Sadness of Microtonality 2.2 @ M.I., Feb 11

10 February 2016

M.I in Berlin’s neighbourhood of Mitte will host a one-night-only live work by Nicholas Humbert on February 11.

The night is called Sadness of Microtonality 2.2.

Very little information is given with the facebook invite apart from the names: Ir Anuk and Ir Halak, who are twin sister ‘deathsingers’ from online game Destiny, and a couple of curious screenshots including an image of Jesus as half-woman.

The one-night-only work follows Sadness of Microtonality 1.1 which happened in December at M.I and held a similar mysterious ambiguity around its invite, including gifs, sensitive screen grabs and tiny quotes like “Triple kill” that could be imagined heard in the ear of a gamer.

There will be a part three soon to the Sadness series, which the curator Joel Mu locates as being a mix between music on the dance floor, home-time game play and emotional ambience.

See the FB event invite for (limited) details**

'Sadness of Microtonality 1.1', event invite (2015). Courtesy Nicholas Humbert and M.I.
‘Sadness of Microtonality 1.1’, event invite (2015). Courtesy the artist and M.I/mi1glissé, Berlin.


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MBJ Wetware + J.G. Biberkopf @ CTM, Feb 2

1 February 2016

Marija Bozinovska Jones aka MBJ Wetware and producer J.G. Biberkopf are collaborating for a  new performance, ‘GAD Technologies’ for the Zones I programme of CTM 2016 at Berlin’s Berghain on February 2.

“Gad” means to move around in a frivolous and random manner, as well as being an acronym for general anxiety disorder.

‘GAD Technologies’, meanwhile, performs feelings of liquidity, loss, immateriality, anxiety and floating “between two currents of freedom and control”. Among the two producers, both of whom adopt either a hybrid embodiment or avatar position in relation to their work, the performance will ask of the virtual realm what happens when gender, nationality and position become both at once symbolic and arbitrary.

MBJ Wetware and J.G. Biberkopf start off the evening’s performances at the Berghain site, and are followed by three other artists, including Visionist and Thug Entrancer who also consider technology’s expansive and anxious structure.

See the CTM website for details, as well as aqnb‘s list of recommendations. **

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Christian Jankowski @ CFA , Jan 14 – Mar 5

14 January 2016

Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin is showing a “Retrospective” of artist Christian Jankowski‘s work, opening January 14 and running March 5.

Jankowski asked actor Nina Hoss to curate his work for the show, who had not heard anything of his work and so agreed. She has selected mainly cinematic works made between 1992 and 2015, which will be shown across three parts: in a room with a cinema, in a room with film sets, and in a room where TVs will be playing.

The audience will have an opportunity to see Jankowski’s work through Hoss’ eyes, along with  the commonalities she found in looking at it.

See the CFA website for more 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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‘Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin’ @ V4ULT, Nov 27

26 November 2013

A performative group show at Berlin’s V4ULT, all para-aramid synthetic fiber-covered fingers point to ‘Breathing Kevlar, Perforated Skin’, open for one night only, November 27.

Featuring work by Naja Ankarfeldt, Alex Dolan, Olivia Erlanger, Mia Goyette, Martin Kohout, Hanne Lippard, Aude Pariset, Anna Sagström and Anne de Vries, a blurb littered with references to Screen Ops Tactical Gloves and their multi-role functioning both out in the field and on the touchscreen, the possibilities are looking promising:

“When the panel is touched, the wave is absorbed.
Vibrations and frequencies on a x/y axis.

To handle in order to manipulate, alter, or otherwise affect, in an adverse way. Glide your fingertips on top of the plane, and press gently the palm of your hand against the surface. Flat, curved, be tangent to (a surface) at a certain point.

Layer fabrics to improve their handle, appearance and performance. Stitch or laminate an interfacing fabric. Insulated by capturing air in space.

Thermochromic being. Sensitive to the sun.

Direct touch can be bypassed by using a different technique – rather than pressing with the soft skin of an outstretched fingertips, the finger is curled over, so that the tip of a fingernail can be used instead.

Patented Tactical Touch precision.”

See the V4ULT Facebook event page for more details. **

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Planningtorock – ‘Human Drama’

19 November 2013

Not one to mince her words, Planningtorock, aka Jam (nee Janine) Rostron, has already dropped ‘Patriarchy Over & Out’ and ‘Misogyny Drop Dead’ in the long lead up to the release of her third album All Love’s Legal, on her own Human Level label, February 10. This significantly more downbeat, but no less lyrically explicit number, ‘Human Drama’, rides a gust of simulated orchestral samples to its release set for December 9.

When we interviewed Planningtorock around her second LP, W, in 2011, Rostron talked about her reasoning behind obscuring any explicit political intent within musical production and vocal processing. But things have changed and now she’s calling it.

