Current Events

Out Of Bounds

1. February – 2. March 2024
Group Show, SEAGER gallery, London

The first in a four-part exhibition series exploring how artists make work with and about video games, Out of Bounds is an exhibition investigating the architecture of game spaces. The exhibition will reflect upon how artists use game development software within their practice to comment upon the video game landscape, alongside our collective fascination with seeing what’s beneath the surface of both the games we play and the spaces we encounter on a daily basis.

Each exhibition in the series will be accompanied by a reading list of books that inspired the ideas behind the exhibition, as well as a number of books selected by the exhibiting artists that inform their practice, available to read within the gallery space.

With artworks from Aram Bartholl, Bob Bicknell-Knight, Alice Bucknell, Mario Mu, Rosa-Maria Nuutinen, Everest Pipkin, Amba Sayal-Bennett and Mathew Zefeldt, curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight.

Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight

Transmediale Exhibition: you’re doing amazing sweetie

31. January – 29. February 2024
Group Show, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

Exploring the horror of content, the 37th edition of transmediale you’re doing amazing sweetie questions how logics of content production determine and frustrate our relations to technology. The festival takes place from January 31 to February 4, 2024 at silent green Kulturquartier, Akademie der Künste, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The festival’s main exhibition will be on view at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien.

Decoding the Black Box

27. January – 2. June 2024
Group Show, Galerie Stadt Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen

Die Ausstellung Decoding the Black Box bringt Künstlerinnen und Künstler zusammen, die Licht in diesen dunklen Raum und die Prozesse werfen, die sich in ihm ereignen. Sie legen dabei nicht nur die Funktionsweisen digitaler Technologien wie beispielsweise von künstlicher Intelligenz offen, sondern visualisieren zugleich die Auswirkungen, die sie auf unsere Wahrnehmung von Realität und unser In-der-Welt-Sein haben. Während sie die ökonomischen und machtpolitischen Strukturen der digitalen Technologien und insbesondere des Internets transparent machen, zeigen sie Gegenentwürfe für eine dezentralisierte, humanere und demokratischere Nutzung ebendieser auf.

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Ihr Paket ist abholbereit

8. July 2023 – 25. February 2024
Solo Show, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück

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.

Credits:

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

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Enigma

25. February 2023 – 25. February 2024
Group Show, Museum of Communication, Kopenhagen

Communication pervades our lives more than ever before. With the digital channels, we are constantly accessible and can publish ourselves wherever and whenever we want. But despite the many great opportunities, the tide of information may often appear confusing, polarizing or hateful, and our public conversation is challenged.

On November 19, 2022, ENIGMA will open new exhibition areas and a large children’s area, in which we look forward to welcoming everyone.

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Upcoming Events

Urban Art Biennale

26. April – 10. November 2024
Biennial, Völklinger Hüttte, Saarbrücken

Killyourphone workshop

13. April 2024
Workshop, Transmediale exhibition hosted by Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

14:00 – 16:00

Killyourphone is an open workshop format. Participants are invited to make their own signal blocking phone pouch. In the pouch the phone can’t send or receive any signals. It is dead! This workshop was run for the first time at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg end of 2013.

Killyourphone workshop

23. March 2024
Workshop, Transmediale exhibition hosted by Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

14:00 – 16:00

Killyourphone is an open workshop format. Participants are invited to make their own signal blocking phone pouch. In the pouch the phone can’t send or receive any signals. It is dead! This workshop was run for the first time at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg end of 2013.

Killyourphone workshop

9. March 2024
Workshop, Transmediale exhibition hosted by Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

14:00 – 16:00

Killyourphone is an open workshop format. Participants are invited to make their own signal blocking phone pouch. In the pouch the phone can’t send or receive any signals. It is dead! This workshop was run for the first time at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg end of 2013.

Home Smart Home

8. March – 30. May 2024
Solo Show, Kunstverein Rotenburg, Rotenburg

Der Kunstturm
4 Etagen – 122 Stufen – 24 m

Eigentlich sollte der nicht mehr benötigte Schlauchturm der Feuerwehr Mitte der 90er Jahre abgerissen werden, um Parkraum für das Erlebnisbad “Ronolulu” zu schaffen. Aber Peter Möhl, damaliger Geschäftsführer der Stadtwerke und damit Eigentümer des Turms, schwebte eine sinnvolle Nachnutzung vor. Zusammen mit dem 2. Vorsitzenden des Kunstvereins, dem Architekten Jürgen Lohmann, wurde die Idee geboren, den Turm zu einer Galerie umzubauen.
Lohmann entwarf einen modernen Anbau als Entree, ließ vier Ebenen in den Turm einbauen und führte die erforderlichen Sanierungsmaßnahmen mit viel Rücksicht auf die vorhandene Bausubstanz durch. Seit 1996 ist der “Kunstturm” Domizil des Kunstvereins Rotenburg e.V. und, wie es der Kulturminister des Bundes (Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien), Bernd Neumann, anlässlich eines Besuchs seinerzeit formulierte, “ein Leuchtturm der Kunst in Niedersachsen”.

