Afterall Issue 36 Summer 2014
Afterall Issue 36 Summer 2014

Laboratoire AGIT’art and Tenq
K.P. Krishnakumar
Nilbar Güreș
Carla Zaccagnini
Andrea Büttner
Panamarenko
Enquiry on the/our outside

Afterall is pleased to present issue 36, summer 2014, which features artists and artistic collectives that question the borders of the art world or exploit other possibilities within it. Within a homogenizing art world, how do you find a ‘without’ or a productive point of difference?

Clémentine Deliss looks at the collectives Laboratoire AGIT’art and Tenq that emerged in Dakar, Senegal in the 1990s, and which undermined common assumptions about the distribution of cultural capital and knowledge between perceived centers and peripheries. Writing a subjective history of these activities, she asks how groups who wanted to be only partially known can be fully historicized.

K.P. Krishnakumar was the lead artist in the Indian Radical Painters and Sculptors Association, a collective which tried to marry art and politics and look for a way for Indian artists to be part of the global art world without having to represent their national or regional identity. Anita Dube, who was a member of the group, writes on the tragic hero that Krishnakumar became, while Shanay Jhaveri discusses the collective’s impact within Indian art history.

Often showing Turkish women in elaborate camouflage, Nilbar Güreș‘s photographs, drawings, collages and videos also reflect upon questions of cultural identity. Mihnea Mircan argues that she is one of a number of artists who are shifting the notion of identity to one that exists between the margins, blurred in transit, while Lara Fresko considers the artist’s representation of identity within a globalized framework.

Louise O’Hare discusses Andrea Büttner‘s appropriated images of mentally handicapped boys looking at HAP Grieshaber’s woodcuts to elaborate a theory of embarrassment as integral to the condition of viewing art. The social and political uses of art are also examined in Emma Hedditch‘s study of Carla Zaccagnini‘s artist’s book, which explores the Suffragette’s campaign to destroy paintings and art objects.

This notion of an internal hostility to art systems and classic standards of aesthetic criteria is picked up in Alejandra Riera‘s collective projects, for which she renounces any authorship. Her ongoing investigation Enquête sure le/notre dehors (Enquiry on the/our outside), as Peter Pál Pelbart and Muriel Combes write, explores what constitutes the borders of our society—what we relegate, for example, to the peripheries of city centres or outside of sanity.

Already occupying a comfortable position in contemporary art history, Panamarenko defied the parameters within which the art world operates when he decided to retire from artmaking in 2005. As Hans Theys and Jeremy Millar remind us, working mostly in the solitude of his studio in Antwerp, Panamarenko has queried authoritative forms of knowledge through the building of impossible machines.

Finally, in their discussion of the actual experience of living and working in the art world, Zachary Cahill and Philip von Zweck address how artists—whom they dub ‘double agents’—live between structures, seeking to put their day jobs in art institutions at the service of their artistic ‘night job.’

This summer Afterall Books will present the fifth publication in its “Exhibition Histories” series, Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘Culture in Action’ 1993, as well as the “One Work” title  Thomas Hirschhorn: Deleuze Monument by Anna Dezeuze. On 18 October, Hirschhorn will be in conversation with Dezeuze at the Platform Theatre, Central Saint Martins, to launch the book. The next guest in our “Exhibition Histories” Talks series, co-organised with the Whitechapel Gallery, London, is curator Helmut Draxler, who will be in conversation with Helena Vilalta on 18 September.

Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins, London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp, and the Smart Museum of Art and DOVA OPC, University of Chicago, in collaboration with UNIA arteypensamiento, Seville, and in association with the University of Chicago Press.

To subscribe to Afterall journal, please click here. If you are already a subscriber, you can download the e-book edition of the journal here.

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Le Mouvement – Performing the City
The 12th edition of the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in 2014, curated by Gianni Jetzer and Chris Sharp, continues the innovative spirit of the format by offering the most radical edition yet. True to its provocative legacy of 60 years, Le Mouvement will challenge the very definition of public art by creating no sculpture at all. The 12th Swiss Sculpture Exhibition in Biel/Bienne will be solely dedicated to performance.

Symposium with the participation of Jean-Luc Nancy, Bojana Cvejić, Gianni Jetzer, André Lepecki, Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez, Hans Rudolf Reust, Peter J. Schneemann, Chris Sharp, Thomas Strässle, Jan Verwoert, as well as the artists Alex Cecchetti, Christian Jankowski, Marko Lulić, and Ariana Reines

Le Mouvement is a multipart exhibition, which investigates the nature of sculpture and public space by hosting multiple performances in the town of Biel/Bienne. The show touches upon a variety of inter-related topics and issues, which include:

–The nature and uses of public space
–Art in public space
–The individual and collective body in public space—both static and in movement
–The relationship between the fleeting materiality of the body and the more permanent materiality of sculpture

Rirkrit Tiravanija, "U.F.O. – NAUT JK (Július Koller)," 2012. Courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City
Rirkrit Tiravanija, “U.F.O. – NAUT JK (Július Koller),” 2012. Courtesy of kurimanzutto, Mexico City

Uniting a heterogeneous group of art historians, theorists, curators and artists to discuss these points, the symposium intends to harness the knowledge of these different disciplines in hopes of gaining a greater and more nuanced understanding of performance in public space and the current nature of public space itself.

