Lars TCF Holdhus

Lars TCF Holdhus + Victor Robyn @ Cell Project Space, Nov 12

11 November 2015

Artist-producer Lars TCF Holdhus and designer Victor Robyn are launching C0 FE E2 57 4E E1 77 78 1E B7 C5 ED 25 0C F5 22 at London’s Cell Project Space for one night only on November 12.

The event is a collaborative work looking at export control issues around computer code and cryptography in a contemporary cybernetic society. Taking the illegal shipping of Joel Furr and James Back’s t-shirts containing “everything you needed to encrypt a piece of information with the use of Perl programming language” in 1996, Holdus and Robyn will present their own encoded merchandise for sale on the night.  

As the US and the UK are calling for the regulation of cryptography by banning any “means of communication” which “we cannot read”, C0 FE E2 57 4E E1 77 78 1E B7 C5 ED 25 0C F5 22 aims to confront its audience with “the fine line between control and freedom”.

See the Cell Project Space website for details.**

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‘Blockchain Horizons’ @ New Museum, Oct 22

22 October 2015

Artists, critics and entrepreneurs gather to discuss the cultural implications of distributed databases in the sold-out ‘Blockchain Horizons’ discussion at New Museum on October 22.

Organized by Rhizome Artistic Director Michael Connor and conceived by Lars Holdhus, ‘Blockchain Horizons’ takes on the social and cultural repercussions of these databases, understood to be secure and transparent by virtue of peer-to-peer communities that cryptographically validate each entry, in various fields, including publishing, licensing and distribution.

Participating in the discussion are Nora Khan, DeForrest Brown, and The Actual School with a work-in-progress online project titled ‘Futures Along the Blockchain’; artist, entrepreneur and founder of Monegraph, Kevin McCoy; PWR presenting a decentralised platform for publication and distribution of digital texts; and researcher and curator Rachel O’Dwyer.

See the event page for details. **

The Infinite Webring of the Eternal Internet Brotherhood, A project by Angelo Plessas interpreted by PWR, 2014.
The Infinite Webring of the Eternal Internet Brotherhood, A project by Angelo Plessas interpreted by PWR, 2014.
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A look back at Newman Festival

24 July 2015

“Search and destroy becomes the much less culpable search, point and click”, says the New(Hu)man exhibition booklet, the visual art supplement to the Newman Festival (see photos top right), which is a three-day music and new media event, running in the Lithuanian spa town of Druskininkai from July 3 to 6.

Rivers, lakes, hills, forests; the Baltic town at the centre of an historic tug-o-war between German, Polish, Russian empires and kingdoms has long been, and continues to be a coveted hotspot for its natural resources. It was once a summer getaway for Tsar Nicholas I, now it’s a health resort for the Baltic and Eastern European elderly. There’s a Catholic Church, an Orthodox Church and an indoor ski slope called the Snow Arena, all evidence of eras laying claim to their own post in Druskininkai’s colonial history. Right now its hostels and hotels are occupied by an international array of artists, curators, musicians, producers and enthusiasts come to engage with a world wide event revolving around its Soviet Summer Amphitheatre, restored especially for the occasion.

Newman Festival (2015), Druskininkai, Lithuania. Photo by Monika Januleviciute.

Nguzunguzu, Dean Blunt, Lucrecia Dalt and Amnesia Scanner are a few of the overseas acts imported in an impeccable music programme curated by Lithuanian producer J.G. Biberkopf. London-based Lithuanian Ulijona Odišarija, here DJ-ing as Sweatlana, performs a mix made for Newman, the still light Friday opening slot meaning the intended projection (see video below) of hand tricks and green wheat fields plays from a laptop screen facing out to a still sparse audience. London’s Micachu & the Shapes perform, then Biberkopf himself, whose physical body dissolves into a background projection of moving images in manmade constructions, GoPro videos and footage of natural phenomena.

“I wish this bed had wings,/ I wish a lot of things”, croons Berlin-based French-Canadian Dan Bodan, holding his stomach, bent over in a Broadway-like musical delivery while dressed in sports gear and swathed with a pastel pink jumper like it’s a scarf. His soulful voice that sings of romance in the so-called Web 2.0 era is flawless, harmonising with a pre-recorded choral sample about making love long-distance in what he’s announced as a new song.

