Martin Kohout

Employment & ambition in the age of the networked organism for the Content Prole: ‘What’s a career?’ panel at Montez Press Radio

9 August 2018

The AQNB presents Content Prole: ‘What’s a career?’ live panel is on at New York’s Mathew Gallery on August 11, 7pm to 9pm.

Happening as part of the Montez Press Radio summer residency program, which runs July 19 to August 19, the event features artists, writers and an actor who critically engage with or simply survive in an employment environment where technologies and social networks rule. It follows a series produced by AQNB in collaboration with writer-producer Matthew O’Shannessy called Content Prole: A journey into the depths of the online gig economy. The radio shows feature personal accounts of the anonymous content production jobs writers and creatives do to get by, raising questions about the viability of their chosen occupations today.

Panelists include New York-based writer Al Bedell whose first novel — a book of erotic fiction called I Would Do Anything for Love —  presents insights into the complexities of contemporary relationships, intimacy and sex. Her second novel is based on her experiences delivering weed under an alias to supplement her income. Minsk-born, New York-based actor Dasha Nekrasova (aka ‘Sailor Socialism‘) co-presents the popular Red Scare cultural commentary podcast with writer and illustrator Anna Khachiyan, funded by the Patreon subscription content service.

Meanwhile, Seoul-born Cheon Pyo Lee‘s Alibi of Autonomy: Proof of an Art Practitioner’s Life is a book of short stories outsourced to writers who developed narratives around the New York-based artist using residency receipts as a reference, and Berlin-based Czech artist Martin Kohout‘s recent Night Shifts project explores the physical and psychological toll of nocturnal shift work and its associated sleep disorders.

See the FB event page for details.**

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The networked organism: Martin Kohout on the clash of circadian rhythm with machinic expectations for his Night Shifts project

13 January 2018

“Because it’s a nice title, no?” Martin Kohout jokes when I ask him the very basic question of where the name for his latest work comes from. “Sometimes people think if they understand the title, they will understand the piece and I think that would be very misleading.” The Berlin-based, Czech artist has just completed Slides, a 20-minute video set in the strange but familiar streets and spaces of London. Awarded the Jindřich Chalupecký Award late last year, the softly surreal film lingers listlessly in the warped microcosm of a 24-hour city, inspired by the notion of night shifts and the physical and psychological toll it takes on the people who work them.

Martin Kohout, ‘Slides’ (2017). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

“Originally, I thought that I would be able to do more of a documentary-style project,” Kohout says, his disembodied voice coming through the graded blue and dirty-pink background of a Skype window; a circular thumbnail of an empty chair standing in for his face. “But then that became really complicated because we would never be allowed to enter workplaces that first said, ‘yeah, yeah, this sounds great, you can come to our testing facility for the nuclear reactor where we’ll simulate a nightshift.’ And I was like, ‘this is crazy, this is going to be amazing’, however of all the places we wanted to film, none were possible. So that’s why the film is actually totally fiction and in the end is not about night shifts, really. It’s more about how people communicate when there’s some sort of barrier between them.”

It’s midday for Kohout, late-evening for me. We’re sat eight hours apart and across continents; myself in the Southern Hemisphere of Australia, summer; him in the Northern Hemisphere of England, winter. Kohout has taken time out from installing his Daylight Management exhibition from London’s Auto Italia – opening January 13 and running to March 18 – to talk. I’m almost ready to go to bed. Ordinarily, I would prefer to conduct an interview in person and in the same timezone but the remoteness of our encounter is relevant to a film and a project that the press release refers to as being concerned with “the social impact of staying connected to friends and loved ones who exist at opposite ends of the day.”

Martin Kohout, ‘Slides’ (2017). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

Mercurial and discombobulated, Slides features three main characters, played by London-based Turkish artists Bora Akıncıtürk and Aslı Özdemir, and Vietnamese-born German artist Sung Tieu who seem to never sleep and spend most of their time with their smartphones. Akıncıtürk and Özdemir drift through life on converse work schedules and communicate via audio message, vaping and telling each other fabulous stories that draw on the technologies and social networks that affect them: “And then one day, can you imagine it? You’d be browsing pictures online and then you see these strangers making duck faces on your own sofa. And of course you think it’s somewhere else and you even like the picture, yep. Hey Bora, tonnes of kisses, bye!”

