A list of recommendations, reflecting the dynamic culture we are part of, straddling the fields of art, technology and social change.
Events, Exhibitions, Festivals and Conferences
Playmode | Exhibition at MAAT Lisbon, Sep 2019 – feb 2020 | Curated by Filipe Pais and Patricia Gouveia | It is said that play has saved entire peoples, who, in order not to succumb to hunger, resorted to playing games for hours at a time. While the Lydians, that distant people from Anatolia, invented games as a mode of surviving, play from the beginning has been an invention linked to a vital need — to stay alive and withstand the darkness, immobility and extinction.
The artists understood early on the transformative power of play and began integrating it into their works for various purposes – escaping reality, social construction and transformation, subversion or as a criticism of game and play mechanisms themselves – https://www.filipepais.com/playmode
The Long Term You Cannot Afford. On The Distribution of The Toxic | At SAVVY-Contemporary, Berlin, Germany | 19 Oct 2019 – 1 Dec 2019 | This mixed exhibition unpacks the kaleidoscopic meanings of the toxic, both as matter and as metaphor: In his paintings, Boris Anje captures the essence of the excessive and toxic consumerism of a small minority of the world’s population | The toxic trade-off inherent in exploitative and abusive processes of extraction, production, and disposal lie at the heart of the changing nature of the ecosystems to which we now belong – with millions of metric tons of synthetic materials, pesticides, heavy metals, and chemicals released and circulated every year. Structural inequalities on a global scale permit for some lives to remain relatively untouched by toxic proliferation through systems of “externalisation”  whilst many reside in high concentrations and lethal exposure on a daily basis out of mere necessity of survival. The new age of toxicity is “a condition that is shared, but unevenly so, and which divides us as much as it binds us.” – http://tiny.cc/y8ryez
Soft Power 04: an exhibition in a spreadsheet | Hosted by Micheál O’Connell, Andrea Slater and Daniella Norton | Thursday, 31 October 2019 | A fourth exhibition by the Soft Power people, this time in a spreadsheet. Look at it at home, or on your device, or wherever. Drink some wine and chat to friends about what you witness. The link will be supplied with those ‘GOING’ on the date (Thursday 31st October) at 7pm. For updates sign up to Mocksim’s mailing list http://www.mocksim.org/contact.htm
24/7: A wake-up call for our non-stop world | 31 Oct 2019 – 23 Feb 2020 | Somerset House |Embankment Galleries, South Wing | An essential exhibition for today, exploring the non-stop nature of modern life. Many of us feel we’re working more intensively, juggling too many things, blurring our public and private lives, pushing the limits of our natural rhythms of sleep and waking.
24/7 takes visitors on a multi-sensory journey from the cold light of the moon to the fading warmth of sunset through five themed zones and contains over 50 multi-disciplinary works that will provoke and entertain | Inspired by Jonathan Crary’s book of the same name, and curated by Sarah Cook, 24/7& holds up a mirror to our always-on culture and invites you to step outside of your day-to-day routine to engage, reflect and reset – http://tiny.cc/44f7ez
Launch event for Rabbrexit – A Game of Chance / editions tdwm | Hosted by Cecilia Wee and YiMiao Shih | Thursday, 31 October 2019 (London) | On the date of the Brexit deadline, we’re having a little launch party for “Rabbrexit – A Game of Chance” and the birth of editions tdwm. Editions tdwm is delighted to present its first project: a limited edition set of playing cards “Rabbrexit – A Game of Chance”, featuring illustrations by YiMiao Shih, designed with Arjun Harrison-Mann.
Rabbrexit – A Game of Chance reworks images from YiMiao Shih’s exhibition Rabbrexit Means Rabbrexit at the House of Illustration in London (2019), where YiMiao created a parallel universe in which the UK voted not for Brexit but ‘Rabbrexit’: the expulsion of rabbits from the country – http://tiny.cc/p3oyez
Become Ungovernable 2: a day of resistance skill sharing | The Antiuniversity, as part of a coalition of autonomous left groups, invites you to a day of practical and informative workshops, where we will learn from each other simple visual intervention methods that anyone can pick up, grow confidence to use a variety of tools and learn about ways to stay safe when organising on the streets and online. In preparation for the planned attack on our city and communities on 31 Oct (Brexit day), we planned a day of practical resistance skill sharing.