In co-operation with the Contemporary Art History Department of the University of Bern, Bern, and Y Institute of the Bern University of the Arts (BUA), Bern

Symposium in English
French translation provided / Admission is free / Limited seating, please reserve symposium@lemouvement.ch

Press contact
Patrick Steffen, patrick.steffen@ess-spa.ch

Upcoming programming:
Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 31, all three movements in parallel

Mouvement I – Sculptures on the Move
July 4–August 31

With reconfigured sculptures by Olivier Mosset, Franz Eggenschwiler, Carl Burckhardt, Max Bill and performances by Alex Cecchetti, Christian Jankowski, Marko Lulić, Ariana Reines

Mouvement II – Performing the City
August 26–31

With performances in public space by luciana achugar, Alexandra Bachzetsis, Nina Beier, Trisha Brown, Pablo Bronstein, Eglè Budvytytè, Willi Dorner, Douglas Dunn, Simone Forti, Alicia Frankovich, Maria Hassabi, San Keller, Köppl/Začek, Jirí Kovanda, Germaine Kruip, Liz Magic Laser, Myriam Lefkowitz, Jérôme Leuba, Ieva Misevičiūtė, Alexandra Pirici, Prinz Gholam, Lin Yilin

Mouvement III – The City Performed
August 30–November 2
Opening: August 30, 5pm
Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt, Biel/Bienne

Vito Acconci, Francis Alÿs, Pablo Bronstein, Stanley Brouwn, Trisha Brown, Paulo Bruscky, Martin Creed, Felipe Ehrenberg, VALIE EXPORT, Dara Friedman, Gelitin, Tomislav Gotovac, Alberto Greco, Anna Halprin, Maria Hassabi, Noritoshi Hirakawa, Sanja Iveković, Christian Jankowski, Jirí Kovanda, Liz Magic Laser, Klara Lidén, Marko Lulić, Babette Mangolte, Rachel Mason, Dave McKenzie, Dieter Meier, Ocaña, Neša Paripović, Ewa Partum, Alexandra Pirici, Miervaldis Polis, Kim Sooja, Mladen Stilinović, Beat Streuli, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ulla von Brandenburg, Ai Weiwei

For further information, please contact info@lemouvement.ch

National conference on socially engaged art
November 6–8, 2014

Call for participation
Proposal deadline: July 14, 2014

Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

unruly_cfp

What does it mean in contemporary art and design to be socially engaged? Are we talking about art that resists the conventional structures of the art world and re-imagines a new, unwieldy public sphere of social activism in the face of media spectacle and profit motives? Or can social practices in art reconcile aesthetic focus with external forces or agencies with regard for communities, perhaps affecting a timely catalyst for change? The recent spate of publications on what has been variously called community-based art, participatory art, collaborative art, relational art, social practice or socially engaged art, indicates that such questions have provoked a variety of studies that intellectually tackle what Shannon Jackson has noted as the “social turn.”

This conference, “Unruly Engagements: On the Social Turn in Contemporary Art and Design,” proposes to examine various approaches to social practices in both art and design in an effort to understand the concepts, terms, and varieties of engagement of the past two decades or so. Among our primary objectives is to facilitate public discourse on the feasibility of interventionist projects in art and design in urban environments, with special attention to “rust-belt” cities like Cleveland.

We invite presentations of conventional and unorthodox forms from artists, designers, and scholars on the topic. Prospective participants may submit proposals for short papers or examine specific works or activities that address the questions as noted. Suggested related themes may include but are not limited to:

–Socially engaged art and the new public sphere
–Artists as activists: voices from the Great Lakes region
–Historical precedents and present strategies of social practice
–Urban design and design in the city as force for change
–Aesthetics, ethics and politics
–Student agency and society: 21st-century visions of the art school

Please submit PDF-formatted abstracts of no more than 650 words, along with letter of interest and CV to:
Gary Sampson and José Carlos Teixeira, unrulyengagements@cia.edu.

Conference schedule and registration details will be posted in early autumn.

“Unruly Engagements” is a key component of Community Works: Artist as Social Agent, CIA’s yearlong commitment to exploring social agency and the visual arts.

The deadline for proposals is July 14.

About Shannon Jackson
Shannon Jackson is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in the Arts and Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Professor of Rhetoric and of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies. She is also the Director of the Arts Research Center. Professor Jackson was recently selected to receive a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation fellowship for 2014–15. Her most recent book is Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics (Routledge, 2011), and she is working on a book about The Builders Association. Her previous books are Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, and Hull-House Domesticity (2000) and Professing Performance: Theatre in the Academy from Philology to Performativity (2004).

About Cleveland Institute of Art
Founded in 1882, the Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design offering 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its programming to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; a robust continuing education program; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film program. For more information visit cia.edu.

The New York  School of Visual Arts is pleased to present two innovative summer residencies in public art, which introduce artists to the conceptual and practical considerations of expanding a studio practice into the public realm. Both programs are open to artists interested in moving from the traditional studio, gallery and theatre space into the urban arena. Visual artists, writers, architects, designers, performance artists, urban planners and social activists are invited to apply.

Summer public art residencies

School of Visual Arts (SVA)

Kirsten Hurley, Women in Tall Dresses, 2011. Site-specific performance on 23rd Street in New York City. Photo by Keren Moscovitch.
Kirsten Hurley, Women in Tall Dresses, 2011. Site-specific performance on 23rd Street in New York City. Photo by Keren Moscovitch.

City as Site: Public Art as Social Intervention
June 16–27, 2014
City as Site is a nomadic summer residency that explores the diverse communities that define New York City with the aim of creating site-specific public works and brings together artists, scholars and community members to think about the role of art in constructing space for civic dialogue. Participants will develop experimental models for an artistic practice that combine methods from the arts, activism, and other fields in order to cultivate innovative approaches to the construction of social spaces as works of art.

The residency will use New York City’s five boroughs as its classroom, engaging with its communities, histories and stories as materials for final projects. Interventions may take the form of tours, temporal installations, video or sound projections, performances, community involved projects, peer-to-peer platforms, print or online publication, or a one-time street event.

