Aleksandra Domanovic

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Technologism


Catalogue published to accompany the exhibition Technologism, at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne, 3 Oct – 12 Dec 2015, curated by Charlotte Day.

Artists: Cory Arcangel (US), Dara Birnbaum (US), Chris Burden (US), Ian Burn (AU), Antoinette J. Citizen (AU), Simon Denny (NZ), Jan Dibbets (NL), Aleksandra Domanović (SI/DE), Harun Farocki (DE), Benjamin Forster (AU), Isa Genzken (DE), Greatest Hits (AU), Martijn Hendriks (NL), Lynn Hershman Leeson (US), Matt Hinkley (AU), Jenny Holzer (US), Edward Kienholz & Nancy Reddin Kienholz (US), Oliver Laric (AT), Mark Leckey (UK), Scott Mitchell (AU), Rabih Mroué (LB), Henrik Olesen (DK), Nam June Paik (KR/US), Nam June Paik & John Godfrey (US), Joshua Petherick (AU), Matte Rochford (AU), Jill Scott (AU), Richard Serra (US), John F. Simon Jr. (US), Brian Springer (US), Hito Steyerl (DE), Ricky Swallow (AU), Jeff Thompson (US), Pia van Gelder (AU), Ulla Wiggen (US) and Dennis Wilcox (AU)

MUMA concludes its three-part series on watershed moments in art history — Reinventing the Wheel: the readymade century and Art as a Verb — with Technologism, a major group exhibition bringing together forty-three historical and contemporary artworks, including several new commissions from Australian practitioners. Technologism wrestles with the profound cultural, social and political impact technology has made on art since the 1960s.

Conservative cul-de-sac’s of the community are often sceptical of technology and its ever increasing presence in our lives. However many artists — with a natural propensity for constant upheaval — have whole-heartedly embraced radical changes in technology over the last sixty years. Featuring artworks that engage both physically and conceptually with electronic systems — television, computers, the internet, smartphones — Technologism focuses on the ways artists critique and disrupt official uses of the media, or construct their own machines and data systems.

Riffing off both the aesthetic and conceptual characteristics of technology, artists in Technologism document technology’s advancement in a plethora of ways: Ulla Wiggen’s intricate paintings of circuit boards from the mid 1960s, see the development of an aesthetic inspired by the complex intersection of electrical wires, connectors and components, working to manipulate and rewire the physicality of technology; some thirty years later, John F. Simon’s Art Appliances series of the 1990s uses the circuitry of small LCD screens to disrupt pictures and patterns, recreating them over; in Matte Rochford’s video Progressively Degrading Test Pattern 2013, humble VHS tapes are copied and recopied, in a process of metaphysical reduction; while in Joshua Petherick’s new work, one technology is employed to record another soon to be superseded, revealing new visual dimensions and the ‘ghosts in the machine’.

A story of advancement inevitably turns into obsolescence, and Technologism seeks to document the early use of broadcast technology as a way of bridging the gap (and finding a space) between the image on the screen, the physical presence of the viewer, and the broader community. Jan Dibbet’s TV as a Fireplace 1968, documents television as a collective experience — even if viewers were separated physically, they were united through time and space like pre-historic cave-dwellers by a communal broadcast. However with the advent of the internet, personal computer devices and streaming services, technology has again changed the relationship we have with the world around us to a more singular yet proliferating existence.

A history of DIY jamming and hacking presents the way artists have continued to subvert conventional uses of technology and challenge the status-quo, from the internet as militarily-designed, to corporately-exploited, civilian-employed, artistically-manipulated, and back again. For instance, Lynn Hershman Leeson’s work investigates how media is used as a tool for censorship and political repression, while Simon Denny’s work co-opts the aesthetic and rhetoric of language of multinational corporations in order to question their power. In presenting these works and others, Technologism seeks to consider what is the value of such subversion, or is it merely a perpetuation of the problem?

Artist Hito Steyerl asks, ‘is the internet dead?’ Although, hyperbolic in its prognosis, Technologism recognises that sceptical questions such as this are an important part of how artistic practice negotiates technological advancement. Technologism proceeds from the idea that technology in all its forms, physical and immaterial, needs to be interrogated in order to be perpetually remade.

Technologism considers changes in infrastructure, such as telecommunication networks and the internet, and the cultural implications of technological innovation and considers from the position of the developers of these technologies as well as from the end user. Technologism asks ‘how does technology effect artistic practice?’ As well as, ‘how can artistic practice effect technology?’

Fully illustrated catalogue features texts by Charlotte Day, Philip Brophy, Bridget Crone and Sean Dockray. Designed by Yanni Florence.