Recent Events

Killyourphone workshop

24. February 2024
Workshop, Transmediale exhibition hosted by Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Berlin

14:00 – 16:00

Killyourphone is an open workshop format. Participants are invited to make their own signal blocking phone pouch. In the pouch the phone can’t send or receive any signals. It is dead! This workshop was run for the first time at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg end of 2013.

#linkchain – workshop by Nadja Buttendorf

22. February 2024
Workshop, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück

BYOP – Bring Your Own Pulli and print it! Besucher:innen sind eingeladen einen Pullover oder T-Shirt mitzubringen, um diese vor Ort bedrucken zu lassen. Mit der Robotron #linkchain. Die #linkchain ist ein YouTube-Link. Der Link führt zu Nadja Buttendorfs Webserie Robotron: Robotron – a tech opera SEASON 3D. [Eine Webserie ist eine Serie im Internet.]. Robotron – a tech opera ist die erste Seifenoper, die in der Computerindustrie der DDR spielt. Sie beschäftigt sich mit der Computerentwicklung und dem Alltag in Ostdeutschland. [Eine Seifenoper ist eine Serie. Oft geht es um Liebe und um Beziehungen.]

Der Workshop ist kostenfrei. Du musst dich nicht anmelden.
Bring einen Pullover oder ein T-Shirt mit!

Teil des Vermittlungsprogramms zur Ausstellung Ihr Paket ist abholbereit(08.07.2023–25.02.2024) von Aram Bartholl in der Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

Warum sind Daten poltisch? – Von digitalen Diensten zu realen Ungerechtigkeiten

14. January 2024
Workshop, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück

15:00 – 17:00 Uhr

Jeden Tag produzieren wir alle Unmengen an Daten. Doch was passiert eigentlich damit? Und was haben unsere Daten mit sozialer Gerechtigkeit zu tun? Damit beschäftigt sich das Studienprojekt Data Ethics Outreach Lab. Masterstudierende der Universität Osnabrück richten den Blick auf die gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen von Daten. Es beleuchtet, wie durch die Verarbeitung von Daten Machtungleichheiten entstehen. In dieser interaktiven Veranstaltung zeigt das Forschungsprojekt, warum Daten und Datenschutz uns alle etwas angehen.

Die Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei. Du musst dich dafür nicht anmelden.

Die interaktive Informationsveranstaltung ist Teil des Vermittlungsprogramms zur Ausstellung Ihr Paket ist abholbereit (08.07.2023–25.02.2024) von Aram Bartholl in der Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

Reparatur- und Nachhaltigkeitsmesse „2.Chance!“

13. January 2024
Workshop, Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Osnabrück

13:00 – 18:00 Uhr

Bei der Reparatur- und Nachhaltigkeitsmesse 2. Chance! stellen die verschiedenen Reparatur-Gruppen aus Osnabrück und Umgebung sich und ihre Ziele vor. Interessierte Besucher:innen können gebrauchte, reparierte Elektro-Geräte kaufen. Dazu gibt es verschiedene Informationsangebote und eine Einladung zum gemeinsamen Gespräch über das Thema Nachhaltigkeit. Zusammen denken wir auch über unsere eigene Verantwortung nach.

Die Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei. Du musst dich nicht anmelden.

Teil des Vermittlungsprogramms zur Ausstellung Ihr Paket ist abholbereit(08.07.2023–25.02.2024) von Aram Bartholl in der Kunsthalle Osnabrück.

Blog Archive for Tag: smacberlin

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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True Depth

January 15, 2019

True Depth — Aram Bartholl
Solo show at SMAC Berlin

Opening event: 24.01.2019 | 19h
Duration: 25.01 – 10.03.2019
Opening Hours: Friday – Sunday, 13h – 19h

For his upcoming solo show True Depth at SMAC Aram Bartholl creates a new set of works discussing the changing circumstances of personal space in today’s screen based, app connected world. While the smartphone introduced new ways of very intimate communication, Internet advertising companies monetize in large scale on these interactions. Traveling alone in public space became the perfect situation for personal interaction on small screens. “Don’t sit next to me on the bus. I am watching gay porn.” (quote Twitter). While out with friends the restaurant bathroom turns into a place to check the phone instead of actually going there to relieve one self. Post social spaces.
The title True Depth refers to the latest iPhone camera 3D scanning technology to improve face recognition. Invisible infrared patterns questions the personal space between eyes and screen. “Where are you?”

Security Personal Information Protection High Strength Spring Anchor Collapsible

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