Past Exhibitions

UBERMORGEN

Neue Ehrlichkeit

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25 January – 6 March

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Trump_Hypno_Medium_GIF
UBERMORGEN
Hypno Porn (Binary Primitivism: Donald J. Trump), 2016
Found Footage, AnimGIF, Medium Speed, 1200 × 628px
Unique
Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll / Fletcher, London

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Introduction

Neue Ehrlichkeit or, in a literal translation from German, New Honesty.

“The new honesty – VW wants to specify consumption and CO2 emissions more realistically. Other manufacturers are already doing this. But for car buyers a comparison is complicated. In the future, Volkswagen intends to show more realistic consumption and thus CO2 emissions…” Source: Zeit Online, 12 October, 2016 (accessed 24 January, 2017, translation courtesy Google).

“A long time ago, we realised that reality surpasses fiction and dystopian science fiction with lightning speed. With one of our projects from 2011, Asylabwehramt, Asylum Defence Agency, which is a bureaucratic and aesthetic merger between the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, and the Abwehramt, a military intelligence service, we tried to use over-affirmative dystopian fiction as a method to create stories that go beyond the factual, or if you want below or beside the factual. We failed since after doing that and looking at the current consensus and the factual world, our minds were raped over and over by what we saw and felt.” UBERMORGEN, Truth Tellers Conference, Berlin, 2016.

“The post-factual world is not a new phenomenon, not at all! But I love that the world has finally come to an agreement; and I love the idea that there are so many others consensually hallucinating with us in understanding the fact that we are part of a post-factual world without ever having been in a factual world…”  UBERMORGEN, Truth Tellers Conference, Berlin, 2016)

Btw… a funny story that perfectly fits into this… when we were doing the Vote-auction project a journalist did not believe that we were actually buying and selling votes, his argument: it is not an online shop because there is no shopping-cart, the next day lizvlx designed and implemented a shopping-cart and the site transformed into a real shop; in the eye of the beholder. This is a perfect example. alternative realities are not necessarily  on the agenda of producers but they a very interactive things… think about dating profiles, curriculum vitae and character testimonials in court cases, in all these events reality is created on request not necessarily by the urge of the subject…” Hans Bernhard, 2017.

 

UBERMORGEN Hypno Porn (Binary Primitivism: Melania Trump), 2016
UBERMORGEN Hypno Porn (Binary Primitivism: Melania Trump), 2016
Found Footage, AnimGIF, Slow Speed, 1481 ×1106px
Unique
Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll / Fletcher, London

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[F]orginal Media Hacks, 2006 – 2007

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[F]original Media Hack No. 1, 43″, .mov, 2006
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[F]original Media Hack No. 2, 42″, .mov, 2007
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Foriginal Media Hacks are pure: no ethics, no content, no message.
With the action “Foriginal Media Hack No. 1“ we follow a simple instruction on how to infiltrate mass media with low-tech instruments (email, mobile-phones, web/blog) and ambiguous data.
This action is an experiment within this conceptual setting.
It is a amalgamation of fact and fiction.

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Foriginal Media Hack No.1, 2006
A group of people brutally beat up a cop during the 2006 May Day riots in Kreuzberg, Berlin. The beating is filmed with a mobile phone by Alex (alex10969@gmail.com). UBERMORGEN.COM declares the found footage video to be an actionist UBERMORGEN.COM art piece – “Foriginal Media Hack no. 1, Web 2.0” – a physical event appropriated as a work of art.
This was a double entendre: an artist action hidden behind the pretence of a real event filmed by a bystander and the found footage declared as art. It was an experiment; a game of poker where you have to think about what the opponent thinks that you think. UBERMORGEN distributed the footage as an email, forwarding the original email of the person, Alex, who ‘sent’ the movie as an attachment – real! but staged by UBERMORGEN and then declared as fake, but claimed as an art action, hence authenticating it.

“All our projects are non-idelogical, non-political. They are pure research experiments” UBERMORGEN.

Foriginal Media Hack No. 2, 2007
Here UBERMORGEN went a step further. Silent found footage of police officers beating up a demonstrator in a wheelchair during the night of the G8 riots, in Rostock, June 2nd, 2007 is declared by UBERMORGEN as a combined action between police violence and artistic performance. The eerily choreographic footage evokes an uneasy sense of déjà vu shot through with the uncanny feeling of a true-false dichotomy. However, UBERMORGEN offer no explanation of the links between the violence and a performance: “This is the worst double-header scenario I have ever seen, police violence and artistic performance melted together in a unique way, ugly!” Lizvlx; “This new action video rocks” says Hans Bernhard “it demonstrates the exchangeability of violence – our speciality is to deliver an extra portion of violence to already very brutal environments. We over-affirm the Madman theory”

UBERMORGEN.COM coined the term ‘[F]original’ to designate any document or legal paper that in the narrow sense of the word is not an original any more, as it has been generated by a machine (“maschinell erstellt”) and is ‘valid without signature’. [F]original is a neologism from ‘to forge’ and ‘original. At the end of the day, according to UBERMORGEN.COM, such [f]original” documents are mere pixels on a screen or ink on paper. [F]originals claim authenticity but on closer inspection they turn out to be the product of ‘consensual hallucination – William Gibson’s famous definition of cyberspace. UBERMORGEN.COM suggest that that those machine- or software generated documents could also look different – by simply having the pixels on the screen or the ink on the paper rearranged.” Inke Arns, 2009, [F]original as Consensual Hallucination,  in UBERMORGEN.COM, Media Hacking vs. Conceptual Art, 2009 (available here).

As the [F]originals project evolved UBERMORGEN began to document the project on the website www.foriginal.com. Unfortunately, due to an administrative oversight, UBERMORGEN’s lease on the domain name lapsed. Within minutes a web crawler spotted a disused domain name with an active viewing history and immediately leased www.foriginal.com for use as a clickbait site – unsuspecting net users searching for information on fake documents are lured to porn websites: whilst posts such as ‘Document Forgery and College Life’, ‘Document Forgery – Fake ID’s Anyone?’ and ‘What To Know About Document Foregry’ may register in search engines, the first sentences on the website suggest “you watch the girlfriend. She might appear here and there with her private clips of sex. You can’t go wrong with fake agents and their ability to trick and bang these chicks who just wanted to become famous! These shop lyfter movies are totally crazy. Did you know girls are willing to do ANYTHING, once they get caught?!”.

Ironically, the appropriation of www.foriginal.com for use as a clickbait site has a formal similarity to UBERMORGEN’s GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself (2005) project (part of the EKMRZ trilogy, 2005 – 2009):

“Viewing it [the EKMRZ trilogy] in terms of hacking or sabotage would be specious and misleading. UM is attracted by the surface of Google, Amazon and Ebay. It loves and uses these services, just like we all do. Its intention is not to subvert them, but, as Inke Arns notes in her essay, to get under the thin membrane that is their interface with us, and introduce new contexts, new narratives… Our working theses: if enough parasites suck small amounts of money from this embodiment of self-referentiality, they will empty this artificial mountain of data and its inner risk of digital totalitarianism.” UBERMORGEN.

Documentation of the [F]originals project can be found at http://ubermorgen.com/Foriginal.

 

Our work is curiosity driven research.

Sampling is our basic principle of production.

It is visual. It is textual. We code recombinations.

We modify your plain-text.

We have no political agenda in our work.

We are not activists.

We are actionists in the communicative and experimental tradition of Viennese Actionism – performing the global media, communication and technological networks, our body is the ultimate sensor and immediate medium.

What we do is not pop art: it is rock art.

UBERMORGEN

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Generator Tetralogy, 2001 – 2008

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Each of the four generators in the Generator Tetralogy create [f]original documents and realities – medical prescriptions, court orders, rendition orders and torture protocols. The user interacts with the software to create a unique reality, a temporary bubble mediating between his or her ‘truth’ and the machine generated ‘truth’. The Tetralogy started in 2001 with the Injunction Generator as a direct reaction to temporary injunctions sent via email by US courts to UBERMORGEN in response to the Vote-Auction project.

IS THERE ANY WEBSITE YOU WANNA TAKE OFF THE WEB USING A HIGHLY SUBVERSIVE METHOD? YES? THEN THE INJUNCTION GENERATOR’S FOR YOU!

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The Injunction Generator, Website, 2001.

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Like almost all the subsequent generators, Injunction Generator came about as an answer to questions raised by a larger project, which in this case was Vote-Auction (2000). During that project, the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago issued a temporary injunction against the “individuals” behind Vote-Auction. This injunction was then sent by email to Corenic, a domain name service (DNS) registrar in Geneva, Switzerland. After receiving this email, Corenic decided to shut down the domain voteauction.com without notice. There are various elements which mean that this injunction is entirely lacking in legal value: American jurisdiction does not extend to Switzerland, and a legal injunction cannot be delivered via e-mail. Yet Vote-Auction was shut down. It was this episode that sparked the idea of launching a “public shutdown-service” – christened IP-NIC, the acronym of “Internet Partnership for No Internet Content”. Adopting an affirmative, rather than antagonistic approach, UBERMORGEN.COM transformed this episode of intensely “creative” use of power into an artistic project, and a public service. Using the Injunction Generator, you auto-generate an injunction, basically a standard court-order, claiming that the target website operates on an illegal basis. The document will then be sent, in standard .pdf or .rtf format, to the appropriate domain name service registrar, to the owner of the web-site and to various journalists and lawyers for legal and public processing.” Domenico Quaranta, Generator Tetralogy, 2009 (available here).

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BANKSTATEMENTGENERATOR, Website, 2005.
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The second in the series, BANKSTATEMENTGENERATOR (2005), was both a direct reaction to the disastrous financial situation of the UBERMORGEN family, as well as an overall response to global economic conditions: “A showcase of humankind’s enslavement by a system once established to grant stability for markets and people, but now the motor of financial bubbles and human massacre. Only pixels on as screen, only ink on paper.” UBERMORGEN in Media Hacking vs. Conceptual Art, 2009.

The Bank Statement Generator website can be used to produce individually customised bank statements. The user is free to determine, amongst other things, the credibility of the bank issuing the statement and the psychological state the statement should induce – stretching from suicidal to manic. However, unlike the other Generators the pictorial quality of the [f]original bank statement is so glaringly substandard that the user is likely to feel immediate disappointment that the statement is unusable as evidence of wealth. Perhaps, this Brechtian turn of events is designed to alienate the user, to force them to reflect upon the consensual hallucination that is the financial system: “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of twenty pounds, London, for the Governor and Company of the Bank of England” Chris Salmon (Chief Cashier, Bank of England), UK Twenty Pound Note, 2017.

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The Psych|OS Generator, Website, 2006.

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The
Psych|OS Generator (2006) is a software psychiatrist who diagnoses the user’s mental illness(es) and prescribes the medication required by the condition – in the form of a [f]orginal prescription, which the user can try to redeem at a pharmacy of their choice. To compile the questionnaire UBERMORGEN used the WHO ICD-10, the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, and used the current format for prescriptions in Germany as the template for a [f]orginal document – signed by Dr U Morgen.

The final part of the Generator series, The Superenhanced Generator (2009), lies at the heart of a complex project, featuring the website, prints, performances and videos, dedicated to the contemporary use of torture. Inspired by the questionnaires used in market research, The Superenhanced Generator uses material drawn from US Military, CIA and the Egyptian and Syrian Secret Police to create a readily available, easy-to-use online resource for interrogation: “The Superenhanced Generator interrogation software automates, dehumanises, familiarises and, therefore, optimizes examination. The willing user is presented with a set of questions; it does not matter if one answers truthfully, lies or avoids being specific, the system looks for answers it needs to satisfy its database.”

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The Superenhanced Generator, Website, 2009.
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Enhanced interrogation: a neologism (euphemism) coined by the George W. Bush regime for the its program of systematic torture of detainees. “Methods used included beating, binding in contorted stress positions, hooding, subjection to deafening noise, sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, deprivation of food, drink, and withholding medical care for wounds—as well as waterboarding, walling, sexual humiliation, subjection to extreme heat or extreme cold, confinement in small coffin-like boxes, and repeated slapping. Several detainees endured medically-unnecessary “rectal rehydration”, “rectal fluid resuscitation”, and “rectal feeding”. In addition to brutalising detainees, there were threats to their families such as threats to harm children, and threats to sexually abuse or to cut the throat of detainees’ mothers.Wikipedia.

