Lunch Bytes

Lunch Bytes Conference @ HKW, Mar 20 – 21

19 March 2015

Lunch Bytes closes its European tour with a (now fully booked) conference at Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) on March 20 and 21.

Following their 2014 run across seven European cities, including their November session at London’s ICA, and latest appearance with Life: Feminism at Stockholm’s Tensta konsthall in December, the Lunch Bytes discussion series is wrapping up with a booked-out conference in Berlin.

The two-day event invites over twenty panelists to discuss the increasing influence of digital technology on contemporary art. Included in the line-up are writers like Victoria Camblin and Melissa Gronlund, curators like Toke Lykkeberg, and many artists, including Jesse Darling, Paul Kneale, Constant DullaartCécile B. Evans, and Ilja Karilampi.

See the Lunch Bytes FB event page for details. **

Anne de Boer, ‘def shuffle (array, random)‘ (2015).

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Lunch Bytes: Life: Feminism @ Tensta konsthall, Dec 12

11 December 2014

After wrapping up its last London event in November, Lunch Bytes is heading to Spånga, Sweden’s Tensta konsthall for Life: Feminism on December 12.

Following a year of international conversations about the underrepresentation of women in the arts (think the Wikipedia Art+Feminism campaign and Tate’s ‘Where are the Women?’ short film), as well as the success of ICA’s Re-Materialising Feminism conferences, Lunch Bytes is dedicating an event to exploring what feminism means in the digitised world.

“If our bodies don’t end at the skin,” writes the press release, “but instead extend to and reconfigure themselves with the material environments they engage with, what kind of implications does this have for notions like representation, embodiment and gender?” Much like some of the other female-identified artists we’ve covered in the past, the conference begins with the body.

Moderated by Maria Lind, director Tensta konsthall, the conference invites artists Jesse Darling and Sofia Hultin, curator Rózsa Farkas, and editor and writer Elvia Wilk to discuss their work and how they “make use of, configure and create identities” through it. The discussion is also organised in conjunction with Hultin’s TK-comissioned project, ‘I Am Every Lesbian‘.

See the Lunch Bytes event page for details. **

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Events + exhibition openings (Week Dec 7)

10 December 2014

With most of the last of the exhibitions for 2014 opening at the end of November, December kicks off the holidays with too many events to mention individually, so here’s a list. Special mentioned should go to Imran Perretta and Takeshi Shiomitsu‘s /marinate exhibition at FFrigidaire, several readings across the western world launching Holly Childs‘ second book Danklands and a talk including Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani at Banner Repeater.

There will also be performances from Dan Bodan and Benedict Drew in London, as well as another Lunch Bytes in Stockholm, another CREAMCAKE and a new V4ULT location in Berlin and a Nick DeMarco exhibition in New York. Pick a date and peruse at your leisure. **


Gaybar celebrates Leslie Feinberg @ Rye Lane Studios, Dec 10

Private Settings film screenings @ MoMA Warsaw, Dec 10

Shana Moulton performance @ SLG, Dec 10

E+E, Krysaor, Nkisi & Why Be @ Endless, Dec 10

The Locoemotive Lounge  @ Cafe Kaizen  Dec 10

* * * *  MOONSIGN// DUBAIS  //LANII //MSHR  @ XB * * * * *  @ Liebig 34, Dec 10

Holly Childs Danklands launches: London on Dec 9, Berlin on Dec 11, Melbourne on Dec 16 and Sydney on Dec 18

