Opened in 2009 by Ami Clarke, the artist-led space is a non-profit experimental project space with an ethos of how these spaces “play an essential role inthe vitality and economy of the art world, offering alternative opportunities for emerging and established artists alike, to produce work that might struggle to appear elsewhere.”
The fundraiser will support Banner Repeater’s upcoming year in the commission of new work, publishing and performance, as well as talks and discussions.
The evening will include a performance by the artist, who will read transcripts from the text, alongside the slime mould accompanying the launch, who goes by the name ‘Physarum Polycephalum.’ Expanding on the Sutela’s practice and work, the book is an “experimental survey of decentralised organisms and organisations drawing on several perspectives and presenting a constellation of different voices.”
There’s much to be said for the benefits of a book. A text’s existence in print-form — with pages bound and covered — belies a level of investment unmatched by a lot of what’s written for the internet. More often than not, a contemporary writer with an online audience must be their own editor, sub-editor and proofer, in a rapid-turnover environment taken from a vast, though shallow pool of information that can go unchecked and unverified, ideas with no room to develop and even fewer resources to develop them. Books have the benefit of time.
Costly and all-consuming, there’s a level of care that it takes to produce a book and a measure of multi-sensory experience it takes to absorb one. Smell, touch and movement all play a part in how printed matter is read that influences the way it’s received. Margins, typeface and stock effect the way its transmitted. While there so much potential for the rate at which ideas circulate and the diversity of voices that are heard in the contemporary milieu of networked information, there is also a place for the book.
To celebrate the launch of multilingual artist and writer Hanne Lippard’s This Embodiment at Berlin’s Broken Dimanche Press on July 13, we’ve taken a moment to highlight some worthy publishers and the books that we like below:
Broken Dimanche Press is a Berlin-based publishing house and exhibition space founded by John Holten and Line Madsen Simenstad with a focus on “wider discourses of contemporary art and politics.” The press also run a Para-Poetics Programme, an exhibition programme, a BDP Self Publishing Archive and preceded this upcoming Hanne Lippard publication with her first comprehensive collection of text-based works, Nuances of No, in 2013.
Formed in 1984, Book Works is a London-based contemporary arts organization that works to publish books by artists, as well as holding exhibitions, lectures, workshops and seminar programs. Perhaps their most well-known and successful output is their Happy Hypocrite series co-ordinated by Maria Fusco, that invites an artist to edit and curate a given issue. Past editions include Sophia Al-Maria’s ‘Fresh Hell‘ and Hannah Sawtell’s ‘#ACCUMULATOR_PLUS.’
Established in 2011, the Berlin-based press is run by artist Martin Kohout and various international collaborators and has published over “90kg of printed matter including photo albums, doubtful magazines, exhibition texts and indirect fetish catalogues.” Early interesting collections of artist’s writing include Sleep Cures SleepinessandLinear Manual, as well as AQNB editor Jean Kay (aka Steph Kretowicz)’s Somewhere I’ve Never Been, co-published with fledgling London publisher Pool.
Montez Press is a publishing house based in Hamburg, New York and London and was formed in 2012. The team publish books, magazines and editorial platforms like SALT, as well as single author works by the likes of Gjergji Shkurti and Huw Lemmey. More recently they published Tomoo Arakawa’s Laugh at eXperience, a book by Julie Béna and a printed collection of online commissions from a number of artists called The Interjection Calendar.
Founded in 1999 by Caroline Schneider, Sternberg Press focuses on “art criticism, theory, fiction, and artists’ books” and is based between Berlin and New-York. With a focus on both the design and the editorial aspect, the press commissions and translates works within the fields of architecture, design, film, politics, literature, philosophy and contemporary art. Our recommendations include Rare Earth (2016) edited by Nadim Samman and Boris Ondreička,co-published with Vienna’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary and designed by AQNB’s own website designer David Rudnick as well as Jan Verwoert’s COOKIE! (2014) co-published with Piet Zwart Institute.
Banner Repeater is a London-based artist run space and publishing house, with notable projects including Erica Scourti’s The Outage, first published in 2014, as well as the un-publish series which focuses on emergent ideas around new technologies and Yuri Pattison’s short story postface: pretty good privacy. Founded by Ami Clarke in 2010, BR also holds events, talks, performances, as well as exhibitions including the current solo show Nam-Gut byJenna Sutela, running to July 30.
