The first show of Arebyte’s 2018 programme, which will focus on the theme of ‘Islands’ through a number of shows and residencies, presents a multimedia installation explores “the various interpretations and contradictions that islands summon in our minds” from freedom, holidays and Brexit to forge empires and forgotten lands.**
Jack Tan is doing an eight-week residency, Law’s Imagination,at London’s Arebyte gallery, opening May 3 and running to June 26.
The London-based artist’s curatorial research project will explore “collective understandings of the intersection between law and art” through a series of exhibitions of sculpture, video, text and performance, as well as discussions, talks and curated walks.
The “jurisgenerative aspects” of the two fields, particularly the role of creative processes in making legal or artistic judgments, will surface in a “performance and arbitrarian event” called ‘Karaoke Court’, ‘Packed Lunch’ weekly music and chat show, a mock training course to qualify as a ‘Certified Legal Aesthetician’, and an “exhibition-making as symposium” day called ‘Care Acts’, named after the 2014 law reform, throughout the two-month period.
Fellow artists Flora Parrott and Marco Godoy will also contribute their own ‘mini-residencies’ and open studio exhibitions as part of the Law’s Imagination programme.
Current markets have adopted new flows, through which they never stop evolving, adapting and changing. The content driving those markets shifts every second and is generated by its actual users. The analytics and data extraction from profiles and behaviours is what shapes formats and shifts the direction of big corporate platforms, like Amazon, Lush, or even the ‘mindfulness’ boom.
Dissent as an iPhone App is a multi-layered project curated by Àngels Miralda,running at London’s Arebyte gallery from March 19 to April 16, 2016, as a part of its 2016 Legal Aesthetics programme. The physical exhibition is just a fragment of the greater project, which aims to extend its influence into the interactive realm in an app, also called Dissent as an iPhone App. It can be downloaded from the internet and contains information on projects, artists and art pieces in the exhibition, in addition to an open forum for discussion and instruction to take part in the evolution of some of the work. To an extent, the Dissent app serves as a virtual spread of the show, also as an alternative to the traditional paper press release, which, in the absence of a viewer’s personal iPhone, is also available in tablets on two stands at the gallery wall.
Dissent as an iPhone App, which takes its title from New York-based curator and writer Joshua Decter’s Art is a Problem, explores the potential of critique from within: how can one be critical towards the (art) system while remaining part of it? How can art reflect the reality of markets and user’s behaviour, not only in its themes, in its outputs and formats?
A crossed-out 3D logo appears half way up the stairs of the industrial building where Arebyte is located. It welcomes the visitor with the corporate aesthetics and tactics that not only lead the show but already subsume so many existing art practices.
In the middle of the main room, a rectangular podium holds a set of domestic objects collected by Débora Delmar Corp. The collection called ‘Most Wished For’ (2016) includes products, such as a vacuum cleaner categorised as ‘Business, Industry and Science’, a baby haircut set as ‘Baby’, clothes as ‘Clothing’, an adult colouring in book called Animal Kingdom in ‘Books’, a set of hairbrushes as ‘Beauty’ and a Black & Decker dustbuster categorised as ‘Cars and Motorcycles’. Their only special feature is that they represent the ‘most wished for’ objects of Amazon customers, which becomes obvious through the labels accompanying them, depicting their name, category, and the date they were most wished for. The readymade works and their arrangement changes every week, depending on Amazon’s data, which keeps fluctuating and affecting the movement of the installation.
On a side of the podium, a white and worn suitcase emits the sound of some contemporary mantras recited by a recorded voice. ‘Untitled (Venom)’ (2016) is a collaboration between Daniel Keller and Ella Plevin, where enhancing sentences which aim to sustain a harmonious mental equilibrium, instead become exhausting and meaningless background noise through its incessant repetition.
Saemundur Thor Helgason’s‘Commissioned by Lush Cosmetics’ (2016) is visible, glowing behind the window glass, from the Arebyte building yard. Wooden mannequin hands partly painted in green, magical spinning zoetropes and a set of fake cardboard TVs depicting vintage-looking footage of product promotions are neatly placed on a large metallic shelf. The installation was once exhibited by cosmetics brand LUSH at their shop in Oxford Circus and through this conscious dislocation Helgason gives visibility to the generally hidden process of making a living as an artist. Money tends to be a taboo and the way many artists survive economically remains shrouded in mystery. In response, this sort of ‘unreadymade’ has a very precise and pragmatic purpose: to minimise the labour and maximise the profit of an artist, blurring the two realms of the ‘survival side job’ and ‘artistic career’.
