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THE ARTISTS' RESEARCH & PROJECTS

The project puts emphasis on supporting the artists’ work and their production processes, without imposing an existing pre-defined theme. The resulting work can take various forms -exhibitions, performances, talks, events, and posters.

Barbara Holub (AT) Ebru Kurbak (TR) Marcus Neustetter (ZA) Ricarda Denzer (DE/AT)
Behzad K. Noori (IR/SE) Heba Y. Amin (EG/DE) Nikolaus Gansterer (AT) Tamsin Snow (IE/UK)
Benji Boyadgian (FI/PS) Inma Herrera (ES/FI) Nisrine Boukrari (SY/SE) Timo Tuhkanen (FI)
Bronwyn Lace (ZA) Isa Rosenberger (AT) Otto Karvonen (FI) Yane Calovski (MK)
Egle Oddo (IT/FI) Lina Selander (SE) Ramesch Daha (AT)  

Barbara Holub

BLUE FROG SOCIETY | A HABITAT WITHOUT TERRITORY
2018
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2018), Vienna; CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019)(2019), Helsinki

The Blue Frog Society is a messenger of a future society. It pushes the borders of the “possible” to make space for the unplanned and unthinkable, emphasizing civic engagement and the need for new social values, new commons and forms of living together beyond cultural, social or geographical borders. After presentations at the Czech Mission to the UN/Czech Center (New York), the 64th UN DPI/NGO conference in Bonn, and many other public venues and internal meetings, the BFS will now gather in Vienna, where it originated in 2010 and published the "10 Issues of the BFS". The audience are invited to become a member and contribute their suggestions.

TIMES OF DILEMMA

—with Paul Rajakovics, transparadiso
Archival material and video
2018-ongoing
presented at CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna

“Times of Dilemma” makes use of the tradition of Għana for creating contemporary Għana dialogues addressing current conflicts. In July 2017 the artists organized two workshop sessions, for which they launched an open call for participation. They invited authors, Għana-singers (Għannejja), activists and experts from diverse backgrounds to discuss the contradictory interests between economical prosperity and regaining communal values and how to rediscover qualities, (hidden) potentials and poetics for living together. In this way the artists created a “situation” for the Maltese to take action. For the performances by the Għannejja transparadiso conceived two large megaphone-sculptures, offering a dialogical sound transfer of 320 meters between St. Michael’s Counterguard, next to St. Roche Chapel and the only public land on the mostly privatized Manoel Island, which will be transformed into an exclusive new urban development for the rich. The locations relate to times of leprosy where the patients where quarantined in a hospital on Manoel Island. A priest would hold his prayers for the hospital from across the channel at St. Roche’s Chapel. The dialogue from the two locations now addresses a plague of today, namely uncontrolled urban development in Malta.

A STATE VISIT TO THE BLUE FROG SOCIETY BY MINORITY NATIONALITIES
Mixed media,
2018-ongoing
BLUE FROG SOCIETY | A HABITAT WITHOUT TERRITORY
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna; and CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm

One of the main concerns of the BFS is how to create a common and communal life by transgressing the concept of belonging and the identity of citizens usually defined by being a citizen of a nation state. After presentations at the Czech Mission to the UN/ Czech Center (New York), the 64th UN DPI/NGO conference in Bonn, and many other public venues and internal meetings, the BFS will now gather again in Vienna, where it originated in 2010 and published the „10 Issues of the BFS“.

Currently we are facing an increasingly difficult state of democracy resulting in basic human rights like freedom of movement and freedom of speech being under threat - in Europe and in neighboring countries, including the Mediterranian and North Africa. The unresolved situation of finally acknowledging migration as a result of century long exploitation and the growing unequal distribution of resources and wealth will be an ongoing issue which will determine our future and unsettle the still propagated belief in planning. On a parallel level various minorities in Europe tend to claim their own nation state. Both developments uproot the idea of a common society and a living together beyond borders. The Blue Frog Society wants to take action for readdressing the idea of a common and „expanded“ Europe based on humanistic values and addressing diversity as an intrinsic element of a future society. Since many small European minority nationalities (of whose existence we are mostly not aware, since they are not the ones claiming a new nation state) are – together with their manifold languages - under threat of dying out, the Blue Frog Society wants to invite representatives of some of these communities for paying a state visit on the non-territorial grounds of the Blue Frog Society (presented at the exhibition CrossSections) by holding a short speech. The act of a state visit is an official symbol of acknowledgement, of recognizing the other party as equal vis-à-vis. The speeches will be held in the dying languages addressing expectations of being part of the Blue Frog Society, potentials of mutual enrichment, hopes and aims for a common future.

The geographical territories of these European minority nationalities will be shown as a visionary collective new (human) geography—a map beyond conventional maps.

The silkscreen, presented at CrossSections_intervals, Vienna was produced by Moa Larsdotter Persson during Holub's teaching residency at Konstfack, Stockholm.

Behzad Khosravi Noori

A MONUMENT TO THE INVISIBLE CITIZEN
Two-channel video installation, 42’ and 45’
2014-ongoing
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm

Behzad Khosravi Noori takes trans-national children’s program animation character professor Balthzar made by the Zagreb Film Company, 1967-1978, as a starting point to investigate the history of the non-aligned movement, whose members refused to align themselves with either the west or the east, working against colonialism and racism and the relationship between diffrent means of cultural production in Animation and public monument in Yugoslavia during the cold war. Khosravi Noori takes trans-national children's program animation character professor "Balthzar" made by the Zagreb Film Company, 1967-1978, as a starting point to investigate the history of the non-aligned movement, whose members refused to align themselves with either the west or the east, working against colonialism and racism and the relationship between diffrent means of cultural prduction in Animation and public monument in Yugoslavia during the cold war. 

Benji Boyadgian

CLOGGED
Watercolors on paper, Drawings on paper and video, 11’53’’
2016-2017
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; CrossSections_notes (2019) Helsinki

A ruin of a clogged pipe. Abandoned and devoid of projections, residues, deposits in the riddle that is archaeology. Writing a story for the second aqueduct, a collage of projected fragments collected along its path, dowsing the ghost of the water that flowed in this pipe. This water channel ceased to function about 14 centuries ago, probably due to recurrent clogging of the pressure pipe, the best-preserved trace of the higher-level aqueduct. The pipe was built by the Roman Tenth Legion at some point during the second century AD, perhaps on the ruins of a Herodian aqueduct, in order to bring water back to the upper city, re-baptised Aelia Capitolina. Its function, to climb 40 meters of topography, spanning a distance of about 2 km, permitting the water to flow the straight way to Jerusalem, a short stretch of the historic artery that was the Patriarchs’ Road. Today, this north-south vertebra is the urban highway of Hebron road. The aqueduct, spanning a distance of 13 km, connects two obsolete pools, from the south of Bethlehem to the old city of Jerusalem. In between, the continuous urban fabric forms an urban “paté”, while miscellaneous infrastructures fragment the agglomeration, clogged in time and space. The genesis of Jerusalem happened around a spring at the fringe of the desert, around which a fortification was built some 5,000 years ago. Since then, the demography oscillated with the availability of water. The agglomeration as we know it today, is a manifestation of the latest phase of growth that started in the XIXth century.

