From the Society of the Spectacle to the Consciousness Industry

From the Society of the Spectacle to the Consciousness Industry

September 30 – October 10, 2022
Digital Art Festival Taipei 2022

Gallery Page

The Brain Without Organs: An Aporia of Care

"The Strange Afterlife of Einstein’s Brain," 2022. Installation view at Museum of Neon Art, Glendale, CA.

The Brain Without Organs: An Aporia of Care

April 16 – September 25, 2022
Museum of Neon Art (MONA)

Gallery Page

The Museum of Neon Art presents the world premiere of The Brain Without Organs: The Aporia of Care, an exhibition of two large neon installations and a series of blacklight activated paintings by artist Warren Neidich. The exhibition uses light and immersive installations to consider philosophical and conceptual questions around information, capitalism, and the evolution of the brain.

Warren Neidich’s works exist at the border zones of art, science and social justice. Over the past two decades, Neidich has applied neurological and aesthetic approaches to understanding humans’ evolving relationship with information technology. He has engaged these issues from the role of curator, writer, and artist. In 1996 he co-founded Artbrain.org and Journal of Neuroaesthetics. Now 26 years and many exhibitions, symposia, and anthologies later, Neidich’s works continue to question the evolving networks of control, surveillance, and information under capitalism and globalism and how they are redefining and reshaping systems of the brain. MONA Executive Director Corrie Siegel states, “Neon is a technology invented at the turn of the 20th century as a tool of commerce and advertising. The bright shine of electrified noble gas still connects on a deep level with viewers both as material of commerce as well as an aesthetic tool, capturing attention, as well as eliciting wonder. Neidich uses neon light as a throughline in this exhibition to apply Marxist concepts about labor, production, and attention, as well as conjure the possibility of art as a source of awareness and emancipation from the attention economy.”

The title of the exhibition, The Brain Without Organs, is inspired by a concept of “body without organs.” This originated in the writings of Antonin Artaud and was expanded by philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. These thinkers advocated for an understanding of the body as something that is more than the sum of its parts, it is an unbounded entity full of potential which is able to affect and be affected by its surroundings. The Brain Without Organs explores how the brain is both located in the skull as well as an expansive socio-political entity, developing along with machine learning, big data, and social media.

The hanging sculpture “Brain Without Organs” is composed of constellations of levitating branches glowing in white neon tubing. These marks represent sulci (the grooves) and gyri (the folds) on the outer layer of the brain. The sulci and gyri enable the brain to contain more surface area and they also serve as mapping devices for scientists who delineate areas of the brain. Neidich uses a Situationist method of détournement to create an alternative arrangement free from the constraints of an overall plan. In this case, as presented at MONA, Neidich is calling for the brain to become a Chthulucene or Ecocene Brain rather than one which is modeled on the values of the Anthropocene. His hope is to produce technologically friendly ecological machines and systems which will produce new forms of what the Norwegian ecologist Arne Naess referred to as the ecological self, bound to the tenants of deep ecology. In deep ecology humans are bound to nature not dissociated from it. Instead of considering humans superior to other life forms understands them to be equal. Humans are therefore linked to the biosphere and connected to biodiversity.

“The Strange Afterlife of Einstein’s Brain,” is a wall mounted sculpture of branching white and red neon shapes that represent the folds in a section of Einstein’s cerebral cortex. The neon elements are simultaneously gestural, indexical, and abstract. Some studies of Einstein’s brain have found several anomalies that distinguish it from typical human brains. In the work these unique folds are delineated by red neon tubing. By highlighting the neurodivergence of one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century the work brings forth the suggestion that neurodiversity is a generator of possibility, rather than limitations.

A small room filled with black light contains paintings that illustrate the brain both anatomically and abstractly. The folds of the brain branch into emojis, text, and symbolism, bringing to mind the social and political nature of cognitive capitalism in which material labor has been replaced by immaterial labor. The fluorescent marks are reminiscent of diagrams, psychedelic paintings, and text threads, mimicking the expansive use of symbolism in attention economies, but also estranging them from their original context.

In destabilizing symbols for the brain, information, and communication Neidich creates space to consider the way our brains are being rewired by our social conditions. As social and political systems are rapidly changing due to neural networks like the internet, Neidich believes it is possible to expand the expectations and constraints society has applied to the mind through artistic navigation. Neidich’s subtitle for the exhibition, An Aporia of Care, refers to the philosophical concept for a state of puzzlement or doubt. For Neidich aporia serves as a metaphor with which to understand the notion of care during a time when the world is increasingly interconnected. “Art as a form of mental hacking can provide an escape from this imminent disaster – if only we have the consciousness and courage to do so!” states Warren Neidich.


A Proposition for an Alt-Parthenon Marbles Recoded: The Phantom as Other

Warren Neidich. A Proposition for an Alt-Parthenon Marbles Recoded: The Phantom as Other, 2021.

A Proposition for an Alt-Parthenon Marbles Recoded: The Phantom as Other

May 18 – August 21, 2021
Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V.
Berlin, Germany

Gallery Page

In this diagram of a complex assemblage of AIs the psychic energy generated by the phantom limbs is the dominant input through the input layer which sculpts the efficiencies of the connections and synapses of the ANN. But in this case this input is modulated by another source of input from the combined choices made by individuals interacting with the entity through the use of VR-Brain Computer Headsets as well as Eye Tracking Software. Their attention to the various components of the entity also produces data that sculpts the ANN and is responsible for its changing patterns. You notice that some of the words and stringy like structures are black and others are becoming intense in time. That the organization of the Virtual sculpture is constantly changing. The structure is an emerging and generative structure created by the  combined psychic data emanating from the subjects interacting and making choices about what to pay attention to and  the immersive environment and the psychic energy of the phantoms. In the end the subjects are on the one hand looking at the self-reflexive entity they are together producing and the artwork makes visible and opaque the usually invisible and transparent quality of mindedness.


Specters of the Acephalous (2020)

Specters of the Acephalous (2020)

Something Between Us at KAI10 | Arthena Foundation
Exhibition: March 6 to August 2, 2020
Curators: Ludwig Seyfarth and Harriet Zilch


Noise and the Possibility of a Future

Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello (Venice Conservatory of Music)

Noise and the Possibility of a Future

NOVEMBER 21, 2019
AplusA Gallery

NOVEMBER 22, 2019
Venice Conservatory of Music

NOVEMBER 23, 2019
Zuecca Project Space

Gallery Page

A three-day event of performances, lectures and screenings

Zuecca Projects is happy to announce “Noise and the Possibility of a Future”, a four-day happening consisting of lectures, sound works, workshops and performances taking place at different locations in Venice, and focused on the cultural and political potentialities of noise.

