My Recent "New Tendencies" Book Tour

New Tendencies book launch at Cabinet

In this picture story, I recapitulate my recent New Tendencies book tour between early September and end of October 2016, which took me from Madrid to Zagreb, from, London to New York and Warsaw.

The lecture series started in Madrid, at the Cold Atlantic conference at Museo Reina Sofía. I was happy to meet well known scholars and have discussions with them, such as Serge Guilbaut, Terry Smith and Sarah Wilson which helped to open my horizon on the contested zones of what used to be called Modern Art and it feels great to be involved in that collective endeavour of rewriting its history and possibly 'provincialzing Modernism' as reportedly Okwei Enwezor demanded, in other words, making productive the cracks in discourses and developing new ideas not just on the past but also the present and the future.

Sara Wilson at Cold Atlantic

The next stop was Ars Electronica in Linz. There, I was surrounded by creative robots:

The book launch and panel discussion at Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb felt particularly nice since the lecture and panel was attended by participants of New Tendencies, and by colleagues who had supported my research.
This was the view from the panel: On the panel the atmosphere was cheerful, with Matko Mestrovic next to me, background Hrvoje Klasić, historian and Sunčica Ostoić, a member of the curatorial collective Kontejner.

The OpenFields conference by RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Riga from September 29 to Oct 1st was another highlight. RIXC have been organising this kind of event since 20 years. In 2016, both exhibition and conference were held at the new National Latvian Library, a giant hypermodern building on the river bank, opposite the city centre. My book was presented together with Christiane Paul's book Companion to Digital Art. The event was very well attended and we have a great time exchanging ideas.

The lecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, on October 6th, held as a Thursday Club in Ben Pimlott building, was like a 'homegame' for me. Here I did my practice based PhD in Arts and Computational Technology, supervised by Prof. Janis Jefferies. Sean Cubitt, Prof of Media and Communications, and series editor of Leonardo Series at MIT Press who commissioned my book, was present, as were Atau Tanaka, Josephine Berry, Mukul Patel, and other friends, old and new. Ann Twiselton of the London office of MIT Press was there and sold quite a few books which I then had to sign, so this was a proper book launch.

From left to right: Atau Tanaka, Janis Jefferies, the author, Ann Twiselton

The next stop was New York City. The Austrian Cultural Forum allowed us to stay in their building, an architectural landmark designed by Raimund Abraham, located on 52nd street. My first engagement in NYC was a seminar by Trebor Scholz at the Eugene Lang College of the New School. The next lecture was organised by Mark Tribe at the School of Visual Arts on October 18. The evening was jointly hosted by several MFA and MA courses which made for a great, mostly student audience. Participation in the discussion afterwards was lively. The last event in NYC was a book presentation and panel hosted by Cabinet in partnership with Rhizome. Michael Connor of Rhizome chaired the panel, with contributions from Eva Díaz and Rachel Wetzler. It was great to get such expert feedback to my book from people who had already read it.

The final stop was Warsaw, where on October 21 and 22 the conference The Other Transatlantic - Theorizing Kinetic and Op Art in Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America was held at Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie/ Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw. Here I found myself again in very good company with theorists and art historians such as Ariel Jimenez, Magdalena Moskalewicz and Monica Amor (see link above for full program).

Yet also my earlier talks this year, at the College Art Association conference in Washington DC in February, at the wonderful and really fantastic ContestedSpheres conference at Kassák Múzeum and the book launch at 21er Haus should be seen as part of this exciting tour. I have made many friends and rekindled old friendships such as - to name just a few without any attempt at an exhaustive list - Atréyēē Gupta, Klara Kemp-Welch, Adair Routhwaite, Amanda Rath, Eszter Fogarasi, Reuben Fowkes, Paula Barreiro López, Michael Connor, Mark Tribe, Christiane Paul, Rasa Smite, Darko Fritz, Monica Amor, Marta Dziewańska, Geoff Cox, Marcus Lund, Paul Brown, Atau Tanaka, Josephine Berry and many more.

My very next lecture will be at University of Applied Arts, Vienna, November 3, followed by two university seminars in Germany, one with Frieder Nake in Bremen and one with Wolfgang Ernst at Humboldt University Berlin, but this is it for the time being as far as my book tour is concerned. I hope that this book now gets legs and starts a life of its own. Of course I will be happy to give further lectures and participate in conference if I get invited, but this is it in terms of a concerted initial tour. It has been great, so thanks to all who made it happen including support by the various Austrian Cultural Forums in various cities and the Art Section of the Federal Chancellery who kindly supported me with a stipend.

See also New Tendencies at MIT Press