A list of recommendations, reflecting the dynamic culture we are part of, straddling the fields of art, technology and social change.
EMBODIMENT / Capture Performance Focus (CPF): IRELAND | Until – 31 Oct 2019 | curated by Helen Carey and Michaela Stock | Young Irish artists of the Fire Station Artists’ Studios to Vienna in collaboration with Austrian artists. The exhibition highlights an inter-cultural dialogue. The central enquiry of the exhibition is around being in the world, and the different ways people inhabit space both conceptual and temporal, manifesting cultural differences and similarities. Ideas explored include how contemporary art explores the shifting of what might be stable ideas for nationality, for gender and how history and experience makes meaning fluid – http://tiny.cc/hwetcz
The Art of Activism Exhibition Launch | Hosted by Friends of the Earth and the print space | You’re invited to join The Art of Activism at our launch night on 19 September, for a first look at the exhibition. You’ll find artworks from the activist & creative community inspired by the whimsical, darkly humorous placards that people make for demonstrations alongside artists including Jeremy Deller and Katharine Hamnett plus more to be announced. The evening is free of charge, but please register for a ticket to avoid disappointment.
Other events in relation to the Launch.
Thursday 26 September | The Art of Activism. Exploring how activism and art intersect.
Wednesday 2 October | 1000 Days of Protest. Celebrating 1000 days of fighting Fracking in Lancashire.
Thursday 10 October | Climate – what next? Following on from the global climate strike, what does the next stage of the fight look like? http://tiny.cc/vsctcz
Republic of Learning | By MAKE @Story Garden, Central Saint Martins | Friday 20th September 2019 – 10.30am to 1pm | A monthly event bringing together the local community to discuss and explore issues surrounding climate change. Republic of Learning is a monthly event bringing together the local community to discuss and explore issues surrounding climate change. Through creativity, science and conversation we hope to better understand both the global and local impact of climate change, generating an open forum for experts and non-experts to share knowledge, experiences and ask questions of each other.
Our first event will coincide with the Global Climate Strike, an international strike ahead of the UN emergency climate summit, in which young people around the world ask as many people as possible to join them on the streets to protest the government’s lack of action on the Climate Crisis – http://tiny.cc/m9rtcz
YOKO ONO: LOOKING FOR… (Pieces from ‘Grapefruit’ and other works) | Opening: 26 Sep 2019 | 19 Sep 2019 – 1 Nov 2019 | Alison Richard Building, Cambridge, UK | Showcasing Yoko Ono’s work in the city of Cambridge for the first time ever, the exhibition YOKO ONO: LOOKING FOR… will evolve throughout the year 2019, featuring installations, interventions, performances, film screenings and a symposium, taking place at various venues and public sites – http://tiny.cc/c6etcz
Confessions of a Digital Gun for Hire | Hosted by Open Rights G. | September 23, 2019 | Hear a digital marketing expert blow the whistle on deceitful tactics used by digital advertisers and show us how we can “opt out” of the corporate surveillance economy. We’ll also receive an update about Open Rights Group’s AdTech complaint against Google and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. This event is a great way to learn easy and practical ways to protect yourself online from companies that aggressively target and track you across the Internet. Bring your laptops and mobile phones so you can use what you learn immediately – http://tiny.cc/m3htcz
Mr Processor, do you understand life? | Hosted by Aksioma and Cirkulacija2 (Slovenia) | 24 September 2019 | New improvements in machine learning have yet again turned artificial intelligence (AI) into a hot topic. Contextually, the old myth of the Technological Singularity, which first emerged with the early cybernetic thinking and science fiction, has been revived, making us scared about a possible, ever closer, future in which the development of an upgradable intelligent agent could lead to a “runaway reaction” of self-improvement cycles, resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would far surpass all human intelligence – bringing humanity to an end. Is this the only possible outcome of the development of self-awareness in machines? Couldn’t these machines, as often humans do, employ its self-awareness to indulge in stupidity and bad behaviours? Laying claim to art’s freedom to imagine, rather than predict, Slovenian artist Boštjan Čadež’s work Mr Processor, do you understand life? explores this scenario, sardonically commenting on our current, pathological relationship with machines – http://tiny.cc/qigtcz
The Victorian Pleasure Garden | Hosted by London Fortean Society | Wednesday, 25 September 2019 | Historian Lee Jackson, author of Palaces of Pleasure, recounts the history of London’s 19th-century pleasure gardens, from the faltering last days of Vauxhall to Chelsea’s infamous Cremorne Gardens, Highbury Barn and the Eagle Tavern (of “Pop Goes the Weasel” fame). The rise and fall of the Victorian pleasure garden tells us a good deal about the growth of commercial mass entertainment in the industrial age. It’s a story packed with dramatic spectacle, from fake icebergs to burning men, tightrope walkers and human frogs, prostitution and the Polka, parachuting monkeys, and the power of money – FB link – http://tiny.cc/48atcz
Homo Sensorium at DDW Brainwave Wedding Lab | By Baltan Laboratories | Eindhoven, Netherlands | Dates: 19, 20, 25, 26 Oct 2019 | The Wedding lab is a temporary testing ground where love and technology converge. This High Tech wedding experience developed by Baltan Laboratories together with artists Lancel/Maat, investigates future forms of marriage in a technological society. The lab launches a new wedding ritual for a sustainable social future.
