2020

Seasons of Media Arts

Group Show
9. September 2020 – 31. March 2021

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

Group Show
9. September – 30. November 2020

#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

On entering a living being. From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism

Group Show
18. May – 16. August 2020

Eintritt in ein Lebewesen. Von der Sozialen Skulptur zum Plattformkapitalismus
On entering a living being. From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism

When Joseph Beuys coined the phrase of the “social sculpture” in the 1970s, he was not aware of the development of the internet at the same time. However, in interviews and lectures he frequently hints at the possibility of a new kind of medium, that would allow the audience to participate and that could serve as a plattform for political debate and action.

With the international proliferation of the internet and the possibility of communication and cooperation that it has delivered, it is timely to compare its promise with the utopian ideas of Joseph Beuys. Has the net enabled new forms of collective creativity? Or does it serve as a means to turn this
“general intellect” (K. Marx) into raw material that companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter et al use to make a profit?

The exhibition with works by approximately 38 artists reflects the methods by which companies such as YouTube, Google, Fiverr or Amazon Mechanical Turk have made the exploitation of the creativity of their users into a business model. About half of the works were created in response to the current
“platform capitalism”. A selection of older works traces the idea of “collective creativity” back to original emancipatory ideas from the early days of the Internet such as “crowd sourcing” and finally to Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture”.

Over the last decade, a number of companies have made a business model out of offering plattforms for the sale of creative work on the web as online services or “microjobs”. Through providers such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Fiverr, creative services such as texts, designs, videos or apps can be commissioned for prices that are often far below the fee that a professional designer would charge. In many ways, the artistic works that were once thought of as “crowd sourcing art” – a genre that has its own Wikipedia entry by now – today seem like naive anticipations of these exploitative practices,
which in turn have also been reflected by artists in recent years.

The exhibition brings together works that comment on and criticize the “gig economy” that has emerged, and by juxtaposing them with works from the nineties and noughties, places them in a historical context that ultimately dates back to Joseph Beuys’ “social sculpture” – some of the artists involved even explicitly referenced Beuys and his slogan: “Everyone is an artist.” The exhibition will be accompanied by events that address the model of “platform capitalism” in the cultural sphere in discussions, video presentations and lectures.

Participating artists:
Cory Arcangel, Joseph Beuys, Aram Bartholl, Natalie Bookchin, Irene Chabr, James Coupe, Andy Deck, Constant Dullaart, Mark Flood, John D. Freyer, Aaron Koblin & Daniel Massey, Steffen Köhn, JODI, Miranda July & Harrell Fletcher, Olia Lialina, Jonas Lund, Judy Malloy, Michael Mandiberg, Neozoon, OMSK Social Club, Nam June Paik, Mark Salvatus, Sebastian Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso, Ralph Schulz, Guido Segni, Johannes StÜttgen, Alex Tew, Amalia Ulman, Van Gogh TV

Curated by Tilman Baumgärtel, Hochschule Mainz

The Supermarket Of Images

Group Show
11. February – 7. June 2020

We live in a world that is increasingly saturated with images. Their number is growing so exponentially – each day more than three billion images are shared on social networks – that the space of visibility seems to be literally inundated. As if it can no longer contain the images that constitute it. As if there were no more room, no more interstices between the images. This brings us closer to the point that Walter Benjamin imagined, almost a hundred years ago now, as “the one hundred percent image space”. Faced with such an overproduction of images, questions need to be asked, more than ever before, about their storage, management, transportation (even if it is electronic) and the paths they follow, their weight, the fluidity or viscosity of their exchanges, their fluctuating values – in short, questions about their economy.

In the book from which this exhibition is derived1, the economic aspect of the life of images is called iconomy. The works and artists chosen for the exhibition cast a keen and watchful eye over these issues. On the one hand, they reflect the upheavals that currently affect the economy in general, whether in terms of unprecedentedly large storage spaces, the scarcity of raw materials, labour and its mutations into intangible forms, or in terms of value and its new manifestations, such as cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, however, these works also question what happens to visibility in the age of globalized iconomies: caught up in an incessant circulation, the image – any image – appears increasingly like a freeze frame (arrêt sur image), that is as a temporary crystallization, as the provisionally stabilized balance of the speeds that constitute it.

In the supermarket on display here, images of the economy always involve the economy of the image. And vice versa, as if they were the recto and verso of the same page.

