WRSW| BRLN 2016

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WRSW | BRLN 2016 (WARSAW | BERLIN 2016)

2016

Publication summarizing the artistic residency program between Warsaw and Berlin by Foundation for Public Space Research TU


ABOUT THE FOUNDATION The Foundation for Public Space Research TU was founded in 2011 as a part of the Institute for Public Space Research, based at the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy. Since 2014 the organization functions independently. The foundation was created to examine the issue of urban space, more broadly – the public space of our cities, currently in Warsaw and Berlin.As founders we perceive the public space first of all as a shared space, therefore through our activities we want to bring together people from different backgrounds – Polish and international: artists, activists, curators, researchers, representatives of public administration, business, NGO’s, who all perceive urban issues from various perspectives.We want to builda place for exchange of knowledge and experience, that can be used both in research and in practice. Locally and internationally. Our main field of interests is the role of cultural and creative capital in shaping the urban/public space of our cities, as well as various models of artistic and cultural institutions/ organisations/ projects, activities of which change the space around us – common public space.


WRSW | BRLN 2015 So far the Warsaw | Berlin residency program took its place two times. In 2015 it was dedicated to the public space of the city, in 2016 – the public (and private) space of the Internet. Introducing new topics in our research, we have gained a broader view of how the digital and physical environment of our cities shapes and changes under the influence of its users. In the era of new technologies, the increasingly invisible web becomes domesticated to the same extent as surrounding streets, neighborhoods or city parks, and it penetrates all spheres of our lives. From private, professional and political field trough the use of social media, activity on the web often becomes the starting point for protests and movements continued at the city squares. As an introduction to such thinking about the public space, we can consider the mobile application „Simultaneous Cities” (SIMU), produced within the framework of WRSW | BRLN 2015 (Warsaw | Berlin 2015) program. SIMU app introduces a virtual city guide through Warsaw and Berlin, in the form of a map available offline and online for Android phones. It presents examples of ideas, architectural styles, and trends in art, as well as trends in urban development that occur simultaneously in the two metropolises. The application includes 30 locations in both cities illustrated with archival and contemporary photographs and descriptions. It allows the user to get to know similar places and architectural objects in both cities, matching particular and historical events and social phenomena. In addition it gives an opportunity to read about the influences and processes that have impacted and shaped particular locations. Possibilities of grassroot and local change and transformation of the public/ urban space, was a topic for the residents of last year's program: artist Aïda Gómez (residency in June and July 2015),

researcher and artist Lorenza Manfredi (August – September 2015) and the artistic collective K.A.U.: Philipp Bergmann, Thea Reifler, Matthias Schönijahn (October – November 2015). Residents, working mainly with the citizens of the neglected and poorer neighborhoods of the working class in Warsaw, dedicated their projects to the issue of communication and daily rituals visible in the public space. Each residency was accompanied by workshops organized in cooperation with Warsaw artists and researchers – a graphic artist Tomasz „Sputnik” Pietraszko, a PhD student of the Department of Landscape Art at the Agricultural University in Warsaw, Martyna Cziszewska and theatre director Małgorzata Wdowik. Also various types of interventions in public space in the form of, among others, temporary installations, happenings and performance art took place during the residency stays. The aim of the program’s participants was entering the selected parts of the city so that they become more open than before, or otherwise used (Aïda Gómez), studying the real and imaginary identity through the stories of the local residents (Lorenza Manfredi), or exploring how symbols functions in the public space (collective K.A.U, which developed a workshop on imaginary future scenarios of right-wing Independence Day march, held each November in Warsaw and other Polish cities).


K.A.U. kollektiv, „TRANSIT MONUMENTAL”, 2015, photo: K.A.U archives


NET ART


NET ART Internet art in Europe has gained its popularity over the years, after the fall of the Iron Curtain and with the growing ubiquity of the access to the web. The choice of this area under the Warsaw | Berlin 2016 residency program in the year of the 25th anniversary of the Warsaw-Berlin partnership, was on the one hand a symbolic reference to an important event for both capitals, and on the other a reminder how the current and lively discourse on Polish-German issues is recently conducted largely in the Internet. The Internet revolution has affected many aspects of modern life, including the public issues. This includes both the entertainment, information and public or civil functions (including access to public information realized by most institutions via the Internet, the computerization of offices, as well as social movements originating from the web). Art does not remain indifferent to these changes. With the development of the new medium, artistic avant-garde began experiments associated with it. In the second decade of the twenty-first century Internet art has become a full-fledged genre within the art scene, and the web environment become an especially intense space of social interaction, serving as the modern Forum. „Transfer” of the public discussion into the area of the internet, both physically, through the implementation of projects in the web, as well as indirectly, through the creation of works related to it, broadens the spectrum common for both cities, as well as the range of potential participants. The term „post-internet” was introduced in 2006-2008 by Marisa Olson and Gene McHugh. As curator Natalia Sielewicz explains in conversation with Romuald Demidenko (http://www.dwutygodnik.com/artykul/5577-ja-po-internecie.html): „First of all it concerns art, because in this context

the term was created. With all the ambiguity it assumes two things: on the one hand, the specific condition of the XXI century man who simultaneously operates in two worlds – the physical and virtual, and on the other, models of artistic production which take into account this new situation and problematize its consequences”. Internet art known as net-art started to develop in the '90s. It was the kind of hardware activities in the web, relying mainly on the html code, treating technology as something external to human activity, as a kind of „instrumentation”. Net-art dealt mainly with developers referring to the hacker culture, creating mail-art and spam-art. A breakthrough took place in 2006, with the development of 2.0 model, social media sites such as YouTube or Tumblr and instant messaging applications such as Skype. This allowed users to open up new ways to reach others, and created all the new possibilities of self-expression. With time, technology ceased to be regarded as an element external to our bodies, as in the work of artists such as Orlan or Stelarc. It became something internal, something indispensable in everyday life. However, the initial enthusiasm over the new possibilities has been replaced by doubt and attempt to diagnose the relationship between users on the web. As Romuald Demidenko explained in an interview with Natalia Sielewicz, „In this respect, post-internet differs from net-art, which operated almost exclusively in the digital space and invoked to it to the greatest extent”.


Lucas Gutierrez, opening of the exhibition „How long is your battery now?�, photo Martyna Miller


RESIDENCIES


WRSW|BRLN 2016 RESIDENCIES Six artists from Berlin and Warsaw were invited to Warsaw | Berlin residency program in 2016, to work on their projects at the XS gallery in Warsaw: Lucas Gutierrez, Marcelina Wellmer, Boris Eldagsen & Sabine Taeubner, as well as Norbert Delman, Kamila Szejnoch and Jakub Słomkowski. In general, the residency program was dedicated to the topic of the Internet as a field of public discussion and expression, as well as social and artistic critique (also in relation to cultural exchange and debate ongoing in two neighboring capitals – Berlin and Warsaw). Some of the projects were available only in the Internet, but most were created as installations, being a commentary of current socio-cultural issues in the digital era. Each residency of German artist was accompanied by the project by Warsaw based artist. Work of both could resonate with each other or touching common theme, but it was not the aim of such a cooperation. Exchange program was oriented to a greater extent on the process and artistic dialogue, not on results. The XS itself was created as an independent project space, open to local residents and visitors from other districts, who sought for a new cultural offer in the city and learning opportunities.


