Book release: Van Gogh TV’s »Piazza Virtuale« by Tilman Baumgärtel | December 1st, from 7pm | Motto Berlin

Posted in Book launch, books, events, Motto Berlin store on November 30th, 2021
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Van Gogh TV, Einl.karte, Druckversion4-1

 

Dear friends,
We are pleased to invite you to

Book release, December 1st, from 7pm

Van Gogh TV’s »Piazza Virtuale«
The Invention of Social Media at documenta IX in 1992
@ Motto Berlin

In presence of the members of Van Gogh TV and the author Tilman Baumgärtel

Piazza virtuale by the group of artists known as Van Gogh TV was not only the biggest art project ever to appear on television, but from a contemporary point of view the project was also a forerunner of today’s social media. The ground-breaking event that took place during the 100 days of documenta IX in 1992 was an early experiment with entirely user-created content. This is the first book-length study of this largely forgotten experiment: It documents the radicality of Piazza virtuale’s approach, the novel programme ideas and the technical innovations. It also allows, via QR codes, direct access to videos from the show, which until now have been inaccessible.

LAST DAYS TO SEE!
Ongoing Exhibition till Sunday 5th of December 2021

VAN GOGH TV PIAZZA VIRTUALE
Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Straße 10
10999 Berlin
Free entry
Daily 2 – 7pm
 (Tuesday till Sunday)

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Hypnotised: A Journey Through Trance Music 1990-2005. Arjan Rietveld. Mary Go Wild

Posted in books, music, writing on November 25th, 2021
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Trance has been the flagship for electronic music across the globe during the nineties and early zeroes. The sound’s trademark optimistic and euphoric aspects has brought some of the most compelling musical pieces of its time, and undoubtedly had a significant influence on future electronic music to come. Yet, its historical significance has been highly overlooked.

Hypnotised is the first encyclopedia to cover the global trance movement during its most prolific years. The 322-page book spans a near-complete discography of supposedly essential albums, labels and releases, alongside exclusive photos and in-depth interviews with influential artists and label owners.

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Pool. Anna-Lena Wenzel. Monroe Books

Posted in books, photography on November 13th, 2021
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”I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a Pisces or because my parents first met at a pool, but I’ve always loved swimming. At some point, I started training for swim meets and took third place in my age-group at the Hamburg Championships. Then I began playing water polo, surprisingly became the German youth champion in 1994 and ended up playing in the national league for six years.

I began collecting pool photos only after all this—sort of as a way to remember the place where I had spent so much time and which for me embodied as much pleasure as it did discipline and exhaustion. My collection of film stills, found images and personal photographs contains a similar ambivalence: it pays homage to the symbol of summer and recreation while at the same time capturing the melancholy of empty pools and public swimming places.“ —Anna-Lena Wenzel

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Notes App. Matt Brand. Qualitative Methods

Posted in books, writing on October 13th, 2021
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Matt Brand’s second book could not be more of a departure from his first. To embrace the value of incompletion and observing works in progress, the author has published his “Free Writing” note from the Notes app on his phone, where he would capture lines and fragments whenever they came to him between the dates of 9/4/18 and 12/08/20. Some entries are only 2 or 3 words, whereas others are entire poems and paragraphs of thought.

Most published books can only provide a reader with an obscured vantage of the text’s origin, after having taken it through countless rounds of edits and revisions prior to release. Notes App aims to eliminate these confounding factors and hauntological smudges by instead showcasing creative writing ideas and fragments in their original state. The book offers readers the linguistic equivalent of a fine artist’s sketchbook or a recording artist’s draft folder. Here entries may be just as likely to stimulate inspiration as they are to spur reflection on the nature and lifespan of creative ideas.

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Dear world you have made the persons slow. Elena Kaufmann. COISAS QUE MATAM

Posted in Artist Book, books, graphic design, politics on September 10th, 2021
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Dear world you have made the persons slow uses the World Health Organization’s collected 2020 press statements about COVID-19 as its source material. Composed using blackout poetry, the project casts light on the ongoing and mostly unconscious consumption of online information. In reproducing the affect of online communication, these poems are both violently abridged and easy to consume.
In a world filled with transnational commercial chains, empathy and solidarity tend to stay local; the sudden violence of a worldwide pandemic paired with personal crises raises long overdue awareness for a more global concern for other subjects as well. Dear world you have made the persons slow contains potential further worldwide statements and there, they just need to be dis-covered.

