A playlist of curatorial selections are on view from from invited curators and galleries: Domenico Quaranta, Christiane Paul, Attilia Fattori Franchini, Magda Sawon, American Medium, Ché Zara Blomfield with Ella Görner, NonPrintingCharacter, Fondation Galeries Lafayette XPO Gallery, and TRANSFER
Recommended 45 minute minimum viewing time, running times indicated below
"Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all." André Breton
Back in 1995, Derrick de Kerckhove wrote a visionary book called The Skin of Culture. As most of the things written at that time about the rising digital technologies, it experienced a sudden success and a quick nemesis: technology is still slower than imagination, and tools are subject to the ups and downs of the hype cycle, often bringing with them entire semantic areas in ways that make a book look outdated if we look at words rather than concepts. One interesting concept was introduced in the very first pages of The Skin of Culture, when de Kerckhove talks about "psychotechnology". "With virtual reality and telepresence robotics - he writes - we literally project our consciousness outside our bodies and we see it 'objectively'. This is the first time that humans have been able to do this. With television and computers, we have moved information processing from within our brains to screens in front of, rather than behind, our eyes. Video technologies relate not only to our brain, but to our whole nervous system and our senses, Fast forward to the present time and replace some keywords, and there are the results of this relentless, pervasive externalization of our mind, on the screens in front of our eyes. Along the last twenty years, our memories have been translated into strings of information, and stored in various form on computers and servers. We have built and inhabited a number of social spaces, leaving traces of our selves everywhere, anonymously or in person, behind a nickname or an avatar.
"The essence of virtual reality is that it shares." Jaron Lanier
All these fragments are not lost, but more or less present, more or less linked to each other in that huge repository of our collective imagination and memory that we call the internet: a place with a shiny facade and many dark rooms, a storage room filled with thousands of forgotten boxes. Surfing through it has less to do with navigating a city or an archive, and more to do with exploring that "second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature" that Carl Gustav Jung called the collective unconscious. Acting out of body, and protected by (supposed or real) anonymity, we cultivate and reveal our deep desires, and the facets of our personality that we usually try to hide beyond our public persona. We talk freely to strangers about things that we wouldn't reveal to our closest friends. We make experiences. We test the limits of our sensibility. We hang out in places where we do things that are normally considered immoral or illegal in society. We indulge in bad group behaviors. But even when we don't do any of these things, we keep projecting our consciousness (and unconscious) outside our bodies in form of words, images, sounds, clips, navigation data, feeding the pool where we are all swimming and collecting random Nadja is a small attempt to portray on screens what we learned about us since we started projecting our minds on screens. Some works support what's written here and others relate to it in a more dialectic way. Some are more narrative, while others try to render the atmosphere of this shared environment. The show is dedicated to André Breton and, of course, to Nadja.
"In digital societies we supposedly look more at screens than out of windows. Screens have become our windows to 'the world.' What kind of world do we see through our screens, or in the browser windows that open in the window of our screen? The projects assembled here all reflect on the world that exists on the threshold of the inside/outside of our screens. They literally comment on the condition of the screen as window; or engage with the formal language and iconography that allows us to navigate the virtual world; or comment on the network structure supporting our navigation; or engage with the consumer world of branding, its detritus and the state of anxiety it produces."
"I have envisioned my selection for Hypersalon 2014 as an abstract environment to stop in search of the place and speed of the contemporary individual. The domestic and universal are packaged into the same plane, with casual nature and transformative cultural chaos stylized as friction-activating themes."
"Repeated as endlessly on the the way to your room, you can easily forget who you are here; you can sit on your bed and become a man sitting on bed, an abstraction to compete with infinity itself; out of such places and moments does modern chaos raise itself to a level of pure mathematics. Despite its great size, the motel seems temporary... br> (....) But for all its spiritual impoverishment, this isn't the worst of places. It embodies a repetition so insistent and irresistible that, if not freedom, then liberation is possible, deliverance; possessed by chaos you move into thinner realms, achieve refinements, mathematical integrity, and become if you choose, the man on the bed in the next room."-- Don Delillo, Americana, New York: Penguin, 1989 , p.257
Our interest has always been to present art in new and old media that is reflective of our time. For the Hypersalon we prepared "Serious Whimsy" a selection of net and video works which all share a certain deceptive lightness of touch, yet remain unique, complex, innovative, and relevant.
100 websites by Rafael Rozendaal, "Summer", an 18 frames GIF distributed over 25 servers by Olia Lialina, series of crowd-sourced video-performances by Eva and Franco Mattes, JODI's recorded struggle with a soft plasma screen, Petra Cortright and Serkan Ozkaya short video-vignettes, Ryder Ripps, digital slideshow that lists 200 potential artworks, Tabor Robak's Heaven of technological obscolescence, And, for real comic relief, two UTube viral videos: a squirrel stealing a Go-Pro camera and a chimp wrecking havoc with an AK-47
The artists in Deliveries exemplify the tension between an arrangement that has grown and one that has been built. This tension and unease is one that defines how we perceive and how we choose to affect our environment, in turn touching our bodies and minds.