Extraordinary rendition: “Extraordinary rendition, also called irregular rendition, or forced rendition, is the government-sponsored abduction and extra-juridicial transfer [i.e.without due legal process] of a person from one country to another. It is most prominently carried out by the United States government, often with the collusion of other countries: overall, 54 countries are known to have been involved with US extraordinary renditions.Wikipedia. Twenty extraordinary facts about extraordinary rendition can be found here and a map of the countries involved here.

Extra-juridicial: adj. 1. outside of juridicial proceedings; beyond the action or authority of a court. 2. Beyond, outside or against the usual procedure of justice; legally unwarranted. For example, extra-judicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or any legal process; extra-judicial punishments are unlawful by nature, because they break the process of legal jurisdiction in which they occur.

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Do You Think That’s Funny? (The Snowden Files), 2013

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Do You Think That’s Funny? (The Snowden Files), 2013
Installation view, Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll/Fletcher, London

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Ahem… I have been quite a lot of thinking about these issues, and for me it all comes down to values and consequential decisions in the end. And this brought me here today.” Edward Snowden, Interview with UBERMORGEN.COM, 2013 (full interview available here).

A chance meeting with Edward Snowden at Vienna’s International Airport on 2 July, 2013 prompted UBERMORGEN to reflect upon just how much had changed since Vote Auction, their hack of the US election in 2000: the ‘walled gardens’ and ‘echo chambers’ of web 2.0; the rise in corporate and government surveillance and data mining; phishing, clickbait and aggregators; consensual hallucinations and collective paranoia. And then a package arrived.

An anonymous grey walled, softly lit room, four ‘amnesiac’ netbooks running TOR privacy software that wipe clean their memories every reboot, a fridge filled with the Club-Mate energy drinks favoured by hackers, CCTV cameras monitor the desks and four blinking open-source Beaglebone computers mounted on a wall.

Do You Really Think That’s Funny? is one of the results of our meeting with Snowden. After the meeting we received an encrypted data package, some unencrypted samples and several video messages. The encrypted data package and the sample files are part of the installation. The encrypted package circulates as Dark Data inside ethernet cables organized by four ‘Beagle Bones’. Any manipulation will result in the immediate deletion of all files.” Hans Bernhard.

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Ubermorgen, Userunfriendly, 2013,2
Do You Think That’s Funny? (The Snowden Files), 2013
Installation detail, Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll/Fletcher, London

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The moment you know too much you cannot unknow it, so this leads you to this difficult situation where you have to decide: can I live with the consequences of not doing anything, or can I live with the consequences of my actions if I do something? Since both are unknowns – and the buck doesn’t stop there, as that Rumsfeld freak reminded us… [full interview here].” Edward Snowden, Interview with UBERMORGEN.COM, 2013.

Looking back at the ‘00s, the great mistake of the web’s idealists was a near-total failure to create institutions designed to preserve that which was good about the web (its openness, its room for a diversity of voices and its earnest amateurism), and to ward off that which was bad (the trolling, the clickbait, the demands of excessive and intrusive advertising, the security breaches). There was too much faith that everything would take care of itself – that ‘netizens’ were different, that the culture of the web was intrinsically better. Unfortunately, that excessive faith in web culture left a void, one that became filled by the lowest forms of human conduct and the basest norms of commerce… The internet clearly embodied an ideological reaction to the mass media’s collectivist and nationalist ideology – particularly in broadcasting, whether it was the power of American and British national broadcasting or the propaganda media of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Overtly or implicitly, the goal of national broadcasting was always the fusing of the nation into a more unified whole. The American networks NBC and CBS saw ‘unifying the nation’ as among their goals (conveniently, that also maximised advertising revenue). More darkly, Joseph Goebbels saw the point of broadcasting as achieving Volksgemeinschaft, the people’s community, the elevation of the nation over the individual.” Tim Wu, The Observer, 8/1/17.

“In the UM.BOOK: Media Hacking vs. Conceptaul Art [available here] we relabelled a Peter Weibel text as an Hans Ulrich Obrist text, then we transformed a Hans Ulrich Obrist interview with Matthew Barney into an interview by Peter Weibel with UBERMORGEN.COM.” UBERMORGEN.

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Killliste – a work in progress, 2015

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Killliste, 2013
Installation detail, Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll/Fletcher, London

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Inspired by the death lists operated by the US secret service agencies and military (Joint Prioritised Effects List – JPEL), Killliste is a target-list of people that need to be killed. To determine the targets, UBERMORGEN developed an algorithm based on the distribution and possession of capital. Currently there are 362 names on the Killliste. The first list was produced and edited manually and is still in ‘production’. The overall concept of the Killliste is a death list (content) along with a network-protocol (software) and a electronic installation (hardware) that, unlike the JPEL, ensure the list’s security. Within this configuration, the list is a fluid technical object consisting of encrypted data particles travelling anonymously through networks using the Killlistste protocol. Within the materialised technical installation, four black Beagle Bones are connected via a serial port sending liquid data and guaranteeing that the file, the Killliste is in constant flow. Any hold-up, downtime or intervention leads to the loss of the encrypted file and the system collapses and self-destructs.

“It is true that we have created this list and as a consequence the Killliste protocol and that there are 362 names on it;
It is true that putting the first name onto the list creates a whole universe of ethical, legal and security dilemmas that one can easily be trapped in forever;
It is NOT true that we have been incarcerated for this list, but it is true that it was the only means to an end we came up with while looking at the state of asymmetric distribution of wealth;
It is true that is is better to do something than do nothing;
It is NOT true that it is better to do something than do nothing;
It is true that we are influenced by the Red Army Faction and, especially, by Ulrike Meinhof’s early writings;
It is true that there is almost nothing to be found about the Killliste online;It is NOT true that we have taken it down;
It is true that we are scared;
And it is true that aesthetics and mannerism will slowly kill us during this neo-biedermeier era we are living in.” 
Hans Bernhard, Truth Tellers Conference, Berlin, 2016.

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KILLLISTE
STATEMENT #1

“We are sad, hurt and angry. We don’t know if we are doing the right thing, we don’t even know if this will not worsen the situation. But too much has happened and we do think that it is better to take the risk and do something wrong than not doing anything and live our lives in passive agony and precarious stress while watching people being murdered and groups of people being extinct from the face of the earth. We do acknowledge that every life is grievable and we will be sad for every human life that is lost in this struggle. We are human and we intend to stay human

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UBERMORGEN Hypno Porn (Binary Primitivism: Ivanka Trump), 2016
UBERMORGEN
Hypno Porn (Binary Primitivism: Ivanka Trump), 2016
Found Footage, AnimGIF, Slow Speed, 759 × 1024px
Unique
Courtesy UBERMORGEN and Carroll / Fletcher, London

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Afterword

“Today we have to think beyond the idea of the validity of sources. We have to be responsible on our own, for our own thinking and our own conclusions without weighing on singular sources but on a overcharged, unstructured and seemingly unknown universe of information driven by different agendas, coming from different origins; telling us contradictory, phantastic, realitstic, ugly or beautiful stories.

“This is very liberating since we are allowed to skip scientific procedures and make up our own stories, create our own universe by making up our own mind, create our own truths (plural!) without feeling guilty or having to justfiy ourselves. This is indeed post-factual in it’s best sense. In a renaissance of disinformation and propaganda by uncountable amounts of actors and unaccountable actors, this is our very best shot. It requires self-confidence and calm, it demands discipline and openness but mostly it requires acceptance, acceptance when it comes to excessive demands, overload and insecurity. We need to calm the fuck down.

“Yes, we do need data-abstraction to understand information on a visual and emotional level and not on a individual factual level, this liberates our thinking and helps us to create resolutions. The more uncertain an event, the more information is required to resolve uncertainty of that event. Nobody is immune to manipulation. But stop calling it disinformation, fake news, manipulated sources. This terminology is based on an anacronistic belief that there is real news and sources without agenda. This is naive, we all know better.” UBERMORGEN, 2017.

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Loose Ends and Diversions

Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Bioswop: a cv-exchange platform, ongoing

John Smith, The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976

René Magritte, The Treachery of Images, 1929

ma-150089-WEB

Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thomson & Craighead, Trooper, 1998

Adam Curtis, Hypernormalisation, 2016. “Welcome to the post-truth world. You know it’s not real. But you accept it as normal.”

“Just as climate change is the natural by-product of fossil capitalism, so is fake news the by-product of digital capitalism.” Evgeny Morozov, The Observer, 8/1/17.

1926, Father Ronald Knox, Broadcasting the Barricades, “On January 16, 1926, one Father Ronald Knox, a catholic priest, interrupted an apparently genuine BBC talk on 18th century literature with a report that Big Ben had been toppled by trench mortars, the Savoy Hotel torched, and a Government minister lynched…”

1938, Orson Welles, War of the Worlds

1949, Radio Quito, War of the Worlds, “A Spanish-language version, which reportedly set off panic in the city. Police and fire brigades rushed out of town to engage the supposed alien invasion force. After it was revealed that the broadcast was fiction, the panic transformed into a riot. Hundreds attacked Radio Quito and El Comercio, a local newspaper that had participated in the hoax by publishing false reports of unidentified objects in the skies above Ecuador in the days preceding the broadcast. The riot resulted in at least seven deaths.”

“Truth is whatever hastens the disintegration of the colonial regime.” Frantz Fanon.

“There is dire need for upping the ante and becoming less responsible or much more irresponsible users.” UBERMORGEN, 2017.

 

 

Thomson & Craighead

BEACON and Template Cinema

 

6 December 2016 – 11 January 2017

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To accompany Observations, the second part of the four part exhibition Looking at one thing and thinking of something else showing in our Eastcastle Street galleries from 2 December to 23 December, Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen presents two works by Thomson & Craighead: BEACON and Template Cinema. A projected version of Template Cinema is being exhibited in Observations.

BEACON


Automated BEACON, Thomson & Craighead, 2005, website, unique, not for sale

The work can be viewed here.

BEACON first began broadcasting online at midnight on January 1st 2005. It was instigated as an act of silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time.

BEACON exists in three versions of the underlying concept: a website, a projection in a physical space and a mechanical railway flap sign sculpture. In each version live web searches are continuously relayed at regular intervals – endless concrete poems rhythmically testifying to our everyday concerns.

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talkbotrice2_onscreen

Projected BEACON, Thomson & Craighead, 2006, digital projection, computer, edition 5 plus 2 AP, POA



beacon_nooe_onscreen

Sculptural BEACON, Thomson & Craighead, 2007, modified railway flap sign, computer, 34 x263 x9  cm, edition of 5 plus 2 AP, POA

 

beacon_onscreen

 

Template Cinema (2004 – ongoing)

An online multi-plex cinema continuously screening three ever-changing films: Lone star, A short film about nothing and Five ghosts. Each film is an open edition of unique low-tech networked movies generated in real-time from data appropriated from the World Wide Web – the template for each film is based on the familiar structure of our cinematic experience – leader, titles, film, soundtrack, inter-titles, credits, etc. – and uses material found on the internet – a live webcam feed, a soundtrack appropriated from a website, text grabbed from bulletin boards and online manuals, etc.

Visit the cinema online here.

Template Cinema has its origins in Short Films about Flying (2002), a gallery-based networked installation featuring movies generated in real-time from live webcam feeds from Logan Airport, Boston, USA combined with randomly loaded net radio and text grabbed from online message boards. The result was a coherent yet evocative combination of elements that produce an endlessly mutating edition of low-tech mini-movies. The project now exists as a simulated archive, because some of the resources used to make the films are no longer available.

sketch_web


Visit the cinema online here.

Links

The artists’ page at Carroll / Fletcher here.

The artists’ website here.

02

Evan Roth

n50.204520e1.538171.fr

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9 November – 30 November

 

“The project started as a venture to find the Internet, but has slowly changed to the relationship between data and the landscape, and then again to the relationship between the self and nature.” Evan Roth.

 

n50.204520e1.538171.fr, Evan Roth, 2016, Network located video, 18:00, Unique, Price on application

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Introduction

n50.204520e1.538171.fr follows on from Evan Roth’s solo exhibition Landscapes on Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen, 28 June – 28 July 2016. A physical counterpart to the work is included in the exhibition Looking at one thing and thinking of something else, Part one: Dialogues with Art History, Carroll / Fletcher Eastcastle Street, 11 November – 26 November 2016 (the online exhibition can be viewed here and details of the physical exhibition can be found here).

The work forms part of Roth’s Landscapes series, which first featured in his solo exhibition, Voices over the Horizon, at Carroll / Fletcher’s Eastcastle Street space in Spring 2015. The series began as a pilgrimage to a remote area of Cornwall, on the south-western tip of the UK, where the trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables that carry the Internet emerge from the ocean; a quest to rediscover the optimism, inspiration and sense of community he had found in the Internet’s early days. His pilgrimage has continued with journeys to Internet landing sites in Australia, France, New Zealand and Sweden – n50.204520e1.538171.fr was filmed at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme along the North coast of France.