Initiated in collaboration with Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto MarcelloAplusA Gallery and bruno, “Noise and the Possibility of a Future” celebrates and accompanies Warren Neidich´s solo exhibition “Rumor to Delusion” which is currently on view at the Zuecca Project Space as part of the La Biennale di Venezia.

Noise is prevalent in our postindustrial society, whether it be the cacophony of the factory, the war machine that inspired such Futurists as Luigi Russolo, the dissonance of the public space, or the loud music blaring over a loudspeaker in a mall. Noise gets a bad rap as something considered offensive and that needs to be controlled or mitigated. However, noise has another side more positive and emancipatory. These events stake a claim for noise as a liberating mode of production.

Noise and the Possibility of a Future

November 21-23, 2019
Venice Conservatory of Music
Venice, Italy

Untuning Three Black Steinway Pianos at Three Times During the Day

Video, 22:24
In “Untuning,” three piano tuners were asked to untune the same Steinway piano at the three times during the day to what they considered maximum entropy.

Cruise

Video, 10:20
“Cruise” follows the journey of the cruise boat Rhapsody of the Seas through the Canal della Giudecca in Venice Italy accompanied by the speech that Greta Thunberg gave at the UN set to death metal.

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.


Untuning Three Black Steinway Pianos at Three Times During the Day

Untuning Three Black Steinway Pianos at Three Times During the Day (2019)

Video, 22:24

In “Untuning,” three piano tuners were asked to untune the same Steinway piano at the three times during the day to what they considered maximum entropy. The soundtracks of the three videos were then mashed.

password: hello

Noise and the Possibility of a Future

November 21-23, 2019
Venice Conservatory of Music
Venice, Italy

Untuning Three Black Steinway Pianos at Three Times During the Day

Video, 22:24
In “Untuning,” three piano tuners were asked to untune the same Steinway piano at the three times during the day to what they considered maximum entropy.

Cruise

Video, 10:20
“Cruise” follows the journey of the cruise boat Rhapsody of the Seas through the Canal della Giudecca in Venice Italy accompanied by the speech that Greta Thunberg gave at the UN set to death metal.

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.


Cruise

Cruise (2019)

Video, 10:20

“Cruise” follows the journey of the cruise boat Rhapsody of the Seas through the Canal della Giudecca in Venice Italy accompanied by the speech that Greta Thunberg gave at the UN set to death metal music. The video finishes with a rolling list of environmental offenses caused by these ships.

password: hello

Noise and the Possibility of a Future

November 21-23, 2019
Venice Conservatory of Music
Venice, Italy

Untuning Three Black Steinway Pianos at Three Times During the Day

Video, 22:24
In “Untuning,” three piano tuners were asked to untune the same Steinway piano at the three times during the day to what they considered maximum entropy.

Cruise

Video, 10:20
“Cruise” follows the journey of the cruise boat Rhapsody of the Seas through the Canal della Giudecca in Venice Italy accompanied by the speech that Greta Thunberg gave at the UN set to death metal.

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.


Rumor to Delusion

Rumor to Delusion

10.05.2019 – 24.11.2019
Zuecca Project Space, Giudecca 33, 30133 Venice
58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Curatorial and Production Team: Lauri Firstenberg, Antonia Alampi, Sanaz Alesafar
Design Coordinator: Chiara Figone

Press Kit

Gallery Page

American artist and theorist Warren Neidich will present his solo exhibition “Rumor to Delusion” at the Zuecca Project Space, to coincide with the opening of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, in Venice, Italy. In a series of works on view, Neidich captures the entangled and psychedelic tale of the Pizzagate mythology in our post-truth moment.

Pizzagate was the fake news story that was circulated at the end of the 2016 presidential campaign which accused Hillary Clinton and her staff of running a child sex slave ring out of the basement of the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Washington D.C.

Many political scientists refer to our times as the post-truth moment because of the difficulty in discerning whether news stories reflect the truth or not. Neidich asks the question as to whether and to what degree sensationalized fictive news stories command our attention and collective behavior. Do they do so more intensely than factual ones? What role does art play in finding the answers?

These constitute the core issues at play in this exhibition dominated by the Pizzagate Neon, 2017, a monumental multicolored text-based neon sculpture suspended from the ceiling of the front chamber of the exhibition space. Its composition evokes both the iCloud and the connectome, a network-based model of the brain’s dynamic connection pattern.

The artist suggests that with the advent of artificial intelligence, big data and the attention economy, we have entered a later stage of the knowledge economy, in which the brain and mind represent the new sites of the administration of sovereign power. Neidich’s work is reminiscent of the text-based neon sculptures of Bruce Nauman and Mario Merz and pays homage to the politically inflected mind maps of Joseph Beuys and Mark Lombardi.

The sculpture will be accompanied by other works such as the experimental video entitled, Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion, 2019, recently premiered at Transmediale Berlin, and a performative sculpture, Scoring the Tweets, 2018, first exhibited at the Priska Pasquer Gallery, Cologne, Germany. Using Internet news streams and raw footage filmed at the Comet Ping Pong, the video acts as a soundtrack in dialogue with the sculpture. It collages the tale of Edgar Welch, who incensed by the fake news story, drove up from North Carolina, automatic rifle in hand, to free the children he thought were incarcerated there, with that of the exaggerated reaction on right-wing news feeds to the discovery of Marina Abramovic’s work Spirit Cooking, 1997, in the WikiLeaks emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. Scoring the Tweets, 2018, is a delicate sculpture consisting of four sets of graphic scores generated from one-hundred and ninety-four tweets made by Donald Trump commenting on fake news which were cut up and assembled upon scotch tape and then strung across microphone stands. During the opening days, as well as throughout the exhibition, musicians well versed in the techniques of improvisation will perform the scores.

Assembled together, these works begin to unravel the complex cultural, political and economic dynamics that define the mediated mass hysteria of American life today. During the opening of the exhibition, Neidich will also launch his book “Glossary of Cognitive Activism”, published by Archive Books. It will form the basis of soon to be announced series of performative lectures and talks taking place in the gallery as well as a multidisciplinary symposium on fake news.

With the kind support of Priska Pasquer Gallery, Cologne; Barbara Seiler Gallery, Zurich; Innovation Foundation, Los Angeles.
Sponsored by Kienbaum.

The Glossary of Cognitive Activism (for a not so distant future)

2019 Anagram/Archive Books

This glossary is meant to accompany the three-volume publication The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part 1, 2 and 3. It reflects the concerns contained in those volumes. It marks the beginning of a long-term process of creating a dictionary of terms with which to understand and eventually destabilize the complex ways through which a future Neural Capitalism will work in creating contemporary forms of neural subsumption.

On Cognitive Capitalism

Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Rumor to Delusion

May 5 – November 24, 2019
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Scoring the Tweets

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.


Scoring the Tweets

Scoring the Tweets (2018)

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space, Giudecca 33, 30133 Venice
58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

First exhibited at PRISKA PASQUER (Köln, DE).