Pre-order All Love’s Legal here. **

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Ceremonial Achievements @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler reviewed

14 November 2013

Following on from their Achievements in Swiss Summit exhibition during London’s Frieze week last month, the celebrations continue for the GCC art collective, at Berlin’s Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler gallery. In their second show as a ‘delegation’ named after the regional government body, Gulf Cooperation Council, Ceremonial Achievements again pulls focuses on parade over practicality. Now in the hands of politicians and officials, the PR campaign of success well-celebrated in the Gulf is passed on as its nine artists -spanning Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain, and including Khalid Al Gharaballi, Fatima and Monira Al Qadiri, and Sophia Al-Maria -investigate traditions and icons of self-congratulations.

A screen on the floor projects ‘Ceremonial Projects in Motion’, a video of stately-looking men in the traditional Arabic thobe with large scissors in their hands cutting inaugurating ribbons. They smile and lift their hands as the tape falls and crowds applaud, before a new clip of a similar ritual begins. In each one, the same characters mimic the same ceremony, leaving one disoriented and dislocated: are we applauding the opening of a new shopping mall, with shiny floors, in Kuwait, or is it a children’s hospital in Qatar? Solemnly proud music plays alongside it, while this parody of personal victory, in self-promotion repeated, becomes absurd; the characters themselves becoming caricatures, without overstatement.

GCC, 'Protocols for Achievements' (2013). Image courtesy of the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul.
GCC, ‘Protocols for Achievements’ (2013). Courtesy of the artists & Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul.

At the center of the room, a smaller screen shows a glowing and outlined presenter gesticulating in front of a projection of similar video loops in ‘Protocols for Achievements’. Screening information in Arabic beneath her, the presenter could be reporting the news or presenting said ‘protocols’ to her audience. Only, its impossible to tell by her body language alone as she stands mute. There’s no concrete information to draw from the text, doubtless incomprehensible to many a Berliner viewer, as she mimes in time with the sound from ‘Ceremonial Projects in Motion’ echoing throughout the whole exhibition.

Hanging on a nearby wall, an image from the GCC’s induction in Switzerland earlier this year (as well as the earlier London show), ‘Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7’, shows three figures, presumably men, sat on a picnic blanket on the bitumen and sharing tea, photographed only from the waist down. Again, it’s not so much the content of the image, or even the identity of its subjects but the ceremony around it that matters.

GCC, 'Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7' (2013). Courtesy the artists and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo by Hans-Georg Gaul.
GCC, ‘Inaugural Summit, Morschach 2013, 7’ (2013). Courtesy the artists & Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Photo: Hans-Georg Gaul.

Spanning the width of a wall in the inner space of the two-room gallery, the most visible piece in Ceremonial Achievements is enacted. It’s a screening of a make-believe ribbon ceremony by GCC, taking place in a grand hall. Several people take part by standing still, forming a circle and holding a red ribbon between them. The other three walls of the room display photos of the same event, a series called ‘Ceremonial Sphere’, taken from different perspectives and digitally printed on circular aluminium dibond. A marble veneer stall stands proudly in front of the large-scale projection, presenting a trophy-like ship’s wheel. With a map of the world at the centre of this golden sculpture, ‘Berlin Congratulant’ echoes the same glass sculptures from the GCC’s Achievements in Swiss Summit. As before, the source of these ‘achievements’ and their outcomes are nowhere to be found, the round shapes, circular motion and endless repetition leading to nothing. **

GCC’s Ceremonial Achievement‘ at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin 8 November – 10 December 2013

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GCC @ Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Nov 8

4 November 2013

Carrying on from their successful campaign at Achievement in Swiss Summit on the fringes of London Frieze week, pan-regional Gulf Arab art collective, GCC, are taking their accomplishments to another diplomatic centre with Ceremonial Achievements at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler in Berlin, opening November 8.

The nine-strong collective, named after the existing political delegation, Gulf Cooperation Council, features Fatima Al Qadiri, Abdullah Al-Mutairi, Amal Khalaf, Aziz Al Qatami, Barrak Alzaid, Khalid al Gharaballi, Monira Al Qadiri, Nanu Al-Hamad and Sophia Al-Maria and explores PR as central to political, economic and, in this case, artistic influence.

See the Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler website for more details. **

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Beny Wagner @ Import Projects, Nov 4

4 November 2013

The idea of privacy and opacity has been a major theme across the art events we’ve been covering of late, from the panopticon of Kassel’s Speculations on Anonymous Materials and the preoccupations with veiling at Vienna’s Faceless II to online identity representations in Calculating Virtual Ratios at Import Projects. In parallel to that, the latter Berlin venue will also be hosting artist Beny Wagner’s Invisible Measure, running November 4 to December 8.

Adding to the discussion -a topical one in these days of data-spying -Wagner’s is an attempt to make sense of an increasingly confusing reality, through mapping the evolution of our relationship to transparency next to a gradual shift away from the material into the immaterial labour processes over the last century.

