Eintritt in ein Lebewesen. Von der sozialen Skulptur zum Plattform-Kapitalismus / Journey Into a Living Being: From Social Sculpture to Platform Capitalism (2020) [German/English]

12 August 2020, dusan

“In 1977, Joseph Beuys presented his installation Honey Machine at the Workplace at documenta 6, in which tubes ran into the exhibition rooms, through which honey was pumped. The work symbolized Beuys’ idea of the expanded concept of art and of social sculpture. “Everyone is an artist” is his famous motto –not because everyone can paint, dance or make music, but because we all contribute through our productivity to a collective creativity that can be weighed as real capital and societal potential, to which Beuys ascribed the formula “art = capital.” Honey as the “spiritual nutrition of the cosmos” (Beuys) is the embodiment of this collective creativity.

These days, we deliver our creative “honey” voluntarily to internet companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or Amazon. Computers and smartphones, online speakers and fitness wristbands upload a large portion of our data to these companies’ servers. Even rental bikes and e-scooters collect our location data. Our every click, every Like, every photo posted and every online comment is fuel for the companies of “surveillance capitalism” (Shoshana Zuboff). They use our data to sell advertising, predict our behavior, optimize their algorithms and AI, and to keep competing companies out of the market as much as possible.

The exhibition Journey Into a Living Being takes its name from a lecture Beuys gave on social sculpture at documenta. It traces the conceptual trajectory to the present, in which the internet and social media are replete with offers of creative services, but where only few reap the financial rewards. It brings together artworks spanning forty years with the aim of deciphering what has come to pass between the development of social sculpture and the rise of platform capitalism and the gig economy, and how this process is reflected in art.”

Edited by Tilman Baumgärtel
Publisher Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2020
ISBN 9783000652608, 3000652604
111 pages

Exhibition (18.5-16.8.2020)
WorldCat

PDF (6 MB)

3X3X6: Shu Lea Cheang (2019) [English/Chinese]

20 November 2019, dusan

3x3x6 is the title of Shu Lea Cheang’s project representing Taiwan at the 58th Venice Biennale and hosted at the Palazzo delle Prigioni–a Venetian prison from the sixteenth century in operation until 1922. 3x3x6 is also the standardised architecture of industrial imprisonment for ‘sexual criminals’ and ‘terrorists’ in the West: 3×3 meters, monitored by 6 cameras 24 hours a day. Shu Lea Cheang investigates historical reports based on ten cases of subjects incarcerated because of gender or sexual dissent and uses trans-punk fiction, queer, and anti-colonial imaginations to hack the history of sexuality as well as contemporary technologies of surveillance.” (from back cover)

With contributions by Matthew Fuller, Paul B. Preciado, Dean Spade, and Jackie Wang.

Curated and edited by Paul B. Preciado
Publisher Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, 2019
Open access
ISBN 9789860588798, 9860588791
211 pages

Exhibition
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (43 MB)

Ruha Benjamin: Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019)

5 November 2019, dusan

“From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the “New Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.”

Publisher Polity Press, Cambridge, 2019
ISBN 9781509526406, 1509526404
x+285 pages

Interview with author (Sanjana Varghese, Guardian, 2019)

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

EPUB