Category: Exhibition

Éphémère (Flowers Were Waiting)

Thomas Albdorf (AT)

In Éphémère (Flowers Were Waiting), Thomas Albdorf disguises stills from his video “Flowers Were Waiting on the Balcony of the Room, So Beautiful!” (2018) as commercials. The video is based on a scenario one could encounter during a holiday trip – whilst entering the hotel room, a nice bouquet of flowers is already waiting on the balcony that opens up a view towards the sea. The video was shot entirely in a studio, using fake marble tiles, plastic flowers and a printed backdrop. Whereas he lower section of the video contained named objects, the upper section showed only the sea. In post-production, specialized image-analyzing-software filled the upper section artificially, based on the information it could extract from the lower: “The work is a dialogue between me and the software, an attempt of revealing processes that are already part of the vast majority of images we create and consume every day.”

With its references to conventional methods and aesthetics, Éphémère could be read as plain advertising on a first glance. Upon closer inspection, it falls apart, offering no information to hold onto.

Thomas Albdorf (* 1982) was born in Linz. He studied Transmedia Art and graduated in 2013 at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, where he currently lives and works. His main interest focuses on the intersection area between photography and sculpture, and the decontextualization caused by internet distribution. He sees the basic photograph as a space of possibilities, enabled via digital post production processes that leave their visible marks in the final work, revealing their source as well as bringing their conditions of production up for discussion. Albdorf was selected as one of the “Artists to Watch” by British Journal of Photography (2014), won the UNSEEN Amsterdam Talent Award (2016), and presented institutional solo exhibitions at FOAM Amsterdam (2018) and Folkwang Museum Essen (2019). He has been featured and interviewed in magazines and blogs like FOAM Magazine, The Guardian, The New Yorker among others.

Datafication Act 1 – May Ian Valley 0101

Yarli Allison (CA)

Datafication Act 1 – May Ian Valley 0101 is part of a moving-image series that Yarli Allison develops to explore themes of digital humanity. In this looping nightmare “Act 1”, she imagines daily impacts of AI emergence and gamification on one’s behavior – taking the most intimate sexual encounters as an example. Viewers will join the data-mining authorities to monitor May Ian’s (美人) machine-readable body, known as “Subject 06”. In the control room, all the subjects’ sex acts are constantly being extracted and analyzed. They will be rewarded unpredictably every time a new data pattern is detected, creating an addictive effect.

This is the first time Yarli Allison returns to hand-drawing to mimic a digital interface. The labor-intensive hand-making process allows her to play with alternative artistic decisions, and question the relationship between art-making and digital AI tools. Combining fiction, performance, sexual acts, 3D modeling, and electronic music, the work is a “fried rice”, swinging in between surveillance systems control and care.

Yarli Allison is a Canadian born, UK and Paris-based artist with a multidisciplinary approach that traverses sculpture, performance, digital, film, drawing, and installation. She/them graduated in 2017 with an MFA in Sculpture from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her works have been exhibited and screened internationally, e. g. at FORMAT21 Festival (online), The One in Hong Kong, the Queer Arts Festival in London, Arthouse Vienna, Videodrome2 in Marseille or ASC Gallery in London. Recent grants include a Hong Kong Art Council Project Grant and a Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant, both in 2020. Allison is a member of Asia-Art-Activism.

Leave the Browser Window Open

Clara Boesl (AT)

Everything material has the potential to be enclosed in sauce. But no matter how hard you try, turning the thing and strategically biting in the right places, it still runs out the other side. It flows and drips. An excess of sauce is intolerable!

In the midst of theoretical questioning an everyday moment, Clara Boesl’s sauce dispensers burst into vacuum like compressed tomatoes. This is what constitutes the horror vacui of the net: the opacity of total calculatedness. Punctured by a thoughtless accent – a large serve of ketchup. The original sauces were thinner and more bitter than today. The sensation of touch is not concerned with the nature of material, solely with the moment of exchange.

