REBECCA LOYCHE S E L E C T E D A R T W O R K 2 0 0 8 –2 0 1 1
INTRODUCTION by Elvia Pyburn-Wilk Rebecca Loyche’s work apprehends the silence of the banal, allowing objects and places to speak for the people that make and occupy them. With a thoroughly global consciousness, Loyche responds to the breakdown and even abject failure of communication inherent in daily life. She reminds us that solid or physical reality does not correspond directly to truth – and that in fact foregrounding the physical often obscures what is truly at stake. In a culture where so much is seen but so little is heard, Loyche identifies not only our isolation and alienation but suggests the possibility of connection. By allowing the viewer to look closer and listen harder, she manages to re-route us away from the straightforward or the concrete; instead seeking beauty, irony, and even humor in the most unlikely, and often most artificial-seeming places. As images, the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) depicted via photograms in Loyche’s 2008–09 »Minds/Mines don’t care« are lonely, clean, and stripped of the grim and harsh circumstance we associate with war. The objects, which Loyche built with the help of a weapons specialist, are made from found materials and simple techniques typical of these actual devices made worldwide. The only element the fabricated bombs are lacking to be functional is explosive fuel, otherwise they are ready to be detonated. By reducing the visual information that would allow us to identify them right away, Loyche allows the IEDs to become aesthetic objects in their own right, slick and simplified to their contours. And yet in the photograms they remain potent, threatening, and invested with dormant energy, which makes them fascinating. Deciphering the images becomes a puzzle – looking carefully, it is possible to identify cell phone battery packs, pens, water bottles, and cigarette filters. Here is the detritus of an artificial world, tweaked and manipulated to become lethal. These daily, accessible objects are no longer benign but dangerous, and yet as images they linger in a curious state between potential and action, both fragile and threatening at the same time. The photogram references the x-ray, inviting us to consider surveillance culture in a broader sense. Increased surveillance both responds to and perpetuates fear; the paranoia that anything could be concealed in someone else’s suitcase is compounded by the paranoia that anyone can look into yours. This ostensible fear of concealed weapons translates to a fear of concealed anything. We live in a society obsessed with transparency in a physical sense, but as Loyche’s work points out, this begets an incredible lack of transparency in terms of communication. To see the inside of an object is not to see the motive that produced it; examining a person’s things does not ask a question and/or hear a response. In fact, in surveillance societies the threat of violence is responded to with a corresponding invasive act. At the heart of this perpetual silent exchange is fear.
In direct comparison to the static, silent images of »Minds/Mines don’t care,« Loyche’s video work »Hvalreki« (2009) likewise points to the failure of communication in today’s world. »Hvalreki«, which means »stranded whale« and »jackpot« in Icelandic, was shot during the protests following the Icelandic economic crash at the end of October 2008. A 45 minute protest speech has been distilled to a four-minute video that focuses on the sign language interpreter’s real-time translation of the speech and the audience’s reaction to it. Beyond the specificity inherent to Icelandic Sign Language, which only about 200 people speak worldwide, the content of the speech clearly protests a national feeling of being silenced, and demands for those in positions of power to actually listen. To protest as an act is to demand to be heard. In the translation of the speech we read: »Geir [the former prime minister] doesn’t know what the people on Austurvöllur are thinking. He’s only human. We’ll send him some q-tips.« Watching the interpreter sign the motion for »q-tips«, we are confronted with the isolation inherent in all language. The ability to hear does not necessitate the act of listening. We are also confronted with a trope that emerges in much of Loyche’s work: the diversity of human perception, and therefore the subjective nature of human experience. This is often identified in the artwork via an audio/ visual split, or a diffraction of the senses into separated and manipulable channels, which makes the viewer aware of his or her own sensations – and the capacity for their artificial manipulation – in a new way. This formal argument against a universal subjectivity reminds us that the human body cannot be thought of in straightforward terms of input and output. Human biology is fore-grounded in Loyche’s 2010–2011 installation »Circadian«. The installation, which can be translated in differing iterations to various sites, envelops the viewer in a white room of full-spectrum light, the effects of which mimic the effects of sitting outdoors in the sun. A soundtrack playing in the room lasts about fifteen minutes, which is the minimum length of time that the body needs to physically benefit from sunlight. The piece takes its name from the Circadian Rhythm, the natural human cycle corresponding to a 24-hour day, which is governed primarily by amount of daily exposure to sunlight. While the viewer may experience a sense of disorientation or even isolation upon entering the space, after a few minutes the light elevates mood and increases energy levels. Full-spectrum light, which has in other contexts been used as a depression treatment therapy, slightly changes the appearance of people in the installation room, and incrementally alters the body’s daily and seasonal rhythm. In this way, the piece poses complex questions about what is artificial and what is natural, and asks us to think about how our bodies live in and re-