Gallery Page

On Cognitive Capitalism

Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Rumor to Delusion

May 5 – November 24, 2019
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Scoring the Tweets

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.

Scoring the Tweets

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Scoring the Tweets

12.05.2018
PRISKA PASQUER Gallery
Köln, DE


Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion (2019)

Video, 19:19

“Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion” is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story. The Pizzagate scandal was a conspiracy theory that went viral in which Hillary Clinton and her associates at her campaign offices were accused of running a child sex ring out of the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Washington D.C. It also uncovers the reasons for the madness that motivated Edgar Welch to drive up from North Carolina to free these girls.

password: hello

On Cognitive Capitalism

Interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Rumor to Delusion

May 5 – November 24, 2019
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Scoring the Tweets

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion

Video, 19:19
"Pizzagate: From Rumor to Delusion" is an experimental documentary that describes our post-truth society through the Pizzagate fake news story.


Conversation with Noise, 2018

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/287072895" width="1600"]
[su_spacer size="40"]

 

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/297594486" width="1600"]
[su_spacer size="40"]

 

PRISKA PASQUER
Cologne, Germany
www.priskapasquer.art


Scoring the Tweets

Scoring the Tweet(s) (2018)

In his improvisational performative work Scoring the Tweet(s)(2018), Warren Neidich uses a cut and paste method first devised in Surrealism and later in the works of William Burroughs, to alter and rearrange the one hundred and ninety-six tweets of Donald Trump that mention fake news to create a graphic score. This score was installed for its performance at PRISKA PASQUER in the evening of May 12, 2018.

Scoring the Tweet(s), 2018, is an installation composed of 16 graphic scores that are displayed and stretched across four pairs of microphone stands and a video projection created during its performance. The graphic scores were created by cutting up 196 tweets of Donald Trump which concern Fake News and assembling them as poems upon music composition paper which is photocopied on translucent velum and then cut into strips before being assembled. The musicians are instructed to visit each score at designated times and perform it. The work expresses the power of poetry and improvisation as forms of political resistance.

Gallery Page

GERMAN:
In seiner performativen Arbeit Scoring the Tweet(s) (2018) verändert und re-arrangiert Neidich 196 Tweets von Donald Trump, die Fake News thematisieren. Mit Hilfe einer Cut-and-Paste-Methode gestaltet er eine musikalische Notation. Diese Methode illustriert die Unbestimmtheit der Sprache wie auch ihre tieferliegende Pluripotentialität. Sie wurde ursprünglich im Surrealismus entwickelt und später auch in den Arbeiten von William Burroughs eingesetzt. “Scoring the Tweet(s)” wurde für seine musikalische Premiere bei PRISKA PASQUER erstmalig aufgebaut und am Abend des 12. Mai 2018 aufgeführt.

Scoring the Tweet(s), 2018, ist eine Installation, die aus 16 grafischen Partituren besteht, welche über vier Paare von Mikrophonständern gespannt sind. Dazu gehört eine Videoprojektion, die während der Aufführung entstand. Für die Partituren wurden 196 Twitter Nachrichten von Donald Trump, die den Begriff Fake News enthalten, in Fragmente zerschnitten und als Gedichte auf transparentes Papier collagiert, auf das auch Notenlinien kopiert wurden, bevor es, in Streifen geschnitten, aufgehängt wurde.Die Musiker wurden instruiert, nach einem vereinbarten Ablaufplan zu jeder Partitur zu gehen und sie auszuführen. Diese Arbeit vermittelt die Macht von Poesie und Improvisation als Form von politischem Widerstand aus.

PRISKA PASQUER (Köln, DE)

Scoring the Tweets

Rumor to Delusion
9.05.2019 – Opening performance
Zuecca Project Space
La Biennale di Venezia, Italy

Scoring the Tweets

12.05.2018
PRISKA PASQUER Gallery
Köln, DE


Infinite Spectres and the Anarchy of Time Plus 1, 2016

Barbara Seiler, Zurich, 2016

[aesop_gallery id="5619" revealfx="off" overlay_revealfx="off"]


Color of Politics / The Statisticon Neon

Color of Politics + The Statisticon Neon

Color of Politics
April 28 – June 24, 2017

The Statisticon Neon
April 28 – August 19, 2017

Verein zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz e.V.
Linienstraße 40 – Berlin, Germany

Gallery Page

In this blindfolded performance Warren Neidich explains his Statisticon Neon for the German-French TV show Arte. The STATISTICON is the central node at the heart of a complex network composed of multiple streams, including algorithmically derived smart and sustainable architecture and urban design; the internet of things, the Internet of Everything (IoE); neural capitalism and neural technology; processes of valorization—which include branding and public relations—neural consumerism and neural economics, and the technologies of affect integrated into various—primarily virtual—media.

ENGLISH:

The Statisticon Neon (2017) pays homage to Joseph Beuys monumental work Das Kapital Raum 1970-1977 originally shown in the German Pavillon in Venice in 1980 and today on loan to Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie as part of Erich Marx’s Beuys-Block. Neidich mounts his diagrammatic work in multicolored neon upon a non-formal arrangement of black boards that echo the original Beuys’ installation much as a technicolor film would a black and white. His neon looks at the relationship between art and society some forty years later taking into account the role of the internet and its effect on labor and capital.

The 21st century has been called the century of the brain and recently we have transitioned from Post-fordism to cognitive capitalism where the mind and brain are the new factories of the 21st century. While the internet was still an experimental paradigm at the time of Beuys’ work we now labor for free on Facebook, Instagram and Google producing data that creates individual data profiles, later sold to corporations and security firms. Today, formal subsumption of the labor of the proletariat has transitioned to real subsumption, in which our entire life is consumed by work, and we have become cognitariats. The Neon Statisticon links this development with the recent neurologic turn in which the action of capitalism is directed to the brains neural plasticity something, which Neidich has called neuropower or Neuromacht.

Color of Politics

Color like money and language has become deregulated. Color is no longer tethered to form and meaning and becomes a vehicle through which emancipated feelings, political intrigues and resistance to institutional normalization processes can become realized. Warren Neidich uses color to recoup the political conditions of creating meaning – summarized in the three part neon-painting Red, White, and Blue (2007).

In the Afterimage Paintings, (2016) red neon sculptures spell the names of German emigrants Bertolt Brecht, Hanns Eisler and Lion Feuchtwanger all of which were later blacklisted in Hollywood as communists and thus never were granted a star on Hollywood Boulevard. Neidich remedies this by activating complementary colored afterimages that are then projected upon empty painted stars mimicking those found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the Archive of False Accusations (2016) vitrines illuminated by lavender neon light display found press clippings reporting on what has become known as The Lavender Scare – a less known facet of Joseph McCarthy’s witch-hunt to root out communist sympathizers.

