GALERIA NT - short history of art gallery devoted to bio, nano, digital & film art

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Information about GALERIA NT - short history of art gallery devoted to bio, nano, digital...

Published on January 19, 2014

Author: michalbrzezinski



short history of art gallery devoted to bio, nano, digital & film art (experimental cinema)


Gallery of the NT was developed in the framework of Lodz Cultural Center ( ŁDK - Łódzki Dom Kultury ) as artistic project, but also the first Polish fully institutional structure (Gallery NT / Imaginarium) engaged in a Art & Science projects. Cooperated actively with the Technical University of Lodz in a series of *.VHS *.EXE *.DNA. During the year of the gallery made contact with leading artists and groups involved in this type of issue. Presented to the scientific performance of many leading artists such as Victoria Vesna, Eduardo Kac, Stelarc. This resulted in an attitude of openness and willingness to cooperate in the field of robotics, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Several Polish artists began work on the projects which have used these materials - were to be part of a plan of the exhibition gallery in 2011. The growing interest from the artistic community, however, encountered a significant problem - Lodz Cultural Center ( ŁDK ) decided first to eliminate the funding from the institution (under the influence of the truncated budget for the entire institution), and later decided not to apply as Galeria NT for a grant from the Ministry of Culture (ŁDK sent in place of that two other applications of a photo gallery - sic!), and finally, despite the reduction of the budget proposals by 85% which is still allowed to maintain the existence of a current profile of the gallery at a similar level, it was decided not to extend the contract with Michael Brzezinski - its founder. This fits in quite a long string of elimination of many of Lodz institutions - important festivals. It has effect already in lost the chance to get the title of European Capital of Culture, and every subsequent liquidation makes the Lodz as the city gradually lose their position on cultural map. This time eliminated not only the gallery showing the finished products’, but also the institutional tool that artists can use to create really unique in the world of art.

GALERIA NT In 2010 the Łódź Cultural Center founded a new gallery. Initially, it was created to be a gallery with an original program, exploring the areas of video and thus, it was wonderfully equipped especially for that purpose. It was when Michał Brzeziński took the gallery over that the whole idea evolved into a new direction: an area dedicated to art, created when the scientific and artistic interests meet – in the new technologies field. Therefore, it was named as the Gallery NT. The Gallery NT (New Technologies) was a space for presenting the artistic phenomena that appear in the field of new technology art, with a special stress put on electronic media. The gallery’s goal was not only to cumulate the creations in time and place, but more to inspire artists to create new works in the context of the gallery itself. The gallery serves as a forum for different definitions of art to confront each other. The Gallery NT was a sort of a buffer between the experiences of artists and scientists, which enables its educational profile. The works presented in the gallery was not only a form of esthetisation of technology, was devoted to creation of hypotheses and theories, but also were provokative and has created discussions and vast social resonance. The Art of New Technologies is a perfect reason for discussions on humanism’s paradigms and that is what we desire the most, as we believe that the “art is to make you think”. Similarly to the problems of freedom, emancipation or equality in a society, in the case of building the new technologies conscience in a society, or the so-called technical culture, art is to play an important part. Many kinds of technology are initially rejected by a society, whose members have a distorted image of it. Thanks to the open debate on a level of humanism, different from religion or science, that is – on a level of art – one can observe many important revaluations.

GLOBALNE OCIEPLENIE THE MEDIAGATE Exhibition curated by: Marco Mancuso and Claudia D’Alonzo for Digicult & Michal Brzezinski Exhibition period: 20/04/2010 - 27/05/2010 Opening: Friday 20/04/2010 Artists: Milycon / En, Dorota Walentynowicz, Sašo Sedlaček, Jan Van Nuenen, Les Liens Invisibles, Marc Lee, Yorit Kluitman, Vít Klusák a Filip Remunda

