With the upload of Eva and Franco Mattes‘ contribution, Studio Visit – my curatorial project for the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève online platform, the 5th Floor – is now complete. Following the link above, you can now enjoy 6 newly commissioned videos by Lu Yang, James Bridle, Petra Cortright, Oliver Laric, Aria Dean and Eva & Franco Mattes, sharing with us the intimacy of their desktop studio while they work. Studio Visit invites artists to allow us access to their desktop studio and their working process. In Studio Visit, the desktop studio is shown off as the real space where an artist’s practice manifests. The focus is both on its furniture – files, tabs, programs – and on the artist at work – their favorite tools, their rhythm, their automatism, the way they find a balance between focus and distraction, between managing and creating, between online life and work. Thanks to the generosity and openness of the participating artists, through the project viewers can silently enjoy how Lu Yang gives shape to his imaginary worlds and fictional characters, how Bridle make research for their future projects, how Laric investigates the circulation and dispersion of his own iconography; they can attend the genesis of Cortright’s digital paintings as well as see how drawing, reading and collaborating with external producers intermingle in Dean’s practice.
Artisti partecipanti: Cristina Angeloro, Martina Ferrario, Christina G. Hadley, Marco Ginex, Carla Rossi, Laura Tura (Accademia di Brera) e Lisa Buffagni, Noemi Capoccia, Maria Chiara Gagliardi, Ariele Giari, Fabio Ronchieri (Accademia di Carrara).
Nel corso dell’ultimo anno, la città è diventata soprattutto una città di case. In maniera crescente, percepiamo lo spazio pubblico come lo spazio in cui siamo costretti a indossare la mascherina, a fare la fila, a mantenere le distanze. Ci scambiamo sorrisi imbarazzati mentre ci diamo goffamente di gomito, ed è, a seconda dei casi, con imbarazzo, preoccupazione o astio che guardiamo l’altro quando si avvicina troppo, quando non porta la maschera, quando ci tocca. Lo spazio pubblico è diventato il luogo del non si può, sottolineato da opportuni indicatori visivi: percorsi tracciati al suolo, nastri attorno a fontane e panchine, cartelli “seduta non utilizzabile”, “non più di due persone alla volta”, ecc. La socialità è diventata assembramento, il tatto il più dileggiato dei sensi.
In this video, James Bridle carries out research into an upcoming expedition to Uzbekistan, reading papers, watching maps, writing emails and reviewing data about bird flights. James Bridle is a writer and artist working across technologies and disciplines. Their artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide and on the internet. Their writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, the Guardian, and the Observer. New Dark Age, their book about technology, knowledge, and the end of the future, was published by Verso (UK & US) in 2018, and they wrote and presented New Ways of Seeing for BBC Radio 4 in 2019.
Petra Cortright takes us along a half an hour session of digital painting, generating colorful still lifes out of two prepared .psd files with dozens of layers, running automated scripts and doing some manual editing. Petra Cortright is a contemporary artist whose multifaceted artistic practice stems from creating and manipulating digital files. Cortright’s digitally-conceived artworks physically exist in many forms – printed onto archival surfaces, projected onto existing architecture, or mechanically carved from stone. A notable member of what became known as the ‘Post Internet’ art movement of the mid-to-late-2000s with her YouTube videos and online exhibitions, Cortright later began to laboriously craft digital paintings by creating layer upon layer of manipulated images in Photoshop which she then rendered onto materials such as aluminum, linen, paper, and acrylic sheets. Cortright’s role as an artist is a blend of painter, graphic designer, editor, and producer; culminating in a singular artistic reflection of contemporary visual culture.
“Oggi… computer e smartphone sono presenze ubique e centrali nelle vite di gran parte della popolazione; sono allo stesso tempo strumenti di lavoro, apprendimento, creazione, intrattenimento e comunicazione interpersonale. In questo quadro, naturalmente, non fanno eccezione gli artisti. E se tutti, indipendentemente dal medium d’elezione, si sono trovati a inserire una quota di screen-time nella routine quotidiana, per altri invece lo spazio dello schermo è diventato un prolungamento dello studio fisico, quando non la sua unica incarnazione. ” Valentina Tanni scrive di Studio Visit su Artribune, in un pezzo che include anche alcuni frammenti di un dialogo che abbiamo avuto via email. Lo includo in forma integrale qui sotto, a beneficio degli storici del futuro (❁´◡`❁)
I’m proud and happy to announce the launch of Studio Visit, my new curatorial project commissioned by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève for its online platform, the 5th Floor. Studio Visit invites artists to allow us an access to their desktop studio and their working process. “Why?” – you may wonder – “we haven’t seen but desktops along the last year; desktops with speaking faces in online classes, streaming conferences, TV programs; give us something real!” In Studio Visit, the desktop studio is shown off as the real space where an artist’s practice manifests. The focus is both on its furniture – files, tabs, programs – and on the artist at work – their favorite tools, their rhythm, their automatism, the way they find a balance between focus and distraction, between managing and creating, between online life and work. Half documentary, half performative, Studio Visit is a huge dive into an artist’s mind, and an effort to capture how artists are performing their daily routine in the here and now.
“If, right now, I’m doing this interview instead of playing with my kids, watching a movie or scrolling through Tik Tok, it’s not just because it helps me sell a book – it’s because it connects me to you, and potentially to other people; because it entertains me, it makes me feel accomplished and alive, an active member of a community; it makes me feel, with a little postmodern embarrassment, on a mission. If, after this work is over, we continue to “work”, it is because these ideals have survived.”
A nice review of the Automate All The Things! symposium in Ljubljana, written by writer and curator Aude Launay, is now available on the Frech free magazine 02, both in print (Spring 2020, pp. 88 – 89) and online. Held on January 14 and 15, 2020 at the The Academy of Fine Arts and Moderna galerija, Ljubljana, Automate All The Things! is part of Hyperemployment programme.
“At the end of 2006, when everyone was starting to benefit from their 15 minutes of pixelated celebrity with the advent of the social network that we know, another platform was making a place for itself on another market, not that of hyper-individualization but, on the contrary, of the invisibilization of individuals, turning them into a crowd of anonymous dogsbodies exploited at will: Amazon Mechanical Turk. This “global, on-demand, 24×7 workforce,” as the website of the giant of the neo-gig economy1proclaims, is conceived as an actualization of the deception that was already simulating artificial intelligence in 1770,the famous Mechanical Turk who amazed the European elite by surpassing them in chess. Two and a half centuries later, artificial intelligence is still artificial and humans are still in the machine.Total automation remains a trick, so what has changed?It is around this question of humans “as invisible slaves of the machines” that curators Domenico Quaranta and Janez Janša brought together a panel of artist-researchers for an exciting symposium in mid-January, as part of the the year-long Hyperemployment programme they are organising for Aksioma, the ultra-dynamic project space in Ljubljana.” Go on reading on 02 magazine’s website.
In the current phase of late capitalism, we are experiencing a crucial contradiction every day. On the one hand, the increasing automation of productive processes is apparently making John Maynard Keynes’s promise of a post-work society not only more real, but also closer; on the other hand, labour – far from disappearing – is colonising and altering any given moment and aspect of our existence. The rise of precarious labour has freed us from the alienation of a permanent job, but has also made our lives more unstable and anxious, and is producing new social diseases. The increasing automation has made us more unemployed – a condition we are frantically trying to escape with micro-labours, turning us into “entrepreneurs of the self”.