A faculty composed of leading artists and social entrepreneurs will help artists originate projects that reflect current social issues and guide collaborations with local businesses and neighborhoods, as well as cultural and governmental partners.

Faculty and guest lecturers will include Ofri Cnaani (visual artist), Kendal Henry (public art, urban design consultant; visual artist; curator), Ed Woodham (artist, founder and director, Art in Odd Places), Rachel Falcone & Michael Premo (Housing is a Human Right), Tom Finkelpearl (Queens Museum), Lisa Kim (Two Trees), Micaela Martegani (More Art), Jenny Polak (artist and activist), Todd Shalom (Elastic City), Radhika Subramaniam (Parsons The New School for Design), Charlie Todd (Improv Everywhere), Risë Wilson (The Laundromat Project & Robert Rauschenberg Foundation), Caroline Woolard (Our Goods & Trade School).

Reconfiguring Site: Art, Architecture and Activism in the Public Realm
July 14–26, 2014
Making art in the public is no longer just placing an object in a public plaza, a monumental sculpture in a park or a memorial sculpture. Public art can be integrated into the landscape or digitally into the fabric of a building. It can be performative, ephemeral, digital or permanent. Many artists would like to make art in the public but feel overwhelmed by its challenges or by what is often seen as a compromise of one’s creative freedom. The restrictions imposed by a commissioning agency, as well as limitations of liability, money and recognition can also be confining for an artist.

This program is structured as a think-tank for public art. Participants will learn how to read from architectural plans and create an ephemeral work in the streets or a temporary work at a site suggested within NYC. Perfecting an existing proposal or developing one that can be realized at a later time will also be fundamental. In acknowledgement of the increasing threat of global warming, this summer’s residency will focus on the waterfront. Art and architecture serve integral functions in the redevelopment of waterfront areas, which have been affected by climate change. Residents will be encouraged to develop professional proposals, which engage a New York City-based waterfront site under the guidance of faculty members and guest lecturers.

Core faculty will include an artist, a public art curator/administrator and an urban planner/architect. Leading public art administrators will be among the guest speakers in the residency. Faculty and lecturers have included Charlotte Cohen, Craig Dykers, Eiko and Koma, Wendy Feuer, Anita Glesta, Kendal Henry, Barry Holden, Meredith Johnson, Anne Pasternak, Lauren Ross, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Nina Yankowitz.

For further information or questions regarding SVA’s summer residencies:
residency@sva.edu / T +1 212 592 2188.

The 12th Bienal de Cuenca is conceived as an open thought process, in which the artworks form a constellation of independent yet deeply interrelated concepts. Informed by Édouard Glissant’s (Martinica, 1928–Paris, 2011) understanding of knowledge as stemming from movement and relation, the Bienal addresses the suspension of the privileged condition of the artist.

In some cases, this results in nomadic artworks, not only because of their physical movement, but also through the outsourcing of creative production to the point of following an almost industrial modus operandi. In other cases, artists recuperate traditional know-how, by working with craftsmen or rescuing fables and forgotten stories, or they reinterpret already existing works and even collaborate with spirits and other-than-human beings. The dissolution of the border between the conceptual and the physical author undermines the bases of economic, geographic and political status quos, often referring, in more or less direct ways, to postcolonial debates and the need to undermine market logic. Problematizing those issues, other artists question the validity of standard and universal measurements of time and space, and point to the impossibility of reducing the world to uniform criteria.

Sara VanDerBeek, "Untitled," 2014. Digital C-print. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures gallery
Sara VanDerBeek, “Untitled,” 2014. Digital
C-print. Courtesy of the artist and Metro
Pictures galleryIr para volver (Leaving to Return)

12th Bienal de Cuenca
March 28–June 27, 2014

Fundación Municipal Bienal de Cuenca
Bolívar 13-89 y Estévez de Toral
Cuenca
Ecuador
T +593 7 2831 778

The title of the exhibition is based on the Ecuadorian expression Ir para volver (Leaving to return), which describes a physical and temporary absence (frequently even without a definite duration). While highlighting the state of movement as the key aspect of many artworks included in the exhibition, this expression also situates the 12th Bienal de Cuenca in the undefined field of speech, emphasizing the importance of dialogue and of the mixture of apparently distant, disparate, and even opposed forms of knowledge. Leaving to Return signals an ongoing dialogue that takes place far away from the rigidity of strict and polished discourses, and ultimately delves into life itself.

Dialogues, the discursive program of Leaving to Return, is structured around four of the main concepts of the exhibition. Nabil Ahmed, Sarah Demeuse, Max Jorge Hinderer and Manuel Segade were invited to organize the four table of discussion. On the final day of the program, architect Paulo Tavares will moderate a session that will explore the relation between the topics and the questions raised in the previous days, and articulate a collective dialogue.

Participants:

Residency program, September 2013–June 2014:
Agency, Helen Mirra, Eduardo Navarro, Julia Rometti and Victor Costales, Jorge Satorre, Marinella Senatore, Sara VanDerBeek

Exhibition, March 28–June 27:
Agency, Meriç Algün Ringborg, Armando Andrade Tudela, Julieta Aranda, Martha Araújo, Adrián Balseca, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, Néstor Basterretxea, François Bucher, Mauricio Bueno, Saskia Calderón, Pia Camil, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Juan Downey, Patricia Esquivias, Mario García Torres, Ximena Garrido Lecca, José Hidalgo-Anastacio, Runo Lagomarsino, Little Warsaw, Maria Loboda, Claudia Martínez Garay, Benjamin Meyer-Krahmer, Ana Maria Millán, Helen Mirra, Felipe Mujica, Eduardo Navarro, Rivane Neuenschwander, Pedro Neves Marques, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Juan Pablo Ordóñez, Bernardo Ortiz, Adrian Paci, Rita Ponce de León, Mauro Restiffe, Manuela Ribadeneira, Julia Rometti y Victor Costales, Jorge Satorre, Marinella Senatore, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Cecilia Szalkowicz, Sara VanDerBeek

