The International: two day symposium about the internet

On May 22 and 23 2015 MAMA proudly presented The Internetional, a two-day symposium focusing on one of the most important areas of visual culture today: the internet. Curators, artists, and theorists discuss this topic with each other and the public in a diverse program of panel discussions, dialogues, lectures, and workshops.

This symposium was hosted in collaboration with V2_, TENT, Witte de With and WORM as part of The International House of Cozy. All recordings were done by Marèl Jap-Sam.

Below you will find recordings of all the topics that were covered on the first day of the symposium.

Post Internet: 2007 - 2014 | Keynote Lecture

Gene McHugh (US) lives and works in Los Angeles. He is the author of Post Internet (2011), a collection of blog posts from his website of the same name, and the producer of Net Art Hell, a recent podcast focused on individual works of net art. He is currently Head of Digital Media at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, and, prior to that, was the Interpretation Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Editorial Fellow at Rhizome at the New Museum. His writing on digital culture has been published in, among other publications, Artforum, Aperture, Garage, and Rhizome, and the anthologies You are Here: Art After the Internet (2014), edited by Omar Kholeif, and the forthcoming Mass Effect, edited by Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter. He is also the curator of several exhibitions, including projects by Nate Hill, Ann Hirsch, and the duo Bunny Rogers & Filip Olszewski.

Listen to Gene McHugh’s lecture in this podcast about the ‘Post-Internet’ phenomenon. Gene McHugh introduced the term post-internet art while authoring his ‘Post Internet’ blog, which also played an important role in establishing the term. He claims the term Post Internet has run its course and can already be considered an art historian movement, with the necessary phases, lea-ding players, and conclusions. Does this mean the death of the Post Internet?

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RATE/COMMENT/SUBSCRIBE! | Dialogue

Petra Heck (NL) is a freelance curator (including for TAAK and TodaysArt) and focuses on contemporary (media) art, performances, and (online) public space. She specializes in video, internet and other ephemeral forms – such as performances. Her practice questions the consequences of technological and other societal developments for contemporary art, the artwork itself, and the artistic process. Between 2006 and 2012, she worked as curator and head of exhibitions at the Dutch Media Art Institute (NIMk/Montevideo). Her exhibitions there included solo exhibitions by Cory Arcangel and Omer Fast, numerous group exhibitions, and performance evenings with Dutch and international artists, including Mark Leckey, Yael Bartana, Constant Dullaart, JODI, Mounira Al Solh, Oliver Laric, Metahaven, Ola Vasiljeva, and Jon Rafman. Petra Heck has an academic background in Art History and Museum Studies, graduating in Cultural Studies in 2000 from the University of Amsterdam. In 2015, she became a committee member at the Creative Industry Fund, and was a committee member of the Mondriaan Fund from 2012 to 2014.

Brad Troemel (US) is a New York based artist and writer. His work is contextually responsive to the economies he participates in, thematically focusing on topics ranging from environmentalism to art collecting to digital black markets. He is the co-founder of Jogging, a group project, known for its accelerative production pace and consistent creation of viral images online. As a writer, Troemel’s work focuses on contemporary modes of artistic production and the flow of images through social media.

Amalia Ulman (AR) is an Argentinean-born, predominantly Spanish-raised artist based between the cities of Los Angeles, London, and Gijon. A self-described transatlantic expat, a spirit of national nomadism and outsider cultural inquisitiveness inform her practice. Her works are primarily voiced in the first person, often blurring the distinction between the artist and object of study. In a multidisciplinary manner, she charts a soft-toned exploration of the relationships between consumerism and identity, class imitation and social deception, and altruism and orientalism, with a particular focus on the idea of ‘cute’ and ‘pretty’. She uses the aesthetic languages of the middle, its ‘sublime ordinariness’, as a mechanism to explore the intersection of class and aesthetics at its most salient point: taste. Her work asks how aesthetic consumption aligns one to a particular class position and how a position of criticality is itself a space of privilege. She is a feminist.

Constant Dullaart (NL) works primarily with the internet as an alternative space of presentation and (mis)representation. His often-political approach is critical of the control that corporate systems have upon our perception of the world and the way in which we passively adopt their languages. Dullaart’s practice includes websites, performances, installations, and manipulated found images, presented both offline and in the public space of the internet.

Constant DullaartBrad Troemel and Amalia Ulman discuss how social media influence the significance of the artist, the artwork and the public. Social media plays a role in all their practices. For example, Constant Dullaart, as part of a new work, provided thousands of additional followers to the Instagram account of Amalia Ulman. Petra Heck moderates the conversation in which questions are discussed as, what is the impact of social media on the status of the artist, the artwork and the role of the viewer? and are we now, as Brad Troemel puts it, ‘in a moment of artists without art?’.