spond to the constructed environments in which many of us live for the majority of our lives. Further, the piece serves as a platform for communication by literally bringing people together in an unusual space, and invites active collaboration with other artists who may be asked to create the soundscape for the room in different locations. It is difficult to identify the room »Circadian« occupies as either domestic, private, public, or institutional space. This is partially because it literally brings the outdoors inside, creating a false source of sunlight in an enclosed area. This division between programmatically-defined internal and external spaces is further explored in Loyche’s video series »Still Life« (2011). The videos present still life scenes built from all the left over objects from the spaces the still lifes inhabit. Flowers, books, artwork, sculptures, and a cup of steaming-hot tea sit in silence upon a table against a window. Suddenly, debris begins dropping onto the table, accompanied by loud noises of destruction. We are once again re-tracing the action to understand what we are looking at, as we did with the mysterious IED forms in »Minds/Mines Don’t Care«. In this case we can’t see what is being destroyed, but from the emerging light and sound from a busy street outside, we can infer that an external wall in the room is being knocked down piece by piece. »Still Life« presents the audience with several oppositions, the most central being the interior space where the action is occurring versus the outdoor space beyond the wall. This dichotomy is intensified by the manipulated audio track that accompanies the action, which has been modified to amplify the urban noises from the public street beyond the wall. This interior/exterior split suggests a congruous split between natural decay and forceful destruction by human hands, returning us to the question of artificiality. The still life begins and ends in »natural« stillness, but it has been destroyed via the forceful destruction of the wall. The strange, detached violence in this destructive act implies the threat of danger even in the most domestic or banal situations. Like an IED, a bomb made from household materials, the scene in »Still Life« confronts us with the latent fear of the everyday. And though it is not possible to see who smashes the wall, we know it is a person disrupting the tranquil scene. Like the result of a hand-made explosive, or Iceland’s economic collapse, the disaster that occurs in the video is entirely human. It is no coincidence that the scene takes place in an old house in Berlin. The rapid destruction, re-building, re-appropriation, and re-inhabitation that occurs in this global city make it an important site for the examination of memory in relation to physical space. In another video project entitled »The Art Fair« (2011), Loyche examines one component of Berlin’s emerging culture based on its transitory global population, the phenomenon of the art fair. For the project, the same video of a scene shot during ArtForum Berlin was shown to three specialists: a
psychologist, a security guard, and an art dealer. The experts were each asked to analyze the video according to their areas of expertise. The psychologist examines the body language and mannerisms of the subjects as they walk through the hallway between gallery booths. The security personnel focuses on individuals who look suspicious or potentially threatening, and the art dealer checks for signs of wealth that might identify a possible buyer. The video is displayed with three simultaneous audio channels that the viewer can alternate between, comparing the ways in which the three voices size up the ArtForum audience according to their varying agendas. In a triple layer of voyeurism, the audience at the art fair becomes the subject of observation by the three invited observers, who in turn come under scrutiny by the viewer of the finished video in the gallery space. This ultimate viewer is given an unusually privileged vantage point from which to examine human behavior, inferring as much about the three commentators as can be inferred by watching the scene. And, as is nearly always the case when we act as voyeurs, we realize the extent of our own exhibitionism, and the extent to which our daily lives depend on watching and being watched. Beyond being an interesting portrait of the nuances in judgment that govern human social relations, »The Art Fair« expands upon Loyche’s critique of surveillance culture, and of the subtle paranoia that is produced through constant observation. The ArtForum scene was in fact filmed on an iPhone, ensuring that no one walking through the scene acted differently or felt suspicious in a way beyond the normal suspicion we must always feel in our constant-camera society. This paranoia or suspicion is the same that arises in a world where a ballpoint pen or a battery pack could be concealing an explosive device. It is in this way, among others, that much of Loyche’s work is highly sensitive to the contemporary moment, to the potential for danger that is possible only in a time when biology has begun to be subsumed by artificial devices. When it is so difficult to demarcate the line between »nature« and »artifice« (a dichotomy which has only arisen out of fear that the former is being lost), and when even ordinary things can be terrifying, observing becomes searching for something. How does the artist’s role as observer change when such searching has become a primary cultural activity? One suggestion of course is not to see more, but to see deeper. In her contemplative pieces, Loyche does not underestimate the power of human perception, she instead allows and challenges us to perceive with all our senses and – more importantly – to respond ourselves. Elvia Pyburn-Wilk is a Berlin-based writer and artist. She writes for Berlin Art Link & Eaders Digest.