By handling auxiliary constructions, we anesthetize classification systems. Saturated with formal causalities, the world persists in a rigid form. A thixotropic substance changes its flows by means of added energy. Shaking turns lumps back into varnish. The flowing forms of digital surrogates fail at the limits of their nature. Only when digitality is contaminated by reality the interface drips out of the screen.

Clara Boesl (*1993) completed her bachelor’s degree in at the University of Arts Linz in 2018. Now she studies Sculpture – Transmedial Space. The absurd and the banal are fixed components of her work, in which she questions social norms and interdependences. Her works help in the search of questions such as: How does one mount an egg appropriately to different spatial circumstances?

Quick Fix

Dries Depoorter (BE)

Quick Fix is an interactive installation that allows the audience to buy followers or likes for small change in just a few seconds.

The concept of purchasing ready-to-go products from vending machines on the streets is well known. Usually the offered products satisfy our essential or addiction needs; tampons, cigarettes or cold drinks must be available on a bank holiday as much as in the midst of the night.

But is the same true for likes and followers on social media? By approaching Quick Fix in the natural habitat of vending machines, the public space, passers-by can answer this question by listening to or ignoring their inner desire to be popular online. The piece questions the inflation of online attention and the disconnectedness of our personal with our online lives.

Quick Fix is commissioned by Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, where it premiered in 2019.

Dries Depoorter is a Belgian artist and creative technologist living in Ghent. After studying electronics for six years, he switched to media arts at the KASK School of Arts in Ghent, where he graduated in 2015. His work addresses themes such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, social media, privacy and surveillance. Assembling, sharing and experimenting with private data of himself and random people found on the internet, he tackles in a thought-provoking way issues like social identity, big data sharing, encryption and (the lack of) protection of our online privacy. His media installations have been exhibited internationally, recently at the Barbican, Bozar, IDFA Doclab, Ars Electronica, Athens Digital Art Festival, and Heidelberger Kunstverein. He is a lecturer and a speaker at several festivals, and works as a freelance concept provider.

Nothing to see here

Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir (IS) with Boris Kourtoukov (RU/CA)

The interactive multimedia installation Nothing to see here allows the viewers to explore their surroundings through an Augmented Reality application.

The audience gets a glimpse of something they are not meant to see: the daily operations of the DRM (Department of Reality Maintenance). Two agents are trying to fix an error, working hours to make sure everything runs smoothly and that our world continues to appear consistent and intact. They are mired in the guts of this world.Digital infrastructures have come to be what binds and holds the world together, hard to imagine if they collapse or disappear. We tend to forget the physicality of these immense structures, driven by power grids, claiming a large share of the world’s energy and natural resources. We tend to forget the invisible parts of the networks anatomy, the thousands of data signals passing through our bodies and the air around.

Nothing to see here challenges our perception of reality, uniting the audience in a digital experience they can agree is there, while we all know it’s not really there.

Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir (* 1981) is an Icelandic visual artist and musician that recently completed her M.A. degree from the Trondheim Academy of Arts. Her work explores our relationship with technology and the utopian and dystopian manifestations of our digital present. It investigates the divide between our virtual lives and physical bodies, and how global networks influence our identities, societies and collective perception of reality. Einarsdóttir works mainly with video, performance and installation, often seeking to create an immersive and encompassing experience for the viewer. As a singer and music producer, the sonic elements remain an important and central factor in most of her work. For FMR 21 she collaborates with the Oslo based artist Boris Kourtoukov that works within a wide range of the digital medium. From bending reclaimed technology, making expressive wearables, to co-opting algorithms for individual introspection. His recent works have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum (New York), V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto). Currently Kourtokoukov is exploring new possibilities in digital experiences as a future pilot at the Norwegian Cultural Schoolbag’s Art Lab.