When kissing, the wedding couples’ brain activity is measured with EEG sensors. The two patterns of the wedding kiss are materialized and 3d printed in two unique (wedding) rings. The rings encapsulate a code, representing their marriage contract, stored in a Blockchain system, no longer determined by restrictive social mores and local legislation – http://tiny.cc/1cctcz
FutureFest Late: The future of storytelling | Hosted by FutureFest | Thursday, 24 October 2019 | Join us at the Barbican conservatory for an evening of talks, installations and an interactive performance. We’ll be discussing the ingredients of storytelling with writer and critic Olivia Laing, exploring how stories might be told in the future through installations from the Royal College of Art, and immersing ourselves in an animal love story with performance artist David Finnigan. Your FutureFest Late ticket will include a talk, a pop-up installation, an immersive performance and a complimentary drink and canapés – http://tiny.cc/8zbtcz
The Horrors of the Atomic Age Through Artists’ Eyes | Clayton Schuster reviews Gabrielle Decamous’s book Invisible Colors: The Arts of the Atomic Age | How art makes visible what had been invisible—the effects of radiation, the lives of atomic bomb survivors, and the politics of the atomic age. The effects of radiation are invisible, but art can make it and its effects visible. Artwork created in response to the events of the nuclear era allow us to see them in a different way. In Invisible Colors, Gabrielle Decamous explores the atomic age from the perspective of the arts, investigating atomic-related art inspired by the work of Marie Curie, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the disaster at Fukushima, and other episodes in nuclear history – http://tiny.cc/zqhtcz
Entreprecariat (Onomatopee) out soon! | By Silvio Lorusso | Entrepreneur or precarious worker? These are the terms of a cognitive dissonance that turns everyone’s life into a shaky project in perennial start-up phase. Silvio Lorusso guides us through the entreprecariat, a world where change is natural and healthy, whatever it may bring. A world populated by motivational posters, productivity tools, mobile offices and self-help techniques. A world in which a mix of entrepreneurial ideology and widespread precarity is what regulates professional social media, online marketplaces for self-employment and crowdfunding platforms for personal needs. The result? A life in permanent beta, with sometimes tragic implications – http://tiny.cc/dfitcz
PODCAST: ‘Radicals in Conversation’ | Art the Arms Fair with Peter Kennard | by Pluto Press | On 10th September one of the world’s largest arms fairs returns to London. The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) will feature hundreds of exhibitors, including many of the world’s biggest arms manufacturers – BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and many more besides. Also attending, at the invitation of the UK government, will be countless national delegations, including those from authoritarian regimes, countries in conflict and countries identified as having major human rights concerns – http://tiny.cc/najtcz
What about Activism? | Steven Henry Madoff (Ed.) | With the global rise of a politics of shock driven by authoritarian regimes that subvert the rule of law and civil liberties, what paths to resistance, sanctuary, and change can cultural institutions offer? What about activism in curatorial practice? In this book, more than twenty leading curators and thinkers about contemporary art present powerful case studies, historical analyses, and theoretical perspectives that address the dynamics of activism, protest, and advocacy. What unfolds in these pages is a vast range of ideas—a tool kit for cultural producers everywhere to engage audiences and face the fierce political challenges of today and tomorrow – http://tiny.cc/uvjtcz
From Surveillance Capitalism to Glitch Capitalism | Interview with DISNOVATION.ORG — 2019 | Schloss Post | The work of DISNOVATION.ORG is characterized by producing critical works about the cult of technological innovation and disseminating radical counter-narratives. For the web residencies by Solitude & ZKM on the topic »Rigged Systems« curated by Jonas Lund, the working group developed the project Profiling the Profilers as a response to information asymmetry in digital profiles. The work seizes the means of data analytics to create a series of psychological, cultural and political profiles of the most data-extractivist Big Tech companies of our time. In our interview with DISNOVATION.ORG, we spoke about their working processes and their thoughts on the role of copy culture, free access, and media piracy – http://tiny.cc/shdtcz
Ingrid LaFleur – There Are Black People In The Future | Interview by Ruth Catlow | Transcribed by Anna Monkman | Ingrid LaFleur is on a mission to ensure “equal distribution of the future”. The curator of Manifest Destiny in Detroit, she also recently stood for mayor with an Afrofuturist manifesto. Detroit has long played a critical role in the history of ‘domestic and global labor struggles.’
