This is the text of my keynote lecture for the Fields exhibition, as delivered on Friday 16th of May 2014 - The Broken Mirror, Art after the dreamworld of digital utopia. Starting from the premise that the financial crisis of 2008 made only visible a deeper, structural crisis of information society, the exhibition Fields was conceived as a survey into possibilities of renewal through art. Art used to be understood as a mirror of society. Then, in the twentieth century, media became the preferred mirror of mass society. At the end of the 20th century, information superseded the media and was supposed to become the perfect mirror - the dreamworld of digital utopia. But this mirror is broken, as virtuality and the real have collapsed into an 'integral reality' (Baudrillard). Reality has lost its shadow, its capacity to dream, its underbelly of radical alternatives. As the world is urgently in need of a new social imaginary, the exhibition Fields is an articulation of that search. Fields is about an epistemic shift from subject-object relations within traditional, hierarchical ontologies towards new, networked, horizontal connections. While this slow, glacial transformation happens anyway with a degree of inevitability, we cannot awaken from the dreamworld of digital utopia soon enough. What can an art after information be like? How can we articulate artistic imaginations of a new society? How can we talk about it, categorise and develop such a vision as a more long term, infrastructural goal?
Full version The Broken Mirror, http://www.thenextlayer.org/node/1491