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.

Talk to Me by Jonas Lund

Texts
Jonas Lund, Talk to Me, 2019. 36 volumes, 740 pages each, available in hardcover and softcover. Produced on the occasion of Hyperemployment. Book Design: Federico Antonini (superness.info); Editorial Advisory: Domenico Quaranta. Available here

On October 21, 2017, at 6:17 PM, Jonas reached out to me with a proposal: to turn his online piece, Talk to Me, launched a few months before, into a book. According to the official text, “Talk to Me is a conversational chatbot, […] trained and modelled on all previous instant message conversations (Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) as typed by the artist himself to create a smart, machine-learned, automatically talking version of the artist.” But in reality, Jonas told me, “it’s just me typing the answers through a Telegram bot, so each time someone uses the website I get a message on my phone and I answer.”

Hyperemployment – Post-work, Online Labour and Automation

Exhibitions

Download the program!

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”.