During his explorations, the project evolved from his initial specific concerns with changes in the structure of and our relationship with the Internet, to a more general meditation on our relationship with and the impact on our lives of the physical, digital and cultural landscape:

“The longer I work on this new series, the more peripheral the Internet becomes in my thinking. I’ve been using the phrase “Internet landscapes” to informally describe the work, but lately I’ve been dropping the “Internet” and just calling them “landscapes” (which I think is more true to what they are). Even though the Internet is a strong character in the narrative, the work is really more about the questioning of my surroundings and search for solutions to issues that fundamentally challenge my art practice and worldview.” Evan Roth in The Black Chamber – surveillance, paranoia, invisibility & the internet, interview with Domenico Quaranta, Bani Brusadin and Ruth McCollough.

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n50.204520e1.538171.fr

Although the work begins with a journey by the artist to the landfall site of an undersea Internet cable and a single, continuous static shot film of the landscape (for n50.204520e1.538171.fr, Roth visited Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and shot an 18 minute film), the work itself consists of a digital file of the film located on a web server situated near the landfall site, displayed on a website with a URL web address made up of the GPS co-ordinates of where the camera filmed the landscape, and of the server hosting the video – for n50.204520e1.538171.fr, n50.204520e1.538171 are the GPS co-ordinates and .fr locates the server in France – and, for Roth, the work is only completed when the website is viewed by an audience, i.e. when an infra-red signal travels along the cables from the server hosting the digital file of the film, to the viewer’s computer which displays the film in their browser – the work is the film, plus the network, plus the viewer.

“Visiting the Internet physically is an attempt to repair a relationship that has changed dramatically as the Internet becomes more centralized, monetized and a mechanism for global government spying. Through understanding and experiencing the Internet’s physicality, one comes to understand the network not as a mythical cloud, but as a human made and controlled system of wires and computers.”  Evan Roth in Domenico Quaranta, Internet Landscapes.  A Journey in Space and Time, in Evan Roth, Kites & Websites, 2016.

Roth films the landscape using infra-red light, a reference to the infra-red light that transmits the signal along the Internet’s fibre-optic cables and to surveillance cameras. The images are accompanied by a two-channel audio track; one channel being the ambient sounds of nature and the other from custom-designed hardware that scans radio frequencies in sync with the artist’s heartbeat. Both the camera and audio-recorder are based on equipment used in ghost hunting.

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A still from n50.186091e1.643751, courtesy Evan Roth

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“I would also point out that there are things happening within the frame. On first glance it seems as if nothing is going on, but you should be able to notice subtle changes in light as clouds pass in front of the sun, animals, people, airplanes and boats moving in and out of frame, and changes in the wind and wave patterns. These aren’t ‘actions’ as we are used to actions in a typical Internet experience, but actions in nature. I also think there is a performance aspect in watching the piece from start to finish. All of the things that might happen during that period (email notifications, SMS messages, incoming tweets, your impulse to move the mouse so you can see how much time is left) are all a part of the viewing experience. These clips, which are typically shorter than the length of a TED talk, can seem like an eternity to watch in their entirety (especially when viewed in the privacy of your own browser).”  Evan Roth, in Domenico Quaranta, Internet Landscape  A Journey in Space and Time, in Evan Roth, Kites & Websites, 2016.

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n50.204520e1.538171.fr – an expanded experience

If the viewer pastes the co-ordinates n50.204520e1.538171 into the search bar of Google Maps, an alternative exploration of the location is possible.

The route taken by the infra-red signal from the viewer’s computer to the web server can be followed using the computer’s terminal window: with the website open on the screen, go to the computer’s terminal window – /Applications/Utilities/Terminal on Macs or /Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt on PCs – paste the following line and hit return: traceroute n50.204520e1.538171.fr (for Macs) or tracert n50.204520e1.538171.fr (for PCs). Alternatively, James Bridle’s Citizen Ex – http://citizen-ex.com/ – can be used.

Another dimension of the work can be experienced  through the source code: in the Chrome menu bar, go to: View/Developer/View Source; Firefox menu bar: Tools/Web Developer/Page Source; Safari menu bar: Safari/Preferences/Advanced, check show Develop Menu in menu bar Develop/Show Page Source (more details can be found here).

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A step by step guide to installing n50.204520e1.538171.fr at home

In making the image larger than the browser window, Roth encourages the viewer to navigate around the website using the scroll bar. A detailed exploration reveals a small blue forward slash in the top left corner of the image. This character, known as a path, is used extensively in computer science to specify a unique location in a file system. This path functions as a direct link to the video file on the server: http://n50.204520e1.538171.fr/packets.mp4

Here the video can be viewed to the size of the screen, framed by a black border (it is best viewed full screen without the bookmarks bar or toolbar) and, if mounted on a wall, it becomes reminiscent of a traditional landscape painting.

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Collecting the work

Each landscape in the series is a unique work.  On purchasing the work the collector receives a monitor, a networked media player, cables, ownership of the lease to the URL and digital files of the video.  The purchase is covered by a sales contract (viewable here).

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Bio

Evan Roth is an American artist based in Paris whose practice visualises and archives culture through unintended uses of technologies. Creating prints, sculptures, videos and websites, his work explores the relationship between misuse and empowerment and the effect that philosophies from hacker communities can have when applied to digital and non-digital systems.

His work is in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Israel Museum. Recent exhibitions include the 2016 Biennale of Sydney; Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966) at Whitechapel Gallery, London; and This Is for Everyone at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Roth co-founded the arts organisations Graffiti Research Lab and the Free Art and Technology Lab and in 2016 was a recipient of Creative Capital funding.

.

Links

Related texts:

Kites & Websites, Evan Roth with text from Domenico Quaranta
The Black Chamber – surveillance, paranoia, invisibility & the internet
, interview with Domenico Quaranta, Bani Brusadin and Ruth McCollough (full exhibition catalogue here).
Infra-red Wuthering Heights, interview with Filippo Lorenzin in Digicult magazine.

Related exhibitions:

Voices Over the Horizon
The Black Chamber
Internet Landscapes: Sydney
Kites & Websites

Related works:

Total Internal Reflection
Kites

Related articles:

http://next.liberation.fr/culture/2015/03/26/evan-roth-debris-de-fond_1228978
http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/evan-roth-physical-internet-ghost-hunting
http://www.wired.com/2015/03/exploring-internet-ghost-hunting-equipment/
http://hyperallergic.com/283973/a-pioneering-net-artist-mourns-the-unfulfilled-promise-of-the-internet
http://mashable.com/2016/03/15/evan-roth-biennale-sydney/#bU98Tus1Zuqw
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058543/making-it/the-mysterious-infrastructure-of-the-internet-made-visible/1

“The filming requires me to be still in these locations for periods of 10 to­ 20 minutes at a time, and what I found during these moments of stillness was that I really wanted to check my inbox. After 30 seconds I would instinctively reach for my pocket to see what was happening on email/twitter/instagram. I remember one time I was filming on top of a cliff in Sweden looking out over the water and whales started coming up for air. It was so quiet that the sounds of their breaths were strikingly loud. Despite this being one of the most beautiful moments I’ve had in nature, I was disappointed in myself as I went from witnessing this sublime moment, to feeling slightly bored, and then finally questioning whether I should post it on Instagram, all within the course of two minutes… Part of what interests me in the Internet Landscape series is the struggle to take more control over my relationship with time and how it is connected to the consumption of media, nature and the moments when I am not being social (online or in person).”  Evan Roth, Infra-red Wuthering Heights, interview with Filippo Lorenzin, Digicult magazine.

Jan Robert Leegte

On Digital Materiality

3 August – 19 September 2016

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Introduction

Jan Robert Leegte’s solo exhibition, the fifth in Carroll / Fletcher’s series of online exhibitions (previous exhibitions can be viewed here), continues the exploration of Internet aesthetics, digital materiality and the contemporary sublime. In the vein of the performative sculptural tradition of Bruce Nauman’s and Dan Graham’s early work, Jan Robert Leegte’s exhibition playfully explores the nature of digital materiality and its manifestation within both online/virtual/digital and offline/physical/analogue spaces, and the relationship between these spaces as they constitute a single reality. Leegte considers the Internet as an ‘online public studio and exhibition space’ and often, albeit slightly tongue-in-cheekly, describes himself as an ‘Internet-based conceptual sculptor exploring the time-based, performative nature of the Internet in net installations’.

The exhibition is accompanied by an essay, in which Leegte outlines his development as an artist and the principles underpinning his practice.

A note on viewing the works

The exhibition is a combination of physical works, experienced as static images of the works installed in an exhibition space, and website works, experienced through an iframe, which provides a window onto the work itself. For the optimal viewing experience, it is recommended that the website is opened in a separate tab or window in full-screen mode. Many of the works are interactive. Consequently, visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to click, drag, drop, and generally play with the works. As ever with website works, the online space extends beyond the webpage to the address bar, tab, history cache, source code, etc. Navigating around these spaces often yields surprising results and insights. To view the source code in Chrome menu bar: View/Developer/View Source; in Firefox menu bar: Tools/Web Developer/Page Source; in Safari menu bar: Safari/Preferences/Advanced – check show Develop menu in menu bar/Develop/Show page source.

Please note: most of the works predate the smart phone, and have been made exclusively for a desktop or laptop computer. Hence, the show is not experienced optimally on a mobile device.

A note on purchasing websites

The website works are for sale. The rights and responsibilities of the parties to a sale are detailed in a sales contract (available here). The buyer receives, amongst other things, a digital file of the underlying code, a lease to the domain name, a certificate of authenticity and a video of the website. Further information on collecting internet-based work can be found in the ‘Collecting’ section of www.carrollfletcheronscreen.com.

 

 

On Digital Materiality – an Internet exhibition

 

The Scrollbar Composition Series


Scrollbar Composition, 2000

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

To view the work optimally, visit http://www.scrollbarcomposition.com

 

Scrollbar, 2002 Jan Robert Leegte
Scrollbar, 2002

Computer animation, media player, projector, wood
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: 120 x 6 x 1.6 cm (+ projector distance)

 

 

Scrollbar Composition, 2005 Jan Robert Leegte
Scrollbar Composition, 2005

Computer animation, media player, projector, wood
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: 380 x 266 x 244 cm (+ projector distance)

 

 

In Memory of New Materials Gone, 2014 Jan Robert Leegte
In Memory of New Materials Gone, 2014

Archival Inkjet print mounted on MDF, vitrine
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: 110 x 50 x 100 cm

 

 

Dumpster, 2016 Jan Robert Leegte
Dumpster, 2016

Dumpster, Archival Inkjet prints mounted on MDF, construction light
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable (approx. 500 x 500 x 200 cm)

 

 

The Photoshop Selection Marquee Series


The Act of Selection Objectified, 2013

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

To activate use mouse or trackpad to click and drag. Laptop or desktop only.
To view the work optimally, visit http://www.theactofselectingobjectified.com

 

 

Random Selection in Random Image, 2012

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

To view the work optimally, visit http://www.randomselectioninrandomimage.com

 

 

selection_profile
Selection, 2006

Computer animation, media player, projector
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm (+ projector distance)

 

 

The Table Border Series


IMG_1331
Untitled Work, 2004

Computer animation, media player, projector, painted wood
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: 100 x 100 x 100 cm (+ projector distance)

 

 

mediaruimte
Cassette Ceiling, 2007

Computer animation, media players, projectors
Unique (site-specific), price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

Image Credits: Mediaruimte

 

 

Random Table Border, 2015

Website, domain name
Unique, courtesy Evan Roth Collection
Dimensions: variable

Refresh page to activate.
To view the work optimally, visit http://www.randomtableborder.com

 

 

The Computer as Studio (and Gallery)

Mouse Pointer, 2003

Website, domain name
Unique, courtesy Jonas Lund Collection
Dimensions: variable

Click once and move with mouse or trackpad. Laptop and desktop only.
To view the work optimally, visit http://www.mousepointer.name

 

 

Three Buttons, 2005

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

Use mouse or trackpad to click. Laptop and desktop only.
To view the work optimally, visit http://www.threebuttons.work

 

 

Blue Monochrome, 2008

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

To view the work optimally, visit http://www.bluemonochrome.com

 

 

Google Maps as a Sculpture, 2013

Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

To view the work optimally, visit http://www.googlemapsasasculpture.com/index.html

 

 

 

On Digital Materiality – an essay

The most difficult thing about the whole piece for me was the statement. It was a kind of test—like when you say something out loud to see if you believe it. Once written down, I could see that the statement […] was on the one hand a totally silly idea and yet, on the other hand, I believed it. It’s true and not true at the same time. It depends on how you interpret it and how seriously you take yourself. For me it’s still a very strong thought. – Bruce Nauman on ‘The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths

It was 1997, at the height of the net.art movement, when I got my first real shot of Internet heroin. I’d been playing around with digital techniques, even browser-based experiments at art school – I was fortunate to be accepted at the Rotterdam Art Academy, which had invested heavily in digital labs in the mid-nineties. But it wasn’t until I acquired my first XS4ALL hosting account, that the hit set in. On a midweek night, after uploading some HTML experiments to the web space of my account, I became a net artist. Standing in my brand new browser-based studio, public to the whole world, and feeling the electricity of a practically unexplored artistic realm and potential revolution, a new door had been permanently kicked open. I had read and seen work from the net.art movement and was already interested, but it was this moment that changed me from interested student to rookie net artist.