Bodan’s elegant elegies to the Network are followed by the insulated attack of Lars Holdus’ TCF soundtrack where musical phrasing is abandoned in favour of what sounds like hundreds of sonic conversations running angrily and aimlessly at once. It evokes a similar sense of dread that Conor McGarrigle’s ‘24hr Social’ (2014), a generative video installed in a dim room of an old wooden building where the New(Hu)man exhibition is housed, does. A projection of six-second looping videos, collected six at a time, at every second of a twenty-four hour cycle, are played one on top of the other in a chaotic layering of personalised perspectives become an oppressive insight into the awful Sublime of social media.

Mitch Posada’s 3D graphic gif animations of human forms glitching out and in to a certain cyberspace play through a screen next door. It’s a perspective that shifts to the the beings those forms have made in Freyja Van Den Boom Weareautonomous’ ‘Robot Party’. The walls of a room set up like a cyberpunk campaign room, wooden chairs and tables flanked by paper printouts of code and manifestos that read “WE ARE AUTONOMOUS. WE ARE ROBOT PARTY. JOIN#03072015” are pinned to its walls.

Another room upstairs, with floorboards and windows darkened by black tarpaulin, shows shifting viewpoints as visualised by landscapes fragmented and mirroring themselves in Baden Pailthorpe’s ‘MQ-9 Reaper’ (2014). The HD video animates a silver drone that looks like it’s made from mercury, a quicksilver image of an object that refracts and is fractured by its own reflection. A sea container suspended in the sky rotates above a scene of arid mountains. A lone bald man in trousers and a work shirt punches at the air.

The heat throughout the weekend is overwhelming and the programme of conversations with artists –including Conor McGarrigle, Freyja Van Den Boom and a laptop projection of ‘artist-avatar’ Laturbo Avedon –is casual. The curator of this year’s ‘Capture All’ transmediale exhibition Robert Sakrowski and Vilnius’ Contemporary Art Centre curator Monika Lipschitz speak without microphones. Claudia Maté makes a rare in-person appearance to talk about the freedom of the personalised avatar (“we can be whoever we want to be”) and presents a work of potentially greater conceptual importance than she cares to articulate herself. ‘The globalmood’ (2014) is a visualisation of corporate equity in the stock market, represented in real-time via the reptilian faces of corresponding male avatars. Their expressions shift along a spectrum from ‘happy’ to ‘sad’ depending on their market price, but always look evil. Sakrowski makes the misguided comparison of Maté’s work to the likes of other woman artists like Amalia Ulman and Molly Soda with the rather tired trope of the ‘Young Girl’, revealing the seemingly inherent sexualisation and objectification of embodied work by women, as viewed by men.

Claudia Maté, 'Theglobalmood' (2014). Photo by Saulė Bluewhite.
Claudia Maté, ‘Theglobalmood’ (2014). Photo by Saulė Bluewhite.

Sakrowski’s comment comes as part of a reductive trend that echoes writer Elvia Wilk’s suggestion that “the posthuman era became a girl”. That’s especially in light of Constant Dullaart’s 2013 video essay invective against Facebook and the narcissistic tendencies social media perpetuates in ‘Crystal Pillars’. Here, the Berlin-based artist’s baffling appropriation of a feminised voice, not Dullaart’s own, delivers the personalised polemic on the “perpetual high school with ever weakening rewards” of Facebook, presented by the artist-man as woman. In the same room, Lithuanian new media and street artist AWK takes 3D scans of New(Hu)Man exhibition visitor’s body’s to be redistributed via their images on the internet.

Artist flags from the Kim Asendorf and Ole Fach conceived Long Distance Gallery are hoisted outside the New(Hu)Man exhibition building, in view of the Druskonis lake. It’s a symbol of the the ideal and idyllic location of Druskininkai, Lithuania, for a programme concerned with the Anthropocene epoch, its name taken from a direct translation of the Greek ‘ἄνθρωπος’ meaning literally ‘man’ (as in ‘human’) along with ‘new’. It’s an unavoidably gendered word that conversely does not evade the attention of Polish-born, cloud-based collective Pussykrew whose slideshow presents a programme for the “newman / newwoman/ newkind” in work surrounding bodies reformed and rematerialised via 3D renderings and post-industrial aesthetics. It’s as if what these artists aim to achieve, Eva Papamargariti takes further by exploring what happens when and if they do. ‘No boredom, no pain, no routine’ (2014) is a video on the bottom floor of the New(hu)man exhibition, where an avatar of a CGI head on wheels guides its viewer through a digital dystopia explaining, “We just wanted to have everything.” The three-minute film runs in a loop, beginning where it ends and inescapable in its endlessness. **