RESIDENCY #1

„HOW LONG IS YOUR BATTERY NOW?” Lucas Gutierrez


„HOW LONG IS YOUR BATTERY NOW?” The first project of WRSW | BRLN 2016 was an installation titled „How long is your battery now?”, completed in June 2016. It concerned the ways we use the Internet resources and how we look for the information we need. The main part of the exhibition by Lucas Gutierrez was a video installation presenting films on YouTube, illustrating the cultural and social phenomena in Warsaw and Berlin, display of which was programmed with a an algorithm. After entering words like „art”, „culture” or „kitchen” in Warsaw / Berlin in search engine, we received the result created by the computer code – sometimes confirming our stereotypical ideas, and sometimes quite distant from them, surprising. The video installation was accompanied by objects (static digital sculptures) that forced us to rethink how we interact with online content, and to take a closer look how the content that has been generated in the past is already part of our digital trash. As the artist explains: „Every time we talk about our cities in digital era, we refer to the way we are nourishing them with information. We affect the picture we have and generate each one of them. When thinking about the large amount of material digitized daily, we could say that the „digital” is no longer a medium. It has becomea context in which the new social, political and cultural activities emerge as new forms of digital art (…). The question is, how in the future we will explore our history, when the loop and the random predominate in recent art practices such as the post-internet art? Should we keep some links for future generations? Or can we control the information flow? (…) Which content we choose to share?”.

Lucas Gutierrez, opening of the exhibition „How long is your battery now?”, photo Martyna Miller


accompanying exhibition: NORBERT DELMAN - “UNDO” Gutierrez project was accompanied by Norbert Delman’s exhibition, „UNDO”. Similarly as with Gutierrez, Delman’s installation was an attempt to recognize the aesthetics and methods of archiving and storing the data. „UNDO” was the result of the artist's fascination with the modes of operation of online platforms and forums and ways how behavior and tensions arising in the virtual world penetrates the physical world, where oppressive rhetoric of the web affects our identity. As pointed out by Delman, „Enhancing aversion to the physical world, which is rampant in virtual space, must ultimately lead to discord. In this encounter the physical world will suffer the consequences of our actions in the Internet”.

Norbert Delman, „Undo”, photo Martyna Miller


RESIDENCY #2

„52.5200° N, 13.4050° E 52.2297° N, 21.0122° E”

Marcelina Wellmer


„52.5200° N, 13.4050° E 52.2297° N, 21.0122° E” The second resident of WRSW | BRLN 2016 program, Marcelina Wellmer (August-September 2016) adopted a different from Gutierrez’es perspective of virtual and physical connections between the two neighboring capitals. In the audiovisual installation „52.5200 ° N, 13.4050 ° E 52.2297 ° N, 21.0122 ° E” the body in the urban space processed and analyzed urban fabric and acoustic sphere of two capitals – Berlin and Warsaw. For several days the GPS application was recording every road travelled by the author of the project, first in Berlin, then in Warsaw, including parking lots and shopping malls, as well as other locations not always included in regular maps. 14 black MDF boards covered with these roads etched witch laser, illustrated the everyday, individual tracks becoming personal maps. Thanks to the tracks we have observed how intricate or simple, geometric or chaotic were the routes. The whole map of two cities was copied to the wall of the XS gallery, but fragments of them could be seen only with a UV flashlight – so in order to see different parts of the cities, the visitors had to navigate through the gallery space (in the same way as in the area of the city). And as it happens in the city – at the end you can only see the path that is right in front of you or behind you – the rest is invisible. The second element of the installation was the sound coming from 14 speakers, recorded day after day parallel to the GPS tracking. From many hours of recordings the most common sound motives have been separated. And again, with those sounds we could recognize the differences or similarities, ask where the urban noise is more intensive, how often people laugh or scream on the city streets? Can we hear birds and are trams squealing when turn? With this sound and physical analysis of urban space we could compare „personal acoustic maps” of Warsaw and Berlin, being the work of surprise and the unpredictable. Marcelina Wellmer, „52.5200 ° N, 13.4050 ° E 52.2297 ° N, 21.0122 ° E”, photo Martyna Miller


accompanying exhibition: KAMILA SZEJNOCH - “OFFLINE” The project of the resident from Berlin was accompanied by the installation „Offline”, by Kamila Szejnoch, referring to the painting „The Death of Marat” from 1793, by French painter Jacques-Louis David. The letter visible in original picture has been replaced with a laptop. Cables like blood vessels were tangled around the tub (an element of the painting and the installation), creating capillary system of the room and further – the building, where XS is located. As well as the scene from David's painting is characterized by artificial, idealised calmness, „Offline” played with raw aesthetics and strong associations. The installation concerned the daily bath ritual of Marat and consisted of the elements close to our body, such as water, blood or personal computer, referring to the experience of functioning in virtual reality, which seems to be very sensual. Associations with the bloodstreams, the statue of the martyr, and religious miracles here are appropriate. „The Death of Marat” in the iconographic layer symbolises religious performances. Marat, one of the leaders of the French Revolution, brings to mind images of Christ in the scenes from the cross. Marat was often taking baths, which brought relief from his illness, he used to even work in a tub. In such a moment, on the David's painting, Marat was stabbed to death by a Girondist Charlotte...During the exhibition we had an occasion to see him asa „martyr” of technological revolution.

Common element for all projects within the framework of the WRSW | BRLN 2016 program – except of the work by last residents from Berlin, Boris Eldagsen and Sabine Taeubner (October - November 2016) – was the issue of identity and the „technology of self”, as a tool providing unlimited possibilities of self-creation. In the installation by Gutierrez, the title itself – „How long is your battery now?” – alluded to our ways of using the Internet and to our dependence on the web. Elements of the exhibition – a video call, a place to charge a smartphone and solitary reflections of a selfie – they are just some of the elements that embody this contemporary obsession of being visible, being noticed, and to be present online. In turn, the material for the project of the second resident, Marcelina Wellmer, was created thanks to the „filtering” of information and the sounds, collected by GPS and microphones through the body of the artist traveling through the city. Projects of Warsaw based artists, Norbert Delman and Kamila Szejnoch, also referred to the symbiosis of virtual and material world. What is worth to be underline, the question of identity and the social dimension of the internet, linking the described projects under Warsaw | Berlin 2016, appeared as if intuitive and unconscious. Not as intentional, but a necessary tool for the analysis of human functioning in the digital age.


Kamila Szejnoch, „Offline”, photo Martyna Miller


RESIDENCY #3 „FOLLOW YOUR PET” Boris Eldagsen & Sabine Taeubner


„FOLLOW YOUR PET” Social media and instant messaging, in turn, served as a key tool in the work of the last residents of the Warsaw | Berlin 2016 program – Boris Eldagsen and Sabine Taeubner, in their project „Follow your pet. How to fight populism with GIFs”. The work criticized the escalating wave of right-wing populism in Europe and in the United States. It can be considered asa flagship example of the post-internet art, that presents itself best and develops in the web, as well as applies to the current events and involves users as active participants. As the Internet is the largest field of political influence and propaganda, Eldagsen & Taeubner decided to step in the arena and start a political education through the backdoor. Throughout the year they have researched populist methods, from Trump to PIS, Hofer to AfD. They collaborated with scientists, activists and artists involved in the current political situation. With their help artists identified ten populism strategies and an alphabet of demagogic tools used recently in politics. In a second step, they have applied them to the most popular Internet memes: cute pets. The pets became „Trojan Horses“, illustrating how people are unconsciously influenced by populist manipulation, and how they actively participate in it. The whole alphabet created by the artists is available at www.followyour.pet, and critical post-internet art pieces in the form of GIFs, can be distributed further throughout the web, thanks to tools such as Messenger app.

www.followyour.pet


accompanying exhibition: JAKUB SŁOMKOWSKI - “DESTROJART” Series of exhibitions and projects under the WRSW | BRLN 2016 have been completed with the „Destrojart”, a project by Warsaw-based artist Jakub Słomkowski. It referred to a blog created by the artist in 2015, and concerned real acts of destruction, reasons and context of these agressive activities, as well as destruction on the web, understood as fighting the surplus. The proposal to participate in the WRSW | BRLN program became an impulse for the resumption of work on the blog.As Słomkowski describes the proces, „In the XS I used video materials from YouTube which I confronted with acts of destruction, also of my indirect participation. I invited to research those people, who agreed to share with me, and thus the recipients of the exhibition, their needs and thoughts on the issued of destruction. The starting material – recordings from YouTube – became a complement of painting concept that accompanies me for some time and is a common link in of my last exhibitions”.