Kareem Lotfy soundtracks Slides, setting the tone of eerie somnambulance that accompanies the characters’ movements through empty tube stations and buses, a BMX track, down a darkened street wearing a pair of light therapy glasses that simulate the sun for sufferers of jet lag. “The film is definitely inspired by my own experience of being in China in 2016,” Kohout says about his time spent on a two-month residency at I: project space in Beijing. “I was 11 hours ahead of Berlin and I was communicating with my girlfriend at the time, mostly by recording these voice messages. Walking around somewhere I would feel, ‘wow this is crazy, it’s really something I need to share’ and I would describe it in an audio message. In the film, this is like a detail but a lot of the time they speak to each other while making these audio messages. They say, ‘look!’ They tell the other person to look, which is of course nonsense, in a way, but somehow I feel like it does make sense, it’s not totally out of place. So the film is inspired by me having not only temporal distance but spatial distance between me and the person I want to be in touch with all the time.”

Martin Kohout, ‘Slides’ (2017). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

The imagined universe of Slides, though, is just one part of a broader and more consequential project called Night Shifts, which includes the Daylight Management exhibition, a publication called Night Shifter, and a roundtable discussion hosted by the Southern and Eastern Trade Union Congress (SERTUC). The latter event brought together other unions, scientists and industry representatives to discuss current workplace policies around shift work. Originally proposed as a documentary film funded by the Wellcome Trust and produced by Caroline Heron of AQNB Productions, Kohout planned to interview and examine the lives of people working night shifts from their places of employment. It soon transpired, though, that those companies that had agreed to access a year earlier had never had any intention of allowing Kohout entry and the project took a sharp turn to the more abstract arena of a fictional tale of a slightly exaggerated present. As a result, the interviews Kohout had filmed of the shift workers and sleep scientists he’d contacted independently during his research have been compiled and edited into a 30-minute video that will screen as part of the Daylight Management event programme.

“I had nightshift jobs, either in bars or other places, and a lot of the time as a freelancer I would be working through the night but the experience of that is still very far from what it’s like when you work for five consecutive nights,” says Kohout about the distinction between the experience of the artist-characters in Slides, and those of contracted shift workers. “It was always one of the questions I asked all the people I interviewed: ‘how would you describe this experience to somebody who thinks of tiredness mainly based on physical exhaustion?’” Kohout elaborates. “Most of the time, the people I interviewed said ‘there is no way you can explain it, there is no way you could describe it, or understand it.’ From their description it’s much more a ‘zombie-mode,’ where your body is physically shutting down and after three or four days working a night shift you’re also mentally so exhausted that it’s not the exhaustion we know after one night shift, or a day of sport. I was interested in trying to figure that out but that was also one of the findings of my research, that it’s very hard to to describe, or rather impossible.”

Martin Kohout, ‘Slides’ (2017). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Galeria Wschód, Warsaw.

For anyone familiar with Kohout or his work, he isn’t one for simplification. Active since graduating Frankfurt’s Städelschule in 2013 (film school before that) the Prague-born artist has been making highly conceptual work, with a strong individual aesthetic that’s nonetheless hard to pinpoint. His execution is very deliberate, and his ideas are particularly detailed. They’re backed by such a breadth of knowledge and information that they refuse the impulse to give simple answers, generalisations, for what are very complex systems. “I am often interested in these things that we consider rules or structures that we follow and so on, and then definitely the tactics that people develop to operate within them, or derail them, detour, turn them upside down or against themselves,” says Kohout about the concerns of his practice-at-large. “For a long time I used to say that my work is focused on the habits that come with technologies and how these habits reshape our perception of both the technologies that came with it and and the habits that they introduced. Now, the idea of dating, for example, is so different and the whole idea of relationships for the younger generation – not mine, necessarily, but the younger one – is people feel like if their relationship doesn’t work, you just go and look for someone else because you can just swipe some more and you have so many options. And when Facebook was introduced and people would get used to sending friend requests to each other, I felt like even in real life people started having a different attitude when being introduced to other people and introducing themselves. Those were effects that would not be immediately there but they would reshape the thing which they were supposed to update or build on top so it was this interesting loop.”