On November 20, 2009, just few days before the COP 15 in Copenhagen, the credibility of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - the government body that monitors the UN climate change studies, suffered a severe blow. A group of Russian hackers had published a series of documents, e-mails and confidential data from Hadley Center, Research Center of East Anglia University, one of the major international institutions of climate studies, strongly affiliated with the IPCC itself. The action seems to expose efforts of scholars and researchers to falsify data on one of the hottest media topics of the millennium: anthropic global warming, the so-called AGW. The ‘Climategate’ has shaken the conscience of many: if international government bodies, research centers, environmental organizations and even ecologist organizations like Greenpeace and even eco-activists groups have been warning us for years that independent fundamental problems like global warming, the greenhouse effect, emission harmful gases, are based on solid scientific foundations, what should we think about the leak? That global warming is all a big media game, serving superior economic and political interests? It’s a doubt that many are beginning to have. In early days of January 2010, many international media revealed a striking news: the A(H1N1) flu seems to be a hoax orchestrated by the World Health Organization and the pharmaceutical companies. It was claimed not by some no-global critics, but the chairman of the Health Council of Europe, Wolfgang Wodarg, who forced the Council to approve a tough resolution demanding an international inquiry into the matter. After months of warnings and measures against the risk of infection involving the media and institutions around the world, one wonders when we can speak of trusted sources on a subject as important as health. “Frankly, I believed beyond any doubt that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction” - said the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on 29th of January 2010, in front of the Commission of Inquiry on Iraq at the Queen Elizabeth Center in London. Blair denied that the government had put the idea, in the intelligence dossier, that Baghdad could use weapons of mass destruction in 45 min- utes, admitting, however, to have said so in his speech to the Commons in September 2002, although “without too much emphasis”. The emphasis was placed by the press, raising the issue that Blair now denies. So, how many and what threats are real? How and why is ‘global fear’ started? These ‘cases’ exposed the incredibility of news that for months, if not years, have filled the media all over the West-

ern world. We talk about cases and not news, because in them is put into question the very meaning of news, of factual information. The world that we live in, with its division into mediasphere and biosphere, have been defined in many ways, among which two ideas are best known and best describe the relation between man and medium. Coined over 50 years ago by Marshall McLuhan, these ideas seem not too precise, however prophetic. One of them is the ‘global village’ theory (as a result of media becoming the extension of our nerve system), the other is the division of media into ‘hot’ (the ones that send a lot of impulses to stimulate senses) and ‘cold’ (the ones that require imagination in creating the transfer). Paradoxically, it is frequent that the ‘cold’ media generate bigger emotions as they involve imagination and feelings attached to it. Hot media, on the other hand, often cause greater distance towards the experiences. All visual media are hot as the visual communication absorbs around 80 per cent of attention. However, when interactivity is involved, visual media become cold, as they require complacement from the recipient. Contemporary visual art, that use abstraction or the beauty of artistic matter, are losing the figurative forms. They are the means of ‘cooling’ the visual art and involving the imagination or knowledge in it. Viewer’s distance towards the classic forms of art, which created a certain beauty canon, started evolving in the beginning of the 19th century. Visual art tend to approach literature, so much as through developing the conceptual layer of the work. The apogee of the process is achieved in the art of new technologies. With this exhibition, we try to present different attitudes of artists towards global warming of the media in our global village. In recent years, we are witnessing the disintegration of the belief that the Internet was, for its unique nature, a free, participatory medium, in contrast to the medium of television. Positivity of the early years of the Internet is giving way to a situation in which one cannot help but admit that the Interet, even with large areas of autonomy, is subject to the same dangerous political and economic dynamics of traditional media. It becomes crucial not just to understand what is the most democratic medium of the third millennium, but rather open our eyes to the dual nature of all media, to identify ways in which we learn to move strategically between truth and deception. These methodologies are the focus of many works of new media art: art is in fact the territory within which lays the duality of the media, playing creatively between liabilities and autonomy of the viewer’s interpretation of misconceptions and information. The art is able to expose the media automation because it puts the audience, and our role as spectators, in the center of the discourse on media. Globalne Ocieplenie / The Mediagate exhibition aims at reflecting, through the new media artworks by international artists, our constant battle between questioning and faith towards the media, without suggesting solutions, but triggering questions and doubts about our role as users. Globalne Ocieplenie / The Mediagate wants to become explicit homage to the word Watergate, that has entered common parlance to describe an embarrassing and outrageous discovery, often used as a measure to test the seriousness of a sudden truth, considered to be big enough to be able to undermine any system.