Jakub Słomkowski, „Destrojart”, photo Martyna Miller


RESIDENCY #4 „AUGMENTED CITY” Norbert Delman


„AUGMENTED CITY” Simultaneously with the exhibition in Warsaw, in Berlin the „Augmented City” exhibition by Norbert Delman has been opened. It was co-organized by the WRSW | BRLN 2016 partner berlinerpool and NON Berlin gallery. „Augmented City” was a guided tour through Warsaw, based on physical run through virtual reality mediated by projected recording. The audience accompanied the artist in his run through the city in its stifling atmosphere. During this 30-minutes film tour Delman has presented Warsaw from his personal point of view, chosing particular meaningful elements of the composition. Presented perspective was the one of a person born in Warsaw recalling its childhood, block of flats’ adolescence and functioning in post-communist country after ‘89. A couple of kilometers of virtual, emotional composition about Warsaw, propeled by the artist own body, was not a narrative form but an attempt to show tensions and problems present in experience of citizens of this city and country. Once again, web and new technologies, an inherent means of artistic expression, served as a tool for commenting current socio-political issues and public discourse.

Norbert Delman, „Augmented City”, fot. materiały organizatora


PUBLIC NET - PRIVATE NET


PUBLIC NET – PRIVATE NET The aim of taking a closer look to new technologies and post-internet art in this edition of Warsaw | Berlin program, was to widen the scope of discussion about public space. Just as physical space is not homogeneous and is ruled by different laws, so space of the web is a subject to the mechanisms of privatization or censorship. We call the internet „public” because since the 2006 breakthrough it is created together by its users. At the same time, however, to gain wider access to it, consumers transforming into prosumers, began the process of „fencing” the following areas of the web, setting standards for its production and consumption. Extending the field of human actions on the virtual space completely changed the nature of social, professional and economic relations between users. The most obvious examples of such change are connections built in social networks or the emergence of the phenomenon of virtual currency (bitcoin) and sharing economy, based on the exchange of goods beyond the financial system. The same forces from the right and left side of the political scene, regulating the operation of institutions, organizations or companies, are negotiated in the web. Public space is understood as a democratic space, created jointly. It may be useful to examine this definition on the example of how we use the web. First, we can define it asa public service, which does not need to be validated by any other requirement as providing the residents and citizens a place to be. We have a right to expect it will be available and unlimited, but in case it is provided by private owners, who impose their principles, its character is no longer purely public, even if space remains open. This is because access to it is limited to a specific number of people with money and

privileges, meet certain requirements or is applicable to specific rules. In this view, still most popular social network Facebook, owned by the corporation, is not a public and democratic space at all. And although it is available free of charge, it enforces users exposure to the ubiquitous advertising materials – a source of company’s income. In addition, the owners of corporations such as Facebook decide not only about the principles on which the information are shared, but what exactly can be made public. Going even further, they are offering bonuses for sharing what is private, in the form of „likes” and comments (negative ones can always be deleted), and the growing popularity in the virtual social ranking (which could also happen in a real world, what the sci-fi series „Black Mirror” illustrates). Adjusting goods in the form of data is on the one hand continually raised, and on the other continually neglected subject, because of private or government interests. It applies to difficult to grasp situations and phenomena for lawyers, developers and engineers or specialists’s of copyright law regulations. For instance, nationally or administratively protected and controlled public demonstration can be easily recorded and published on the web – a space ruled by different restrictions of other managers and owners, than in real world. Use of the web is regulated by two forces – the strong hand of the state and the invisible hand of the market.In his book „The Future of Ideas” Lawrence Lessig, the founder of Creative Commons, addresses the issues of the need to implement the regulation of balancing these two forces to keep the internet in the form of, perhaps chaotic, but an open and democratic universe of information, and to prevent it to become something kind of a closed-circuit television (from Lucas Hendrich review


http://www.kurzweilai.net/review-of-lawrence-lessig-s-the-future-of-ideas). Lessig compares the architecture of the Internet to the system of roads, which themselves supposed to be, and are common, democratically created and available to all. Themselves, however, they do not contain information. They are only a physical layer of the internet. Another layers – the code and content – in the form of data sets can navigate cars on these roads, acting through cooperation and innovation. The question remains, how to regulate the traffic. Joanna Turek


Magdalena Buczek

NET TRANSFORMATIONS


TRANSFORMACJE SIECI Natalie, you said earlier that the 2.0 revolution made the Internet a space of performance, and ourselves the curators of personal content.

Motto copied from an interview which was published in dwutygodnik.com, an online magazine after the exhibition „Privacy Settings” in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, sounds like the title of the hipster-style exhibition and it would be a neat end of this article. A text that is meant to refer to the role of the Internet from net-art to post-internet, the Internet as a public and private space. At sight I want to question every word in this sentence. First of all, the Internet as something separate and certainly as a separate or additional space – does not exist. Hence the distinction between private and public space seems to be taken from the previous age. The network has been internalized by us, and we have become enhaunced by it. The process is already well described by Piotr Czerski in his text, „We, the network’s children”, which is an attempt to describe the generation of the Internet: „Network for us is not something external to reality but it’s an equal part: invisible, but always present layer penetrating the physical space. We do not use the network, we are in it and live with it. (...) Network is a process that happens constantly and transforms in front of our eyes; with us and through us”.

Internet as an island around which we are surfing on the www waves, an alternative to art outside the galleries, artistic egalitarian database and transnational social structure – it’s an utopia of the nineties. Then, still a novelty technology available for the few, the Internet may have seemed a distinct artistic medium, focusing on romantic ideas of the 60’s as mail-art, literary intertextuality becoming the major power using the hypertext and deconstruction. According to the definition, net-art is an artistic project that could develop with a computer connected to the network and within itself. The condition of a development of the the art network was its interactivity. Net-art is the art of communication, or rather utopia of communication. In a sense, separateness of the net-art projects was about enclosing them inside the program and the device, especially since they were not portable. I remember myself running down to the basement of our family house, to the family „study” or home NASA base, where there was a desktop computer for everyone. I was going there a dozen times a day, every time when I wanted to make an „update” to the mailing nnk list by a progenitor of Polish net-art, Dominik Zacharski, in which I was active these days (and now I’ve forgotten my login!). Participating in a dozen or so conversations without notification ringtones, requiring complex motor activity, now causes only a smile. This is the last time when I see the Internet as a distinct, separate universum. Spacial context of the web has moved into areas defining the user and its being or non-being (or being even more), presence status, defined as online and offline. In this sense, the user can be compared to the figure of a


flâneur, but the journey or the wander takes place in himself, regardless of the real or metaphorical maps. The online and offline pendulum activates sensory and individual experience of reality and our own identity. I quote here the words of Agnieszka Warnke describing project „Random Selection” by the author of this text (sorry guys), on the online platform culture.pl: „This contemporary flâneur has replaced his natural space of urban streets with the virtual world, it sets in motion not only the body, but also the senses. Variable and multiplied by the electronic media image of reality is received not only by looking, but also is subjected to the perception of sound and various senses. Careful observation becomes a sensual experience”. Although the „Random Selection” refers to an experience of the real journey, Warnke rightly draws attention to the fact that off-on-line is the most important part of it, and a type of experience of our everyday life. „Interneting” is today so natural and sensual like a second skin, it is no longer a prosthesis or an extension of the body (as McLuhan described our connection with the media), but a part of our identity. Identity, which, thanks to digital mediation, increasingly becomes liquid and multiplied. One of the most important works of net-art on the identity of the web is „Mouchette” (1996), stylized for an amateur website, a project of almost-thirteen-years-old Dutch girl named Mouchette. It is not known until the end who the author of the project is, the figure of Mouchette refers to the literMouchette screen from the „Electronic Superhigway”, an exhibition in Whitechapel gallery; photo: Magdalena Buczek