That interest carries into larger structures too, with the actions and behaviour of corporate entities shifting the foundations of what is legal or acceptable, “For example, you look at our attitudes to privacy, a lot of these things are defined backwards. We get used to a breach of our privacy because we see the other things that it brings us and we’re suddenly fine with it, that all these companies take all this data. If someone was like, ‘you know how bad it is, we should make it illegal but as a side-effect you will lose all this functionality,’ people are like, ‘no, I prefer to keep this functionality and redefine the law,’ or redefine legislation, or redefine the rules so that this is actually possible to continue.”

Martin Kohout, ‘Slides’ (2017). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

The themes of the effects of existing capital systems on the individual and how that individual navigates them has been of ongoing concern for Kohout. His elaborate engagement with these subjects, often splashed with an absurdist touch, emerges in a broad portfolio, that includes exploring the effects of SAD lamps on Seasonal Affective Disorder during a commission for corporate consulting firm McKinsey & Company. It then informed his 5006 years of daylight and silent adaptation exhibition at Exile in 2014. He also ran the third-longest road tunnel in the world as part of his ‘Gotthard‘ performance and dragged a smartphone across a range of indiscernible tourist hot spots in ‘Sjezd.’ Even more pertinently, Kohout examined the exploitative structural status quo of a post-Fordist economy in a book called Sleep Cures Sleepiness, edited by himself and published via his own TLTRPreß. “Machines can work around the clock at the same pace, speed and give the same output, sort of like a flat performance, where, as I see it, there are no peaks,” he says, mapping our relationship to work in the context of global corporations, as facilitated through digital communication. “While humans have these various peaks and lows as a result of metabolism, your brain is more active in this part during the night, and another part of your brain in another part of the day. Your stomach is active in some parts of the day and trying to rest in other parts. Your whole performance is also not flat, it’s changing, it’s organic. Then there’s the clash of circadian rhythm with these machinic expectations; that’s what has interested me for a long time and that’s why sleep and so on is such a big part of my interests.”

This is where the experience of a night shift worker and the strains of modern life on the mind and body of a human more generally, converge in Slides. In one scene, Akıncıtürk is seen and heard walking through London’s Deptford High Street describing how local businesses adapt to a constantly shifting market as if they were smartphone apps: “The shops around here, look at them, it’s not what it says on the tin. It’s all because the shopkeepers are following recommendations from various trading apps and they jump on to the next hot topic, as long as it’s cheap enough to exchange the stock and they also track their neighbours, to figure out what they’re buying next. So remember, people are pretty whimsical but at the same time they’ve got habits.”

Martin Kohout, ‘Deptford High Street Bedroom Sleeves’ (2017). Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Galeria Wschód, Warsaw.

One might expect an exploration into the networked infrastructures that govern and affect our relationships to be a bleak and dystopian one but Kohout is more objective. “I don’t think that in the film the technologies they use are making them more alien to one another. I think it’s clear that it’s some sort of other structure, most likely the schedule of their work. So they use these technologies to actually get closer but then when Bora, for example, talks to Siri and at the end of the conversation he says, ‘Siri, I just want to sleep,’ and Siri says, ‘Bora, listen to me, put down the iPhone and take a nap, I will wait here.’ You realise this is the creepiest thing the phone could ever say but it’s trying to be nice.” Kohout says with a chuckle. “There is something that is so natural for us that we are no longer looking at it in this grand scheme of ‘they’re all bad or they’re all good.’ We take every individual one of these technologies in context and see what we can get from them. I feel like the way that people imagine the world around them is definitely shaped by the attention span they have. For me, it’s when the characters in the film tell these stories, some people say, it’s like speculative fiction of the near future but I think it could very much be a film about ‘right now’ because what they’re describing more or less exists but they just exaggerate it, they just push it to the limit.”