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Technologism
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Ordinary Pictures


Despite its apparent throwaway status, the stock image comprises the primary commodity of a billion-dollar global industry with far-reaching effects in the marketplace and the public sphere. Taking this overlooked facet of contemporary life as a point of departure, “Ordinary Pictures” explores the photographic apparatuses and commercial interests that have given rise to our generic image culture through the conceptual image-based work of some 40 artists, including John Baldessari, Steven Baldi, Sarah Charlesworth, Anne Collier, Liz Deschenes, John Divola, Aleksandra Domanovi c, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, Jack Goldstein, Rachel Harrison, Robert Heinecken, Leslie Hewitt, Elad Lassry, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Steve McQueen, Jack Pierson, Peter Piller, Seth Price, Amanda Rossotto, Ed Ruscha, Steven Shore, Sturtevant, Mungo Thomson, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tseng Kwong Chi, Julia Wachtel and Christopher Williams. Spanning generations, movements and artistic strategies from the 1960s to the present day, this publication brings together works by artists who have probed, mimicked and critiqued this aspect of our visual environment as well as its industrial modes of production and distribution. Through the work of these artists and a series of scholarly essays, the catalogue aims to examine different operations of the generic image in culture, namely its anonymous circulation and editorial uses, its adaptability and reproducibility, its technical processes of production, its claim to copyright and artistic license and its tendency toward abstraction. Featuring a unique, coil-bound design reminiscent of stock photo catalogues and a flexidisc recording by the artist Jack Goldstein, this highly collectible book ultimately reflects on contemporary art’s own complicit function as an expanding industrial image economy.

Edited by Eric Crosby, texts by Lane Relyea and Thomas Beard.

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Sculpture Unlimited 2 : Materiality in Times of Immateriality
Eva Grubinger, Jörg Heiser (Eds.)

Eva Grubinger, Jörg Heiser (Eds.)

Contributions by Aleksandra Domanović, Mark Fisher, Nathalie Heinich, Mark Leckey, Jean-François Lyotard and Bernard Blistène, Jussi Parikka, Christiane Sauer, Timotheus Vermeulen

While the first volume Sculpture Unlimited (2011) dealt with the question of how the contemporary field of sculpture can be defined in a useful and stimulating manner against its long history, the second volume looks at the present and future. Once again edited by Eva Grubinger and Jörg Heiser, with contributions by internationally reputed artists and scholars, this volume poses the following question: If we assume that computers and algorithms increasingly control our lives, that they not only regulate social and communicative traffic but also produce new materials and things, does this increase or decrease the space for artistic imagination and innovation? Where is the place of art and sculpture, provided we don’t want art to resort to merely maintaining aesthetic traditions?

With sculpture as a leading reference, the contributions address theory, aesthetics, and technology: Do current philosophical movements such as new materialism and object-oriented ontology affect our notion of the art object? Does so-called post-Internet art have a future? And how does the Internet of Things relate to objects and things in art?

Design by Surface

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The Reluctant Narrator: A Survey of Narrative Practices Across Media
Ana Teixeira Pinto (Ed.)

Contributions by Erika Balsom, Sladja Blazan, Kerstin Stakemeier, Ana Teixeira Pinto

Often referred to as the “narrative turn,” an explosion of interest in narrative practices at the end of the twentieth century was predicated on the notion that life itself is storied, or—as Jacques Ranciére put it—that the real must be fictionalized in order to be thought. Postmodernism itself was described as a “narrative turn” in which a rekindled interest in the fictive, the chronicle, and the anecdotal upstaged the symbolic unity of high modernism. But as Susan Buck-Morss has noted, modernism and postmodernism are not historical moments, they are political positions: two poles of a recurring movement, expressing the contradictions inherent to the industrial mode of production in the identity and nonidentity between social function and aesthetic form. Rather than opposing a myriad of micro-narratives to the grand narrative of modernism, The Reluctant Narrator attempts to map the migration of narrative modes across several media, bringing together works that intertwine personal biography with historical events, or that deal with stories that fell through the crevices of history.

Copublished with Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon, on the occasion of the exhibition “The Reluctant Narrator” (October 15, 2014–January 11, 2015) with works by Julieta Aranda, Armando Andrade Tudela, Leonor Antunes, Kader Attia, Nina Beier, Derek Boshier, Aleksandra Domanović, Dani Gal, Karl Holmqvist, Christoph Keller, David Levine, Amalia Pica, Bojan Šarčević, John Smith, Hito Steyerl, Stephen Sutcliffe, Andreas Töpfer, Gernot Wieland.

A Portuguese edition is available from Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon.

Design by Andreas Koch

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