Escaping the Digital Unease
Aug. 30 - Nov. 13, 2017 at Kunsthaus Langenthal (Switzerland) . More info
After 25 years of the World Wide Web it has become commonplace that our life
also happens in digital communication spaces. But unease spreads in this digital
life. While we’re using products by Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and
find them useful and indispensable, we’ve become aware of the dominance
of such big players. Their services form our thoughts and commodify the idea
of friendship and exchange. We do not surf the wild web anymore, but are fed
with feeds, receiving more and more of the same based on algorithmic extrapolations
of our preferences. With the social media account we rent services, which we
pay with our data and attention. The latest with Edward Snowden’s disclosures
also the excessive government-surveillence and their link to private actors
has become common knowledge.
Since the beginning of the web, artists have built their own spaces and channels there. They have created artworks that reacted to commodification and restrictions in a critical way. In the early web – a time of great utopian ideas about the new medium – artists have tried to co-build the web with their works, texts, friendships and technological solutions. In the last few years, important artworks have been created by exploring digital pop culture, the defaults of commercial platforms and the web mainstream. Now is the time to raise questions about new forms of critique, self-organized platforms and tools, a revisiting of the utopias of the early web, new networks of art, activism and friendship – the question of alternatives.
The exhibition presents works from over 30 artists and collective who tackle these topics, raise awareness to the unease, show the causes or possibilities of escape from it. A selection of books and artist publications are presented in a reading room.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication with essays on the heritage of critical net-culture and the future of the commons (Felix Stalder), on Bots and Artificial Intelligence (Maria Lechner), media-theoretical hand-on tips for an escape from the digital unease (Paul Feigelfeld), as well as other texts by Raffael Dörig, Domenico Quaranta, Claire Hoffmann, with numerous images. German/English, Christoph Merian Verlag, book launch 14 October, 6.30 pm.
Participating artists: Aram Bartholl, Zach Blas & Jemima Wyman, James Bridle,
Harm van den Dorpel, F.A.T. Lab († 2015),
Olga Fedorova, Cao Fei, Elisa Giardina Papa, Félicien Goguey, Benjamin Grosser, Hackteria, Adam Harvey, Jodi,
Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud, Olia Lialina, Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg, Disnovation.org, Joana Moll & Cédric Parizot, The Mycological Twist, (Leslie Kulesh / Eloïse Bonneviot / Anne de Boer), Julian Oliver, Trevor Paglen, Tabita Rezaire, RYBN, Gordan Savicic & Bengt Sjölén, Lasse Scherffig, Erica Scourti,
Yinan Song, Peter Sunde, Maddy Varner, Angela Washko,
Amy Suo Wu.
Produced by Kunsthaus, Langenthal in cooperation with Link Art Center, Brescia and Espace Multimédia Gantner, Bourgogne.