Unreliable Source reading installation @ DRAF, Dec 10

Tropical Waste: Lotic + Felicita @ The Waiting Room, Dec 11

INFRA_SPECTION @ The White Building, Dec 11

Skinhead: An Archive @ Ditto Press, Dec 11

Gravy Party @ Apiary Studios Dec 12

Galavant Evenings  @ Stephen House, Dec 12

Lunch Bytes Life: Feminism @ Tensta Konsthall, Dec 12

Dan Bodan @ Birthdays, Dec 12

Algorithms, Zerowork, and Planning @ Banner Repeater, Dec 12

The Rare Earth Medicine Show @ Troy Town Art Pottery, Dec 12

/// A Weekend of Schizo-Culture /// @ Space, Dec 12 – 13

Kernel – Enclosures (First attempt) @ V4ULT, Dec 13

Friends with Books: Art Book Fair Berlin, Dec 13

CREAMCAKE presents E+E &c @ Südblock, Dec 13

Beyond the Rocks @ Kazachenko’s Apartment, Dec 13

Poverty Failure Rejection @ MilMa, Dec 13

Mulled wine @ Maria Stenfors, Dec 13

Benedict Drew @ Café OTO, Dec 14


Vincent Broquaire @ XPO Gallery, Dec 11

Go Mango ~ Pt.1 @ Caustic Coastal, Dec 11 – 21

Chris Lux @ Jupiter Woods, Dec 12 – Jan 4

Nick DeMarco @ Interstate, Dec 13

Imran Perretta & Takeshi Shiomitsu: /marinate @ FFrigidaire, Dec 14

Hubert Marot @ Paris20, Dec 14**


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Life, language and London’s last Lunch Bytes

1 December 2014

“I’m going for a deeply oceanic look today”, Holly Childs is reading from her upcoming book Danklands, to be published via Arcadia Missa on December 9. It’s an excerpt of what she calls, “a make-up tutorial that is also subliminally a climate change awareness campaign, or a self-defence for women pep talk”. It features a persona called Augustine’ pointing at ephemeral hyperlinks from inside a computer screen, while recommending “slut shame” eye shadow or “urban decay & deathzone 4 Eva” liner to suit any lifestyle: “maybe you’re a scientist who’s just started dating again after a massive break up, or doing some whaling”. From here come the ideas of “dredging and resurfacing” that Childs actively explores in her work, a subject that is revisited in various forms across ideas and artistic practices expressed in conversation with several other writers and artists. They include Cally Spooner and David Jablonowski, as well as art historian Florian Cramer and panel moderator Elvia Wilk at Lunch Bytes exploring Life: Language. The film that should follow the ICA programme is being delayed as the last in the London editions of the Goethe-Institut‘s European series applies some interesting ideas to the computer generated future of communication via the internet.

Holly Childs, Danklands presentation image. Courtesy the artist.
Holly Childs, Danklands presentation image. Courtesy the artist.

“’Always scared amateur porn is going to turn out to be a snuff film”, Childs is quoting Australian artist Aurelia Guo in exploring the “rerouting of form” where a format meant to present one agenda exposes itself for harbouring another. Hence the post-presentation question time concerning Emoji and their relationship with the corporate interests of the companies that produce them – say, the myth of “John Appleseed” embedded in Apple’s tiny pictographs. It’s a technologised type of social interaction that started in emoticons and has since been colonised by corporate entities; Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!  encoding them with their own ideologies. Spooner goes further with these “shared behaviours between labour and speech, and therefore politics” citing Hannah Arendt’s derailing of a political form of life through speech and actions in the “big musical collapse” of her ‘And You Were Wonderful, On Stage’ (2014) performance. It was inspired by the artist’s experiences working with an advertising agency in a campaign that would refill its employees’ real-life stories with a company’s brand and values, only to resell it to its staff.

“I was thinking about how people use Emoji when they’re sexting, like an eggplant is supposed to be a dick”, Childs deadpans about the subversive potential of recalibrating said characters’ intended corporate meaning via context. This is something Cramer also illustrates via the encoded language of early 4Chan image boards, where he draws parallels between the highly referential “visual linguistics” of 17th century allegorical art and something like ‘Y U NO?’ or the Anonymous meme-cum-hacktivist group-cum-global symbol of dissent. The latter’s famous Guy Fawkes mask signifier is, of course, an iconic image that draws from Alan Moore’s cult graphic novel, V for Vendetta – which in turn was inspired by the 16th century activist – resurfacing via a Japanese anime-inspired culture transfered to Western image boards and manifesting physically via the #occupy movement.

Cally Spooner, Performance of 'Damning Evidence Illicit Behaviour Seemingly Insurmountable Great Sadness Terminated In Any Manner' (2014). Courtesy the artist.
Cally Spooner, Performance of ‘Damning Evidence Illicit Behaviour Seemingly Insurmountable Great Sadness Terminated In Any Manner’ (2014). Courtesy the artist.