The far right, bolstered by a racist and xenophobic government, is growing in confidence. The response to Boris Johnson’s hard-right vision for society and threat to our basic rights must be equally confident. Some actions will take place through whatever is left of the parliamentary mechanism, others will take place on the streets. Hosted by Antiuniversity, Green Anti-Capitalist Front, Plan C, Feminist Anti-Fascist Assembly, and Women’s Strike Assembly | FB page – http://tiny.cc/1qoyez
NEoN Digital Arts Festival. Multiple Venues in Dundee City, Scotland. Nov 6 – 8 2019. An expanded 3-day symposium entitled, Re@ct: Social Change Art Technology. NEoN Re@ct involves over 30 international speakers over three days addressing a diversity of issues and practices engaging activist digital art. Many artists involved in digital arts have historically been prompted to react and respond to local, national, global, social and political crises (i.e. around issues of environmentalism, gender equality, exploitation, colonialism, militarism, emancipation). Re@ct will be a platform to critically examine the relevance and impact of past and present practices, theories and strategies – to engage an uncertain future through an exploration of the creative potential of digital art. Reigister free to the full symposium – http://tiny.cc/y5lyez
Citizens of Nowhere | Alicja Rogalska: 2019 Stuart Hall Library Artist-in-Residence | Hosted by Iniva | 6 November 2019 | Join 2019 Stuart Hall Library Artist-in-Residence Alicja Rogalska for a screening and discussion about her work developed during the residency alongside two other videos. The three works are concerned with issues of citizenship, immigration and identity, viewed through the lenses of classification methods and systems, legal fictions in immigration law and the lived experiences of statelessness. The screening will be followed by a discussion with invited guests and a Q&A.
The works screened will include: What If As If (2017), The Aliens Act (2019) and Citizens of Nowhere (2019). Total running time of the videos will be 40 mins | Evenbrite bookings here – http://tiny.cc/uiqyez
Books, Open Calls, Papers & Publications
Expanded Internet Art: Twenty-First-Century Artistic Practice and the Informational Milieu By Ceci Moss | Charting the rise of a multidisciplinary approach to online artistic practice in the past decade, the text discusses recent currents in contemporary artistic practice that parallel the explosion of the internet through advances such as social media, smart phones, and faster bandwidth. Internet art is no longer determined solely by its existence on the web; rather, contemporary artists are making more art about informational culture using various methods of both online and offline means. It asks how artists, such as Seth Price, Harm van den Dorpel, Kari Altmann, Artie Vierkant and Oliver Laric, create a critical language in response to the persuasive influence of informational capture on culture and expression, where the environment itself becomes reorganized to be more legible as information | Bloomsbury Academic – http://tiny.cc/ktg7ez
The Cyborg Matrix | Open call for artists, is now online at http://theCyborgMatrix.com !! Make an account and create your own profile. Or type in your name or nickname for a short visit. Doe you want to add you art to the space, go to http://cyarco.com/theCyborgMatrix/ or send us an email at cyborgMatrix@cyarco.com. see you in cyberspace!!
Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Labour Protection | Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 41, No. 1, 2019 | A collection of articles on “Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Labour Protection” edited by Valerio De Stefano (KU Leuven). This collection gathers contributions from several labour lawyers and social scientists to provide an interdisciplinary overview of how new technologies, including smart robots, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and business practices such as People Analytics, management-by-algorithm, and the use of big data in workplaces, far from merely displacing jobs, profoundly affect the quality of work. The authors argue that these issues depend, and can be affected by, policy choices – since they are not just the “natural” result of technological innovations – and call for adequate regulation of these phenomena. Contributing authors are Antonio Aloisi, Ilaria Armaroli, Fernanda Bárcia de Mattos, Janine Berg, Miriam Cherry, Emanuele Dagnino, Valerio De Stefano, Elena Gramano, Matt Finkin, Marianne Furrer, Frank Hendrickx, Parminder Jeet Singh, David Kucera, Phoebe Moore, Jeremias Prassl, and Uma Rani. This article introduces this collection and gives an overview of the issues discussed by the authors – http://tiny.cc/s4zyez
Digital Sociology: The Reinvention of Social Research | By Noortje Marres (2017) | This provocative new introduction to the field of digital sociology offers a critical overview of interdisciplinary debates about new ways of knowing society that are emerging today at the interface of computing, media, social research and social life.