Arcadia Missa is a London-based exhibition space and publisher, that includes a several different series, including the How to Sleep Faster journals, existing in print and online at howtosleepfaster.net. There are also their Anthology and Artist Books, with some recommendations including Sarah M. Harrison’s All The Things, William Kherbek’s UltraLife, and Holly Childs’ Danklands. Co-founded by Rózsa Farkas and Tom Clark, the project began “as a self-organised space in austerity Britain.”
Cornerhouse Publications Ltd. is a Manchester-based press focused on contemporary visual arts, while is also part of the art center HOME. Some recommendations include The Creative Stance , featuring Grayson Perry, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and Sonia Boyce, among others, Sophia Al Maria’s Virgin with a Memory, and You Are Here: Art After the Internet, edited by Omar Kholeif. More recently, Cornerhouse published the unexpectedly controversial collection of short stories, poetry, experimental writing, and flash fiction Dark Habits.
Founded in 2006, Penny-Ante is a Los-Angeles-based book publisher and art-based project that works in series-based projects: Anthology Series (2006-2009), Recess Series (2010-2011), Success and Failure Series (2012-2017). Some notable works include Beau Rice’s TEX, Alex Chaves’Abigail Adams, and Momus’ UnAmerica.
Founded in 2011 by Los Angeles-based artist and writer Martine Syms, the press is “dedicated to exploring blackness as a topic, reference, marker and audience in visual culture.” Recommended books include Hannah Black’s Dark Pool Party(co-published with Arcadia Missa), Diamond Stingily’s Love, Diamond and Lauren Anderson’s Matters. **
The event closes off the Berlin-based artist’sCircuit Training exhibition, running at the Hackney art space from November 13, 2015, to January 31, 2016, and will feature a sequence of exercises incorporating text in an attempt to “get in touch with the secular deity generally known as the human nervous system.”
As an artist interested in “the physical end of language”, Zett draws links between boxing as a practice and “the archives of modern art and commerce” in an attempt to connect the experience of fist-fighting with verbal and visual communication.
Circuit Training builds on a practice that has developed from the entanglements of “science and fiction, bones and imagination, entertainment and politics” in “research drama” ‘This Unwieldy Object’ (2014), to boxing as a radical form of dialogue in essays like ‘Fist to Brain‘ at The New Inquiry.
The lottery has been runs online here and here and at the train platform itself until December 4 and is being used to help fund some of the art space’s costs, including rent and running costs, new artworks, publications and commissions, on-going reading groups, and development of the Digital Archive of Artists’ Publishing: BookBlast.
The lottery tickets (priced at £5 each, while a membership of £30 comes with 7 free tickets) bring a chance to win various prints, publications and items from the Banner Repeater portfolio, including works by Hannah Sawtell, Jesse Darling, and Erica Scourti.
Goethe Institut launches the second part of their collaborative mini-series with Banner Repeater, titled Publishing as Process and taking place at the London location on November 18 .
The series concentrates on exhibition and publishing in the digital age with a programme of readings and panel discussions addressing how the two fields are effected by the “digitalisation and the distribution channels the internet provides”, including Ché Zara Blomfield, Alessandro Ludovico, Yuri Pattison, and Ami Clarke from Banner Repeater as a moderator.
Anna Zett “plays with the physical end of language” in Circuit Training, an exhibition of a newly commissioned video and text work running at Banner Repeater from November 13 to January 31.
Drawing from the artist’s own boxing practice and from general archives of modern art and commerce, Zett produces a series of texts and images that attempt to connect the notion of fighting with that of verbal and visual communication.
“Boxing is”, the press release writes, “a radical form of dialogue, just like a caress, but at the other end of language”. Zett’s show also features a performance on January 29 and comes alongside Banner Repeater’s fundraiser.
Back for its third annual run, the Art Licks Weekend culture and art festival returns to London from October 2 to October 4.
The three-day festival brings together over 300 artists as well as artist-run projects, curatorial collectives and emerging galleries, all showing their latest ideas. Below are some of what we’re looking forward to:
Three-part art exhibition LAB is bringing together three independent artist-run UK spaces work with Johannesburg’s Ithuba Arts Gallery.