Elena Kaufmann, born in 1992, is a contemporary artist based in Berlin, working primarily with poetry and language.

COISAS QUE MATAM (THINGS THAT KILL) is a label of the present, unleashed to publish sound and visual works afflicted by the now. If there are things that kill, there are also those that ignite and exhort. Since 2017, Stefanie Egedy and Simon Fernandes have been creating this circumstance between São Paulo and Berlin.

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Image Generation. Michel Egger. Edition Ventile

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, graphic design on August 14th, 2021
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Image Generation, a work of research by Michel Egger, makes use of visual material found on the World Wide Web. Generated using Pinterest’s algorithm-driven search function, single images, ones that otherwise would never have come together, are put into a relationship. Formal associations and technological errors collide, allowing these duos to emerge. In parallel to this, words are used to translate the imagery into unsystematic, yet constantly internet-based information.

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Pope.L, My Kingdom for a Title. Courtney Willis Blair (Ed.). New Documents, Mitchell-Innes & Nash

Posted in art, Artist Book, books on August 13th, 2021
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My Kingdom for a Title is a collection of writing by Chicago–based artist Pope.L documenting his use of language as a mode of visual, narrative, and performative story telling.

The act of writing has been integral to how Pope.L works and is arguably the most consistent element in his practice. These works take various forms: scripts, short stories, scribbled notes, large scale installation, and painting—many never before released. Assembled here for the first time, My Kingdom for a Title allows the breadth of the artist’s engagement with language to be fully assessed. Within the book, Pope.L’s work is supplemented with extensive endnotes sourced by artist Kandis Williams.

Pope.L is a visual artist and edu­cator whose multidisciplinary practice uses binaries, contraries, and preconceived notions embedded within contemporary culture to create artworks in various formats including writing, painting, performance, installation, video, and sculpture. Building upon his long history of enacting arduous, provocative, absurdist performances and interventions in public spaces, Pope.L applies some of the same social, formal, and performative strategies to his interests in language, system, gender, race, and community. The goals for his work are several: joy, money, and uncertainty—not necessarily in that order.

Edited by Courtney Willis Blair
Endnotes by Kandis Williams
Co-published by Mitchell-Innes & Nash

First Edition (2021)

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Lemaniana: Reflections on Other Scenes. Andrea Bellini (Ed.). Motto Books

Posted in art, books, exhibition catalogue, Motto Books on August 13th, 2021
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Lemaniana: Reflections on Other Scenes is the catalogue of a collective exhibition at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève celebrating the diversity of the contemporary artistic production in the Léman region.
The exhibition is the result of a call for projects, launched in autumn 2020, based on an open conception of the territory, with the aim of bringing together artists of different background who are either temporarily or permanently linked to the cross-border region of the Lake Léman basin, irrespective of training or education.
Rich in illustrations and texts, the catalogue allows us to navigate through the universe of nearly 60 artists, including artist duo and collectives, bringing to light new connections and opening our gaze to fresh interpretations of the world – a world deeply shaken by recent events. Current news – whether we are talking about racism, divergent political powers, gender identity or the pandemic and its confinements – give the project a truly contemporary nature.

Edited by Andrea Bellini.
With essays by Mohamed Almusibli, Andrea Bellini, Roxane Bovet, Patrick de Rham, Jill Gasparina and Stéphanie Moisdon.
Artists: Sonja Aboussouan, Mathilde Agius, Jérôme Baccaglio, Lucas Ballester & Oélia Gouret, James Bantone, Jacopo Belloni, Mabe Bethônico, Yann Stéphane Biscaut, Aurélie Blanchette Dubois, Vivia Braitano, Francesco Cagnin & Lorenza Longhi, Loucia Carlier, Stefania Carlotti, Salomé Chatriot, Adrien Chevalley, Alfredo Coloma, Jeremy Dafflon, Francesco De Bernardi, Caterina De Nicola, Azize Ferizi, Félix Gagliardi, Louisa Gagliardi, Annabelle Galland, Gabriele Garavaglia & Miriam Laura Leonardi, Virginia Garra, Elisa Gleize, Deborah Joyce Holman, Lauren Huret, Inner Light, Luc Joly, Kayije Kagame, Monika Emmanuelle Kazi, Shiva Khosravi, Quentin Lannes, Shuang Li, Hunter Longe,  Soraya Lutangu & Ali-Eddine Abdelkhalek, Evariste Maïga, Lucia Martinez Garcia, Lou Masduraud, Lamya Moussa, Johanna Odersky, Valentina Parati, Leonardo Pellicanò, Jessy Razafimandimby, Real Madrid, Anouk Reichenbach, Delphine Reist, Diane Rivoire, Christian Schulz, Rose Siebke Winckler, Terat Thanaworrawatniti, Ambroise Tièche, Remy Ugarte Vallejos, Marco Walpen, Sarah Watson and Mayara Yamada.