Corp Gear

Tom Galle (BE)

Whether we like it or not, there are some corporate logos so ubiquitous that they crept into our subconscious. In his latest series, artist Tom Galle, known for his clever works that explores the impact of corporate culture on our everyday lives, takes famous brand emblems and fashions them into weapons: the Facebook logo turns into a crowbar, MacDonald’s golden arches are transformed into a knuckleduster, and a razor-sharp blade is formed from Nike’s iconic swoosh. “Anything but harmless” is what these logos-turned-weapons seem to express.

Exposed in shops around the exhibition area, they seem to be precious objects that one can buy, and thus highlight the silent danger of the advertising industry. These powerful brands that have become ordinary in our societies have a considerable impact on the environment and our private lives. With this artwork, Tom Galle lets us picture ourselves wearing the brutality of corporate companies as highly contemporary fashion items.

Belgian-born Tom Galle is a contemporary web artist, currently working and living in New York City. He creates game-changing visual displays, webpages, products, memes, and performative compositions. His work is saturated with the very essence of hyper-digital nowness. Galle’s online persona is deeply infatuated with the profound impact that the internet has had on our bodies and brains. His art is philosophical and political but also instant and accessible, effortlessly walking the line between academic art and internet meme cultures. His dark humor-laced practice can be seen as a telling indicator of the nature of successful art in the internet (and post-internet) age. He currently works as a freelance digital creative. Galle has worked for clients such as Nike, Google, Adidas, Toyota, Netflix or MTV and has won numerous industry awards including Cannes Lions, D&AD, Webby or One Show.

Voices (Imagining Possible Futures)

Kyriaki Goni (GR)

The pandemic caused an ever-increasing digitalization of everyday life. At the same time, it revealed the fragility of highly interconnected ecosystems, of which human is also part. This period is a period of reflection. How do we imagine our possible futures? What are our hopes, our wishes and anxieties? How will our world look like regarding population movement, technology advancements and climate crisis in the future?

Short phrases selected from a series of imaginary texts on possible futures are printed on banners and presented in the public space inviting the passengers to stop and read them. Can you read the phrases out loud? Can you listen to your voice, can you listen to other people’s voices?

The material presented derives from texts hosted on the offline digital network Networks of Trust, which utilizes the P2P protocol IPFS. Networks of Trust (2019 – 2021) is a series of multimedia installations investigating the deep history and the possible futures of networks. Within the framework of the work, people are invited to share imaginary stories about the possible futures of climate crisis, population movements and technology in their areas.

Kyriaki Goni is an Athens born and based artist. She is a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts with an MA in Digital Arts. Before that she had pursued a BA and an MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology from Leiden University. Working across disciplines and technologies, Goni creates expanded, multi-layered installations. She connects the local with the global by critically touching on questions of surveillance, distributed networks and infrastructures, ecosystems, human and other than human relations. Her works have been exhibited worldwide in solo and group shows, e. g. at Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art in Ljubljana or Drugo More in Rijeka.

3D Desktop

Edurne Herrán (ES)

The idea to this work came up when Edurne Herrán thought about a possible loss of all her digital files and asked herself: “How can I measure the intangible?”

The goal of the installation is to take the virtual to the physical level, making the intangible tangible. Nothing we created in the virtual world is trivial: our tools have been copied and digitally reproduced. Technologies help us carry out everyday tasks, and while some argue that technology has made our lives more complex, we can see how it has changed our world, un-cluttering our desks and simplifying our lives.

The main idea is to explore the physicality of digital files and their arrangement in physical (public) space in order to make the personal visible and see how it affects environment and audience. With 3D Desktop Edurne Herrán has recreated her computer desktop environment in the real world so that the audience can dive into it, not by clicking but using their bodies. This work functions as an intervention in public space and a metaphor for the information we share virtually.

