Daniel Keller

Aram Bartholl’s LA Speed Show, Feb 18

17 February 2016

Artist Aram Bartholl will present a Speed Show in Los Angeles, the first of the series to be held in the City on the evening of February 18.

In 2010 Bartholl initiated the series of Speed Shows in Berlin. Its set up is an exhibition that can take place anywhere in an internet cafe displaying for a moment (or evening) works that already exist online, leaving the job of the curator simply to find a good harmony of things to channel into the cafe space.

“A lot has happened since 2010”, as Bartholl, who aqnb interviewed in 2013, states in the press release. He talks about how manifestos work and interestingly seems to be writing one as a press release that undoes a worded relationship between screens, the internet and artists.

This group Speed Show, at iPC Bang Internet Cafe includes work old (‘classic’) and new by the likes of JODI, Ann Hirsch, Parker Ito, Kate Durbin, Daniel Keller, Yung Jake, Petra Cortright and Nadja Buttendorf and many more.

Despite the dated format, the show’s premise is a moment pulled together in a room, and it kind of works to see and feel what it all looks like now, in one place -especially in a city like LA.

See the FB event page for details.**

Petra Cortright, Petwelt (2014) @ Société installation view. Courtesy the gallery.
Petra Cortright, Petwelt (2014) @ Société installation view. Courtesy the gallery.

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Grey @ Brand New Gallery, Jan 14 – Feb 20

13 January 2016

Brand New Gallery in Milan presents group exhibition, Grey, opening January 14 and running to February 20.

The exhibition title can be spoken about in many terms, and the press release for this show makes a list. As a colour it contains both black and white. It is neutral – and not white. If an object is at first grey, the human eye can apparently recognise it in many different colours thereafter. It is objective. The brain is grey matter. Grey is the colour of Kansas and Dorothy’s red shoes in the Wizard of Oz. Actually, grey is pretty open.

Curated by Domenico de Chirico, artists: Keith Farquhar, Jesse DarlingMartin Erik Andersen, Chris BradleyAnders Holen, Daniel Keller, Yves Scherer will share the space in response to ‘grey‘.

See the Brand New Gallery website for more details**


Jesse Darling + Takeshi Shiomitsu, Same Same (2014) @ CAC41N:41E install view. 'Flag'. Courtesy the artists.
Jesse Darling + Takeshi Shiomitsu, Same Same (2014) @ CAC41N:41E install view. ‘Flag’. Courtesy the artists.

Header image: Keith Farquhar, ‘Woolmark #6’ (2015). Courtesy Brand New Gallery, Milan.

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Pure Disclosure (2015) exhibition photos

25 August 2015

Milan-based artistic production label, Siliqoon curated and produced Pure Disclosure at Marsèlleria permanent exhibition, a group show of new works by artists Alessandro Agudio, Daniel Keller, Andrea Magnani, and Timur Si-Qin that ran May 10 to April 10. The four artists were selected based on their individual research and aesthetic approach to work alongside thirteen Italian companies dedicated to artisan excellence. Hosted by Casa Natali/MAMbo, and Spazio RAUM in a residence in Bologna, the artists set out to create post-capitalist works –or products –that follow “commercial promotional logics, thus creating a friction with their spiritual, critical, [and] ironic nature”. The outcomes were produced by companies such as Aida Bertozzi, Bikun, BIOTEX, Euromec di Archenti Mauro, and Fabric Division.

Daniel Keller + Ella Plevin, Seastead, 'Figures (Polypool)' (2015). Install view. Courtesy Marsèlleria.
Daniel Keller + Ella Plevin, Seastead, ‘Figures (Polypool)’ (2015). Install view. Courtesy Marsèlleria.

The exhibition is filled with a disorienting consideration to visual and marketing culture. Timur Si-Qin’s new work, ‘Display (Peace)’ (2015) is a backlit digital print of a mountain top with the word “peace” written on the bottom right-hand corner, just underneath a spherical yin-yang symbol as teh artist’s logo. Mimicking sleek advertising displays, the work is made of UV coating on micro-perforated mesh, anodized steel tube, and plexiglass.