Performances, March 28–30:
Saskia Calderón, Juan Pablo Ordóñez, Marinella Senatore

Dialogues, March 29–31:
“Table 1—History, Body, and Aesthetic Condition”: Valeria Coronel, Carles Guerra, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz
“Table 2—Appropriation”: Pierre Bal-Blanc, Christian León, Manuel Segade
“Table 3—Of Men and Measure”: Sarah Demeuse, Fernanda Laguna, Alexander Provan
“Table 4—Material Movement: Forests”: Nabil Ahmed, Mario Melo, Nancy Lee Peluso;
Discussion: Paulo Tavares

Curators: Jacopo Crivelli Visconti (curator), Manuela Moscoso (adjunct curator)

Director of the Fundación Municipal Bienal de Cuenca: Katya Cazar

Venues: Museo de Arte Moderno; Salón del Pueblo; Proceso Arte Contemporáneo; Casa de los Arcos; Capilla del Museo de la Medicina; Colegio Benigno Malo

Media contact: Sebastián Lazo, comunicacion@bienaldecuenca.org

Vanessa Berry revisits the world of Sydney independent music, zines and records shops,  in the 90s. Strangely apt for my sense of time travel having recently landed in my home town. (JR)

‘Ninety 9’ Book Launch

Vanessa Berry‘s writing has a sense of place: the Inner West. In the world of wine they call it terroir. Everyone else probably calls it not forgetting your roots. In Vanessa Berry’s memoir, she lays those roots bare: a teenage music fan in Sydney in the ’90s. Ninety 9 is a slice of ’90s nostaliga featuring the mixtapes made from recording off the radio, the band tshirts, staying up late to watch Rage and records stores such as Waterfront, Half a Cow, Phantom and Red Eye in which she also first discovered zines. Appropriately it will be launched at The Midnight Special, a bar dedicated to music, in the Inner West. Cleo Braithwaite

Ninety9 will be launched in Sydney on August 14th at The Midnight Special in Enmore.

Come along and celebrate the book’s release, hear some stories from the book and dance to The Meanies and Babes in Toyland as DJ Earley Curley replicates the playlist of his 90s community radio show live.

CAMOUFLAGE CULTURES: SURVEILLANCE, COMMUNITIES, AESTHETICS, ANIMALS

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), The University of Sydney, in partnership with The University of Northern Iowa and University of Auckland and in association with the Australia Council, the Ian Potter Foundation, the Goethe-Institut, Sydney University Press presents:

Camouflage Cultures: Surveillance, Communities, Aesthetics, Animals, an international conference and exhibition co-convened an co-curated by Ann Elias and Nicholas Tsoutas.

The conference and exhibition address two key principles of camouflage – concealment and deception – in relation to four themes: surveillance, communities, aesthetics, and animals. The theme of ‘surveillance’ includes war, defence, militaries, and conflict; ‘communities’ embraces society, the everyday, government, and identity; ‘aesthetics’ incorporates art, architecture, film, and popular culture; ‘animals’ includes human and non-human beings, nature, evolution, pattern, and optics.

CAMOUFLAGE CULTURES conference runs from Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August. The conference and exhibition offer an exciting range of interpretations and understandings, research and investigation into the subject of camouflage and in relation to visual representation and the contemporary world. The event showcases the work of staff from the SCA and other leading national and international artists, academics and writers.

Conference Keynote Speakers:
Roy R. Behrens, Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar at University of Northern Iowa
Hsuan Hsu, Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis

Speakers:
Paul Brock & Jack Hasenpusch, Donna West Brett, Edward Colless, Ann Elias, Ross Gibson, Pam Hansford, Ian Howard, Bernd Hüppauf, Ian McLean, Jacqueline Millner, Jonnie Morris, Nikos Papastergiadis, Tanya Peterson, Linda Tyler, Ben Wadham

Exhibition Artists:
Robyn Backen, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Debra Dawes, Alex Gawronski, Sarah Goffman, Shaun Gladwell, Emma Hack, Ian Howard, Jan Howlin, Jonnie Morris, Justene Williams

Camouflage Cultures Conference

When: 8 August – 11 August 2013
Where: Sydney College of the Arts
Rozelle Campus
Balmain Road, Rozelle

Camouflage Cultures Exhibition

When: 8 August – 31 August 2013
Where: SCA Galleries, Sydney College of the Arts
Rozelle Campus
Balmain Road, Rozelle

Location & Getting to SCA. Wheelchair access: The SCA Galleries are fully accessible venues. Public transport and limited accessible visitor parking is available. Bookings are essential.

The Safe Itinerant / The Insecurity of Mobility

A mobile workshop, seminar, performance, between Berlin and Luneberg August 14, 2013

 

Leaving from Berlin Haupbahnhof, concluding at the Post Media Lab in Luneberg

Organized by micha cárdenas with support from the Post Media Lab

Featuring the work of: Zach Blas / micha cárdenas / Tikul / NM Rosen / Pinar Yoldas

 

We are safe when we walk.

We have walked for generations.

Your colonial regimes want to stop us, name and identify us.

We won’t be stopped by your policing violence,

We won’t be named by your regimes.

