Under the motto “2020 – finally digital?!”, this year’s “Gallery Spaces” will ask renowned players in the art industry where they currently stand and what their visions for the future look like. The format is divided into three sections: a conference, curated projects and digital gallery showcases. At the conference, renowned members of the art industry and their assessments of the progress of digitization in the art world over the past year will be presented. The second section invites curators to report on new acute positions from their communities. The third section expands the galleries that form the backbone of the art industry.
Representatives from Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation (US), bitforms gallery (US), PMS Gallery, KÖNIG GALERIE (DE), Galeri ODUMIJE (NG), The Contemporary and Digital Art Fair (US), Art Collection Deutsche Telekom, LAST/RESORT Club (US), Black Cube Nomadic Museum (US), Desert Valley Art Ranch (US), Postmasters Gallery (US), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (RU) and re. riddle (US). Curated by Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt and Renger van Den Heuvel (NL), Blockchain.art
Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation
Founded in 2014, the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation awards scholarships and prizes for innovative ideas in various fields of global art. The unique collection of digital and electronic art includes more than 300 artworks by 125 artists with a focus on coded and algorithmic software, internet-based and generative animation, interactive technology, video installation and electronic sculpture.
The Thoma Foundation’s curator for digital art, Jason Foumberg, takes a video tour behind the scenes of the Foundation’s digital and electronic art collection, offering personal anecdotes about the artworks that excite him, how the Foundation decides which artworks to collect, and a look inside the public exhibition space and private art storage vault. Foumberg’s lavishly illustrated talk is organized around the Ars Electronica 2020 festival theme of autonomy and focuses on digital artists who use technology to automate creative work and enhance viewer interaction.
Claudia Hart’s exhibition “The Ruins” works with still lifes to create a space for contemplation in which the canons of patriarchal Western civilization are reflected upon. The exhibited works are meditations and function as an antidote to a world in crisis, to the Eurocentric world view with the photographic capture as thoughts of truth. In all Hart’s worlds, time is fluid and elastic, multidirectional and in constant flux. Although nothing actually happens, everything is changeable and mobile. This is a different conception of time, a present in which the viewer can experience the crystallization of past, future and present into an eternal now.
At the center of the exhibition is an audiovisual animation that leads through a claustrophobic play world. The music is composed by Edmund Campion and is influenced by Hart’s vocals and lyrics. Campion edited and mixed each voice and used them as instruments in a piece that serves as the soundtrack for both the animation and the exhibition itself. Also part of the exhibition is the series The Red Paintings, a series of three monumental animations on the scale of real painting. On view in the bitforms gallery from September 10 to October 25.
Curated by Kennii Ekundayo, Galeri ODUMIJE, Lagos
The appearance of the pandemic earlier this year thoroughly disrupted the global order and there was reason to believe – or at least hope – that this moment would be used as a rallying point to bury differences and find a way out of the crisis together. But this was not the case – it seems that the catastrophe of the pandemic has led to further tragedies.
Pandemic Pandemonium! is a two-part presentation focusing on the collective response of Africans living in Africa to the current predominant problems threatening humanity – racial discrimination, violence against women and the COVID 19 pandemic. While one part makes a statement about the resilience of the human mind in the face of a deadly virus, the other part focuses on the enhancement of melanin-rich skin in the midst of an accompanying deadly hostility. The exhibition is dedicated to the theme of humanity, one of the focal points of this year’s festival.
CADAF (The Contemporary and Digital Art Fair)
The Contemporary and Digital Art Fair presents Anne Spalter and Sofia Crespo, two artists who work with AI technology and whose works deal with current socio-economic issues such as COVID19 and ecological insecurity. The artists invite the viewer to dive into new worlds where beauty and technology collide and raise questions of human perspective, consciousness and preservation.
“Artificial Seascapes” reflects the effects of man and technology on the environment and explores new ways of visualizing them. By incorporating AI, algorithmic tools and data processing into their practice, Spalter and Crespo enable us to see everyday events from the perspective of a machine. By shifting the focus, scenes familiar to the human eye – such as images of cruise ships or sea creatures – begin to change, resulting in unprecedented compositions.
Deutsche Telekom AG
Even if a 3D tour through an exhibition cannot convey the sensual presence and aesthetic power of artworks 1:1, it can still serve as a good documentation and additional platform. This 3D tour includes two tours:
“Keeping the Balance” is the current exhibition of the Deutsche Telekom Art Collection at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest. It runs from September 4 to November 22 and presents the work of almost forty Eastern European artists. “30 Years After” at the Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain in Nîmes, took place as part of Recontres d’Arles Photography from June 11 to November 10, 2019. The exhibition presented photographic works from the collection and gave the international audience of Rencontres an insight into the burgeoning Eastern European art scene.
Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
The program Garage Digital gathers artists and collectives that rethink and reflect on networks, infrastructures, ecologies and algorithms. In their works they ask for possible tactics and strategies to rethink communities, modes of rationality and production – in a refined and poetic way.
“Adversarial Infrastructure” by Anna Engelhardt is an artistic research project that examines modes of truth production in politics on the basis of the principles of adversarial machine learning and rethinks deepfake technology as an ethical strategy in specific contexts.
re.riddle, California, San Francisco
The past six months have been a time of turbulent uncertainty – unrest and racial tensions, political rhetoric full of demagogy, a global pandemic are leading to a reappraisal of past and present realities. Starting from this present moment, Falling Up wants to explore the concept of artifice, its nature and behavior. How could the idea of artificiality offer us a way to grasp the paradoxes or the dialectics of multiple realities? Rather than defining artificiality as merely inauthentic or “fake”, this exhibition looks at poetry to its fiction and how it could go so far as to save contemporary reality.
You can read more about the Ars Electronica Festival on this website, moreover, under the motto “Inside Festival” we have exciting new video contributions from all over the world for you every week, and on our social media channels we’re also constantly giving outlooks and insights into what to expect this year.