ary and film character of the same name, which was at the age of 13 when commited suicide. Thus, Internet users have the chance to meet Mouchette online just before the end. Sweet chic-lit aesthetic of the website after a longer examination reveals gothic accents, animated fly walks on rose petals, Mouchette in one of the entries on the website admits to loneliness and complains about the cold of the computer screen, touches it with her lips and flattens the cheek, provoking a close-up of someone who is watching her from the other side. The project still defends its irony and meta-textuality. Recently, I had a nostalgic pleasure to watch it in the Whitechapel gallery at the exhibition „Electronic Superhigway”. Especially for Mouchette there has been a chair and a desk with a computer mouse. On the exposed website with entries of potential teenage suiciders, the entry of the last user was as follows: „Is it weird that I miss the kind of person I was when I used to visit this place years ago?”. This is what net-art has become. A sentimental anecdote.Digital identity of Mouchette clashes with the figure of Juliana Huxtable from a similar exhibition, shown a year before in the New Museum, NYC, on the „Surrounded Audience” triennial. Juliana Huxtable, the real character – a poet, DJ, and visual artist – materialized at the exhibition in the form of life-size 3D printing by Frank Benson, also became the object of Internet worship and the work of art herself. Dutch girl is all about adolescence, sexually immature, submissive and seductive, unformed digital identity, and Juliana is adult, perfect, self-aware and transsexual real character. Mouchette is the entity that functions thanks to the users-vouyers, however the author of the page remains anonymous. Juliana’s sculpture not only has the author, who already has been noticed on the artistic scene, but also refers

Sculpture of Juliana from the exhibition in New Museum, NYC, during the „Surrounded Audience” triennial, photo Magdalena Buczek


to the real figure, which, like today's Internet user, is juggling with identities – an activist, a model, a DJ, a poet. Liquidity of „self” does not manifest itself only in the context of gender and is not achieved by the safe anonymity of the Internet. The identity of the character, a female Internet user, and artist in the same time, merges and is emancipated by the online potential. The project and its protagonist is present in physical space as an artefact. But also both in the Web and IRL – in real life.While Mouchette remains an electronic phantom, forever now 13-year-old girl, Juliana is a figure of flesh and blood, that does not come to life by connecting to the web, but is using it actively, and makes a business out of it. The romantic idea of net-art as an alternative art circuit has expired, and the post-internet circled and returned to the white cube. The activity of the Internet users has changed as if they came from the anonymous chat-rooms and became co-authors of algorithms, their social profiles, publishers of their own audio-visual materials, and thanks to new applications and crypto-currencies, managers of their budget. In short – as it is written in the motto of this text – curators of personal content. I have followed an adventure with this kind of self-creation in my own long-term project about the next female heroine – Justina. The real-life figure, a distant cousin, Polish economic immigrant in search of happiness, an often habitué of gay clubs and parties in Ibiza. This is a material I used to bring to life a figure of a contemporary picaresque heroine. My contribution consisted mainly in building an archive of her stories and documenting the self-creation of Justina in social media. At the time of its inception, Facebook suggested its members to refine their status completing the sen-

tence beginning with one’s name and the word „is”. And this is from where the title of the first part of the story „Justina is” came. Describing ourselves in the third person alone causes the symbolic separation from our own online characters, and shifting the position of the narrator's own history. It is a form of textual selfie. „Justina is tired, Justina wants to dance, dance, dance till drop, Justina is pissed off, Justine is full of faith” – it is a piece of self-narration presented on LED-display at the XS gallery in Warsaw. Another layer of storytelling, not so openly self-promotional, were Justina’s e-mails and private messages, correspondence addressed to me only. This is a narrative with a longer phrase and more casual language, fragments of which reveal another web characteristics, mutations of language and using the words as a code. Though language has always been a code itself, Internet enhances this feature. Thanks to certain arbitrariness, with English language as dominant and a number of abbreviations, the code becomes a full-fledged carrier of new meanings. It acquires features of Polari, which was already noted by James Bridle in his study of the aesthetics of the web (http://new-aesthetic.tumblr.com). Let me quote a rather long definition of the concept from the Polish Wikipedia: „Polari is a mixture of Italian, Roma, Latin, cockney rhyming slang, sailors and thieves slang. Later it expanded to the vocabulary of the Yiddish language of Jewish community that settled in East London; the dialect of American soldiers (residing in the United Kingdom during the II World War) and the slang of drug users in the 60’s of the twentieth century. Polari was still a developing form of a language, with a small core lexicon”


Thus Polari is an artificial language code, remixing few dominant languages among the concerned environment. Mutating in terms of its usefulness. Taking into account the sense of humor and the specificity of the minority, which, thanks to the language, gained space for expression missing IRL, in real life. Such a language is created also in the aforementioned „Random Selection” patchwork and slam narrative composed of texts either sent to me online, or by me while online, loose notes created on my i-Phone and favorite literary fragments downloaded from the readers. English that I and most of my interlocutors use, is not a language of first-handed experience. It mediates reality in the same way as the display on personal devices. Therefore, its surface – as a surface of a frequently used smartphone – is never neutral, and language mistakes and incorrect accents are just like cracks and smudges on the surface of the device. They co-create the image of visual and textual reality, making it less clean yet more authentic. Experience in the context of the Internet (but hey is there something beyond it?) disrupts the binary conception of reality, gender, identity, and other elements of our lives. It is mounted on the foundation of a dynamic remix, linguistic, visual and economic indiscretions and aesthetics of an error. Therefore it perfectly refers to the theory of Fred Moten of blackness, which is defined as a virus, a mutation, a disruption of traditional order based on opposites. The „self” is here defined as uncountable („less or more than one”). It is a space of emancipation, empowering minorities, and exclusion of universalisms. The space of the new utopia.

And a fly in the ointment, for the end. When doing research to write this article I checked the data on the young Internet users in transition countries: Serbia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. Studies on teenage web users from the European Union in the years 2009-2011 show an interesting phenomenon. Bulgaria and Romania are at the forefront of high Internet usage and time spent on the web. At the same time it shows the lowest rate of the active use of the Internet. Similar, though not so explicit, is the situation of above-mentioned countries, including Poland. Researchers call this phenomenon a „second-level digital divide” and point to the fact that economic and cultural divisions shift into separation within digital literacy and that illiteracy in this field („digibetism”) is partly hereditary. Internet – the emancipatory utopia of curating content and identity, is still used mostly passively in the aforementioned countries. Not as a new medium but rather as a tool enabling traditional use of the old model of media. Where there is no Netflix or sources to fund it, it means it can be illegally streamed. According to the research’ authors, the division in digital literacy of Western and Eastern Europe, is a result not only of economic, but also cultural differences. Active use of the Internet and its co-creation also depends on the level of technological skills and a sense of self-confidence. There is a clear distinction between actively working boys and passive girls who have a few years’ delay in this field, compared to theirs colleagues. At the same time they are more efficient in social media, where the accent is put on self image. Maybe that is why three characters cited in my text are figures of feminine features: Mouchette, Julian and Justina. #dissapointment #hopeforthebest


Magda Buczek A multidisciplinary artist based in Warsaw. She studied journalism at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. In her practice visual mediums as photography, drawing and video overlap with text, performance and found footage. An outcome isa multichannel collage of pop-culture mythologies, initiatory adolescent rituals and narratives in between online and offline realities. Her works were exhibited among others in Berlin (Kunstlerhaus Bethanien), New York (WANTED Design Festival), Mexico City (SOMA), Krakow (Bunkier Sztuki) and Warsaw (XS).

