July 7 2016

One thing I can’t stop repeating in my head is taken from an interview with MH at this exhibition (it had a furnished living room with writings located halfway through the epic show, I sat down and read, thought it was a great idea).

Photography is like poetry, you find it rather than create it. You’re an inventor not a creator. A photo or a poem stand alone. You can put them in an order in a book or a show but the reader/viewer will not respect the order.


Michel Houellebeqc

I think this relates to my own iPhone photo practice. It’s just something I do and don’t have to think about much. It’s almost not a choice. And I kind of want to keep it like that. Not having much expectations or agenda. 


©Nina Kihlborg


The current exhibition at The Zabludovicz Collection Emotional Supply Chains involves a lot of video work, print and installation that can be extra relevant to PTBM students. The theme of the exhibition is the still very urgent subject of digitally constructed identities and stories we tell about ourselves online. The curator Paul Luckraft refers to recent writings by Laurence Scott and Boris Groys reflecting on commercialisation of identity online (i.e. algorithms that reaffirms our views on the world) and the role of the artist in a “mass cultural production”-age where everybody can be (and is probably) engaged in artistic activity. The exhibition is divided into three parts of which one goes under the title Authenticity and Artifice. Here questions are raised about the human nature, a concept that might have lost its self-evidence as the properties and patterns of technology and nature merges. However regarding identity, one can wonder if the desires to create fluid and edited alter egos online is contradictory to authentic humanness or if it is “natural”. 

I especially recommend the video piece “(You (People) Are All The Same)” by David Raymond Conroy that was commissioned specifically by The Zabludovicz Collection for this show. It is a 40 minute long video made with a lot of humour and self-revelation as an artist. If you recognize the format and find it strangely familiar and appealing like me it is probably because is very intentionally has borrowed the model of American investigative podcasts such as Serial and This American Life. It is very much a meta artwork talking about the process of the artist during his residency in Las Vegas, creating this commissioned piece however we are left uncertain where facts potentially changes over to fiction. This is valid for a several works in the exhibition, as David Blandy’s film Child of the Atom that depicts himself on a journey with his daughter with occasional voice over comments by the girl as an adult. Also don’t miss the works by Aleksandra Domanovics huge prints in the back room that deal with women’s representation in science fiction, place in creative direction of animated movies etc.


Moderna Museet Malmö is now presenting the second chapter of the extensive video-based exhibition project THE NEW HUMAN, continuing our exploration of the human condition in a rapidly changing world. This chapter of the project has the subtitle Knock, Knock, Is Anyone Home? and searches for remaining traces of human life, while examining the fading line between man and machine.

This show curated by Joa Ljungberg presented video works by Ed Atkins, Harun Farocki, Kerstin Hamilton, Helen MartenDaria Martin, Ursula Mayer, Mika Rottenberg, SUPERFLEX and Ryan Trecartin.


What engaged me the most was a film by Daria Martin (an artist whose 16mm films I had already been exposed to at the Maureen Paley gallery some weeks before) because it very straight forward dealt with posthumanism and artificial intelligence in relation to physical bodies (!!!). This video particularly inspired me to proceed with a little project that I have on the blog where i wish to explore further the translations between virtual and “real” (like I did in Marnie and the Real Pikachu in Unit 2) through kinesthetics.
SOFT MATERIALS, video, 2004

Soft Materials was shot in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich where scientists research ‘embodied artificial intelligence’. This cutting edge area of AI produces robots which, rather than being programmed from the ‘head down’ by a computer ‘brain’, instead learn to function through the experience of their physical bodies.

Soft Materials introduces to these robots two performers, one man and one woman, trained in body awareness, acutely sensitive to the nuances of movement, primed to mimic the robots in a play of reciprocity. These performers shed skins of soft fabric, bear their joints like the frank structure of a machine, and, nude, approach the robots as if they were sentient beings. Creating intimate relationships that are in turns tender, funny and eerie, they bend flexible human fantasy around tough materials.


Also it relates somewhat to Soul Chain and my overall research. Quotes from the introduction to the show:

Several of the works in this chapter seem to point to a shift—perhaps a regression in human evolution, or a transformation into something new.

New technologies have the capacity to infiltrate our bodies and turn us into cyborgs, thus dissolving the categories we have used to divide the world into opposites, like living and non-living or natural and artificial.

The digital revolution has fundamentally changed the way we relate to the world and to each other, and there is no longer a clear dividing line between actual reality and virtual reality.

We communicate and socialize more and more through computers and screens.

A question that arises is whether it’s even going to be feasible to be “human” in the long run. Or if we—consciously or unconsciously—will develop into something else, into a new kind of being better suited to life in a high-tech world of our own creation.


Magnus Niska was the first person to have a prosthesis that is permanently implanted to his body connected with the nerves and muscles. He can control it with only his brain.

Curated by Omar Kholeif.

Jacolby Satterwhite, “The Matriarch’s Rhapsody”

The way Satterwhite mixes IRL footage with surrealistic animation makes me believe that the animated world is the original. Maybe it’s the digital gaming sounds or the futuristic suit of the protagonist that all reminds of the world of images that I have came across online rather than in the material world.


Katja Novitskova

I’ve wanted to see Novitskova’s work ever since I saw it on Instagram a year ago. It’s funny, her images are like Instagram pics popular in my network – digital, grainy, soft, romantic. Taking out an image like that, making it an object is very satisfying for a brain used to scrolling through a feed.


Petra Cortright

Good example of a digital painter realising her works materially. Cortright’s paintings are printed onto aluminium which gives them a digital glow.


Camille Henrot, “Grosse Fatigue”

I love the format of this video. Henrot applies the aesthetics of a computer screen using “windows” in layers and the desktop of a mac as background. She uses archive material, books (beautifully filmed from above) and documentary footage to tell a story about the creation/history of the world. In the background a voice tells mythical and scientific stories in a spoken word manner that sometimes sounds more like a preach, sometimes more like a rap. All in all a very inspiring film that I will keep in mind when exploring my own video language.