MINDS/MINES DON’T CARE
»Minds/Mines Don’t Care« is a series of photograms of I.E.D.s (Improvised Explosive Devices) and land mines. The photogram keeps the objects to scale and references the viewer’s physical presence. Simultaneously, the instant identification of what one sees has been reduced to a simple state. It invites the viewer to question what they are looking at. Current bombs are being made out of readily available materials, such as trash, cell phones, light bulbs, pens, water bottles – other items can be gathered with a quick trip to the hardware store. Similar to X-rays or early cyanotype photogram botany studies, these photos catalog the truth of the object. The X-ray quality plays with issues of paranoia and »Homeland Security«. In America, we are far removed from the realities of a suicide bomber, explosions in public spaces, and open land that has been embedded with mines. Contrasting elements of this work include the ideas of beauty, intrigue, fragility, mundane objects and the implied violence that is present in these weapons which link them to a maker. In the end, it is the human mind that is the biggest threat. The title derives from the U.S. military issuing country-specific land mine identification card packs. On the front of this pack is the iconic skull and cross bones with the slogan: »Be Aware Mines Don’t Care.«
I. E. D. (Improvised Explosive Device), 2008/2009, Water Bottle, Shrapnel with Walkie Talkie Detonator, Photogram, 61 × 50.8 cm
I. E. D. (Improvised Explosive Device), 2009, Improvised Explosive Delay Device-Clock, Battery, Blasting cap, Photogram, 61 × 50.8 cm
Daisy Chain of Pipe bombs with self detonator, 2008, Photogram, 61 × 50.8 cm I. E. D. – Booby trap detonator –, 2009, Mousetrap, broken bulb, battery, Photogram, 61 × 50.8 cm
A 45-minute protest speech edited down to 4 minutes based on the tone of the speakers, the emotion of the sign language interpreter, and the crowd’s reaction. Spoken Icelandic and Icelandic Sign Language are recognized as two different languages, with approximately 320,000 people speaking Icelandic and 200 + people using Icelandic Sign as their primary language. The video is about the visual and audible ways in which communication occurs. To be deaf is to be unable to hear and to protest is also to raise awareness to those who do not hear. The word »Hvalreki« means »stranded whale« in Icelandic. A comparable English translation would be »windfall« . The irony of a stranded whale is a dying beast or food for a hungry village, bad and good can come at the same time.