‘Aussie crow aaaaaaaaaaa’ (Youtube rip)
Kelly – ‘What Am I Saying (Make sense)’
Sweatlana – ‘Grandpa Breath’
‘Field Recording
Sweatlana – ‘Burnout’
Klusht Musket
Dntel – ‘Paparazzi (Lady Gaga)’
Frank Ocean  – ‘Pyramids’ (Sweatlana Transition edit)
Capital Children’s Choir – ‘Untrust Us’ (Crystal Castles cover)
James K – ‘Drunktrack’ (Florian Kupfer Remix)
The Field – ‘No. No…’
Jonathan Dunn – ‘Robocop Title Theme’

Newman Festival was on in Druskininkai, Lithuania, running July 3 to 6, 2015.

Header image: Newman Festival (2015), Druskininkai, Lithuania. Photo by Saulė Bluewhite.

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Events + Exhibitions, Feb 23 – Mar 1

24 February 2015

The Ryan Trecartin and Lauren Cornell-curated 2015 Triennial, called Sound Audience starts at the New Museum in New York this week, with the majority of events and exhibitions elsewhere opening within a few days of each other.

Two double exhibitions are opening across London, including one from KERNEL, Sasha Litvintseva and Lewis Teague Wright at Union Pacific, as well as Olivia Erlanger solo at Seventeen Gallery alongside a group show curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini and including Emanuel Röhss, Debora Delmar Corp, AIRBNB Pavilion, plus more.

Also in the UK capital, artist-run space Rye Lane Studios is closing with an RSVP event, while LEAP in Berlin is doing that same. Elsewhere in Europe, Amalia Ulman will be delivering a lecture in Helsinki, Neïl Beloufa is opening an exhibition at Zero in Milan and Clémence de la Tour du Pin‘s Hotel Palenque commission is happening in Frankfurt.

Desktop Residency and Opening Times are hosting new works online, while Sonic Acts 2015 in Amsterdam features performances by M.E.S.H., Vessel and TCF. Slavs and Tatars, Monira Al Qadiri and GCC have exhibitions opening across two galleries in the UAE.

There’s more so see below:


Milo Brennan @ Desktop Residency, Feb 23 – Mar 14

Speculative Writing @ Tenderbooks, Feb 24

2015 Triennial @ New Museum, Feb 25 – May 24

Joey Holder + Steven Ounanian @ Enclave, Feb 25

Luke Nunn @ split/fountain, Feb 25

Amalia Ulman lecture @ Exhibition Laboratory, Feb 25

Beau Rice @ Printed Matter, Feb 26

Sonic Acts Festival opening @ Stedelijk, Feb 26

Extreme Animals, Haribo &c @ Secret Project Robot Art Experiment, Feb 26

Sonic Acts Festival @ OT301, Feb 26

POLYVALENZ @ Kunstquartier Bethanien, Feb 27


Jason Bailer Losh @ Anat Ebgi, Feb 27 – Apr 4

Bare Life & Bio-politics in Kennington Park @ DKUK Salon, Feb 27


Future Brown @ Creamcake, Feb 28

Who is a ‘People?’ @ Goldsmiths, Feb 28

Rye Lane Studios closing party, Feb 28

LEAP closing party, Feb 28

Accented @ Maraya Art Centre, Mar 1 – May 16


Kate Morrell + LTV @ Kendal Museum, Feb – Jun

Katharina Fengler @, Feb 23

Hassan Hajjaj @ Newark Museum, Feb 25 – Aug 9

Anne de Boer @ Lunch Bytes, Feb 25

Neïl Beloufa @ Zero, Feb 26

Life Gallery @ Space, Feb 26 – Mar 15

Sean Raspet @ Société, Feb 26

Tiril Hasselknippe @ DREI, Feb 26 – Mar 28

Kimmo Modig @ Sorbus-galleria, Feb 26 – Mar 8

Labour in a Single Shot @ HKW, Feb 26 – Apr 6

Massimo Grimaldi @ 63rd – 77th STEPS, Feb 27 – Mar 25

Olivia Erlanger + Morphing Overnight @ Seventeen Gallery, Feb 27 – Apr 18

@ SIC Gallery, Feb 27 – Mar 15

Josh Bailer Losh @ Anat Ebgi, Feb 27 – Apr 4

Taslima Ahmed @ Real Fine Arts, Feb 28 – Mar 29

Slavs and Tatars @ NYUAD, Feb 28 – Mar 31

KERNEL + What We Name, We Can Contain @ Union Pacific, Feb 28 – Mar 28

Sex Shop @ Transition Gallery, Feb 28 – Mar 29

Antoine Donzeaud @ Mon Chéri, Feb 28 – Apr 11

Clémence de la Tour du Pin @ Frankfurt Am Main, Mar 1 **

See here for exhibitions opening last week.

