New Materialisms (Station 3)
Alexei Blinov, Martin Callanan, Vladislav Knežević, Špela Petrič / Miha Turšič, Goran Trbuljak
15 June 2016 – 9 July 2016
Institute for Contemporary Art, Zagreb
curator Darko Fritz
The New Materialisms series of exhibitions aims at reflexive production tackling historically divergent art practices and discursive fields of Concrete and Conceptual Art related to them, as defined in the 1960s (especially through the notions of modernity and postmodernity), but also with understanding of those practices via perspectives of post-media approaches to art and the post-digital condition of contemporary society. In that sense, the project’s intention is to formulate dialogues among important authors of these previous periods and contemporary practitioners who work within a post-media context, mirroring “organic” conditions while assuming the design of aesthetic experience as important mechanism which has its agency in the process of creating the physical world.
New Materialisms explores the German philosopher Max Bense’s identification of the ‘aesthetic condition’, and his proposition that ‘the aesthetic condition is as material as the physical condition of any observed object’. His analysis pursued the goal of ‘programs for the production of aesthetic conditions’, using early computing machines. Materials relating to the infamous clash at a 1970 panel discussion between Bense and Joseph Beuys, which has been described as ‘the visibly spectacular finale to the project of a rational, mathematically oriented aesthetics’, are included in the project.
New Materialisms is a long-term program of exhibitions conceptualized in a collaborative process that has been taking place among grey) (area – space for contemporary and media art from Korčula, Croatia and HICA (Highlands Institute for Contemporary Art) from Scotland.
Alexei Blinov: Open Source Vostok, 2013, installation, 3 holograms
Open Source Vostok invites the viewer on a journey back over 400,000 years, through four kilometers of ice, and through almost cosmic cold, to “touch” the untouchable, to feel the real albeit immaterial, and to see an exact optical copy of the ice core and freshly frozen water in the ancient glacial body of water – Lake Vostok. There is not one laboratory in the world that could provide all the conditions found under its icy suit of armor.Open Source Vostok uses this holographic technique to offer the viewer immediate access to one of the least accessible places on Earth, isolated from the surface for more than 15 million years.The artwork in collaboration with Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (St.Petersburg) and Scientific-production holographic laboratory (St. Petersburg).
Text Trends by Martin John Callanan looks at our perception of words and data when displayed in graphical form. Text Trends deals with the spectacularization of information. Using Google data it explores the vast search data of its users. The animation takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph. The viewer watches the animation plot out the ebb and flow of a series of search terms generated over the last four years by internet users around the world. Pairs of words such as ‘now and later’, ‘summer and winter’ play out matter-of-factly, with all the passion of a market index. Instead of the hyper-interactivity of emerging news aggregators and information readers, Text Trends explores our perception of words though topics like time and politics. The work is an investigation into data use, encouraging criticism on
how the data is generated; prompting the question what does the data actually represent?
Installation Voyager/ non-human agent by Špela Petrič and Miha Turšič uses algorithm and data collected from the instruments from the spacecraft Voyager, which since 1977 has been travelling across the universe. Existing space programs focus mainly on understanding the farthest of our surroundings and on developing technological solutions, but tend to overlook the importance of implementing artistic development practices and methodologies in the form of a basic question: What is it like to be a human in space? Voyager/ Non-human Agent project investigates the possible art forms in outer space, a composite of art and science, and the processes of science culturalization.
Goran Trbuljak: Untitled, 2004, Hand counter, pedestal
The total number of persons who have attended the openings of all my individual exhibitions (those who have attended more than one opening have been counted once), 1970 until now
Vladislav Knežević: Binary Pitch 2013, experimental film, 7’, HD
Architecture of the auditorium is a physical, institutional space and the space which generates meaning. The key ideas from Max Bense’s ‘Aesthetics and Programming’ (1968) are coded in zeros and ones and animated as lifting and lowering the seats. In the geometry of a static shot, elements of architecture and space become the subject of a visual experiment. The video consists of three parts: activation (drawing the auditorium out) – coding (central part) – deactivation (drawing the auditorium in).