A Crowded Sky
Crowd psychology in the digital age
— 28 June 2020
Location: IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture
The exhibition A CROWDED SKY gathers a group of diverse artists looking at crowd psychology from different strata. In the exhibition space artworks appear and disappear on various locations. Through this time-based format (duration cycle: 1,5 hours) the artworks merge into one conversation and simultaneously the artists fuse into one crowd.
Internet 2.0 has enabled crowds to gather in new constellations. At the same time, developments in machine learning have increased crowd surveillance, while algorithmic crowd simulation is deployed to predict future human movements. At the same time, developments in machine learning have increased crowd surveillance, while algorithmic crowd simulation is deployed to predict future human movements. The exhibition deals with these new and urgent themes in an exhibition in which light, sound and different video works alternate in a theatrical way, like actors in a play.
The exhibition presents works by Jasmijn Visser, S†ëfan Schäfer, Lawrence Lek, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Lantian Xie & Jaebum Kim, Tools for Action and Anna Ådahl. Special thanks to Christoph Scherbaum.
Location: IMPAKT Centre for Mediaculture, Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht. Open from Wednesday until Sunday with a limited number of available tickets. To visit the exhibition you need to buy an online ticket in advance.
You can read the accompanying publication, with contributions by Jasmijn Visser & S†ëfan Schäfer, Lawrence Lek, Clemens von Wedemeyer & Franciska Zólyom, Tools for Action, Paolo Caffoni & Falke Pisano and Anna Ådahl here, or book a timeslot and pick up a paper version when you visit the exhibition.
Jasmijn Visser― Curator
Complexity is always at the core of Jasmijn Visser’s practice, especially in relation to geopolitical conflict. In an age of internet 2.0., the perception of our world, as well as experience of time has shifted. In order to interpret this shift, Visser explores ordering, aesthetics and narrative patterns of geopolitical cases, and proposes new forms of complexity framing. Rather then reducing, abstracting or simplifying complexity, the artist seeks a way explain complexity through complexity, for example in Conflict Atlas, where she shifts the centre of the earth to the Falkland Islands to view global conflict from their perspective. Just as Visser questions the structures which build the foundation of our society, she also turns more introspective and questions what an artist is, and what the artwork can be. The artist concedes autonomy by working in multiple collaborative constructions, wether interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary. Her artworks often are accessible online or even made by using existing structures of the internet. In her upcoming project occur Visser will investigate and expand on this method through a large collaborative research project on complexity modelling in relation to climate change.
S†ëfan Schäfer― Curator
S†ëfan Schäfer’s research based design work deals with death and memorial culture, visual literacy and interdisciplinary experiments. His work results in diverse media varying from print, sound, performance, object, writing and installation. At this point he develops his new long term research project Death. Environment. Anthropocene. Design. (DEAD). The project aims to develop new conceptions and exposures of death, ritual and memory in the context of environmental ruination in what has been labeled the Epoch of the Anthropocene. His work has been exhibited internationally at Krasnoyarsk Biennale, St. Etienne Design Biennale, Festival International de l’affiche et des arts graphiques de Chaumont, Cape Town Design Capital, Dutch Design Week Eindhoven. Schäfer lectured about his work at OTIS College of Art and Design Los Angeles, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam, VSVD Bratislava, Institute of Contemporary Arts London. His book Now I am Become Digital Death, the Destroyer of Worlds (Self-published) in collaboration with Dr. Emily West (PhD medicine) is used as research material at several institutions and universities.
Lawrence Lek― Artist
Lawrence Lek uses advancing technologies, such as computer-generated imagery, virtual reality, 3D animation and gaming software as well as installation and performance to simulate and develop digital environments described by the artist as ‘three-dimensional collages of found objects and situations.’ By rendering real places within fictional scenarios, his digital worlds reflect the impact of the virtual on our perception of reality.
Clemens von Wedemeyer― Artist
Clemens von Wedemeyer, born in 1974 in Göttingen, Germany, currently lives and works in Berlin and holds a professorship for media art at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. The artist and filmmaker studied photography and media at the Fachhochschule Bielefeld and the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig and graduated as Meisterschüler of Astrid Klein in 2005. Clemens von Wedemeyer participated in group shows such as the 1st Moscow Biennale (2005), the 4th Berlin Biennale (2006), Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007, the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008) and dOCUMENTA (13) (2012). He had solo shows among others at MoMA PS1, New York, ARGOS Centre for Art and Media, Brussels, the Barbican Art Centre, London, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Hamburger Kunsthalle. “ESIOD 2015” premiered at the 66. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Berlinale) in 2016.
Tools for Action― Artist
TOOLS FOR ACTION is a collaborative platform to open the way for experimentation, creating space for poetic forms of engagement. We develop open source tools for collective leverage, catalysing self-organisation through skill-sharing and participatory making processes. Our practice oscillates between performance and protest, searching for new forms of public assembly and lines of flight in the face of oppression, exploitation and surveillance. Tools for Action was founded by Artúr van Balen (NL-HU), who is a core member of the group. Tools for Action was formerly operating under the name Eclectic Electric Collective in collaboration with Jakub Simik (CZ) (2010-2011). Long term collaborations have been with Sarah Drain (DE) (2010; 2014; 2018), Katherine Ball (USA) (2014 - 2017), Malcolm Kratz (NL) (2017) and Tomás Espinosa (COL) (2017-2019). Since December 2019, Artúr van Balen and Shailloh Phillips (NL-USA) operate under Tools for Action and initiated the Tools for Action Foundation. More information here: www.toolsforaction.net For the exhibition, A Crowded Sky, Artúr van Balen has developed the 2-channel video installation “Multiplying Resistance” in which historical archive research on inflatable spectacles in the Soviet Union and the United States of the 1930ies is compared with Tools for Action interventions from the period 2010 – 2019.
Anna Ådahl― Artist
Anna Ådahl is a Swedish artist and researcher. She uses the tools of assemblage and montage where found footage meets newly shot images and where ready-mades are used as props in spatial narratives. Over the past decade the notion and politics of crowds has been central in Anna Ådahl´s artistic practice. In numerous works she has been observing and examining the relationship and politics between the individual and the mass as well as the language of the body in relation to the psychological or physical space that surrounds it. Within her current practice based PhD at the Royal College of Art in London, adressing how new technologies shape our collective behaviour, her focus has turned towards the aesthetics and the politics of contemporary crowds, operating in a new computational realm.
Lantian Xie― Artist
Lantian Xie (b.1988) makes images, objects, stories, jazz bands, motorcycles, books, and parties. Previous exhibitions include 57th Venice Biennial, 11th Shanghai Biennial, 3rd Kochi-Muziris Biennial, 14th Sharjah Biennial.
Jaebum Kim― Artist
Jaebum Kim (1976) is a photographer who lives and works in Seoul, and has been working with images that referred to as refined reconstructions of ready-made images, socially constructed and, by and large, reminiscent of the media. He reconstructs them into photographs or weaving them into books.