At the end of Slides, Özdemir is heard singing a sweet song of loneliness. The Turkish version of Petula Clark’s ‘This is My Song,’ written by Charlie Chaplin in the 60s, resonates through the artist’s unsteady a capella, sung to an empty estate at night time while the translated lyrics appear as subtitles on screen:

“This is my song,/ I sing it for you,/ no one can sing it,/ as emotional as I do,/ where are you now?,/ where is your sweet voice.

The words are slightly different from the original, also sadder.**

Martin Kohout’s Daylight Management is on at London’s Auto Italia, running January 13 to March 18, 2018.

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“Understanding our times.” Qway launches issue 2 of Glimmergate at Marsèlleria, May 3

1 May 2017
Qway launches issue 2 of online publication Glimmergate at New York’s Marsèlleria on May 3.
The online publication Qway, which is part of Milan-based art label Siliqoon and devoted to “understanding our times”, presents its latest issue featuring a collaborative short fiction by Mattia Capelletti, Andrea Magnani and Zoe De Luca. There are also visual contributions by 15 artists including Martin Kohout, Libby RothfeldAlessandro Di Pietro and Andrea Magnani among others.
The launch will include a one day exhibition and presentation of the included drawings, followed by Trigger Party with Joel Dean, Zoe De Luca, Sam Korman and Libby Rothfeld. Trigger parties are a monthly gatherings where “people invited to show and talk about their practice freely.” 
Visit the Siliqoon website for details.**
Antoine Renard, Libby Rothfeld, ‘#1999’ (2017) Installation view. Courtesy the artists + Marselleria
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An overflowing emptiness: Documenting Swimming Pool’s States of Flux

9 February 2017

The States of Flux  four-part exhibition hosted by Sofia’s Swimming Pool, ran from August 27 until October 16, 2016, where the press release asked you to:

Martin Kohout, States of Flux: After The Splash, ‘Wrong Step’, (2013). Inljet print on reflexive foil, dibond. Installation view. Courtesy the artist + Swimming Pool, Sofia.

Imagine an empty pool. Then imagine smashing everything into it – a totality that eventually overflows the centre, the periphery, the whole thing.

Curated by Viktoria Draganova and Gergana Todorova, the roaming show included work by Florian Auer, Max Brand, Sebastian Burger, Stanimir Genov, Tiril Hasselknippe, Martin Kohout, Hanne Lippard, Luci Lippard, Michele Di Menna, Shana Moulton, Pakui Hardware, Kalina Terzieva, Tore Wallert, Anna Zacharoff and Dardan Zhegrova.

The events took place at various locations in “semi-public places [that formed] the spine of an imaginary geography of flux”:

The Sunniest Beach was a weekend of interventions (from August 27 to 28, 2016) at a hotel in the tourist resort Sunny Beach on the Black Sea where “we face a capitalism of excess, manifested by booze and trinketization.” Flowing with money, bodies, things and thoughts, reality “wobbles in desire and exhaustion until it finds itself stifled in an odd surface.”

Luci Lippard, ‘States of Flux: The Token’ (2013). Performance documentation in Frankfurt, Waschsalon. Courtesy the artist + Swimming Pool, Sofia.

After the Splash on the rooftop of Sofia’s Swimming Pool (September 2 to October 16, 216) presented an exhibition both romantic and dystopian, “immersed in a world haunted by the unruly effects of repressed selves.”

The Sanguine was a walk through a forest and to a hot spring near Zheleznitsa (on September 3, 2016) in an attempt to share thoughts “of pleasure and relaxation.”

The Token was a one-day intervention (on October 6, 2016) that took place in a Frankfurt self-service laundromat that asked “with such fictions governing our reality, how can we claim our vulnerable presence?”

Texts by Ed FornielesViktoria Draganova and Rosa Aiello were published alongside on Swimming Pool’s webpage.**
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Lock Up International in Tokyo, Sep 26 – Oct 16

28 September 2016

Lock Up International is presenting the next iteration of its nomadic project space in Tokyo, with locations TBA, opening September 26 and running to October 16.