In a second room a large three-dimensional cloudlike sculpture is installed: Pizzagate – named after the infamous conspiracy tale culminating in sniper Edgar Welch wanting to rescue the supposed sexually abused children he believed to held in the basement of Comet Ping PongPizzagate exposes the apparatuses and patterns of flow and connectivity that generate False News and define click bait as well as understanding that in cognitive capitalism the new site of governmentalization in the new attention economy is the brain’s neural plasticity, especially that found in the frontal cortex where attention and working memory are located. It also shows that the still virulent rumor based entirely on Fake News by now reaches well into the art world. If you want to find out how that works without fault you should try out Neidich’s most recent sculpture the small experimental setup Trump Cup (2017).

DEUTSCH:

The Statisticon Neon (2017) ist eine Hommage an Joseph Beuys’ monumentales Werk Das Kapital Raum 1970-1977, das zuerst 1980 im Deutschen Pavillon in Venedig zu sehen war und sich heute als Leihgabe in der Neuen Nationalgalerie / Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin befindet. Neidich montiert sein diagrammatisches, von buntem Neonlicht gepägtes Werk auf eine zwanglose Anordnung schwarzer Tafeln, die eine Art Echo auf Beuys’ Installation sind und sich zu dieser vergleichbar einem Technicolor- zu einem Schwarzweissfilm verhalten. Das Neonlicht veranschaulicht die Beziehung zwischen Kunst und Gesellschaft rund vierzig Jahre nach Beuys’ Werk, insbesondere die Bedeutung des Internets und seine Auswirkungen auf Arbeit und Kapital.

Das 21. Jahrhundert ist als Jahrhundert des Gehirns bezeichnet worden, seid wir jüngst vom Postfordismus in den Kognitiven Kapitalismus übergegangen sind. Der Geist und das Gehirn sind die neuen Fabriken des 21.Jahrhunderts. Während das Internet zur Zeit von Beuys’ Werk noch ein begrenztes Experiment war, arbeiten wir heute unbezahlt für Facebook, Instagram und Google, indem die von uns produzierten Daten individuelle Datenproflle ergeben, die später an Unternehmen und Sicherheitsfirmen verkauft werden.

Heute hat sich die formale Subsumption der Arbeit des Proletariats in eine reale Subsumption transformiert, in der unser ganzes Leben von Arbeit konsumiert wird, und wir sind Kognitarier geworden. Das Statisticon Neon verbindet diese Entwicklung mit dem in letzter Zeit erfolgten neurologischen Turn, in dem die Aktivität des Kapitalismus die Neuroplastizität des Gehirns mit etwas verbunden wird, das Neidich neuropower oder Neuromacht genannt hat – ein Begriff, der direkt in die Ausstellung im 2. Stock weiterführt.

Color of Politics

Wie das Geld und die Sprache ist auch die Farbe dereguliert worden. Farbe ist nicht mehr mit Form und Bedeutung verknüpft und wird ein Vehikel, durch das emanzipierte Gefühle erzeugt, politische Intrigen initiiert, aber auch Widerstand gegen institutionelle Normalisierungsprozesse realisiert werden kann. Warren Neidich setzt Farbe ein, um die politischen Voraussetzungen, Bedeutung zu schaffen, wiederzugewinnen – zusammengefasst in dem dreiteiligen Neonbild Red, White, and Blue (2007).

Bei den Afterimage Paintings (2016) bilden rote Neonskulpturen die Buchstaben der Namen der deutschen Emigranten Bertolt Brecht, Hanns Eisler und Lion Feuchtwanger, die alle später in Hollywood als Kommunisten auf der schwarzen Liste standen und denen deshalb nie einen Stern auf dem Hollywood Boulevard gewidmet wurde. Neidich berichtigt dies, indem er komplementär gefärbte Nachbilder erzeugt, die dann auf leere gemalte Sterne projiziert werden, Nachahmungen derjenigen auf dem Hollywood Walk of Fame. In dem Archive of False Accusations (2016) sind in Vitrinen von lavendelfarbenem Neonlicht beleuchtet. In ihnen liegen gefundene Zeitungsausschnitte, in denen von dem „Lavender Scare“ berichtet wird, einer weniger bekannten Facette in Joseph McCarthy’s Hexenjagd auf Sympathisanten des Kommunismus: Nicht-heterosexuelle Menschen (lesbisch, schwul, bisexuell oder transgender) verloren ihre Positionen im Regierungsapparat.

Der zweite Raum wird  von Neidichs neuester Skulptur Pizzagate beherrscht – eine große, dreidimensionale, wolkenartige Struktur, benannt nach der berüchtigten Verschwörungsgeschichte, die darin kulminiert, dass der Scharfschütze Edgar Welch die vermeintlich sexuell misshandelten Kinder retten will, von denen er glaubt, dass sie im Keller des Comet Ping Pong Pizza Restaurants gefangengehalten werden. Pizzagate stellt die Apparate und Muster der Ströme und der Anschlussmöglichkeiten heraus, die Fake News hervorbringen, die Köder definieren und auch das Verständnis, dass in der neuen Aufmerksamkeitsökonomie des Kognitiven Kapitalismus der neue Ort der Gouvernementalität die Neuroplastizität des Gehirns ist, vor allem derjenige im frontalen Cortex, wo die Aufmerksamkeit und das Arbeitsgedächnis angesiedelt sind. Es zeigt auch, dass die unablässigen ausschließlich auf Fake News basierenden Gerüchte mittlerweile weit in die Kunstwelt hineinreichen. Wer herausfinden möchte, wie einfach das funktioniert, sollte den kleinen experimentellen Aufbau in Neidichs jüngster Skulptur Trump Cup (2017) ausprobieren.


The Palinopsic Field

The Palinopsic Field

June 15 – August 14, 2016
LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)
Los Angeles, CA (US)

Gallery Page

LACE presents Warren Neidich: The Palinopsic Field, an exhibition that revisits the Second Red Scare and the Lavender Scare, events following World War II in which Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee directed a witch hunt against many artists and writers suspected of having affiliations with the Communist Party, and many homosexuals who were deemed “sexually perverse.” Using painting, neon sculpture and installation, the project resurfaces this history and gives us a fresh outlook through which to view and understand this moment.

The Afterimage Paintings consists of red neon sculptures that spell out the names of blacklisted writers Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner Jr. and Alvah Bessie that incite an afterimage in the eyes of observers. Each sculpture is paired with an unfinished painting of empty stars that mimic those found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The neon instigates a palinopsia, or afterimage in the beholder, who can shift their gaze and allow the imaginary image to fall in the empty space of the painted star. Nine out of ten of the original Hollywood Ten do not have stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and through this experience viewers can actively right this historical wrong.