Ape-x artist: André Sier curator: Michał Brzeziński vernissage date: 18/06/2010 at 7 PM the exhibition will be open from 18/06/2010 to 30/07/2010 Contemporary art opens to a subject as a creator. Contemporary artist, being familiar with the art of internet and software, does not offer ready products, but delivers easy-to-use creative platforms, which live independently afterwards. Consequently, we can say, that we have moved to 2.0 culture whose manifestation is also Gallery NT. Artists such as Ben Fry (creator of the processing – platform used also by Andre Sier) create artworks presenting infinite opportunities of transforming into unlimited number of subsequent artworks. These are not only the tools, although artists treat them as such. These works constitute one organism, enabling proliferation of subsequent, interrelated artworks – collective, but expressing the ideas or expression of certain people. Contemporary art tries to establish interpersonal and social bonds, but respects freedom and expression of individual, since the individual is a condition of its existence. Such situation is visible in the works of Andre Sier, which become a rhizome of such dialogue, at the same time visualizing data brought from our presence in the gallery. It is not us, who decide about the final shape of the artwork, but our body, which speaks for ourselves. Entering a gallery, we do not intend to interfere with the artwork, since we have no readiness for the artwork in our consciousness. Next, observing its reaction to our behaviour, we pay attention to the way we function in that particular space and we learn its (artwork’s) language. The artwork is our partner, subject which has its own logics, coupled to our body and, thus, to our mind. In his other works, Sier creates worlds closed in the glass ball of computer monitor. He produces simple subjects, which he puts to evolution and sets up laws, which will rule these worlds: „Now I’m a network of cells 2,5. My state depends

on 1,4, 2,4, 3,4, 1,5, 3,5, 1,5, 2,5, 3,5 and we will be adding these values to check the current map of rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m alive. Now, I’m a network of cells 3,3. My state depends on 2,2, 3,2, 4,2, 2,3, 4,3, 2,4, 3,4, 4,4 and we will be adding these values to check the current map of rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m dead. Now I’m a network of cells 7,3. My state depends on 6,2, 7,2, 8,2, 6,3, 8,3, 7,4, 8,4, 9,4 and we will be adding these values to check the current map of rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m alive.” (Andre Sier) The work of Andre Sier refers to the cubism aesthetically and visually, but, being interactive, it does not evoke either broken mirror reflecting our face, or typical cubist painting, which usually presents the picture spread on geometric solid figures. It is the art of multitude of parallel information, which are procured by different, not necessary visual channels and subsequently visualized by the computer. Computer is an instance creating a picture, based on rules established by the artist. Gained information splits on the figures of algorithms. His works also struggle with the understanding of physical and evolutionary mechanisms or the chaos theory and use simulation for that. These are not ready artworks, but processes or sometimes records of particular spaciotemporal relations. Processualism and peformativity of his works, as well as the temporality of final effects is the fugitive artifact for the work of art. Graphics produced by the speakers splashing ink, which makes random patterns on paper, is only a conscious, fetishistic record of what happened in gallery on a particular day, since the sources of sound are the movement and the sound detected by the system. However, it has nothing to do with the artist’s expression or the search for chance in the painting, it is not an action painting either. The essence of his art is algorithm – structure, which lays at the basis of picture produced by the machine, it is a programming language game, emerging at the meeting point of human and machine languages. It is possible to find it if we look at his works with tenderness which characterizes the way human being looks at the other human being in action.

CRASH 2.0 OPENING 7.00PM 10 IX 2010 Łódzki Dom Kultury ul. R. Traugutta 18, 90-113 Łódź Exhibition is on: Tue - Fri 12.00 - 18.00, Sat 14.00 20.00 The exhibition of Robert B. Lisek analyzes the context of a “security” idea based on an example of the Smolensk crash. Robert B. Lisek analyzes the social processes which, through increasing public insecurity, contribute to the legitimacy of violence, deprivation of freedom and civil liberties and the consolidation of the authority as well as its credibility. At the outset, the artist raises questions about the nature of security: What is the basis of security? What ensures it? He asks about the state of security absence - permanently sustained uncertainty and constant raising of fears to maintain the services and structures responsible for security. Conspiracy theories as a modern heresy, apostasy from the doctrine of faith sustained by the media have recently become a very strong inspiration for artists around the world. The history of modern societies knows many forms of activity such as hijacking of both aircraft and people, mysterious disappearances, plane crashes, bomb attacks, and others that have influenced changing political situation and the distribution of power relations of a particular country or group of countries. Rapid social chain reactions accompanied by such incidents become a primary energy, a type of libido that animates culture, and this constitutes the starting point for the project Crash 2.0. It is widely known that such incidents and revolutions usually resulted in the introduction of so-called doctrine “son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch” (S.O.B. in short). This obviously contributes to the rise of conspiracy theories around Smolensk accident, which are, however, treated here as one of a class of phenomena occurring around the world. The project addresses the issues of security and analyses the disaster, particularly the air