A city growing off its ancient water systems, off its ground, a fiction that is its own reflection. The spring grew into pools and aqueducts, gathering water from other sources, and ultimately into a machine pumping lakes and aquifers elsewhere to channel dreams into this insatiable city.

Benji Boyadgian and Behzad Khosravi Noori

THE OWL, THE QUEEN AND THE DRAFTSMAN
2017-ongoing
Archival material and video, 12’30’’
presented at CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna

The starting point of the project juxtaposes four clocks, built between the late 19th and early 20th century in Iran and Palestine, as subjects of comparative analysis. The research based project attempts by fictional methodology to touch upon the complex subject of colonial memory. Urban myths, memoirs and technology of time bring forth the multiplicity of historical narratives and transparent fictional narratives from two geopolitical conditions. Through a dialogical collaboration, we attempt to destabilize historical narratives, within the context of conflictual histories that are under the permanent shadow of hegemonic discourses.

THE OWLS, THE QUEEN, AND THE MAQUETTISTE
Photographs, documentation material and HD video, 22’30’’
2018
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018); Vienna; Climbing Through the Tides (2019), Tunis; CrossSections_notes (2019) Helsinki

There are Owls in the clock tower.
Each time that they appear immense political change will arise.
So far twice…


Old Tehran, Jafar Shahri, 1978

A tale about time.

In the end of the XIX century, the Queen of England gave a large clock to the Shah of Iran. A clock tower, the “The Frankish Hat”, was added to the Golestan Palace, the “Edifice of the Sun” in Tehran. Later on, the Clock stopped. In the beginning of the XX century, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire built a clock tower at the Jaffa Gate, on the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. When The British arrived they demolished the clock tower. A few years later they moved the mechanics of the four clocks, to an new structure, sited few hundred meters away on Lord Allemby square, only to be demolished few years later to build a junction.

The project attempts by means of collage to narrate and fictionalize the story of three clock towers in Tehran and Jerusalem in relation to colonial history, architecture and middle eastern geopolitics. A video essay narrates a tale, a fictional dialogue between two Owls and a ‘Maquettiste’, (model maker in French), inventing new appearances of Owls. The starting point of the project juxtaposes three clock towers in their territoriality's, built between the late 19th and early 20th century in Tehran and Jerusalem as subjects of comparative analysis. A new territory is suggested where the clocks exist in the same time and space.

Fictional historiography in this project originates from the role of the nonhuman in urban mythology in the Iranian context. Factual historiography stems from the archival material collected; photographs, film, texts, all revolving around the subject and its memory. The Owls serves as a signifier of mythological value, and the Maquettiste: the human condition in its banality. The nonhuman and human protagonists shed a light on the question of factuality of fiction as well as fictionality of fact in colonial history and its materiality. Through a dialogical collaboration, we attempt to destabilize historical narratives, within the context of conflictual histories and hyperpoliticized social environment that are under the permanent shadow of hegemonic discourses.

Bronwyn Lace

PASSAGES LOST

Double Pelvis Bronze Cast On Acrylic Plinth
2018
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

COLLAPSE

Video, 2’00’’
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

If the skull is the seat of thought the pelvis is the seat of passion, the birthing point, a place of sensuality and sexuality. Antithesis is always a certainty – as daunting as the human condition. These transient and transitional carriers of life are concerned with the theme of transition, giving form to mired and illuminated thresholds. Neither complex nor simple, a merging and union occurs in Lace’s making of Passages Lost and Collapse. Both works are stripped of flesh, intensifying the material and the void.

BRED IN THE BONE

2016-2017
Stills from 1’30’’ time-lapse film
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2018), Vienna

Lace created Bred in the Bone, - an accelerated time-lapse video, lasting a minute and thirty seconds, of carrion beetles frenetically feasting on the flesh of a gasping owl in Vienna. This sequence conjures up the lunacy of hunger and entrapment– even desire.

ASCENSION
2014-2015
Sculptural installation/Skulpturale Installation
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2018), Vienna

In 2015, in response to the death of friend and mentor Neels Coetzee Lace created ‘Ascention’, the first work towards the exhibition ‘Response’, a posthumous meditation. Lace’s connection to Coetzee’s life and work runs deep. Although she was never taught by him, she came to know him well in the final years of his life and was present at the time of his death. Ascension was inspired by the memory of Coetzee’s hair being caressed as he was dying. This memory and the notion of spirit intertwine in the interplay of silver gut and light, gesturing toward the idea of transcendence or metamorphosis.

PASSAGES
2015
Resin cast pelvis and gold thread
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2018), Vienna

Lace’s portrayal of the experience of loosing her friend emanates from a focus on the head, which links the work of both artists. For Coetzee, the skull is the locus of transmutation. In Lace’s response, the pelvis is the birthing point for transformation/new possibilities. The pelvis is rendered with light. Its fragility yet steady illumination brings comfort and release.

BREATH

2017 Ink drawings
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2018), Vienna

When Lace begins a session in studio she often employs a type of meditation to settle the mind and focus the body. This meditation involves creating breath drawings with calligraphy ink on cotton paper. Lace is interested in the physical manifestation of breath, the intricacy and delicacy of the line reflects a quality and complexity of the respiratory system.

The sound component was composed collaboratively by Lace and South African musicians Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Xolisile Bongwana. The composition comes directly from fragmented recollections of sounds during funerals and mourning periods of loved one for all three artists.

MIRROR MIRROR
4 Channel video installation, 5’45’’
2018
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

"Mirror Mirror" is a video installation, drawn from an original 1 minute 30 second timelapse video piece created in the basement of the Natural History Museum in Vienna in mid-2016. Over a period of 5 days a photograph was taken every minute capturing Dermestes maculatus (carrion beetle) frenetically feasting on the flesh of a gasping Tyto alba (barn owl). Manipulation of this footage has resulted in video piece together with a sound component, created collaboratively by meditating on the sounds of humans mourning by South African composers and vocalists Nhlanhla Mahlangu and Xolisile Bongwana.

