David Jablonowski at Kunsthalle Lingen


Artist: David Jablonowski

Exhibition title: Hype Cycles

Venue: Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen, Germany

Date:  October 10, 2015 – January 17, 2016

Photography: Roman Mensing, images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kunsthalle Lingen

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Alibaba, the largest Internet dealer, sends out these trade alerts to its customers every other day to call their attention to business opportunities and new vendors. It does not take much more than a decent Internet connection and a supply chain (often motorcycle deliveries) to open an online shop, and thus millions of people have been put in a position to offer goods at a low price. This has changed the fate of whole regions and turned many places into veritable Taobao villages.[1]

David Jablonowski has worked on the sculptural possibilities of communication technology since 2008. The large-format solo exhibition in the Kunsthalle Lingen titled “Hype Cycles” presents his works from the years 2009 to 2015.

The show’s title “Hype Cycles” derives from the eponymous branded graphical presentation by research and advisory firm Gartner for representing the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. The artist used “hype cycles” – the ideas of outdating or object life cycles – as a conceptual framework to look at 6 years of his output so far.

David Jablonowski comes from the medium of sculpture, as shown in the extensive sculpture with the title “Disposition”. It dominates a large block of styrofoam, tinted with shades of brown and yellow, as it was exposed to the elements for a long period of time. The block consists of three components, each of which can be turned and touches on the aspects of movement, permeability, and assertion. On the styrofoam block, there is a bent aluminium plate, a printing plate for Pantone colours. In this respect, this early piece reveals a dominant theme in David Jablonowski’s work – the concurrence of high tech and low tech, of haptically experiential materials and cool technical elements. A rock has a longer lifespan than a hard disk – the piece seems to refer to this.

In other sculptural works, David Jablonowski continues this interest with a study of the latest developments and their historical basis in digital marketing, data prediction and global trade. The series “Prediction Tower, Hype Cycle,” for instance, stems from standardized, glossy billboards and objects selected by a search algorithm. “As global as the search algorithm, the exhibition is a reflection of the market worldwide, which builds on technological progress.”

A criticism of the census in Germany in 1987 combines sculpturally with the Euro-Japanese Nanban trade war, portrayed in the video game Shogun 2. An ethnographic “shopping bag” from Papua-New Guinea, a copy of a Dutch VOC aircraft cannon, manufactured as a decorative item, African transport baskets, aluminium from Surinamese bauxite, and LED lighting panels made in China are the raw materials of the sculptures. In a piece from 2014, the words “New Trade Routes will reshape the World Economy” can be read on the wheels of a cart for transporting grain – a message which recent experience proves true. In correspondence with the cart are Asian foods like Vietnamese rice crackers or dim sum and a tabletop grill – symbols of products prepared by hand vis-à-vis the dominance of a globally operating Internet trade. Here, David Jablonowski is oriented not so much towards a digital Internet aesthetic but rather towards a structural and logical surplus of hyperlink systems and their contemporary significance. In this respect, they communicate how the phenomenon of technological progress and the digital revolution impact sociocultural life.

The exhibition “Hype Cycles” by David Jablonowski can be visited until 20 December 2015 at the Kunsthalle Lingen. A catalogue will be published.

[1] http://www.economist.com/news/china/21602755-one-small-hamlet-teaching-people-how-sell-online-cash-cow-taobao Cash cow, Taobao One small hamlet is teaching people how to sell online May 24, 2014  | JUNPU VILLAGE, GUANGDONG PROVINCE | From the print edition.






David Jablonowski, Disposition, 2009





David Jablonowski, Trade Alert (Zählt Nicht Uns, Zählt Eure Tage), 2015


David Jablonowski, Trade Alert (Zählt Nicht Uns, Zählt Eure Tage), 2015 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Multiple (Gestetner) 1.78:1, 2011


David Jablonowski, Multiple (Gestetner) 1.78:1, 2011 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Multiple (Gestetner) 1.78:1, 2011 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Prosumer Monument, 2014



David Jablonowski, Multiple Hard Copy, 2.39:1, Theatrical Showing, 2010


David Jablonowski, Multiple Hard Copy, 2.39:1, Theatrical Showing, 2010 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Industrial3d Display, 2014


David Jablonowski, New Trade Routes, Trade Alert, 2014


David Jablonowski, New Trade Routes, Trade Alert, 2014 (detail)


David Jablonowski, E-Commerce, Johann Sebastian Bach, 2015


David Jablonowski, left: E-Commerce VI; right: E-Commerce (Firewall San Francisco), 2015


David Jablonowski, left: Prediction Tower, Taobao Village, 2015 right: Shopping Basket, 2015


David Jablonowski, left: Prediction Tower, Taobao Village, 2015 right: Shopping Basket, 2015


David Jablonowski, Prediction Tower, Taobao Village, 2015 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Prediction Tower, Taobao Village, 2015 (detail)


David Jablonowski, Prediction Tower, Taobao Village, 2015 (detail)