Hvalreki, 2009, Video stills, Video installation
SPOKEN ICELANDIC TO ENGLISH
ICELANDIC SIGN LANGUAGE TO ENGLISH
Woman: Without pre-school teachers, midwives, teachers, and nurses, the economic situation does not matter. Let us redefine what is valuable and requires responsibility: Being responsible for children, education, the physical health of the nation, should all weigh more than being responsible for paper stock and money. Man: Where we are going to make the following demands: We want justice, elections scheduled, and the cliques done away with from the federal bank, the commercial banks and the Financial Supervisory Authority. We want fairness and the quota system eliminated, no more »golden parachutes«, no more greed, no more nepotism, education and skills valued, we want togetherness and real solutions for people facing financial difficulties. The removal of indexed loans, a new Nordic welfare system. Woman: It’s complicated but it’s not that complicated that a whole committee of friends of friends have to sit around for a whole year and scratch their heads. Man: Both here at Austurvöllur and around the world are thinking … and I’m going to ask you … Isn’t it true what I said in the letter? Do we want the directors of the Federal Bank to leave? Do we want the directors of the Financial Supervisory Authority to leave? Do we want a different way to govern? Do we want the corrupting powers to leave? Do we want the government to leave? Do we want an election? Dear Geir (Prime Minister of Iceland). You are going to get a letter this week. Woman: … and are in a lot of debt. I would have gladly liked to have spent that money on myself. A new direction and new ways, break down the old party system, and let’s face it that it is outdated. Man: This week I heard Geir quoted saying, or if I heard him say it myself, I don’t remember … He doesn’t know what the people on Austurvöllur are thinking. He’s only human; we’ll send him some q-tips. I wanted to ask you, I was thinking about writing him a letter – Dear Geir. Read this letter carefully. What we the people, Icelanders, both here at Austurvöllur and around the world are thinking … Woman: Prices are kept secret here. Imagine if the price of a carton of milk was kept secret or menus at restaurants didn’t show their prices, then it would be up to the individual’s business savvy, what kind of a price he/she would get. ~ Man from the crowd yells – »That’s a good one!« Woman cont: Dear nation, let’s harness the power that’s in us. Let’s get all the smart people involved. Let’s connect with grassroots and make a new Iceland, where everyone can prosper. We are the nation and the power is ours!
If no preschool teachers, midwives, teachers and lawyers economic situation no matter. We need to identify again economic what is in responsibility. Children, education, health of a nation, value better than responsibility paper, bond, money.
This meeting put forwards demands I’ll read. We want rights, we want election decide time, cliques away from the Central bank, the banks, the FSA (Financial Supervisory Authority), away, away, away. We want righteousness, (fishing) quota system away, retirement pension for the members of parliament away, take things for yourself away, relation hiring away, education and abilities valued. We want solidarity, real solutions for people that can’t pay. Away with the index. Nordic health system. Encourage all to go to Arnarholl 1. December clock 3. This is complicated, not very complicated one committee of friends sit in one year, scratch head, can’t do. The whole world thinks today asking you, true I’ll tell you. We want the board of the Central bank away, yes you, we want the board of the FSA away, yes, we want to change the leadership, yes, we want the corruption away, we want the government away, we want election, yes. Dear Geir, I’ll send letter this week. Remember news I and everyone of you Iceland owes very much. I want to use this money myself. New direction, new way, the old parties tear down and throw away and see obsolete. I heard last week Geir Haarde, he didn’t know people in Austurvöllur were thinking, doesn’t know you thinking today. He is a human being, we send him swabs, so can hear. I ask you, I’m thinking of writing letter send to Geir, »Dear Geir, please be kind to read this letter thoroughly. We people of Iceland …« Here ridiculous if secret about price. Imagine if secret what milk would cost or on a menu in a restaurant no price, then if clever business every one can decide what we pay. Dear nation, we need to encourage every thinking person together make a new Iceland, everybody feel better. We are a nation, we power.
Circadian offers the participant an otherworldly experience. Upon first entering the space, the visitor encounters a light-filled white room. The Circadian rhythm is the biological process of the human body to naturally function on a twenty-fourhour cycle. One of the strongest factors which alters this state is the abundance, or lack of, daylight. The 10,000 lux of full spectrum light in the room enhances the effects of sitting outside on a sunny day. The accompanying atmospheric soundscape is composed of several different audio layers of »white noise«, unidentified audio recordings from the ocean’s depths collected by researchers, other sound elements from nature and the human body, classical music and analogue audio players. The music is approximately 15 minutes in length and light therapy research has shown that this is the baseline amount of time people need to benefit from light exposure. The rhythmic and hypnotic sound in the room enhances the experience of this perceptual isolated solarium.