The second work, The Archive of False Accusations, includes an installation of vitrines that highlight The Lavender Scare. Newspaper and magazine clippings, sourced at a variety of LGBT archives in and around Los Angeles, such as the Southern California Library and One National Gay and Lesbian Archives, are displayed and lit by neon lavender light. Outlandish headlines like Perverts in Government, 1950 Inquiry By Senate on Perverts Asked, 1950 and Vice Squads Sex Files Sealed Pending “ Hill” Investigation, 1950 expose the role of McCarthyism as it intervened to cleanse the government of homosexual employees.

Together, these two works highlight the injustices perpetrated against those that were considered different. Today, as we find ourselves amidst an election cycle one cannot help but draw connections between these events and the trending right wing attacks on immigrants, people of color, and the LGBT community today.

Press

Warren Neidich: LACE 
in Artforum by Andy Campbell

Warren Neidich “The Palinopsic Field” Exhibition at LACE, Los Angeles
in purple ART by Hannah Bhuiya

Here’s Why the Lavender Scare Still Matters
in The Creator’s Project: Vice by Tanja M. Laden


Duende Diagram at Mana Contemporary (2015)

"Duende Diagram" is a cartographic map of the different flows that constitute theories of a becoming cultured brain. Installation in "THEOREM: You Simply Destroy the Image I Always Had of Myself." Curated by Octavio Zaya.

 

19 - Duende Neon Mana Full 300 dpi
Duende Diagram, multi media installation with neon, analog speakers, plexiglas, vinyl wall letters, 12 feet by 9 feet, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, 2015

 

20 - Duende Neon Mana Top 400 dpi
Duende Diagram, Detail, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, 2015

 

21 - Duende Neon Mana Bottom 300 dpi
Duende Diagram, Detail, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, 2015

 

Deunde Neon Performance 1
Duende Diagram, Detail, Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, 2015

Book Exchange: The Hollywood Blacklist

Book Exchange: The Hollywood Blacklist

January 30 – February 1, 2015
Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair 2015

“Book Exchange: Hollywood Blacklist” is a performative sculpture project whose mode of operation and purpose changes in each venue where it is displayed. For this occasion books authored and about Hollywood authors and actors suspected of being communists who were censored by the House Committee on Un-American Activities led by Joseph McCarthy were first bought off the internet and installed on the shelves of this rotating Modernist bookcase. During the fair visitors are asked to purchase a book from any vendor presenting with which to then make an exchange for one of the books found in the bookcase. It is hoped that by the end of the event all the books will have been distributed from the bookshelves to a heterogenous group of participants who will install them in bookshelves in their homes. Their act and participation refutes the essence of censorship which is to make unavailable to the general public certain forms of information. The bookshelf itself will contain the residue of the experience of the exchange as well as expressing the vast diversity of books being sold and exhibited at the fair.

Press

Los Angeles Art Book Fair 2015
in Flash Art by Noura Wedell


The Search Drive (2014)

[su_vimeo url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/103045578" width="1600"]

 

The Search Drive (2014) is a video work in which some of the same software programs utilized by the NSA to spy on Americans and foreign nationals, residing in America and abroad, are used by an autonomous agent to search through the web for personal and classified information about myself. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Instagram are hacked and ransacked. As such it traces over time an autobiographical sketch of my comings and goings, activities and friendships. I am calling this a Hack-ography. In the course of that analysis a number of things are revealed. One is my relationship with my assistant Ashiq Khondker, a 3rd Culture Bengali-Singaporean-American, whose actual activities are blurry but hypothetically link him to radical causes in Berlin and the Far East. In one image he is hanging out with Pussy Riot and in another wearing Egyptian robes. That I am a radical artists with anarchistic tendencies who has worked in Egypt with many Islamic musicians, as well as Franco Berardi the political activist, and have wired Ashiq money, creates a narrative of implied guilt by association to popular fears confusing Islam and Islamic fundamentalism. A fiction based on unconfirmed facts is thus built and now substitutes for any actual portrait I might actually have or had. A uncorroborated story of a fictitious life grows into a kind of monstrosity the result of a program gone haywire. This picture is full of flaws and leads to the necessity of my eradication. The need for courts of laws and warrants is not necessary. An algorithm is set in motion which brings together face and voice profiling systems and links it to a GPS location program. After my location has been determined, I am in fact in St. Petersburg, Russia performing an improvisational sound work called "NSA:USA Sound as Prophecy" which looks into whether Edward Snowden is a villain or hero, the drone program is set in motion to search and to eradicate my physical body leaving only my avatar soul to meander aimlessly in the networks of the virtual forever.

 

http://www.aqnb.com/2016/06/28/an-interview-with-warren-neidich/


Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2013–2014

Maurice Pendergrast, 1905 (after Rainbow), 2016
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]

Frederic Edwin Church, 1866 (After Rainy Season in the Tropics), 2016
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]

Caspar Friedrich 1810 (After Mountain Landscape with Rainbow), 2014
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]

Joseph Anton Koch, 1815 (After Heroic Landscape With Rainbow), 2014
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]

Wassily Kadinsky 1910-11 (After Cossacks), 2014
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]

Peter Doik, 2014
Acrylic paint on canvas with black velvet
130 × 160 cm

[su_spacer size="30"]


NSA/USA: Sound as Prophecy - MANIFESTA 10, 2014

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/107127430" width="1600"]


How do you translate a text that is not a text? How do you perform a score that is not a score? (2013)

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/104779659" width="1600"]

Cello and Chair
Installation Detail

Burned-out Mubarak HQ

Boundary Conditions
Townhouse Gallery Plan with Noise Room
Graphic Score Detail
Graphic Score Detail
Graphic Score Detail
Graphic Score Detail
Graphic Score Detail

Part 1: Consensual Autonomies

They Can't Take This Away From We (2013)

Part 2: In the Mind's We

Stills


Data Murmur (2012)

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/48294959" width="1600"]

Video, 03:19

The notable Italian political philosopher Franco "Bifo" Berardi recites a random poem of HTML code twice. First on the left of the split screen the camera maintains its distance allowing the bard to enact the poem, his shock of silver hair melting into the backdrop of tree branches.


In The Mind's I (Nuwella) (2011)

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/51804912" width="1600"]


Blind Man's Bluff (2002)

[su_vimeo url="https://vimeo.com/146786146" width="1600"]
Single Channel Video, 01:58

A performance of a dream sequence is projected upon a head in front of a movie screen. The action takes place in Los Angeles on Beverly Boulevard that is adjacent to a building with a mirror surface. The performance is videotaped in the reflection of this building sometimes cutting to the real street scene. The constructed narrative concerns a blind man walking down the street and his uncovering of the diabolic clown under the happy clown’s costume, a truth which only the blind man can know. Crippled vision becomes thereby a metaphor for the creative self who investigates alternative paradigms outside that of the institutional notion of visible truth. The flow of the video from the screen to the skull to that of the screen again concerns the notion of the mutated observer. That in fact the brain and the mind are sculpted more effectively by artificial stimuli.


