the satellite blog

a different point of view

the satellite blog header image 2

Cyberfest Berlin 2013 @ The Wye & Platoon

December 9th, 2013 by L'auteur · Keine Kommentare

Gesture and spatiality of digital art…

17th november 2013, it is 12 o’clock, sunday noon – slightly dozy guests come to The Wye for the last of the five day program of Cyberfest, and to listen to the panel discussion with Marcu Mancuso (Digicult), Tatiana Bazzichelli (Transmediale), Anna Frants (Cyland), Chatzistefanou Panagiotis (Nakedbutsafe), Mark Poggia (Sensanostra) and Vanina Aracino (ikono). No wonder, it has been a rich program of exhibitions, concerts, video screenings and workshops that comes to an end now. And after all that, what should the speakers answer to the question about what digital media art might be? Maybe it’s enough to declare – like Mancuso did – that the art discourse itself was ruptured by the digital art scene: artists don’t need to have a traditional fine arts background, they are passionate amateurs, dilettante creatives at its best, who enjoy experimenting with new forms of expression. The affinity of technology was the trigger to do arts, but now it’s more about this gesture itself, to oppose against the institutionalized art world. DIY spirit and networking allow to organize magazines, exhibitions and festivals and blur the boundaries of art, critic and science. So digital art luckily is no longer about putting a wifi connection to your artwork.

The proof for that is the exhibition “Capital of Nowhere”, in which the exhibits deal differently with the question of environment. Environment now, in contrast to 100 years ago, seems to be in a constant transformation. Hence, the black cube-robots “Om” by Andrii Linik that move through the room appear strangely lost and in need of protection. This is because the abstract black box gives the biggest projection screen for your own disorientation. This also might be the way babies feel, and Ludmila Belova offers us their perspective in her video “The Compelled Foreshortening”. She put a video camera into a baby stroller and gives a new viewing angle to the urban space. In their artwork “Debris”, Pavel Ivanov and Alexey Grachev translated the so-called czech hedgehog – an anti-tank obstacle made from steel and concrete – into simple fluorescent tubes that illuminate the room as design objects. This transition disassociates the form from its militant purpose, therefore liberates it on the one hand, but asks questions of commemoration at the same time.

Media specific commemoration can be seen at the installations “Made in Ancient Greece” und “Movie Mincer”. Anna Frants projects animated figurines on a classical greek amphore with mini projectors and ruptures the museal experience of this traditional picture carrier. Sergey Teterin on the other hand, connects a mincer with a data projector which can be used as an old movie projector to play Georges Méliès’ Voyage dans la Lune. This cinematic experience is nowadays only possible as an illusion in a gallery space.

The evaluation of the modern human by Elena Gubanova and Ivan Govorkov turns out drastical and pessimistic. In “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow” we see three identical grey busts of saucer-eyed men, covered by plastic bags. Their silent scream seams to be frozen, but a tentative breath becomes visible at the bags’ surface. May this breath – despite the ubiquitous and invisible repression – grow to a hurricane, that releases its pure power and smashes the rigid grid of identical tiles like in Petr Shvetsov‘s installation “Tanya”. Although the artist arranged meticulously every tile, an impression of an immediate outbreak developes and is put in tension with the standstill of the installation. An aesthetic of potentiality catches the gaze.

The corresponding soundtrack that could sound from the crack on the wall was presented already on friday at the Platoon Kunsthalle. KETEV, a project of sound artist Yair Elazar Glotman, drones with abysmal tones through the container hall. Mystical and sinister, but very precisely evolves a tension between absolute contemporarity and engrossed theatricality. Before that and amongst others played Yoshio Machida. The experimental musician is well-known for his steel drum performances, but at the Platoon he delivered a pure synthesizer concert. He modulated abstract sounds and transforming loops with his EMS SYNTHI AKS. Via data projector one could watch the handwork of this technical improvisation – otherwise one might be dragged too far away by the tones.

There is much more to say about gigs, the workshops, the well-curated sound installations and the video screenings. But it should be clear by now, that the media art festival, that was founded 2007 in St. Petersburg, offered a complex and rich programm during its first guest performance in Berlin, which hopefully is one of many others to come.

Tags: @// · Berlin · Dark Ambient · digital art · Electronica · exhibition · media art · space