crash near Smolensk as a culturally active factor, a factor which causes a political crisis and changes in existing system. Robert Lisek uses the methods of contemporary art and theory of computability, raises questions concerning political power and discussion which focuses on the key points of the collective experience of the disaster. The artist describes the work of the installation in short words: The project begins with the analysis of large data sets, examines how the disaster / conflict is depicted in the web and media. Then, the new information is concluded, as well as the probability of future events. Robert Lisek stays within the long avant-guarde tradition which started with efforts to cut off the artwork from the subjective individual, the artistic vision, inspiration and the need for expression. Drawing this line in the text constitutes a repetition of the avant-guarde history. The artist defines this context in a following way: In art, there is a tradition which combines both critical and analytical approach with activities that can be seen as a political praxis. The artist is inspired by groups such as Group Material active in the US in the 90’s, and his work should be considered in the context of contemporary groups connected to hacktyvism and tactical media: Institute of Applied Autonomy, Critical Art Ensemble. It is important that when Robert Lisek tackles the issue of Smolensk, he distances from the old paradigm of the artist showing subjective point of view, and this way he can cut off from the explicitness characterizing the authors of conspiracy theories, which would inevitably discredited the artist entangled in his own opinion based solely on the belief. The artist researches alternative story lines and to achieve it, he uses a web worm written by him i.e. a programme for automatic search for information in the web (based on the model of the software used by Russian special services GRU) and NEST portal ( / NESTofficial.html) which is a web platform designed to analyze and visualize connections between individuals, groups, events, documents and places. This way, the artist arranges a situation in which the outside reality speaks for itself. In such arrangement, the artist’s creation is limited to constructing transparent apparatus and arranging such construction as a spatial artwork. Using his own system, Robert Lisek recovers, analyses

and visualises information, creates a history, doing the job of historians. The model of history with the monkey at the typewriter is transformed into a model of a thinking machine which selects the data, creates versions and stories itself. Intellectual’s work in the world of today transforms into the consciousness of communicating the rules of work, whereas the work in a traditional sense is done by machines. Similarly, in the field of social communication, open sources and the opportunity to intervene in the source code enable to put this artistic project in the place previously occupied by the media. Corporate Media imposed global outlook according to the policy of the capital standing behind them. On the other hand, the project 2.0 CRASH proposes ever proliferating versions of events, connects facts using contemporary logic and mathematics. The mechanisms behind its work, related to analysis and data processing are much more readable than the mechanisms of power manipulating the media. Open sources makes the means of processing information takes reconfigurable! Corporate media are therefore useless, become eliminated and replaced by an art project, since they provide only one possible course of events. In the world of media there seem to appear a new site for alternative portals, becoming leading sources of information, for example WikiLeads, which published 75 000 documents revealing an alternative picture of the war in Afghanistan. Such information is then analyzed. Crash 2.0 also provides information unavailable from official channels, subversive reinterpretations of events, alternative narratives, from which we can choose the most suitable one. However, such a choice is always limited and shows that we believe only to what suits our limited minds.

Pomyłka / The Tipping Point of Failure. 29 Oct – 05 Dec 2010 Galeria NT / Imaginarium ul. R. Traugutta 18, 90-113 Łódź Today many people enjoy their time watching super 8 tapes, while listening to poorly recorded vinyl records or endlessly copied cassette tapes. They enjoy the discolorations, cracks, and noises of these media. This retro-fetishism shows that we find ourselves at an aesthetic turning point; the good quality of the old image is no longer important. Instead, we are attracted to the traces of “old” media, that seem to be absent or at least imperceptible in the “new” media of today. Artists such as Rosa Menkman aim to show and evaluate the flaws that we haven’t yet learned to appreciate or even recognize in our new media – the imperfection. ROSA MENKMAN (1983, Arnhem, Netherlands) is a leading international theory-practitioner of glitch art. She has written extensively on digital artifacts and noise, including the Glitch Studies Manifesto (2010). Her videos and real-time performances have been included in festivals like Cimatics (Brussels ’08 + 09), Blip (Europe and US in 2009), Video Vortex (Amsterdam ’08 + Brussels ’09), ISEA (Dublin ’09) and File (Sao Paolo ’10). She was also one of the organizers/curators of the successful GLI.TC/H festival that took place in Chicago in 2010. She has collaborated on art projects and performed together with Alexander Galloway, little-scale, and the Internet art collective, Menkman received her Master’s degree in 2009 and is currently pursuing a practical PhD at the KHM Cologne, writing on the subject of Artifacts. Roman Jakobson identified various functions of communication in the primary axis between the addresser, the addressee and the message. When communication revolves only around the message itself, it has, according to Jakobson, a poetic function. Such a message does not communicate anything but its structure. Glitch is a radical implementation of this postulate on the grounds of visual arts. The aesthetics of glitch, which continues traditions of structural film, comes from the interest in the medium itself, and thus, the process of image formation. The medium and its inherent specificities has become radically important for contemporary art, since many significant contemporary artworks use some form of exploitation of the material of (modern) media, or are known thanks to documentation done within these media. The exhibition of “Pomyłka / Tipping point of failure” („Pomyłka” means „Mistake”) aims to pinpoint a quintessential phenomenon of aesthetics and contemporary art – the phenomenon of glitch. The aesthetics of glitch stems from an