Commercial strategies and psychologies are often applied to both art and commercial economics, and Dissent as an iPhone App aims to unravel them and make them visible, while creating a physical and virtual space for doubt and discord in reaction to the fallacy of certainty and stability that art, economics and its mediation often implies.**
Before the official opening on November 1 comes Uncurated, The Wrong’s Mexico City pavilion and the embassy of the biennale. The physical “heardquarter” focuses on the creation of a speculative virtual environment and the transformations in the approach to curation that requires.
Inspired by DIY cultures and what is described as “the changing landscape of labour”, du Preez’s installation imagines a future where humans may need to domesticate and control their now fully autonomous artificial creations.
Her new video work and installation is comprised of “trust or ‘taming’ exercises performed on a dangerous assembly line between herself and her wild robots”, calling into question not only our trust in the technology that increasingly rules us, but in “ourselves and each other” as well.
London’s Arebyte Gallery is bringing in a solo exhibition by speculative designer and artist Zoë Hough called The Microbial Verdict: You Live Until You Die and running from May 7 until June 6.
The show presents a speculative scenario in which synthetic biology has allowed people to live only as long as they remain ‘themselves’; those over 65 are made to ingest a synthetic protein programmed to release a toxin if it detects the citizens are no longer ‘themselves’.
Based on research by Harvard scientists, this hypothetical is actually scientifically feasible, and Hough uses this dystopian notion to explore ageing in modern society and the desire for control over our bodies and our minds with film, including footage of a ceremony in which citizens ingest the synthetic protein, and objects like a Government document outlining the benefits of this new policy.
The art world would mostly be preoccupied with the 56th Venice Biennale in the week beginning May 4. Highlights at the prestigious Italian art fair including Burger King Venezia, Pizza Pavilion, The Internet Saga and SUNSCREEN online initiative listed in our short summary here of some things to look out for.
There are still things happening in other parts of the world, including an national election in the UK, along with parties and gatherings to celebrate/commiserate. There are new exhibitions at Arebyte Gallery, Millington|Marriot and Rod Barton, as well as the third in a series of events supporting the Multiverse Spring Residency at Wysing Arts Centre and Morgan Quaintance in conversation with Gery Georgieva around her Solo Romantika exhibition.
London gallery arebyte is bringing in artist Marios Athanasiou for an audio-video installation titled Superposition, running at the Queen’s Yard art space from April 2 to May 2.
Athanasiou, who also works as curator at online exhibition space www.channelnormal.com, has created an audio-video installation designed to examine the converging interactions between online and offline experiences. Drawing on the parallels between quantum physics and virtual reality, and referring to the quantum physics phenomenon where “a particle can exist in all possible states, as a wave of probability, until it is observed and then collapses into a singular state of existence”, Athanasiou examines the cybernetic system of energy exchange that exists between the physical and virtual worlds.
He does this by filling an acrylic tank with green UV reactive liquid and placing it inside a black cube that is in turn filled with UV lights. The lights cause the liquid to emit light and, thanks to the transducers placed underneath the tank, to vibrate. These movements are recorded by water sensors inside the tank, and translated into a computer code of virtual waves that can be accessed at www.superposition.xyz.
Arebyte Gallery is hosting the Next Brave New World group exhibition at their East London space from August 20 to September 16.
The exhibition, featuring a selection of projects from five Royal College of Art graduates, explores how technology impacts culture and society through the lens of speculative design. Kathryn Fleming‘s ‘Endless Forms/Endless Species’ looks to an imagined future with an ecological prototype, while Zoe Hough‘s film and installation Smile, The Fiction Has Already Begun examines the pursuit of happiness within the structures of social and government control.
Also part of the exhibition is an installation by Henrik Nieratschker titled ‘The Boltham Legacy’ exploring the challenges of long-term thinking in technological developments, Adam Peacock‘s ‘The Validation Junky’ and its imaged “Post Industrial Brain”, as well as Alexa Pollmann‘s graphic novel, Indivicracy.
As an extension of Nikolić’s continued work in mapping “ecological thought”, the event aims to do the same with “the intangible circulation of carbon-dioxide through non-human and human ecologies”.
He’ll be performing a series of potential financial exchanges of carbon stocks, documenting the progress and interrogating an increasingly inconceivable economic infrastructure at a more conceivable pace, while drawing parallels with the “temporalities of bio- and atmosphere”.
All this might sound beyond the mental processes of anyone save an economist but the hope is that by bringing these impenetrable trade-routes back from the financial market and down to street-level, a sub-heading like ‘Present Geo-histories of an EU Carbon Stock’ will make more sense.