My background until then had been studying Architecture at the University of Delft, after which I enrolled at the Art Academy in Rotterdam. This combination of disciplines led to my practice including both making sculptural objects and installations, and also physically experiencing, often performatively, the objects to better understand their spatial and material properties. Examples from that time would be Untitled (1998), a paper sculpture I could crawl into, Seclusion (1998), a performance with a stack of Xerox paper, and Scotch Tape (1999), four short strips of scotch tape holding a pocket of air. I conceived of these works as investigative probes, materialized ideas that dealt with trying to question and understand materiality through making materially ambiguous sculptures, and interacting with them either conceptually or physically. This way of working used traditional materials and our preconceptions of the materials, twisting and stretching them to alter our perception. This resulted in my academic work experimenting with performance, interactive sculpture, projections, installations, drawings, etc.

During Art School I had introductory classes in coding, mainly in Macromedia Director and early versions of Flash. I became interested in simple procedural techniques, animation and interaction, but the graphic-oriented nature of these programs didn’t relate to my sculptural interest. We were also taught to make websites using Adobe PageMill, but the WYSIWYG nature of this editor made it feel like a DTP tool for webpages, so again, not something that resonated with the sculptural works I was making at the time. However, it led to an interest in the underlying code of the browser, the HTML markup language. By copying parts of web projects I liked, (these not being editable in Adobe PageMill) forced me to start editing the code directly, which became my new default way of working in the browser space. This, ‘getting your hands dirty’, way of working, in combination with putting something online for the first time, resonated with my sculptural work in a totally new way.

Working in the fresh online public studio space, I began labeling my experiments ‘net-installations’. At first this was a perceptual description, as creating in the browser-space felt distinctly different to working in Photoshop. Photoshop is like a technical continuation of the painting tradition. Everything about the Photoshop experience is working on a surface: brushes, pencils, stamping, erasing, etc. Although the interaction is of a haptic nature, the result is basically an extension of painting. In contrast, working in HTML and the browser felt very similar to my studio practice of sculpture and installation: constructing within a space material compositions and sculptural constructions, which I could experience mentally and physically through direct physical interaction. Not an interaction like making a work in Photoshop, but a direct haptic experience of the work itself: I have never experienced a browser-based work the same as an image-file based work.

The materials I first used were basic HTML objects, buttons, scrollbars, frame borders, table borders, and also plain color fields and found images. I questioned what it was that rendered this practice similar to making installations rather than collages. At first it was the simulacrum of real world interactive elements (buttons, window frames, etc.). The operating system extended this haptic strategy with traditional paper-based forms, like check boxes, text fields, lists, etc, and, along with the form elements and the interactive document, led to an ecosystem of fake 3D, interactive objects.

Adding user-interaction to the tradition of trompe l’oeil, uniquely combined within the computer, formed the base of this browser-based sculptural environment. In contrast, I also began adding random animation techniques, which lifted the objects out of their passive, waiting stillness, like in Tires (1999). This enhanced the autonomy of the object and relieved the viewer of the need to interact (break the click habit).

All these materials were made with code, in contrast to drawing them in Photoshop. Using a simple text editor, I would type HTML code and JavaScript, then, after saving the file, I would switch to the browser to view the executed code, then go back and forth, repeating these steps to make the work. This switching of spaces, from the ‘back’, the textual instruction or invocation, to the ‘front’, the execution or manifestation of this text (code) as a website was key in my experience of the spatial character of browser-based working. A subjective, maker’s point of view, but one that has been expressed in works such as Jodi’s wwwwwwwww.jodi.org (1995) and my own Portrait of a Webserver (2013) or Source Code Mirroring Itself (2013) – in these works viewing the source code alongside the website enriches the experience of the work and reinforces the idea that the work consists of the two elements.

Another switch in space is the transfer from the local computer space to the public server space. By putting the files on a webserver, they become publicly accessible. It’s like relocating the work from your studio space to a gallery. Only in this case the whole studio is taken along. It’s more like opening your studio to the public. These moves between the different spaces and working in the browser intuitively extended my work as installation artist. It also captured the ambiguity of materiality in a much more exciting and new way.

From a phenomenological viewpoint, my experience of an interface button in a website or a wooden plank in a studio was the same. One of the first online materials I started using was the scrollbar. By making huge empty pages and putting them in framesets, I isolated the scrollbars and presented them in minimalistic compositions. From 1999 to 2002, the first years after art school graduation, I worked exclusively on the net. Following extensive online studies and experiments, the scrollbar thread culminated in the saturated Scrollbar Composition (2000).

In 2002 I began to realize that the online audience was misreading my work. Visitors would sometimes interpret my work as an intentional aggravation for the user or even subversive. To me, the browser-based context was a gallery space, and work within this context was to be perceived in a manner similar to any physical gallery space, i.e. with attention and reflection. But this was not how the Internet worked; it was a highly impatient, click-based environment. Consequently, I decided that it was the effect of the medium – the Internet – that created these unintended connotations and, thus, took the installations out of the browser and into the physical gallery.

This shifting to physical space was a very effective way of dispensing with this problem. An early experience of exhibiting net art in a gallery context was the website Scrollbars (1997), a work I showed in my graduation show as Scrollbars, floor piece (1999). This hadn’t worked, as people weren’t ready to read this as sculpture. The first successful attempt I produced was Scrollbar (2002). Projecting an isolated scrollbar onto a strip of wood made the hoped for impact. People took time to engage with the piece, become confused and let the new materiality soak in. Scrollbar (2002) marked a new important direction in my Internet-related art practice.

During the period of making online pieces only, I worked on both Windows and Macintosh computers, more specifically on the Windows 95 and 98, and Mac OS 8 and 9 operating systems. I made the choice to produce the physical works using the Windows interface, due to its minimalist design and widespread use (it being the industry standard at the time). The design stuck with me, I consistently used it until the installation Scrollbar Composition (2005).

A long time later, in 2011, when I revisited the scrollbar, I realized that the constant evolution of the interface was a fundamental material aspect of this proprietary, yet public, material. It was in a continuous fluid metamorphosis, both on the level of code and the material design. After this point I started showing scrollbar pieces in different interface versions, for example Scrollbar Composition 2011 (2011) and Scrollbar Composition 2013 (2013). In 2016, in response to this fluidity, and to capture the evolution, of Scrollbar Composition (2000), at the Whitechapel gallery’s exhibition The Electronic Superhighway, conservator Dragan Espenschied, the others at Rhizome and I decided to exhibit a triptych, in which each panel used a different operating system to show the work – Windows 95, Mac OS X 10.6 (also known as the aqua interface) and Mac OS X 10.10.

This fluidity and evolution has been described as the performative nature of the Internet. The transformations and decay of net-based art give them the aspect of a time-based performance. Even as some works have survived the Internet from the very beginning, the conditions in which they originally where shown, have changed; the browsers have evolved, the works have become visible on mobile devices, the display resolutions have become higher, but most of all the net cultural, economic and political context has changed, like works embedded in social media. The most recent steps in dealing with this history of passing sculptural materials are the works In Memory of New Materials Gone (2014) and Dumpster (2016).

In the time between 2005 and 2011, while the scrollbar theme was on hold, I was working on other key materials in my work, the HTML table border, the bevel and the Photoshop selection marquee. The HTML table border is another of the browser-based materials I took with me in 2002 into the physical context, from the projection Untitled Work (2002) to the sculpture Untitled Work (2004) to the site-specific installations Cassette Ceiling (2006, 2007) and many adaptations in between. The table border went full circle returning to the net in the website Random Table Border (2015).

I preferred the aesthetics of the Windows classic interface design because of its minimalistic design – no rounded corners and ribbings like the OS 9 design, but simple beveled grey rectangles, and a button object was merely a highlight and a shadow, nothing more. These design principles and their offspring, the drop shadows, defined the aesthetics of the operating system,

I was already applying table borders as traditional architectural ornamentation in the manner of cassette ceilings and wall paneling, when, during a residency at the Museum Quartier in Vienna in 2006, I started to use the bevel as a distilled digital base material. During this residency, I also explored the relationships between browser interface objects, architectural ornamentation and ideas of digital materiality. This led me to begin considering how our ideas of the sublime and of performance and the stage could be extended into the digital realm – the digital stage and the interface as stage set. This culminated in the investigative manifesto The Silent Ornamental Revolution (2006) and the image-based interventions Untitled Ornaments (2006) – procedural works developed in Flash, followed by projected site-specific works. The simulated ornamental bevels would be flipped from a positive to a negative state randomly in time, creating a living augmented ornamentation. In Alexandria, Egypt this resulted in Ornaments (Alexandria), (2006). A later version, emphasizing the interface as stage set, was Ornaments (Rotterdam II) (2009). The most recent execution of this series is Ornament (Amsterdam) (2016).

Projecting in the physical space had the advantage of literally bringing the digital materiality, in all its bits and pixels, connected to the net and processed in real time, to the physical space. The disadvantage was that the projection introduced a layer of light that augmented the gallery space and the light’s dominance prevented the work blending into the ambiance of the space – a level of cinematic reference fundamentally rendering the work ‘elsewhere’.

The installation Three Spaces (2006), made together with sound artist Martijn Tellinga, was my first attempt to overcome this problem. The three spaces involved were the space of sound, the space of the digital, and a new hybrid space, where the digital materiality was manifested in a non-electronic way. I painted two monumental murals of table borders in different states of random generation. The table borders became stills, but the materiality upheld, and the blending into the physical space was a big gain. Having taken this step, I applied this method in more projects, notably Inverted Relief on Door (2008) using tape and The Silent Ornamental Revolution (2008) applying urban postering.

Though the painting itself (as an object) defines its materiality, perception and artistic tradition, the act of making includes many others. The act is time-based and performative, the tools are sculptural in nature and the setting could be a site-specific intervention. Interfacing with computer software, I found these subsets to be particularly interesting over the commonly intended final result. Often I heard remarked that the computer was merely a tool to gain a result, whereas I experienced it as a studio in which I could engage and interact with the materials and objects. A space in which I could existentially relate to, feel, observe or simply just be. Examples of works mirroring this were Email (1998), Mouse Pointer (2003), Software Study (2004) and Three Buttons (2005).

One of these materials was the Photoshop selection marquee. The marquee, activated by dragging the mouse pointer, outlines a selected area with animated dashed lines, also known as marching ants. It is the digital equivalent of encircling something on paper with a pencil, though as with all digital materiality, much is different. Unlike the encircling with a pencil, the selection is decoupled from that which it is selecting; you can select over and over again, not leaving a mark on the document; the selection is autonomous. It’s like encircling something you see with your mind. And this was what excited me about this new stuff: it seemed to be a material manifestation of a cognitive process.

Note the use of the word “stuff”. It’s a term I use when the materiality in question is so exotic, it becomes hard to state in collectively objective terms, when to me it unequivocally exists.

I used the Photoshop selection marquee as a new base material in a series of gallery installations. The first and most elementary piece was Selection (2006) followed by more complex compositions and contexts, like Selections (2006) and Random Selections Objects (2015).

In 2008, I was introduced, by, amongst others, Harm van den Dorpel, Constant Dullaart and John Michael Boling (who invited me to join the Nasty Nets Internet surfing club), to the emerging second wave Internet art scene and given a crash course in the new generation’s approach to Internet art. Although there was a lot of overlap, the cultural differences were wide, and it took a couple of years of introspection to reposition my work.

In 2012, when the tendency was to show Internet-related work in the gallery space, I moved back to work solely on the net. I had become inspired by the new generation of Internet artists, as well as the dramatic developments in technology, culture and politics online.

