Current Events

Seasons of Media Arts

9. September 2020 – 31. March 2021
Group Show, ZKM - Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe

Seasons of Media Arts. Stadt der partizipativen Visionen
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien

Light installations, media projections on building facades and streets, artistic interventions, and experimental events will transform Karlsruhe during the »Seasons of Media Arts« into a stage for innovative, cooperative, and networked media art. Since September 11, 2020, a variety of media-based artistic projects has been on show in the urban space of Karlsruhe. These projects, accompanied by special programs designed by various institutions and initiatives in Karlsruhe, invite the public to interact and explore our information- and media technology-based reality.  Here, »media« are understood literally as expressive tools that open up artistic access to current issues such as the climate crisis or democracy in the age of social media.

with:
Aram Bartholl, Michael Bielicky, Jonas Denzel, Holger Förterer, Walter Giers, Mira Hirtz, Eva Judkins, Ulf Langheinrich, Alexander Liebrich, Christian Lölkes, Betty Rieckmann, Sabine Schäfer, Marie Sester, Ulrich Singer, Pong.Li Studios, Xenorama, Marco Zampella,

Better Off Online

9. September – 30. November 2020
Group Show, KÖNIG GALERIE / KÖNIG DIGITAL, Online

#KönigDigital: The international group show „better off online“ is presented by @koeniggalerie as part of @arselectronica. Enter the exhibition by typing ars.webb.game in your browser.

https://www.koeniggalerie.com/exhibitions/31662/world-wide-webb/
https://ars.webb.game/

“It is increasingly necessary to be able to think new technologies in different ways, and to be critical of them, in order to meaningfully participate in that shaping and directing“, writes James Bridle in his book “New Dark Age. Technology and the End of Future“. During the lockdown nearly everything that was left for the art world to connect, share and experience were digital devices and new technologies. The digital boom was hit by a wave of criticism of technology. Artists have always worked with new technologies, and at the same time critically question them.

Experiencing a global lockdown is an excuse for utopian escapism into a game environment as the only place left to experience and interact with art. The British artist Thomas @Webb built a virtual world for new media artists to share their thoughts on what technology is and could be.

The WORLD WIDE WEBB is a virtual world the digital visitor enters through the browser on a smartphone. It is a multiplayer video game, a digital exhibition space and a world full of art and characters the visitor is invited to interact with. Webb recreates the social spontaneity of the world pre-Covid-19. Net art is presented in its genuine medium, the digital realm, where video art is also easily accessible. The visitor meets AI avatars designed by Webb, to reflect the human nature and to question the use of technology in the digital age.

Artists: Koo Jeong A, Aram Bartholl, Alice Bucknell, Arvida Byström, Stine Deja, Keiken, Kesh, Jonas Lund, Rachel Maclean, Tabor Robak, Manuel Rossner, Nicole Ruggiero, Sebastian Schmieg, Thomas Webb

Concept: Anika Meier & Thomas Webb

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Upcoming Events

Mind Over Matter

11. December 2020 – 15. March 2021
Group Show, Technische Sammlungen Dresden, Dresden

MIND OVER MATTER, eine englische Redewendung, die mit der deutschen Volksweisheit DER WILLE VERSETZT BERGE verglichen werden kann.

Die Redewendung wird ebenso in der Parapsychologie für die Beschreibung von paranormalen Phänomenen, wie z.B. der Psychokinese verwendet. Es sollen im Rahmen der Ausstellung und des Vortragsprogramms vor allem Fragen der Bewusstseinsforschung, des Machine Learning und der Struktur des Selbst und Selbsterlebens nachgegangen werden. Seit jeher werden diese Fragen im Rahmen von Science-Fiction Literatur, aktuellen Filmreihen wie Matrix oder Westworld in Zukunftssettings projiziert, die mittels fortschrittlicher Technologie die Frage zu lösen versuchen, wie sich Geist und Bewusstseinsphänomene innerhalb von komplexen Materieansammlungen, die aus kleinsten, atomaren Bestandteilen zusammengefügt sind, entwickeln und manifestieren
kann. Diese aktuellen philosophischen Fragen, die sich anhand unserer technischen Errungenschaften in Hinblick auf elektronische Datenverarbeitung und umfassende Massenkommunikation mit neuer Vehemenz stellen, sind aber bereits seit Jahrhunderten auch in unseren Breiten im Zentrum der philosophischen Spekulationen, angefangen beim Bewusstseins- und Gottesbegriff von Rene Descartes und Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz im 17. Jahrhundert. Es werden unterschiedliche philosophische Grundfragen nach der Struktur des Seins, der Materie und der Zeit aufgeworfen, die mittels technologischer und künstlerischer Versuchsanordnungen erforscht werden.