Bibliography: https://books.google.pl/books?id=OgYx8URCnU4C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false (Closing the gap, are we there, yet? Reflections on the persistence on second-level digital divide among adolescents in Central and Eatern Europe, Monica Barbowschi, Bianca Balea, in: The Digital Divide, Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective, edited by Massimo Radnedda and Glenn W. Muschert, Ruthledge, 2013) http://www.ha.art.pl/felietony/2613-mariusz-pisarski-sztuka-postinternetowa-wprowadzenie-do-pozegnania-z-nowymi-mediami.html http://www.dwutygodnik.com/artykul/5577-ja-po-internecie.html http://magazynszum.pl/krytyka/lepszego-swiata-nie-bedzie-9-berlin-biennale http://artmuseum.pl/en/doc/video-performans-i-czarnosc


Boris Eldagsen, Martyna Miller

NET POLITICS


FOLLOW YOUR PET and find out how populism works Hello goldfish, goodbye attention span A 2015 study by Microsoft Corporation has once again proved that digital lifestyle has made it difficult for us to stay focused, with the human attention span shortening from 12 seconds to eight seconds in more than a decade. Humans now have less of an attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average). The decrease was seen across all age groups and genders in the study. But this attention span deficit comes with more changes: Many of us pick up our phones more than 1,500 times each week. Average owners use their phone for three hours and sixteen minutes a day. On the average web page, users will read at most 28% of the words during singular visit; 20% is more likely. What does that mean for digital marketing? And what for artist who want to compete online with big agencies? - Catch the user’s interest? - Be attention grabbing, flashy and attractive? - Deliver short messages? What could be more attention grabbing and desired than: ……………….CATS? Cats run the internet. They appeal to our emotions, short circuit our brain and go directly into the sphere of unconscious. Their big eyes, smallish noses, and dome-shaped heads trigger the evolu-

tionary nurturing instincts that we have evolved toward babies. They get us on an emotional level. Just as populism does. It appeals to deep instincts and blows our minds. And just as populism is relying on creating noise, we need visual noise to get attention: moving images, flashy GIFs, crazy stickers. With the rise of the popularity of GIFs and Snapchat stickers came new, over the top aesthetics. And this is what works in social media and gets the highest shares and comments. When Sabine Taeubner and I were invited for the WRSW | BRLN residency, we came up with a concept to combine all of this in”Follow your pet” project. Pets, populists and Trojans Concerned by the rise of populism all over the West, we wanted to make populist strategies more transparent. But how? An enthusiastic follower of a populist party would very unlikely read an essay that comes with a wagging finger and a moral sermon. Neither off- nor online. But they would interact with funny little GIFs on their favourite social media platforms. This is why we use the internet. It is the biggest media of our times, the biggest market place to get attention. And the biggest field of political influence and propaganda. It is a place where populism is made, created by emotions, spread by social media.


We decided to hijack the web and use an entertaining „Trojan Horse” – cats turned into flashy GIFs with a short, mysterious headline and an intriguing URL www.followyour.pet, to illustrate how people are unconsciously influenced by populists and demagogues. Most people will comment, like or share the GIFs without actually going to the webpage. Regardless of the motivation, every share will spread the scope of impact. And this is what we wanted to gain: widest reach through voluntary shares. 1% might go to the webpage, but 10% will share the post and this will create another 1%, that will share the content with a new group of people. This snowball strategy can make the project grow and also rise the number of people following the pet. What do they find, once they are on the webpage? A list of 36 GIFS, each explaining a populist or demagogic technique in short and easy words. The GIFs and explanations are available in three languages: Polish, German, English. Since April 2015 we researched populist strategies and demagogic methods across countries, right- and left wing. In Warsaw we cooperated with scientists, activists and artists working on the actual political situation. With their help, we identified 10 populist strategies and an alphabet of demagogic tools that have recently been used in politics. Now we can only wait and observe what kind of remote virtual areas will our sneaky cats reach rolling in chaotically spread (informational) ball. We zoomed in two elements that are the basis of our project. Camouflage and recalling logics of post-politics – general destruction of certainty.

www.followyour.pet


Camouflage Because democracy is nowadays „the only game in town� (at least in the Western world), nondemocratic leaders, movements and parties are normally disqualified by default. Thus, political actors are advised to achieve a semblance of democracy. One way of doing this consists in adopting the language of populism since it has a clear democratic impetus. Internet as a medium, expected to be highly democratic, has similar feature. But dreams of technological utopia has come to an end. The internet as it is today was drawn by scores of political struggles, pursuing interests of the banks and corporations, and strengthening surveillance. The virtual world has been contaminated by the same techniques of manipulation, as the material one. The area of freedom within online space is still being shaped. The more regulated and controlled it becomes, the more important and powerful in political game. Very often virtual happenings appear unexpectedly, so law and sanctions can only react to them (as it happened in a flagship event of WikiLeaks scandal and trial of Edward Snowden). Following is a common strategy for both: Internet users (that searches for relevant information) and authorities holding power (in search for users' choices and data). Taking all this into account we decided to use the Internet content by adopting the convention of masquerade. Multiplied game of hiding, revealing or spying creates inverted logic that determines the condition of our virtual existence. Secrets of the web surely suggests that we have something to

www.followyour.pet


hide, which can contribute to the growth of interest (and value) of some content. However, and more importantly, we have something to discover: make populist policies more transparent. Goldfish has a chance to catch the hook. TV Conditioning / post-politics While putting the demagogic alphabet together, my artistic collaborator Sabine Taeubner realized that most of those manipulative tools are used in Reality-TV shows. Unconsciously format of Reality-TV shows lowered down viewers' critical thinking and draw the path for populists. Our last project SUPERHIGH, which eventually took shape of a mocumentary carried out in cooperation with ARTE television, used, or rather imitated feeling of loss of reality caused by a reality show formula. We created the real „show”, a competition in which a group of people exposed to natural remedies to obtain an alternative state of consciousness (likea specific type of movement, sound, or an optical illusion) was evaluated by a group under the influence of drugs. Convention of a mocument and use of aesthetic elements of reality show programs, combined with involvement of illegal substances (which of course piled up presumptions) effectively prevented the recognition to which of the groups show participants belong, or who actually is in what state of consciousness. In reality in which we don't know what is true and what is false, it is extremely easy to create the impression that everything is either true or false, and therefore nothing matters. Or everything mat-

ters. The basic dichotomies such as good and evil, black and white, right and cynical, petty and important, are now affected. The project followyour.pet seem to be an internet joke, but in reality it concerns the weighty problem of the modern world. It concerns us all. We apply, it is true, demagogic strategies, but at the same time we activate democratic power of spontaneous shares of Internet users. This process depends on users' own habits (the person who does not usually track the origin of the Internet content will probably never visit the site) as well as their motivation (city activists will do it for reasons other than right-wing journalists or authors of similar web works). GIFs designed within the framework of „Follow your pet” project do not dazzle content, which would represent the views of a specific audience. They remain visually appealing, meaning: neutral, abstract and superficial. Only if someone decides to look beneath the surface (follow the link in the GIF), will get an extra portion of information – information, not demands. In this sense, the project has an educational dimension. Together with Sabine we use nonpolitical, homogeneous style of web content to generate something that is not so much political, but supposedly panpolitical – one that realizes common strategies for practicing any politics, regardless of the subsequent political programs. Internet has the potential of uniting aesthetics. Cats are being shared by everyone, from the left to the right. They are therefore a good tool to search for bridges of understanding between these groups, which in real life rarely meet, and much less act on behalf of a common business. We give them a chance.