The Mutated Observer, part 1

The Mutated Observer, part 1

California Museum of Photography, Riverside, California, 2001
Photography, Sculpture (Apparatuses), Installation, Dimensions Variable
This exhibition took place at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, as an intervention in the collection of early photographic and cinematic devices and photographs. It consisted of two parts: Postmodern Modernism and Hybrid Dialectics. Postmodern Modernism was an investigation of the early roots of modernism in photographs that concerned topics such as movement, psychic energy, the paranormal, and phrenology…

The mutated observer, part 1, installation at California Museum of Photography, Riverside, California
The mutated observer, part 1, installation at California Museum of Photography, Riverside, California

This exhibition took place at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, as an intervention in the collection of early photographic and cinematic devices and photographs. It consisted of two parts: Postmodern Modernism and Hybrid Dialectics. Postmodern Modernism was an investigation of the early roots of modernism in photographs that concerned topics such as movement, psychic energy, the paranormal, and phrenology. The works Writing Drawing Painting, Blanquis Cosmology and Conversation Maps were installed alongside compatible historic photographs.

Hybrid Dialectics was an installation in which the devices that I have been working with in the past 6 years were exhibited in vitrines alongside with the museum’s collections of historic photographic and cinematic devices. As such they spoke to the idea that the history of photography, cinema, and new media is a history that is conjoint with the history of the development of the eye, brain, and mind, and that all together they help constitute our idea of the world with which this history is recursively related to.

The mutated observer, part 1
The mutated observer, part 1

The mutated observer, part 1

This exhibition took place at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, as an intervention in the collection of early photographic and cinematic devices and photographs. It consisted of two parts: Postmodern Modernism and Hybrid Dialectics. Postmodern Modernism was an investigation of the early roots of modernism in photographs that concerned topics such as movement, psychic energy, the paranormal, and phrenology. The works Writing Drawing Painting, Blanquis Cosmology and Conversation Maps were installed alongside compatible historic photographs.

Hybrid Dialectics was an installation in which the devices that I have been working with in the past 6 years were exhibited in vitrines alongside with the museum’s collections of historic photographic and cinematic devices. As such they spoke to the idea that the history of photography, cinema, and new media is a history that is conjoint with the history of the development of the eye, brain, and mind, and that all together they help constitute our idea of the world with which this history is recursively related to.

The mutated observer, part 1, 2002, detail of hybrid dialectic device
The mutated observer, part 1, 2002, detail of hybrid dialectic device

This exhibition took place at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, as an intervention in the collection of early photographic and cinematic devices and photographs. It consisted of two parts: Postmodern Modernism and Hybrid Dialectics. Postmodern Modernism was an investigation of the early roots of modernism in photographs that concerned topics such as movement, psychic energy, the paranormal, and phrenology. The works Writing Drawing Painting, Blanquis Cosmology and Conversation Maps were installed alongside compatible historic photographs.

Hybrid Dialectics was an installation in which the devices that I have been working with in the past 6 years were exhibited in vitrines alongside with the museum’s collections of historic photographic and cinematic devices. As such they spoke to the idea that the history of photography, cinema, and new media is a history that is conjoint with the history of the development of the eye, brain, and mind, and that all together they help constitute our idea of the world with which this history is recursively related to.

The mutated observer, part 1
The mutated observer, part 1

This exhibition took place at the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, as an intervention in the collection of early photographic and cinematic devices and photographs. It consisted of two parts: Postmodern Modernism and Hybrid Dialectics. Postmodern Modernism was an investigation of the early roots of modernism in photographs that concerned topics such as movement, psychic energy, the paranormal, and phrenology. The works Writing Drawing Painting, Blanquis Cosmology and Conversation Maps were installed alongside compatible historic photographs.

Hybrid Dialectics was an installation in which the devices that I have been working with in the past 6 years were exhibited in vitrines alongside with the museum’s collections of historic photographic and cinematic devices. As such they spoke to the idea that the history of photography, cinema, and new media is a history that is conjoint with the history of the development of the eye, brain, and mind, and that all together they help constitute our idea of the world with which this history is recursively related to.


Law of Loci (1998-99)

Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
Law of Loci
First Love #5, B&W Print
Dock #8, B&W Print
Father, B&W Print
Shed #6, B&W Print
Shed #2, B&W Print
Back of the House #1, B&W Print
Back of the House #2, B&W Print

Wrong Rainbow Paintings (2012)

 

Rainbow Brushes, Installation
Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2012

 

11. Neidich, Wrong Rainbow Paintings, detail of table topjpg copy
Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2012

 

albert bierstadt 1869 16.5 inches
Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2012

 

albert bierstadt date unknown 16.625
Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2012

 

thomas moran, 1900, 37 inches
Wrong Rainbow Paintings, 2012

 

installation_main-room_rainbow-belgradecopy
Rainbow Brushes and performative pulls, acryl on paper, exhibition view, Belgrade Cultural Centre, 2008

Acceptable Differences

Acceptable Differences

January 2011
Belgrade Cultural Center, Belgrade
Curated by Maja Ciric

Catalog PDF

Lazar Trifunovic considered art to be a complex phenomenon wherein a lot of other complex phenomena fit in,1 but he pointed out that art, if it is to live with the times wherein it is created, must listen to its sounds, its problems and pains.2

If it is to be relevant in the 21st century, the gallery must simultaneously be an open network, a black box, a white cube, a temple, a laboratory and a situation. It must take on the form of a creative partnership between a curator and a producer, between an art object and the idea of art.3

In view of the fact that contemporary art is merely another niche within the framework of the overall intensive cultural production, especially within the surroundings of web 2.0, art criticism is addressed to a small number of insiders who, even when they really are interested in reading it, do not have too much time for doing so. If criticism has no market value and logic, its chances of finding its own space within the framework of cultural production lies in its being inscribed into curatorial practice.

If the purpose of practice is action itself,4 the kind of action that characterises curatorial practice is aimed at creating a context wherein worlds meet and where continual negotiation between various regimes of knowledge, between art and its public, is stimulated. The policy that I am advocating is not necessarily directed towards finding final solutions but rather towards stimulating dialogues and understandings inside the times wherein we act in combination with historical precedents, theoretical reflections and concrete processes.

Paul O’Neill speaks of the difference between a co-dependent and independent curator.5 According to him, it is not possible to be a curator without being dependent on institutions which one is in continual negotiation with. He stresses the dysfunctional aspect of this relationship, which is often unidirectional and emotionally destructive. Even though the majority of projects come into being through such cooperation, the independence of my being an agent is marked by my determination not to reproduce the system but to introduce a different perspective into institutional operations. An independent perspective is based on information and knowledge characteristic of transnational networks that I belong to, which specifically engage the methodology of curatorial practices. Pursuing this further, I try to ponder how the role of art is modifying the institutional socio-political paradigm.