Agudio turns a shower base into a delicate yet desolate landscape in ‘FOREVER – Dead in the Bathroom (feat. Summer Katie Fox)’ (2015) using ceramic sculptures, micro shot peening on stainless steel, wood, plastic laminate, plant, and a short sound piece that loops on speakers. A large installation entitled ‘In the Vast Infinity of Life, All is Perfect, Whole, and Complete’ (2015), made by Magnani, attunes itself to the water bottle and water as a nourishing element that perpetuates life. As the title suggests, three silk-screened prints on ice packs filled with gel surround a water bottle that entertains notions of ‘oneness’ by labelling it with an infinity symbol. A second container is showcased in a small refrigerator, resting on top of carefully produced icicles.

The works in the exhibition elegantly present a crossover between artistic and consumer production, giving consumer goods and the language they’re spoken in, a more soulful, or perhaps slick, new identity. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Pure Disclosure was on at Milano’s Marselleria from April 10 to May 10, 2015.

Header image: Timur Si-Qin, ‘Display (Peace)’ (2015). Detail. Courtesy Marsèlleria.

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Living in the Future #3: New Lands @ Tenderbooks, Jul 5

3 July 2015

Living In the Future magazine is releasing their third issue, themed “New Lands”, at London’s Tenderbooks this Saturday, Jul 4.

The science fiction journal focusing on future-oriented art and writing comes out with its third issue, asking What worlds might we inhabit in the future? and taking the reader Beyond the Fields We Know.

This issue launches at 5pm at Tenderbooks in London with some free drinks, a first look at the new edition, and readings from some of the close to thirty contributors, which include Holly Childs, Daniel Keller, and Julia Tcharfas.

See the event page for details. **

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Daniel Keller @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

29 May 2015

Even without initial comprehension of the words rendered on a wall, the internet aesthetic Daniel Keller employs in Kai Dalston Bushwick is instantly clear. In the solo exhibition, running from May 1 to July 4, the warped curves of a hung sculptural piece called ‘Composite Career Captcha (Betterneties)’ (2015) are sampled from a captcha compound of ‘better’ and ‘eternities’. Captchas are online security devices meant to distinguish between human and machine users. In this sense, they isolate a specifically human capacity for visual perception while divorcing it from meaning. This vague sensation of recognition separate from understanding seems continuously generated throughout the show.

Daniel Keller, Kai ♥ Dalston Bushwick (2015). Exhibition view. Right to left- 'Onanet Spirulina 1' (2015), 'Stack Relief (Dalston Kutcher)' 2015. Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Daniel Keller, Kai ♥ Dalston Bushwick (2015). Exhibition view.  Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

In the first room, grey hoses lead out of a tank of water, green bubbles consistently bursting on its murky surface. One hose trails into the adjoining room and another disappears through a hole drilled into the wall. The tanks of ‘Onanet Spirulina 1’ (2015) are three in total and each contain the rapidly reproducing Spirulina algae. Currently considered a superfood, the organism is harvested and distributed on the health food market in powdered and pill form. Although these hoses circulate the water from tank to tank, this process is meanwhile superfluous for the production of the algae. Rather, the web formed here appears to delve deeper into the idea of connection in general. With the ever growing increase of (particularly technical) global interconnection, a question arises: is it really necessary?

In plastic sleeves on the sill of the gallery window is an excerpt from the play iDRIVE, co-written by Keller and Ella Plevin. Acting in a sense as the basis for the rest of the show, the play follows a romance between the fictional daughter of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the offspring siblings of Ashton Kutcher: Kai, Dalston, and Bushwick, respectively. In the sections provided, the former two drive along an exaggerated future-scape of hyper-technologized North America. Inspired by Albert O. Hirschman’s Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, the conversations of iDRIVE span the potentials of leaving or staying within the techno-political economy via the vessels of Kai and Dalston.

Daniel Keller, 'Stack Relief (☆ミ Scout)' (2015). Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Daniel Keller, ‘Stack Relief (☆ミ Scout)’ (2015). Courtesy Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

Having walked through the two rooms once, I return to do another round, feeling the pieces fall together in the context of the play. For example, the three ‘Stack Relief’ (2015) structures resembling rock sculptures hanging on the walls are now extended in their meaning. On the one hand they allude to a past of basic environmental alteration and interactive creation. On the other, they are composed of complex assortments of materials (plywood, MDF, patinated brass, acrylic, aluminum, and sandstone, to name a few) and are incredibly artificial. From a distance, you note the diverse elements making up the patterned shapes of the object. Close up, they seem bound again, as though the entirety is made of plastic and stickered with design. The list detailing the pieces reconfirms the initial impression of diversity. Simple, complex, unified, divided – the past, the present, the past taken up by a present drawn into rapid future developments – it’s dizzying.