It is Lace’s preoccupation to transform and use the darker elements of life; death and decay, abandon and neglect – as material ingredients to foster in-between spaces to portray the fragile and vulnerable. Lace uses raw material from the world of nature, bits of species, gut, light, insects, eggs and bones – bones bled of blood – the remnants of life, the dead, she then tries to resuscitate spirit as a way to a road that leads on. Lace is interested in rendering the invisible visible, thereby grounding it, however fragile, elusive and mysterious it may be.

"Mirror Mirror" explores relationships between body and mind, the body of the owl and its relationship to flesh eaters, a process of flesh-devouring flesh. Lace’s observations of nature continue to feed into her fascination with processes and mysteries of life, death, destruction and seduction. This installation conjures up the lunacy of hunger and entrapment – even desire, and highlights the dank underbelly of gestation simultaneous to decomposition. Antithesis is always a certainty – as daunting as the human condition. And these transient and transitional carriers of life culminate in altars for the dead. Lace is centrally concerned with the theme of transition, giving form to mired and illuminated thresholds. Neither complex nor simple, she attempts to strip her thoughts of ‘flesh’ thereby intensifying the material and the void.

Egle Oddo

SPLITTER (The study prototype and the performance)

Wood, canvas, hinges, sketches on paper
2018-work in progress
presented at CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna; CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

SPLITTER (The second prototype)
Wood, canvas, hinges, sketches on paper
2018-work in progress
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

SPLITTER (The prototype)
Wood, canvas, hinges, documentary photographs
2018-2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Egle Oddo started to work on a device to split visual perception while performing. This device, besides functioning as a board-game for a single player, aims at mimicking an internal dilemma about political identity, and the lack of depth and perspective of dualistic thinking. The idea for this work was born out of a conversation with artist Ricarda Denzer during her first meeting in CrossSections. She would like to share the Pindaric flight of thoughts and intuitions that generated the process since then. In Vienna, Oddo saw Denzer filling the squares of her notebook pages forming patterns, and it made her think of the classic naval battle game. Furthermore, Oddo felt Denzer was somehow playing the game alone. Oddo started to imagine ways to distract and split the perception in order to be able to play the game between the two halves of one person’s brain. This initial intuition led her to think of individuality as the result of continuous conflicts and war between different instances, and in general she felt that from the point of view of a divided and pointillist individuality, political ideologies might represent an incoherent and conflictual stage for actions.

One of Oddo’s artistic interests is the functional sphere and its aesthetic declinations. As a result of this thinking path, she started to visualize an object: “Splitter”. It is a piece of furniture, a screen thin and long standing on a table. The screen is not positioned in front of the two eyes but perpendicularly and between the eyes, that is splitting the field of view of one eye from the other. Composed of several segments connected with miniature hinges, the screen is juxtaposed on the profile line of the face and it reaches from the forehead to the chest of a person sitting at the table. While playing a game or performing an action, the person can close one eye at the time, excluding the whole field of view that is located on the other side of the screen. In this way one could move one hand at time, touching the objects on two identical boards located at each side of the screen, as if two players were competing. She considers this object as a tool to perform internal conflicts, no matter if understood as inner intimate struggles or as the expression of global spread issues that appear and reveal their existence in the behavior and production of actions of every person. Another aspect that she infuses in the object is the idea of boycott, revolution and disobedience as internal rule of a game played by one entity at the time.

REPOSITORY OF ACTIONS
Performance-installation
10 jars with materials inside, wood dust, human hair and skin, iron rust, clay, vegetal germplasm, a rope and a twisted piece of metal.
2017-2019

presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki.

Containers and objects are the material residuals left after different action performances. They constitute a repository and a diary of Oddo's actions performed between 2017-2019, during CrossSections project. For Oddo, it is a main preoccupation to attempt foreseeing the further results of her actions. The act of collecting the residuals of her performances constitutes a method to analyze the consequences, reading the traces.

Lukas Frankenberger, a technician at WUK, was fascinated by the initiative; hence, became a member of it by gathering the residuals after installing Oddo's work in the Kunsthalle Exnergasse exhibiton space in Vienna.

Ebru Kurbak

LACING WAVES
Mixed Media, 2018
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

"Lacing Waves" is an artistic research process, which is opened up through revisiting the broader theme and ideas explored in a former work entitled "Data Catchers" (2012). "Data Catchers" was conceptualized as a series of speculative archaeology objects that addressed the micro-electromagnetic space around the human body – a space that had emerged with the rise of the use of mobile communication devices.

Considering that this invisible space was in fact a valuable real estate, which had been increasingly invaded with various intentions back then, such as commercial interests in targeted marketing and governmental interests in surveillance, the idea was to use this space alternatively as a site for critical and artistic intervention. "Data Catchers" are speculative subversive instruments. Inspired by the long tradition of animal trapping, they are meant for capturing ambient data propagated by electromagnetic waves. The instruments are products of fine and exhausting handcraft, representing an overwhelming thirst for information. Each catcher involves a hand crocheted net made of conductive metallic threads crocheted at a particular mesh size. The different mesh sizes of the nets are engineered to capture data at particular wavelengths.

"Lacing Waves" stems from both the material and speculative components of this former work. As material investigation, the study treats the immaterial electromagnetic waves as an artistic medium and material whereas handcrafted textile structures made of metallic fibers are seen as potential tools and a method to manipulate that medium.

As speculative inquiry, it engages with imaginary technological histories that attribute a central role to fiber crafts and craftswomen. Imagined as an open-ended hands-on experimental process, the project opens up a space between history, ethnography, fiction and creative material inquiry. Lacing Waves, both as process and outcome, intends to disrupt hard-coded assumptions on what constitutes technology and who rates as technician.

CHRONOLACE STUDIES
Installation with objects, handmade lace, mirror, and various apparatus
2019
CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019)(2019), Helsinki

Chronolace studies explores the potentials of handmade lace as a medium for the early pre-cinema devices and excavates technologies that could have been invented, but never were. The material investigation addresses the often-underestimated implications of socially constructed gendering of materials and practices and the historical exclusion of women and women’s work from official sites of tinkering and invention.

Heba Y. Amin

AS BIRDS FLYING
2016
Video, 6’43’’
presented at CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna; CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

In late 2013, Egyptian authorities detained a migratory stork suspected of espionage due to an electronic device attached to its leg. “As Birds Flying” addresses conspiracies embedded in the political landscape that shape the present. It confronts the absurdity of the media narrative that has blurred fantasy with realty and turned a bird, that migrates from Israel to Egypt, into a symbol of state paranoia. The film juxtaposes drone footage of the “spy bird” with reconstructed audio from Adel Imam’s iconic film “Birds of Darkness” (1995) which critiques government corruption in Egypt through the opposing perspectives of secular and Islamist parliamentary candidates.