Started by Lewis Teague Wright, the series — which has already appeared in Mexico City, Istanbul, London and Los Angeles — uses storage spaces worldwide as exhibition venues. They usually work as three-weeklong solo show in each location it chooses, with personally guided viewings arranged by appointment. AQNB reviewed a recent exhibition of Nevine Mahmoud’s Three Isolated Effects in LA and Menna Comminetti and Sophie Lee presented Boy, ’12 in London.

The Tokyo series will present work by Yuri Pattison (September 26 – October 2), Martin Kohout (October 3 – 9), and Russell Maurice (October 10 – 16). The first show was initiated by Pattison’s interest in collector marts in the Akihabara and Nakano Broadway stations, small stores in malls that rent out glass lockers.

The project continues to act as a way to bypass the gallery, art dealer, and collector, opting to go directly to the object’s end point, stored safely and hidden from view.

See the Lock Up International website for more details.**

Nevine Mahmoud, Three Isolated Effects (2016). Installation view. Courtesy Lock Up International.
Nevine Mahmoud, Three Isolated Effects (2016). Installation view. Courtesy Lock Up International.
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AFA 2 (2) @ Art-O-Rama 2016, Aug 26 – 28

25 August 2016

The AFA 2 (2) group show is a Guest Project on at Marseille’s Art-O-Rama 2016 opening August 26 and running to the 28.

The show, led by nomadic ‘art project staircase’ 63rd-77th STEPS, will feature works by ÅYR,  Jesse DarlingLouisa Gagliardi, Gregory KallicheMartin KohoutHannah Lees, Kareem Lotfy, Daniele Milvio, Yuri Pattison, Fabio SantacroceAnna SolalDiamond Stingily, Philipp TimischlZoe Williams and Bruno Zhu among many others.

AFA is an Italian term for ‘mugginess’ ; a reference to the exhausting weather condition and the title of the first instalment that happened in a deserted bank over three days in Italy’s Bari in 2014, and the second, AFA 2, on a public beach in 2014. The press release for AFA 2 (2) explains its used as “a metaphor of our social, political and artistic scenario, and turned by the artists into black & white artworks, digitally printed on microfiber.”

To support the exhibition program, beach towels designed by the artists will be on sale.

See the FB event page for details.**

Jesse Darling, 'Beachtowel jpg for AFA 2.2' (2016). Courtesy of artist + group show 3rd-77th STEPS, Marseille
Jesse Darling, ‘Beachtowel jpg for AFA 2.2’ (2016). Courtesy of artist + group show 3rd-77th STEPS, Marseille
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Survival Guides for Ballroom Dancers… @ Vleeshaal, Jul 2 – Sep 11

1 July 2016

The Survival Guides for Ballroom Dancers, Renovators, Softball Moms, Working Parents and Troubled Folk in General group exhibition is on at Middelberg’s Vleeshaal, opening July 2 and running to September 11.

The exhibition is curated by Roos Gortzak in collaboration with Julia Mullie and Sophie Oxenbridge, and features artists whose work the press release describes as “process-based, sincere, and often amusing”. Those include Moyra Davey, Martin Kohout, Katja Novitskova, Laure Prouvost and Jay Tan, working within the “slippery terrain between truth and fiction, private and public, and intimacy and perversion.”

The exhibition is diaristic and cathartic in nature, and structured according to the five artists’ often absurd internal logic; strategies for survival in an environment of dispersed and networked relationships as a characteristic of a screen-based culture. With that comes a need for “private rituals, secret semiotic systems, and personalised forms of communication.”

See the FB event page for details.**

Martin Kohout, 'Skinsmooth Hover Hand NEG' (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Exile, Berlin.
Martin Kohout, ‘Skinsmooth Hover Hand NEG’ (2015). Exhibition view. Courtesy Exile, Berlin.