Circadian, 2011, Sound & Light Installation, Soundscape Rebecca Loyche, Site-specific in Trier, Germany
Circadian, 2010, Sound & Light Installation, Soundscape Bjork Viggosdottir, Site-specific in Berlin, Germany
Circadian, 2010/2011, Sound & Light Installation, Site-specific
The Still Life series records some of the memories of an old building that is undergoing renovation in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin. A still life is set up each time a wall is going to be knocked down. Each still life is made from materials and other traces that have been left behind in the rooms of the house. The men knocking down the walls start on one side, and I stand on the other, filming the still life and protecting the camera from the falling debris. When watching the demolition it organically created a film set. The historical still life format of capturing slow decay became the medium to show rapid destruction. Original sound recordings have been edited to amplify the already existing ambient noises of the city going on right outside the windows of the house during the demolition. The life outside the window drowns out the life inside until everything settles once again.
Still Life I, 2011, Video Stills, HD Video installation, Site-Specific Sound Design by Arthur Guidi
Still Life II, 2011, Video Stills, HD Video installation, Site-Specific Sound Design by Arthur Guidi
THE ART FAIR
»Double pleated suit, very stylish, classic. Customize tailored usually runs about 1,000–2,000 Euros.« »Rigidness, self-conscious way of carrying oneself and totally shut off, hard to approach demeanor. Deep seated issues.« »Good posture, good shoes, physically fit. Doesn’t stand out in the crowd, blends in and could get away quickly.«
The Art Fair, 2011, Video Still, HD Video installation, with 3 channel audio
»The Art Fair« is a video installation with three different channels of audio. A video shot of an art fair is shown to three varying specialists in the fields of security, art, and psychology. Each specialist watches the same footage and gives his or her own distinct »reading« of the people walking by. Profiling is a natural part of human nature and is based on personal, or occupational, experience. The Art Fair is not just a forum for buying and selling work, but also a stage on which to spectate and expose trends. People come, looking to see the next big thing and scrutinize the work. At the same time, there is an air of »Flâneurism« in the aisles of the art fair, where both the art and the person are on display. The video is shot in an inconspicuous manner so that individuals appear unselfconsciously in front of the camera as they walk down the runways of the fair. It is not always easy to match the voiceover with the individual being profiled, and the viewer begins to speculate and, in turn, starts to profile between the gaps and pauses in the narration. As the viewer scans the footage for »characters«, there is a contrast between the facile voyeuristic impulse of being influenced by someone else’s input, and the default internal profiling system of the voyeur.
The Art Fair, 2011, Video Still, HD Video installation, with 3 channel audio
THE ART OF CLIMATE CHANGE: MEDIA APPARATUS, GLOBAL ART MARKETS, VOLCANIC ASH, ICELAND’S BANKING CRISIS … by Sarah K. Stanley No one disputes that the production of contemporary art has become fully integrated with its media apparatus. Promoted by institutions, namely museums and sponsoring corporations such as banks, a complex media system is set into motion, including print media such as catalogs, books, magazines, combined with televised media, all of which is archived and transmitted via the Internet. All these entities assembled together control, organize and otherwise shape public taste and cultural discourse about ›Art‹. The artworks found at the fair are incidental. What is hidden beneath the informality of the art fair is a fairly large beast that requires vast financial resources to activate its full powers of cultural production. As immaterial as shifting weather patterns and climate change, the art apparatus is bound to fluctuating global financial markets, as unsettled by manmade disasters (war, banking fraud, social unrest) as natural ones (global warming, volcanic ash, earthquakes). The global art market rears its gigantic head as a prickly beast, growing spikes and abscesses of economic market turmoil, and it is this ravaged monkey that is segmented, ordered and placed for display at the art fair. Consequently, if the groups attending the fair were ever closely observed, captured on camera even, the expressions worn would range from utter distaste to total blankness, mingled with an occasional look of fascination (The Art Fair). The fair exists in a concentrated temporality, 4 or 5 days, compared with gallery shows that last a month and museum shows which last several months to a year. It is therefore dependent upon factors of time, such as quick financial transactions, rapidly assembled architectural venues and prompt transport of people and artworks to the site. The freight shipment of artworks to the fair means that it actually functions mostly as