Marcela Okretič

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During the last 15 years – when technology has become more natural and habitual, thus causing people to lose control over it – an emerging scene of network practitioners from different fields has been actively involved in building alternative networks of communication and file sharing. Among the practitioners of this DIY networking scene, a growing number of artists have been playing a crucial role as facilitator, mediator, and commoner of knowledge and experience. The artists have been offering tools of understanding based on their will to expose and make accessible opaque systems in an effort to empower people. Daphne Dragona ...
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Highways, antennas, containers, storehouses, pipes, submarine cables, sensors: the word infrastructure usually refers to “matter that enables the movement of other matter”, the underlying organized structures and mediators that support human exchanges and the value people associate with them. However, simple observation suggests that something increasingly valuable is happening not simply “above”, but both within and outside, as well as in-between our so-called infra-structures while humans design and inhabit them in ever more convoluted ways, investing their emotions in them and using them to measure, automate and build world visions and expectations about the future. This essay is an introduction ...
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The 15th century Voynich Manuscript, Kandinsky’s abstract painting with a secret encoded message, militant jihadists using porn images for hidden communication and most recently computer malware embedding virus code into images on infected computers (and perhaps this text too) are examples of steganography, which can be also found in Amy Suo Wu’s works. By using Cardan Grille, substitution ciphers and camouflaged text within text in combination with invisible inks, Wu’s works are more than just highly enjoyable pieces of visual art and calligraphic design. As a combination of exhibition works, toolkit manuals and workshops, they are also pieces of practical ...
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A mysterious and controversial technology is among us: the blockchain. Constructed by unicorns piecing together the necessary building blocks of code, cryptography and incentives, it can lead humankind to Utopia, or to the Final Solution – the End. If it’s true that “It Is Easier To Imagine The End Of The World Than The End Of Capitalism,” as a popular bumper sticker warns, the artist Jaya Klara Brekke, currently pursuing a PhD on the political geographies of blockchain infrastructures, invites us to come back from elsewhere in the future to stay here and now, and not to fear indeterminacy. Written ...
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The Slovenian philosopher, sociologist and politician Lev Kreft ascribes All About You, the new work by Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša, to the tradition of the Readymade and Self-portrait. But very peculiar ones: the ordinary objects turned into an artwork are IDs and personalized bank cards, the self-portrait is the ID card itself, but also all data about the account and money transfers a given bank card holds. How far can a card owner make his own personal credit card? As well as a citizen has to respect some limitations when changing his name, a bank customer has ...
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Is the idea of society as the totality of individuals the only way of envisioning human sociality, or is it only a historically determined construct? What other dimensions emerge when we shift from thinking in terms of individuals to dividuals and their assembling into condividuals? Which are the political implications of this shift in the contemporary capitalism that already operates on a condividual level? Starting from these questions, the Dutch media theorist Daniel de Zeeuw explored the visions exposed during a two-day event, inspired by Marco Deseriis’s book, Proper and Improper Names – Identity in the Information Society (Ljubljana, 17–18 ...
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At the 8th edition of the MoneyLab conference, hosted by Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Nika Mahnič interviewed RYBN about their work as a part of the Tax havens: Normalized Grand Theft panel. RYBN is an artist collective formed in 1999 that has, over the past years, researched the economy and the global financial system in their contemporary manifestations, thus offering a privileged vantage point from which one can view the transformations brought about by cybernetics. In this interview, they delve into their background, their achievements in databasing, the golden passport phenomenon and why offshoring was and remains a ...
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Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana is a non-profit cultural institution based in Ljubljana (Slovenia), interested in projects that utilize new technologies in order to investigate and discuss the structures of modern society. Aksioma creates international projects and activities that foster collaborations and exchanges with artists and cultural institutions inside and outside Slovenia.
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The American born artist Jennifer Lyn Morone registered herself as a corporation in 2014, founding Jennifer Lyn Morone™ Inc. As the founder, CEO, owner, shareholder and product of her own company, she sells, leases, rents or invests her personal data for her own profit. She has commercialised her hormones and diamonds made from her hair, advertising them through satirical videos. In the Netopticon, the panopticon in which we live using platforms such as Facebook and Google, our data are vacuumed up to generate profits in an extreme form of capitalism. Artist and curator Marc Garrett (www.furtherfield.org) says that Jennifer Lyn ...
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In her most recent research project – which culminated in the exhibition Uncertainty-in-the-Loop (2020) – the Slovenian artist Sanela Jahić presented a further stage of her multiyear project. She converted her labour as an artist – her work, research and interests of the past 14 years – into data. The dataset was elaborated by a predictive algorithm that predicted her next artwork. The independent art theoretician and curator Aude Launay placed Jahić’s work amongst works that question the concept of authorship, as she questions whether the predictive algorithms used by her can be considered to be the author of the ...
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In this essay, initially published in Italian by NERO, the Rotterdam based writer, artist and designer Silvio Lorusso, discusses his idea of the “delegation society”, which he briefly outlined in his book Entreprecariat: Everyone Is an Entrepreneur. Nobody Is Safe (2018). The delegation society is no longer divided into Marxian classes but is instead formed into a new pyramidal order. At the top sits the professional élite who delegate reproductive work to the lower levels in order to gain time and be able to work more; at the bottom lies the highly fragmented servant class. In the middle an unstable professional class ...
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The essay is a commentary of the last ten years of Smetnjak’s intellectually, politically and ethically outstanding production. Intellectually as a collection of theoretic – yet not academic – references, which makes them contemporary, to the point and intriguing and not a part of the canon established for the purpose of raising epigons of one ‘school’ or another. Politically as an exercise in thought, which does not assume fixed sides or viewpoints – not because it would be vague or opportunistic, but because it is too intense to be caught in the fixed positions of identity. Ethically as an attitude ...

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