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METAPHOR. PROTEST. CONCEPT. Iulia Popovici, Raluca Voinea (Eds.). Editura Idea

Posted in art, books, performance, Theory, writing on July 24th, 2021
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PERFORMANCE ART FROM ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA

Interviews with: Iulia Popovici & Raluca Voinea, Dan Perjovschi, Szilard Miklos, Matei Bejenaru, Pavel Braila, Farid Fairuz, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Nicoleta Esinencu, Alexandra Pirici, Veda Popovici, Candidatura la Presedintie, Paul Dunca, Ioana Paun, Simona Dumitriu & Ramona Dima, Florin Flueras & Alina Popa.

„The diversity of performance art forms in Romania and the Republic of Moldova speaks about distinct motivations, personal and artistic, in the opinion for this language, but also about the mode in which an art gets to build its own definitions, in specific contexts. There are these definitions that we are searching, through the dialogues with artists, in the present book.”
(Iulia Popovici)

„These days we don’t find each other so much in the street; we don’t find ourselves in the political or aesthetical programme of the recent protests or we simply wait that they generate other metaphors and other concepts, for a new generation of artists (and citizens).”
(Raluca Voinea)

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The View From “No Man’s Land”. Firas Shehadeh. Well Gedacht Publishing

Posted in art, Artist Book, books, meme, politics on July 10th, 2021
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“Since 2013, Firas Shehadeh’s conceptual practice has been preoccupied with understanding the human condition through post-internet aesthetics, a tactic calculated towards a larger strategy of tackling the many themes mirrored by our new millennia. The internet and its cultures, video games, virtual communities, and various types of images are key mediums in his work, which helps the artist avoid material limitations and highlights the impact internet life is increasingly having on our offline lives.

Yet if one can trace a unity in Shehadeh’s work, one would find that it’s mainly concerned with images, not purely as form, but for what it absorbs from today’s political realities, conveyed by way of not-so-innocent silliness or abstraction. That is not to say that he deals with images as if they are inherently political. On the contrary, as a puppeteer controlling his marionettes with agility, Shehadeh takes such images and carefully reassembles them in front of us to subtly narrate their stories of origin and the meaning they evolved to carry. By relying on a combination of irony, tragedy, and delicate hopefulness, he ultimately highlights the bitter contradictions of today’s world.

One can easily detect some of Shehadeh’s political interests: history, technology, and aesthetics. He connects all these in today’s Online, the direct descendant from yesterday’s internet. Today’s algorithmically-driven Online is akin to predestination, loaded with ready-made scenarios where you’re trapped in a time loop like a sick joke. Original moves are calculated, preconfigured, and repeated every day; a Punxsutawney-hell from hell where one disaster leads to another. Still, they’re expected, welcomed, normalized, in a made-up history where irony’s reserve has drained to the very last drop.

In The View from “No-Man’s Land,” Shehadeh documents the year 2020 by using online culture’s main currency—memes—to tell stories of crashes, depressions, and violence caused by acceleration and the hyper technologies of control. His position as a Palestinian artist permits him to tell such stories with ease and cleverness. Yet unlike his subjects, he doesn’t convey a post-ironic attitude; his awareness is a tool to decipher post-irony, exposing its contradictions as if fighting fire with fire. That is highlighted best in the book’s cover; a kite strapped with a Molotov cocktail. The contra-drone of the oppressed. A direct, ironic answer to the oppressor’s hyper-tech arsenal.

This book and its artifacts function as a memory theater for an era that doesn’t want to leave, trying to outwit us by employing elements from the past. All the versos and rectos speak of the same story, reiterating after Carl “CJ” Johnson, its undeclared Angelus Novus, “Oh shit, here we go again.””

– Yazan S. Ashqar
Writer, Editor, and Translator, New York City

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