Aram Bartholl – Blog

new works, shows, talks, workshops, press, speed projects, pictures ….

Archive for February, 2012

Google portraits at ‘Reply All’

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3 new Google Portraits currently on show at ‘Reply All’ [DAM] Berlin

Petra Cortright – eng., ink on paper, 80 x 80 cm

Vera Molnar – eng., ink on paper, 80 x 80 cm

Olia Lialina – eng., ink on paper, 80 x 80 cm


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February 10th, 2012 at 10:06 pm


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OI (during daytime) from Aram Bartholl on Vimeo.

OI (at night) from Aram Bartholl on Vimeo.

OI – series
premiered at  [DAM Berlin] ‘Reply All’ solo show, Jan 27 – March 10,  2012

4 unique pieces
50 x 5 x 160 cm
LED signs, wooden rod, wooden board

Aram Bartholl 2012

Dedicated to the Open Internet! (…it s really hard to capture the awesome brightness of these panels …)

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February 9th, 2012 at 9:51 pm

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[DAM] Drop

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Drop your files at the [DAM] Berlin deaddrop while checking the show !!

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February 7th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

‘Analoger Aufruhr’

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A piece by Julika Nehb  about my solo show at [DAM] Berlin in Kunst Magazin (german)

Aram Bartholl – Analoger Aufruhr

Publiziert am 31. Januar 2012 von Julika Nehb
Aram Bartholl: Map, seit 2006, Installation im öffentlichen Raum, Skulptur, 6 x3,50 x 0,35 m, Courtesy Galerie DAM Berlin.
Sie befinden sich: Hier! Wie eine Welt aussehen kann, in der virtuelle Zeichen das Erscheinungsbild der Wirklichkeit prägen, und nicht umgekehrt, ist eine Frage, der Aram Bartholl in seiner aktuellen Ausstellung “Reply All” in der Galerie [DAM] Berlin nachgeht. Diese ist im Herbst von der Tucholskystraße in die Neue-Jakobsstraße umgezogen – und auch ohne überdimensionale, von googlemaps inspirierte Ortsangaben zu finden.

Bartholls Arbeiten üben nicht nur einen rein ästhetischen Reiz aus, sie laden verspielt-humorvoll zu Grenzgängen zwischen Online- und Offlinewelt ein. Dabei schwingt das Bewusstsein potentieller politischer Wirksamkeit stets mit. Konsequent bedient sich Bartholl daher performativ ausgerichteter künstlerischer Formen wie Interventionen im öffentlichen Raum, Performances und Ready-Mades.

Aram Bartholl: DeadDrops, seit 2010, Urbane Intervention, Courtesy Galerie DAM Berlin
Der digitale Datenaustausch zwischen Unternehmen wird unmöglich, wenn Bartholl USB-Sticks in Gebäudewände einmauert: das vermittelt die Arbeit “DeadDrops”. Nicht nur um physisch erlebbare Entschleunigung, sondern um die Entdigitalisierung des Digitalen geht es dem Künstler: “Im Netz entwickelt sich alles extrem schnell. Ich habe das Bedürfnis, etwas zu schaffen, was sich um dieses Thema dreht, aber trotzdem Bestand hat”.

Auch zu netzpolitischen Phänomenen wie der Internet-Guerilla-Bewegung “Anonymous” nimmt Bartholl Stellung. Jeder Besucher der Ausstellung kann selbst eine Guy-Fawkes-Maske herstellen und bekommt dadurch die Möglichkeit, Teil der Bewegung zu werden – oder zumindest mit dem Gedanken daran zu spielen: In der “Anonymous”-Bewegung spiegelt sich die Idee eines freien, netzbasierten Informations- und Kreativitätskollektivs, das ohne hierarchische Organisation, ohne determinierte Identität politische Handlungsfähigkeit demonstrieren kann.

Aram Bartholl demonstriert bei der Performance “How to vacuum Form” die Herstellung der Guy-Fawkes -Masken.Foto: Julika Nehb

Das Werk des in Bremen geborenen Bartholl wurde 2011 durch eine Ausstellung im MoMA geadelt. Die Ausstellung in Berlin läuft noch bis zum 10.3.2012. Galerie [DAM] Berlin, Neue Jakobsstrasse 6-7, 10179 Berlin-Mitte, Di-Fr 12-18h, Sa 12-16h.

by Julika Nehb  about my solo show at [DAM] Berlin in Kunst Magazin

Written by Aram

February 7th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Posted in press

Dust to Dust

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Block Quotes: Dust to Dust

It might be easy to question the logic of building a 1:1 scale model of a Counter-Strike map out in the desert (read: life-size!). But for Aram Bartholl, this is a natural progression of his work that explores the permeable line between online and offline worlds. What’s even more remarkable is that he’s been doing this since before social media became our zeitgeist.

Dust, which will be built this year with a commission from Rhizome, goes beyond elevating popular culture into the realm of art. Bartholl’s project questions  the physical nature of reality and highlights the moment of discomfort that occurs when something in the digital world infiltrates real space. In a 2004 public installation, Bartholl made replicas of the recognizable wooden crates from Counter-Strike’s “de_dust” (or “Dust”) map, highlighting their change in function from a packing medium in real life to a strategic and spatial mechanism for a competitive shooter. At the same time however, like the environment of “Dust” itself, the crates were “generic, duplicatable and locationless,” underscoring the repetitive elements of game design.