OPERATION SUNKEN SEA
Photographs and HD video, 2018
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna; and Climbing Through the Tides, Tunis

Invested in the power of technology to generate a new future for humankind, "OPERATION SUNKEN SEA" initiates a large-scale infrastructural intervention unparalleled in scale. A new era of human progress will be initiated through the draining and rerouting of the Mediterranean Sea to converge Africa and Europe into one supercontinent. The operation promises to bring an end to terrorism and the migration crisis, provide employment and energy alternatives and confront the rise of fascism, all of which pose profound existential threats to our future. The project instills a fervent movement towards technocracy which takes a proactive stance towards the reparation of Africa and the Middle East by relocating the Mediterranean Sea within the continent.

Expanding upon early twentieth century techno-utopian visions, "OPERATION SUNKEN SEA" investigates the abundance to be acquired from the significant transformation of territorial constructs. It responds to the contemporary moment of political uncertainty in Europe, the unrest and collapse of nation-states in the Middle East, the neo-liberal failure of globalization in Africa by shifting the paradigm in a time of neo-fascist necropolitics. The operation instigates enterprise, invention and ingenuity with a new vision for Africa and the Middle East. It pinpoints what could be attained by and for those most affected in the last century by the wars waged for oil, resources and power.

Inma Herrera

TRANSITIONAL MAGNETISM
Etching on paper, video, sculpture, and 3D print
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

"Transitional Magnetism" verses about the sense of touch and the need of getting a grip with the hands. Exploring the ways of making visible the necessary skills to be acquired to engrave an image on a copper plate, the pieces interrogate the obscure nature of the trace left by the hands and tools looking back to the work of master printers such as Jean Cousin, Abraham Bosse and José Ribera. Inspired by the statement of Charles Bell which says that “the brain receives more trustworthy information from the touch of the hand than from images in the eye”, the artist questions whether touch furnishes the brain a different kind of sensate information than the eye, hence the urge of using them. The project is displayed in the format of installation combining prints and different elements that relate to the basis of the etching technique.

TOWARDS SAMADHI
Installation
WAVE: Monotype. Kozo paper roll and ink, 2500x46cm
VOID: Sculpture. Perspex tubes, 100x1,50cm
FULL: Sculpture. Perspex tubes, 100x10cm
FLOW: Audio piece. Soundtrack 1-hour loop Soundtrack
2018-ongoing
presented atCrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna; and Climbing Through the Tides, Tunis

The term "Samādhi" (in Sanskrit) etymologically means “complete absorption”. It refers to a state of meditative consciousness. In Samādhi the mind becomes still. So does the body, doesn’t it? It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment; a one-pointedness of mind. What happens in the process of walking towards such state? Is it constant, complete, and smooth?

Paper is an organic material with the capacity of absorbing ink. Perspex is an artificial material which repels and only holds ink on a superficial level. A roller is needed to extend the ink and transfer it to the perspex plate. It is the medium between the ink, the matrix, and the paper. It is said that the pair of opposites is situated on the other or further side when seen from a specified or implicit viewpoint; facing. There is, however, a point where they inevitably touch each other.

FLAYING/VESTIGIUM OF A HUMAN PRINT
Installation with Objects, Sculptures, Etchings, and Dry ink
Video, 1’23’’
2018-2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019)(2019), Helsinki

Four elements: the scroll, the column, the hand and an action. Four materials: copper, ink, cement and plexiglass. Three formats: sculpture, printmaking, light print and video-performance. The installation “Vestigium of a human imprint”, together with the video projection “Flaying”, presents a series of pieces that navigate between the archaeological finding, the relic, the historical object and the close observation of an abstract process. The manifold ways in which the engraved mark can be understood, and has been used to leave an imprint throughout human history, become the core of this project.

Isa Rosenberger

DANCE/KNOWLEDGE/POLITICS/TANZ/WISSEN/POLITIK (working title)
Research Material
2018
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

Politics are not located directly in dance, but in the way dance manages to occupy (cultural) space.
Mark Franko

The Volksheim Ottakring (today Volkshochschule Ottakring) was founded in 1901 and was of great cultural and political importance, especially in the interwar years. Adult education centres were an important hub of education and knowledge transfer and played a unique role in the popularisation of art and culture beyond the bourgeois salons.

The starting points of Isa Rosenberger’s research on the history and the present of the VHS Ottakring are the performances and the courses that the dancer and choreographer Rosalia Chladek offered at the VHS Ottakring in the 1930s.

THE CITY IS WAITING (working title)
Mixed media, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

How can we – from a contemporary perspective – recall and update the largely forgotten social reforming history of the VHS Ottakring?

And in accordance with the interdisciplinary working method of Gertrud Kraus, how can we understand dance as a specific poetic space in which art forms, times and images can be recombined and new relations and cross-references created?

The presentation at Kunsthalle Exnergasse gives insight into a long-term project: The starting point is a performance of the dance piece The City is Waiting by dancer and choreographer Gertrud Kraus on the – still existing – theater stage of the adult education center Ottakring in Vienna in 1933. Sociopolitically interested and increasingly under pressure because of her Jewish background, Kraus developed as one of the few exponents of expressive dance choreographies that showed political commitment. Her choreography The City is Waiting, based on a fairy tale by Maxim Gorki, is reflecting both the fears and fascination of a boy – she herself dances – in the big city. The Volksheim Ottakring (today Volkshochschule Ottakring) was founded in 1901 and – using the slogan: The Knowledge for All – was of great cultural and political importance, especially in the interwar years. Adult education centres were an important hub of education and knowledge transfer and played a unique role in the popularisation of avant-garde art and culture beyond the bourgeois salons.

... THE VAST LAND FROM WHICH SHE COMES
Video, 12’’
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019),Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

In 1934 the theatre stage of the Volksheim Ottakring in Vienna presented Gertrud Kraus’s* dance play “Die Stadt wartet” (The City Waits),** which was based on Maxim Gorky’s fairy tale “Musik der Großstadt”(The Music of the Big City). Her choreography reflected the way of a youth into the city and both the fear and the fascination of discovering and living in a big city as a young boy—Gertrud Kraus herself danced the role of the boy. “Interested in socio-political conditions and increasingly under pressure because of her Jewish heritage, she was one of the few exponents of expressive dance to develop art forms and choreographies that demonstrated political engagement. However, as a historical lapse, there is no visual document capturing the performance of the dance play “The City waits” at Volksheim Ottakring . The project is an attempt to reflect on this lapse.

