This exhibition attempts to blur the line between life and algorithms. Mitozoos emulate life using a genetic algorithm, while L-Garden shows how an algorithm can itself be life. self-portrait uses DNA as an algorithm to create something else entirely. I am Still Alive shows how even the simplest algorithm can show signs of “life”, and CyberZoo makes light of the distinction by treating ordinary algorithms as life.
Catalogue of the group exhibition on digital art curated by Pau Waelder. The exhibition proposes the spectator reflect on the new parameters introduced into the concepts of subject, body and interpersonal relations as a result of the development of new technologies, and how intimacy thus turns into extimacy, to use the term created by Jacques Lacan to define existence. The selection of works, interactive installations that involve the spectator through active participation, brings together renowned international artists: Gazira Babeli, Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, Martin John Callanan, Grégory Chatonsky, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Paul Sermon, Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, and Carlo Zanni.
The catalogue has been published with a heat-sensitive cover. Includes colour reproductions of the works displayed and critical texts by Pau Waelder, Pau Alsina and Francesc Núñez. 2011, ISBN 978-84-938055-4-8, 184 pages, 23x17cm, Catalan, Spanish, English and German.
EXTIMACY: ART, INTIMACY AND TECHNOLOGY
Es Baluard Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma
29.01.2011 – 01.05.2011 (opening 28.01.2011)
GAZIRA BABELI, CLARA BOJ, MARTIN JOHN CALLANAN, GRÉGORY CHATONSKY, DIEGO DÍAZ, RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER, LAURENT MIGNONNEAU, PAUL SERMON, CHRISTA SOMMERER, CARLO ZANNI.
Inside the immense flow of data exchange, the new technologies have facilitated an interdependency between the spheres of what is private and what is public, between interior and exterior, leading us to reveal, in an increasingly natural manner, our experiences, thoughts and feelings, enlarging the circle of intimacy to the point of sharing our inner life with the invisible, abstract audience of Internet users. Things personal become collective, things belonging to others become our own and intimacy is no longer something that is preserved and kept in our innermost circles, but something that is projected in all directions in an eccentric movement. Thus intimacy turns into extimacy, to use the term created by Jacques Lacan to define the existence, within the most intimate sphere of the I, of a “foreign body”, that which is external to the individual and with which one identifies.
We need to share our intimacy because what we are is defined both by our subjectivity and by what surrounds us. In the realm of digital art, several artists have worked with the new parameters of subject, body, interpersonal relationship and intimacy introduced by the new technologies. Their works enable us to initiate a reflection on the ways in which the mobile phone, e-mails, chats, social networks and instant messaging systems modify, increase or condition our communication with others. They also allow us to consider where the boundaries of our personal space lie, where our “I” ends and that of others begins.
“Extimacy. Art, intimacy and technology” is a group digital art exhibition which puts forward a proposal that spectators reflect on these concepts through the presentation of works by recognised artists from the international scene. Interactive installations, mainly, that involve spectators in what is active participation with the work, which never ceases to be a piece with its own identity, the fruit of the firm artistic background of creators who combine art and technology in their work. In an era in which the user adopts an active role in the diffusion and manipulation of information on the global network (known as web 2.0), in art, too, a change in roles between spectator and work is taking place, with interactive art as the best expression of this new paradigm. The works of some great names from this sphere, such as Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer or Paul Sermon, for instance, are combined with the creations of promising artists like Gazira Babeli, Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, Gregory Chatonsky, Carlo Zanni or Martin John Callanan. All of them exhibit the multiple facets a concept as complex and at the same time as simple as extimacy can present, from different angles and with diverse intentions.
One of the most prominent trends I’ve seen on Rhizome.org is human interaction with the artwork. One piece that best warrants that statement is “I am Still Alive” by Martin John Callanan. This piece actually works in the field by sending a text message to bluetooth enabled devices in close proximity at various undisclosed locations. The message says “I am still alive.” I particularly like this artwork because the viewers are not able to choose whether they receive the text… they just get decide whether to read it or not. Most people are too curious to ignore these things though.
Another trend found on the site is the large amount of conceptual art. I’m not sure if you can call this a trend as much as you can call it a natural occurrence. But most of the art is conceptual and the word is a major tag on the site. “Visual” and “Digital” are tags that out do “conceptual,” but they seem like tags that might be used on all of the art on the site.
… in choosing “I am still alive” as the message sent to unwitting participants, Callanan has brilliantly honed the basic sentiment in every message that we send or profile update we make. Every message may as well say “I am still alive” since that message is the function of all such communication. Not just an odd phrase to rouse curiosity, the message is crafted to make the recipients aware of the medium itself…
I am Still Alive ascended to Rhizome ArtBase
A whole series of my work featured in issue 5 of Vague Terrain
Vague Terrain is a web based quarterly publication showcasing work from various artists, musicians, and writers. The quarterly samples the focus and methodologies of academic and art journals, and examines contemporary issues in an immediate and accessible manner that reflects the nature of the web. Content consists of curated visual, audio, and written works.