Lunch Bytes on ‘Post Internet‘: Labels, Categories and Catchphrases | Lecture

Melanie Bühler (NL/DE) lives and works in Amsterdam as a freelance curator. She is the founder and curator of Lunch Bytes: a project about digital art and culture which includes talks, discussions, and an online platform, for which she has collaborated with institutions, including Art Basel, CCA, Glasgow, ICA, London, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. As a curator, her most recent projects include Surface Poetry at Boetzelaer/Nispen Amsterdam (2014) and BRANDS – CONCEPT/AFFECT/MODULARITY at S.A.L.T.S. Project Space, Birsfelden (2014). Her writing has appeared in the exhibition catalogue Megarave Metarave (les presses du réel/Kunsthaus Langenthal/WallRiss, 2014), Unseen Magazine (Foam, 2014), and Run Computer, Run (Link Editions/CRUMB, 2014).

In this podcast Melanie Bühler, curator and founder of Lunch Bytes, talks about how the Post Internet concept has influenced Lunch Bytes – a series of debates about the relationship between art and digital culture. She addresses the question of how to define the ‘digital’ now the concept has become too broad to encompass certain fields of contemporary art, and what do the different features of this field, which is dominated by the logical of the information capital and ubiquitous connectivity exactly look like?

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Face to Face: Tangible Communities | Panel

athalie Hartjes (NL) studied Art History at Leiden University. Until recently, she worked at de Appel arts centre, initially as the Curatorial Programme’s coordinator, alongside which she quickly became involved in the development of the Gallerist Programme, to which she was coordinator from its inception in 2012. From 2014 – 2015, she was Artistic Director of Nieuwe Vide in Haarlem. She was general coordinator of Comité van Roosendaal and worked for Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art in various capacities. Hartjes infrequently writes about art and publishes fiction whenever the opportunity arises.

Vincent Koreman (NL) is the head programmer of the Incubate festival, his blog is Generation Bass, and he was once in the popular pop-punk band Travoltas – who this year are reforming for a few performances. He is active in all corners of music and has his own view of what music is and how the industry should and shouldn’t work. His current project, the uncompromising Drvg Cvltvre, is almost his longest and most stable project to date. According to him, this is because it brings together all of his previous experience. He is continuously putting tracks out on the inter-net.  Completely free .He has no idea what his discography looks like – Discogs takes care of that.

Olof van Winden (NL) made his first steps into the digital arts world with the Sound/Vision Festival, an urban Festival in The Hague. Shortly after, van Winden programmed a stage at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF). In 2004, he established The Generator Foundation, an organi-sation of young creative spirits that grew into a professional festival and production platform, which, among other activities, organises the annual TodaysArt Festival in The Hague. As the director of TodaysArt, van Winden has curated stages at festivals in Montreal, New York, Brussels, Berlin, and Krakow to name a few. In May 2011, he began his work as the Director of the Dutch Media Art Institute (NIMk) in Amsterdam. Van Winden was part of the curatorial team of the 7th Seoul International Media Art Biennale (Media City Seoul 2012). He also sits on committees for the De-partment of Art and Culture in Rotterdam and for the Mondriaan Foundation.

Arjon Dunnewind (NL) studied at the Utrecht School of Arts. In 1988, he was co-organiser of the first Impakt Festival, and established the Impakt Foundation in 1993. In the 1990s, he curated and organised presentations and touring programs for international artists and filmmakers. In 2005, he started a residency program called Impakt Works in which international artists working with video, digital media, and new technologies are supported and facilitated in making new work.

This panel explores the particular potential and conditions of presenting (digital) art in the context of festivals with crossovers in music, art, and digital culture. More specifically, the panel investigates the way festivals can make tangible communities that were previously well connected on a virtual level. The panel focuses on the speakers Arjon DunnewindVincent Koreman and Olof van Winden and is moderated by the director of MAMA Nathalie Hartjes.

Lucky PDF & Natasha Hoare | Dialogue

Natasha Hoare (NL/UK) has been Associate Curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art since 2014. She holds an MA in Curating from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and a BA in English Literature from Edinburgh University. Prior to joining Witte de With, she worked as Assistant Curator for the Visual Arts Section of the Marrakech Biennale 5 (2014) and for On Geometry and Speculation, a parallel project for the Marrakech Biennale 4 (2012). She has previously worked as Studio Manager for artist Mark Wallinger, Special Projects Manager for artist Shezad Dawood, and Business Development Manager and Press Officer at the Saatchi Gallery, London. Natasha Hoare is completing work on Curating Now, a book of interviews with international curators to be published by Laurence King in 2015, and regularly contributes to IbraazElephant MagazineExtra Extra, and Saatchi publications.

