Current Events

Me And My Machine

18. September – 13. December 2021
Group Show, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg

Glass Room – An exhibition by Tactical Tech

16. August – 24. October 2021
Group Show, dbieb, Leeuwarden

Supermarket of Images

28. May – 10. October 2021
Group Show, Red Brick Art Museum, China

Red Brick Art Museum will present Le supermarché des images on May 28 thanks to the efforts of Chief Curator Peter Szendy, professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities at Brown University, and assistants Emmanuel Alloa and Marta Ponsa. 39 artists and groups will participate and offer over 50 works using a variety of media, such as photography, painting, sculpture, videos, and installations. Artists include Maurizio Cattelan, Yves Klein, Andreas Gursky, Robert Bresson, William Kentridge, Sophie Calle, and Kevin Abosch, the last being an NFT artist who has recently found himself standing in the limelight.

The theme is inspired by the concept of “iconomy” that developed in Peter Szendy’s 2017 book Visible Supermarkets: The Universal Economy of Images. Living during an era marked by image overproduction, he sought to explore a new way of understanding these icons. It was more appropriate than ever to ask questions about the economic importance of images and their storage, velocity of circulation, component materials, and fluctuations in value. how to represent economic processes that often escape our mind, and how to think about the image from an economic standpoint. In short, how images have become a new form of capital.

In concert with the “supermarket” metaphor, the exhibition discusses five image-based perspectives: “Stocks, Raw Materials, Work, Values and Exchanges”. The event aims to take a keen look at the profit and loss of the image economy and shall present current hot topics including the abuses of images, internet giants and their fingers in every pie, the protection of personal information, “micro jobs” and digital labor, and cryptocurrencies. Those are the “bricks” that we use to construct the world we live in today and our modern lifestyle which undergoes reshaping and changing.

As part of the 15th Le Festival Croisements, Le supermarché des images (The Supermarket of Images) is organized by the Jeu de Paume and the Ambassade de France en Chine, with the support of the Institut français de Pékin.

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Upcoming Events

Decision Making – L’instant décisif

9. December 2021 – 13. March 2022
Group Show, Canadien Cultural Centre, Paris

Decisions are the result of complex cognitive processes. Considering them collectively when they involve our shared futures makes them harder to make. But, more and more often, we include machines into such processes through algorithms qualified as decisional. Of course, it raises questions that artists know how to put into perspective. Because of the age that we are currently living in, a brief instant regarding the whole history of our planet, is decisive considering the choices available to us for a responsible development of Artificial Intelligence. Therefore, it is now that human rights are at stake, for instance, about what will emerge from the use of our personal data. The consideration of artworks coming from decisive processes connecting humans to machines could only spring us into an immediate future that still belongs to us.

Curated by Dominique Moulon & Alain Thibault

Domestic Drama

2. December 2021 – 20. February 2022
Group Show, Halle Für Kunst, Graz

Museum of Cryptography

10. November 2021 – 23. June 2022
Group Show, Museum of Cryptography, Moscow

2021 году в Москве откроется первый в России Музей криптографии.

Широкой аудитории будет представлено прошлое, настоящее и будущее криптографии, математики и смежных дисциплин. Музей криптографии станет новой точкой притяжения на карте города — местом, где доступно и просто говорят о развитии современных технологий.

Здание, в котором будет расположен Музей криптографии, впервые откроет свои двери для широкой публики. В советские годы это была знаменитая «шарашка» в Марфино, где ученые разрабатывали аппаратуру для шифрования телефонной связи.

Важной частью музея станут мультимедийные экспонаты, инфографика и интерактивные островки формата look&feel, а также редкие экземпляры научных трудов.

Внимание! Молодежная команда Музея криптографии сформирована. Подробности

Glass Room – An exhibition by Tactical Tech

5. November 2021 – 16. January 2022
Group Show, OBA, Amsterdam

The Principle of Hope

16. October 2021 – 27. February 2022
Group Show, Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing

Exhibition Title: The Principle of Hope

Artistic Directors: Carol Yinghua Lu, Luo Xiaoming

Curatorial Team: Huang Wenlong, Li Xiangning, Liang Chouwa, Yin Shuai, Jerome, Zhou Boya, Zhu Siyu

Exhibition Dates: 30 Sep 2021 (TBC) to 27 Feb 2022

Venue: Inside-Out Art Museum, 50 Xingshikou Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China

Recent Events

Hypernormalisation

30. July – 13. August 2021
Solo Show, Kunstsommer Arnsberg, Arnsberg

Visitors of the Bürgeramt Arnsberg are invited to have their portrait taken which in the following is run through a face recognition software. Choose an emoji, font and color to have your face ‘de-recognized’. The resulting picture is directly printed on A3+ Hahnemühle art photo paper for you to take home!

“Hypernormalisation”
Opening, Friday 30.7. 11:00-13:00
2.8.-13.8. 10:00-16:00
Historisches Rathaus Arnsberg
Organized by @kulturarnsberg thx!

Supported by:
@kultursekretariatguetersloh
#ministeriumkulturwissenschaftnrw
@stadtverwaltung_arnsberg

Credits:
thx @nadjalien for test portrait!
thx @tlsaeger for code!
thx @schw__rz for invitation design!

 

 

pictures

Artist Talk

10. June 2021
Talk, +CODE, Buenos Aires

Thinking landscapes: Beyond a framework

9. – 12. June 2021
Group Show, +CODE, Buenos Aires

How to Win at Photography

5. June 2021 – 5. September 2021
Group Show, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur

How to Win at Photography – Image-Making as Play explores the relationship between photography and play. It investigates the notion of image play, creating unexpected connections between the history of photography, the gamification of the visible as well as practices of image making with and within computer games.

The group exhibition How to Win at Photography includes more than forty positions from contemporary and 20th century photography. Through an assemblage of multimedia artworks and vernacular images, the exhibition questions the very meaning and function of photography today.

Are we playing with the camera or is the camera ultimately playing us? Are we really in charge or are we mere pawns in larger technical, social, cultural and economic networks? What can a playful photographer achieve on a political and socio-cultural level? Who and what is performing the act of seeing and capturing – humans, machines or a combination of both? Who is playing along? And finally, can this game be won? These are just some of the questions posed by How to Win at Photography.
The exhibition invites visitors to focus on the playful aspects of photography. The exhibition looks at artists and photographers who play with – and sometimes against – the camera, document the environments of videogames and question the notion of identity, gender and class.

With works by: Cory Arcangel, Aram Bartholl, Dorothée Elisa Baumann, Justin Berry, Julius Brauckmann, Alan Butler, Claude Cahun, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Dries Depoorter & Max Pinckers, Philipp Dorl, Constant Dullaart, Harun Farocki, Christopher Graves, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Beate Gütschow, Jon Haddock, Emily Hadrich, Florence Henri, Roc Herms, John Hilliard, Yuyi John, Rindon Johnson, Andy Kassier, Sherrie Levine, Gloria López Cleries & Sive Hamilton Helle, René Mächler, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Joan Pamboukes, Steven Pippin, Michael Reisch, Tabor Robak, Ria Patricia Röder, Lorna Ruth Galloway, Ed Ruscha, Emma Agnes Sheffer, Cindy Sherman, Guido Segni, Andrew Stine, Petra Szemán, Akihiko Taniguchi, Danielle Udogaranya, Coralie Vogelaar, Tamás Waliczky and Ai Weiwei.

In collaboration with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image at London South Bank University.

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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