a temporary storage facility. This is confirmed by the fact that several international art fairs are set up close by or even held inside airport hangers. There are comparisons to be made between the long white corridors and series of passageways that define the architecture of airports and those of art fairs. The art fair shares the anonymity of transitory sites like airports, but also big-box supermarkets and blockbuster movie theaters; it offers a greater variety of consumer choices, yet somehow produces a diminished sense of connection to actual places and other people. How does this all compare with the fluttering, soft quality of riding a bicycle along the canals, rivers, lakes and parks in the city of Berlin? Life is not for sale at an art fair, yet what then exactly is offered that produces its enormous
allure? The art fair involves the folding and unfolding of tent-like structures, walls often made with ordinary wallboard, the cheapest of building materials, an event similar to the rock concert or fashion show. Art and its markets produce a similar condition that combines the thrill of shopping with an intensified sociality of branded display and entertainments. Just like a display window, consuming could mean just looking or it could mean buying, yet international art fairs cater to VIPs luxury tastes. Meanwhile, the fair itself is consuming great quantities of environmental resources due to its reliance upon transport of art freight and large international crowds to the venue. The Art of Climate Change: Commercial aviation is growing at a rate of five percent annually. Jet aircraft emissions are deposited directly into the upper atmosphere and therefore have a greater warming effect than automobile exhaust. The primary gas emitted by jet aircraft engines is carbon dioxide, which can survive in the atmosphere up to 100 years. The use of freight containers as gallery booths at Art Basel Miami completes the circle of art as transport. The Berlin gallerist Olaf Stuber once used his large wooden freight container as the display table at the Nada Fair Miami, which took up the bulk of his booth, a playful statement about art fairs as a moving and storage operation. This art is traveling, but the question is, have its conceptual elements been packed up for the journey? The pessimist would respond that the art fair steals from the artwork its powers of effect that depend upon an environment that facilitates relations between people, things and ideas. These include longer spans of time to wonder and wait to be moved or to feel a deep awareness of one’s own creative emergence in the world. An optimist might say that artists have already incorporated the idea of travel into the work, that all artwork today is destined for frequent transport, and the white box of the art gallery had already provided a zone of abstraction early on. One momentous shift in the organization of art sales is that artworks have begun to be packaged into the new types of financial instruments, recalling the ones used to consolidate and sell large quantities of sub-prime home mortgage loans. Certain art dealers resist treating art as a pure commodity, claiming to worry that collectors will end up owning art that is not of the highest quality. The real reason for concern may be that it diminishes the importance of the art dealer in the sales transaction. The art fair is one quick step away from these financial instruments that package large groups of artworks for investment banking, and indeed each crammed cell of a gallery booth could well be a materialized model of global art shares. Each square foot of the booth is priced according to the dots per inch of the media screen that electronically transports the contents of the container onto the worldwide web.
If you want some examples of art activity that remains local and retains its powers of effect, it would likely not involve commercial galleries at an art fair. The art project MMX Open Art Venue, initiated by artist Rebecca Loyche in Berlin 2009– 2010, is part of a long tradition of urban art spaces that emerge when a city is newly liberated from the constraints of a real estate driven market economy. It happened in New York City after white flight to the suburbs in the 1950s that left whole sections of central Manhattan’s industrial architecture vacant, which allowed artists and galleries to move in the 1970s. Art spaces opened in vacant buildings in Berlin in 1989 after the Wall fell, including the major art venue Kunst-Werke in Mitte. In recent years, real estate development has overtaken much of this area, driving more rebellious artist spaces and dealers out. The new shops that remain, like the ones in Manhattan’s Soho, feature trendy fashion and retail outlets with a superficial veneer of art and design. The Art of Financial Collapse: In March 2011, Iceland’s official investigation into the collapse of its financial system arrested London’s wealthiest property tycoons Robert Tchenguiz, Icelandic banks’ biggest borrower [1.37 billion BP], on charges of banking fraud. Kaupthing, one of the main three Icelandic banks that failed in October 2008, made business