orten, aber auch Angriffen auf Parlamente versucht sie abgeschlossene Identitäten zu konstruieren. Im Ringen um die kulturelle Hegemonie entwendet die Neue Rechte auch den Künsten ihre Strategien, mit denen zuvor noch für eine offene und vielfältige Gesellschaft eingetreten wurde. Sie richtet die performativen Methoden nun gegen die vielfältige Kultur selbst. Dafür dreht sie das kritische Potential der Künste in eine affirmative Symbolhaftigkeit um und verwendet das progressive Moment der Künste für ihre regressiven Ideen.

Obwohl die permanente Gefahr besteht, die entwickelten künstlerischen Praxen in den Händen von Personen mit autoritären und völkischen Vorstellungen wiederzufinden, besteht nach wie vor die Notwendigkeit mit Kunst Ideen davon zu entwickeln, wie wir als Gesellschaft gerne zusammenleben wollen. Metapolitisches Hüpfen bietet den Anlass, rechte Metapolitik zu diskutieren und schafft zugleich den Raum, um Gegenstrategien zu entwickeln. Um die Frage nach dem Umgang mit symbolischen Räumen so zuzuspitzen, dass sie sichtbar und diskutierbar wird, wird das Hambacher Schloss als Symbol für Demokratie aber auch nationalistische Vereinnahmung in eine antifaschistische Hüpfburg transformiert. Die Architektur wird zur Infrastruktur für ein eintägiges Symposium im öffentlichen Raum, das Widersprüchlichkeit zulässt und auf dem nicht nur theoretisch, sondern auch praktisch und performativ Strategien gegen rechte Metapolitik entwickelt, erprobt und debattiert werden.

Mit: Mohamed Amjahid, Aram Bartholl, Eduard Freudmann, Cornelia Siebeck und Nora Sternfeld
Konzeption: Frieder Bohaumilitzky
Grafikdesign Flyer & Plakat: Torben Körschkes

www.metapolitisches-huepfen.de

DeadDrops in H4v4n4

23. – 31. May 2022
Group Show, El Paquete Semanal, Havana

DeadDrops in H4v4n4 and !!!Sección ARTE [No. 37], Paquete Semanal, collaboration with Nestor Siré [May, 2022] Cuba.

Video des Monats

1. – 31. May 2022
Solo Show, HMKV, Dortmund

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents in monthly rotation current video works by international artists – selected by Inke Arns”

“TOP25”, 2018, video, 5:44 min

TOP25 is a series of short 3D animation sequences featuring the 25 most used passwords in the world. Standard, easy-to-guess passwords like ‘123456’ or ‘admin’—frequently the default preset passwords for routers and other devices in the past—still pose a significant security threat to computer systems in general. This collection of well-known passwords is presented in a style of 3D animation often used for YouTube intros. It is very common practice among YouTubers to use short and very to-the-point 3D animations of their logo and name to introduce their channels, and a whole scene of young YouTubers exchange and share the 3D source files (Blender 3D) online to help new channel producers generate their own intros. Though the animations are remixed and altered, the general aesthetics follow a very clear visual concept. All sequences in this video are original designs and arrangements by different creators; the text has been altered to match the top 25 passwords.

 

Blog Archive for Month: July 2020

Fossilien des Spätkapitalismus – Monopol

July 18, 2020

Aram Bartholl has salvaged rental bikes and scooters from the Spree River—and is now exhibiting them as material relics of the platform economy in Berlin

It takes a second to recognise these two-wheeled artefacts for what they really are: electric scooters and cheap rental bikes that are usually scattered around the city, their poisonous colours vying for our attention. The greenish layer of mud and algae coating them gives them the look of historical relics. Currently on view in the Journey into a Living Being exhibition at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, they could almost be objects from a fictional history, treasures recovered from Damien Hirst’s 2017 Wreck of the Unbelievable.

They have, in fact, merely been fished out of the Spree after being thrown in by people in a destructive rage. Perhaps out of frustration with the uncomfortable rickety wheels, or anger at how invasive the electric scooters have become, spreading through the city on a pretext of more environmentally friendly transportation. Artist Aram Bartholl has dredged them up again. In the brightly lit exhibition space, the bikes and scooters, now home to innumerable small crabs and worms, reveal themselves to be material outgrowths of platform capitalism dominated by web providers like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.
Calculated destruction.

The scores of scooter and bicycle suppliers in major international cities are currently faced with tough competition. Damage to the stock, which is treated with so much less care than private possessions, kicked, broken, thrown into rivers and canals, is factored into turnover calculations. The e-scooters in particular, with their resource-intensive lithium-ion batteries, lay bare the fact that sustainable, shared private transport turns out to have been an empty promise. Digital capitalism also produces huge piles of rubbish.

As a post-internet artist, Bartholl explores how the logic of the internet and the new economy is changing consumer behaviour and self-perception, and deconstructing our concept of privacy. Bicycles from companies like Nextbike, Mobike, and Lidl were featured in Bartholl’s 2017 work Your parcel has been delivered (to your neighbour). At that time, he collected them from public areas around the city, stacking them into a huge pile to create a sculpture in the private space of a gallery.