LuckyPDF is a South London based artist collective that has worked in the UK and internationally since 2008. The group’s work engages large numbers of collaborators, contributors, and participants to expose and disrupt power and value relations across art and culture in general, creating online and offline networks to generate and support new ways of working. Their most recent work, the online and installed film How to Leave London, was commissioned and exhibited by the Hayward Gallery for Mirrorcity in 2014.

In this podcast Natasha Hoare talks with LuckyPDF members James Early and John Hill about the continual adaptation on their work for different environments: online and offline, in both art and non-art sites, hyper-commercial and non-profit.

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Stefan Simchowitz & Gerben Willers (via Skype) | Dialogue

Gerben Willers (1982) is the owner of All Together Now: Label for Contemporary Art and artistic director of Roodkapje. From 2001 – 2008, Gerben studied at the University of Groningen, obtaining his Masters degree in Modern and Contemporary Art History. While in Groningen, he worked for the art division of VERA: Club for the International Underground and founded his first initiative for contemporary art, Gallery on the Streets in 2005. GOTS combined online and physical art experience and distribution. In 2008, he started working for Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam, curating solo and group exhibitions with key contemporary art figures. In November 2014, Gerben Willers founded All Together Now, which represents and guides contemporary artists in their careers, and is committed to the production, presentation, mediation, and sale of their work. Since contemporary art production is versatile – performances, films, plays, music, and painting can be individual or multiple elements within an artist’s practice – All Together Now presents these approaches in relevant locations, including film festivals, the internet, exhibition halls, theatres, and art fairs. Gerben was one of the The Internetional’s initiators.

Stefan Simchowitz (US) is an art dealer, collector, and consultant living in Los Angeles.

In this podcast Gerben Willers, former curator at Showroom MAMA and current artistic director of Roodkapje, engages conversation with Stefan Simchowitz (Skype), a dealer, consultant, and collector of contemporary art.

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Lost properties: claim your domain | Panel

Michelle Kasprzak (PL/CA) is a curator, writer, and culture pundit based in Amsterdam. Her most recent eBook, Responsible Technological Innovation, is a collection of seventeen haikus produced in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Risk Science Center. She is also an active weightlifter with current personal records of 85 kg squat, 52.5 kg bench press, and 90 kg deadlift.

Florian Cramer (DE) is an applied research professor at Hogeschool Rotterdam, affiliated to the Willem de Kooning Academy and the Piet Zwart Institute. He has been a critical writer on arts in relation to computing since the mid 1990s. Recent publications include: Anti-Media (a collection of essays and ephemera published in 2013 by NAi010) and What Is Post Digital? http://www.aprja.net/?p=1318. He has collaborated on hybrid arts/software/research projects with Stewart Home, Sebastian Luetgert, Alexei Shulgin & Olga Goriunova, Inke Arns, Alan Sondheim, mez breeze, Cornelia Sollfrank, modd_r labs, and Jonas Lund. He also works at WORM Rotterdam.

Josephine Bosma (NL) is a journalist and critic living and working in Amsterdam. She focuses on art in the context of the internet. She has presented radio reports and interviews on Radio Patapoe and VPRO since 1993. In 1997, Bosma became a key figure in moulding the then new sphere of critical internet discourse, as well as practice taking place in email lists such as Nettime and Rhi-zome. Her writings on net art and net culture have appeared in numerous magazines, books, catalogues, and websites, including Ars Electronica, Telepolis, Mute, DU, Metropolis M, and Frieze D/E. In 2011, her book Nettitudes – Let’s Talk Net Art was published and she became an external PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.

Geert Lovink (AU/NL), founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, is a Dutch-Australian media theorist and critic. He holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and was at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland, in 2003. In 2004, Lovink was appointed as Research Professor at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Associate Professor at University of Amsterdam. He is the founder of internet projects such as nettime and fibreculture. His recent book titles are Dark Fiber (2002), Uncanny Networks (2002) and My First Recession (2003). In 2005 – 2006, he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, where he finished his third volume on critical internet culture, Zero Comments (2007).

 

The three theorists, Josephine Bosma, Florian Cramer and Geert Lovink, who have all spent (large) parts of their career researching or writing about digital art and culture, discuss the usefulness of the term Post Internet. Moderated by Michelle Kasprzak questions like, can the term help remove barriers between the fields of contemporary art and new media? Does Post Internet stand for positivism or pessimism, and what is left of the internet’s promise of being a non-hierarchical, boundless free space?, are being discussed.

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