Lina Selander

ANTECKNIGER TILL EN FILM ON NATUREN [NOTES FOR A FILM ON NATURE]
—with Oscar Mangione
B/W Lambda print, projected video, 9’51’’
2016
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

Lina Selander and Oscar Mangiones work “Anteckningar till en film om naturen” (Notes for a Film on Nature) is a film projected on a photograph depicting a former courtroom, now an exhibition space, where a screen have been placed on the judges’ position. Anteckningar till en film om naturen is also an overwriting film, a palimpsest. The work seeks positions and outposts on the border between nature and image. Here is the dream of the empty gaze, of death, of montage as the opposite of nature.

ÖVERFÖRINGSDIAGRAM NR 1 [DIAGRAM OF TRANSFER NO. 1]
—with Oscar Mangione
Film
2017
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

The film presents a series of images and occasional sounds; there are sets of images, correspondences, movements that resemble each other. The words Nostalgia, Violence and History, or (corresponding) Memory, Hope and Technology are intersected and interrupted by their own dreams, or mutations and deformations, the images of the destruction of books and other memory devices, and the twin practice of piecing together again the fragments, in search of a redeeming knowledge, a kind of soul, that would be a past turned inside out, a sun that never set.

Undulating like a snake on the ground, it is what is immediately apparent; or if something else, a pure outside, the fleeting fantasies and abstractions of others. Coincident and incompatible with itself as well as them, you, us, and what we know and take to be real. It would be helpful though, if every image be carefully viewed and contemplated while it lasts; the bust of the king of Uruk, the dove and the parrot, the seventeenth century engraving, the two dogs, if two is the correct number, the children dancing, and drawing, the Ouroboros in the guillotine (that seems to have a choice, hard to make admittedly, one that has to be made alone and where we can cannot be but bystanders and witnesses, but that highly concerns the film, what to make of it), and of course the warming fire at the end.

The film originally was made as a comment, a kind of stop button, on an earlier work, “When the Sun Sets It’s All Red, Then It Disappears” (from 2008), which, in its turn, took Jean-Luc Godard’s “La Chinoise” (from 1967) as its starting point to examine the dreams and hopes and misfortunes related to the 1968 student revolt and its representation and present significance for the “left”. Regarding the role of the images and the way they are regarded or presented as constituting a whole — between the system of discipline and that, advancing, of control — one can detect a link to Gilles Deleuze’s “Postscript on the Societies of Control” in the film.

ÖVERFÖRINGSDIAGRAM NR 2 [DIAGRAM OF TRANSFER NO. 2]
—with Oscar Mangione
Film
16 mm transferred to HD-video, colour and sound, 10’35’
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Man sees himself as nature’s interpreter and tamer. But nature does not care about meaning, and its power cannot actually be controlled. It therefore remains silent in the face of man’s increasingly reckless experiment, the catastrophic effects of which will ultimately afflict man himself. The camera follows a panda at Schönbrunner Zoo surrounded by pictures of the Great Wall of China. Silently the panda holds a bamboo brush to paper, makes some marks with ink—pictures—and is rewarded with carrots. How shall we interpret this artistic gesture?

Marcus Neustetter

SYRIA 2016
Video
6’20’’ (loop)
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

For this first CrossSections exhibition of work in process, Marcus Neustetter presents a selection of previous works created in Vienna, the works reflect on Neustetter’s observations of the space and its relationship to and dialogue with cultures not originally from Austria. An example of this is the video piece Syria, created by exploring collections of Syrian artifacts within the Weltmuseum in Vienna, by turning off the storage room lights and moving through the archives with a torch Neustetter creates somewhat abstracted shadow-scape films that translate artifacts in to metaphors and evoke enquiries in to the positions Syrian people living in Austria occupy.

SWEEP MEXICO – MONTEZUMA
2016-2017
Stop frame animation
1’30’’sec (loop)
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

In early January 2018 Neustetter has created engaged, experimental light performances with thousands of participants on the streets of Merida. Together people are encouraged to create large light drawings related to their individual and collective identities. Interestingly, one such light drawing is the headdress of Montezuma, an Aztec feather artifact currently held by the Welt Museum in Vienna and a source of dispute between Mexico and Austria.

BETWEEN BORDER LINES
2018
Video installation
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

In his installation, which is the outcome of the artist’s drawing performance, Neustetter traces borders of contested territories directly onto the wall. Using a microscope attached to a projector the artist performs speculative mark making and amplifies movement and migration in response to found sound elements.

ENCOUNTERS
Installation with wood and enamel paint, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

The title of this piece references a work Marcus Neustetter produced in Linz with Stephen Hobbs in 2016, where a path was renamed as the “Weg der Begegnung” (Path of Encounters) by immigrants communities, the artist, Ars Electronica and the city of Linz as a welcoming gesture to the arriving refugees.

In the process of finding the name, conversations about repurposing public space, breaking of internal borders and reimagining more multi-cultural cities became a further point of inspiration for Neustetter in Europe. This process was especially relevant in relation to his own uncertainty of place within his home country, South Africa.

Through site-specific, performative, visual inquiries Neustetter has created a kind of expression that probes real world dynamics, such as forced migration and lost identity with intuitive, process driven artistic tools.

This performative installation “Encounters” is an extension of his process. Neustetter continues his exploration of his 2017 work for the exhibition CrossSections_Potentials titled “Between Border Lines”. He draws and then scrambles a map to reconfigure contested territories. Accompanied by the static sound of an FM radio, a visual map of personal notes and a ladder for perspective, he attempts to reassemble his drawing.

SEARCHING THE LINE
Lino print installation and video, 8’45’’
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Marcus Neustetter has been investigating personal territories with invisible borders in a new series of performative interventions for the CrossSections exhibition series. In a recent trip to the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, Neustetter was struck by the curiosity of the space that defines the relationship of North and South. He became obsessed in capturing the articulations of the unreachable defining line. A line that is as much a physical manifestation of political and idealogical differences as it is a symbol of personal separations. Searching the Line becomes an act of mediative contemplation summarised in a looped short film and a drawn intervention.

Nikolaus Gansterer

FIGURING VITALITY
Video, Object and Drawing/Video/Objekt und Zeichnung
2015-2018
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna; CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019)(2019), Helsinki

Nikolaus Gansterer understands the processes of thinking and drawing as analogous. He is thus concerned with the fundamental question of how to translate processes of thought, and explores how the act of drawing can become a tool of communication. To approach the materiality of perception Gansterer applies a unique performative grammar, in which the artist’s flow of observations in relation to his environment manifest as captivating live drawings, diagrams and arrangements. He questions how these situative constructions of meaning could be expanded towards a radical autopoiesis: where a line of thought becomes a line on paper, turns into a line in space, and then again a line articulated with the whole body or transforms into an object.