Boris Eldagsen A German photomedia artist, based in Berlin. Born 1970, he studied visual arts and philosophy in Cologne, Mainz, Prague and Hyderabad (India). He has lectured at numerous European and Australian universities and art academies and shown his work internationally in institutions and festivals such as Fridericianum Kassel, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, CCP Melbourne, ACP Sydney, EMAF Osnabrück, Videonale Bonn, Edinburgh Art Festival, Athens Video Art Festival, Media Forum Moscow, WRO Media Art Biennale Wroclaw, Biennale Le Havre and Biennale of Electronic Arts Perth.

Sabine Taeubner A freelance creative with a background in scultpure and events. Born in Germany 1974, she studied Virtual Design in Kaiserslautern. She lives and works in Kaiserslautern and Berlin, lectures ‘Digital Media’ at Hochschule Furtwangen. Works with Boris Eldagsen since 2011. Together they created SUPERHIGH, a cross media mockumentary casting show, coproduced by French-German tv-station arte. SUPERHIGH is currently travelling as an event through major European museums, such as Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven und Bundeskunsthalle Bonn.


Katarzyna Szymielewicz

NET ALGORITHMS


ALGORITHM AS A TOOL OF POWER Man versus algorithm

„Science” about people

Since the Internet and information technology captured the market and have becomea key tool in the struggle for political influence, their fuel – data – has grown to the status ofa strategic resource. In comparison to oil, data have an advantage of being operated endlessly. But how to squeeze the real value out of it? How to distinguish information from the irrelevant material? In an extremely complex system, in which we operate, can anything be predicted with a great certainty? Our civilization, obsessed with progress and rationality, can not stand unanswered questions. From this vacuum big data fetish was born: the belief that it is enough to gather a lot of information, respectively to see the future and to control the present. Who in this field first dig out the truth about man, wins the race with the competition. No matter, whether at stake is the long-term dominance in the market, short-term maximization of profit or gaining political power – thanks to the ever-growing resources of information about people, it is possible to predict and influence their behavior in every sphere. Is it really possible? Facts lose their importance if quite a lot of people believe that the reality is different.

Big data fetish is based on the conviction that man is not a creature with unique properties, buta combination of repetitive attributes and behaviors. In nature, there are combinations of more or less typical, but nevertheless each of them can be decomposed into prime factors, bring out the causal relationships, name regularities. What at first glance may seem puzzling, random and even crazy – unexpectedly high amount spent on a pair of shoes, a serious illness or an act of terrorism – in fact is ruled by a hidden logic that we can discover. What is needed is onlya sufficiently large set of data about people, their daily activities, routines, relationships, addictions, dreams, fears, diseases, problems. And so, based on the analysis of statistical correlation between what actions we take and our immanent features, a new „science” of man is being built. Those who decide to use big data and make decisions on this basis, do not have time to verify the pseudo-scientific hypotheses. What commercial should be offered to a specific consumer? Whom to give credit, and with what interest rate? Whom to hire? Whom, and at what rate to insure? Who should receive social benefits? Whom to direct political propaganda and what point to emphasis? Whom to observe closely, when surf the web or walks on the street, and whom to stop immediately? Whose conversation to control? These are difficult decisions for a man. They become easier thanks to statistics and suitably programmed algorithms of proceedings. According to Wikipedia algorithm is a „finite sequence of clearly defined steps necessary to per-


form some kind of task”. Its mission is „to carry out the system with a certain initial state toa desired end state”. As long as the main areas of application were science (especially mathematics) and production processes (from cake recipes to a tape for car montage), everything was easy. Can the same logic, however, be applied for soft social processes? Can we push decisions on human in the corset of algorithmised proceedings? Due to statistical correlations can we explain whya particular person acted in a certain way and even predicted it? This conviction, already in the second half of the nineteenth century, had an Italian psychiatrist and criminologist Cesare Lombroso. His theory of „criminal man” was created on the basis of anthropometry. Analyzing measurements of thousands of skulls of the dead and the living convicts, he came to the conclusion that the tendency to break the law is inborn. More: that the criminal has it in a sense „written all over his face”. Parameters of skulls and anthropometric characteristics such as the width of the forehead and nose, according to Lombroso, allow to distinguish different biological type: criminal human. From this thesis there is only one step to the actual discrimination and preventive police action aimed at the people with „criminal” appearance. Discrimination is embedded in the system In the twenty-first century pseudo-theory of Lombroso is not a subject to discussion. We are proud of achievements such as the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings and the universal

Fragment of the exhibition Nervous Systems. Quantified Life and the Social Question, HKW 2016, Berlin, photo: HKW archives; https://hkw.de/en/programm/projekte/2016/nervoese_systeme/ nervoese_systeme_start.php


human rights for everyone, regardless of origin or skin color. And yet, the real policy of countries in the field of crime prevention still is based on racial stereotypes. In 2012, as a result of journalistic investigation the came to light the activities of the New York police, which for six years kept under surveillance the local Muslim community. The operation, which was aimed at combating terrorism, included continuous monitoring of mosques and places of meetings and preventive installation of wiretaps. One of the commanders of the police, Thomas Galati, publicly admitted that not the activities of specific persons decided about imposing surveillance, but their ethnicity and the fact of using a particular language. Despite six years of observation no one of this community has been formally charged. After the recent wave of terrorist attacks in the European Union the directive, which provides the use of so-called PNR data to combat terrorism and serious crime, was enthusiastically accepted. PNR data is nothing more than the basic information we provide carriers reserving a ticket. Name, nationality, destination, your credit card number. How from such information read criminal intent? According to the researchers, it is impossible. According to state services, quite simple: if someone has a name inscribed in Middle Eastern origin or „wrong” passport, flying from Beirut to London and didn’t pay for his ticket by himself, at first glance appears to be suspected.

Designing reality State, in its policy of excluding the others derives not only from rooted stereotypes in society. State learns also from the market, which in spite of (pseudo) scientific rationalization ( „knowledge economy”) tends in the same direction: to simplified, stereotypical vision of man and society. Consumers are divided into categories depending on age, gender, income level and place of residence ( „good” or „bad” neighborhood). If you need a psychological profile, market researchers recognize only five dominant personality traits: neuroticism, openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness and extroversion (so called Big Five). Candidates for the job are classified primarily based on their social network ( „you are the one who you know”). In the United States campaigning political parties place voters on the axis determined – unstable, and add key labels, such as „anti-immigrant”, „eco-friendly”, „conservative”, „libertarian”. The tendency to simplistic and biased judgments by no means makes world of algorithms, from perspective of the humans, simple and predictable. In fact, we lose control over how our profiles are generated. Often we do not even know who, why and using what information analyze our behavior. It turns out, for example, that for insurance companies, in assessing the risk posed by a driver on the road, more important than the actual history of accidents could be his creditworthiness (among these factors, there is no link of cause and effect, but apparently there is a statistical correlation). In turn, banks and para-bank institutions, looking for a reliable recipe for a reliable


and a solvent client explore the Internet deeper and deeper. The final decision to grant or refuse the loan can be affected by the amount of time you spent on the institution’s website, time you consider which text box to fill, what device did you use and whether there has been a charged battery (!). The new science of man does not seek to answer the question „why”. Its interest is in phenomenon that often exist side by side. The fact that there is no logical connection between them is irrelevant – because it is not about the actual knowledge, understanding of human behavior. At stake isa simplification of a very complex reality to simple algorithms that can act quickly and automatically. If the system detects the behavior X in combination with the characteristic of Y, will react in a certain way. That's all. Cases in which this reaction proves to be wrong, unjust or manifestly discriminatory, are classified as margin (statistical) error. The particular person may be unfairly arrested, will not get a chance for a dream job or a loan. But the system will work continuesly, quickly and efficiently. The most severe consequence of basing public policies and market decisions on algorithms and statistical correlations are not, however, mistakes in individual cases, but a new social reality that in this way we create. Opaque, not necessarily logical, simplifying human personality and social reality, rules making it a statistical model decide what services are offered and to whom; what security policy or social welfare governments implement; who will be made the enemy, and who the beneficiary. In several years, people shaped and promoted according to those rules will make key decisions in politics and business.