One of the first online pieces that came out of this was Random Selection in Random Image (2012), which introduced the Photoshop selection marquee within a browser-based context – the work features a randomly generated selection marquee within an image randomly obtained from the net. This automated procedural work emphasised the idea of the autonomous character of the marquee and also, through the use of photographic images, brought home its Photoshop origin. Other fundamental studies of the materiality of the marquee within the online context are Selection as an Object (2013) and The Act of Selecting Objectified (2013). Similar to the Scrollbar Compositions series formal development of the base work Scrollbar (2002), the Photoshop Selection Marquee series explores the formal application of a base material. An example, which has also been shown as site-specific installation, is the web piece Concentric Selections of Gradient (2014).

The integration of live appropriated net-based third party images used in Random Selection in Random Image (2012) was done through the API (Application Program Interface) of the image database of Flickr. Using an API of third party net services, either proprietary or open source, is a typical development in web 2.0 technologies that changed the materiality of the net. The change was not only of a technological nature, but also one with cultural and political impact. Through an API you could integrate services in your work, with brand new material properties. The Google Maps API was one I started working with. Through it, you could sculpt Google Maps as material and use it for your work. The first piece I made was Blue Monochrome (2008). In the work I tried to merge Yves Klein’s ambitions seen in the contemporary post-Internet context with my own interest in sublimity and proprietary materiality. A second piece I made using the Google Maps API was Google Maps as a Sculpture (2013).

Currently, my work is very hybrid, works are executed in either the browser-based or the physical domain, and jump back and forward effortlessly. Over the years the materiality still hasn’t been cornered, but does move fluidly in and out of the net. To conclude with a recent work, which loops back to the Bruce Nauman quote at the beginning, and again trying to respond to Nauman’s work and text in the contemporary post-Internet condition, but also on a more personal level, in the context of two decades working with the ambiguity of materiality: The Immaterial Materialised (2014).

the-immaterial-materialised-diptych
The Immaterial Materialised, 2014

Silk screen on dibond, Website, domain name
Unique, price and further details available on request
Dimensions: variable

 

 

Image credits

All images by Jan Robert Leegte unless mentioned.

 

 

Biography

Jan Robert Leegte (born 1973, The Netherlands) started working as an artist on the Internet in 1997. In 2002, he shifted his main focus to implementing digital materials in the context of the physical gallery space, aiming to bridge the online art world with the gallery art world. In 2008, through exchanges with the upcoming next generation of Internet artists and inspired by the dramatic shift in online culture and technologies, he began refocusing on the web. As an artist Leegte explores the position of the new materials put forward by the (networked) computer. Photoshop selection marquees, scrollbars, Google Maps, code and software are dissected for their sculptural properties. He has exhibited widely, most recently in Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2016.

Jan Robert Leegte lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Website: http://www.leegte.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leegte

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanRobertLeegte

Instagram: https://instagram.com/leegte

Evan Roth

Landscapes

 

28 June – 18 July 2016

 

“The project started as a venture to find the Internet, but has slowly changed to the relationship between data and the landscape, and then again to the relationship between the self and nature.” Evan Roth.

Introduction

Evan Roth’s Landscapes is the fourth in Carroll / Fletcher’s series of online exhibitions (previous exhibitions can be viewed here).  The series, launched in March 2016, forms an integral part of Carroll / Fletcher’s overall programme of exhibitions and art fairs, Roth’s Landscapes series first featured in his Spring 2015 solo exhibition, Voices over the Horizon, and includes work that is available for sale.

In the autumn of 2014, disillusioned with the increasing centralisation, monetisation and corporate and governmental control and surveillance of the Internet, Evan Roth embarked on a pilgrimage to rediscover the optimism, inspiration and sense of community he had found in the Internet’s early days.  Roth’s quixotic quest began with a trip to a remote area of Cornwall, on the south-western tip of the UK, where the trans-Atlantic fibre-optic cables that carry the Internet emerge from the ocean.

In subsequent journeys to submarine Internet cable land-fall sites in Australia, France, New Zealand and Sweden, what began as a personal voyage of rediscovery evolved into a deeper investigation of, and desire to make manifest, the impact of the Internet on our everyday lives, how it structures our perception of the physical and digital world and, consequently, influences our thoughts, feelings and actions.  And, as Roth explores the cultural, political and technological contours of our natural and digital landscape, he emerges as an urgent chronicler of the contemporary sublime.

“One day, I was looking out over the dreary expanse of the desert.  As far as the eye could see, the purple steps of the uplands rose up in series, towards horizons of exotic wildness…  On such occasions, maybe, I have been possessed by a great yearning to go out and find, far from men and far from toil the place where dwell the vast forces that cradle and possess us…  And then all my sensibility became alert, as though at the approach of a god of easy-won happiness and intoxication; for there lay matter, and matter was calling me.”  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Cosmic Life, 1916 (quoted in Jeffrey Kastner, Call of the Wild: Four Natural Duets for Richard T. Walker, 2013).

Internet Landscapes: Sydney, 2016


(Scroll right to view more)

Internet Landscapes: Sydney, Evan Roth, 2016, a series of 11 unique network-located videos (price on application)

http://s33.727473e151.235952.com.au

http://s33.734152e151.304727.com.au

http://s33.806901e151.299299.com.au

http://s33.820180e151.184813.com.au

http://s33.843574e151.144477.com.au

http://s33.844228e151.144557.com.au

http://s33.848846e151.173501.com.au

http://s33.849695e151.244546.com.au

http://s33.851451e151.286459.com.au

http://s33.851850e151.244960.com.au

http://s33.898239e151.275644.com.au

Internet Landscapes: Sydney forms part of Roth’s evolving exploration of the physical, digital and cultural landscape of the Internet and its relationship to our overall worldview. Each network-located video documents the landfall, near Sydney, of the under-sea fibre-optic cables that carry the Internet. The landscape is filmed in infra-red light, in reference to the infra-red light that transmits the signal along the Internet’s fibre-optic cables, as well as to surveillance cameras. The images are accompanied by a two-channel audio track; one channel being the ambient sounds of nature and the other from custom-designed hardware that scans radio frequencies in sync with the artist’s heartbeat. Both the camera and audio-recorder are based on equipment used in ghost hunting.

Each video forms the content of a website located on a server in Sydney. The URL, or web address, is made up of the GPS co-ordinates of the camera-filming location, and of the server hosting the video. Thus, in http://s33.727473e151.235952.com.au s33.727473e151.235952 are the GPS co-ordinates and .com.au locates the server in Australia. If the viewer pastes the co-ordinates in the search bar of Google Maps (https://www.google.co.uk/maps), an alternative exploration of the location is possible.

In making the image larger than the browser window, Roth encourages the viewer to navigate around the landscape using the scroll bar. A detailed exploration reveals a small blue forward slash in the top left corner of the image. This character, known as a path, is used extensively in computer science to specify a unique location in a file system. This path functions as a direct link to the video file on the server:

http://s33.727473e151.235952.com.au/packets.mp4

Here the video can be viewed to the size of the screen, framed by a black border (it is best viewed full screen without the bookmarks bar or toolbar) and, if mounted on a wall, it becomes reminiscent of a traditional landscape painting.

“I would also point out that there are things happening within the frame. On first glance it seems as if nothing is going on, but you should be able to notice subtle changes in light as clouds pass in front of the sun, animals, people, airplanes and boats moving in and out of frame, and changes in the wind and wave patterns. These aren’t “actions” as we are used to actions in a typical Internet experience, but actions in nature. I also think there is a performance aspect in watching the piece from start to finish. All of the things that might happen during that period (email notifications, SMS messages, incoming tweets, your impulse to move the mouse so you can see how much time is left) are all a part of the viewing experience. These clips, which are typically shorter than the length of a TED talk, can seem like an eternity to watch in their entirety (especially when viewed in the privacy of your own browser).”  Evan Roth, quoted in Domenico Quaranta, Internet Landscapes.  A Journey in Space and Time, in Evan Roth, Kites & Websites, 2016.

As Roth notes, the audio track reinforces the image’s sense of place. The experience of the work within the ambient sounds and visual clutter of our everyday environment highlights our networked condition. And for Roth the network forms an integral part of the work: when a viewer visits the website a signal travels as a beam of infra-red light through the network of cables stretching from the viewer’s computer to the server in Sydney and back. This route can be traced on the viewer’s computer by going to the terminal window (/Applications/Utilities/Terminal on Macs, or /Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt on PCs), pasting in the following line and hitting return:

traceroute s33.727473e151.235952.com.au (for Macs)

or

tracert s33.727473e151.235952.com.au (for PCs)

The path from the viewer’s computer to Sydney is traced out step by step:


(note: This traceroute was run from a computer located in Paris)

The route can also be seen graphically using James Bridle’s Citizen Ex – http://citizen-ex.com:

“Every time you connect to the internet, you pass through time, space, and law. Information is sent out from your computer all over the world, and sent back from there. This information is stored and tracked in multiple locations, and used to make decisions about you and determine your rights. These decisions are made by people, companies, countries and machines, in many countries and legal jurisdictions. Citizen Ex shows you where these places are. Your Algorithmic Citizenship is how you appear to the internet, as a collection of data extending across many nations, with a different citizenship and different rights in every place. One day perhaps we will all live like we do on the internet.” James Bridle.

A further dimension of the materiality of the work is opened up when the source code is viewed:

To view the source code in the Chrome menu bar, go to: View/Developer/View Source; Firefox menu bar: Tools/Web Developer/Page Source; Safari menu bar: Safari/Preferences/Advanced, check show Develop Menu in menu bar Develop/Show Page Source.

The code between lines 2 and 66 is written such that while humans can read it, machines cannot. In a reference to the horizon line and nodes of the network route, the star is a unicursal hexagram; a hexagram drawn with a single unbroken line often used in occult religions to symbolise the intermingling of micro- and macro-cosmic forces. Below the star we find a description of the work:

And if the viewer goes to line 110 some more human-only readable code can be found, a note of gratitude and thanks from one artist to another:

<!–hat tip Olia Lialina, view-source:http://best.effort.network/ –>

“The longer I work on this new series, the more peripheral the Internet becomes in my thinking. I’ve been using the phrase “Internet landscapes” to informally describe the work, but lately I’ve been dropping the “Internet” and just calling them “landscapes” (which I think is more true to what they are). Even though the Internet is a strong character in the narrative, the work is really more about the questioning of my surroundings and search for solutions to issues that fundamentally challenge my art practice and worldview.” Evan Roth in The Black Chamber – surveillance, paranoia, invisibility & the internet, interview with Domenico Quaranta, Bani Brusadin and Ruth McCollough.

The Landscape Series

Total Internal Reflection, Evan Roth, 2015, single-channel video, 9′ 46″, edition of 3 + 1 AP, price on application

In the autumn of 2014, as a pilgrimage to rediscover the optimism, inspiration and sense of community Roth found in the early days of the Internet, he made a trip to Cornwall on the south-westerly tip of the UK, one of the world’s most important telecommunications hubs dating back to the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cables laid there in 1870. Today, fibre-optic Internet cabling connecting the United States to Europe ascends from the depths of the Atlantic basin onto the Cornish coast carrying 25% of the world’s Internet traffic. Zigzagging and disappearing through several small beach towns, here the physical Internet meets a picturesque, untamed landscape, long steeped in tales of both communication technologies and the paranormal.

In a quixotic attempt to re-establish a spiritual connection, Roth turned to ghost-hunting technologies to record his trip and investigate the physical and virtual landscape. These strange-looking devices, including full-spectrum video cameras, thermal flashlights and electronic voice phenomenon recorders, were developed by a close-knit DIY community. They not only lent themselves to Internet-focused modifications but also re-kindled a sense of mystery and wonder toward technology. Like his ghost-hunting counterparts whose urgent enquiries into the supernatural were often conducted on sites of assumed paranormal activity, Roth ventured out with his ghost-hunting toolkit into the landscape that physically hosts the Internet, in a personal quest to visualise and reconnect with what has become so integral to contemporary life; making sense of a web which feels less dynamic, less chaotic, more centralized and more controlled.

Total Internal Reflection connects together a series of moments from Roth’s trip shot with a full-spectrum ghost-hunting camera. The audio for the piece, recorded on location, is drawn from a custom-built instrumental trans-communication device or ‘ghost box’, which scans radio frequencies at regular intervals in search of paranormal activity. The scanning of radio static blends with the ambient noises of waves and wind and the warm tones of the images to evoke a powerful sense of place.  The video formed part of Roth’s solo exhibition Voices Over The Horizon at Carroll / Fletcher.