Header image: Laure Prouvost, ‘Stong Sory (Cake)’ (2005). Video still. Courtesy the artist + MOT International, London + Brussels.

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Пикник на обочине (Piknik na obochine) @ Exo, May 12 – 19

9 May 2016

The Пикник на обочине (Piknik na obochine) group show is on at Paris’ Exo, opening May 12 through May 19.

The exhibition —the title of which translates to ‘Roadside Picnic’ in English —includes work by the likes of Viktor Timofeev, Jason Benson, Martin Kohout, and Hannah Lees, each of whom have contributed a lot to the art world’s conversation on human self-comprehension and the related speculation around the existence of the ‘natural’ world during “The Time of The Anthropocene”, to quote philosopher Bruno Latour, who’s words are echoed in the press release.

The show borrows its title from 1970s Russian science fiction novel of the same name about an extraterrestrial occurrence called ‘The Visitation’, that happened for two days across six sites simultaneously, unbeknownst to the local people. The book compares the event to a picnic, while the exhibition’s press release also includes a paragraph from Annihilation (2014) by Jeff Vandermeer that describes a picture of the discovery of left-over rusted equipment and tents that were “little more than husks” in an aftermath of an expedition made by humans gone long before.

Other artists in Пикник на обочине (Piknik na obochine) are Eric Veit, Mia Goyette and frequent collaborators, Anne De Boer and Eloise Bonneviot, whose solo show of performances O Super (hu/wo-) man is currently on at London’s Green Ray, running May 16.

See the FB event for more details.**

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General Fine Arts + Asta Meldal Lynge publication launch, March 8

8 March 2016

General Fine Arts and artist Asta Meldal Lynge are having a joint publication launch at London’s All Hallows Church’s a.m. London on March 8.

e-publication General Fine Arts introduces the first issue of their second volume, ‘Values’, which is guest-edited by Tom Clark, while Asta Meldal Lynge will introduce ‘Real state’.

There will be a video reading by manuel arturo abreu and a presentation by Anna Zett at 8pm.

‘Values’ contributors include audio, text and image-based work by the above, as well as William Kherbek, Imran Perretta, Marina Vishmidt, Martin Kohout and Eleanor Ivory Weber whose text will also feature in visual essay ‘Real state’.

See the FB event for further information on the two publications.**

manuel arturo abreu, untitled 2015). Courtesy the artist.
manuel arturo abreu, ‘untitled’ (2015). Courtesy the artist.


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Martin Kohout @ Kunst Raum Riehen, Jan 21 – Feb 28

21 January 2016

Martin Kohout‘s Jokes About Machines Make Humans: 2nd infusion solo exhibition is on at Riehen, Switzerland’s Kunst Raum Riehen, opening January 21 and running to February 28.

There is little information available on the show itself but the Berlin-based artist’s practice has long been concerned with humans, labour and machines under capitalism and their mutual exploitation within the complex and often opaque economic, social and, importantly, corporate systems that compel them.

As a publisher, producer and visual artist working primarily with video, sculpture and installation, Kohout’s extensive catalogue is built on what he once called in an interview with aqnb and Video in Common his fascination with “the object that [that object] represents”.

See the Kunst Raum Reihen website for (limited) details.**

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Jenna Sutela + Martin Kohout @ Landsarkivet, Dec 1

1 December 2015

A lecture by Jenna Sutela and a video screening by Martin Kohout is taking place at Gothenburg’s Landsarkivet in Sweden on December 1.

As part of the Communicating the Archive: Inscription lecture series, curated by Gluey-c,  Sutela’s Skype talk ‘The Hum of Machines, Chumma, Chumma, Chumma’, explores similarities between biological viruses and the human language; as ones that alter or mutate by themselves (or by other).

A screening of Kohout’s ‘Sjezd‘ (2014) video will follow, featuring the violent sound of friction between technology and nature.

See the FB event page for details.**

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Return of the Object + The Disorder of Things @ Kvalitar, Sep 10 – Nov 6

10 September 2015

Prague’s Kvalitar gallery is opening two new exhibitions curated by Václav Janoščík this month, with Marisa Olson‘s Return of the Object and the group exhibition The Disorder of Things, both opening September 10 and running until November 6.

