an exhibition by Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, the founders of Wikipedia Art.
Networks – social, political, physical and digital – are a defining feature of contemporary life, yet their forms and operations often go unseen and unnoticed. For this exhibition Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, artists and co-founders of Wikipedia Art take these networks as their artistic materials and play-spaces to create artworks about love, power-play and a new social reality.
Three works are shown for the first time in the UK: Wikipedia Art, a collaborative work “made” of dialogue and social activity; Given Time, an Internet artwork that creates a feedback loop across virtual and actual space; and Playing Duchamp, a one-on-one meeting and game between an absent artist and viewer/participant.
Free admission to exhibition and events
Wikipedia Art by Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern
‘if you claim something to be true and enough people agree with you, it becomes true.’ Steve Colbert on Wikiality
‘I now pronounce Wikipedia Art … It’s alive! Alive!’ Kildall and Stern
Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern famously used Wikipedia as an artistic platform, creating a collaborative project that explores and challenges our understanding of how knowledge is formed and disseminated. For over a year they planned the initiation of Wikipedia Art, a socially generated artwork that exploits a feedback loop in Wikipedia’s citation mechanism. Here, a “word war” across blogs, interviews and the mainstream press, which involved Wikipedians, artists, journalists, lawyers and even the Wikimedia Foundation itself, continuously defined and transformed a work of art in much the same way that these categories define the discourses of the everyday.
‘We ask our potential collaborators – online communities of bloggers, artists and instigators – to exploit the shortcomings of the Wiki through performance.’ Kildall and Stern
(Often unwitting) collaborators ‘performed’ the work through a debate about its aesthetic, conceptual and legal legitimacy in over 300 texts in over 15 languages on the Internet via blogs and forums such as Rhizome and Slashdot, and in the press including the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian UK.
This exhibition charts the inception, birth, life, death and resurrection of Wikipedia Art, which questions the authoritative role of Wikipedia, and reveals its fallibility whilst debating the control of access to and creation of knowledge.
Wikipedia Art featured in the Internet Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2009. In 2011 it was an awarded finalist at the Transmediale festival in Berlin.
Given Time by Nathaniel Stern
Furtherfield presents Stern’s polar projections of Second Life lovers. Second life is a 3D simulated and virtual world, inhabited daily by thousands of people around the globe. To access Second Life, you must embody an avatar (a virtual human representation of yourself), seeing what they see through a computer screen. Stern places us, and his lovers, in a feedback loop between virtual and actual space.
In Given Time, two life-sized and hand-drawn avatars simultaneously stare longingly across their virtual pond, and the real world gallery floor. They hover in mid-air, almost completely still, supported by the gentle sounds of their breath, the wind blowing, and birds in the far off distance. The viewer is both the observer and participant of this reciprocal relationship. Through the bodies and eyes of another, we see, look and are seen. Stern says: “Here, an intimate exchange between dual, virtual bodies is transformed into a public meditation on human relationships, bodily mortality, and time’s inevitable flow.”
Given Time was supported in part by the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and produced with the help of Jo-Anne Green and Bryan Cera.
Playing Duchamp by Scott Kildall
The American artist Scott Kildall, exhibiting for the first time in the UK, has fused the two worlds of art and chess in an homage to Marcel Duchamp, chess master and artist recognised for shifting the paradigm of conceptual art. Using the recorded matches of Duchamp’s 72 tournament games, Kildall has modified an open source chess engine to play chess as if it were Marcel Duchamp. By sitting down to this game of computer chess, visitors interact with the ghost of Marcel Duchamp, whose love for chess rivaled his attraction to art. Playing Duchamp is a 2010 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence website.
Furtherfield invites you to come and play because as Duchamp said: “The creative act is not performed by the artists alone”.
Playing Duchamp is a 2010 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence website.
Going the distance for fine dining with global friends
To accompany this exhibition, in June, Furtherfield will be hosting two telematic dinner parties with the aim to create a co-presence dining experience with our remote friends mediated by digital technologies (network connections, projections, laptops and sonified objects). As food is the greatest mediator, we aspire to a satisfying remote connection through the frame of the dining experience.
Contact ale[at]furtherfield[dot]org for details on how to become a dinner guest.
Scott Kildall is cross-disciplinary artist working with video, installation, prints, sculpture and performance. He gathers material from the public realm to perform interventions into various concepts of space.
Scott has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Philosophy from Brown University and a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago through the Art & Technology Studies Department. He has exhibited his work internationally in galleries and museums and received fellowships, awards and residencies from organisations including the Kala Art Institute, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Turbulence.org and Eyebeam Art + Technology Center.
Scott is a founding member of Second Front — the first performance art group in Second Life. He is an artist-in-residence at Recology San Francisco. He currently resides in San Francisco.
More information: www.kildall.com
Nathaniel Stern (USA / South Africa) is an experimental installation and video artist, net.artist, printmaker and writer. He has produced and collaborated on projects ranging from interactive and immersive environments, mixed reality art and multimedia physical theatre performances, to digital and traditional printmaking, concrete sculpture and slam poetry.
Nathaniel has held solo exhibitions at the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johnson Museum of Art, Museum of Wisconsin Art, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and several commercial and experimental galleries throughout the US, South Africa and Europe. His work has been shown at festivals, galleries and museums internationally, including the Venice Biennale, Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art, International Symposium for Electronic Art, Transmediale, South African National Gallery, International Print Center New York, Milwaukee Art Museum and more. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
More information: http://nathanielstern.com
Download Wikipedia Art: Citation as Performative Act (Creative Commons licensed)
by Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern, to be included as a chapter in ’ Wikipedia: Critical Point of View. Eds. Geert Lovink and Nathaniel Tkacz. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures (University of Amsterdam), 2011. Forthcoming. Print.
Furtherfield, Unit A2, Arena Design Centre, 71 Ashfield Rd, London N4 1NY, +44 (0) 2088022827
Free admission to exhibition and events -contact Alessandra Scapin ale[at]furtherfield[dot]org