Art’s New Natures highlights how art responds to recently changing modes of human existence with social distancing and shifting realities of commonplaces and public culture. In climates of uncertainty, lockdown, assembly bans, the exposing of social inequities, and physical distancing, art evolves with lesser ties to the ‘art object’ and with a greater emphasis to the experience of art under the conditions of distance. Especially through digital expressions, we see how art explores new modes of proximity through storytelling and takes advantage of connective capacities of global and digital infrastructures for affecting and upholding human inter-relationships and social imaginaries. Art reworks experiences of nearness and distance, what it means to be closely connected or far apart.
This program examines how art emerges in response to contemporary modes of interconnected existence, adaption, difference, and meaning making through hybrid spheres of shared concern and resistance.
It presents an online exhibition with theatrical monologue performance, sound, virtual reality, brain wave sculpture by artists Æsa Bjork & Tinna Thorsteinsdóttir, Anders Eiebakke, Lundahl & Seitl, Anne Katrine Senstad, and Jana Winderen.
Digital Dynamics: Art’s New Natures is presented by Streaming Museum and curated by Nina Colosi and Tanya Ravn Ag. It is supported by Nordic Culture Fund and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
OPEN August 27 – September 30
Visit program on StreamingMuseum.org
The artists explain in interview videos how technological communication platforms bring opportunities to reach a broad international audience that physical art spaces do not. But this also requires them to consider how the nature of their art can be “democratic” in relating across cultures and reflecting the complex state of the world.
See the interviews on StreamingMuseum.org
Shield (ongoing since XX) by visual artist Æsa Björk and musician / performer Tinna Thorsteinsdóttir is an ongoing series of sculptures that began in 2015 and is being developed for digital presentation. “Certain events behave like disruptances and expose what we, or our situation, are made of, like our Corona situation right now.” Through EEG data of the artists’ brainwaves of emotional states and projections of physical movement, resonate on glass sculpture, the work examines how emotional states affect the brain. “Shield transmits the emotions of isolation and loneliness that exist during the pandemic but are actually widespread.”
The Park (2020) by Anders Eiebakke depicts the experience of the Corona-epidemic as an invisible threat. “It’s a cinematic diary which contains everything: melancholy and anxiety, beauty and brutality, fact and fiction, both subtle and hard-hitting societal critique.”
AmissingRoom (2020) by Lundahl & Seitl is an app that transforms our smartphones to makeshift VR goggles through a physical process between two people. It is a poetic score of moving, sensing and reflecting on the absences created by the pandemic, such as the closing of museums and theatres, but it is also the tangible presence of exploring the affordances of reciprocity and the conditions for being together in times of physical distancing. Passing through walls, into tunnels that travel through a network of past exhibitions and museums, visitors interact with each other but somewhat fail to coincide and share each other’s realities. By enacting the artwork’s score, the two people are led to consider how they balance resilience and resistance when adapting to a changing environment.
Anne Katrine Senstad‘s short film UTOPIE/UTOPIA (2020) features acclaimed actor Bill Sage in a theatrical monologue performance filmed in city and landscapes through their remote collaborative process necessitated by the pandemic. The work is based on a chapter from French philosopher Roland Barthes’ book How To Live Together and it’s concepts of tolerance and the sovereign good as a place of utopia. Senstad and Sage draw lines to the current human experience of isolation, societal and political deconstruction through the absorption of Barthes structural novelistic lectures on idiorrhythmy, and ways of understanding community, individuality and spaces. Sage’s reading has been enhanced by composer JG Thirlwell’s sound treatment for the digital experience.
Jana Winderen’s sound artworks submerge listeners under water and land to hear the secrets of nature. Surge (2020) is included in a collection of music produced by Touch, London, to support musicians unable to perform live during the pandemic.
Image: Lundahl & Seitl, AmissingRoom (2020)