In his ‘Powerslave, Revolution Main (Signature Series)’ (2014), recently shown at BRANDS – CONCEPT/AFFECT/MODULARITY, David Jablonowski draws a link between political revolutions via his found object sculptural arrangement of Iron Maiden tour merchandise from 1984. The band are regarded as the first rock act to cross into the Eastern Bloc at the time, while the limited edition Vans shoes were discovered by the Netherlands-based artist during a visit to New York when the 2012 Arab Spring in Egypt had erupted.

That sort of layering of symbolic objects not only expresses a sort of density of information but also an emptying out of a self-contained object’s self-contained meaning, especially when presented in pairings as disparate as the plexiglass and lacquered bamboo boxes in Jablonowski’s ‘Alibaba (dot cn dot sa dot com)’ (2014) sculpture at To Satisfy Algorithms/ Still Life with Asparagus. It’s inspired by a Chinese-founded trade website ( with an Arabic reference that has no connection to the region’s history except for its global potential for brand recognition.

Illustrating language as highly coded and malleable to its context – whether corporate, political or personal (often all three) – it’s in a clash of cultures and concerns that makes contemporary communication and the Lunch Bytes Life: Language discussion such a dynamic one. Cramer references Heath Bunting’s 1998 “social sculpture” ‘_readme.html (Own, Be Owned or Remain Invisible)’, where an article written by the net artist for Wired magazine is entirely linked by words to a corresponding .com domain. Starting out with mostly dead links, in the almost two decades since, they’ve been almost entirely populated and commercialised – even the conjunctions like ‘at’, ‘and’ and ‘to’.

Courtesy Holly Childs.
Courtesy Holly Childs.

Meanwhile, Spooner’s ‘Damning Evidence Illicit Behaviour Seemingly Insurmountable Great Sadness Terminated In Any Manner’ (2014) opera takes its title from a public statement made by Nike after Lance Armstrong’s revelations of doping. The opera itself outsources its scores to comment threads reacting to public controversy like Beyonce’s lip-synced Obama inauguration performance (“if you can’t trust her, who can you trust?”). All this, while Cramer suggests, “a new kind of writing needs to be invented”. But when Childs shares her “cute and nice conversation” with a Microsoft Word spell check function via an error-box gesturing, “it didn’t have the exact language to convey what it was thinking or feeling”,  I rather think it already has. **

Lunch Bytes is a discussion series examining the increasing ubiquity of digital technologies in the art world.

Header image: Cally Spooner, ‘Damning Evidence Illicit Behaviour Seemingly Insurmountable Great Sadness Terminated In Any Manner’ (2014). Courtesy the artist.

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Paul Kneale, SEO and Co. (2014) exhibition photos + vid

3 November 2014

The first of a two-part exhibition to culminate at London’s Evelyn Yard in January 2015, Paul Kneale‘s SEO and Co., running at from October 13 to November 21, reclaims and reconstitutes the work of the speech-to-text transcription that’s applying Search Engine Optimisation to video. With the internet being essentially a text-based medium, the difficulties of uploading films online while making them accessible, or more appropriately, ‘rank-able’ by search engines means that Google and YouTube have developed a new approach to inscribing the ephemeral image through auto captioning software. That means some laughably off-point transcripts of recorded events to follow, including the highly theoretical Lunch Bytes Structures and Textures panel discussion in May this year – where Kneale spoke along with Ben Vickers, Wendy Chun and Boris Groys – only to be translated automatically into an absurd collation of phrases like, “nothing series your working, additional culture, %uh gutenberg!” and “sweetie what happened to you?”.

While the text doesn’t necessarily relate to content specifics, somehow it’s been interpreted into the right subject of art with a ‘Warhol’ dropping in from nowhere and leading nicely to becoming a piece of it (as in art) with Kneale’s resulting SEO and Co. exhibition. The artist transformed the transcript into a screenplay, split into four ‘scenes’ and read by five London-based creatives including himself, Harry Burke, Melika Ngombe Kolongo, Nina Cristante and Oscar Khan -as ‘FRAMER’, ‘INTERJECTOR’, ‘ELABORATOR’, ‘STUDENT’, ‘DISTURBER’ (not necessarily in that order). The performances were filmed inside and on the roof of Kneale’s current home and muse, the disused Rotherhithe Library (occassionally known as the Library + project space), before being projected on to parts pulled from the condemned building and reinstalled in the downstairs space.

