Participating Artists: Tega Brain, Julian Oliver & Bengt Sjölén, Elisabeth Caravella, Kate Crawford & Vladan Joler, Fleuryfontaine, Keiken + George Jasper Stone, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Julien Prévieux
Under the exhibition title “How to Make a Paradise” Frankfurter Kunstverein has invited nine artists and collectives to present a broad spectrum of artistic projects dealing with the human desire for digital escapism, and the aspiration to expand human capabilities with technology. Curated by Mattis Kuhn with the support of Franziska Nori, the exhibition includes multimedia installations, digital films and VR-experiences.
Paradises evokes notions of fulfilment and longing. Longing for that which is far off, for beauty, for an effortless existence. Digital gadgets are accessible anytime, anywhere. They promise expansion of our comfort zone. They whisk us away from the here and now. They take us into worlds whose surface appearance is adaptable to our wishes. Playful, user-friendly and with a soft-toned voice, they help us effortlessly through everyday life.
One focus of the exhibition is the use and effects of artificial intelligence. So that digital assistants can respond to a clap of the hands or a swipe of a finger, the globe is spanned by a powerful infrastructure of satellites, underground cables, databases and server farms operated by a handful of global corporations. These services use energy, raw materials and underpaid labor; but provide quick access that satisfies our immediate desires. Artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality promise an alternative, extended experience of the world without analog burdens. Solutions optimised by technology are seemingly free of human error.
Lauren McCarthy; Kate Crawford & Vladan Joler; the collective Tega Brain; Julian Oliver & Bengt Sjölén; as well as Julien Prévieux, all problematize vastly different aspects surrounding A.I. in our society. Elisabeth Caravella and Jaakko Pallasvuo employ the recognisable aesthetic evident in online tutorials to explore the possibilities of artistic expression using technical materials.
A second focus of the exhibition is individual experience in virtual worlds. Jakob Kudsk Steensen; artist duo Fleuryfontaine, consisting of Galdric Fleury and Antoine Fontaine; as well as the collective Keiken, all describe a feeling of loneliness in their work through varying stylistic perspectives.
The exhibition has selected nine positions that represent a relevant spectrum of current themes and forms of expression. The materials and methods used to create all the works presented include screen castings, programming code, software applications, Instagram filters and graphics programs. The image carriers are screens and smart glasses that provide access to extended artificial worlds in which visitors can temporarily lose themselves. Simultaneously they are also mirrors; two-dimensional surfaces that reflect an image of ourselves in the act of viewing for us to find.
“How to Make a Paradise” offers an individual area for each artistic work where the digital world is expanded and intensified within analog space. The nine works exemplify current artistic productions that succeed in anticipating emerging ruptures, both for the individual and on a political, collective level.
Retreat into digital paradises and controllable worlds is one pole, constant optimization of the physical is the other. However, the subliminal inherent themes in almost all of the works are isolation and doom scenarios. The desire for control through digital instruments and applications continually filters through. The longing for comfortable, iridescent worlds can be traced through the exhibition. The omnipresence of digital images asserting their own reality through flawless surface appearance reinforces the desire for individual self-optimization. We reflect ourselves in the digital plane. We continue to optimise our skills, our self and our individual world. In our individual paradise we yearn for seduction and the experience of closeness without intimacy, of excitement without consequence. With a digital body as an artificial manifestation of our staged self, we move through the matrix of the digital world in search of recognition and self-assurance through likes from online communities.
With the aesthetics of Instagram filters and motion graphics, a spectacle of animated images is created that stages the moment of attention in the fleetingness of the digital image economy. Increasingly, analog and digital spheres are merging into a meta-reality in which people act, meet and expect the realisation of what they long for.
at Weserstr. 56
Thursday 15 April 2021 at 16:00h
at Niederkirchnerstraße 7
Friday 23 April 2021 at 10:00h
at Frankfurter Tor 1
Monday 12 April 2021 at 12:00h
at Stephanstraße 33
Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 14:00h
at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank
Friday 14 May 2021 at 11:00h