Edurne Herrán (* 1978) is a Basque Visual Artist based in Berlin. Her work is directly connected to everyday life and the communication and interrelationship between individuals. Aware of how new technologies and the Internet catalyze and amplify states of emotions, she uses these new social systems and communication dynamics to contextualize her projects. She has been awarded grants and artistic prizes such as Montehermoso Cultural Center, the Ranchito Residency Program in Matadero Cultural Center, Roberto Villagraz and the prestigious Propuestas VEGAP – Spanish Visual Entity for the Management of Visual Artists. Museums like ARTIUM in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Andalusian Centre of Photography in Almería, Barjola Museum in Gijón and Museum of Communication in Frankfurt am Main have exhibited her works.

Lucas LaRochelle (CA) is an artificial intelligence, trained on the textual and visual data of the community mapping platform Queering The Map, that generates speculative queer and trans futures and the environments in which they occur. Their digital mind is constructed from an implementation of the Open AI GPT-2 text generation model trained on over 82 000 text entries from the platform, and a StyleGAN trained on scraped Google Street View imagery of the tagged coordinates on Queering The Map.’s digital inter-subjectivity straddles the line between the plausible and the fantastic, turning towards the potential of failure, chaos and incommensurability in the queer use of machine learning technologies. The experience of encountering the narratives and environments of LGBTQ2IA+ life that propagates is one of disorientation – time, space, and stable subjectivity collapse, revealing from the ruins the multiplicitous visions of the futurities contained within the data. In collaboration with the voices of their human community, fabulates on the absences of the archive, orienting us away from what is, and towards what could be.

Lucas LaRochelle is a Montreal based designer and researcher whose work is concerned with queer and trans digital cultures, community-based archiving, and co-creative media. In 2016 they received a certificate in Co-Design from the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, and a BFA in Design and Computation Arts from Concordia University in 2020. LaRochelle is the founder of “Queering The Map”, a community generated counter-mapping platform that digitally archives queer experience in relation to physical space. They have lectured, facilitated, and exhibited nationally and internationally, recently at The Guggenheim Museum (USA), MUTEK (Canada), Ars Electronica (Austria), Somerset House (UK), Onomatopee Projects (Netherlands), fanfare (Netherlands), OTHERWISE Festival (Switzerland), Ada X (Canada) and SBC Gallery (Canada).

The Wanderers Above the Sea of Fog

Aimilia Liontou (GR)

Until some decades ago, travelers used to consult travel guides written by specialists. Since the rise of the internet, these traditional handbooks have been replaced by trustworthy websites like Trip Advisor, where users exchange reviews about their desired destination. Nowadays, another platform became the most effective marketing tool of the travel industry: Instagram created a space, where influencers and advertising agencies stage perfect looks and happy protagonists in beautiful destinations around the globe. The Wanderers Above the Sea of Fog was published as a contemporary version of the first red travel handbooks by Baedeker and Murray, as a book with Instagram posts by ten travel influencers.

For FMR 21, Liontou brings these pictures in the physical space by turning them into unique location points. But these are not normal pictures: the Instagram aesthetics is reduced to the core. Instead of a glossy colorful pictures, only the average color of the images is depicted. The resulting monochromatic images question how authentic travel ads can be, and what is left of these photos if they do not “capture a moment forever” anymore.

Aimilia Liontou (* 1991) lives between Athens and Linz. She graduated from the Athens School of Fine Arts and holds a Master’s Degree in Time-based Media from the University of Arts Linz. In her works, Liontou examines the ways through which certain conditions can change the perception of space and the potential impact on a person’s life and his/her personality. Her work is characterized by interdisciplinary practice, research and use of different materials and mediums, depending on the thematic, often running on the liminal space between art and reality and frequently making use of humor. Liontou’s work was shown at Offenes Kulturhaus OK (Linz), International Youth Media Festival YOUKI (Wels), DIG Gallery (Kosice), Crossing Europe Filmfestival (Linz), Lentos (Linz), Ars Electronica Center (Linz), Galerie Kullukcu & Gregorian (Munich) or Athens Digital Arts Festival.