The introduction of the two simultaneous exhibitions is Janoščík’s response to the “renewed interest in the object” brought about by the advent of the internet and its various modes of interaction. New York-based German artist Olson opens her solo show, addressing the shift of the virtual from novel or “unreal” to intimate and very real with her notion of post-internet.

The second exhibition, The Disorder of Things, brings together 16 different artists, working independently to create diverse and distinctive perspectives on the being of an object. Among the participating artists are Iain Ball, Constant Dullaart, Martin Kohout, and Nik Timková.

See the joint exhibition page for details. **


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Unthinkable w J.G. Biberkopf September 4 mix

9 September 2015

Lithuanian producer J.G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable segment, which airs at midnight on a Friday of every month on London’s NTS Radio, represents the work of both sound and visual art with pure sonics. It’s an approach to public broadcast that goes beyond just an hour of listening to deeper contemplation of ideas and theories that merit closer examination across platforms.

For that reason, aqnb has partnered with Biberkopf to accompany each show with a short text. This month’s mix features contributions from T⚾LE and Malibu, alongside additions from Biberkopf himself. T⚾LE is the aural fruition of Berlin-based artist Martin Kohout’s work, concerned with a move away from a “symbolic” idea of artefacts. At the same time, London-based Malibu reconstructs elements of dancehall, breaking down familiarity with a blissful representation of her own understanding.

On the whole, the show resonates with interrelated concern for perspective (T⚾LE’s ‘Thirst’ is informed by the sounds captured by action cameras and, in particular, how such soundscapes differ from typical field recordings in as much as they’re contained in action) and intimacy (not only as an affectionate personal relationship with another, but as a detailed understanding of place, subject, etcetera) and also includes tracks from Colin Stetson, EVOL, and Why Be.

Listen to the mix and read the text below:

Unthinkable – 4th September 2015 by Nts Radio on Mixcloud


Beyond the intuitive recognition of its properties, supplying an object’s psychological or aesthetic attributes with power or energy initiates greater areas of the brain than those required for recognition. Without thinking, the “first person perspective” on our imaged environment is held up by the human anatomy, enabling us to frame the flow of stimuli while isolating and making sense of events. This capacity is a property of the subject — as opposed to the object — of the encounter and, as people, we possess an awareness of this capacity and are able to access and utilise it.

Objective characteristics are recognised by the brain, where impressionable areas acknowledge encounters with light, movement, and so on. Still, to afford a personal understanding, to react to stimuli deeply — as affected by emotion — involves other systems, bodies, and processes. In such a way, lights and cameras are arbitrary, while action is essential. To step on stable land, for example, in place of an escalator or a ship tossed by waves, disturbs the perspective with a trembling agitation. At this moment, without cognition, indicators from within the ear form cognisant senses.

In the cinema of the mind, actors reveal themselves to those in attendance. Particular audience members perceive the piece in a particular manner. All the while, behind the camera, a hidden, unconscious dramatist exerts command over the actors and the public eye. While contextualising the setting of the performance or event, they put into context more abstruse features, such as the social and emotional. The dramatist can be thought of in an interactive sense, represented by the extensive parts played in daily life by the inner voice and outward speech. **


T⚾LE – ‘Thirst’ mix
(0:00 – 9:59)

Colin Stetson – From No Part Of Me Could I Summon A Voice
Robert Ashley – The Jaguar
Nils Frahm – Says
EVOL – Hyperobject 1
Quinton Tarver – Everybody’s Free
Belbury Poly – The Willows
Blanck Mass – Sifted Gold
Why Be – Blasting Voice Thing (Han River Special)

Malibu – ‘Te Deseo’ mix
(30:22 – 59:44)

Malibu – Malaconducta
Malibu – Keep On (Organ Tapes)
Malibu – 2Late (Ana Caprix X Jojo) X Heaven
Ssaliva – Oxy
Malibu – Te Deseo
Malibu – Slow Drift (X Organ Tapes)
Malibu – Quiero Ayudarte
Vybz Kartel World Boss – Ignite The World
Malibu – Sudor
Malibu – Ck1
Sky H1 X Uli-K – Itami
Yayoyanoh For Malibu – Bdd (Blu Dmt Dreams)
Malibu – Wining (X Organ Tapes)
Alkaline – Ride On Me

J.G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable radio show airs at midnight on a Friday each month at London’s NTS Radio. This latest one aired September 4, and featured London-based producer Malibu and Berlin-based producer T⚾LE.