How retrieve a place for a man? In quickly and efficiently operating decision-making system driven by knowledge of statistical correlations and its algorithm of proceedings, there is no place to analyze personal motivation, the complex life circumstances, often unusual cases. For a human being no morea commodity, but a negligible position in the table or statistical error it is nothing pleasant. From the perspective of the company or institution that designed this system until the algorithm procedure works, it makes no sense to look inside, and to verify data. This diametrical difference in needs and perspectives must generate the tension. How much algorithmized reality must grind before in the place of negligible error again the human will appear? Looking at the ways of functioning of the behavioral advertising or the logic of the global war on terrorism, in which enormous resources are wasted to collect data on all, and lose those really suspicious, it is difficult to remain optimistic. Once oiled and designed machinery is difficult to stop, the more that in its internal logic it generates only data, which – detached from reality – justify its continuance. We have as many clicks, how many we have assumed (no matter if it was about closing the pop-up ads, instead of clicking „buy now”). We have as many suspects, how many people we need to take them under (no matter they are innocent). In the areas, where rational arguments do not break through, we need to agitate the emotions, act on imagination, enter the subconsciousness. Here opens up a space for artistic interventions: ex-


posing dehumanised and distorted in its logic systems, confronting us with the long-term social consequences of their actions. Here is the space to restore the dream of a world in which there is room for uniqueness and understanding for other person. An exhibition Nervous Systems. Quantified Life and the Social Question organized by Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt in collaboration with the Tactical Technology Collective in the first half of 2016, from which I took a number of the above mentioned examples, was a voice of human not given in to simplify the analysis of its being. To cut through the noise of a speeding, business and state machine we need another voices – even stronger, even louder .

Katarzyna Szymielewicz Lawyer specialised in human rights and technology. Co-founder and president of Panoptykon Foundation – a Polish NGO defending human rights in the context of contemporary forms of surveillance. Vice-president of European Digital Rights – a coalition of 33 privacy and civil rights organisations. Board member of Tactical Technology Collective and Amnesty International (Poland). Graduate of the University of Warsaw (Law) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Development Studies). A member of Ashoka – international network of social entrepreneurs. .


Gautheir Lesturgie

Norbert Delman: „Augmented City�


A REVIEW OF THE EXHIBITION BY NORBERT DELMAN A review of the exhibition by Norbert Delman at Asia Contemporary Art Platform NON Berlin, 11-19.11.2016 , within the framework of the WRSW | BRLN 2016, residency program Norbert Delman wearing sportswear runs on a treadmill in front of a large video projection of heavily edited views from Warsaw. A female voice starts an alarming countdown: „25mn before annihilation”. Addressing to „you”, she describes a wounded city ripped apart by conflicted tensions. Many times over she instructs the running artist (and the audience at the same time) to „inhale and exhale”. „Augmented City” is made up of synchronous images in flying frames, overlapping with each other, evoking familiar windows’ choreography from computer screen. Thus, recognizable places from Warsaw are disrupted by images of recent events happening in the Polish capital, heavily covered by media, along with more abstract visual compositions. The installation in itself (treadmill facing moving images) and some visual effects influenced by the 90’s digital aesthetics, bring us back to the video arcade, yet, the artist-player here does not have control of his wander. He has to endure to go through. Indeed, Delman does not take us for a picturesque sightseeing in Warsaw. The atmosphere is oppressive: while looking at Warsaw’s urban landscapes, pop-up windows appear suddenly as elliptic vehicles of covered by media, often violent content. Warsaw’s urban fabric is being disrupted by filmed football fans fights, demonstrations, dog teeth, and blood puddle. Łukasz Dziedzic’s (johnlake.pl) industrial and troubling sound

composition augments this suffocating scenery along with the artist’s steps and strong breathing. Video pace is contrasted with static scenes: a person standing in front of a few Warsaw’s known landmarks. For instance, the Palace of Culture and Science, the Sigismund’s Column or the Mały Powstaniec statue, stand as concrete marks of past struggles which shape and define today’s identity of the city. By colliding current events, reported by media, with these memorials of the past, Delman portrays the urban landscape as a multi-layered fabric. Indeed, in some way we can think of the city’s structure as a millefeuille, made up of juxtaposed time stratums. Here, the multi-layered pattern of the Internet aesthetic (multi-framed pop-up windows) shares dynamics somehow analogous to the urban density. Obviously, Warsaw is a very singular candidate when thinking of a „city as palimpsest”: 85% of its surface has been razed in the aftermath of the World War II. In Delman’s work, Warsaw’s public space shows us a genealogy of violence which alarmingly echoes today’s situation. These filmed memorials seem to speak against a toxic amnesia existing in some current political statements and directions. Therefore, chosen term „annihilation” at the beginning of the video, together with the last written sentence „Burn everything down”, sound as a dreadful reminders of events in Warsaw’s biography. Notably the planned destruction of Warsaw in the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 (which the Mały Powstaniec statue symbolizes). Broadcasted images surely affect our imagination and how we experience our environments. More than being an attribute of the Internet, Delman’s film aesthetic mimics a common mental mecha-


nism, somehow duplicated by the web. Indeed, we do not think in a linear, single-media and perfectly organized way. For instance, when thinking „Warsaw”, a multitude of pictures amalgamate, interfering with each other. In Delman’s video montage, the volatile nature of these fleeting images tells us as well the necessity of saving them. The work uses digitized files, and in a way, halts their constant flux and becomes in itself a poetic archive of these ongoing events. „Augmented City” is an urgent aesthetic reaction from an artist confronted with events taking place in his hometown. Delman renders this conflicted forces occupying Warsaw public space and media discourse. While watching the artist running on his treadmill, we quickly understand it is not a refreshing jogging, but the physical symbol of an escape.

Gauthier Lesturgie An independent art writer and translator (English to French) living in Berlin. Since 2010, he has worked within the framework of several contemporary art projects such as Den Frie Centre for Contemporary Art (Copenhagen), Critique d’art art journal, 2nd and 3rd Rennes Contemporary Art Biennal or SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin). He is regularly writing for some art journals, such as Espace art actuel (Montreal), Inter art actuel (Quebec), ETC Media (Montreal), MOMUS (Toronto), Sleek (Berlin) or 02 (Nantes).


Norbert Delman, „Augmented City�, photo: NON Berlin archives


Jennifer Chan

NOTES ON POST-INTERNET


NOTES ON POST-INTERNET Excerpt from http://www.academia.edu/7508373/Notes_on_Post-Internet „I’m a user, I’ll improvise”—Sam Flynn, TRON: Legacy (2010)

HOW TO STAND OUT IN AN ENDLESS STREAM OFINFORMATION? … BINGE ON 90S POP CULTURE AND HTML5.PURGE COMPLEXITY, EMBARRASSMENT AND SADNESS …FIND YOUR POSITION BETWEEN LIGHT NIHILISM ANDTECHNO-OPTIMISM ALLUDE TO CRITICAL THEORIES BUTDON’T COMMIT TO THEM. DON’T ENGAGE POLITICALLY.APPROACH POST EVERYTHING.