The gallery acts as a sort of halfway between the British and South African visual art scenes, and the show explores the possibilities of working across the two cultures. The project began when the British Council Connect ZA invited the director of Ithuba Arts Gallery to visit the UK, researching the visual arts there and establishing contact with independent or artist-run spaces.
The result, based on the gallery director’s selection, was a three-part show with London’s AutoItalia SouthEast and Banner Repeater, as well as Birmingham’s Eastside Projects. The spaces then made the journey to South Africa, to become acquainted with both commercial and independent spaces and artists there.
The talk, titled ‘A dialogue as discussion’ brings the London-based collective, comprised of artists, writers and curators working collaboratively, to address the “legacy of modernism” and the relationship between art and politics.
They are sitting down with Poughia, the publisher and editor of the DIALOGOS bimonthly zine, the second issue of which featured an interview with Pil and Galia Kollectiv that began on Skype and evolved to print, accompanied by a podcast.
London’sBanner Repeater is hosting a talk by technology and media writer Mercedes Bunz, running as part of the Low Animal Spirits exhibition on October 23.
Driven by real-time data and derived from text sourced from global news feeds, Richard Cochrane and (Banner Repeater founder) Ami Clarke‘s Low Animal Spiritsexplores the theory of probability and the phenomena of ‘low animal spirits’, or mass dips in confidence, that illustrate mass mentality, and Bunz uses this idea to examine life “in a world in which technology has become our second nature”.
Low Animal Spirits makes use of an algorithm driven by real-time data sourced from global news and made into a “live model of high frequency trading”. Writer/musician/educator Cochrane and artist Clarke combine forces to explore the theory of probability and the phenomena of ‘low animal spirits’, or a mass downturn in confidence, that illustrates the unpredictable herd-like mentality of the masses.
A host of events is taking place at Banner Repeater alongside the exhibition, including a talk with Clarke and Cochrane on October 4, a talk with Mercedes Bunz, author of The Silent Revolution: How Algorithms Changed Knowledge, Work, Journalism, and Politics Without Making Too Much Noise, on October 23, and a talk with Matteo Pasquinelli (editor of The Algorithms of Capital) and Nick Srnicek (co-author of Inventing the Future) on November 6.
Space-Time: The Future, Wysing Arts Centre‘s fifth annual all-day festival of art and music, takes place at the rural Cambridge site on August 30.
For the first time since its inception, Space-Time will lend its focus to women working in experimental and electronic music, art and bands fronted by women, highlighting the range of sounds over 12 hours of live music, performances and screenings that will spread across three indoor stage areas, as well as a covered stall area.
“I had registered and dissolved. Into code. Into data”, writes J. A. Harrington, acting as conduit to the thoughts of artist Erica Scourti in a ghost-written memoir. The Outage: Her Story (as constructed by Him) is the culmination of mostly public, sometimes private data collected from the internet and surrendered to a stranger to give it subjectivity.
As part of London project space Banner Repeater’s Snow Crash program, run throughout June and July and taking its title from the 1992 science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson of the same name, the exhibition reflects the overwhelming idea of Big Data through a space brimming with information. “Everyone’s producing an image of themselves for an algorithmic gaze, intentionally or not”, says Scourti during the Unidentified Fictionary Objects artist talk launching The Outage, as one considers the grid-like shelving of the Snow Crash exhibition, presenting printed images and words, with its own internal logic.
There are connections to be made here, each one specific to a contextual intersection –physical, ideological, personal –as one discerns a Cartesian reference in Ami Clarke‘s ‘Impossible Structures “the eye that remains of the me that was I” (Error-Correction: an introduction to future diagrams: take 3)’ Android app, becoming barely decipherable through the cloudy ebb of its looping computer melody, only to re-emerge elsewhere. “A Cartesian system of abstract ground: space as a whole” repeats a quote from Clarke’s Error-correction –take 3 –a script. It’s a shiny print zine lying on a shelf with her UN-PUBLISH (2.01), a meta-fiction taken from the IM conversations of bradass87, ie. Chelsea (aka Bradley) Manning, first released by Wired in 2011 a year after her arrest.