In 2006, Bartholl began dropping oversized Google Map markers—a signifier of our tech-enabled lives—into real spaces. In doing so he whimsically acknowledged the revolutionary shift Google has placed on how we perceive location, something the company would later repeat with architecture (Google 3D), cities (Google Street View), and now building interiors (Google Interior View). “The goal of the Google Map intervention is to elicit an unsettling feeling,” Bartholl says. “You know [the Google Map marker] so well, but it doesn’t belong there.” In 2010’s Dead Drops, USB sticks embedded into walls required you to physically attach your laptop to access and share files. Bartholl says Dead Drops was partially about making it an “adventure to go back outside,” reviving the surprise of not knowing what you will find.

Dust takes this all further: it’s about placing you into the online world, but in a physically real place. It’s a reversal of the Google Marker—you may know the space of Dust well, but you don’t belong there. The project is ultimately less about identity or belonging, however, than a shared experience in popular culture. At the height of its popularity, “Dust” was the most-played first-person shooter map in the world.

Is Counter-Strike’s “Dust,” tested and tweaked repeatedly for navigability, lines of sight, and timing, actually more real than today’s generic retail megaprojects or cities like Dubai?

“So many people have been to the same worlds in computer games that it becomes cultural heritage at some point … and why not build a museum or memorial to space which only exists on computer screens?” he asks. Dust also marks a certain moment in the evolution of videogames. In his Rhizome proposal, Bartholl writes that unlike games today, with their endless terrain, “game spaces of the 1990s were still limited in size due to graphic card and processor power limitations. A respectively small and simple map like ‘de_dust’ offered a high density of team play with repetitive endless variations.”

Finally, Dust is a commentary on the artificiality of real spaces. Is Counter-Strike’s “Dust,” tested and tweaked repeatedly for navigability, lines of sight, and timing, actually more real than today’s generic retail megaprojects or cities like Dubai?

Unlike elsewhere in the online world, Bartholl says that in a game space, “space becomes a very present quality. There’s a plot but you’re free to go in many directions. You have to figure out where to go, and once you’ve been at that space, you remember it.” Furthermore, it’s more difficult to passively take in cues because we’re viewing on a 2D plane. As such, “architecture is a very important quality in that it controls the game very much. You need to recall every centimeter in these game maps,” Bartholl says. Equally fascinating is reading about the creation of “Dust” from its designer David Johnston, who admits the map was a combination of “thievery and luck,” inspired by screenshots from the then-unreleased Team Fortress 2 and built one room at a time.

Bartholl also sees a lot of cliched architecture in game design, citing World of Warcraft, and doesn’t feel that gaming architecture has kept up with the development of its action dynamics. “I’m still waiting for the point where ‘realism’ has been achieved and games become more abstract again,” he says . To that end, Dust isn’t going to be an exact replica of the game map—it’s going to be deliberately constructed from concrete, without any distinctive colors or textures, to create that level of abstraction.

His hope is that gaming may have a real place in high culture. Bartholl would love to see a famous architect like Zaha Hadid designing videogames. Currently building models for Dust at different scales with architects and engineers, he hopes to set it up in a remote place—in the desert in Saudi Arabia or China. He wants people to have to travel to see Dust, and hopes the site can “become a mecca, a quasi-religious place for the gaming scene.”

Block Quotes covers the architecture of videogames and their relationship with the real world (and vice-versa). Michelle Young is the founder of Untapped Cities, a website about urban architecture and design. She holds a degree in art history from Harvard and is an urban planning masters candidate at Columbia University. You can find her on Twitter at @untappedmich and @untappedcities.

Written by Aram

February 7th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Posted in press

‘How to … ‘- class, University Cologne

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Last semester I taught a ‘How to … ‘- class at University Cologne, as part of the ‘What’ next?’ symposium/series  at Institut für Kunst & Kunsttheorie. Selected student works bel0w. Congrats everyone! It was fun!!

how to prepare a bike, that cycles everday in mud from bastian hoffmann on Vimeo.

by Bastian Hoffmann

Gamers Diet from Philipp Schorlemer on Vimeo.

by Philipp Schorlemer

by Olga Gubar

Nothing from Darja Shatalova on Vimeo.

by Darja Shatalova

Written by Aram

February 6th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Posted in other projects

without comments,  great piece by Jerome Saint-Clair a.k.a. @_01010101

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February 5th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Posted in other projects

Ghost on the shelf

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(…still life from my desk… click here to learn how to make one yourself :)

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February 5th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

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Book Launch at gestalten space Berlin

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Aram Bartholl in Conversation with Evan Roth

Book Launch and Talk at Gestalten Space
Date: February 2, 2012
Time: 19:00
Location: Gestalten Space, Sophie-Gips-Höfe, Sophienstraße 21, 10178 Berlin
Language: English

To celebrate the release of Aram Bartholl’s first monograph Aram Bartholl: The Speed Book, Gestalten will host a talk with the artist in conversation with Evan Roth. Fellow artist and researcher Evan Roth will start the evening by introducing us to the experimental work of Aram Bartholl, which explores the place where space and cyberspace mingle and mangle each other—a realm that uses as little technology as possible while still speaking a digital language. Together, they will guide us through wonderfully skewed visions of our society under the influence of the internet. On this occasion, Evan Roth will also present a series of his own new web-based pieces. We’ll ring out the event with drinks and music.


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Aram Bartholl’s work explores the power structures, the social systems, the cultural innovations, the inner dynamics, the languages, and the products that are shaping our age. His new book, which is being released internationally this month, is the artist’s first comprehensive monograph offering entry to his diverse oeuvre.

Evan Roth is an artist and researcher based in Paris who explores the intersection of free culture and popular culture, making work simultaneously for the contemporary art world and the “bored at work” network. Roth is co-founder of the Graffiti Research Lab and the Free Art & Technology Lab (F.A.T. Lab), a web based, open source research and development lab, and produced the first open source rap video in collaboration with Jay-Z.

Written by Aram

February 1st, 2012 at 12:39 pm

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