And now its quest for social justice has an avant-entrepreneurial dynamic, working across art, politics and technology. Activists respond to the city’s (often highly racialized) political failures to provide basic utilities with impressive social innovation. The recent boot-strapping community mesh networks for instance, was a response to the fact that 40 percent of Detroit residents have no access to the Internet at all. The alliances and networks formed in this project are now providing the social grounding for peer-to-peer technical education and experimentation with emerging decentralisation technologies. DACTROIT (an EOS project) is now exploring how payment for this infrastructure might be made through a community token.
Catlow, first interviewed LaFleur in July shortly before Detroit Art Week and the opening of Manifest Destiny at Library Street Collective Gallery – http://tiny.cc/6uqtcz
The Art of Being Black in White Spaces – Lesson #1: “You black (and that’s a problem).” | By Ruth Terry | Learning the Art of being black in white spaces is a lifelong process that begins with a single lesson: “You black (and that’s a problem).” I got lesson number one out of the way in kindergarten when Daniel, the other black kid in my class, informed me, “You black!” I went home sobbing. “But Mom, I’m brown! I’m brown!”. White spaces can be defined as having an “overwhelming presence of white people and… absence of black people,” writes sociologist Elijah Anderson, though most are no longer explicitly anti-black. They are, however, fluid. Everything from desegregation and civil rights to upward social mobility and media portrayals of black people have recast the borders of white spaces and, in doing so, defined new ways that blackness is unacceptable within them – https://bit.ly/2micBDB
A Swiss house built by robots promises to revolutionize the construction industry | By Anne Quito | Switerland September 12, 2019 | “Erecting a new building ranks among the most inefficient, polluting activities humans undertake,” reports Qz. “The construction sector is responsible for nearly 40% of the world’s total energy consumption and CO2 emissions, according to a UN global survey. A consortium of Swiss researchers has one answer to the problem: working with robots.” Over four years, 30 different industry partners joined a team of experts at ETH Zurich university for a cutting-edge “digital fabrication” project: building the DFAB House. Timber beams were assembled by robots on site, it used 60% less cement, and it features some amazing ceilings printed with a large-scale 3D sand printer – http://tiny.cc/go7scz
Transgenic Male Mosquito Experiment Failed in the Worst Way | “What seemed like a very straight forward and safe genetic modification to male mosquito, mixing in genes that would end up creating non-viable offspring, seems to have gone wrong as indicated in a paper published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal (an open access journal). It was expected that most offspring would die quickly, but instead, the few that survived managed to mate with the native population and transfer the mixed in genes. After an initial reduction of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, they have bounced back and now have genes from the two other mosquito species used to create the original GM males.” (Sourced from Slashdot.org) The article/abstract – http://tiny.cc/d87scz
Big Brother at the border | By Rachael Jolley | Index on Censorship | Jolley argues that travel restrictions and snooping into your social media at the frontier are new ways of suppressing ideas. Travelling to the USA this summer, journalist James Dyer, who writes for Empire magazine, says he was not allowed in until he had been questioned by an immigration official about whether he wrote for those “fake news” outlets. Also this year, David Mack, deputy director of breaking news at Buzzfeed News, was challenged about the way his organisation covered a story at the US border by an official – http://tiny.cc/czdtcz
Publishing and Administrative Assistant job at Ognota books | Publishing and Administrative Assistant | We are hiring for a Publishing and Administrative Assistant. Abilities to divine the future, travel in the astral plane and to write funding applications are a major advantage. We particularly welcome applicants with strong earth placements – http://tiny.cc/5potcz
Main image: Bubble up in Blue, 2012, by Amanda Coogan. Part of EMBODIMENT / Capture Performance Focus (CPF): IRELAND, 2019.