The animation film "Figuring Vitality" (2015) enables to experience a blackboard as resonating body and site of knowledge transfer. Gansterer projects a dynamic spatial structure which is constantly formed by vitality forces that dissolve the boundaries between inner and outside world, unveiling the process of “figuring something out”.

UNTERTAGÜBERBAU
HD Video, stereo soundtrack, 16”03’, drawings and animation, 2017
(sound by Martin Siewert)
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

Nikolaus Gansterer’s practice is grounded in a trans-medial approach, underpinned by conceptual discourse in the context of performative visualisation and cartographic representations. In form of installations and performances he traces the translatability of phenomena of perception into an artistic environment.

To approach the materiality of perception Gansterer applies a unique performative grammar, in which the artist’s flow of observations in relation to his environment manifest as captivating live drawings, diagrams and arrangements. He questions how these situative constructions of meaning could be expanded towards a radical autopoiesis: where a line of thought becomes a line on paper, turns into a line in space, and then again a line articulated with the whole body or transforms into an object. In these trans-medial works, he focuses on mapping ephemeral and emergent processes unfolding their immanent structures of interconnectedness, questioning the imaginary threshold between nature and culture, art and philosophy.

Nisrine Boukhari

HYPERGRAPHIA
Installation, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

On my birthday in 2016, one of my friends brought me a notebook as a gift wishing me to write a new chapter in my life on its pages because of the difficult experience and stressful years I spent after leaving my home country. On one midnight time, I took the book and started to write only one sentence “I loved Vienna, but Vienna didn’t love me”. I felt this sentence is intensively saying it all, I was not able to stop writing it, it was like an overwhelming compulsion to write, a hypergraphic act and it was not the first time.

Writing is an act of healing. Both your immune system and mental health function strongly with this act. Sharing personal opinions and feelings with strangers might help them to cope with feelings of loneliness. Hypergraphia is a behavioural condition characterised by the intense desire to write or draw. Forms of hypergraphia can vary in writing style and content. It is the incurable writing disease. It wasn’t until the 20th century that scientists explored the brain chemistry behind this lust for language. In the 1970s, neurologists discovered that hypergraphia was often triggered by temporal lobe epilepsy. Scientists later linked it with bipolar disorder. Many writers suffered from Hypergraphia like Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound, Dante and Moliere.

THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY
Two-channel video installation, 5’52’’
2015
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019),Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes(2019), Helsinki

"The map is not the territory" metaphorically illustrates the differences between belief and reality. The phrase was coined by Alfred Korzybski. Our perception of the world is being generated by our brain and can be considered as a ‘map’ of reality written in neural patterns. Reality exists outside our mind, but we can construct models of this ‘territory’ based on what we glimpse through our senses.” This video on the two screens and the fragmented text is making a poetic journey in both parts of the brain and the state of mind-wandering where challenging the mind of the viewer in the way of seeing and using both parts of the brain to create his own neurological visual and linguistic mapping based on his experience on looking and perceiving the work, where everyone’s mind is unique in his way of seeing.

Otto Karvonen

ALIEN PALACE BIRDHOUSE COLLECTION
2010-2018
Photographs and documentation
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

"Alien Palace Birdhouse Collection" consists of birdhouses that are modelled after detention centres for immigrants in different European countries. Detention centres are places where illegal immigrants, such as paperless refugees are held waiting for deportation or processing of their asylum application. Detention centres are essentially prisons, although only a small minority of their residents have a criminal record.

"Alien Palace" birdhouses provide excellent nesting conditions for the occasional winged visitor. The birdhouses are made of weatherproof and durable materials such as cement fibreboard, aluminium, brick and stainless steel.

THE BIRDSONG INITIATIVE
Mixed media, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

Austria plans to cut benefits for immigrants, including refugees, who do not speak German. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz intends to cap refugees’ benefits receive at €563 a month. They will only be able to claim the amount given to Austrians – €863 – if they successfully pass a German test, he said.“The fundamental rule we will introduce is that German will become the key to accessing the full minimum benefit,” Kurz said.“That means that whoever has insufficient language skills will not be able to claim the full minimum benefit.”

"The Birdsong Initiative" seeks to establish language restrictions on migratory birds entering Austria. It aims to build special learning facilities on the national borders where various migratory birds will be required to learn the song of the Austrian national bird, barn swallow, in order to enter the country.The initiative will be delivered to the Austrian government in the form of a Citizens’ Initiative once the minimum amount of 500 signatures has been gathered.

An installation in Kunshalle Exnergasse displays some prototype details of a birdsong learning facility, with audible songs of barn swallows. The Citizens’ Initiative form will be on display and the audience have a chance to add their signature.

INIZIATIVA CANTO D’UCCELLO/BIRDSONG INITIATIVE

Video, 8’45’’
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

The video, shot on Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Italy, depicts a campaign speech for a citizens’ initiative suggesting strict language restrictions for migratory birds. To receive a residence permit, each bird entering the country must learn the song of the national bird, Italian sparrow. By happily confusing migratory birds with immigrants, the work takes on language as a building block of national identity as well as a means of inclusion and exclusion.

Ramesch Daha

SIGMUND KLEIN
2018
Archival Material, Paintings, Drawings, Blue Prints, Tools, Images from the Artist Books, Audio Track “Dachau”, 30’38’’
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

Based on extensive historical research, Ramesch Daha in her artistic work, connects biographical historical aspects, collective memories and historical-political events in new constellations.

With “Sigmund Klein” project,, Daha traces a personal archive and processes findings with a distinctive artistic approach. Sigmund Klein was the father of Daha’s step grandfather. He was deported from Vienna to the concentration camp Dachau after the Reichsprognomnacht in 1938. At that time is son, the artist’s step grandfather was 15 years old and he survived with his mother as the son of a Czech Jew and a political activist.

After Dachau, Sigmund Klein was deported to the concentration camp Buchenwald, about 2 years later to the concentration camp Ravensbrück where he was killed in 1942. Klein’s son kept photographs, the letters of his father that he wrote during the 4 years of prison, documents, and all tools of his father who was a tinsmith.

1933
Sound collage
2018-2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm

The sound collage is about the spelling alphabet where the Jewish names were deleted. Laurenz is reading the secret paper , an the spelling alphabet. The two music pieces are from Franz Lehar and Richard Strauss. The ringing is the original sound of the telephones with the alphabet on it and I also cut an original sound of the military from 1933. Please read the two explanations of the music as well.