 

From Oscar Grant, a black man killed in San Francisco at a public train station by private train police, to the 2012 sexual assault of a woman by a group of men on bus in New Delhi, India, repeatedly the promises of urban mobility are belied by the violence that is used to police spaces of transit and the ways that access to mobility is regulated. This performance / seminar will consider the themes of mobility, violence and access, using the actual space of transit, the train and train station, as the space of performance, discussion and presentation. The performance is part of the project Local Autonomy Networks, by micha cárdenas, which works towards networks of community based responses to violence through performance and dance. This part of the series will consider how trans-local networks of safety can be imagined within spaces which are intensely regulated yet fall between the lines of local regulations. Engaging with the Post Media Lab’s theme of Organization After Networks, this performance will consider how communities can organize for safety after their lives have been shaped by inter-urban and transnational transportation networks.

Themes to be addressed:

  • The cloud versus a home / colonial dream of mobility versus de-colonial construction
  • Safety in Numbers / Gendering of Public Space
  • The Itinerant scholar / the safe itinerant / the itinerant artist
  • The Insecurity of mobility / gender/sexuality/race in transit and across borders
  • From passport checks to biometric mobility controls
  • Ticketing systems / E-Ticketing
  • The price of speed / The cost of easy border crossing
  • Mobile Public Space / From Public to Corporate Transit / Public Interstitial Space
  • The promise of mobility / Disability and access

Inspired by The Political Equator my daily sense of danger and my daily experiences of harassment and violence (micha cárdenas)

To join, use the following itinerary for DB
Halt Datum Zeit Gleis Fahrt Reservierung
Berlin Hbf (tief) 14.08. ab 12:16 7
Hamburg Hbf 14.08. an 13:57 5a/b, ICE 1612
Hamburg Hbf 14.08. ab 14:53 14a/b
Lüneburg 14.08. an 15:25 1, ICE 681

Berlin’s media art community: a female

perspective

Tuesday 9th April, 2013 // SUPERMARKT

Photo: © Ars Electronica | Susi Rogenhofer, Flickr CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license
Photo: © Ars Electronica | Susi Rogenhofer, Flickr CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license

Berlin has a rich and long-standing tradition of women engaged in the fields of media arts, media activism and digital culture. Today over half of Berlin’s independent project spaces and initiatives revolving around the themes of tech, media and digital culture are run by women. A broad range of female curators and activists continue to shape net politics – initiating independent programmes, hosting events and leading research at Berlin’s universities.

Despite this large female contingent, and in a city where the workforce is generally evenly distributed, it is at odds that the theoretical discourse on media art and net activism, executive roles and directorships, as well panelists and participants at events and festivals, are still male-dominated. In a forward-thinking city like Berlin, this ongoing gap should be addressed so that the wider fields of media arts and activism are fully inclusive of the multitude of female skills and viewpoints on offer.

At this event, SUPERMARKT highlights and showcases some of the women who have played an important role in shaping the profile of Berlin as a digital culture city. We will learn more about their history, career paths, and the narratives of their work and life. Ten inspiring women in the field will join us, and answer questions against the backdrop of their own lives and careers, including what drives them to continue the work they do, what have been the crucial moments of their careers, and who are their professional mentors, support networks, and inspirations.” Ela Kagel & Michelle O’Brien

Media Fem Panel Photo: Helena Lingor @ Supermarkt
Media Fem Panel Photo: Helena Lingor @ Supermarkt

I was thrilled to see and hear ten amazing women take the stage at SUPERMARKT last week to share their perspective on working in the media and culture sector. The event had a great buzz and drew a wide audience, as diverse and happening as the women speaking. Ela Kagel and Michelle O’Brien curated the evening with a deft touch, having provided the framework for each speaker to contextualise their own practice by thinking through questions of motivation and key moments. The responses to this provocation ranged from the necessary historical contextualisation of career highlights to intriguing, poetic and subtle approaches, exploring personal stories and reflections through a selection of quotes.

Tatiana Bazzichelli spoke about her varied professional facets, being too radical for the academics, too artistic for the radicals, and too academic for the artists, while Kathy Rae Huffman enumerated her significant and internationally influential career highlights in curating video and media art from the 70s up until today, offering an insight into her practice through the excellent reading list that she discussed (in follow-up discussion a member of the audience has requested that this also be made available). One of the key points made by speakers in many of the talks was the necessity to jump in and figure things out for yourself, or to “learn by doing”, not wait to become an expert.

Tatiana Bazzichelli & Ela Kagel Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt.
Tatiana Bazzichelli & Ela Kagel Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt.

There was no discernible antagonism towards the male dominated world, as this was the case with many of the speakers who had often been the only woman in the room at work or speaking on stage at professional events – but rather all highlighted their strategy of responding to challenges and getting on with the job to hand as the most effective form of action. Michelle Thorne spoke about her love of soccer, and how the sport gave her physical confidence and a different understanding of her body, operating from a position of strength and power. The celebration of their peers and support network was also a positive influence at Mount Holyoke, all-women university. Her mission statement was to figure it out and do it – don’t wait until you have the answers or training. Don’t be afraid to fail! (“Fail more, fail better” – called out someone in the audience. “Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett”)

All three initiators of the Faces mailing list (Kathy Rae Huffman, Diana McCarty, Valie Djordjevic) spoke about their experiences in the 90’s and how the need for the women focused list became apparent, both sharing and creating opportunities, network and exchange of ideas, information and resources for women working with art and media. It can definitely be a boys club, and every one of the women speaking and in the room is testament to how much that has changed, and how far it still needs to go before there is gender equality. The discussion was agile and lively without falling into the murky waters of complaining about the situation but finding ways to address the needs and roles that women can play in creating and theorising and promoting and facilitating all forms of media and culture. The evening also raised an interesting question of the distinction between a “female perspective” and a “feminist” one, as while some of the women identified as feminist, not all did. This gave the conversation a interesting take, as the speakers and audience maintained a broad spectrum of interests, which was not mainly focused on issues of gender but on the desire to meet and explore the challenges of creating satisfying work in a richly diverse range of contexts.

