Luka Umek

Artist and media critic Alessandro Ludovico interviews the three artists named Janez Janša. It’s no coincidence that they have the same name and not by chance that they share it with the former Slovenian Prime minister: they deliberately and officially changed the names they’d had from birth to Janez Janša. They also joined the right-wing SDS party led by their homonymous counterpart. After that they experienced a “visible disappearance” from having canceled their previous names but simultaneously having gained huge visibility thanks to their radical gesture. Changing your name is similar to dying: it affects more people other than just ...
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 ...
Domenico Quaranta, art curator and critic, writes about the 2004 project Evidence Locker by Jill Magid, now part of the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of New York. Jill Magid is a visual artist who has focused her work since the beginning (the end of the 90s) on surveillance infrastructures and the relationship between observers and the observed. In Evidence Locker, she has built an epistolary romantic relationship with the City Watch System of Liverpool – the largest video surveillance system in all of Britain – bringing into being a story in which love and seduction become tools for ...
The journalist and dramaturg Andreja Kopač and the media art critic Ida Hiršenfelder here discuss the unique aesthetics and discursive strategies in the work of Neven Korda. In his career that spans three decades, Neven Korda has created a range of specific performative practices that emerge at the intersection of the textual, the visual and the musical. With his projects, Korda has been emphasising the importance of theatre both in its nature of communal space as well as in the appropriation of the performative that it allows. Every instalment or performance unravels and deepens his intentions, namely searching for the ...
Régine Debatty, Belgian curator, critic and blogger, writes about the art of Evan Roth, focusing on his TSA Communication project. Evan Roth is a graffiti artist, a hacker and an open source coder. He believes in the free circulation of anything that is digital. His works with F.A.T. lab steer attention onto the fantastic five – Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft – and related issues with humor and a mix of digital and analogic practices. In TSA Communication, he has taken his artistic creativity inside one of the most controlled and liberty-killing places in our contemporary world: airports and airplanes. He ...
PublisherAksioma2014
From the first human artistic expression in cave paintings until now, black has been constantly reinvented by art. Like other 20th-century artists (Rothko, Malevic, Klein) before him have done, Belgian Frederik De Wilde explores the nature of colors and produces monochromatic works, but focusing on black in a radical and scientific manner. In Hostage, as art historian Elise Aspord explains, he has created a material made up of a vertical alignment of nanotubes of carbon that can absorb almost all rays of light, thus giving a new universal reference for black. This work is the result of a close collaboration between scientists and ...
In 2010, drawing on Richard Grusin’s theory of “premediation”, the Italian artist collective IOCOSE – specializing in pranks and hoaxes – released the video In the Long Run. The video is the realistic reconstruction of the media event “death of a star”. It was realized following the ritual rules of news format displayed in such cases, staging the death of Madonna as narrated by the BBC. As the art curator and critic Domenico Quaranta explains, there is a long tradition of fake media events, the most famous being The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles. In the Long Run, however, differs from ...
After a historical recognition of electronic music and sound’s exploration performed in art galleries – i.e. not in the spaces traditionally dedicated to music – the architect and art curator Jurij Krpan describes Batista’s projects collected in the exhibition Temporary Objects and Hybrid Ambients 2008–2010. Batista – who is a tech-mixed-media artist, sound researcher, video experimentalist and AV performer – creates hardware environments that establish connections between digital and analogic, electronic and mechanic, visual and sound, audience and machines. He manages to change the perception of electronic as the realm of precision and perfection, showing its characteristics of unintelligibility and imprecision. Through ...
James Bridle (one of Wired magazine’s 100 most influential people in Europe) is an artist and writer working across technologies and disciplines. In 2018, he curated the exhibition and conference Transnationalisms, produced by Aksioma in the framework of the international cooperation project State Machines. Bridle has spent the recent years researching citizenship-by-investment and related technologies: special economic zones and free trade areas, freeports and seasteads, blockchain and other supposedly emancipatory but inhuman and asset-based protocols for identity management. At every level, the mass movement of peoples and the rise of planetary-scale computation is changing the way we think and understand ...
Since the second half of the 90s, storytelling has become a central strategy in hacktivism and media art, whereas before, actions and performances aimed at creating disturbance, boycotts and resistance. To Inke Arns – theorist of media art and artistic director of Hartware MedienKunstVerein in Dortmund – media artists and performers such as Yes Men, Christoph Schlingensief, RTMark, Laibach and Ubermorgen have chosen the strategy of “over identification”, which uses narrative and storytelling, in many of their works.In the projects Voteauction (2000), Psych|OS (2002), EKMRZ-Trilogy(2005–2008), through narratives and counter-narratives, the artist duo Ubermorgen.com enable the audience to understand the complex structures that underlie the functioning ...
To media art curator and critic Ida Hiršenfelder, Antoine Schmitt’s art and his project Time Slip ask us: nowadays, who can divide the virtual from the real? Time Slip is a LED news ticker operating in real time: a computer software transcribes official online news released by news agencies, changing the past tense to the future tense. In doing this, it constructs an ambiguous relation between the present, the past and the potential. Time Slip is about the relation between cause, effect, randomness and free will: reading news about facts that have already happened disallows the audience’s ability to be active about them; whereas, oppositely, ...
monochrom is an Austrian art-technology-philosophy group active since 1993. Through the years, monochrom has collected Zeigerpointer images in the form of newspaper clippings, in an operation of media-cultural archaeology.Zeigerpointer is a term used to describe images used by printed media – especially local free magazines – to illustrate the aftermath of crimes and accidents where only the witness is left, showing emptiness. Instead of the object of the article, Zeigerpointerimages portray witnesses who point at the place where something happened.In the project The Wonderful World of Absence, a selection of these printed pictures has been painted in oil to be shown to the public. An ...

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