Contemporary art, without utopian expectations, enables us to reread and reconsider the views of Lazar Trifunovic. My aim here was to stimulate the multiple ontologies of painting and conceptual art and to point out the outdatedness of an essentialist notion of art, reflected in the following view: art has never been so banal and so concrete as to make distinctions between certain political and economic systems – nor is it today.If social systems differ, do people differ as well? Are men/women different today merely because they live within the framework of different productive processes? Art has never counted on elements limited to the ‘national’, in the narrow sense of the term or upon specific socio-economic processes in the broader sense. Rather it has come into being as a product of the spirit, as a result of its conscience. Art has nothing in common with the outer, physical landscape and collective social relations. It only depends on the inner psychological landscape of the creator, on his/her personality.6

What we can conclude from these statements is that Trifunovic is arguing for essentialist things. As such his entire argument calls for the emancipation of the individual from his surroundings and strives for the production of an apolitical art. For art and curatorial practice based on poststructuralism, the discourse of the surroundings is essential. They are both the result of discursive production. Today, through reconstructing the cultural landscape, different formations are created. Post-structuralism is also important for Warren Neidich’s culturally inflected Becoming Brain model whereupon ideas like feminism, post-colonialism and queer theory play as important roles as science in generating knowledge and in sculpting neural networks and its counterpart contemplation.

The exhibition of Neidich is an intellectual horizon that complements the public sphere by revitalising and reinterpreting art history, activating experimentation and theoretical reflections, evaluating process, dialogue and participation. His works exhibited here, Education of the Eye (2010) and Rainbow Brushes (2008) understand art as an existentialist investment, a set of ideas, and redefine the relationship between form and the conceptual gesture, with a view to critically setting the system in motion.

Neidich’s gesture counts on power as the modifier of the neurobiological architecture, coupled to the machinic assemblage of the socio political economic cultural system at large set in motion by its surroundings and context, and uses memories in order to create a plan for future decisions and action.7 This approach enables him to shift away from a rigid and normative understanding of artistic practice, on the one hand, and from an essentialist one, on the other, and to review what Maurizio Lazzarato refers to as “noopolitics”,8 that the focus of power and the technology at its disposal is not the materiality of the body but its psychic life, especially its memory an attention.9 The self-portrait of the artist with a palette, created by Vasa Pomoricac and dating from 1932,10 as well as the overall context of the Lazar Trifunovic Award, have been repositioned, through form and performance, within the framework of a collective process of self-orientated individuals whose interests were joined in order to discover what painting and criticism presuppose today and how they can be relevant. Historical heritage is an integral part of contemporary experience, and the participation of ten contemporary artists and five experts in an experiment created new possibilities of critical engagement. Neidich has staged his historical dialectic dramaturgy at the Belgrade Cultural Center to illustrate a paradigm shift from previously known biopolitics to noo- power – information power: objects no longer change brains, It is information that changes them. Through this project, contemporary art makes it possible for us to create an awareness of differences that are conditioned by various forms of power acting in geopolitical, ideological, economic and scientific contexts. While science is finding similarities and consistencies, art is about creating difference and unleashing the pluripotentiality. One artist and one artwork has the potential to reset artistic parameters and change the history of art.

– Maja Ciric


Education of the Eye, 2010

 

Education Berlin 01 copy
Education of the Eye, 2010. Performative intallation, variables dimensions

 

Education Berlin 3 copy
Education of the Eye, 2010. Partial installation, 8 of 10 palettes showing the variability

 

Education berlin 04 copy
Education of the Eye, 2010. Detail from studio installation in Berlin. Left image detail of color palette of artist No. 1. Rigth image detail of color palette of artist No. 2.  Note the very different colors and methodologies represented.

 

Education Dafen 07 copy
Education of the Eye, Da Fen, 2010. Digital C Print, 20 x 24 inches

 

Education dafen 06 copy
Education of the Eye, Da Fen, 2010. Digital Print. Mr. Wu's studio: Left Image, Hogarth's self portrait being copied. Rigth image, Mr. Wu's atelier.

 

Education Dafen 08 copy
Education of the Eye, De Fen, 2010. Digital Print, 20 x 24 inches

 

Education dafen 09 copy
Education of the Eye, Da Fen, 2010. Digital Print, 20 x 24 inches. Left image detail of color palette of Chinese artist No 1. Right image detail of color palette of Chinese artist No 2. Note the very different colors and methodologies represented.

 


Body-Wall Maple Cottage (2005)

Body-Wall Maple Cottage

2005

In this work a false wall made out of plywood wound its way around an abandoned cottage first blocking the staircase, then creating a false passageway that began at the original door and continued until the front wall of the house itself. This new space created a hybrid space in-between the original house and the new wall and thereby set up a dialectic between past and future with the spectator mediating between the two. The visitors were transformed into performance artists and actors and were made aware, by a small light, of a viewing device through which they were meant to look to see an enclosed domestic space reminiscent of the places of inspection so often used by Sherlock Holmes. The optical pathway for this inspection was a hole cut out of the eye of an old portrait painting that hung on the inside of this simulated do­mestic space. This opening in the painting was lined up on one hand with a hole in the wall itself and on the other with the viewer’s eyes. Together they created a machinic assemblage that was aligned with a mirror hung directly across the room which reflected the antique painting, mentioned above, and the eye of the viewer that through his or her participation was now part of. The viewer’s eye, as it looked through the painting from behind the wall, now became part of the paint­ing itself. The hidden passageway became an uncanny space in which the fragmented viewer through a transformational process of the experience of becoming an actor in this architectural scenario became a whole body again not as himself but as a painting with all the meanings pertaining to the nature of portraiture itself.


Earthling 2 (2006)

Earthling 2

2006

Earthling 2 was a photographic work that followed Earthling 1. In these pictures three locations were scouted: 1. Market Cafe near Spitafields market – a traditional british pub cafe, 2. Hookah Lounge, located on Brick Lane – a Middle Eastern smoking and tea lounge 3. Cafe Bravo – a modernist cafe located at KunstWerke in Berlin. In these staged images actors were given magazine covers from my own archive of 20th century magazines and newspapers. These magazines became optical/cultural apparatti. The magazines were altered by cutting out one or two of the eyes of the person on the cover. The size of the aperture and its location corresponed to the actors eye size and the displacement of the eyes from each other. Thus the optical axis of the physical eye and the magazine eye were lined up. In the case of the Cafe Bravo the mirror wall created another level of displaced looking and unveiling, since we see both sides of the magazine.


Shot Reverse Shot

Shot Reverse Shot

The histories of cinema/photography and neuroscience mirror each other and are both essential for the understanding and production of our contemporary subjectivity. Shot Reverse Shot is a cinematic method of displaying two people while conversing and is in this case used as an apparatus to produce situations between actors. There are five different couples enacting five different situations, first with a video camera, then with a prisma bar –a neuro-opthalmologic instrument normally used to measure defects in ocular gaze but in this case creating dynamic movement of images through ever increasing lateral displacements.


