Tower's Art Gallery - Brussels
11 - 21 / 04 / 2013

Preview: 10 April 2013
Talk with James Bridle (UK) and Honor Harger (NZ) at BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts: 16 April 2013

The Digital Now is an exhibition series which aims to look thematically at relevant artifacts within the current artistic context and media art related discourse.  The first edition entitled “Drones / Birds – Princes of Ubiquity” is inspired by the New Aesthetic and focuses on the ways we experience our digital condition: always on, always there. Drones or UAV’s (Unmanned Arial Vehicles) have been related to this New Aesthetic debate ever since it started.

The New Aesthetic has been a remarkable and often intense debate for about two years now, spread across platforms, groups, scenes, blogs, catalogues, sprint-books and festivals in off- and online worlds.

“Drones / Birds – Princes of Ubiquity” taps into this debate of autonomous technology, waving at machines, the post-human and machinic vision but started from an opposite angle, not by discovering a new next nature in digital artifacts but by spotting instances of the computational or digital in nature… spotting starlings producing Nokia ringtones as a birdcall.

As the New Aesthetics is an ongoing debate the exhibition will not try to give an overview. Instead its statements and questions are taken as a thread to explore our digital and computational surroundings. Core to the exhibition are digital artifacts; intentional and unintentional critical objects reflecting our contemporary relation with technology.

The exhibition is curated by Bram Crevits (BE) and will present work by internationally acclaimed artists such as David Bowen (US), Paolo Cirio (IT), Marcus Coates, (UK) Christoph De Boeck & Patricia Portela,  (BE/PT), HC Gilje (NO), Esther Polak & Ivar van Bekkum (NL), Erica Scourti (GR), Addie Wagenknecht (US) and Zimoun (CH).

Next to the exhibition, a talk with James Bridle (UK) and Honor Harger (NZ) moderated by Michel Van Dartel (V2_Institute of Unstable Media, Rotterdam), will be organized at BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts – Brussels, on April 16th.

The Digital Now is produced by Cimatics and featured in the off-program of Art Brussels, the international contemporary art fair (April 18 -21, 2013). This year’s edition “Drones / Birds: Princes of Ubiquity” relates to the theme “Ubiquitous Art and Music: Art and the everyday” organized within the European project ECAS (http://ecasnetwork.org/), and connected to the International Cities of Advanced Sound (ICAS) network (http://icasnetwork.org/).

Presented Artists & Projects:

David Bowen (US) makes complex sculptural installations exploring the relationship between the natural and the mechanical. Fly tweet (2012) is a device that sends Twitter messages based on the activities of a collection of houseflies.

Paolo Cirio (IT) investigates perception and the creation of cultural, political and economic realities manipulated by modes of control over information’s power. Street Ghosts (2012) reveals the aesthetic, bio-political, tactical and legal issues of Cirio’s theoretical considerations. 

Marcus Coates (GB). In his video The Plover’s Wing (2008), Coates is filming himself entering a trance like state that he calls ‘becoming animal’, and attempts to solve people’s problems by seeking answers from the animal spirits that he encounters.

Christoph De Boeck & Patricia Portela (BE/PT). Hortus (2012) proposes an artistic ecology which goes along with the artists permanent research into how sound relates to an environment and how humans are affected by that environment.

HC Gilje (NO). Wind-up birds (2008) explores how audiovisual technology can be used to transform, create, expand, amplify and interpret physical spaces.

Esther Polak & Ivar van Bekkum (NL). The Urban Fruit – Street Wrapper (2012) is a clever low tech, well-tested and cozy way to turn 2D into 3D. Urban Fruit Street – Wrapper uses this trustworthy method to transform the virtual world of Google Streetview panoramas effectively into physical objects.

Erica Scourti (GR). Using autobiographical source material, as well as found text collected from the internet displaced into social space, her work explores communication, and particularly the mediated intimacy engendered by a digital paradigm. She will present Woman Nature Alone (2010) / Life in Adwords (2012)

Addie Wagenknecht (US). Pussy Drones (2013) Is a series of gifs about creating a totally new form of discourse between the web­based experience (lolzcat, memes, gifs) and historically closed systems of the patriarchal structures which control the physical world. That is to suggest drones are merely ‘unmaned’ cocks controlled by (finding) pussy.

Zimoun (CH). Woodworms, Microphones, Sound System, 2009-2012. Carrying an emotional depth, the acoustic hum of natural phenomena blends effortlessly with electric reverberation in Zimoun’s minimalist constructions.


http://www.thedigitalnow.be