In this event, it made sense to talk about the personal experiences behind these voices, however I hope this is a stepping stone to taking the conversation further and deeper into their actual work. This critique is not directed at the organisers per se but is a wider cultural concern, is that while it’s amazing to see so many incredible women in one place talking about their work, I would love to have this taking place simply because the work they do is powerful, important, fantastic, relevant and highly influential… not because they are women. A comment by one of the men present was that in his 25 years of experience, even with gender equality on a panel or in an exhibition, it was still the male voices that tend to dominate. I think the evening provided an excellent opportunity for women’s experiences to be heard and discussed, but this needs to become a far more “normal” enterprise, without having the framing as “women’s experience” but as experiences, from a range of professional and personal perspectives. 

Audience Media Fem Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt
Audience Media Fem Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt

Ela Kagel responded to this point: “I can understand your critique, that we referred to our presenters as being female as the prime criteria for showcasing them. But of course we selected them for being brilliant, inspiring and influential in the first place. And yes, we wanted to present women, because the public image of Berlin as a digital culture city is still much more tied to the men working in that field. I think it’s really about time to reassess this image! And as much as we wish for a world in which we don’t need events like ours, we just have to acknowledge the fact that there is still a huge gender imbalance out there – and this is a structural problem. I think we can’t address this often enough.

We have been working quite a while to get this invitation text together and to frame everything in an interesting and challenging way. And we knew that it would still raise questions – but questions and comments are of course very welcome in that context.”

Michelle O’Brien comments:  “I would also reverse this point and say it was a specific and intentional celebration of powerful and influential females in the industry. We could have removed the ‘female perspective’ part of the title, simply calling it a showcase of prominent figures within Berlin’s Media Art Community and inviting the same 10 female speakers, and perhaps this would have attracted a different audience (with possibly more males!), but I feel this would not adequately represent the topic at hand. The  focus highlighted the specific achievements these individuals have made, as women in a male-dominated industry, and the powers and social/political structures they have overcome, and continue to push against on a daily basis to do their work, whether or not they specifically identify as ‘feminists’.”

Andrea Goetzke, Diana McCarty, Lisa Lang PPhoto: Gretchen Blegen @ Supermarkt.
Andrea Goetzke, Diana McCarty, Lisa Lang PPhoto: Gretchen Blegen @ Supermarkt.

Diana McCarty talked with great passion and humour about the revolutionary aspects of women working in radio & media, particular focus on the film program that she curated in New Mexico. Playing excerpts while she spoke of the 1983 feminist science fiction classic “Born in Flames”, directed by Lizzie Borden which explores a hypothetical New York society, ten years after the successful socialist revolution. Radio plays a large part in both the film plot and in Diana’s work significantly with reboot fm. If there was ever a women’s army, I would sign up if Diana will lead it!

“Think Big” are the words Lisa Lang wrote in her notebook while studying – and she made a point of showing her process through the exploration of ideas (and lists) in her notebooks. “I wrote it down and it echoed inside me, and I owned it” she explained, and I understood completely the conviction with which she expressed this concept. The act of writing does both ingrain something inside you, and invoke a power with those words, allowing you to live their fullest expression.

Lisa Lang Photo: Helena Lingor @Supemarkt
Lisa Lang Photo: Helena Lingor @Supemarkt

Having fallen in love with Australia while studying there, Lisa wanted to stay longer and was discouraged to find that it wasn’t officially possible – until someone suggested that she didn’t need to play by the rules. “Hack the system” became another maxim to live by, and in the event she did manage to wrangle another six months of her studies, which turned into five years living in OZ. The evangelista for Berlin Geekettes, a collective of women talking tech, she gave for me what was absolutely the most inspiring moment of the night with the following advice. Talking about her attempts to find work after she finished studying, and realising that whatever she was doing just wasn’t working, this affirmative wisdom is taken from“What Colour is your Parachute?” the job hunting manual she read in a more desperate time: “Define yourself. Decide what you want to do and with whom you want to do it.” Excellent, don’t wait for someone else to choose you or tell you what you are capable of – make it up, get out there and make it happen!

Finally, Andrea Goetzke of newthinking, gave us her summary with ten key quotes. She apologised for all but one of them being by men “so beat me up for that later” – a squeamish moment when the tension between the feminist principles and their lived experience was played out, although with no violent repercussions. “It’s about creating a space that wouldn’t really exist otherwise!” is the first, and she discussed the moment of realising the value of creating spaces where people gather around shared interests. The second memorable quote concerned the value of coming to things with a fresh eye, to learn while doing and take and open approach – be naïve and a beginner.

Andrea Goetzke Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt
Andrea Goetzke Photo: Gretchen Blegen @Supermarkt

“Enjoy life and create and enjoyable moment for others,” Andrea concluded, and that is exactly what the SUPERMARKT and all the women who spoke and attended have done and will continue to do….

