Andreas Broeckmann on Thu, 24 Feb 2000 09:43:49 +0200

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Syndicate: Tenacity exhibition, Swiss Inst. New York

Von:    "Swiss Institute (computer 5)",
Datum:  23.02.100 19:47

Tenacity: Cultural Practices in the Age of Information and Biotechnology

March 24 to May 13, 2000

Swiss Institute
495 Broadway, third floor, New York, NY10012.

Ursula Biemann, Zürich; Bureau of Inverse Technology New
York/Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Ricardo Dominguez, NY; Marina Grinic and Aina
mid, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Natalie Jeremijenko, NY, Kristin Lucas, NY; Diane
Ludin, NY; Jenny Marketou, NY; Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, NY; Francesca da
Rimini and Michael Grimm, Adelaide, Australia; ®ark, NY; Cornelia
Sollfrank, Hamburg, and others.

Curated by Yvonne Volkart

Opening: Friday March 24, 6-8 pm with webcast, Involuntary Reception, by
Kristin Lucas 7 pm

Curator's/artists' tour: Saturday March 25, 1 pm

Conference: Saturday March 25, 2 pm

Information, communication, and biotechnology play an increasingly
important role in the globalizing society of the changing century. Beyond
simplistic technodeterminism, there are good reasons to recognize that
these technologies influence our ideas of subjectivity, agency and
politics. This process is linked to the culturalization of economic
interests  among other things. In this context, the arts, as a field of the
visual, hold an important and active place in our increasingly visualized
society, be it in an affirmative or a critical sense.

Tenacity wants to examine how art strategies and esthetics interfere in the
universalism of technologies, asking how artists can be users while at the
same time opposing the ideologies provided by these technologies. Beyond a
simple criticism of hegemonic ideas of art and technologies, the Tenacity
participants engage in producing alternative esthetics and omitted subject
matters. They assert that digital media, new technologies and virtual
realities don't abolish the embodiment of knowledge, criticism, and
resistance. In so far as art is always an embodiment of ideas and a
realization of imaginative and utopian moments, it has a crucial function
in tenaciously insisting on the materiality of actual bodies and their
contexts. Reflecting the importance of identity and agency in a networked
context, many artists focus on the figuration of net personae with a wide
range of psychic and political dimensions. Cyborgs, monsters, nomads, bots,
lurkers and hackers cross the multi-layered space.

The Tenacity participants have been involved in an engaged digital media
discourse for years and are among the best-regarded artists in the new
media scene. The exhibition will establish a display specific to their
critical reflections on new media and new technologies focusing beyond the
visual into the acoustic. As an embodied virtual space, the gallery
provides the temporary and symbolic location, where tenacious agents and
images gather and move in a kind of high-speed, virtualized acoustic and
visual space.

Yvonne Volkart

Ursula Biemann (Zürich) perceives the Internet as a space of textualized
desires, disembodied sexuality, and commercialized gender relationships.
Biemann?s new video, Writing Desire, researches two related phenomena:
listings for mail-order brides offered on the Internet, and the increasing
number of people who develop on-line romantic relationships.

Bureau of Inverse Technology (New York/Newcastle-upon-Tyne) are
self-described as an international bureaucracy for the Information Age.
Their public profile emulates multinational corporations such as The Walt
Disney Company, but to very different ends: with The HalfLife Ratio, part
of the Bitsperm Bank ?, they compare the different market values of sperm
and ovum to illustrate how traditional gender-based inequities are
reproduced in the high-tech marketing of reproductive tissue.

Ricardo Dominguez (New York) is a co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance
Theater, which invents playful and spectacular forms of virtual resistance,
stemming from a concern for the relative autonomy of the subject in
cultural, political, and social contexts. Through his performance, Mayan
Technology for the People: A Zapatista haiku on the question of technology
and the politics of intervention, Dominguez will provide a hacker?s glimpse
into the military mindset.

Marina Gr?inic and Aina ?mid (Ljubljana) produce videos and
technology-based projects that examine the ?Communist subject? and its
representations. Gr?inic and ?mid illustrate that new technologies are not
ideologically neutral, but instead reflect Western concepts of "freedom."
They question what it means for people who have been shaped by Communist
societies to appropriate these predefined new media.

Natalie Jeremijenko (New York) uses technological products to explore
social imagery. In Touch synthesized human skin is employed as portraits of
the idiomatic categories used in medical research tests, such as
Non-Smoking, post menopausal, female. The material is synthetically
biological and human, yet stripped of its body it is drawn into cultural,
social, and political discussions of identity and representation.