Digital Sociology introduces key concepts, methods and understandings that currently inform the development of specifically digital forms of social enquiry. Marres assesses the relevance and usefulness of digital methods, data and techniques for the study of sociological phenomena and evaluates the major claim that computation makes possible a new ‘science of society’. As Marres argues, the digital does much more than inspire innovation in social research: it forces us to engage anew with fundamental sociological questions. We must learn to appreciate that the digital has the capacity to throw into crisis existing knowledge frameworks and is likely to reconfigure wider relations | Polity press – http://tiny.cc/pqg7ez
Articles, Interviews & Presentations
Future Cities as a Network of Waterholes connected by Songlines | Medium | By Steven Liaros | “Irene Watson provides a detailed discussion of the indigenous worldview in Raw Law: Aboriginal Peoples, Colonialism and International Law (2015). Also referred to as relational philosophy, Watson compares and contrasts this with non-indigenous philosophy. This comparison is summarised in Table 1 in which I have included additional descriptions in brackets that express this contrast using other common terms.” – http://tiny.cc/rywyez
Brexit Culture | Feature article on ArtRabbit | By Sandy Di Yu | “Research has been conducted by the Arts Council about the economic and operational impacts of Brexit, but the content of culture has yet to be formally surveyed. While we can only speculate like everyone else what the full-fledged impact of Brexit on cultural production will be in the coming years, the era since the 2016 referendum has already seen a flurry of events that indicate growing precariousness in our time. Right-wing populism has gained more than a foothold in political discourse. Conspiracies run rampant about celebrity sex traffickers and their ties to the global elite. Anxiety over climate change, although leading to inspiring global movements, is still being met with dismissal by political leaders.” – http://tiny.cc/ujtyez
Can Musical Machines Be Expressive? Views from the Enlightenment and Today? by Steven Kemper and Rebecca Cypess | October 2019, Leonardo 52:5 release | How can music produced by automated technologies be expressive? Transitive theories of expression dominated eighteenth-century ideas of automated music, and many contemporary designers of robotic instruments adhere to these ideas, increasing sonic nuance to make their instruments seem more like expressive human performers. A listener-centered understanding of expression—an “intransitive” perspective—allows us to see automatic instruments as capable of expression despite the fact that no human performer is present – http://tiny.cc/m9nyez
Media Art History: Berlin, Cyber City (1989-91) VR – MR installation by Monika Fleischmann & Wolfgang Strauss | Berlin, Cyber City (1989-91) commemorates the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall 1989. VIDEO. The performative VR city simulation system “Berlin – Cyber City” was created as a reaction to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The intention was the staging of an interactive space for debate on the future of the city. To do this, the VR paradigm – the real-time movement in an immersive environment for a single user – should be extended into a communication space for several users. A participative Mixed Reality table combined with a 3D environment and Virtual Reality tools invites people to discuss the past and the future of the former divided city – http://tiny.cc/q2nyez
Neural 63, Surveillance Surveyed | Issue #63, Summer 2019 | interviews with Pip Thornton, Joana Moll, Mendi and Keith Obadike, Owen Mundy | articles, Surveying Surveillance Capitalism, Decode: Data Cooperatives, Our voices granted to machines, and much more – http://neural.it/2019/10/neural-63-surveillance-surveyed/
Image by: Brad Downey. House of Cards #3. Public Work. 2007, Berlin, Germany. Duration: 4 days. Anonymous installation. Material: paving stones – http://tiny.cc/vkf7ez | Currently featured in Playmode exhibition, Lisbon.