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THE MAP IS THE TERRITORY

 

BENEDICT DREW, TIM HEAD and CHRISTOPHER RAWCLIFFE

 

17th Feb - 31st March 2012.

 

Recordings of the talks during The Map is The Territory available HERE

 

New work for Banner Repeater from Benedict Drew 'Notes on the Dumb Terminal. 2012.', with Tim Head: 'Beauty and the Beast' and Christopher Rawcliffe: 'Edition of 1'.

 

Publishing, distribution, dissemination; the sharing of ideas, filter bubbles that isolate us from each other, the speeds of data we receive warping our time and attention, have become so very everyday.

 

The “locust swarms of lettering” described by Walter Benjamin almost a century ago, as writing was “ruthlessly dragged out into the street by advertisements and subjected to the brutal heteronomies of economic chaos” was prescient of the maze of digital code we now inhabit, but for all intents and purposes, means that we can just type a lot better than our parents.

 

A significant shift has occurred though, in that the map has become the territory.

 

Whereas the previous model of the map involved representation of what was out there, for us to use for our own devices, (albeit drawn for someone else's), we are now intrinsically a part of this via the data that we daily inscribe within the map itself.

 

Whether it's the unprecedented amount of information the vast database the internet provides; or the algorithms, the 'filters' that drive it and increasingly personalises our experience; or the materiality of digital data and its supporting frameworks, we co-evolve with the technology we produce, both in the short and long term.

 

The works selected here go some way to explore the heavily mediated air of the present day and how these might impact on ideas of art and artistic production.

 

Project Space talks during The Map is The Territory:

 

How It's Kicking Off Everywhere.

Discussion with Paul Mason, Nathan Charlton, and Andrew McGettigan

Saturday 17th March 2012, 1-3pm.

 

Recordings available HERE


Discussion between Paul Mason, financial journalist and economics editor for Newsnight and recent author of "Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere"; Nathan Charlton, writer, technologist and director of Big Ideas; and Andrew McGettigan, author of the blog Critical Education and the book "The Great University Gamble" (Pluto, forthcoming) also of the Big Ideas team.

 

We will be considering how the technologies facilitatating consumer capitalism are also, at some core level, implicit in our ability to act politically,  affecting our understanding of what it is to be politically engaged and questioning older hierarchical structures and former traditions  as a result.

Social media and new technologies facilitate a new kind of connectivity amongst people that allows for an accumulative awareness of social injustice in more immediate terms than ever before. Considering ideas relating to new media we will diiscuss how this technology might impact upon events involving mass movements of people.

Whilst being mindful of the origins of concepts that took a hold historically during early developments in technology in the 60/70's, and recognising that new technology does not necessitate emancipatory projects in and of itself, but is a tool that provides new methods of communication, we will be looking at how these technological changes impact upon our sense of a collective and political voice.

 

 

Liquid Crystals, Phosphor-Fluorescence and the New-Old.

Talk by Esther Leslie

 

Saturday 24th March 2012. 7-9pm.

 

Recordings available HERE

 

Esther Leslie, Professor in Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck, University of London.

 

This talk will range over recent digital screen artworks - from the super-kitsch of nanoart to some of the recent mobilisations of liquid crystals in art. Liquid crystals are considered here as aesthetic objects, or even subjects, spirited points of colour and light that dance across our screens.

Liquid crystals are the fundamental matter of the screens that pervade our world, in PCs, tablets, TVs. These LCs, which have embedded themselves in our environments, come into visibility in new ways through the processes of art. Liquid crystals conjure up a flexibility in the image - allowing pixel-by-pixel alterations. They also brighten up the rainbow, admixing colour and light to make viewing surfaces with eye-candy appeal.

In this talk fluorescent and phosphorescent screen appeal is considered in the glaucous light of the oceans we once called home - that peculiar gleam is both ancient and modern and entirely natural. It will also think about these screen glows and screen hues as revelatory emanations of futurity - synthetic, chemical and shocking and possibly heralding new knowledge, in the way that X-Rays once did too.

 

 

Artists' works

 

Notes on the Dumb Terminal. 2012. New work for Banner Repeater by Benedict Drew

Notes on the Dumb Terminal. 2012.

