On the evening of April 8th 2015 at Secession Vienna, the book IMAGINATION/IDEA - The Beginning of Hungarian Conceptual Art. The László Beke Collection, 1971 was presented. László Beke is widely recognized as a key figure in conceptual art in Hungary and internationally. In 1970-1 he sent out an invitation to all his artist friends to send him a documentation of work on an A4 sheet. The incoming work he collected in a book. Due to the vicissitudes of the Communist Hungarian regime in the early 1970s this „collection“ could only be viewed privately, in his home, or at exhibitions abroad. This collection, after it was published as a facsimilie book in Hungarian in 2008, IMAGINATION/IDEA has now been made available in English in a book produced by Tranzit Hungary.
In Vienna, slowly the – still relatively new - director of Kunsthalle is showing his profile. After many years under the populist autocrat Matt, Nicolas Schaffhausen brings some well needed profundity to Kunsthalle. This latest exhibition, The Future of Memory, while well conceived, exposes also the dilemmas of hegemonic neo-conceptualism, which I call the contemporary.
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.
Information in the terms of information theory is the likelihood of the selection of messages in relation to all possible messages. Thus, if a selection is made from a number of possibilities which are all equally likely or unlikely, the information is high. The mathematical theory of information is linked to the concept of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. This says that the available degree of ordering of matter - and thereby the energy contained in it - is decreasing.
This final piece in the Eleonore series sums up some more theoretic and political thoughts about the relationships between digital art, autonomy and the division of labour. It comes to the conclusion that the least digital artists can do is to use free software, strive for egalitarian types of working relationships and to name all their collaborators as co-creators of work, regardless of the usual social valuations of types of work and the institutional pressure they come under if their work joins the art circuit.
Whether it originates from statistical tabulation or remote sensors, whether it flows in real time or out of recombinant databases, whether it serves the needs of private individuals, globe-spanning corporations or government agencies, information visualization is the operative technology of the networked age, a language of vision for the control society. Infoviz proliferates on the screens of factory workstations, financial trading floors, military commands and surveillance watchspots, everywhere that decisive movements are subject to managerial scrutiny.
This issue of Art & Research represents a ‘gathering’ of issues and experiences in artistic research as manifest in papers and artworks presented on the ‘occasion’ of significant international conferences and symposia dedicated to artistic research held between May and December 2008:
This text is my first attempt to reflect some of the issues arising from the two Waves exhibitions. The exhibitions in Riga (2006) and Dortmund (2008) were conceived as research projects. By looking at waves as "a principle material and medium of art" the exhibitions were made with an outlook on building a bottom-up, materialist theory of media art.
Since more than 10 years the Croatian media artist Darko Fritz has been researching the archives of the Museum for Contemporary Arts Zagreb to gather material about the New Tendencies series of exhibitions and events in Zagreb, Ex-Yugoslavia, now Croatia, from 1961 to 1973 and the Bit International journal published by that same art movement. An exhibition in 2007 at Neue Galerie Graz and now at ZKM Karlsruhe shows the works of this important but almost lost art movement, were it not for the effort of Darko Fritz. For the Graz exhibition a little catalogue came out with contributions by Peter Weibel, Jesa Denegri and Margit Rosen. I have data mined those articles and present this material in the manner of a literature review for other researchers to study it and draw their own conclusions. All translations from German are my translations.