Jodi Rose

Inside Media Fem Photo: Helena Lingor @Supermarkt
Inside Media Fem Photo: Helena Lingor @Supermarkt

Images courtesy of SUPERMARKT

Speaker Biographies

Tatiana Bazzichelli is a researcher, networker and curator, working in the field of hacktivism and net culture. She is part of the transmediale festival team, where she develops the year-round project ‘reSource transmedial culture berlin’. She is Postdoc researcher at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, as part of the Innovation Incubator / Centre for Digital Cultures, and the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media, Faculty of Cultural Studies. She is Affiliated Researcher at Aarhus University (DK), where she received a PhD in Information and Media Studies (2011), conducting research on disruptive art in the business of social media, published with the title: “Networked Disruption. Rethinking Oppositions in Art, Hacktivism and the Business of Social Networking” (2013). She wrote the book “Networking. La rete come arte | The Net as Artwork” (2006). In 2001, Tatiana founded the AHA:Activism-Hacking-Artivism networking platform. She organised exhibitions and events such as Hack.it.art (2005), HackMit! (2007), CUM2CUT (2006-2008), and HACK.Fem.EAST (2008) in Berlin, Rome, and other European cities.
networkingart.eu | disruptiv.biz | transmediale.de

Valie Djordjevic is an editor at iRights.info, a website about copyright in the digital age, and lecturer on the topics of digital writing, social media and copyright for private and public institutions. She is active in the digital world since 1996, e.g. as member of Internationale Stadt Berlin, one of the first net culture projects in Germany or mikro e.V., a Berlin based association examining the different facets of media culture. She is a co-moderator and administrator (together with Diana McCarty, Kathy Rae Huffman and Ushi Reiter) of the mailing list Faces, one of the first lists for women working with art and media.
valid.de | irights.info | mikro.org | faces-l.net

Andrea Goetzke is a Berlin-based cultural producer, curator and organizer. For many years, she has worked in different contexts on issues of free culture, open source, digital and music culture, ranging from projects supporting open source software in African countries to initiating the openeverything Berlin events. With all2gethernow, she organizes activities looking for new strategies in music culture and business. She is part of newthinking, an agency that works at the interfaces of open source and digital technologies with culture and society. Andrea organizes music events, and hosts a regular radio show on free culture on reboot.fm.
all2gethernow.de | newthinking.de | reboot.fm

Kathy Rae Huffman is a freelance curator, networker and media art collector currently based in Berlin. She has held curatorial posts at the Long Beach Museum of Art, The ICA Boston, and Cornerhouse, Manchester. She has written about, consulted for, presented special programs and coordinated events for a variety of international festivals and organisations. Her research focuses around issues of female environments in the Internet, and the history of artists’ television. Kathy co-founded the international online community for women media artists FACES: Gender/Technology/Art (with Diana McCarty and Valie Djordjevic) in 1997. Her current curatorial project is an exhibition of the late Nan Hoover’s video, performance and photography. She curated Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach, 1974-1999, a retrospective exhibition of international video, for the Long Beach Museum of Art, (in 2011). The exhibition and research was supported by the Getty Research Institute as part of Pacific Standard Time. She was international curator for ISEA2009, Belfast; and project curator for Transitland: Video art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009. Huffman received an MFA in Exhibition Design from California State University Long Beach in 1980, where she also completed the graduate course in Museum Studies.
faces-l.net

Claudia Kefer works as an innovation intermediary and strategic consultant in the field of art, culture and educational contexts. She holds a MA degree in Communication in Social and Economic Contexts from the UdK Berlin. During the mid nineties she graduated in Communication Design at the GSO University of Applied Science in Nürnberg, at a time when Germany was a pre-web market, the ambiguity between a analogue and a digital world became a core issue of her work. During her early nineties experience of “Zwischennutzkultur” in Germany, Kefer began freelancing, co-working and co-thinking before it became a facet of a broader lifestyle or an educated instrument of urban and economic development. She is a team member of the SLEEPING GIRL JOINT VENTURE, an independent art-house film reflecting the early days of video art in Germany, told through the lens of a ‘boy meets girl’ story. Currently she is focused on a research project titled MESHING-BERLIN which will be introduced at re:publica 13.
claudiakefer.de | dasschlafendemaedchen.de

Julia Kloiber is currently working as a project lead for the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany, an NGO working within the field of transparency and open data. She holds a Bachelors degree in Information Design and a Masters in New Media and Digital Culture from Utrecht University. She has worked for Women Make Movies in New York City and for Platoon Cultural Development in Berlin. Julia’s main fields of interest are netpolitics, open data, interactive design and art.
okfn.org

Lisa Lang is a born networker and problem solver. Some also use the word “whip-cracker” in the same sentence with her name but she prefers the description “traffic light”. She’s the head of products Sourcefabric, an independent organisation promoting quality journalism and providing open source tools, including Newscoop, Booktype, Airtime and Superdesk; Evangelista for BerlinGeekettes collective of women talking tech, and is finishing off her MBA in the coming year.
linkedin.com/in/lilaworks | berlingeekettes.com | sourcefabric.org

Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen holds a Master of Arts in Art History (Aarhus University, Denmark) with a focus on internet art, digital media and performance studies, where she wrote her Master Thesis with the title “Keeping Ephemerality Alive – Preserving the Dynamic Materiality of Net Art”. Tina works as an independent curator on projects in the field of internet art, live art practices, interactive media and online performance. During 2012 she curated and coordinated the online exhibition website for internet art: Net.Specific, for Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Denmark and Net.Specific’s first exhibition Communication Paths that was launched in October 2012.
tmkm.dk/about.html | netspecific.net/en

Diana McCarty was born and raised in New Mexico and has lived in Europe since 1993 – Budapest in 90’s and Berlin in the 2000s. Her work revolves around art, politics and new/old media. Currently, Diana is working with radio and revolutionaries: mostly reboot.fm, radia.fm, Bolshevik women, and experimental film. A long time ago, she was part of the International Women’s University server development team (with Seda Gürses, Barbara Schelkle, Prof. Heidi Schelhowe, and Heiki Pfisch), and also worked to develop feminist pedagogical approaches to learning technology. In the mid-nineties, she co-founded Nettime (with Geert Lovink, Pit Schultz, a.o.) and the Faces Mailing list (with Kathy Rae Huffman, Valie Djordjevic & Ushi Reiter), and as part of the Media Research Foundation, co-organized the MetaForum Conference Series in Budapest (with Janos Sugar and Geert Lovink). Diana was a co-founder of Mikro e.V. and the now defunct bootlab. Her main interests are exploiting social and technological systems for culture and real life.
reboot.fm | radia.fm | faces-l.net