1933
Installation with collages, found 48 calendar pages circa 1933, a burnt book, glass, paper, and video 2’03’’ 2018-2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm

With the transfer of power to the NSDAP on January 30, 1933, anti-Semitism became a state doctrine and discrimination against Jews was aggravated. On February 22, 1933, the post office Rostock received a postcard requesting to remove Jewish names from the spelling table. The phonebook of 1933 had turned Adam Anton, David Dora, Maria Martha, Nathan Nordpol, Samuel Siegfried, Zacharias Zeppelin. The Nazis symbolically took their names and thus their identity from Jewish people. Part of the installation “1933” is a field telephone of the Wehrmacht with new spelling table. This was followed by the burning of books by mainly Jewish authors. We see in the installation a video with book burning.

06.04.1945
Documentation material and installation
2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

According to official records, 06.04.1945 was the date of “Massaker von Stein” (Massacre of Stein) that took place in located in Krems an der Donau, Austria. The acting director of the prison “Stein an der Donau”, Franz Kodré ordered the release of the prisoners. Following this order, SS and Volkssturm tracked down 380 people in the vicinity of Krems an der Donau and murdered them on the spot under the pretext of quelling a revolt. Ramesch Daha designed 100m long and 7.5m high prison wall to seize this dark chapter of the detention center. She transferred excerpts from the prisoners’ registry entries dated from 1944 and 1945 as oversized blueprints on the wall.

In the 1940’s, it was common practice in Austria to cancel the names of those detained, after serving their sentences. The artist copied these pages with all the original traces and crossings on them by preserving the original colour of the blueprints. Daha magnified and painted them on the wall by applying a special technique.

The work was commissioned by Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Niederösterreich in 2018.

Ricarda Denzer

ECHO, OR DEVIATING THE ORIGINAL
CHAPTER 1: EXERCISING A GHOST/ECHO

mixed media sketches
audio/video: Condition of the Mouth, interview with Elaine Morman (first woman Freeminer at the Forest of Dean); To Tell a Story, video animation (voices: John Berger & Susan Sontag), potato prints on paper, ochre pigments, cardboard, forked stick, clay, candle, glass, c-prints, photography.
2018
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

In this chapter, several stories are told simultaneously. They share the interest in the materiality of the oral and in forms of narration.

ECHO, OR DEVIATING THE ORIGINAL/ECHO
CHAPTER 2: PLAY IT BY THE EAR

mixed media sketches
2018-ongoing
presented at CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna

In the second chapter of her work, Ricarda Denzer focuses on claiming and declining a work at the same time in the process of creating it. The starting points of her work are the listening, the oral and the narrative, and can lead to staged conversations, through which Denzer relates herself to places, materials, people and the time in which she lives in. In this sequence of her “material sketches”, one can find the examination of the exposure of stratifications, the imprint, the trace trail is led both in the occupation with places, and the materiality of the works as well as those of the narratives up to the voice and the body (it)self. The findings, the moments of documentation, the facts, and the assembling, creating process, and the fiction ground form Denzer’s playground to develop her work.

CHAPTER 3: THE STAR (Holy Holy Holy)
Mixed media, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

From the iron and ochre mines underneath the Forest of Dean, on the Welsh border in Gloucestershire. It is said that the industrial age started here, in these mines—I move to the dome of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, to the choirs of the Seraphim angels, who fly around the firmament to God with their six wings, burning and singing holy, holy, holy.

Iron ore is produced by the flow of water that has smoothed its way through the shale over time.

When the Byzantine basilica was converted into a mosque, the faces were covered with a star-embossed brass mask in accordance with the Muslim faith. This oval object attracted my attention. The regularity of the shape, the perfection of the shiny brass structure of the star on the colourful, soft-looking angel’s feathers evokes a futuristic image.

The star-shaped object reproduces and fragments the imaginary opposite in the reflecting facets of the surface. I currently interpret it as an invitation to the imagination of the viewers, offering a multiple perspective. I hear and note: Voice and gaze create closeness and distance, transience, fluidity and the fleeting as a framework for the search for orientation. Directionless searching. By ‘listening to thinking’ I transfer my body to the paper until the colour fades away, my studio wall on blueprints, as a model, an idea or guide. Sequence and frequency. Spreading out like sound. Being here and there at the same time, like the voice. In my work, rendering traces and imprints visible, and revealing layers by engaging with the locations, with the materials, with the narrative, lead right down to the voice itself. The exploration of the nature of original materials, the recently supplemented, reconstructed material, but also the technique of leaving gaps between pieces of original finds and the interpretation of missing pieces in the restoration process serves, for me, as a conceptual basis or a figure of speech.

Echo, or the deviation from the original. When she create a work, she is already engaging with its decay.

UNTITLED (REFLECTIONS ON A STAR-SHAPED MASQUE)
Installation with Bronze Cast, Double sided A3 paper with image-text graphic and potato prints in neon yellow pigments
2017-ongoing
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Denzer addresses complex themes in a subtle fashion by using elements of her research process as recurring set pieces, as material that can be put together into changeable, ephemeral arrangements. The artist thus works with the means of analogy and assemblage, as well as with the idea of relationships and correlations and their laws. This open narrative is unfolding imagination and agency by the sound and the body of the voice and by ambiguity when telling a story.

Tamsin Snow

SHOWROOM
2017
CGI Animation, 3’5’’
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

Tamsin Snow’s research looks at science fiction’s relationship to real world medical innovation, with specific focus on scanning technologies and suspended animation. The work is an enquiry into new developments in scanning technologies, forensic pathology and cryopreservation. It seeks to imagine futuristic architectural visions for the viewer through the virtual experience of cutting-edge technologies.

Showroom takes the viewer on a virtual tour of a futuristic medical processing plant. The animation is an enquiry into new developments in forensic pathology, scanning technologies, and cryopreservation and looks at science fiction’s relationship to real world medical innovation.

SPARE FACE
CGI Video animation
2018-work in progress
presented at  CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna

"Spare Face" takes the viewer on a virtual tour of a futuristic medical processing plant. Situated in a synthetic therapeutic charcoal landscape, the facility offers their clients a wide range of services from bespoke body parts to suspended animation and cryopreservation. The animation is an enquiry into new developments in medical technologies and science fiction’s relationship to real world medical innovation, with specific focus on scanning technologies and suspended animation.

SPARE FACE
CGI Animation,
2018
presented at CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

"Spare Face" (2018) is guided by research into such topics as modernist architecture, science fiction and cryogenics. The video is a montage composed largely of stock footage and juxtaposes existing free and bought architectural models with imagined and built virtual environments. The animation looks at the material structure of digital video and the technological possibilities of new media.