Like the ultimately unnecessary placement of the tubes connecting the tanks through the space, the assortment of works subsist within an internal, possibly also needless, logic. Although this logic is not immediately or inevitably understandable, it is simultaneously familiar in a rudimentary sense – perhaps acting in function similar to captchas, or the stone sculpture designs. You enter and you recognize, even if you cannot pin the meaning or extended complexity down to something that provides a deeper satisfaction. And at this stage, maybe there is a choice: you can go with it unwittingly, or comment, or  leave. **

Daniel Keller’s Kai Dalston Bushwick is on at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, running from May 1 to July 4, 2015.

Header image: Daniel Keller, ‘Composite Career Captcha (Betterneties)’ (2015). Courtesy Kraupa­Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

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Touching on 14.12.13 at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

23 December 2013

The most pointed and, in my opinion, apt commentary on last weekend’s ACCELERATIONISM:
A symposium on tendencies in capitalism came in the form of a tiny, inconspicuous size-10-font critique written on the display tag for Hito Steyerl’s video work ‘In Free Fall’ (2010): “The author wishes to personally insult anyone attracted by accelerationism by calling it a bout of dead white Ferrari envy, dripping from head to toe with stale testosterone.”

Steyerl’s video was part of the group exhibition 14.12.13, which confronted the recent trend of speculative realist philosophy and object-oriented ontology (OOO) in contemporary art theory and practice.* 14.12.13 (the date of the one-day show) represents a chronological disorder and an opening toward the multidimensionality of time.

The exhibition’s description by one of the curators, Armen Avanessian, is rife with vitalist, hyper-masculine language. He makes calls to “seize” reality and perform creative “abductions”, to revel in the unpredictability of the present and the future via the radical contingency of the material world. In this way, he argues, art and philosophy “can speculate on a new time, a new reality…But no time this time for catastrophism. The speculative is instead the time of anastrophism.” This anti-reflexive, accelerationist perspective relies on the idea that the past is unforeseeable and the future is now. It’s time to embrace objectification and cold materiality, and to accelerate the “energetic viscera” of capitalism to its finality rather than choose the path of withdrawal.


The day-long conference running alongside the exhibition offered a forum for invited speakers to debate the merits of accelerationism as a political philosophy. UK Marxist and academic Benjamin Noys (who coined the term ‘accelerationism’ as it is used in the contemporary field of political theory) challenged the concept on the grounds that proponents have failed to adequately develop, in relation to the existing and present conditions of capital, exactly what is being accelerated and by whom. He argues that no matter how much we focus on accelerating the inhumanity or anti-humanism of the object –pushing the system on its course for ‘audio-necromancy’ – the logic of capitalism will never allow human labour or social relations to become entirely superfluous.

Co-curated by Galerie Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler and also featuring the work of Julieta Aranda, Diann Bauer, Daniel Keller and Andreas Töpfer, the 14.12.13 exhibition explored these themes in relation to accelerationist aesthetics, whether as critique or sympathetic response. Central to this is New York-based artist Ian Cheng’s disjointed, algorithmically generated “infinite duration” live simulations that  look like surrealist paintings, fragmentary elements exploding haphazardly across the screen. The program is ‘endlessly evolving’ or accelerating and images break up in front of our eyes: entropy reigns! Cheng’s work and its theoretical impetus are propelled by the intoxications of digital potentiality.

In Katja Novitskova’s more subdued cardboard cut-outs, we see corporate advertising aesthetics used to depict pristine natural settings. Her work is inspired by Deleuzian philosopher Manuel de Landa, whose theories of natural self-organization provide a basis for collapsing human and non-human relations. Novitskova brings out the trends of natural selection and competition that prevail in both evolutionary biology and commerce. Her work explores the possibility of new mutations and new forms of living in both nature and culture. Both Cheng and Novitskova present future-oriented projects that relish the prospects of the digital age, in a manner structurally similar to Modernist-Futurist programs but with a pseudo-Marxist twist.

14.12.13 and the ACCELERATIONISM: A symposium on tendencies in capitalism ran at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany on December 14, 2013. 

*For more in-depth analysis of speculative realism and its relation to aesthetics read this article by Svenja Bromberg.

All images courtesy of Galerie Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler.

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