Ludvik Hlavacek on Tue, 1 Oct 1996 07:11:50 +0000

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Dawn of the Magicians?

Dear Sir, Madam:

We are pleased to inform you about the international,
multidisciplinary year-long exhibition project Dawn of the Magicians?
Art, Science, Society at the Turn of the Millenium presented from
October 18, 1996 to September 1997.
 The project is organized by and held at the National Gallery in
 Prague's Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. The curatorial team
 is led by the Center's director Dr. Jaroslav Andel. Your interest is
 important to us. We would be pleased to know of your interest in
 project. Your participation in it or its accompanying programs as
 well as subcription to the exhibition Bulletin can be discussed with
 the exhibition coordinator Jana Králíková at:
National Gallery in Prague
Center for Modern and Contemporary Art
Dukelských hrdinù 47
170 00 Praha 7
Czech Republic
tel: (42-2) 2430 1006
fax: (42-2) 371 775

Dawn of the Magicians? Art, Science, Society at the Turn of the
Millennium October 18, 1996 - September 1997

I. From Mediumistic Drawings to Cyberspace

The most beautiful thing in the universe is the mysterious. It is the
only source of all true art and science. ALBERT EINSTEIN As I see it,
the world is made up of a very complex network (rather than a chain)
of entities which have this sort relationships (i.e., control
restrains) to each other . . . . GREGORY BATESON
 . . . these examples of earlier civilizations from China, Mexico,
 India and other places, give us the feeling that the real essence of
 science is this relationship between man and nature, and this should
 be emphasized worldwide because science is in danger of becoming
 simply technology.

The approaching end of the year, century, and millennium is
revitalizing questions of ending and of new beginnings. Over the last
several years, a multitude of theories have been formulated about the
end of history and the world, and visions expressed of the coming of a
new age, of a technological posthuman future. At the same time there
are calls for a return to a pre-historic time, to a return to the
security of the past, for the reinstatement of the relationship
between human beings and nature. The rapid transformation of the world
and of values is giving rise to a deep sense of insecurity and to
questions being addressed by contemporary art, science, and
philosophy: How does present-day reality differ from that of one
hundred years ago? What impact have the developments in technology,
science and economy had on our lives? How are they influencing our
understanding of the environment and the city and affecting our vision
of the world? Are the discoveries, processes, and transformations in
distinct fields of human activity occuring in isolation, or is a more
general principle at work here?
 The international project Dawn of the Magicians? aims to discover
 links and relationships among a diversity of events, cultural
 expressions, theories, and every-day experiences. The question mark
 in its title reflects the openness of th  exhibition´s structure and
 the changes to come in its four cycles. The program of accompanying
 events and the wh le concept on of the project itself has the
 character a work-in-progress, of a call for discussion, of an
 on-going forum for the posing of questions and discovery of creative
 perspectives, rather than a pre-formulated so7ution to the issues
 that are raised. Dawn of the Magicians? is inspired by the
 contemporary scientific theories of chaos and complexity, by concepts
 such as self-regulating processes and systems, fractal geometry,
 positive feedback, emerging structures, etc. Art, just as science, is
 a tool for discovering our place in the universe, thus both these
 fields share a number of themes and motifs. The exhibition project
 emphasizes and explores connections and relationships among these
 "grand" themes: cosmology, nature, technology, the spiritual.
 Following a non-linear approach to the history of the twentieth
 century brings out the correlations among these themes and also among
 many examples of human expression and activity. A great number of
 contemporary artists and theoreticians are addressing questions and
 issues which concern not only the narrow confines of their field but
 present-day society at large. The Dawn of the Magicians? project
 intends to create a common space in Prague for interdisciplinary
 discussion and for cross-currents of international contemporary
 culture and science. In conjunction with the project a series of
 lectures, symposia, film and video scre nings, performances,
 workshops, panel discussions, and concerts are being presented. The
 exhibition also takes place on the Internet for which a number of
 projects are being created, extending opportunities for communication
 well beyond the museum´s walls. The exhibition is held on the over 2
 000 m2 (20,000 square feet) large fourth  loor of Veletr?ní palác, a
 landmark of Constructivist architecture from 1928. Since December
 1995, the vast reconstructed building has been the site of the
 National Gallery in Prague´s Center for Modern and Contemporary Art.
 Dawn of the Magicians? is the institution´s first of a series of
 interdisciplinary exhibitions projects. Among the artists whose work
 will be presented are: Steina Vasulka, Vladimír Kokolia, Karel
 Malich, Franti?ek Kupka, Zdenìk Sýkora, Milo? ?ejn, Jan Jedlièka,
 Roman Signer, Michal Bielický, Martin janíèek, Vladimír ?koda, Martin
 Spannjaard, David Weiss - Peter Fischli, Matej Kren, Petr Svárovský,
 Jiøí Kornatovský, Petr Nikl, Manfred Mohr, Franti?ek Skála jr.,
 Ladislav �arný, B.K.S., Ilona Németh, Josef Váchal, Janka
 Vidová-?áèková, Frank Malina a dal?í.

Programs & Events Series

The programs and events accompanying the exhibition are scheduled
during its presentation within its screening room, music auditorium,
tea room/bookstore as well as outside the museum at participating
institutions. The programs and events address these following areas:

Contemporary Music, Performance, Multi-Media and Sound Installations
Prominent figures and groups in these media will present their work at
Veletr?ní palác and at participating venues.

Nature and Artifice
Lectures, video presentations, and discussions will address some of
the most pressing issues at the end of the 20th century: the
relationships between the human being and his or her surroundings, the
rehabilitation and conservation of the ecosystem, the co-existence of
technology and nature.

Science, Computers,  Society, and Art
The growing impact of digital technology on everyday life as well as
upon the functioning of entire economic and social systems as well as
scenarios for the near future will be addressed in lectures,
discussions, and various projects. Artists and critics will give the
public insight into how aritsts are working with new media and

Science and Culture -- Connections Across the Disciplines
A series of symposia will give visitors the opportunity to participate
in discussion and debate over the theories, ideas, and visions of
prominent representatives of local and international science with
writers, philosophers, sociologists, musicians, and visual artists.

Video and Film
Historical films from archives as well as documentary and animated
films will be presented at participating venues and a program of video
art will be presented in the Screening Room on the exhibition floor at
Veletrzní palác.