Assembly Point

‘At the Backend’: an AQNB x Video in Common screening rundown

16 May 2016

With new systems and infrastructures come new ways of organising information, new ways of thinking, of coming together. In light of this notion, AQNB editor Jean Kay, and Video in Common (ViC) founder Caroline Heron visited London’s Assembly Point, with an event called ‘At the Backend’, last Friday, May 6, to contemplate the theme of the Peckham gallery’s three-week Tableaux programme, in a very literal interpretation of its dictionary.com definition being, “a picture, as of a scene.”

‘At the Backend’ followed on from the ‘The Future Is Here, It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed’ screening at Berlin’s Import Projects in March by considering AQNB‘s forthcoming website upgrade, and the questions and developments that emerge when reformulating the categories, formats and frameworks for presenting information to an international audience. We examined the work of some artists within our global network that somehow addressed or embodied these semiotic shifts that come with networked communication, and its influence on community-building and identity-formation.

These included AQNB/ViC editorial video commissions by two Berlin-based artists —’ASMR-tist’ Claire Tolan discussing her practice born from the YouTube community concerned with the Auto Sensory Meridian Response phenomenon, and Anna Zett talking about constructing and editing narratives around an initial claim into video. Helsinki-based artist Kimmo Modig contributed a  video—consisting of outtakes from sessions leading up to a work presented as part of curator Valentina Fois‘  The Utopia Internet Dystopia pavilion at last year’s The Wrong biennale —especially for AQNB, as a response to the affective labour and techniques of YouTube celebrities.

Encyclopedia Inc., ‘Yellowcake’ (2015). Courtesy the artists.
Encyclopedia Inc., ‘Yellowcake’ (2015). Installation detail. Courtesy the artists.

Los Angeles-based collective Encyclopedia Inc. shared two videos that illustrate a widely varied approach to their ongoing interest in uranium. The symbolic and physical properties of radiation becomes the sole anchor of a responsive, research-based practice that eschews any drive towards a single identifiable aesthetic or mode of working.

Ashley Angelus Ashley presented a live reading of her religious poetry via Skype from her base in Philadelphia. That was followed by a Q&A where she discussed her shapeshifting practice and still-evolving sense of self in an often oppressive digital regime that has negatively exposed her as an artist, writer and person too young. Ashley continues to actively evade identification while exploring the parallels between, and ritual practice of institutionalised religion and popular culture. Meanwhile, collectives like Johannesburg’s CUSS Group passively confuse and elude classification within global (see: western) internet convention, by promoting misinformation through inaction when it comes to readings and representations of their work outside of their own self-presentation. Taking footage appropriated from artist-musician Dean Blunt‘s 2014 ‘DEF Freestyle‘ single and re-presenting it in a pop-up exhibition from the back of a car as part of their Video Party series in Johannesburg, Geneva-based co-founder Ravi Govender discussed the groups disinterest in regulating the distribution of their work and identity outside of their own context, in opposition to the hyper-constructed artistic identity of an artist like Dean Blunt. Rather than try to be understood within a proscribed informational system, CUSS Group dismiss its authority entirely.

Below are the full videos, excerpts (and video stills) of the films and readings presented in their running order:

Claire Tolan: ‘Thinking Systems (ASMR)’ (2016) video. [6:55 min]

Berlin-based artist Claire Tolan discusses YouTube-born phenomenon ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and how it informs her art practice. From mixing ASMR sounds on the radio to organising live ASMR Karaoke events, Tolan’s work and interests are centred on how strangers come together online and communities are formed alongside new technologies.

Anna Zett: ‘Theory of Everything’, p.1 (2016) video. [7:02 min]

Berlin-based artist Anna Zett talks about gathering empirical evidence of the attitudes and perspectives surrounding her chosen subjects, including dinosaurs, boxing and the brain. Prior to her most recent video work, ‘Circuit Training’ (2015), Zett’s impressive “modern research drama” ‘This Unwieldy Object’ (2014) saw her dealing in the construction of raw data into meaningful narratives along existing ideological lines.

Ashley Angelus Ashley, ‘BITCH/BITCH’ (2016) poetry reading

Philadelphia-based artist Ashley Angelus Ashley seeks to reconcile her religious poetry with the social experience of exploitation and oppression. Taken from the position of what she calls a “sexually androgynous Catholic woman”, Ashley presents a live poetry reading via Skype, covering the stigmatization of gender nonconformity, ritualized humiliation, the sex industry, internalized misogyny, and biological control.

Encyclopedia Inc.: ‘Yellowcake’ (2015) [1:25 min], ‘Fukushima, Mon Amour’ (2016) [3:34]

LA-based collective Encyclopedia Inc. –Carlye Packer, Googie Karrass and Nicholas Korody –is a research-based project that interrogates the inherited western idea of an object in isolation. In a continually evolving, process-driven practice that questions notions of art and information as self-evident, the group has produced publications, videos and installations reflecting a conceptual approach to the lived reality of ecological enmeshment, with uranium at its core.

Encyclopedia Inc., ‘Fukushima, Mon Amour’ (2016). Video still. Courtesy the artists.
Encyclopedia Inc., ‘Fukushima, Mon Amour’ (2016). Video still. Courtesy the artists.