Header image: Katharina Fengler, ‘Cosmic Feces of Mercy’ (2015) @

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Uyati Pog: ‘Exodus’ bar night @ OCCII, Dec 19

18 December 2014

Amsterdam’s Onafhankelijk Cultureel Centrum In It (OCCII) is hosting another Uyati Pog bar night, titled Exodus and featuring a stacked music and art lineup this Friday, December 19.

Along the lines of music, Exodus is bringing E+E featuring Chinonyeelu Amobi (Liberation Technologies), DJ Hvad (Syg Nok, Janus), Beatrice Dillon (Where to Now?, The Trilogy Tapes), Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf playing a live set, and Fred Hystere.

The artwork list brings works by Loretta Fahrenholz (seen in Warsaw’s Private Settings, Art After the Internet group survey), Lars TCF Holdhus (seen in The Mycological Twist), as well as Ruby Rouge, Daphne Oram, and Dan Walwin.

See the Exodus FB page for details. **

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The Mycological Twist (2014) installation photos

27 October 2014

‘Round the back of Jupiter Woods there are mushrooms growing. Or at least there was one, smaller than a pinky nail and indistinguishable from the other rubble in the multi-shelf structures stacked high with chipboard, in the yard of the Bermondsey gallery where the ceiling’s falling in and there’s toxic waste nearby. Having seen the space in a week where extinction was on the brain, this productive generative artwork was a most welcome relief from all the end-is-nigh narratives with their “we’re all fucked” messages during Frieze week.

The Mycological Twist (2014) @ Jupiter Woods. Detail. Courtesy Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot.
The Mycological Twist (2014) @ Jupiter Woods. Detail. Courtesy Anne de Boer and Eloise Bonneviot.

As part of a survey of all the good stuff on the periphery of October’s art-as-liquid-asset week (more on that here) a visit to The Mycological Twist permanent installation, opening along with Genuine Articles on October 2 and running indefinitely, meant a chat with artists and initiators of the project, Eloïse Bonneviot and Anne de Boer, who point out the tiny white thimble of a fungus, from the stacks of hay, soil and plastic-covered shelving surrounding us, explaining that the rest of the mushrooms could spring up overnight.

I don’t know what’s happened since but in light of energy-sucking artists critiquing energy-sucking enterprise through energy-sucking art, it’s nice to see an effort to transform all the toxins into something a little more constructive. Particularly when positioned beside what I can only describe as the most beautiful toilet I’ve ever seen; a maybe disused outhouse with yellow, green, red, blue and brown paint peeling from its inner walls and a perfectly round cistern beneath a TV rack screening ‘Respawn’ (2014). It’s a collection of video featuring contributions from 17 artists, Juliette Bonneviot, Sam Kenswil, Lars TCF Holdhus, Anna Mikkola, Emily Jones and Jaakko Pallasvuo among them.

Eloise Bonneviot and Anne de Boer, 'Respawn' (2014). Film still. Courtesy the artists.
Eloise Bonneviot and Anne de Boer, ‘Respawn’ (2014). Film still. Courtesy the artists.

Launched with a mushroom brunch and dinner and a ‘Shroom Music & Myco_educational_VJ-set’, where Bonnevoit and de Boer occupied the first floor roof top of Jupiter Woods to play their evolving playlist, The Mycological Twist is an experiment in the regenerative powers of the fleshy, spore-bearing bodies. That’s all while offsetting some of the the energy needed to keep the digital image going and the ‘Respawn’ video rolling. **

Installation images, top right.

The Mycological Twist is a permanent installation launched at London’s Jupiter Woods on October 2, 2014.

Header image: Harm van den Dorpel, ‘Cloud on Title’ (2013) install view at ‘The Mycological Twist’ (2014) @ Jupiter Woods. Courtesy Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot.

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