The reality of artificial intelligence, suspended animation, and developments in synthetic biology, have sparked debate across disciplines. Spare Face explores the question of morphological freedom and the possible impacts these technologies may have for our future selves. The video looks at aspects of what it is that makes us human and how we seek to alter, enhance, and escape that designation.

LIKE, SKIN
CGI video animation
2018-2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

"Like, Skin" is a computer-generated animation of raindrops on glass. The animation is a reconstruction of a stock video purchased from an online image bank. The stock video clip is aimed at commercial clients. The images are digitally retouched, tinted, made to glisten, pristine generic images that are continually sifted and stocked online only to reappear in advertisements, websites, product labels and television screens in a seemingly endless feedback loop.

HANDLE
Powder-coated steel, spray paint, filler
2019
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Timo Tuhkanen

SONIC INDEPENDENCE
Book containing text, photographic documentation, drawings, and citations
2018-2099
presented at CrossSections_intensities (2018), Vienna

SONIC INDEPENDENCE
A living forest. Presented by video documentation, a book containing text, photographic documentation, drawings, and citations
2018-2099
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

SONIC INDEPENDENCE
Instruments with Cotton canvas, Wood, Staples, and String
2018-2099
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019), Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

I want to discover a way to enable all the plants in a forest to participate in social construction and political decision making. We humans easily condition animals and plants to answer some questions about their likes and dislikes, but we have so far never seriously asked them how they think we should organize society together? How they feel that they should participate in the construction of a society and civilization and the creation of a legal and moral framework with us humans. In the work Sonic Independence I am completely letting go of music and asking the plants to play the instruments as they wish. In other words I am giving it into the hands of plants in a way that is not environmental: the music is not made by the wind, not by the rain, or by growing or other bioelectric or biochemical functions of life; not conditioned or related to affordance; and not arbitrary. I am letting go of music in order to let go of the power to make decisions, letting go of decisions in this way opens the space for the inclusion of plants in time. In the process of teaching plants how to play music I am constructing several different musical instruments that work on this line that reveals the transfer of decision making power between myself, a human, and the forest.

"Sonic Independence" is an artwork where a living forest is planted at the border of Finland and Russia with the intention of teaching the growing plants how to play music. For CrossSections, Tuhkanen presents several parts of the book where he lays out an eighty year plan to understand and develop acoustic music instruments for assisting the forest in ecological and national/political succession away from the grasp of humans. He envisons that the musical instruments will act to strengthen the communication between plants and humans by giving the minds of plants an aesthetic outlet that humans also can easily understand. The work combines research into the legal land rights and policy creation between nations and indigenous groups, the theoretical writings in Hannah Arendt’s Life of the Mind, and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s Cosmological Perspectivism in Amazonia and Elsewhere with an aesthetic practice of “touch-music” developed by Tuhkanen in his doctoral thesis.

Yane Calovski

FORMER CITY
Archival Material and drawings
2017-2018
presented at  CrossSections_potentials (2019), Vienna

"Former City" is the latest stage of an ongoing research on the "Skopje Urban Plan Project" that also includes the two previous works "Master Plan" (2007-2008) and "Obsessive Setting" (2009-2010). The newest project documents the unsalvageable and contaminated data pertaining to the Skopje Urban Plan Project (1963-67) in the aftermath of the fire of the former Institute for Town Planning and Architecture Skopje (ITPA) in April 2017. All three works comprise "Undisciplined: A Construction of An Archive", an editorial project on the subject that will result in a publication in 2019.

FORMER CITY
Archival material and drawings
2017-ongoing

The main goal of the project is to reset some of the collected, unprotected and chemically contaminated printed materials of the former Institute for Urbanism and Architecture Skopje (ZUAS) in April 2017. The project was developed in cooperation with ZUAS, the City Museum of Skopje (MGS) and the State Archives of the Republic of Macedonia (DARM). In the processes of collecting, thinking, mapping, digitizing and associative development of all available materials, Calovski creates new drawings and objects and unleashes the project in three processes:

1. Archivism – archiving, activism and advocacy;
2. Publishing – disclosure, reading and filming;
3. Exposure - visual isolation, manufacturing and sharing.

By converging notions of archiving while augmenting a method similar to the immediacy of drawing, his research is focused on designing discursive frameworks for the role of post-medium art in a wider cultural context. Calovski’s research concerns consider the ways we analyze, understand and archive objects and documents situated in the specificity of new cultural and political geographies

UNDISCIPLINED: A CONSTRUCTION OF AN ARCHIVE
Archival material and drawings, 2018
presented at  CrossSections_intervals (2018), Vienna

The conceptual elasticity in converging legacy of architectural modernity, notion of performativity, usage of archives and addressing current socio-cultural, economic and political conditions has been at the centre of my artistic practice for many years. While engaging various research and production applications, augmenting a method similar to the immediacy of drawing and durational installations, I construct often ambiguous and unresolved visual and archival entities.

The project interconnects modernist architectural narratives that belong to the city of Skopje. Initiated in May 2017, the main goal of the project is to conceptually reset the books, maps, reports and other collected materials belonging to the former Institute for Urbanism and Architecture Skopje that suffered a devastating fire in April 2017. Foucault’s articulation of archaeology, archives, and the notion of the author in relation to history, informs my examination of one’s intimate process of accommodation, assimilation, and production of new knowledge. It is often constructed from my own subjective experience of history and the present and Derrida’s theory of incomplete/ transient notion of reality.

Through the process of redrawing, sculpting and releasing the absorbed content, a new sense of archival temporality emerges; this new notion of timelessness may be derived from the fact that modernity remains somehow an unfinished and suspended process. The work remains guided by a non-linear historical time in which our collective memories remain in a state of continual flux.

AN EARLY LOST PLAY
—co-authored with FOS
Video, 10’35’’
2006
presented at CrossSections_perspectives (2019),Stockholm; and CrossSections_notes (2019), Helsinki

Calovski and FOS touch on the questions of the formal, procedural, Europeanpolitically-correct requirements for forgiveness and public media negotiation. They also questioned the crisis in European nations and seek for an order in which the “multi-ethnic” and the “multi-cultural” would not be just abstract concepts that appear at random, but would face the community as a whole with the challenge of a real and lived mutual understanding. But that means something different for each side. In the “apology” of the Danish Prime Minister to the Islamic world, the argument, was of course, the freedom of speech and the viewpoint that speaking was not doing. Calovski and FOS developed the video An Early Lost Play through eight episodes.