Article in german at ->

https://www.monopol-magazin.de/aram-bartholl-fossilien-des-spaetkapitalismus

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Crossing Property Lines

July 18, 2020

Prof. Agnes Förster and Martin Bangratz from Urban planing RWTH Aachen invited me to their podcast series “Whats Next“. Below their article accompanying the conversation in German. Thx!!

 https://www.planung-neu-denken.de/podcasts/crossing-property-lines/

Crossing Property Lines

The relatively soft lockdown in Germany has forced innovation on many firms and schools, revealing the country’s shortcomings in the area of digital transformation, such as broadband access. While some of Aram Bartholl’s friends in the arts and programming scene notice hardly any difference in their routines, other, less digitalized professions have been hit hard. For Mr. Bartholl himself, teaching online has turned out to be a challenge. But what struck him most was the temporary absence of urban public space as a platform for expression. It feels liberating to see large demonstrations back in the city, both for noble and questionable causes.

Aram Bartholl’s work has dealt with digital space since his thesis in architectural studies in 2001. Back then he started with simple interventions – taking boxes from computer games and placing them in the city. He was looking at games such as first-person shooters, where the knowledge of a virtual space is crucial to the gameplay. And he found himself wondering: what does it mean to place objects from a digital realm into physical space? Do the spaces merge, or do they still belong to separate worlds?

This dualism of what is analogue and what is digital is so intertwined these days, that we are unable to distinguish one from the other. […] Of course, everything that happens there is real, it has an effect on our lives. Aram Bartholl 06/2020

A number of techno-social upheavals of our lifetime have influenced Bartholl’s work, as he observes the permeation of digital technology. The first disillusionment around 2000, when the dotcom bubble burst, the introduction of smartphones in 2007, the rise of global Internet corporations. Aram Bartholl has followed these trends closely and is still astonished by the dynamics of these tools which are so inscribed in our society; a tweet by the American president may cause immediate reactions in the stock market or foreign relations. The effects of technological developments are also becoming increasingly manifest in our cities. An early example were delivery services that visibly affect urban logistics and business closures. More recently, electric scooters and bicycles have turned up in cities worldwide – demanding our attention with a colorful design reminiscent of animated icons back in a web 2.0 era. They are objects that seem to bring the promise of a trendy internet startup into urban space, Silicon Valley Solutionism arriving in cities around the globe. Unsurprisingly, their promise of a shift towards sustainable mobility has yet to occur, as that would require political guidance and many other factors to align.

Urban space has always been a native ground for Bartholl’s work. To him, it is more exciting than the white cube with its preconceived notions and expectations about art. Outside, the audience is random and may start a discourse that would never happen in a controlled artistic environment. To encourage people to think critically about the relationship of private property and public space, Aram Bartholl recently took rental bikes from the street to exhibit them as sculptures in a gallery. Visitors were still free to rent the bikes and take them back outside, but the project challenged people’s notions of ownership, of public and private space. In a follow-up project, Bartholl is fishing algae-covered electric scooters out of Berlin’s channels to display at Kunstraum Kreuzberg, showing once again that their promise of sustainability doesn’t hold water.

We are currently experiencing social media and the internet profoundly as a public space for discussion – in contrast to urban space – even though these platforms are run by private firms, with all the problems this entails. Aram Bartholl 06/2020

Just as private objects start to clog up public space, the digital space we perceive as public space is in fact in the hands of private corporations. Inoffensive mottos and ludic logotypes suggest harmlessness, but these firms are ultimately listed and profit-oriented. This seems problematic considering the history of privatization of other public infrastructures. Europe is hard-pressed to develop independent digital infrastructures.

In 2010, Aram Bartholl began a project that has since turned into a global movement: Dead Drops are flash drives embedded in a wall so that only the USB connector sticks out. Not connected to the internet, they constitute a statement against censorship and about the relationship between our new, digital reality, and the brick and mortar of cities. New Dead Drops still pop up, over 2.500 are currently listed globally [link: deaddrops.com]. Sharing things digitally through concepts such as open source and creative commons has led to unprecedented levels of collective production and consumption of content. Movements such as Fridays For Future or Black Lives Matter would not have been possible without the viral effects of social networks. In another recent example, the German hacker and programming community has pushed the government to adopt an open-source approach to their COVID19 tracking app.

Data should be free, Bartholl agrees, yet he urges us to consider what could happen with our data in the future. If research institutions are using photos found online to train artificial intelligence models that may ultimately be used for military purposes, it raises questions about the merit of uploading billions of images each day. And movements such as the alt-right have been quick to adopt internet and meme culture and learned to improve their own false-flag tactics.

Aram Bartholl continues his investigation of technology and space. Given the current discussion around the removal of outmoded monuments, he tinkers with augmented reality to attach digital artefacts to sculptures. And, referencing the hashtag #natureishealing, he announces that he will be fishing for more discarded bicycles in the river Spree.

Aram Bartholl is a Berlin based concept artist who investigates the relationship between digital and physical space. Since 2019, Bartholl teaches art with a focus on digital media as a professor at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

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