Kristin Lucas (New York) will show her latest video in which she performs
as a young woman who discharges an enormous electromagnetic pulse field.
This E.P.F. prohibits her from watching television or using cellular
telephones, as she jams the frequencies at which both radio and television
signals are broadcast, meanwhile she can read minds and pick-up police
radio transmissions. The CIA, FBI, FCC, and IRS all have her under constant
surveillance, although they are unable to document her activities on tape.
This fictional cyborg woman is the hybrid offspring of our data world.

At the Tenacity opening, Lucas will transmit Involuntary Reception, a
pirate radio webcast.

Diane Ludin (New York) has collaborated with Francesca da Rimini (see
below) and Agnese Trocchi (Rome) to develop a network installation entitled
Identity Runners: Re-Flesh the Body, which is constructed from multiple
scenes based on digital myths developed by each of the artists. Ludin, da
Rimini, and Trocchi propose new forms of identity more appropriate to the
?post-human? age of information.

Jenny Marketou (Greece/New York) developed a net-running bot software
persona, an artificially intelligent agent, which gains unauthorized access
to chat rooms and ?CU SEE ME? teleconferencing environment servers. Viewers
are able to participate in a real-time ?lurking? experience as they
identify with the intelligent agent, while at the same time the definition
of their own identity, as well as the identity of the subjects they meet in
virtual space, becomes unclear.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (New York) present two pieces: a special
high-speed acoustic environment, which is a real-time audio collage derived
>from the other artists? pieces in the exhibition. In their second piece,
they sample visual material from the Internet, which they detect as being
representative of the increasing commercialization of the web.

Francesca da Rimini (Adelaide) was previously a member of VNS Matrix, a
cyber-feminist group. In Tenacity, she will present Dollspace, whose
protagonist, Dollyoko, is a murdered female body, a ghost with monstrous
desires and dark fantasies. Da Rimini shows that the Internet is a space of
phantasms where both positive and negative representations of female
identity can be experienced.

Soundtrack for Dollspace created by Michael Grimm (Adelaide).

®?ark (New York) proclaim, "As ordinary corporations are solely and
entirely machines to increase their shareholders' wealth (often to the
detriment of culture and life) so ®?ark is a machine to improve its
shareholders' culture and life (sometimes to the detriment of corporate
wealth)." Previously engaged in anti-World Trade Organization
interventions, ®?ark seek to explore playful means of on-line resistance.

Cornelia Sollfrank?s (Hamburg) contribution to the exhibition, Unauthorized
Access, makes available her research on the topic of women hackers. The few
known women hackers not only gain unauthorized access to restricted sectors
of the Internet, but also intrude upon a male-dominated province. Included
in this project will be Sollfrank?s videotaped interview with hacker Clara
G. Sopht, who specializes in attacks on DDoS operating systems.

Conference: Saturday March 25, 2000

"Stubborn Practices" in the Age of Information and Biotechnology

with the artists and invited guest speakers

2 pm: Introduction: Yvonne Volkart, curator

? Performance: Mayan Technology for the People:

A Zapatista haiku on the question of technology and the politics of

by Ricardo Dominguez, co-founder of Electronic Disturbance Theater

3 pm: Ways and Weapons

? Lecture by Tim Griffin, Executive Editor of ArtByte magazine

? Statements by Ricardo Dominguez, Natalie Jeremijenko, Jennifer and Kevin
McCoy, ®?ark, and Cornelia Sollfrank

? Open discussion

4 pm: cyber snack

4:30 pm: Agents and Representations

. Lecture by Toni Dove, electronic media artist

? Statements by Ursula Biemann, Marina Gr?inic, Kristin Lucas, Diane Ludin,
and Jenny Marketou

? Open discussion

This exhibition was made possible in part by Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council
of Switzerland, Swissair and Kulturbehörde der Freien und Hansestadt

The Swiss Institute is an independent, not-for-profit cultural center
founded in 1986 to promote artistic dialogue between Switzerland and the
United States. Exploring both contemporary and historical avenues, it
emphasizes both Switzerland?s cultural heritage as well as its place in the
context of American arts and culture. In our SoHo gallery, the Swiss
Institute holds art exhibitions, hosts lectures, concerts and dance
performances, and sponsors film and video screenings throughout the year.

The Swiss Institute is located at 495 Broadway, third floor, New York, NY

Telephone: (212) 925-2035, Facsimile: (212) 925-2040



Tuesday through Saturday 11 am to 6 pm.

Subway-N, R to Prince Street, 6 to Spring Street

Wheelchair accessible.

For biographical information and photographic material please contact
Jackie McAllister, Exhibitions Coordinator, Swiss Institute, at (212)

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