The result is various makeshift ‘screens’ made up of material crossing ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ space. A part of a flourescent light that undulates in the background of Kolongo’s reading on-screen is nailed to the back of the board where its showing. There’s a hole roughly cut through a perpendicular panel with a view to the metal framed tarp projecting an image of that same substance. Speakers playing the sound of the SEO mash-up hang in branded bags or the plastic that they came in. A microwave, brown from burnt CDs cooked inside it, is on the floor behind a suspended film of dazzling chameleon-coloured bubbles of polycarbonate plastic; their digital data lost with the melted material.

Paul Kneale, SEO and Co. (2014) @ installation view. Courtesy the artist.
Paul Kneale, SEO and Co. (2014) @ installation view. Courtesy the artist.

As was the SEO and Co. script, so too is said CD melting fetish directly inspired by nonsensical algorithmic associations. It’s from one of the recommendations following a viewing of the same YouTube upload of the Lynch Bytes #2 discussion video that inspired the screenplay. As an artist interested in the “rerouting and transference of meaning”, Kneale siezes on Harold Bloom’s idea of “poetic misprision” – where one wilfully misinterprets their inspiration in order to open up the imaginative space – and presents an exhibition that recognises the potential of technology’s ludicrous lack of intentionality in broadening our perspective. **

Exhibition photos, top right.

Paul Kneale’s SEO and Co. is on at London’s, running October 13 to November 21, 2014.

Header image: Paul Kneale, SEO and Co. (2014) @ installation view. Courtesy the artist.

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Structures and Textures: The Status of the Object @ Sinne, Sep 9

8 September 2014

The ongoing Lunch Bytes Structures and Textures discussion series continues in Finland with The Status of the Object taking place at Helsinki’s Sinne on September 9, from 5 to 7pm.

Running as part of the European Edition discussion programme, The Status of the Object takes on hyper-interconnectivity and the buzz surrounding the “internet of things”, inviting four speakers from difference disciplines to discuss the repercussions of formerly (and formally) inanimate objects showing signs of agency.

Featuring talks with writer and artist Jenna Sutela, philosopher Marcus Steinweg, artist Cécile B. Evansand media professor Lily Díaz, The Status of the Object uses Graham Harman’s “ob­ject-ori­ented on­tol­ogy” as a starting point in its investigation of the inanimate object and our limited knowledge of its possibilities.

See the Lunch Bytes event page for details. **



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Structures and Textures: Materiality @ GL STRAND, Sep 3

2 September 2014

Copenhagen’s GL STRAND is hosting the next Lunch Bytes discussion titled Structures and Textures: Materiality on September 3, from 5 to 7pm.

Part of the European Edition discussion series examining the consequences of ubiquitous digital technologies in contemporary art practice, the Lunch Bytes events have previously tackled media and digital infrastructures at London’s ICA, photography at Amsterdam’s Foam, and most recently sound at Helsinki’s Sinne.

This segment of the discussion series focuses in on materiality in the digitised world and examines how living online has affected an artist’s understanding of substance. Featuring artists Dan Stockholm and Timur Si-Qin, as well as Berlin writer Ana Teixeira Pinto and Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts professor Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, the panel will be moderated by Copenhagen curator and critic Toke Lykkeberg and Lynch Bytes curator Melanie Bühler, in taking a close look at the digital tools used in contemporary art making, and how and why material and physical qualities are being replicated digitally.

See the Lunch Bytes event page for details. **

Screen shot 2014-09-02 at 12.17.04 PM

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Structures and Textures: Sound @ Sinne, Jun 10

9 June 2014

Lunch Bytes presents an all-day event, titled Structures and Textures: Sound, at Helsinki’s Sinne on June 10.