With no unique goals and unified politics the term was co-opted bywriters, curators, and gallerists as shorthand for contemporary art inspiredby the internet. Much of what winds up in galleries bears little referenceto the web as an environment, but more often resembles contemporary-looking art objects that cleverly recycle existing tropes in art history. Artie Vierkant’s Image Objects look like Cory Archangel’s Photoshop gradient prints, which look like Rafael Rozendaal’s colour field websites, which look like PietMondrian’s paintings. Greek New Media Shit and false documentation of artobjects invoke satire about satire ad infinitum, producing an infinite paradeof clever and conceptual art jokes. Internet art has reached peak irony, anavel-gazing void of peer-responsive artistic in-jokes and hopeless stabs atearnestness. It’s the newish term artists love to hate—something embarrassingand technologically dandy about internet art in the late noughties. Jaakko Pallasvuo demonstrates these ambivalent artistic tendencies in HowTo / Internet, the third in a series of instructional videos that employ aslideshow aesthetic to critique the social hierarchies that exist in online andcontemporary art worlds:

Just like white male flâneurs who were captivated by the sights and soundsof urbanized cities and the now-banal train ride, my experience within thisworld has been irreversibly changed by the transience of late-night Google searches, the affect and wonder of watching porn before I was ever of age tohave sex, appreciating the best remixes of Taylor Swift songs, having self-educating chats with older artists, and partaking in comment threads that gonowhere. Post-internet engulfs and transforms all kinds of wicked trends fromhigh art to niche cultures. I am a computerized subject, a generic user withspecific desires, trendsurfing and making vague associations to everythingI find and know of. If ‘the internet is people’, as Ben Werdmuller says, I’ve become hopelessly addicted and exhausted with my need for validation from people I haven’t met. Each like and retweet prompts a slight rise in dopamine, but soon online validation is not enough. Given the conditions of accelerationist, networked capitalism, it’s hard to be optimistic about making art online without feeling like a complete drone. The best thing to do is to demystify these insidious systems of distribution. Noone wants to be a „noughties burnout”. How to sell, or how-to-not-get-fucked-over-by-the-cultural-industry and the realities of artistic coolhunting has


never been taught in art schools. As long as artists are in the race to adapt to the cult of the contemporary, we remain at the mercy of collectors, museums, arts press, and the academy. Post-internet artists would benefit from shifting their practices beyond the communities surrounding social platforms to focus more on creating communities in physical proximity. If one of post-internet’s main principles is invoking the influence of the internet on the physical world and its social relations, what we need is more of everything IRL than what has been happening in galleries and museums. We could also be learning from other web-based creative communities. (...) Politics is the pursuit of power, and within post-internet art this is no less evident in the migration of web-based practices to the ranks of thegallery and museum. Since you are notdead, your work is already „Contemporary”. So do something meaningful withyour newfound art power. Stand for something

Jaakko Pallasvuo, „LOL”, 2011


MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS


Within each of the residency open workshops and public meetings with the artists have been organized as well: 13.06.2016 One-day workshop by Lucas Gutierrez „How to cook crazy videos!” ; XS The workshop was dedicated to audiovisual artists and students of visual arts, design and photography, interested in the practical use of VJ-ing. The meeting was divided into modules, and the result was a realization of individual and group compositions.

13.08.2016 Meeting and workshop with Marcelina Wellmer „Przepraszam, czy to nowe media?” ; XS The meeting combined with a multimedia presentation of the artist's work, related to the contemporary status of new technologies, overlapping of digital and analogue aesthetics and the DIY environment in Warsaw and Berlin.

In addition to a coherent, international program of exhibitions, meetings and workshops organized by the Foundation for Public Space Research TU and the XS gallery, additional events were also organized: book presentations („Random Selection” 8.07.2016 – photo albums by Magdalena Buczek), photo exhibitions („Centrum w Procesie” 15.07.2016 – „Center in Process” in photographs of Marta Ankiersztejn, Ania Wawrzkowicz – „State of Things” 12.10.2016; Antonina Gugała – „Part 1” 24.10.2016), and multimedia projects by renowned artists and groups such as panGenerator – this year's winner of the Golden Lions in Cannes („Appearances of perfection” 29.10.2016).

20.10.2016 „How to fight populism with pets” meeting dedicated to the activism in artistic practice, co-organized by Panoptykon Foundation; XS During the meeting Eldagsen and Taeubner presented the results of their research on populist methods in Europe and the United States. They showed how then they transfered these methods on the most popular memes with cute pets. In the second part of the meeting Katarzyna Szymielewicz form Panoptykon Foundation led a conversation about the (successful) connections of contemporary art and activism, based on the example of the work by Eldagsen and Taeubner and other contemporary artists.

21.11.2016 „Art Spaces Swap” meeting led by Norbert Delman; NON Berlin The meeting on the conditions of formation and ways of functioning of independent project spaces in Warsaw and Berlin, followed by the example of STROBOSKOP gallery, led by Norbert Delman, the resident of the WRSW | BRLN 2016 program.


Lucas Gutierrez, „How to cook crazy videos!”, photo Martyna Miller

Boris Eldagsen & Sabine Taeubner, „How to figt populism with pets”, photo Martyna Miller

Krzysztof Goliński, „Appearances of perfection”, photo Martyna Miller

Antonina Gugała, „Part 1”, photo M. Kaźmierczak


RESIDENCY PROGRAM WSRW | BRLN 2016

PUBLIKACJA WRSW|BRLN 2016

Program coordinator - Joanna Turek

Introduction: Joanna Turek, Foundation for Public Space Research TU, Gallery XS Article NET TRANSFORMATIONS: Magdalena Buczek Article NET POLITICS: Boris Eldagsen, Martyna Miller Article NET ALGORITHMS: Katarzyna Szymielewicz, Fundacja Panoptykon Review of the exhibition „Augmented City" by Norbert Delman: Gauthier Lesturgie An excerpt from the article „Notes on Post-Internet” by Jennifer Chan http://www.academia.edu/7508373/Notes_on_Post-Internet was used and translated in the publication

Cultural anthropologist, coordinator, cultural manager. Graduate of the University of Warsaw in cultural studies and the Graduate School for Social Research/Lancaster University. In recent years she has cooperated as a coordinator and producer with several foundations and institutions based in Warsaw and Berlin (among others, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Centre for Cultural Promotion in Warsaw; Plusnull e.V., berlinerpool e.V. and Kollegen 2,3 in Berlin) dealing with projects in the field of visual arts and urban studies. In 2009-2012 she was engaged in the works of the Institute for Public Space Research at the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy. She has published in several Polish journals and magazines. Currently she cooperates with non-governmental and public organizations in Warsaw and Berlin. She is engaged (in theory and practice) in the work on the widely understood public space, combining her interests in institutional critique, artistic practices in social and political context and the role of cultural and creative capital in local and international projects dedicated to urban space.

Program coordinator - Martyna Miller A graduate of cultural anthropology studies and media education at University of Warsaw and directing at Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo. One of the initiators of 1500m2 in Warsaw, cooperated with Dramatical Theatre in Warsaw, Body/Mind Festival, Bęc Zmiana Foundation among others. She implements projects located on the edge of theatre, performance and music.

Project assistant - Kacper Wereski

more info:

organizers:

Photographs and videos: Martyna Miller Graphics and composition: Jakub Koźniewski - http://jkozniewski.com www.wrsw-brln.pl www.fundacjatu.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/fundacjatu www.facebook.com/xsnarbutta

partners:

www.wrsw-brln.pl

BERLINER POOL ARTS NETWORK

INSTYTUT BADAŃ PRZESTRZENI PUBLICZNEJ

XS gallery was used for cultural purposes with the help of the Mokotów district of Warsaw.

The project is co-funded by the Capital City of Warsaw, Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation (Stiftung für deutsch-polnische Zusammenarbeit) and the Governing Mayor of Berlin - Senate Chancellery Berlin

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