American Medium has established itself as a leader in identifying and exhibiting cutting-edge artists working in the context of the 21st century. Representing a group of artists who are examining how art, technology, and society are defined within our networked community, American Medium has presented the New York solo debuts of artists such as Jon Rafman, Brenna Murphy, Brian Khek and Ann Hirsch, and have worked with institutions such as The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,The New Museum, ICA Philadelphia, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, and The US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Spurred by their shared interest in the potential of an ecologically conscious artist practice. Current explores ideas of energy exchange, though various interpretations of power and nature, effected and altered through the lens of technology.
Marie Menken's Glimpse of the Garden, 1957, an early experimentation with magnification in video, observing a variety of plant-life, sits in contrast to her Go! Go! Go!, 1962 - 64, which depicts a chaotic, fast paced New York City (and art)-scape. Menken's works frame videos by contemporary artists, who navigate the multilayered modern landscape where the technological is inseparable from the natural.
The landscape in Current is one where flowers drink Sprite at a garden show and energy drinks propose to support humanity, where a power plant is depicted nostalgically as a monument and there is potential for a currency that could aid ecologically beneficial behaviour.
HHHN is a full screen reactivation of the "Hike, Hack/ Hic et Nunc" exhibition presented at XPO GALLERY in Paris, in October 2014. The original show consisted in a literal crossing between a history of apparatuses and different motifs of landscape, structured by a certain vision of modernity according to which a work of art always contains "a real element, which is nature, and an individual element, which is man". Assuming this premise, the artists gathered demonstrated that experimentation resulting from the observation of the world has gone from an aesthetic of walking/movement-- hiking, to that of diversion-- hacking. These terms were nevertheless not shown in the gallery space as one might imagine, but were applied to it, copy-pasted.
The exhibition was a priori cut off from the experience of the many, only to be seen by a small number of direct witnesses, at the discretion of the galerist. The works were as if in a television studio: filmed, mediatized, transmitted to the vast public by another channel, of which appreciation by people was not subject to the value of things, but to the "network-value". Beyond the wall raised in the middle of the gallery, "Hike, Hack / Hic et Nunc" was less defined by its curatorial or aesthetic value than by its inclination to satisfy the requirements of its own communication process. It was up to images to fulfill this responsibility; to the photographic views assembled and mounted in low-resolution mosaic, transmitted in the purest tradition of true-and-false, straddling modernity and modernism. "What you see is what you see," obviously, but on condition… The mise-en-scène was phenomenologically similar to that which Walter Benjamin describes regarding panoramas in his "Berlin Childhood".
Following Vilèm Flusser's assertion according to which "it is information, and not things, which are endowed with value", NonPrintingCharacter brings a hacked version of its own exhibition to Miami. "HHHN" is not a remake, but an adjusted version of the original stream.
The curation and production of the films has been entrusted to Same Art. Throughout the works, and until the public opening of the Foundation, the building at 9 rue du Plâtre, in Paris, will be the object of an investigation into its own mutation, as the evolving architecture is measured over the months through the in situ encounters of directors and performers.
“Mutant Stage” is part of the Lafayette Anticipation programme, which is open, more than ever before, to emerging scenes in performance and contemporary dance. Each shoot is the opportunity for a different encounter, initiated by the Foundation and Same Art, for setting bodies and matter in motion. Thus, 'Mutant Stage' pulses both within the building and beyond, into the centre of the city. The title of the project is inspired by an expression of Rem Koolhaas' which encapsulates both the essence of performative architecture and the commitment of the institution to the hybridisation of art and life. Each film in the collection, shaped by the visual vocabulary of dance, cinema and architecture, is at once a unique and multiple object. In this way, 9 rue du Plâtre remains a space for invitation and experimentation, a building in motion.
In October 2013, the Galeries Lafayette announced the launch of a Foundation designed to support artists and the production of contemporary art. Also open to design and fashion, this new institution recognizes the singularity of artists in their ability to not only participate in social change, but also to anticipate it. The Foundation will open in 2016 in a building renovated by OMA, located in the Marais neighbourhood of Paris.
TRANSFER presents a suite of object-based work that extends into the screen. The work exists across rigid and mediated forms, often times referencing itself across formats, dissolving the boundaries between this distinction within the body of work, as a necessary part of the work. The artists featured in this presentation tend to produce series and multiples, creating iterations of their work that are exhibited on the open web, in formats such as animated GIFs, websites, printed multiples and commercially produced infinite editions.
The current exhibition explores a territory similar to a free, connected and open operating system. We will use as projection the model of the Domain Name System, a service allowing to translate and redirect a domain name in information of several types. Here, it is a question of tracing the material contours of the digital technologies on analog objects. This exhibition attempts to shift this logic of information to a world of objects and to materialize it, in order to embody the activity of thought, such as artists see and perceive it, and to thus take account of the impact of practices in the digital field in a sensitive and daily approach.
The artist, through his visual practice and his creative process, is the privileged observer of our environment and his role consists of redistributing a new alternative ontology to the framework imposed by standard software. The grid, the index, the colorimetric profile, the texture, the screen filter, the flux, or the algorithm, in an assembled order, have become a plastic vocabulary, whether it is lent to the traditional or contemporary field of art, and they punctuate and support the discourse of the exhibition. They are the reference points that will allow us to understand the articulation of the works on display.
This exhibition unveils one of the principal objectives of the artists, to show that it is possible to virally infiltrate and intercept data in large amounts, starting from ecosystems of information, like a man in the middle. Then to reappropriate them freely. The aim is to question such an experience and the influence that computerized tools have on the creative act and process.