interest in the structure and research on conditions and characteristics of each medium. Technically, this is can be accomplished by the exploration of the opportunities offered by for instance circuitbending and databending. These techniques that are often used by artists that are working within this field of art can be divided into several main types. Firstly, they focus on observation of the audiovisual effects caused by reconstruction of hardware, such as soldering wires, the changing of values (of resistors or data), introducing external components to the integrated circuit, etc. A second type is intentional damaging the media. A third type is damaging and redesigning data in digital files, when the artist gets to the content of the file and changes it manually by typing in a variety of values (computer graphic programs perform the same actions but in a mechanical way). A fourth type is the action associated with the transmission of the signal and its modulation. Artists repeatedly send the same files between devices up to the point when some of them commit certain errors. A fifth type of activities are actions related to the repeated compression of files or using errors of various compressed audio-visual materials. To this collection we can also add many other related strategies such as the usage of TV interlacing or “freeze frame” in the VHS machines, the scrolling of the preview of DV devices, exposing differences in the frequency of images’ refreshing and scanning rates in the camera and TV systems, the usage of differences in the lighting of different parts of the old style kinescopes that are invisible to the naked eye or the large variety of feedback techniques, etc. It is an extremely interesting field of aesthetic exploration, which influences design, advertising industry and popular culture. Often, the artists within this field treat each of these tactics as a research in the extensions of the human senses. Such orientation places them close to the position of for instance scientists. Artists, similarly to scientists, set up a research context and let the examined matter speaks for itself. But in glitch art, the word mistake has also become a synonym for the natural consequences of actions and gives right to a following and a following trial, which might cause different effects every time. From this perspective, glitch art could become a chapter in the history of art by just a simple exploration of the aesthetical relationships between a first and a subsequent mistake and its references to known canons of composition. Each of the redesigned devices can produce dozens of interesting abstract images per second and disrupt a yet to be constructed history by the inherent impossibility of capturing ephemeral artifacts – mistakes. However, this kind of art can also, and maybe more interestingly, be understood in a metaphorical or even political or ethi-

cal way. Glitch is obviously related to the aesthetics of punk or DIY strategies. Striving for a poor quality image (Low Quality) or deliberately destroying or redesigning a final message, or to recapture the creativity of a medium can be described as the key features of an anti-corporate attitude. ing an advanced glitch studies, in which she strengthens practical research in aesthetics and design by scientific research, with focal points on politics, art-history and technological forms and discourses. While artists are no longer interested in achieving results, but they want to explore the material and are open to the strangest sensory conclusions, it must be a meaningful sign that we live in a time in which totalitarian and fascist aesthetics of ideal projections, or the principle of socalled art without randomness, are fading into oblivion. Rosa Menkman aims to show and evaluate the flaws that we haven’t yet learned to appreciate or even recognize in our new media – the imperfection – and sets out to create an awareness of the many questions and different dichotomies inherent to these imperfections are brought to the front. Instead, once again, art has become the domain of creative experiment. This is why, if the history of art wants „Within a high-tech world, consumers are blinded by to explore this strategy, it has to go very deeply not only the sparkles of the latest protocol. They are on an el- into the artifact, the mistake, but into a process of createvator that seems to take them to a realm that functions ing these images and the unveiling of their hidden logic. cleaner, better and faster. However, during this trip in The artists no longer create finished works of art or even the elevator they never seem to arrive at a final desti- exclusive artistic ideas, but instead they produce creative nation – the holy grail of perfection. New media are platforms, where the addressee has the power to become not perfect and will never be perfect. Diverging and the creator of the final work of art. In this sense, glitch sometimes even opposing retro-fetishism, we need to is a constantly mutating entity, that can move from a be aware of the doctrine of our flawed, yet superficially ephemeral form of randomness to a new paradigm. This perfect new media.„ is where we can find the tipping point of failure. The essence of Rosa Menkman’s art does not lie in achieving visual effects or within the development of just another glitch aesthetics. Instead she is conduct- Michal Brzezinski

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