Exhibition: 15.12 – 17.12 2011
At: Grimmuseum, Fichte Strasse 2. 10967 Berlin
With: Malcolm Levy, Jeremy Rotsztain, Nathaniel Stern, Santiago Taccetti, Hither Yon, Viktor Bedo, Sven Kruger.
Curated by: Lauren Altman, Kristin Trethewey, Rachel Fox.
“Our time is a time for crossing barriers, for erasing old categories – for probing around. When two seemingly disparate elements are imaginatively poised, put in apposition in new and unique ways, startling discoveries often result.” McLuhan
Infrastructure can be defined as the “basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.” Having solid frameworks facilitate shifts allowing societal infrastructure to respond to our needs. Information technology has shaped the world that we live in today and is integral to the way in which we function both individually and collectively in society. While these new technologies have developed extensively, the preexisting models still exist and dominate certain aspects of our lives. The critical focus of this exhibition is the transforming artistic practice and use of public space to include technology. In the first group, the concept of the public monument is questioned. The reflection of a singular cultural identity has become irrelevant as online social media forums provide new spaces for a plurality of dialogs across geographic and cultural borders. In the second group, digital tools are acknowledged for their connection to the past in order to generate a clearer understanding of our current disposition. Working from this position, there is an attempt to integrate information technology within the realization of new models.
With the ever-present consumerist instinct to discard the outmoded, the viewpoint presented here is to combine and compare past and present. As the quote by Mcluhan suggests we might find something larger than the sum of its parts by juxtaposing the seemingly dissimilar. The conclusion is not definitive, but rather offers the perspective that we may bring the past forward to connect with the present. In the most utopic scenario, the idea of coexistence would allow for the emergence of new working infrastructures that may soon be one in the same.
The architects and artists in this show form a dialogue that questions and responds to the limitations and possibilities of information technology. The exhibition begins this dialogue presenting visual documentation from a panel discussion called An Adaptable Structure for Connectivity. The discussion explores how ‘hybrid public space’ reflects the current social make-up and promotes intercultural exchange within a city. Hybrid space brings together the collective and the individual through virtual and physical connectivity. Through pervasive technologies, such as social media, our world is becoming increasingly connected through hybrid means. In the panel documentation, an architect collective, an urban mapping specialist, and a curator find potential ways urban space can integrate this connectivity. The panel discussion is based on four key words: interact, connect, exchange, and adapt. Through this dialogue between the structure and the public, they imagine the potential for the hybridization of public space. The envisioned structure will travel from one city to another, adapting to different spatial and cultural contexts using online data from local participants. The resulting structure may reveal itself to withstand future adaptations by reflecting the community input.
Looking into the past can inform our approach toward current methods for working. While the first group is exploring new models that can integrate information technology, the second group of artists generates content with digital tools informed from the past through appropriation or conceptual references. The comparison reveals that similar individual and cultural expressions persist regardless of medium. In order to move forward, we must survey infrastructural changes as they arise and negotiate inconsistencies between past and present ideologies. Rather than categorizing artistic genres and historical periods, these artists present their work within one line of art historical thought and dialog.
Organized by: Node Center for Curatorial Studies – Berlin
In collaboration with: Grimmuseum
Photos ©Laura Gianetti