Particiapting artists:
Kevin Abosch, Aram Bartholl, Taysir Batniji, Samuel Bianchini, Robert Bresson, Sophie Calle, Maurizio Cattelan, Emma Charles, Chia Chuyia, Minerva Cuevas, DISNOVATION.ORG, Antje Ehmann, Sergueï Eisenstein, Max de Esteban, Harun Farocki, Sylvie Fleury, Beatrice Gibson, Máximo González, Jeff Guess, Andreas Gursky, Li Hao, Femke Herregraven, Lauren Huret, Geraldine Juárez, William Kentridge, Yves Klein, Martin Le Chevallier, Zoe Leonard, Auguste et Louis, Lumière, Kazimir Malévitch, Elena Modorati, László Moholy-Nagy, Andreï Molodkin, Ana Vitória Mussi, Trevor Paglen, Julien Prévieux, Wilfredo Prieto, Rosângela Rennó, Hans Richter, Martha Rosler, Evan Roth, Thomas Ruff, RYBN.ORG, Richard Serra, Hito Steyerl, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ben Thorp Brown, Victor Vasarely, Pierre Weiss

Curated by
Peter Szendy, Emmanuel Alloa and Marta Ponsa
Exhibition organised by the Jeu de Paume

2019

Link in bio

Group Show
17. December 2019 – 14. March 2020
MdbK, Leipzig

Opening 16.12. 6pm

The use of social media has become part of everyday life, established and young artists cannot and no longer want to do without it. They work with it. They are where their audience is. Once they were websites, now they’re social media, especially Instagram when it comes to visual arts.

After the protagonists of Net Art, the technology utopians of the early 1990s, soon realized that the Net would not undermine classical art institutions as exhibition venues, the next generation of artists who responded to the Internet took over. The buzzword Post-Internet Art quickly spread. The term was coined by the artist and theorist Marisa Olson: “I’m going to toggle back and forth between video and internet because some of the internet art that I make is on the internet, and some is after the internet.” What sounds like an attitude to life became a collective term for artists who, instead of making art in the browser, again made art for the exhibition space.

Social Media Art, on the other hand, takes up Net Art’s utopia of being able to democratize the art world. The audience can be reached directly via Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter. Young artists react to social media and their content, to new features and technologies.

The show “Link in Bio. Kunst nach den sozialen Medien” at the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig curated by Anika Meier presents over 50 works on how the production and reception of art change in the age of social media. The exhibition shows installations, photographs, sculptures, videos and paintings. The show is a follow-up to “Virtual Normality. Net Artists 2.0” (2018).

Participating artists: Thomas Albdorf, Jeremy Bailey, Viktoria Binschtok, Aram Bartholl, Arvida Byström, Nadja Buttendorf, Petra Cortright, Filip Custic, Constant Dullaart, Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, Anna Ehrenstein, Oli Epp, Tom Galle, Adam Harvey, Lauren Huret, Andy Kassier, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Olia Lialina, Brandon Lipchik, Jonas Lund, Jillian Mayer, Florian Meisenberg, Marisa Olson, Andy Picci, Sebastian Schmieg, Leah Schrager, Kristina Schuldt, Thomas Webb, Steffen Zillig and many others.

Opening 16.12.2019, 18 o’clock

The exhibition is sponsored by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

Open

Solo Show
26. September – 8. November 2019

For his first solo exhibition in Switzerland, Aram Bartholl delves in to origins, effects and legacies of our daily usage of social media through portable devices. Built on the ashes of a scaled, thin-paper model of the Facebook HQ front sign in Menlo Park, California, which burned down in a fire before the opening, the exhibition brings together in a cohesive installation a new set of printed, sculptural and video works.

A recent study reported on the New York Times by writer and journalist Benedict Carey, found that phone users switched screen activities every 20 seconds on average, and rarely spent more than 20 minutes uninterrupted doing any one of them. With the daily screen time of an adult being 8 to 10 hours today, scientists have started to look into our habits and screen-shifting patterns. Adapting the concept of genome, the genetic code that determines the characteristics of a living beings, experts feel now able to identify a “screenome”, as each individual screen-time experience appears to be sequential, disjointed and unique.

A series of floating open hands, the images of which are photos from an online stock agency, gesture towards one another in a semi-open position, as a sign of collaboration and participation as well as leading back to the way we hold our smartphones. The withstanding frame of the burned-up work remains on its ashes at the center of the room, while a video of the fire – apolitical act of protest against what is today the largest sharing platform, is playing on a screen. A number of disused phones lies on the ground on a pile of fire-retardant debris, some of which have come to cover copies of a free local newspaper on a nearby table. Inside, an article denounces swimmers’ difficulties in separating from their smartphone while in the waters of the river Aare, Switzerland.

The personal computer, the internet and, most recently, the smartphone represents a paradigm shift in the way we communicate today. The promise of openness and equality of the World Wide Web has now been superseded by gigantic sharing platforms such as Facebook which, together with our devices, collect and contain the most intimate track record of our emotional and personal history. Shading light on a society of which interactions are shaped and controlled by machines we cannot fully understand neither control, making us in fact controlled by them, Bartholl addresses electronic waste as a moment of emotional detachment from our past experiences though equally liberating from the slavery of control to which we are involuntarily subjected.