See here for more ‘Unthinkable’ mixes.

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Martin Kohout, ‘Sjezd’ (2014) video

4 March 2015

The Czech word, ‘sjezd’ can mean many things. It could describe congress, a conference, perhaps a ride or a trip of some sort, but it’s often political and sometimes going down. Whatever it means it doesn’t quite translate, in all its complexity, to English. It’s a word that Berlin-based artist Martin Kohout chose to name his recent exhibition and video, recently shown at etc. gallery in Prague from December 11 to January 12, where he presented a single-channel video at high volume featuring a phone being dragged across surfaces of tourist spots in Ticino, Switzerland. Its names is inspired by the banal titling of skate videos and it carries through the same scratchy close-ups of metal hitting metal that these videos often show, the silhouette of the film maker only sometimes being seen. Looking, interfering.

‘Sjezd’ (2014) does a similiar thing, only Kohout’s own TOLE project is soundtracking, the urgent, endless, accelerating progress of this six-plus ‘skating’ video, as well as Jahmiga’s swaying track ‘Whiskey Bar‘, while a radio stream intercepts across feeds with “radio global warming”. It’s an expression of an inanimate object that’s animated into a visual-cum-physical experience that Kohout describes as “a continuous scrolling online and watching a movie after a movie, clip after a clip, endlessly”.

To add another dimension to this inter-spatial piece of art that once presented ‘live’ at etc. gallery, Kohout – along with coding help from artist Claire Tolan – presents its online manifestation you can access through the linked images below (watch full-scale, and listen loud), as well as an accompanying text written for its launch on aqnb. It takes words and their meaning beyond being just a symbol of representation and into being a form and subject all its own. **

Click below to watch the video:

[the newsreel excerpt transcript train ride free stuff {try this on computer speech}]

(1 )
Smtms Eye vvache-vp on-D—fleye, fallin. [F]
Hndrts off cumras nrturng meye suft sk?n. [U]
Tralala____daydaa__dyda_seeayaa [C]
( Brdß chrpn, migr8tng ‘whe-ever’. ) [K] 

[ altos, country ]
Dhis khakki gu?. [G]
[ bar, deep doom choir [O] chemistry ]
Mvng inn 25FPS. [G]
Tlkng inn 128kb!p!s. [E]
R-Ee)(dng inn 50M!B!p.l. [L]
Knovving thouse shit and chaos. 

{ [ now, all together now ] } * echo(3,4,6,12, 36, 216 )

– but sudden+ly —

[ bjürk && (clant eastweed / phul elvyrum) duet ! ]
Right into black waters.
A golf car spins over the cliff of ice.
Following a bunch of horses. — Some witty a ribbon. 

(8 )
25F!P!S. AM brthng.
H.264 D pttrn off meye poor_S.
{ NØW! Dt’s wheye! Dt’s wheye! } * 3.45 

—— 1kbps pause —— [N]
—— 3kbps lunch bite —— [O]
—— 0.7kbps smoke or smog —— [S]
—— 3mbps spam and soya sooose —— [E]
—— 1kbps pleause —— 

(4 )
Eye Jst saya IT onse ‘nd fr teyeme: Sht-vp ‘nd ride!
( now. cut to a black billiard ball in a corner of a butcher’s house ) / 0

Martin Kohout’s Sjezd solo exhibition was on at Czech’s etc. gallery, running December 11 to January 12, 2015.

Header image: Martin Kohout, Sjezd (2014-2015) @ etc. gallery. Exhibition view. Courtesy the artist.


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