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“The WWW was not designed, rather implemented ad hoc. There are no versions. Its story is one of the initial gift and promise of free and open access to knowledge and culture, and the power and money people that have since sought to control, steer, surveil and exploit that gift.”
After its 2020 premiere at K21 in Düsseldorf, Hito Steyerl’s retrospective “I Will Survive” opens at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The show offers an expansive overview of the German artist and filmmaker’s oeuvre, from the early documentary works to the more recent CGI video installations (image: Social Sim, 2020). “Her work has always had a clairvoyant and penetrating understanding of society,” curator Karen Archey writes about Steyerl’s importance. “She disrupts the status quo as the bedrock of her practice.”
“EMPATHIE,” an exhibition of Scenocosme’s interactive works from the last decade, opens at Musée de Vence in France. Whimsical interfaces by the artist duo on display include musical plants, resonant stones, wood veneer instruments, and other experiments in haptics, materials, and audiovisual abstraction. Also featured is Metamorphy (2013, image), where viewers manipulate a veil-like surface, shaping the flow of organic and liquid forms.
“Kazuo Umezz the Great Art Exhibition,” opens at Tokyo City View. For his career celebration, the manga legend has painted a sequel to his classic Watashi wa Shingo (1982-6) and artist duo exonemo pay tribute; their array of 12 screens mimic the form of panels, displaying infinite randomized scenes “that Shingo would have seen in the comic.” Fittingly, the installation sits in front of a view of the Tokyo Tower, an important site in the comic’s narrative.
“Siren: Composers of the Sea” opens at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), offering a “true meeting of intelligences—humpback whale, human, and artificial.” Created by composer Annie Lewandowski, digital artist Kyle McDonald, and set designer Amy Rubin, the immersive sound installation celebrates the beauty and conservation legacy of the 1970 multi-platinum record Songs of the Humpback Whale, that demonstrated the species’ elaborate vocalizations for the first time.
“Radical Curiosity: In the Orbit of Buckminster Fuller” opens at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum. A reconsideration of the American architect’s legacy, it assesses his designs, which include the Dymaxion car and geodesic domes (image), in a moment of rising tides and strained infrastructure. Fuller’s focus on interdependence and systems let him “foresee the world’s problems and establish priorities,” note curators Rosa Pera and José Luis de Vicente.
“Transatlantic Visions,” an exhibition showcasing Juliette Lusven’s doctoral research on internet infrastructure, opens at Montréal’s ELEKTRA gallery. Its single installation Sonder (le monde) (2022, image) presents a visualization of the undersea cables that span the Atlantic Ocean and real-time geographic data, fusing topographic and satellite views with “microscopic captures of technological residues, sediments, and microfossils from the ocean floor.”
“Digital Combines” opens at Honor Fraser gallery in LA. Named after her proposed term for a new genre that joins a tangible object with its virtual equivalent, American artist Claudia Hart invited eight friends including Gretta Louw, LoVid, Sara Ludy, and Daniel Temkin (image: Right-Triangular Dither 1, 68% Grey, 2021) to explore binding materials with NFTs. The token’s instructional metadata, developed with specialist Regina Harsanyi, “is a poetic proposition that represents a profound ontological shift in our cultural imagination.”
Artist collective Keiken’s immersive installation Player of Cosmic Realms (2022) opens at Aspex Portsmouth (UK), inviting visitors to “test-drive alternative futures” with two works that harness computer simulation, wearable tech, and installation. The Life Game is an interactive CGI film series that explores gamification, digital assets, and “finding oneself” in the metaverse; while the abdomenal orbs of Bet(a) Bodies “stimulate empathy and a physical simulation of the experience of pregnancy.”
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