Voices Over the Horizon at Carroll/Fletcher, Evan Roth, 2015

“Visiting the Internet physically is an attempt to repair a relationship that has changed dramatically as the Internet becomes more centralized, monetized and a mechanism for global government spying. Through understanding and experiencing the Internet’s physicality, one comes to understand the network not as a mythical cloud, but as a human made and controlled system of wires and computers.”  Evan Roth quoted in Domenico Quaranta, Internet Landscapes.  A Journey in Space and Time, in Evan Roth, Kites & Websites, 2016.

http://n57.680235e11.668160.se, Evan Roth, 2015, network-located video from the series:

http://n57.630653e11.878293.se
http://n57.675322e11.662511.se
http://n57.888698e11.688815.se
http://n57.889503e11.685638.se
http://n59.329452e18.132398.se
http://n59.329736e18.132242.se
http://n59.363142e18.254658.se
http://n48.879773e2.367629.fr
http://s36.784432e174.777591.co.nz
http://s36.787854e174.775050.co.nz
http://s36.809596e174.417374.co.nz
http://s36.810855e174.422624.co.nz

All works unique, price on application.

As part of the Kites & Websites solo exhibition and Black Chamber group exhibition, Roth continued his pilgrimage with visits to Internet landing sites in France, New Zealand and Sweden. The locations are often remote and inaccessible; not meant to be visited by land – the signs indicating the presence of the submarine cables face the ocean, unreadable by casual visitors strolling on the beach or hiking along the cliffs. With a sensibility reminiscent of a Romantic landscape painter confronted by the sublime, he used an infrared camera to shoot the images and a custom-built audio-recorder to capture the ambient sounds and scan and capture radio frequencies at intervals regulated by the artist’s heartbeat.  The use of an infrared, rather than full-spectrum, camera and two-channel recording marked a refinement in the techniques used in Total Internal Reflection, and, in a further development, the videos are viewable via websites hosted in the locations of the landscapes (see the section above for further details).


Kites & Websites at Belenius/Nordenhake, Evan Roth, 2016

“The filming requires me to be still in these locations for periods of 10 to­ 20 minutes at a time, and what I found during these moments of stillness was that I really wanted to check my inbox. After 30 seconds I would instinctively reach for my pocket to see what was happening on email/twitter/Instagram. I remember one time I was filming on top of a cliff in Sweden looking out over the water and whales started coming up for air. It was so quiet that the sounds of their breaths were strikingly loud. Despite this being one of the most beautiful moments I’ve had in nature, I was disappointed in myself as I went from witnessing this sublime moment, to feeling slightly bored, and then finally questioning whether I should post it on Instagram, all within the course of two minutes… Part of what interests me in the Internet Landscape series is the struggle to take more control over my relationship with time and how it is connected to the consumption of media, nature and the moments when I am not being social (online or in person).”  Evan Roth, Infra-red Wuthering Heights, interview with Filippo Lorenzin, Digicult magazine.


http://s33.849695e151.244546.com.au, Evan Roth, 2016, network-located video, unique, price on application.

“I see Internet Landscapes more as a series about a personal struggle to find optimism and inspiration within an environment that feels irreversibly changed. It’s reflective of the cultural and political issues that precipitated this change…  [and as an attempt] to come to a better visual and conceptual understanding of what the network is, and how it affects us individually and as a society.”  Evan Roth, Infra-red Wuthering Heights, interview with Filippo Lorenzin, Digicult magazine.

Collecting the work

Each landscape in the series is a unique work.  On purchasing the work the collector receives a monitor, a networked media player, cables, ownership of the lease to the URL and digital files of the video.  The purchase is covered by a sales contract (viewable here).

Links

Related texts:

Kites & Websites, Evan Roth with text from Domenico Quaranta
The Black Chamber – surveillance, paranoia, invisibility & the internet
, interview with Domenico Quaranta, Bani Brusadin and Ruth McCollough (full exhibition catalogue here).
Infra-red Wuthering Heights, interview with Filippo Lorenzin in Digicult magazine.

Related exhibitions:

Voices Over the Horizon
The Black Chamber
Internet Landscapes: Sydney
Kites & Websites

Related works:

Total Internal Reflection
Kites

Related articles:

http://next.liberation.fr/culture/2015/03/26/evan-roth-debris-de-fond_1228978
http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/evan-roth-physical-internet-ghost-hunting
http://www.wired.com/2015/03/exploring-internet-ghost-hunting-equipment/
http://hyperallergic.com/283973/a-pioneering-net-artist-mourns-the-unfulfilled-promise-of-the-internet
http://mashable.com/2016/03/15/evan-roth-biennale-sydney/#bU98Tus1Zuqw
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3058543/making-it/the-mysterious-infrastructure-of-the-internet-made-visible/1

Bio

Evan Roth is an American artist based in Paris whose practice visualises and archives culture through unintended uses of technologies. Creating prints, sculptures, videos and websites, his work explores the relationship between misuse and empowerment and the effect that philosophies from hacker communities can have when applied to digital and non-digital systems.

His work is in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Israel Museum. Recent exhibitions include the 2016 Biennale of Sydney; Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966) at Whitechapel Gallery, London; and This Is for Everyone at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Roth co-founded the arts organisations Graffiti Research Lab and the Free Art and Technology Lab and in 2016 was a recipient of Creative Capital funding.

Afterword 3

“We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”  Peter Thiel (quoted in Elephant, Summer 2015).

“What do we mean by the web of the mid 90’s and when did it end? To be blunt it was bright, rich, personal, slow and under construction. It was a web of sudden connections and personal links. Pages were built on the edge of tomorrow, full of hope for a faster connection and a more powerful computer. One could say it was the web of the indigenous…or the barbarians. In any case, it was a web of amateurs soon to be washed away by dot.com ambitions, professional authoring tools and guidelines designed by usability experts.”  Olia Lialina, A Vernacular Web, 2005, http://art.teleportacia.org/observation/vernacular/

From an interview with Eva and Franco Mattes:

TB: Overall, how have the changes to the Internet over the two-plus decades you’ve been working affected your practice?

FM: There was a lot of idealism connected to the Internet in the ’90s, even, I would say, utopianism: that we’d finally found the technology that was decentralized and free and open sourced, that would bring about democracy, if not anarchy, on planet Earth. You could share information with the rest of the world for free in real time without any copy restrictions, without any monetary interchange. Of course, we’ve realized that it’s not that simple.

EM: We were young kids trying to make things. We both come from very narrow-minded, provincial, small places, so the Internet seemed like a place where you could get to a wider audience than you could normally if you were trying to show your work in a gallery. You could bypass traditional institutions and get in contact with audiences directly. It was really inspiring, in a way.

FM: And it’s gone.

Courtesy Eva and Franco Mattes, Thea Ballard and Modern Painters, 2016.

Hello might easily be seen as in line with Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s call, in his 1970 text Constituents of a Theory of the Media, to overcome the ‘consciousness-shaping industry’ of corporate broadcasting by harnessing media’s ‘emancipatory potential’ through interaction, feedback, and the potential reciprocity of reception and transmission. Like Nam June Paik, in his 1984 New Year’s Day satellite broadcast Good Morning, Mr Orwell, Enzensberger pushes back against the Big Brother thesis of media’s inherent complicity with sovereign power, seeing this as a paranoid fantasy of totalisation. Though such a McLuhanesque technoutopianism does indeed permeate Hello’s promise of connectivity, the tele-happening also points to something crucial that has become a central point of interrogation for many of the artists making work with and about new technologies: the exercise of power does not cease to exist over distributed networks, it simply functions differently. Time and time again, the Internet has been heralded as the harbinger of freedom, progress and the expansion of democracy. For many artists, the task is not to deny such possibilities, but to offer a deflationary, ambivalent form of engagement that stems from within the technosphere and emphasises the extent to which we all operate within a system founded on principles of algorithmic control. Even bi- or multi-directional interactive apparatuses remain apparatuses, operating at the intersection of power and knowledge and possessing, in the words of Giorgio Agamben, “the capacity to capture, orient, determine, intercept, model. Control, or secure the gestures, opinions, behaviours, or discourses of living beings”. Contrary to Enzensberger’s claim, this capactity is made even more powerful by the transformation of these living beings from spectators to participants.”  Erika Balsom, On the Grid in the catalogue for Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, 2016.

 

“When I’m in the field filming [the Landscape Series], I usually shoot still tripod shots between 10 and 15 minutes in duration. Because I’m recording audio (both from the ambient surroundings as well as from the radio spectrum), I need to remain stationary for the entire duration of the clip. In that sense the filming process is like a digital retreat with mandatory periods of 15 minutes of solitary meditation in nature. And what was most striking to me when I started this process was not ‘omg, this retreat into nature and being away from screens is amazing!’, it was more, ‘holy shit, this is boring’. In the beginning I found myself negotiating internally whether certain shots were worth the 15 minutes of stillness that was required. As I continued with the project, however, this perception of time became one of the most interesting aspects of the work.”Evan Roth in The Black Chamber – surveillance, paranoia, invisibility & the internet, interview with Domenico Quaranta, Bani Brusadin and Ruth McCollough.

 

 

Jeremy Bailey Next

Sympathetic Painting Software

A New Online Artwork

12 May – 27 May 2016

 

logo

 

“As I stared into their open coffins I thought to myself what a shame we didn’t 3D scan their bodies.”
– Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey.

For the third in Carroll / Fletcher’s ongoing series of online exhibitions, Jeremy Bailey (in collaboration with Reinier Feijen, www.boxofchocolates.nl) has uploaded himself to the Internet in search of immortality. As data it is possible for Bailey to spawn multiple instances of himself, each capable of expressing themselves autonomously. A unique avatar – a Bailey – is created for each visitor to JeremyBaileyNext.com. Each Bailey is capable of analysing and learning from its interactions with a visitor to create unique gestural artworks that respond sympathetically to conversational prompts in real-time – healing conversations with a famous new media artist, as paintings.

Click here to begin your conversation with Jeremy (currently, a desk-top browser-only experience).

Collectors can purchase a customised special edition Bailey that responds to them in the colour of their choice (to match their decor or mood).  Alongside their very own Bailey, collectors also receive a high resolution artwork, based on their interaction with their Bailey, delivered on a commemorative date of their choosing once a year for eternity.

 

Next Big Thing – a solo show at Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto

C-Prints, software installation and performance ephemera on view until 28 May.

Jeremy Bailey Next runs parallel to Next Big Thing, a solo exhibition at Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto, Canada. Featuring prototype software of Jeremy Bailey Next programmed to read Bailey’s email inbox and respond with sympathetic gestural paintings. Several of these gestures have been rendered as high resolution C-Prints and 3D printed porcelain.

More information about the exhibition available here.

Next Big Thing, installation view, Pari Nadimi Gallery

Image: Jeremy Bailey, Next Big Thing, installation view, Pari Nadimi Gallery, 2016 (courtesy Pari Nadami Gallery).

Jeremy Bailey Next, (Custom Software, Computer, Kinect Camera, LCD Panel, Cables), h 100%22 x w 100%22

Image: Jeremy Bailey, Jeremy Bailey Next, 2016 (courtesy Pari Nadami Gallery).

Gesture II, C-Print, 2016, h 29 x w 50”

Image: Jeremy Bailey, Gesture II, 2016, (courtesy Pari Nadami Gallery).

Gesture I, Porcelain, 2016, w 6.4%22 h 4.9%22 d 1.7%22 + Performance Ephemera

Image: Jeremy Bailey, Gesture I, 2016 and Jeremy Bailey, Performance Ephemera, 2016, (courtesy Pari Nadami Gallery).

 

Patent Drawings at Whitechapel Gallery, London

12 drawings (from a series of 14, each an edition of 5), India ink on paper, on view at the Electronic Superhighway exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London until 15 May, thereafter by appointment at Carroll / Fletcher, London.

whitechapelInstall

Image: Jeremy Bailey, Patent Drawings, Installation View, Whitechapel Gallery, 2016

Image: Jeremy Bailey
, Apparatus for the Display and Control of Television Preferences as Facial Fashion on the Internet
, 2013
Price on application

Image: Jeremy Bailey
, Apparatus for the Display of Wearable augmented reality Public Sculpture on the Internet, 2011
Price on application

For his Patent Drawings series Bailey created India ink drawings in the style of technology company patents. The series highlights the increasingly absurd patents being granted for ever-more abstract software that now often incorporate our bodies and our gestures. Many of the drawings are of software performances and videos Bailey has brought to life over the last decade, some are unrealised concepts in reference to future projects.