loans to the Tchenguiz brothers in property and retail through low wholesale interest rates that evaporated once the US sub-prime mortgage crisis blew up. Nothing can hinder the march of economic progress we are told, except natural disaster or total economic meltdown. These two catastrophes, natural and man-made, twist around the other like a coiled serpent of doom. Hannah Arendt, in her 1951 ›Origins of Totalitarianism‹ and following Rosa Luxemburg’s insight into the political structure of imperialism, emphasized that investment capital requires endless expansion in order to maintain its political stability, and depends upon total destruction of property – the conquest of new territory is its only achievable aim. Seventy percent of Berlin’s residential housing was destroyed in allied bombings in the 1940s. Now the rubble falls by the hand of the artist as she renovates a vacant building in Berlin, making art video in the process of creating an alternative art venue (Still Life) … spirits stir again of those who had formerly lived amidst the rubble of the aftermath of the War. Whose vanities and writing desks were covered over as Soviet soldiers wrecked further revenge upon the German women left without defense or protection in Berlin? Total destruction. A single flower remains in a vase undisturbed, a small token of life that survives, a flicker of faith, the color of your beating heart. This art is not for sale. The Icelandic Grimsvotn Volcano erupted and ash thrown up into the atmosphere that disrupted commercial jet travel. The event allowed a comparative analysis of CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which gave a more accurate reading of emissions of commercial jet travel. The flight ban due to the volcanic eruption stopped
emission of estimated 2.8 m tons of CO2. There might be two figures given on the price sheets, the costs before and after transport to the art fair, and its contributions to global warming. True costs also lead to a discussion of value, how art is valued and for what reasons, and indeed what value(s) propel the global art market. If an earthquake happens or a handheld explosive device kills 50 people, its media broadcast potentially ricochets through the bones and marrow of artists intent upon making sense of senseless brutality. These translations between materiality and media prove that certain artists are capable of adding qualities of information into the mix of media images that global news outlets are unwilling or able to do. It is possible to forge connections between global catastrophe and the tactility produced from sign language performed at a protest in Iceland (Hvalreki). This is the necessary work of the artist, to produce ›media materialities‹ that can still be felt at the tips of the fingers (Minds/Mines Don’t Care), a communication that tests the boundaries between the actuality of corporeal worlds and the virtuality that contains its images and ideas. That which rides on the backs of whales and the floating corpses of polar bears, the earth’s fragile eco-system propels an art of weather systems, a patterning that produces invisible media that continues to be felt as magnetic fields. Sarah K. Stanley is a Berlin and London-based writer and media producer.
Diese Publikation erscheint anlässlich der Ausstellung / This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition SCHÜTZENFEST — MEISTERSCHÜLER 2011 21. 10. – 08. 11. 2011 raumLABOR, Hamburger Straße 267, 38114 Braunschweig AUSSTELLUNG / EXHIBITION Konzeption / Conception Andreas Bee, Corinna Schnitt, die Meisterschüler der HBK Braunschweig 2011 Organisation / Organization Referat für Ausstellungs- und Veranstaltungsmanagement der HBK Braunschweig und die Meisterschüler 2011 KATALOG / CATALOGUE Ausgabe / Edition Rebecca Loyche Der Gesamtausstellungskatalog umfasst 25 Einzelkataloge. / The exhibition catalogue includes 25 single catalogues. Herausgeber / Editor Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig / Braunschweig University of Art, Prof. Dr. Hubertus von Amelunxen Text Elvia Pyburn-Wilk (Introduction text) Sarah K. Stanley (The Art of Climate Change: Media Apparatus, Global Art Markets, Volcanic Ash, Iceland’s Banking Crisis) Rebecca Loyche (All artwork synopsis) Lektorat / Proof-Reading Pamela Cohn, Eyke Isensee und Sabine Kral-Aulich Konzeption und Satz / Conception and Typesetting Lotte Rosa Buchholz, Alexandra Heide, Ulrich Pester, Ralph Schuster Grafische Gestaltung / Graphic Design Rebecca Loyche Werkfotografie / Photographs Rebecca Loyche und Jonathan Gröger Gesamtherstellung / Production Sigert GmbH Druck- und Medienhaus, Braunschweig Rebecca Loyche is a 2010/2011 DAAD Scholarship recipient. Her studies at the HBK have been made possible by this support. © 2011 Autoren © 2011 für die abgebildeten Werke von Rebecca Loyche: bei der Künstlerin / for the reproduced works by Rebecca Loyche: the artist www.rebeccaloyche.com
Unterstützt von / Supported by
Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig / Braunschweig University of Art firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hbk-bs.de
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