Published in parallel with the exhibition, the countless covers of Scourti’s book come in a display stand in one corner, featuring a self-portrait that is filtered, reformatted and endlessly reproduced from a photo on an iPhone. Above it hang reams of printed research information –email correspondence, Facebook comments and data research profiles. Too much to process. “The more information there is, the more any sense of narrative dissolves into itself”, says Harrington during Unidentified Fictionary Objects, pointing to how banal the unfiltered individual, raw data, really is.
There’s a list of NSA trigger words on the wall behind The Outage, ranging from ‘eavesdropping’, ‘debugging’ and ‘interception’ to ‘porno, ‘artichoke’ and ‘badger’. On one of the shelves sits a Russian-to-English translation of V. F. Odoevsky’s 4338 AD 19th century prose by Yuri Pattison, the strikethroughs and comments left behind by its translator illustrating the problem of what’s lost in the conversion. In an imagined future where its protagonist Hippolytus Tsungiev considers the “huge bundles of material” left behind by the now extinct ‘Germans’ suggesting “some sort of caste or class”, it occurs to him that “a lot must depend on the work of your curators of antiquities”.
The same applies to The Outage when its first-person persona asks, “how were you supposed to enjoy looking for personal meaning in the souvenirs of that class of people who manipulated history to your exclusion?” It’s probably that same class that threatened to discharge a gender dysphoric Manning from the US military for “occupational problem and adjustment disorder”. Jesse Darling’s EMDR (eye movement desentization and reprocessing) video comes as a deeply troubling reaction to the trauma of sexual oppression and intrusion in a “self-administered” therapy session for the treatment of its after-effects. “Now try to imagine yourself as a whole”, goes the potential pun of its ‘healing’ visual script before ending on the violence of, “now allow this to wrench you apart”.
“It became difficult to disentangle the emotion of feeling psychotic from its consumer experience”, states The Outage, in recognising that “the domain of private, interior human communication had already been absorbed by nano targeted advertising. To project who your search engine thinks you are”. The generalised question of Snow Crash then becomes, ‘who are we and what do we actually know, if anything? As Odoevsky’s Tsungiev character grieves the disappearance of paper-written records as the accelerated disintegration of historical documentation, this next stage of communicative (d)evolution into the mass ‘digitisation’ of our archival memory on to soon-to-be-obsolete hardware makes this issue only more urgent. The ideas of 4338 AD not only sit in parallel to but is literally facing Pattison’s ‘In colocation, time displacement’ (2014) film piece, featuring footage taken from inside Sweden’s Pionen datacentre, host to Wikileaks, using legacy lenses incompatible with the HD camera being used.
Near to 4338 AD, Clarke’s UN-PUBLISH (2.01) –‘Is it built around a formula? the air gap has been penetrated’ is the first of a series named after the concept of ‘un-publishing’ as understood by Julian Assange, where online data is easily manipulated, “in that it is exceptionally easy to delete”. It’s an idea that has implications for the future but also, particularly for the present. When considering the disturbing legislation over the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling, the question is, a right for whom? bradass87 had little control over the dissemination of, not only her private records (a control that the State insists on), but even her own self-representation:
“i wouldn’t mind going to
prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the
possibility of having
pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as boy”
Ironically, in the act of taking this conversation and embedding it in the finality of print form, Clarke herself has appropriated authority over Manning’s image, however sympathetically, in the same way that Scourti had delivered hers into Harrington’s. But, as Scourti herself says in conversation, “I never imagined that what I was putting across was some kind of authentic coherent self, mainly because I don’t believe that exists. I see that as more a historically contingent construction”. Thus the illusion of reality, truth, freedom.
“Intentionality, he argues, is a biological phenomenon”, writes Tyler Coburn in Robots Building Robots, a travelogue of sorts written alongside improvised performances in a Taiwanese science park and dangling from a chain in a corner of Snow Crash. It’s a quote from philosopher John Searle illustrating the core distinction between human and machine at the same time as the simulated voice of Anna Barnham‘s Penetrating Squid audio disrupts it. A randomly generated sequence of text tells “like you intention is one hot machine” its weight coming through the interpretation and not the motive behind what’s been complicated by computer processes.
Coburn’s “infantilism of machinic dependence” echoes Scourti/Harrington’s exposure and anxiety of online dependence in The Outage: “I’ve been taken so far against my will for so long that I’ve forgotten how to do it on my own.” All this, in the turmoil of too much information; a vortex of “pure language which no longer mean[s] or expresse[s] anything.**