A project by West Den Haag in cooperation with transmediale 2018 face value. Artworks by Peter Blegvad, Mogens Jakobsen, Christof Migone, Ioana Vreme Moser, cybopticon.life (Stephanie Ballantine, Lena Chen, Espen Holk) & archival material of Marshall McLuhan. In collaboration with transmediale and the Embassy of Canada, Berlin.
Marshall McLuhan (CA, 1911 – 1980) had already noted in the 1960s that the speed and pervasiveness of electronic communication was superseding the rational and reflective abilities of literacy. The technologies that brought us here are built through rational disinterested scientific method, but generate an immersive environment where we lose grasp of private identity and long for a pre-literate togetherness in a ‘Global Village’. His ‘Global Village’ came to exemplify the uncritical Summer of Love communality of the Hippies, but it was a misappropriation and misunderstanding of McLuhan’s meaning. For McLuhan the ‘Global Village’ was a place of violent terror, where there was constant surveillance and where privacy was ‘merely ignored’, as he frankly describes in a famous interview with Canadian talk show host Mike McManus. McLuhan rose to prominence as perhaps the most famous cultural critic of his age with an analysis that directly engaged with the transformations emerging with the introduction of electronic technologies. His involvement was gestural, reason alone would not suffice to grapple with the contemporary conditions, there was a techno-cultural revolution afoot, which was completely disrupting how human beings had perceived the world for hundreds of years.
Peter Blegvad (UK, 1951) is a cartoonist (and a musician) who navigates the transitions between three modes of experience: ‘Imagined, Observed, Remembered’. Our imaginations are based on our experience, and even though we see the same things every day, the actual experience is always an anomaly. Blegvad’s drawings depict before during and after experiencing them.
Cybopticon.life (Stephanie Ballantine (UK) Lena Chen (US) Espen Holk (NO)) Three cyber characters appear in the material world, offering an array of personalized services that range from mundane to erotic. Broadcasting from inside a cam studio, they test the boundaries of cyber and material, performing and provoking a series of actions that invert the gaze inherent to labour. We Play 4 U Now!
Adam Harvey (US) is an artist and independent researcher based in Berlin with a multidisciplinary approach to exploiting surveillance technologies. His work includes developing camouflage from face detection (CV Dazzle, 2010), anti-drone thermal signature reduction garments (Stealth Wear, 2013), a faraday cage phone case (OFF Pocket, 2013), and a Wi-Fi geolocation emulator (SKYLIFT, 2016). His current work investigates latent biometric information in low-resolution imagery.
Mogens Jacobsen (DK, 1959) is a Danish pioneer in net-art, he has left the computer-screen and the computer as his primary form and today mostly works with artifacts, objects and installations. His works often appear as critical satirical devices with references to technological instruments or equipment from laboratories.
Christof Migone (CA 1964) has been making sound art for more than two decades, often at odds with the technology, smashing and abusing microphones is one of his claims to fame. In his conceptual Record Release project, he distributes blank records or little nuggets of black vinyl as a cultural message. The medium is the message, the industry of record production, petrochemicals, plastics, they are the real content of every record release.
Ioana Vreme Moser (RO 1994) is engaged with transmedia narrations and electronic poetics. Her practice currently involves electro-mechanical instruments, small audio sculptures, kinetic installations, sound performances, soft video narrations and data compendiums.