Structures and Textures: Sound explores the changes to sound brought on by digitization, its increasing presence in the contemporary art world, and how these experimentations with sound are treated in art versus music.

The event will feature talks with German journalist Diedrich Diederichsen, German artist Ilja Karilampi, Finnish DJ and sound designer Tapio Hakanen (DJ Orkidea) and Finnish artist Kimmo Modig.

See the Lunch Bytes event site for details. **

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Lunch Bytes London #2 @ ICA, May 17

14 May 2014

Lunch Bytes is hosting a second London event for its European edition discussion series, Structures and Textures: Digital Infrastructures and the Organisation of Space at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on May 17, 2pm-4pm.

Following up on the recent Medium: Format at the space in March, Professors Wendy Chun and Boris Groys, as well as London-based artists Paul Kneale and Hannah Sawtell will examine how the invisible infrastructures of the digital world “compose and condition the platforms, devices and applications we use daily”, modifying our perception and engagement with information. 

Others earlier topics across Europe included Medium: Photography in Amsterdam and Structure and Textures: Data in Dublin.

See the Lunch Bytes event page for details. **

Header image: From monet’s garden, zuckerberg’s firewall by Paul Kneale. Image courtesy ANDOR Gallery. 

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Structures and Textures: Data @ IMMA, May 9

7 May 2014

The next in a series of discussions across Europe as part of Lunch Bytes‘s European edition, the Structures and Textures: Data panel discussion is happening at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), May 9.

People appearing to talk the “contemporary omnipotence of data” in society include Julius von Bismarck, Kylie Jarrett,  Marguerite Barry and Rasmus Svensson of PWR Studio, –the graphic designers responsible for the cover of recent poetry anthology I Love Roses When They’re Past Their Best  and The ∞ INFINITE ◯ Webring.

Previous topics included Medium: Photography in Amsterdam and Medium: Format in London, while for anyone wondering what the current catch-all of ‘Big Data’ actually means, maybe this coming one can help elucidate.

See the Lunch Bytes website for details. **

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Medium: Photography @ Foam, March 30

29 March 2014

As part of the European edition of Lunch Bytes discussions to happen across the region, Medium:Photography, is happening at Amsterdam’s Foam, March 30.

Following last week’s UK inauguration of the at London’s ICA with Inke Arns, Hito Steyerl, Huw Lemmey and Harry Sanderson, based around medium as format generally, the Amsterdam event gets more specific with its focus on photography.

Artists and writers taking part include Su­sanne Holschbach, Beate Gütschow, Ka­t­rina Sluis and  Anne de Vries to explore the digitisation of the image in a potentially ‘post-medium’ era, as promoted by the Internet, in relation to their own work and focussing on photography.

See the Lunch Bytes website for details. **

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Hannah Black’s ‘My Bodies’ video @ Lunch Bytes website

25 March 2014

Hannah Black‘s ‘My Bodies’ video is now online at the Lunch Bytes website.

In expanding its reach to a series currently being held at the ICA, and launched with last weekend’s Medium:Format talk event, the London to New York transplant is an apt bridge between these US and European editions.

An artist and writer behind Further Materials Towards the Theory of the Hot Babe, Black’s ‘My Bodies’ video translates via the sights and sounds of watery grottos and cavernous echo as pop RnB cut-up references to the body travel over a montage of white men’s mouths.

A karaoke instrumental of Ciara’s Body Party dominates,  facilitating a poignant petition to pass through “this dead place” of “scrolling without end” to “keep hold of what it means to have hand eyes teeth”.

See the Lunch Bytes website for details and artist statement. **

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Medium: Format @ ICA, Mar 22

21 March 2014

The first edition of Lunch Bytes, Medium:Format, is happening at London’s ICA on March 22.

One of of four annual public discussions led by Lunch Bytes‘ European edition and examining the repercussions of an increasingly ubiquitous digital world on artistic practices, the event will focus on how artistic output has been affected by changes to social and creative media and whether the distinctions between them are even relevant.

This installment will feature artist and writer Hito Steyerl, curator and writer Inke Arns, artist and writer Huw Lemmey, and artist Harry Sanderson.

Read a review of Hito Steyerl’s current exhibition in London and see the ICA website for details. **

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