Die Frage nach der Natur unseres Bewusstseins, und wie es möglich ist, dass es in unserem Universum existiert und es erlebt, ist wohl das faszinierendste Rätsel, mit dem wir konfrontiert sind. Das Forschungsgebiet der Künstlichen Intelligenz (KI) wurde nicht zuletzt ins Leben gerufen, um darauf eine Antwort zu finden. Die Medienkunst bezieht sich seit ihren Anfängen auf die Erforschungen dieses Verhältnisses von Mensch, Technologie und Bewusstsein, unter Zuhilfenahme technologischer und künstlerischer Modelle und technischer Hilfsmittel. In dem Versuch, auf Computern die kognitiven Prozesse des Menschen zu realisieren, entwickeln wir ein testbares Verständnis und Begriffe davon, wie elementare Informationsverarbeitungsprozesse zu komplexem Erleben führen, es handelt sich um nicht weniger als dem Versuch einer Theory of Everything , mittels der Spiegelung und Überführung in ein maschinell-abstraktes Informationsverarbeitungssystem, welches aber nach dem Vorbild der menschlichen Informationsverarbeitung modelliert wurde.

Was unterscheidet heutige KI-Systeme vom menschlichen Geist? Die heutigen Anwendungen der KI konzentrieren sich vor allem auf die Klassifikation von Daten und die Steuerung technischer Systeme. Unser Geist ist jedoch mehr als ein Klassifikator: er erschafft aktiv ein dynamisches Modell der Umwelt, einen Traum, der in den sensorischen Daten verankert ist, und den er erlebt und reflektiert. Künstlerische Arbeiten, die diese Modellierung in technischer wie humanistischer Hinsicht exerzieren und reflektieren sollen vorgestellt und diskutiert werden, dabei sind lokale, nationale und internationale Beiträge eingeladen.

Recent Events

Zeitmaschine

12. November 2020
Talk, FH Potsdam, Potsdam

Zeitmaschine: A mini conference at FH- Potsdam

with:
Kim Albrecht
Aram Bartholl
Dorit Mielke

Imagine you Wake Up and There is no Internet

22. October – 16. November 2020
Group Show, Romantso, Athens

What will happen if one day you wake up and there is no Internet?

The exhibition Imagine you wake up and there is no Internet explores the effects of ubiquitous connectivity and technology in everyday life. Starting from our obsession with digital technologies, the exhibition seeks to enhance the debate about the coexistence of human and machine in the 21st century.

13 artists and 5 art collectives showcase scenarios from the present time and the near future, strategies of disconnection and disorientation, evacuation and escape plans from the city, studies on the information society, snapshots from digital life and the infrastructures that allows us to be connected to the network, and new readings for the political period we are going through. Any sense of certainty for the present and the future seems to have been destabilised.

31 years after the creation of the world wide web, concepts such as space, time, value and labor have acquired new meaning. And these concepts will continue to take on new meaning as the technology that we use the most, changes at great speed leaving us -often- in the position of the observer with little space for manoeuvring. The levels of control and surveillance in the networks we navigate, whether resulting from political decisions or market trends, are often obscure. At the same time, everyday life and personal data have acquired a particular economic value within networks and our obsession with constant connectivity, can only accelerate a technological future where human behaviour becomes predictable or can be predicted to meet political or/and economic trends.

The works in the exhibition highlight moments and fragments of our digital life surfacing issues related to the human-machine relationship and its impact on the public sphere. The exhibition aims at contributing to the discussion on the constantly accelerating dynamics of the Network, our position within it, and finally, the boundaries between a human-driven versus a machine-driven technological world.

The exhibition presents new commissions and works from: Marina Gioti, Vaggelis Deligiorgis, Antonis Kalagkatsis, George Moraitis, Manos Saklas, Alexandros Tzannis, Jono Boyle and the new version of the work “Tracing Information Society – A Timeline” by Technopolitics group.