 

On-line html essay, also manifest in the project space for the duration of the exhibition.

 

Fourth in the 'notes' series.

 

Looking through the looking glass for clues about the looking glass, Benedict Drew extracts the reality from behind the phosphorous glow of the screens, the hard drives, the computers, the projectors, the rare earth metals that these contain, and the enormous energy consumption of the servers required to fuel the vast database that is the Internet.

 

Drew has developed an on-line screen essay that considers the underlying meaning of these mythologies as they converge in the present configuration of late capitalism, with regard to the technology that drives his newly commissioned work for Banner Repeater, to be found in the project space, but primarily on-line.

 

Merkske Publishing will have Benedict Drew's new publication: How I Failed to Make Man on sale for the opening night and we will have copies throughout the exhibition.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast, 2010. Tim Head.

 

Real time computer program on LCD screen.

 

The work focuses on the digital medium’s elusive material substance and on our evolving relationship to it as a physical entity. It uses the medium’s physical characteristics that make it uniquely different from other media. Bypassing its usual role of representing images and texts, the work deals directly with its basic material elements - the luminous fabric of pixels on screen and the hidden real time calculations of the computer operating at ultra fast speeds that drive these elements. The medium’s underlying material substance is exposed, moving it out from its usual confinement in virtual space towards the same physical space that we ourselves occupy.

 

The programs written for flat screens select random colours to fill (or attempt to fill) the entire screen at very fast rates of change, bringing to the surface the medium’s physical characteristics of instability and speed.

 

 

Edition of 1. Christopher Rawcliffe.

 

On-line programme at www.editionof1.org, which will be running in the reading room for the duration of the exhibition, where an A3 printer will print artworks for people to take away for free.

 

HOW TO MAKE ART WITHOUT AN ARTIST

 

Edition of 1 is a web based project.

 

A single edition artwork for you to have.

 

A randomly appropriated image from the Internet.

 

No two images are ever the same.

 

Each image is digitally signed and dated.

 

No money is involved.

 

Edition of 1 can be printed at home or at work.

 

You may print more than one artwork.

 

The artist has no control over what image becomes his artwork.

 

 

Rawcilffes on-line work picks a random word from wiktionary (an ever growing database of words in over 10 different languages). It then proceeds to an image search with the selected word in Google or Yahoo (they have different search engines). It then randomly selects one image from the first thousand results. The images are displayed on screen (either stretched or cropped to fit) and a water mark is placed in the top left corner that reads Christopher Rawcliffe, Edition of 1, 2012, ad infinitum.

 

The work inadvertently reflects whatever is 'trending' at any given time, giving a visual cross-section of the Internet. It distorts the use of the search engine, normally utilised to produce results plucked from this vast database. The random appropriated images imply there is no hierarchy of the image here, whilst also undermining values of art-production by questioning the role of the artist, as well as ideas of originality.

 

The computer code that runs Edition of 1 was created by Yoav Aner who became interested in the project due to the unlikely capacity, highlighted here, in computers for randomness. For more details about this work and others, go to  Yoav’s blog: http://blog.gingerlime.com/2nd-edition-of-1/

 

 

 

RE-RUN

 

6th March - 21st March.

 

"An invitation and the limit of the loop"

 

Nesting somewhere in the middle of the exhibition, is an episodic group event, which will display a different digital video loop every day for 14 days, curated by Majed Aslam and Fay Nicolson.

 

Actress, Ayshay, Majed Aslam, Nathan Barlex, David Blandy, Ami Clarke, Jess Flood-Paddock, Dean Kissick, Gil Leung, Chooc Ly Tan, Fay Nicolson, Damien Roach, Oliver Smith, Jesse Wine.

 

Selected artists have been invited to submit a short digital video file no longer than a minute to be displayed on a continuous loop for 24 hours. From 6th – 21st March a different work will be shown each day, culminating in a series, an episodic event exploring the technical novelty of the loop and its potential to unravel temporal structure. RE-RUN will take place at Banner Repeater and simultaneously online at www.re-run.net.

 

RE-RUN is an ongoing project curated by Majed Aslam and Fay Nicolson.