The Byzantine Generals Problem: an online group exhibition opening on July 4, 2022 at distant.gallery!

Exhibitions

An alternative to capitalism, or capitalism at its worst? An emancipatory network economy where everyone has a stake, or a dystopian panopticon where only the best man wins? An opportunity for democracy, or a techno-libertarian wet dream? A new creative economy or a pyramid scheme? A planet saver or a planet burner? Rarely has the debate around a technology been so polarised as with blockchains, Web3 and NFTs. We are facing a problem of consensus, trapped within a Byzantine Generals Problem.
A group of generals is besieging Byzantium. In order to avoid catastrophic failure, they must agree on a concerted strategy, but some of them are unreliable. Used to illustrate how consensus is reached within distributed systems, this allegory can be applied to blockchains as well as societies. Yet, in a peer-to-peer debate with no central authority, consensus is hard to reach for a reason; and the disagreeing general, the unreliable actor, may be our best resource against the common sense of the crypto-yuppies.
The Byzantine Generals Problem is an online exhibition focused on artworks which do not avoid an engagement with blockchains and crypto culture, but do so in a critically constructive way: questioning dominant narratives, raising problems and sometimes proposing alternative solutions.
Featuring works by Anna Ridler, Ben Grosser, Constant Dullaart, DIS, Face or Factory, Kyle McDonald, LaTurbo Avedon, Moxie Marlinspike, Nascent, Rhea Myers, Sarah Friend, Sarah Meyohas, Simon Denny / Guile Twardowski / Cosmographia, Sterling Crispin, The Miha Artnak.
Curated by Domenico Quaranta and produced by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, The Byzantine Generals Problem is hosted by distant.gallery,a not for profit organization making an innovative independent and noncommercial online platform available for partners to reach their audience online. During the opening, on July 04, 2022 at 1 PM CEST, the platform will host a short guided tour with the curator and the available artists.

For Your Eyes Only

Exhibitions

I’m proud and happy to announce the opening of For Your Eyes Only, a group exhibition I’ve been working on for the online platform Feral File. Featuring 13 international artists, the exhibition investigates the future of human visual culture amid the ubiquity of machine vision, and is scheduled to open on December 15, 2021 at 6 pm Los Angeles (11pm São Paulo, 3am Berlin Dec 16, 10am Shanghai Dec 16).

For Your Eyes Only is a curatorial concept that aims to stimulate a conversation with contemporary artists about the future of human visual culture, and to investigate how they are working, in different ways, on the development of a visual language capable to resist the machine gaze and its implications, and to improve human visual communication—a post-AI, posthuman human vision. The exhibition includes images of diverse nature and origin, submitted as answers to the questions [of machine vision and the human gaze]. And yet, images can be used like words, but they are not words. They can be paraphrased, explained, and described, but no description will ever exhaust them. They can be used like answers, but they are rather proofs. They have been sent by a human to another human, each of them carrying much more than what I asked for. They are not delivering an answer, they are the answer. Try to read them, and you’ll soon find out that they have as many readings as readers. Enjoy, they’re for your eyes only.”

Participating artists: Morehshin Allahyari (U.S.), Sara Bezovšek (Slovenia), Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion (France), Anna Carreras (Spain), Petra Cortright (U.S.), Francoise Gamma (Spain), Theodoros Giannakis (Greece), Kamilia Kard (Italy), Jonas Lund (The Netherlands/Germany), Lev Manovich (U.S.), Petros Moris (Greece), Katja Novitskova (The Netherlands), Jon Rafman (U.S.)

Feral File is a one-of-a-kind online community and platform with an embedded marketplace – “a space for the new media community to co-create the future of art making, exhibiting, and collecting”. It has been conceived by artist Casey Reas and it’s built over the Bitmark blockchain. All works are presented in large editions at accessible prices, in order to be able to involve a larger audience of collectors.

Each of the 13 artworks will be released as an edition of 115, with each edition priced at $180 USD. There will be 50 sets made available at a price of $2,340 USD. Collectors can purchase the artworks via a group auction.

The exhibition is accompanied by a conversation between Domenico Quaranta and Antonio Somaini, professor in film, media, and visual culture theory at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3.

Present Continuous Pasts at Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali, Polignano a Mare

Exhibitions

Participating Artists: Morehshin Allahyari (US), Kamilia Kard (IT), Oliver Laric (DE), Petros Moris (GR)
curated by: Domenico Quaranta
For: Apulia Center for Art and Technology
Venue: Fondazione Museo Pino Pascali
Via Parco del Lauro 119, Polignano a Mare (BA)
Opening: September 3, 2021, 7.30 p.m.
September 3 – 30, from Wednesday to Sunday, 4.00 – 8.00 p.m.
Press release (pdf, english) – Press Images (zip, 6,5 mb)
www.museopinopascali.itwww.lineafestival.it

We live in an era characterized by a stratified, intersecting and confused temporality. The future has disappeared from our horizon with the approach of the new millennium, depriving us of any possibility of imagining it as anything other than an apocalypse or an unchanging repetition of the present in which we are immersed. The shock caused by the speed with which the future arrives, catching us unprepared, has been transformed into the shock of a present that engages and distracts us at a relentless pace, preventing us from looking elsewhere. Immersed in the present and deprived of the future, we watch the past return again and again: in the form of farce, in the form of natural, historical or biological relics regurgitated from the earth or released from rapidly melting ice, of plastic islands, open-air dumps, seed banks and DNA strings, of cultural heritages digitized and put on the web to train artificial intelligence or distract us during a pandemic. But duration obsesses us, and if on the one hand we struggle to believe in the near future, on the other we continue to create time capsules for the distant future, wondering what sense the traces of the present and the past will have for the intelligences – human, alien or artificial – for which they are intended.

Studio Visit: all six works now available on 5e.centre.ch!

Exhibitions

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 YangJames BridlePetra CortrightOliver LaricAria 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. 

Let Me Feel You Streaming

Exhibitions, Texts

Let Me Feel You Streaming

A cura di: Michela De Carlo, Domenico Quaranta

Location: online, parte della programmazione della Milano Digital Week

Quando: 17 – 21 marzo 2021

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.

Two new studio visits available at 5e.centre.ch!

Exhibitions

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.

Il computer come studio d’artista. Valentina Tanni su Studio Visit

Exhibitions

“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 (❁´◡`❁)

Studio Visit – A curatorial project for the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

Exhibitions
Screenshot from Lu Yang’s Studio Visit. Courtesy the artist

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 Work Becomes Our Life. Interview on Domus

Exhibitions, Texts
Guido Segni, Demand Full Laziness, 2018 – 2023. Installation view, Hyperemployment, MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts, November 7, 2019 – January 19, 2020. Photo: Jaka Babnik. Archive: MGLC, Aksioma.

In this interview made by Bianca Felicori for Domus Magazine, we discuss about the evolution of work, the death of free time, the occupation of domestic space and other themes addressed in Hyperemployment, the book recently published by NERO as the final output of the Hyperemployment annual programme.

The interview is available in Italian as well. Here my favorite quote:

“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.”

Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation

Exhibitions, Texts

The Hyperemployment book is out! One year after the launch of the Hyperemployment programme, this precious tiny book co-published by Aksioma and NERO sums up the project and improves it with the help of new essays by Silvio Lorusso and Luciana Parisi, and a conversation between !Mediengruppe Bitnik and Felix Stadler (also available here).