NOT BY DEFAULT | POST INTERNET ART FROM BERLIN
28 AUGUST – 22 SEPTEMBER 2012
Opening: Sat 25th of August 2012, 3 – 5pm
Summer party at the gallery with barbecue from 5 pm
Artist Talk during the Berlin Art Week on Tuesday, 11th September, 7 pm
with the artists of the exhibition and guests on: Post Internet Art
Moderator: Wolf Lieser
The group show NOT BY DEFAULT invites young artists from Berlin whose work refers to the Internet as the centre of digital culture as such. They all represent the generation of ‚digital natives‘ and produce their art within the context of an online community, where the net serves both as a source of inspiration as well as the medium of presentation. The term ‚Post Internet Art‘ was chosen for this exhibition in order to describe a new era in which especially those who grew up with the Internet reflect on the implications and habits of a digital culture, by applying these habits against the grain – NOT BY DEFAULT – thus revealing new perspectives. This kind of art is not restricted to digital formats, but expands into space, is haptic, political, pushing out of the gallery into the city, into society.
Constant Dullaart shows his work Hard Crystal Display, 2012, a series of monitors combined with collectable lead crystal glassware. On first sight, this piece looks like a 3D object or hologram, but on closer inspection the readymade glassware, crudely glued to the sacred space of the monitor screen manipulates the image like an intricate digital filter. Dullaart compares the transforming qualities of glass and lenses to the transforming qualities of the internet as a window.
Dullaart’s video In Your Office, 2011, shows the artist repeatedly rotating eight white plates arranged in a circle on the floor. The video can be found on YouTube and everyone who has ever tried to load a YouTube video recognizes in this performance the reenactment of the loading symbol of the white circle. Selfreferential, with dry humour and irony, In Your Office is not only an insider joke, but also humanizing the interface that we are so used to by way of a small bricolage gesture. Dullaart made this work as a tribute to all the users that create and upload all the content to YouTube everyday. But it is also a reflection on what has become our internalised, ‘digital habits’.
Jaakko Pallasvuo’s work formally makes use of popular internet aesthetics. His YouTube videos reject traditional fine arts aesthetics, promoting ‘bad taste’ instead. In Some Men Are Islands, 2012, we see text moving across the screen, overlays and wipe-effects dominating the edit, filters generating graphical distortions and wild patterns. The film is put together from many fragments, there is no narrative structure nor a resolution and the end happens abruptly. Pallasvuo’s videos reflect on the very sense of art making. From self-doubt to fears to the failure of meeting his expectations as an artist, he is not afraid of embarrassing himself.
Ignacio Uriarte’s oevre has no direct links with digital culture on first sight. He has developed his very own artistic language within the limitations of working solely with utensils from an office environment as his means of expression. Uriarte makes art from A4 sheets of paper, from biros, excel-tables, desks and waste paper bins – all rather banal every day objects, taken from the context of an office, that he arranges strictly formally in vairous material studies. In the triptych Diagonal Labyrinths, 2012, we can see two triangles distributed across the three picture frames, one black, one red, drawn from one continuous line within an excel table, generating a labyrinth style pattern. In the paper installation Copied document, 2010, we are confronted with a diagonal made up of blank A4 sheets. The artist comments:
“In the digital world, when you open multiple windows or when you copy an object many times, the windows/objects are placed in front of each other with a slight shift to the lower right which enables the user to see and be aware of everything simultaneously. This installation takes the digital phenomenon back into the physical world where it originally came from.”
The theme of Ana García-Pineda’s drawing Interpyramid, 2012, is the history of civilisations or rather the way they live on in our collective memory. For her research, she uses Google image search, appropriating the absurd connections the search engine generates. Different civilisations are being put into relation with each other in Ana García-Pineda’s ironic, comic-strip like style – one character devours the other, another one tries to get to the top of the pyramid by climbing over the other. The symbolic characters are presented in a way that they pose for the viewer.
Tobias Leingruber invents in his project Social ID Bureau, 2012, a Facebook ID card for ‘real life’, thus commenting on the alarming power the social network giant has over our private lives. For the gallery opening, the artist offers the issuing of a social ID card to the visitors, as long as they are registered with Facebook.
In his online-piece Stock Images Niko Princen connects data from several stock markets with pictures of faces returned by the Google image search results. This way, the abstract movements of stock markets are reconnected to people, reminding us that any movements of stocks are made by and affect actual people. The arbitrariness in the choice of face reflects the feeling of powerlessness that most people feel in the light of the actions of the stock markets: anyone’s life can be affected even if the person themselves have never been involved in stock trading.