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 At the end of the 20th century, information superseded the media and was supposed to become the perfect mirror - the dreamworld of digital utopia.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?
The exhibition "Fields - patterns of social, scientific, and technological transformations" will open on May 15th at Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art. FIELDS, jointly curated by Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits and Armin Medosch will show work by app. 40 artists and is part of Riga 2014, European Capital of Culture. You find the full announcement and press release below.
This text outlines a research strategy and context for the Fields exhibition to take place in Riga in 2014. While not directly about the exhibition, this text explores the notion of Fields as a broadening and deepening of an inquiry began with the exhibition Waves. The notion of the field and its various links into scientific disciplines purports a long term epistemic shift from fixed identities and dualisms to vectors and forces/lines of attraction and repulsion; from a world of fixed entities to one of energies and the exertion of force from a distance.
No one who suggests to do work under the title Fields should be surprised if it turns out to be fertile. Or maybe even too fertile, where the naming of the one concept, field, generates a multiplicity of connections with other things nearby, fields, whose interconnections can be thought of as pathways, channels, tracks, boundaries, trees-structures, rhizomes, lines of flight, trajectories, networks ...