Kimmo Modig: ‘KIMMOTALKS’ (2016) [9:26]

Helsinki-based artist Kimmo Modig deconstructs the languages and systems surrounding labour and production by both mimicking and destabilising an audience’s conception of capital flows in its various forms. Modig performs his own anxieties and sense of precarity in relation to the existing lexicons of communication media –like video, marketing and sound design –thus laying bare the oppression and authority implicit in the restrictive social paradigms they reinforce.

Cuss Group: ‘Video Party #4’ (2014) [8:22 min]

Johannesburg and Geneva-based collective Cuss Group –Ravi Govender, Jamal Nxedlana Zamani Xolo, Lex Trickett, Bogosi Sekhukhuni and Chris Mc Michael  –have been working as a dispersed group of artists and practitioners on the margins of not only a South African art market indifferent to video as a medium, but a globalised online network of artists still focussed on traditional Western economic centres. But instead of applying for impossible access to these systems and flows of information, Cuss Group passively evade legibility within existing colonial structures surrounding art and aesthetics.

AQNB x Video in Common’s ‘At the Backend’ event was on at London’s Assembly Point, May 6, 2016.

 

Tableaux @ Assembly Point, May 4 – 31

2 May 2016

London’s Assembly Point is presenting a programme of interactive screenings, performances and discussions called Tableaux, running May 4 to 31.

Focusing on artists’ moving image in relation to the open interpretation of its title, the season will present events curated by invited artists and organisations —including aqnb and video partner Video in Common on May 6— in twelve events over three weeks.

Those presenting include the art space itself to open, as well as Slow Bounce, aqnb and George Mellor/Sister Arrow with Rosalind Wilson in the first week. There will be screenings and performances coordinated by Europa and Åbäke, Nicholas Brooks, Charles Richardson, and Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) in week two, as well as programmes from FriezeLea Collet & Marios Stamatis, Eva Papamargariti, and a rather Joseph Townshend and Ruaidhri Ryan to finish.

See the Assembly Point website for the full programme.**

Lea Collet & Marios Stamatis, KPIs [Key Performance Interludes] 2016. Courtesy the artists and Green Ray
Lea Collet & Marios Stamatis, ‘KPIs [Key Performance Interludes]’ (2016). Courtesy the artists + Green Ray, London.

Is It Heavy or is it Light? @ Assembly Point, Jan 21 – Feb 27

21 January 2016

The Is it Heavy or Is it Light? group show is on at London’s Assembly Point, opening January 21 and running to February 26.

Artists Rebecca Ackroyd, Matt Ager, Jemma Egan, Ziggy Grudzinskas, Edgar–Walker, who also run the space and are curating the show, will be presenting works reflecting on depth and surface, dullness and shine, meaning and superficiality and the conditions that float around production and making.

Is it Heavy or Is it Light? takes its title and investigation from a recent essay by Brian Kuan Wood who notes that “we might say that we now function so purely in the realm of the idea that any substance becomes ephemeral regardless of whether it is art or not.” The show will also think about mood and what mood art can make you in, despite the weight, level and intention of the work in question.

See the FB Event page for more details**

Mut Mut @ Assembly Point, Nov 11 – Dec 12

9 November 2015

London’s Assembly Point is launching a new group exhibition, titled Mut Mut, opening November 11 and running to December 12.

The show bases itself on the premise that there have been shifts within the medium of illustration “from the mediated form to the production of individual objects”, a necessary evolution that moves the medium away from its conventional forms and towards a more contemporary practice heavily influenced by other media.

The title comes from the truncation of the Latin phrase mutatis mutandis, meaning “the necessary changes having been made”, and the show features films by Jack Sachs and Pablo Jones Soler, as well as works by Nous Vous and Vallee Duhamel, among others.

See the show press release for details. **

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 5.20.03 PM

East Anglia Records compilation launch @ Assembly Point, Oct 16

15 October 2015

London’s East Anglia Records is celebrating Frieze week with the launch of a compilation album at Assembly Point , October 16.

The event closes the Faith Dollars, Taxfree Imagination & Uptown Bliss exhibition, which opened with the Gilded Ceremony performance night on October 1 and featured the likes of Kim Asendorf and Ole FachLawrence Lek, James Lowne and Eva Papamargariti

The album and limited edition merchandise available to buy on the night and will be accompanied by artist invited to perform by Faith Dollars… exhibition curator Marios Stamatis

See the Facebook event page for details.**

east anglia records

Gilded Ceremony @ Assembly Point, Oct 1

1 October 2015

London’s Assembly Point is hosting Gilded Ceremony to accompany the Faith Dollars, Taxfree Imagination & Uptown Bliss exhibition –running through and during Art Licks Weekend –to be held on October 1.

Organised by artist Marios Stamatis the event, including spoken word, live music and performance, complements the Faith Dollars… themes of what its press release calls “financial abstraction, absurdity and surrealism”, as explored through the “contemporary experience of post capitalist realism”.

Participating artists include Sarah BoultonJames LowneGiulia Loi.2dotLea Collet and Stamatis himself.

See the Facebook event page for details.**