christian huebler on Wed, 6 Jul 2011 19:28:26 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] knowbotiq, kotomisi – non essential mix Vol 1

knowbotiq, kotomisi – non essential mix Vol 1
a diagram of a performative invention, audio pieces, radio settings, clothes and foldings, ornaments and voices

kotomisi denotes a traditional piece of clothing of female slaves (before and after liberation) of the former Dutch colony Suriname in the 17th century.Througout 2 centuriers it had been developed further by its wearers. The multi-layered cothing is a complex knitted fabric, encompassed of latent codings. The processed patterned fabrics of the costume passed translocal productions- and distribution processes between Europe, Africa and America. The fabrics represented the commodities and even the means of payment in an already highly globalised slave trade.

They were often named after news events – thus they became news carriers. They even became media themselves: The way the parts of the costume: skirt, jacket, headpiece, were worn, informed about the social status and property situation of the slave, and about the occasion the costume was worn at. Furthermore the foldings of the headpiece expressed feelings of the slaves and enclosed and communicated clandestine messages.

The ornaments of the fabrics, which were printed in India, Europe (i.a. Switzerland), referenced the African origin of the deported slaves (mainly Ghana, Nigeria), as well as former European fashion styles. A person wearing a kotomisi transform into an overcoded figuration which is tricky to decode and highly ambivalent. It refers to slavery and discrimination, as well as to self empowerment and emancipation from supression and control.

In its manifoldness kotomisi represents a vis a vis to the figuration of MacGhillie, a figur former developed by knowbotiq. Both figures, due to their erratic surface and opaque historic and cultural connotation, withdraw in its moment of appearance from decipherment. This withdrawal points towards a failure in the constitution of an „image“ – it cannot evolve due to an intransparent figure ground relationship.This interests in the context of a control society which is characterized by individuality, profiles, behaviour patterns and cybernetic presence. The shells of kotomisi and Macghillie resonate the processes of identification and classification and lead them into a void.

Becoming void provides an experimental potential in dealing with indeterminacies and intransparencies.

knowbotiq /Yvonne Wilhelm, Christian Huebler, in collaboration with Zulile Blinker, Helen Mijnals and Radio Stanvaste Rotterdam.
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Connect. Kunst zwischen Medien und Wirklichkeit

Eine Ausstellung mit Medienkunstarbeiten des Sitemapping-Programmes (BAK) 2005-2011
Eröffnung: 13. Juli 2011, 19 Uhr
Ausstellung: 14. Juli – 11. September 2011
Spezialprogramm am 3. September 2011, 19 - 2h (Lange Nacht der Museen Zürich)
Kuratorinnen: Anke Hoffmann, Yvonne Volkart

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