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Utrecht’s IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture opens “Out of Office,” a group exhibition that takes on exploitative productivity. “In the modern workplace, doing nothing, not showing up, or gestures of mutual support become acts of resistance,” writes curator Marijn Bril about how the contributing artists Alina Lupu, Sam Meech, Adrian Melis, Mario Santamaría, Total Refusal, and others counter efficiency and optimization. Case in point: Santamaría’s sleepy auto-reply to Bril’s exhibition invitation (image).
A survey of DISNOVATION.ORG’s ongoing Post Growth (2020–) research project opens at Kunsthaus Langenthal (CH) with the title “The Long Shadow of the Up Arrow.” The international collective challenges economic growth narratives with evocative thought experiments and prototypes that include videos, installations, objects, and texts. On view are, for example, the indoor farming experiment Life Support System, the diagrammatic CO2 cost analysis Shadow Growth, and samples from the 2021 book Bestiary of the Anthropocene.
“In his final book he argues that a new ‘ecological class’ must be assembled to replace the productivist working class of past socialist imaginaries; a class determined not by one’s position relative to the means of production but one’s position in a set of earthly interdependencies.”
“As each patron stepped up and withdrew from the ATM, their picture was taken, ranking them based on the amount of money left in their wallet. For the opulent at Basel Miami, is was the perfect piece to feed your hubris.”
“When I say profit is the main driver behind this, it’s really important, because this is not necessarily how it needs to be, but it is how these systems are set up.”
The first-ever solo exhibition of Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF opens at Perrotin, New York, presenting elaborate interventions that leverage the absurdity of late-stage capitalism. Transforming the gallery into an interactive strip mall, “No More Tears, I’m Lovin’ It” showcases the group’s art as merchandize. Spot’s Revenge (2022, image), for example, trolls Boston Dynamics with a heavily armed robot dog, after the manufacturer disabled the legally purchased unit remotely.
“When you hit corporate America, it hits back—MSCHF have been subject to innumerable cease and desist decrees and being de-platformed from social media and online payment services.”
“Terms & Expectations,” a group exhibition curated by Barbara Cueto & Bas Hendrikx, open’s at Toronto’s InterAccess. Focused on “distribution centres as agents within our natural environment,” the show hones in on critical infrastructure that underpins platform capitalism (e.g. the ubiquitous Amazon fulfilment centre). Featured are artists including Hiba Ali Simon Denny, Sophia Oppel, and Coralie Vogelaar, contributing works in mediums ranging from installation to performance.
“The term ‘meatpacking,’ coined in the 1930s, suggests that the life and death of animals wasn’t part of the industry. It’s like electric cars being sold as ‘zero emission vehicles.’”
Karine E. Peschard
“The self-reflexive NFT that employs the theater of absentness suggests that if art offers grace at all, it is volatile, conditional, and inseparable from the systems of capital under which it operates.”
In the first of six performances, Kerry Guinan’s The Red Thread links six industrial sewing machines at Dublin’s The Complex with six counterparts at a garment factory in Bangalore, India. “The kinetic installation appears to be self-operating, but there are puppeteers in hiding,” the Irish artist notes about the workers over 8,000 kilometers away. By eliminating that distance, she hopes to “make visceral the extraordinary scale, and underlying humanity, of the globalised economy.”
“People are going to be doing their regular work, that’s what’s being recorded and reproduced … every time there’s movement, you know, it’s kind of mirrored in Ireland.”
“Enough people purchased the preservative to attempt suicide that the company’s algorithm began suggesting other products that customers frequently bought along with it to aid in such efforts.”
“And, like some kind of bear after a bad-trip hibernation, tech art crawled out of its cave wearing a ‘Have Fun Being Poor’ t-shirt and forgetting the last ten years entirely.”
“These dichotomies abound: are you a wage slave or an entrepreneur? In the casino economy of NFTs and crypto, are you a high roller or are you a mark? In the Web3 space, are you a grifter or a useful idiot?”
“Who else tries to invent new universes? Who dares spin grand utopian fantasies? Artists don’t anymore. It’s Silicon Valley’s Promethean founders who try—and routinely fall short.”
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