Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation at Witte de With

27_David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher)

Artists: Aram Bartholl, Rossella Biscotti, Nina Canell, John Gerrard, Femke Herregraven, Antonia Hirsch, David Jablonowski, Navine G. Khan-Dossos,  John Menick, Owen Mundy, Trevor Paglen together with Jacob Appelbaum, Lucy Raven, Stephan Tillmans, Julia Weist.

Exhibition title:  Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation

Venue:  Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Date:  May 22 – August 16, 2015

Photography: Cassander Eeftinck-Schattenkerk, images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Witte de With

How would you draw a picture of the Internet; through the machines and ‘their’ language that broadcast and store ‘our’ messages, or through the affect and power relations that those messages and their movement produce?

Presented as part of the year-long Art In The Age Of… exhibition series, Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation investigates how quantification, telecommunications, and our ever-expanding information apparati not only inform contemporary artistic production, but also how contemporary art can hold a mirror up to these processes and formations. The participating artists explore the fissure between literal infrastructure—code, machines, wires, and other like-vocabularies—and the subjective socio-political interactions fostered by using these devices. Guided not only by what can be seen on the computer screen, and the various other black mirrors we stare into day in and day out, this exhibition will also look at what happens behind these screens. Moving from objects to subjects, we ask, how do these positions impact daily life, or said in another way: what does it mean to be ‘screened’?

Aram Bartholl’s Greetings from the Internet repurposes those little scraps of paper on which Wi-Fi passwords are usually handed over into a set of complimentary postcards. Rossella Biscotti’s monumental textiles show patterns inspired by demographic data from recent Brussels censuses, questioning how statistics and quantitative analysis represent our reality. Nina Canell meditates upon transmission and resistance through her sculptural constellations comprising found cables originally used for telecommunication and electrical power. Following his denial of access by Google Inc, John Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of a Google data server building in Oklahoma, also known as a ‘data farm’, resulting in Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, 2015), a simulated CGI ‘twin’ of the building. Femke Herregraven examined countless investment bank brochures to track the names under which more than 60% of all financial securities are now traded via various computer algorithms. The sculpture Solaris Panel by Antonia Hirsch features shapes cut from black Plexiglas resembling contemporary smartphones and notepads that, in sleep mode, resemble a Claude glass, an artist’s framing aid invented in the 17th century. Two ‘hyperlinked’ sculptures by David Jablonowski question the impact of contemporary computation in relation to early technological improvements such as manual copying machines. Navine G. Khan-Dossos creates two new murals under the title My TV Ain’t HD, That’s Too Real. These gouache paintings evolve throughout the exhibition in response to media reports on current events in the Middle East. John Menick’s Biography of Anish Meta-Bhatt shows pages of a fictional biography of computer scientist Dr. Anish Meta–Bhatt, developer of the first artificially intelligent computer capable of writing novels. With iknowwhereyourcatlives.com, Owen Mundy visualizes a sample of 1 million public pictures of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. Trevor Paglen’s Autonomy Cube relays all of Witte de With’s Wi-Fi traffic over Tor, a global network of thousands of volunteer-run servers, relays, and services designed to help anonymize data. Lucy Raven’s lenticular print Hand moving at a walking pace is made from a video Raven took in a post-production studio in Chennai (India), just one of many outsource centers where Hollywood films are converted from 2D to 3D at highly reduced wages. Stephan Tillmans creates series of photographs taken at the very moment analog cathode ray televisions are switched off; as the picture raster breaks down, a final flicker abstracts the last image into electromagnetic geometrical waves. For her work After, About, With, Julia Weist exploited her personal contacts, social media networks, and search engine optimization techniques to attempt to control the search results returned for the artist Haim Steinbach.

Alongside artist presentations, a dedicated research blog has been founded. This blog will track the development of Art in the Age of… exhibitions for 2015 and acts as a visual reader accompanying artists work: http://artintheageof15.tumblr.com/

Team: Defne Ayas (Concept), Adam Kleinman (Lead Curator), Samuel Saelemakers (Associate Curator)

The work of Antonia Hirsch is presented with the kind support of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

Art In The Age Of…Planetary Computation is the second iteration of the Art In The Age Of…, a three-part presentation series that investigates future vectors of art production in the 21st century. Art In The Age Of… runs throughout 2015 starting with Art In The Age Of…Energy and Raw Material and continues in September with Art In The Age Of…Asymmetrical Warfare.

1_Art In The Age Of... Planetary Computation

Art In The Age Of… Planetary Computation, design: A Practice For Everyday Life

2_Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel

Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel, 2014

3_Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel

Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel, 2014 (detail)

4_Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays

Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays, 2010

5_Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays

Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays, 2012

6_Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Screen Shapings

Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Screen Shapings, 2012

7_Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Screen Shapings

Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Screen Shapings, 2012

8_John Gerrard, Farm

John Gerrard, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015 (still)

9_John Gerrard, Farm

John Gerrard, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015 (still)

10_John Gerrard, Sow Farm

John Gerrard, Sow Farm (near Libbey, Oklahoma), 2009 (still)

11_John Gerrard, Sow Farm

John Gerrard, Sow Farm (near Libbey, Oklahoma), 2009 (still)

12_Lucy Raven, Hand moving at a walking pace

Lucy Raven, Hand moving at a walking pace, 2014 (still)

13_Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube

Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube, 2014

14_Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube

Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube, 2014

15_Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel

Antonia Hirsch, Solaris Panel, 2014

16_Navine G. Khan-Dossos, My TV Aint HD, Thats Too Real

Navine G. Khan-Dossos, My TV Ain’t HD, That’s Too Real, 2015

17_Installation view, Julia Weist, David Jablonowski

Julia Weist, After, About, With, 2013 – 2015
David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher), 2011

18_David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher)

David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher), 2011

19_Owen Mundy, I Know Where Your Cat Lives

Owen Mundy, I Know Where Your Cat Lives, 2014

20_Femke Herregraven, A timeframe of one second is a lifetime of trading #2

Femke Herregraven, A timeframe of one second is a lifetime of trading #2, 2015

21_Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays

Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays, 2010

22_Installation view, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Stephan Tillmans, Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum

Navine G. Khan-Dossos, My TV Ain’t HD, That’s Too Real, 2015
Stephan Tillmans, Luminant Point Arrays, 2010
Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube, 2014

23_Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum

Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum, Autonomy Cube, 2014 (detail)

24_John Gerrard, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma)

John Gerrard, Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015 (still)

25_Installation view, Rossella Biscotti, David Jablonowski, John Menick

Rossella Biscotti, Other (former residents), 2015
David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher), 2011
John Menick, Biography of Anish Mehta Bhat, 2015

26_Rossella Biscotti, Other (66 person house), Other (44 person house)

Rossella Biscotti, Other (66 person house), 2015

27_David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher)

David Jablonowski, Multiple (Hypertext Sushi Voucher), 2011

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