See the Import Projects website for more details. **

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29 October 2013

Last we spoke to Heatsick‘s Steven Warwick, he made no secret of his feelings toward contemporary trends in art, centred around speculative realism and corporate aesthetics. Now, in building his own neo-materialist castle, he’s turned this dissent into art with his first full-length under the Heatsick moniker, Re-Engineering, out on PAN, November 26.

Expanding on his sashaying feedback loops of slightly beyond house sounds across styles, this track ‘RE-ENGINEERING’ is just the first of list of pointed titles like ‘E-SCAPE’, ‘WATERMARK’ and ‘ACCELARATIONISTA’. Let the take down begin. **

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‘Re-calculating Virtual Ratios’ @ Import Projects, Oct 23 + Nov 13

21 October 2013

In collaboration with Berlin’s Import Projects, writer Elvia Wilk will be exploring the virtual vs IRL distinction that has generally become accepted as non-existent through two discussion panels running October 23 and November 13.

Interrogating this still problematic assumption of digital dualism, while looking at the social implications of its deconstruction, the panels will feature artists and writers charged with distilling a specific project to a 10-minute presentation, with discussion to follow. The two days will also be separated into two themes, with Jenna Sutela, Nadim Samman, Jesse Darling and Luke Munn speaking on ‘Opacity’ on October 23. Beny Wagner, Olia Lialina, Ben Vickers and Asli Serbest + Mona Mahall will be covering ‘Transparency’ on November 13, to coincide with Import Projects’ launch of Wagner’s Invisible Measure.

See the Elvia Wilk’s website for more details. **

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Aram Bartholl’s ‘YOUR ART!! PARTY’

27 September 2013

Evidently, ’tis the season because while celebrates a decade of doing good in London tonight, east a bloc or two and Aram Bartholl will be reveling with YOUR ART!! PARTY at Berlin’s PANKE club on September 27.

Last year’s YOUR ART!! PARTY involved making “your own YOUR ART!! GOLDEN NECKLACE at the YOUR ART!! PARTY. Show off all your works from your phone/tablet/etc wrapped as COOL necklace jewelry. You are the SHOW!! With step-by-step instructions on how to turn your various smartphone and tablet screens into bling -Nokias not excluded -as well as a video of Bartholl and friends rocking their wares with images of other people’s art, taking art appropriation to new levels. Let’s hope for more of the same.

See Today’s Art website for more details. **

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Constant Dullaart @ Future Gallery reviewed

26 September 2013

Inhabiting the online and offline realms at Berlin’s Future Gallery, Jennifer in Paradise by Dutch artist Constant Dullaart is a reference to the first ever PhotoShop-ped image. A woman lying on a white beach, she has her back to the camera, black hair waving in the wind, the sky, aqua blue. The photo is of one of the ubiquitous software creator John Knoll’s girlfriend, taken and edited by him and his co-creators and points to the alteration and ultimate deformation of its subject across ‘realities’.

The online component of the exhibition, website, sees Dullaart modifying an online interface, its start page a familiar Google search engine. All the usual options are there and it works in the same way that Google does, except that the perspective has been changed. An embed of the original page is obscured by images of Dullart’s work; a brush tool erasing random areas, paint swirls obscuring the screen. Information and context is lost.

In the gallery, a large window at its entrance is complete with a YouTube play button. It’s a throwback to some of his earlier YouTube as a Subject series, inspired by the unmerited triumph of the poorly designed video hosting site over all others, its banality entering the material domain in his 2011 performance of its familiar loading circle at the Netherlands’ GOGBOT festival. Sat on the floor, eight white circles surround Dullaart, which he moves repetitively, generating a ring in endless rotation performed and then projected on a wall in the same space.

That motif continues inside, where a wall is dotted with the same ubiquitous loading sequence. Elsewhere, printed float glass work, a light-green, shimmering and transparent material, is printed with various screenshots from Floor-standing and hanging from the walls of Future Gallery, they resemble the countless screens that surround us in our daily lives. Looking out from windows at home and in to them through screens on our devices, we use both for collecting information. That information is filtered in one way or another, as thick glass screen shots display images and text the same way a webpage does. What content we see depends on where we stand, what search engine we’re looking at and how that perspective is monitored and obscured by personal algorithms, marketing strategies and governmental regulation, among other interests.

Here, like in in earlier work, Dullaart is editing online forms of representation, materializing the immaterial, making visible the normally invisible. He does this in a clear, minimalistic, and easily approachable way. Placing himself on a high level among artists working with a post-internet focus,  Jennifer in Paradise interrogates notions of reality, its visibility and its ultimate (mis)representation. **

Constant Dullaart’s Jennifer in Paradise is on at Future Gallery, September 12- October 5, 2013.

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