The drawings are available for sale either individually or as the whole series.  A pdf containing high quality images of the series is available here. Prices on application to steve@carrollfletcher.com.

Jeremy on patents, copyright and the future of technology

“Really when you think about it, artists like me are a lot like inventors; we bring new ideas to life that change the world. But world-changing inventors, both good and evil, are currently at war. Big mean tech companies like Google, Apple and Samsung are being granted hundreds of patents that encroach upon the free spirit of the altruistic artist.  At risk: the future of self expression. Now more than ever, the world needs us all to be inventors… [read more here]” Courtesy ArtFCity and Jeremy Bailey.

Biography

“Since the early noughties Bailey has ploughed a compelling, and often hilarious, road through the various developments of digital communications technologies. Ostensibly a satire on, and parody of, the practices and language of ‘new media’, the jocose surface of Bailey’s work hides an incisive exploration of the critical intersection between video, computing, performance and the body.” Morgan Quaintance, Rhizome. Read the full article here.

Bailey’s recent exhibitions and performances include Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), at Whitechapel GalleryLondon; You Are Here: Art After the Internet at ICALondon; Life Feed: New Works by Jeremy Bailey and Antoine Catala, New Museum, New York; The Future is Now: Media Arts, Performance and Identity after Nam June Paik, Tate Liverpool; and Faceless, Quartier21, Vienna and Mediamatic, Amsterdam. Recent commissions include works for the Southbank Centre, London; FACT, Liverpool and The New Museum, New York.

http://jeremybailey.net/

“I am in London, talking to ‘new media artist’ Jeremy Bailey in Canada via Skype. We are both watching a puddle. In Newcastle. Two people, three cameras, at least five screens and one giant puddle. “I love this!” cries Bailey. “The whole industrial, military machine for this! To watch a puddle in Newcastle.”…  ” From an interview with Nell Frizzell in the Guardian (available here).

 

 

Other Contemporary Materialities

A Group Show Curated By Constant Dullaart

12 April 2016 – 25 April 2016

 

 

Introduction

Science has provided the swiftest communication between individuals; it has provided a record of ideas and has enabled man to manipulate and to make extracts from that record so that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual.”
Vannevar Bush, July 1945

 

From the formal to the appropriated, from the basic interaction to the relished experience; arrangements of transparencies, you and the other, warmth, code itself, clicked interests, interaction challenges, even the miscellaneous and lost. We tread on continuously refreshing land, filing our surroundings to the record, with this record becoming our new material and landscape simultaneously.
Constant Dullaart, April 2016

 

In Other Contemporary Materialities Dullaart provides a counterpoint to his solo online exhibition Contemporary Materialites or smth . Direct links can also be traced to Dense Mesh, a group exhibition curated by Joshua Citarella on display 14 April 2016 to 25 May 2016 in Carroll / Fletcher’s Eastcastle Street gallery , and the Experimental Writing Series, conceived in collaboration with the Institute for Contemporary and Modern Culture, University of Westminster. The exhibition is followed by an Afterword that is a continuation of the Afterword that accompanied Dullaart’s solo exhibition.

 

Other Contemporary Materialities

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.35.50

wwwwwwwwwwwwww.net, Jonas Lund, 2011, website

Unique, courtesy Jan Robert Leegte Collection

The work is located here: http://wwwwwwwwwwwwww.net

The page lists, from top left to bottom right, the million most visited websites (downloaded on 12 December 2011 from Alexa). On first encountering http://wwwwwwwwwwwwww.net, the only visible names are those of the websites that the viewer has visited (using the same browser as the one being used to access the work) – the display is created by the website accessing the viewer’s history cache (to confirm this try Clearing Browsing Data/History then reloading the work). The other websites can be viewed by right-clicking on the white space.

 

A minor diversion inspired by http://wwwwwwwwwwwwww.net:

http://automatedbeacon.net, Thomson & Craighead, 2005
“BEACON continuously displays live web searches. It first began broadcasting online at midnight on January 1st 2005. It has been instigated to act as a silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time.” Thomson & Craighead.  The BEACON exists in three instantiations: a website, a wall projection, and a railway flap sign.
http://imhereandthere.com, Jonas Lund, 2011
In 2011, Jonas created an extension that sends every website he’s viewing to http://imhereandthere.com. It refreshes when a new website is visited. “It works a bit like a mirror to my browser and life – you can now see what I see.” Jonas Lund.
Somewhat ironically, this was displayed when the work was accessed: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/11/gay-talese-the-voyeurs-motel
“For Life Sharing we turned our private lives into a public artwork. We made each and every file on our computer, from texts and photos to bank statements and emails, available to anyone at any time through our website. Unlike social networks, which didn’t exist at the time, its focus was sharing. Anything on our computer was available to search, read and freely copy, including the system itself, since we were using only free software.” Eva and Franco Mattes.
“Life Sharing is abstract pornography.” Hito Steyerl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ethereal self, Harm van den Dorpel, 2008

Unique, courtesy Miltos Manetas/Electronic Orphanage Collection

The work is located here: http://etherealself.com

When the work is opened a pop-up window is displayed:

harm

If the viewer clicks on ‘Deny’, a static diamond is displayed; if the viewer clicks on ‘Allow’, the diamond shimmers with a portrait of the viewer sourced from the device’s built-in camera. As the viewer gazes at their image the device’s camera allows the work to record the viewer – “If you click Allow, you maybe recorded” – and the videos are archived to provide the images for…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.23.47

ethereal others, Harm van den Dorpel, 2008

Unique, courtesy Miltos Manetas/Electronic Orphanage Collection

The work is located here: http://etherealothers.com

If you check back in a few days time you’ll find yourself a participant in a collective snapshot-portrait of our viewing habits – http://etherealothers.com – and if you leave your camera on too long you may even feature in a movie: Ethereal Others When No One is Looking, Harm van den Dorpel, 2009 – 2014.

 

Another minor diversion, this time inspired by http://etherealself.com and http://etherealothers.com:

http://thisplaceintime.net, Jonas Lund, 2011.  This Place In Time displays the location of all visitors to the website, continuously updated and centered on the location of the last visitor; slowly collecting every spot in the world.
http://citizen-ex.com, James Bridle, 2015.  “Every time you connect to the internet, you pass through time, space, and law. Information is sent out from your computer all over the world, and sent back from there. This information is stored and tracked in multiple locations, and used to make decisions about you, and determine your rights. These decisions are made by people, companies, countries and machines, in many countries and legal jurisdictions. Citizen Ex shows you were those places are… [more here].” James Bridle.
The Others, Eva and Franco Mattes, 2011. “A slideshow of 10,000 photos appropriated from unaware random people’s personal computers. Technically, the act of obtaining the images did not involve any hacking but took advantage of a software glitch.” Eva and Franco Mattes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

olia

clear.gif, Olia Lialina, 2013, website

Unique, courtesy Evan Roth Collection

The work is located here: http://www.collection.evan-roth.com/olia_lialina/clear.gif

clear.gif is a collection of ten clear (transparent) gifs, artefacts from old web design technologies that enabled the layout of web pages; tangible yet invisible objects that separate and, hence, provide structure.

Listen to Olia talk about the work here.

As ever with Lialina’s work the simple celebration of the folk art and technologies of the internet is cut with a penetrating socio-political critique. The idyllic, apparently isolated, beach that, through the use of the internet, can connect and interact with the world is slowly disappearing as governments and corporations seek to control and structure the internet – two of the websites are no longer reachable. In this respect, clear.gif provides an interesting companion piece to the artist’s Summer (2013) and Best Effort Network (2015), and Constant Dullaart’s Jennifer in Paradise Series (here and here).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JODI-

ᒥ.com, JODI, 2015, website

Unique, courtesy Jonathan Hirschfelt collection

The work is located here: http://ᒥ.com

http://ᒥ.com is part of the Apache is functioning normally series of one-letter websites in which the url is the sole content of the work. The letters are drawn from different, often little-known, alphabets and their simple elegance helps create minimal, abstract works reminiscent of concrete poetry. In http://ᒥ.com, whilst the page remains blank, the address bar, tab and history cache hypnotically loop between three websites. In contrast, in http://xn--8o7a.com the page rhythmically fills with the glyph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jodi screen

Screen shot showing a static image of http://xn--8o7a.com.

The aesthetic of each work subtly changes when viewed within different browsers. The website http://idn.jodi.org details the symbols used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.25.04

All HTML, Evan Roth, 2011, website

Unique, price on application

The work is located here: http://all-html.net

At first sight, http://all-html.net consists of a static address bar and a relatively small grey rectangle in the top left corner. However, if one zooms in, a sentence resolves itself: “One sentence contained in every HTML tag in alphabetical order”.  HTML, Hyper Text Mark-up Language, is a computer language designed to allow the, relatively straightforward, creation of websites. HTML tags are the commands that tell the browser how the page should look. http://all-html.net is composed using all the HTML tags in alphabetical order to instruct the browser how to display the sentence: “One sentence contained in every html tag in alphabetical order”. This can be appreciated by viewing the source code of the work. How does the viewer access the source code?

In Chrome menu bar: View/Developer/View Source

In Firefox menu bar: Tools/Web Developer/Page Source

In Safari menu bar: Safari/Preferences/Advanced – check show Develop menu in menu bar/Develop/Show page source

Following http://all-html.net, Evan has continued to explore the aesthetic possibilities of composing a website based on using all the HTML tags in alphabetical order; of finding a visual representation for the entire HTML language, which forms the basis of our day-to-day experience of the world wide web. For example: http://one-url-contained-within-every-html-tag-in-alphabetical-order.com (2013). The source code, perhaps, best reveals why the Evan considers these works to be text pieces.

evan

Screen shot showing a partial view of the source code of http://one-url-contained-within-every-html-tag-in-alphabetical-order.com, courtesy Sobre collection.

 

Artists’ interest in the poetic possibilities of the source code can be traced, in part, to JODI’s seminal work from 1995 http://wwwwwwwww.jodi.org (viewing the source code is highly recommended…).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

olia 2

clouds, Olia Lialina, 2014, website, tab 3 of a four tab browser installation, 640×480

Unique, price on application (sold as the installation)

The work is located here: http://tilde.club/~olialia/640×480/clouds

As with clear.gif, Olia uses frames to direct our gaze, encouraging us to consider and celebrate the everyday objects and images of the internet – clouds, stars, silk and water –  – the vernacular or folk art of the internet.

Following the path of the url is an interesting journey. http://tilde.club is the home page of tilde.club: “Tilde.club is not a social network it is one tiny totally standard unix computer that people respectfully use together in their shared quest to build awesome webpages… Tilde.club is supported by a global community of good people. We don’t rank people by the amount they give, only by the fact that they gave. Here’s who has donated. When you’re on the server THANK THEM.” http://tilde.club/~olialia/ is Olia’s Tilde.club page, which features an article that explains the significance of ~, and links to Olia’s version of facebook, the Tildeclub webring (remember webrings?) and to the four tab web installation 640×480. http://tilde.club/~olialia/640×480/ takes us to the installation and http://tilde.club/~olialia/640×480/clouds to one element of the installation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.28.24

straightest freehand horizontal one pixel black line contest, Nasty Nets, 2008

Unique, not available for sale

The work is located here: http://archive.rhizome.org/artbase/53981/nastynets.com/index3be1.html?p=1476

Founded in August 2006 by John Michael Boling, Joel Holmberg, Guthrie Lonergan and Marisa Olson, Nasty Nets was a surf club – a collaboratively run website where members share and comment upon content, either their own work or found material, in a non-hierarchical manner – that lasted until January 2012. Nasty Nets was the first website to call itself an “internet surfing club”.

“Oh boy am I excited to tell you about this!!: Nasty Nets internet surfing club! What’s a surfing club? It’s a hangout for my favorite surfers (and I), an extension of the collecting that’s already been going on, on del.icio.us and elsewhere. Right now it’s mostly a blog, but the idea is that it expands into more of a community – preservation, creation, criticism.. I like putting stuff there because it’s more like two-way sharing, and there’s more of an impulse for discussion (blog comments take on a different nature.) So come on check it out…” Guthrie Lonergan, co-founder, 10/16/2006.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.28.42Spirit Surfing, Kevin Bewersdorf, 2008

The essay is located here: http://web.archive.org/web/20080521094644/http://www.maximumsorrow.com/writing/spiritsurfing.html

In 2008, Kevin Bewersdorf, Marcin Ramocki and Paul Slocum founded the internet surf club Spirit Surfers, www.spiritsurfers.net:

“I am greatly indebted to the surfers of Nasty Nets for getting me excited about art again. Simply by typing a series of letters into a browser I was connected to a shapeless organization of users who rearranged bits that were unimportant individually but who’s sum amounted to something so massive that it could only be thought about and never seen. Ever since Nasty Nets ended, Paul Slocum and I have wanted to feel part of a strong surf community again. Over many phone calls our mutual feelings on surfing have solidified, and we have developed a philosophy of surfing that I will attempt to express here as part of the founding of a new surf club, spiritsurfers.net… [more here].” Kevin Bewersdorf, Spirit Surfing, 2008.

