The workshop will explore “the idea of the proxy, a surrogate and decoy, as a method of withdrawal or protest,” and offers my supplementary reading in Boaz Levin and Vera Tollmann‘s contribution to Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 publication Out of Body, called ‘The Body of the Web’ on the “age of proxy politics” in response to displaced power.
Artist collective HARD-CORE is launching ASAHI 4.0 with a keynote presentation by CEO Skyler Linderberg at London’s Art GuardonSeptember 30.
After another launch on International Worker’s Day in May this year, the project is described as a “cloaked initiative” and “curatorial robot” that uses, or rather is used by some of the most influential social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter where Asahi 4.0 is already dispersed and networked. Giving an indication of what the keynote speech and the project focussed on providing a virtual environment for art might lead to, the press release describes its function as “interoperability, virtualisation, decentralisation, real-time capability, service orientation and modularity.”
The self-described “artist-magnet operating as non-hierarchical and non-authoritarian organization”, founded in the spring of 2011, has made a role for itself developing curatorial methods which problematize aspects of exhibition-making, “such as subjective choices based on notions of harmony and taste”.
For their contribution to this year’s annual Alternativa art festival, HARD-CORE has developed Asahi 4.0, a series of algorithmic curatorial robots created to reverse the mechanism of “the rigidity of a white-cubed space upon the ‘borderless’ capacities praised in the early days of the net”.
Launching on International Workers’ Day on May 1, anonymously populated “artist-magnet”/collective HARD-CORE‘s Asahi 4.0announces itself as a “cloaked initiative” and “curatorial robot” with the celebration of labour at its centre. Rising on rumour and drawing on networks, it’s a project that sounds like a beer brand and follows a bare Apple Store aesthetic, but could mean any number of industries, ideas, art practices of which this long list of Wikipedia entries, named after a Japanese word for ‘morning sun'(朝日, 旭, or あさひ), could potentially point to.
“We try to treat HARD-CORE as an individual character that rather controls us,” the collective once told aqnb about their Close Your Eyesexhibition at Ruimte Caesarin Middleburg last year. With Asahi 4.0 they’re seemingly taking that idea to the next level, where, as well as control the artists that created it, HARD-CORE intends to also control the world.
That’s at least an online art one, as the project is dispersed across some of the most influential social media platforms of the day. There, the Venice Biennale is reduced to a single ‘Giardino Di Algoritmi’ on Twitter (“no more national pavilions”), encourages voting on Facebook (“Left… Right… Asahi just goes random”) and gives us a ‘Gas Sensor MQ3’ on Instagram (“What does gas have to do with exhibition making?”).
Perhaps best at explaining the thrust of the white blank box of the Asahi 4.0 countdown is the fairly detailed, though equally obtuse, press release that follows:
“No other places than those where we work have been subject to the rigorous changes over the last centuries; from steam engine (1.0) to electrical energy (2.0) to IT (3.0) to Cyber Physical Systems (4.0). This latest Industry 4.0 is currently being developed focusing on the production and incorporation of Autonomous Machines and Virtual Environments within the cycle of industrial production, ultimately leading to a Smart Factory.
Key design concepts of Industry 4.0 are Interoperability, Virtualization, Decentralization, Real-Time Capability, Service Orientation and Modularity. Confronted with this skeleton construct of the future we, at HARD-CORE, could only think of how these concepts are already applied within our ways of working. Even though we operate on a seemingly counterproductive organ called ‘art’ we find ourselves affiliate with the notion of Industry 4.0, and wonder if we could even speak of an Art 4.0.
It might seem far-fetched, yet we do see opportunity and potential for a 4.0-isation of artistic production in the sense of its shift toward a service-oriented practice, integrated with the latest available technologies. The goal is not to force anyone under a 4.0 model against their will but to think of a device on which we, as artists, can rely and experiment with. Coincidentally we have been working in the past years on a curatorial robotic device that is currently arriving at its latest successor named: Asahi 4.0.
Asahi 4.0 is still in a phase of development, but the release date is getting closer and closer.” **
The HARD-CORE art collective is releasing its latest project in the form of the Close Your Eyes exhibition, running at Middelburg’s Ruimte Caesar art space from November 22 to November 28.
Members of HARD-CORE include a handful of artists that have graced the digital pages of aqnb before but prefer, for the sake of the collective, to remain unnamed. “We try to treat HARD-CORE as an individual character that rather controls us,” writes one artist in an email.
The exhibition in Middelburg comes as part of a two-year series of exhibitions called LET GOOOOO, curated by Just Quist and hosted by the Ruimte Caesuur a project space, taking the form of a constructive critique on what was perceived as the failure of the series in its mission. Described as an “imaginative exhibition constructed out of hypothetical scenarios” and “through your own, and external, imaginary restrains”, Close Your Eyes comes with a sound piece designed as a journey through various exhibiting scenarios and accompanied with the (royalty-free) songs of Kevin MacLeod.