Black Square, Triangle, Circle

Black Square, Triangle, Circle, Warren Neidich Studio, Berlin, Germany, 2007, view of front wall and entrance to the wall
Black Square, Triangle, Circle, Warren Neidich Studio, Berlin, Germany, 2007, view of front wall and entrance to the wall

Body-Wall Black Square, Triangle, Circle is a performative sculpture, determined by a set of questions raised in a specific architectural context. The pieces in this series investigate the inbetween hybrid states of architecture where the body can obtain new orientations, kinaesthisiologies, and new becomings. Each site-specific piece uses the found space as a vehicle for the realization of this work.


Black Square, Triangle, Circle

Black Square, Triangle, Circle, 2007, front view of the wall
Black Square, Triangle, Circle, 2007, front view of the wall

Body-Wall Black Square, Triangle, Circle is a performative sculpture, determined by a set of questions raised in a specific architectural context. The pieces in this series investigate the inbetween hybrid states of architecture where the body can obtain new orientations, kinaesthisiologies, and new becomings. Each site-specific piece uses the found space as a vehicle for the realization of this work.


Black Square, Triangle, Circle Fragment 2

Black Square, Triangle, Circle Fragment 2

2007

Black Square, Circle, Triangle Remnant (2007) is the most recent manifestation of a series of performative sculptures that reenact the memory of itself as a fragment of a once enacted performative space. It is made up of two pieces that face each other. The first section to confront the viewer is the wall fragment. This 1.5m wide piece of drywall was taken from an installation called Black Square, Circle, Triangle, (2007) that I did in my studio which had been inspired by other works I called Body-Walls which are shown in this folio later on.

These walls are performative sculptures made over time that can be made in any space whatever. In the case of Untitled Program, 2006 a hybrid space measuring 60cm wide was created by building a mimetic wall that followed the contour of the already existing wall inside the gallery. Produced over a two-week period in the space itself this work was the result of a series of decisions made there. The work is a testament of that decision making process. Embedded in the wall were a number of viewing opportunities that ranged from a simple hole from which one could view the rest of the gallery to that of an opportunity to witness Catherine Deneuve looking through a peephole in the now famous scene from Belle de Jour. As such the visitors to the gallery became actors in a back stage scenario in which they enter the hybrid space of architectural memory to reenact the history of cinema itself through a series of transitional apparatti that produce new chances for observation. At the end of the exhibition this wall was cut up and undone and re-installed as Untitled Program, Remnant, (2006).

This same scenario created Black, Square, Circle, Triangle but in this case a wall was built in my own studio as a laboratory Merzbau in order to be able to experiment with different possibilities and potentials of these works. The studio in this instance is a place of resistance where research into ones own work and potential stands in for the resistant gestures of the Body-Wall works as they respond to the Institutional Space of the White Cube. The white cube as it is defined in the age of neo-liberal capitalism has become a space of containment where the gestures of market system, entertainment industry and museology mix together as a sovereign cocktail. In this work the constructed wall once again mimics an already existing one that separated the front and back of my studio. Again it became an armature supporting a number of historically active optical devices that produced opportunities for seeing. In this case two stereoscopic devices were used. One in which a lit blank screen confronted the viewer and the other a three dimensional image of a young girl of the DDR looking out upon the urban horizon. The former provided an opportunity to project ones imagination on a blank screen while the latter allowed one to ponder the conditions of history itself. The space was also monitored by a surveillance security camera which looped into an exposed video monitor. Thus the space also became a place of self-reflective body awareness. These devices were housed in wooden enclosures in shapes such as squares, circles and triangles that protruded out of the wall into the space itself; thus the works name. The inside of the walls were collaged with magazine and newspaper covers from the past 100 years which I had been collecting for the past 5 years and was a nod to my own experience as a child exploring haunted houses in which the inside of the walls were insulated with old magazines. This work became the mother structure for the production of Black, Square, Circle, Triangle, Remnant (2007).

Again this wall was undone and cut up to preserve the optical instruments. One such fragment 1.5m by 1m was re-installed with the help of aluminum studs used to make the structure of the original wall in the first place. This work was installed as a free standing entity with the inside wall facing backward as shown in the House Trip exhibition. This fragment faced a second section. A photograph of the Palast der Republik in the process of its own undoing was photographed in such a way with a large format camera that it appears to be falling down and breaking apart from the inside. It is secured with screws on a piece of drywall which is attached to another stud frame of the same dimension as its brother. The back side of this structure is made up of a mirror work which stands at 90 degrees from the front wall and adds support. The back of the drywall has been taped with alternating black and white tape to create an optical illusion. That taped wall is reflected in the mirror as a “mise-en-abyme”. The lighting of the work is very important. The transparent window like effect created by the open spaces left by the mounted works creates the opportunity for the production of shadows on the walls of the space embracing the works. Altogether the undoing of the Palast is metonymic for the process of undoing of Architecture as a cultural act. The Palast was not demolished but is being slowly and meticulously taken apart. The cultural undoing, assimilation and subsuming of the communist block by Capitalism after the fall of the Berlin is re-enacted in this work.


All Blown Out (2002)

All Blown Out, Video Still

All Blown Out

2002

Single Channel Video For Projection, 03:48

The final scene of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow-Up has been digitally degraded to highlight the conditions of the main character’s mind at the end of the film.


Being Prada Seen (2001)

Being Prada Seen

2001

Single Channel Video, 03:21
Optic Verve show at Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, Canada, 2001

The idea of branding and its connection to the cultural, historical, economic, psychological and sociological field that surround and embrace it has captured my attention. In the year 1998-1999 the Prada fashion brand was extremely powerful and people wearing Prada clothes were unmistakable and highly attention grabbing or as Paul Virilio says “phatic”. In this video, I simply roller blade down the West Side Highway as seven video cameras at different camera angles videotape me. In the editing room these separate views are reassembled into a single work of art. Superimposed on this footage is a special effect made by digitalizing the video at a high speed. As such, it becomes a kind of contemporary motion study reminiscent of the work of Marey or Muybridge. This is significant because the original reason for Marey’s research in the Bois de Bologne, Paris was to investigate movement for the army who were interested in increasing the efficiency of their marching troops. The troops had to march long distances and were suffering from a 19th century problem called neuro asthenia which made them very tired. The fact that I wear a Prada outfit with the Prada brand displayed quite prominently signifies the extent to which the body has become incarcerated in a prison of signs manufactured by global capitalism. The body is but a pawn in the system of signs created to take hold of our desire. Being Prada Seen is investigates the alliance of technology and global capitalism in the production of the subject, a subject tethered to and defined almost solely by those networks.