“A hyperlink or list of links is not much of a boon. A link is an entry to another surf, a starting point. A boon is a jewel. These jewels are what separate surf clubs like Spirit Surfers from social bookmarking sites – the posts on Spirit Surfers are jewels publicly removed and reset.” Kevin Bewersdorf, Spirit Surfing, 2008.

“This site is dedicated to the glory of the INFOspirit. Nothing on this website do I retain personal rights or ownership to, since everything I offer up is a rearranged reincarnation of the INFOspirit which binds us all. You may use anything from this site as you see fit, without consulting or asking me.” Kevin Bewersdorf, 2008.

And a final diversion, this time into the world of surf clubs, thanks to Paul Slocum:

http://rhizome.org/editorial/2016/mar/30/catalog-of-internet-artist-clubs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.29.00

The Real Smiling Rock Last Updated 11-06-2015, Lindsay Lawson, 2015, HD video continually updated as versions, 27’ 25”

“Go to www.ebay.com. Navigate to a category called ‘Everything Else.’ Within it are categories like ‘Weird Stuff’, ‘Totally Bizarre’ and simply ‘Other’. This is the outer limits of eBay, a place for items that defy categorization. Set your minimum bid relatively high at $1,000, for example. Now you are scrolling through the crème of the dregs of online auctions. This is where the smiling rock resides… [more here].”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.29.30

Repossession Services, ongoing, website

Unique, courtesy The Boss and Reep Dog

The work is located here: http://repossessionservices.info

This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Repossession Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biographies

Kevin Bewersdorf
http://www.taotegif.com

“Kev is an artist living in Rockaway Beach NY.” Courtesy Kevin Bewersdorf.

Aleksandra Domanović 

Aleksandra Domanović was born in 1981 in Novi Sad, Serbia. She lives and works in Berlin, Germany. “Domanović was awarded the 2014/15 ars viva prize. The ars viva exhibition series presented a selection of works by the three award-winners through 2015 at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Galerie der Gegenwart, Bonner Kunstverein and Grazer Kunstverein. Domanović’s recent solo exhibitions include: Glasgow International 2014, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2014); ‘Aleksandra Domanović’, firstsite, Colchester (2014); ‘The Future Was at Her Fingertips’, Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2013); ‘Turbo Sculpture’, SPACE, London (2012); and ‘From yu to me’, Kunsthalle Basel (2012).” Courtesy Tanya Leighton.

CV here.

Harm van den Dorpel

http://harmvandendorpel.com

Born 1981 in Zaandam, the Netherlands. Lives and works in Berlin. “His most recent exhibitions include: IOU, Narrative Projects, London (2015); Ambiguity points to the mystery of all revealing, Neumeister Bar-Am, Berlin (2015); 24/7: the human condition, Vienna Biennale, MAK, Vienna (2015); Inflected Objects, Swiss Institute, Milan (2015); Private Settings (commissioned! sculpture), Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); Art Post-Internet, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art,Beijing (2014); Image Employment, MoMa PS1,NYC (2013); Dissociations @ First Look Series, online commission, The New Museum, New York City (2013); Analogital, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2013).” Courtesy Narrative Projects.

CV here.

Constant Dullaart

www.constantdullaart.com

Constant Dullaart (b. 1979, Leiderdorp, Netherlands) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include Jennifer in Paradise, Futura, Prague; The Censored Internet, Aksioma, Ljubljana (both 2015); Stringendo, Vanishing Mediators at Carroll / Fletcher, London; Brave New Panderers, XPO gallery, Paris (both 2014); Jennifer in Paradise, Future Gallery, Berlin; Jennifer in Paradise, Import Projects, Berlin (2013) and Onomatopoeia, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2012). Group exhibitions include Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Follow, FACT, Liverpool, UK; Then They Form Us, MCA, Santa Barbara; When I Give, I Give Myself, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (both 2015); Evil Clowns, HMKV, Dortmund, Germany (2014) and Online/Offline/Encoding Everyday Life, transmediale Festival, Berlin (2014). He lives and works between Berlin and Amsterdam.

CV here.

JODI

www.jodi.org (when you get to the website check-out the address bar and tab then reload the page…)

“Jodi, or jodi.org, is a collective of two internet artists: Joan Heemskerk (born 1968 in Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands) and Dirk Paesmans (born 1965 in Brussels, Belgium). With their first website registered in 1995, JODI.org were amongst the first artists with a presence on the internet. JODI has exhibited around the world, with notable exhibitions and performances including the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), the Whitney Museum, NY (2013), the New Museum, NY (2012), Eyebeam NY (2009), Documenta X Kassel (1997).” Courtesy Belenius/Nordenhake.

Lindsay Lawson

http://www.lindsaylawson.com

Lindsay Lawson (b. 1982, Biloxi, USA) is an American artist based in Berlin. “Lindsay received her BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, her MFA in New Genres from UCLA, and attended the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Her first feature-length film, The Smiling Rock was shot in Berlin and is currently in post-production during residencies at Trinity Square Video in Toronto as a guest of the Goethe Institut as well as at 1646 in The Hague. Lawson’s most recent solo exhibition, The Inner Lives of Objects, featured 23 vase and panel sculptures filled with various everyday objects. Other recent exhibitions include Home Work at Open Forum, Berlin; January Blues at Frutta Gallery, Rome; A Perfect Lie at Jeanroch Dard, Brussels; Rocks, Stones, and Dust at Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto. Upcoming exhibitions include ob-iectum sub-iectum at Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig, and a solo exhibition at 1646, The Hague.” Courtesy Canapé Canopy.

CV here.

Olia Lialina

http://art.teleportacia.org

“Born in Moscow.  Net Artist, one of net.art pioneers.  Writes on New Media, Digital Folklore and Vernacular Web. Co-founder of Geocities Research Institute. Professor at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart. Animated Gif Model. Mother of three – http://art.teleportacia.org/olia.html – mother. @GIFmodel .” Courtesy Olia Lialina.

CV here

Jonas Lund

http://jonaslund.biz

“Jonas Lund (born 1984, Linköping, Sweden) received an MA at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. Lund has had solo exhibitions at New Shelter Plan, Copenhagen; BoetzelaerNispen, Amsterdam; Steve Turner, Los Angeles; Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam; W139, Amsterdam. He has participated in ‘Electronic Superhighway 2016-1966’, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; ‘The Value of Nothing’, TENT, Rotterdam, NL; The Moving Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; ‘The Crime was almost perfect’, Witte de With, Rotterdam, NL; ‘Out of Office’, Arcade Cardiff, Cardiff, UK; ‘Dread’, De Hallen Haarlem, NL; ‘local.#non.access’, KM Temporaer, Berlin, DE; ‘Fast Connection Search’, IWNY, New York, US; ‘The Paintshow’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL; ‘Public Access Me, First Look’, New Museum, New York, US; ‘HOT, DVD Dead Drop’, Museum of the Moving Image, New York, US; ‘Temporary Stedelijk’, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL. His work has been written about on Artforum, Rhizome, Huffington Post, Furtherfield, artnet and Wired.” Courtesy Boetzelaer|Nispen.

CV here.

Evan Roth

www.evan-roth.com

Evan Roth (b. 1978, Michigan, USA) is an American artist based in Paris. Roth’s work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and has been exhibited at various institutions, including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Tate Modern, London, UK; and the front page of Youtube. He has received numerous awards, including the Golden Nica from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum commissions and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. He also co-founded the arts organizations Graffiti Research Lab and the Free Art & Technology Lab.

CV here.

Afterword 2

“Everyone is equal before the machine. I can use it; so can you. It can crush me; the same can happen to you. There is no tradition in technology, no class-consciousness. Everyone can be the machine’s master, or its slave.” László Mohly-Nagy, Reality Of Our Century Is Technology, 1922.

“[artists] must become preoccupied with and even dazzled by the space and objects of our everyday life, either our bodies, clothes, rooms or, if need be, the vastness of Forty-second Street… we should utilise the specific substances of sound, movements, people, odours, touch. Objects of every sort are materials for the new art: paint, chairs, food, electric and neon lights, smoke, water, old socks, a dog, movies, a thousand other things that will be discovered by the present generation of artists… Young artists need no longer say, ‘I m a painter’ or ‘a poet’ or ‘a dancer’. They are simply artists. All of life will be open to them.” Allan Kaprow, The Legacy of Jackson Pollock, 1958.

“They [the Sex Pistols] were also carefully constructed proof that the whole of received hegemonic propositions about the way the world was supposed to work comprised a fraud so complete and venal that it demanded to be destroyed beyond the powers of memory to recall its existence. In those ashes anything would be possible, and permitted: the most profound love, the most casual crime.” Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: a secret history of the twentieth century, 1989/2001, p.18.

“We exist in a world of pure communication, where looks don’t matter and only the best writers get laid.” Legba, player in the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD) LamdaMOO, 1994 (quoted in Cluster Mag).

“With more and more media readily available through this unruly archive, the task becomes one of packaging, producing, reframing and distributing; a mode of production analogous not to the creation of material goods, but to the production of social contexts, using existing material.” Seth Price, Dispersion, 2002.

“In Postproduction, I try to show that artists’ intuitive relationship with art history is now going beyond what we call ‘the art of appropriation’, which naturally infers an ideology of ownership, and moving toward a culture of the use of forms, a culture of constant activity of signs based on a collective ideal: sharing.” Nicolas Bourriaud, Postproduction, 2002, p.9.

“The question is no longer: ‘what can we make that is new?’ but ‘ how can we make do with what we have?’ In other words, how can we produce singularity and meaning from the chaotic mess of objects, names and references that constitutes our daily life.” Nicolas Bourriaud, Postproduction, 2002, p.17.

“This site [http://www.spiritsurfers.net] is dedicated to the glory of the INFOspirit. Nothing on this website do I retain personal rights or ownership to, since everything I offer up is a rearranged reincarnation of the INFOspirit which binds us all. You may use anything from this site as you see fit, without consulting or asking me.” Kevin Bewersdorf, 2008.

“If we only look through the interface we cannot appreciate the ways in which it shapes our experience.” Bolter, Gromala: Windows and Mirrors, quoted in Olia Lialina’s Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War, 2015.

“First of all, because it [the Peeman GIF] is an expression of a dislike, when today there is only an opportunity to like…. On vine, when commenting on another user’s video, you are not presented with an empty input form, but are overwriting the suggestion ‘say something nice’… On Tumblr, a ‘close this window’ button becomes ‘Oh, fine’.” Olia Lialina, Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War, 2015.

“The innovators were rebels. Two axioms to bear in mind here: sedition is, by definition, ungrammatical; the artist is the first to recognise when a language is lying.” John Berger, Portraits, 2015, p.83.

“The very act of producing dissonant archives, in real time as events unfold, is now understood by insurgent citizens as a fundamental way of rupturing the spectacle of power, not of simply sharing information… Our contemporary landscape is marked by the overwhelming impulse to document, save and narrate the moment, and significantly, the desire to publicly share this record. While perhaps this impulse is not new, its ubiquity is. Who has the power to record, to speak, and to perform this ‘archival’ activity has radically shifted in the last ten years.” Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme in You Are Here: Art After The Internet, ed. Omar Kholief, 2015.

“It seems as if Flusser’s* concept of the totalitarian apparatus, hypothesized in 1985, has today come to fruition in the form of climate change, the intelligent war machine, the surveillance state, factory automation and the seemingly unavoidable, locked in place, systemic flows that forecast an inevitable and catastrophic end to the anthropocene.

“Can communications technology serve as a vehicle for social change? How does one negotiate the envisioning power of technical images, which unlock unprecedented degrees of creative agency for humanity, against what appears to be the immanent downwards trajectory of human value through technological progression? Is there a possibility within the dialogical fabric of networked culture to enact a meaningful social restructuring and so push back against the totalitarianism of the apparatus?” Joshua Citarella, 2016, in the essay that accompanies the Desh Mesh exhibition at Carroll / Fletcher (14 April 2016 – 25 May 2016). *Vilem Flusser, Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985).