Michelle Thorne is an American-born, Berlin-based Creative Commons activist. She holds a BA in Critical Social Thought and German Studies from Mount Holyoke College, USA, where she wrote an honors thesis on authorship, originality, and American copyright law. Michelle grew up in Heidelberg, Germany. She worked as the international project manager for Creative Commons from 2007 to 2011 and joined the Mozilla Foundation as Global Event Strategist in 2011. She is a founding member of the Awesome Foundation Berlin.
mozilla.org | awesomefoundation.org

Supermarkt Media Fem Photo: Helena Lingor @Supermarkt
Supermarkt Media Fem Photo: Helena Lingor @Supermarkt

Transition & Utopia

Transitory Art

Theory & Art in Temporary Societies

MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana with CIANT (Prague), BIS (Istanbul) and ARTos (Nicosia)

announce TRIBE SHARED RESIDENCY OPPORTUNITIES IN LJUBLJANA, PRAGUE, ISTANBUL, NICOSIA… as part of T.R.I.B.E. ARTIST AND RESEARCH RESIDENCIES 2013-2014

As a collaborating partner with MoTA for T-R-A-C-E-S Tea & Radio Lounge @ Transmediale10, I am thrilled to see this exciting project evolve for the Museum of Transitory Art and partners. (Jodi Rose)

T.R.I.B.E. – a new network of residency spaces in the Balkans and East Europe, dedicated to research and production of Transitory Art, launches its first open call for artistic and research residencies to take place between March 2013 and April 2014. TRIBE network aims to examine vital cultural, political and social questions in a way that will produce fresh perspectives via research and artistic outputs.

 

MORE INFO & APPLICATION: http://transitoryart.org/tribe-open-call/

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 20 April 2013

TRIBE Open call for Artist in Residence Proposals
TRIBE Open call for Artist in Residence Proposals

OPEN CALL FOR TRIBE RESIDENCIES 2013

for ARTISTS and RESEARCHERS

 

WHAT IS A TRIBE RESIDENCY?

A TRIBE residency is a production or research residency for artists and researchers taking place in at least one and maximum three cities – Ljubljana, Prague, Istanbul, Nicosia, Belgrade & other locations. TRIBE is a network interested in forming a mobile group of artists and researchers to participate in explorations, discussions, interventions and innovations related to the first TRIBE theme: Transition & Utopia.

Works produced will be exhibited in two exhibitions taking place in Istanbul, Turkey and Ljubljana, Slovenia. Common events for TRIBE group, workshops and a symposium for researchers will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus.

 

WE ARE LOOKING FOR PROJECTS INCLUDING:

1) (Monumental) public space interventions

2) Live art and symbols of nationalism (such as flash mobs/live art actions)

3) Projects researching transitions from analogue to digital media, obsolete technolgies and futurisms

TRANSITORY ART = PUBLIC SPACE RELATED PRACTICES + EPHEMERAL (TIME BASED) PRACTICES + POETIC & TECHNOLOGICAL CRITICAL MEDIA ARTWORKS

 

TO APPLY PLEASE PROVIDE:

– A project proposal

– Motivation for why you would like to work in the context of this particular residency (how its mission relates to your proposed project)

– How and why would you describe your work as transitory?

– A technical description and project development plan (including an indication of your planning divided between the organizations, i.e. what would you like to develop where and why – if applicable)

– A draft budget proposal

ONLY APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED THROUGH THE ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM WILL BE REVIEWED. PLEASE DO NOT SEND APPLICATIONS IN ANY OTHER WAY.

 

THEME: TRANSITION AND UTOPIA

Transition can be seen in acute forms in current political and social conditions and in the accelerated transition of social, religious and economic notions of value. In a situation of constant dislocation and perceived loss of values Transitory Art can play a vital role in adjusting perceptions and bringing forward new forms, considering and analysing not only longer-term solutions and structures, but also smaller, short-term interventions that can help trigger processes of change including at the socio- and geo-political level.

While the Balkans did enjoy a period of so-called independence they are now increasingly subject to historical Austro-Hungarian interests in new forms and re-entering a state of disempowered conomic dependence. This is accompanied by a loss of respect for human rights in Europe accompanied by growing nationalism at the European centre as well as the peripheries.

Both centre and periphery are experiencing an ever-harsher capitalist regime. This intensifies processes of migration from and across the Balkans. These conditions generate social, cultural and political uncertainty and a related lack of vision and leadership at a time when much of the region’s populations remain traumatised by constantly changing and deteriorating life conditions.

The forced and even catastrophic transitions occurring at all levels of human existence (intellectual, political, personal, media) produces widespread disorientation. Transitory Art is a process which responds to the consequences of transitional ‘realities’ which create such a widespread state of fear and uncertainty, and social and mental dead-ends.

In the current state, change seems an utopia. We believe that the role of art is to allow a space for the possibility of change, generating fresh perspectives and propose new solutions. We search for concepts and ideas in which the citizens of a dreamless Europe regain their power to change.

We are looking for critical artists working in the field of media and transitory art, interventions and exploratory critical researchers and curators. The project focuses on the Balkans and the East but welcomes projects adressing the theme in a broader way.

Online application form + more information on the theme: http://transitoryart.org/tribe-submission/

All applicants will be informed by 15 May 2013.

Date: 11.03.2013 – 20.04.2013
Project website: www.transitoryart.org