Participating Artists:
!Mediengruppe Bitnik & Low Jack (DE/FR), Aram Bartholl (DE), Jono Boyle (UK), Heath Bunting & Kayle Brandon (UK), Vaggelis Deligiorgis (GR), Exonemo (JP), Marina Gioti (GR), Antonis Kalagkatsis (GR), George Moraitis (GR), No Más / No More (GR), Manos Saklas (GR), Molly Soda (U.S.), Superflux (UK), Technopolitics (AT), Alexandros Tzannis (GR), Filipe Vilas-Boas (PT)

Curated by Katerina Gkoutziouli & Voltnoi Brege

 

Opencoil

16. October – 1. November 2020
Group Show, Berlin, Berlin

you are hereby invited to the opening of OPENCOIL.show

with most cities pavements flooded by ‘dockless sharing vehicles’, OPENCOIL presents works by 10 artists specially selected to fill the vacuum between private and public space. this show is an experimental attempt to physically engage with the rise of ‘landfill capitalism’ by reclaiming ‘micro-mobility’ infrastructure. decentralised and climate neutral. helmets not included.

concept & curated by Dennis de Bel & Anton Jehle

participating artists: Aram Bartholl, Constant Dullart, Dennis de Bel & Anton Jehle, JODI, Jonas Lund, Martin Howse, Mediengruppe Bitnik!, Rosa Menkman, Sarah Grant, Sofya Aleynikova

opening:
oct 16th, 7pm / zentrum f netzkunst, haus der statistik

showcase:
oct 17th / ko-markt, haus d statistik

roaming speedshow:
oct 26th – nov 1st / berlin

 

german:

OPENCOIL – The roaming Speedshow

Die Ausstellung OPENCOIL setzt sich mit den Auswirkungen von Mikro-Mobilitätsdiensten auf den Stadtraum auseinander, indem sie ihre dezentrale Infrastruktur als Ausstellungsraum nutzt und gleichzeitig die Bedingungen und Auswirkungen dieser Infrastrukturen auch zum Thema macht.

10 Künstler*innen wurden eingeladen, ihre Arbeiten auf einem kleinen Wifi Controller mit ~2MB Offline-Speicher zu präsentieren.

Diese „digitalen Galerieräume“ werden an 10 zufällig ausgewählten E-Scootern angebracht.
So fährt die Ausstellung, von den Nutzer*Innen der Roller unbemerkt, als „roaming Speedshow“ durch die Stadt.

Der aktuelle Standort der Kunstwerke kann ab dem 26 Oktober über diese Website verfolgt werden. Damit die Werke betrachtet werden können, muss die „Roller-Galerie“ im Stadtraum gefunden werden.

Sobald der Roller angemietet ist, erhalten die Besucher*innen über ihr persönliches Smartphone, Zugang zu dem 2MB großen Galerieraum und den ausgestellten Werken.

Während Kapazitätsbeschränkungen und die bevorzugte Vermeidung von Zusammenkünften in geschlossenen Räumen, traditionelle Galerien und Museen vor Herausforderungen stellen, zielt OPENCOIL darauf ab, die Ortsunabhängigkeit des Online mit der Materialität des Offline (und umgekehrt) zu verbinden. Die Infrastruktur der „Mikro-Mobiltitätsdienste“ wird übernommen – klimaneutral und dezentral.

Die Gehwege vieler Städte auf der ganzen Welt wurden in den letzten Jahren von sogenannten ‘dockless sharing vehicles’ regelrecht überflutet. Mit Versprechungen von Umweltfreundlichkeit und Elektromobilität, besetzten diese Risikokapitalismus Aktivisten die Grauzone zwischen privatem und öffentlichem Raum auf den Straßen unserer Städte. Diese gewissenlose Gewissenhaftigkeit der “Mikro-Mobilitätsdienste” wirft jedoch wichtige Fragen zu städtischem Raum, Eigentum, Agentur, Produktion, Ökologie und sehr spätem Kapitalismus auf.

Wie umgehen mit der Inbesitznahme öffentlichen Raums?
Welche Werkzeuge und Wege gibt es sich diesen zurückzuerobern?

OPENCOIL soll nicht nur ein Pandemie-tauglicher Weg sein, um Kunst im öffentlichen Offline-Raum zu zeigen. OPENCOIL ist auch eine kreative (Um-)Nutzung von E-Scootern, ein Versuch, sich ihnen mit künstlerischen Mitteln zu nähern.
Gezeigt werden Arbeiten, die sich mit Fragen der Überschneidung von öffentlichem und privatem Raum, dem Umgang mit Ressourcen sowie mit Greenwashing, Risikokapitalismus und Vandalismus befassen.

 

Blog Archive for Tag: truedepth

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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