Transcript of "GALERIA NT - short history of art gallery devoted to bio, nano, digital & film art"
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Gallery of the NT was developed in the framework of Lodz Cultural Center ( ŁDK
- Łódzki Dom Kultury ) as artistic project, but also the first Polish fully institutional structure (Gallery NT / Imaginarium) engaged in a Art & Science projects.
Cooperated actively with the Technical University of Lodz in a series of *.VHS
*.EXE *.DNA. During the year of the gallery made contact with leading artists
and groups involved in this type of issue. Presented to the scientific performance
of many leading artists such as Victoria Vesna, Eduardo Kac, Stelarc. This resulted
in an attitude of openness and willingness to cooperate in the field of robotics, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Several Polish artists began work on the projects
which have used these materials - were to be part of a plan of the exhibition gallery
The growing interest from the artistic community, however, encountered a significant problem - Lodz Cultural Center ( ŁDK ) decided first to eliminate the
funding from the institution (under the influence of the truncated budget for the
entire institution), and later decided not to apply as Galeria NT for a grant from the
Ministry of Culture (ŁDK sent in place of that two other applications of a photo
gallery - sic!), and finally, despite the reduction of the budget proposals by 85% which is still allowed to maintain the existence of a current profile of the gallery at
a similar level, it was decided not to extend the contract with Michael Brzezinski
- its founder.
This fits in quite a long string of elimination of many of Lodz institutions - important festivals. It has effect already in lost the chance to get the title of European
Capital of Culture, and every subsequent liquidation makes the Lodz as the city
gradually lose their position on cultural map.
This time eliminated not only the gallery showing the finished products’, but also
the institutional tool that artists can use to create really unique in the world of art.
In 2010 the Łódź Cultural Center founded a new
gallery. Initially, it was created to be a gallery with
an original program, exploring the areas of video
and thus, it was wonderfully equipped especially
for that purpose. It was when Michał Brzeziński
took the gallery over that the whole idea evolved
into a new direction: an area dedicated to art, created when the scientific and artistic interests meet
– in the new technologies field. Therefore, it was
named as the Gallery NT.
The Gallery NT (New Technologies) was a space
for presenting the artistic phenomena that appear
in the field of new technology art, with a special
stress put on electronic media. The gallery’s goal
was not only to cumulate the creations in time and
place, but more to inspire artists to create new
works in the context of the gallery itself. The gallery serves as a forum for different definitions of
art to confront each other.
The Gallery NT was a sort of a buffer between
the experiences of artists and scientists, which enables its educational profile. The works presented
in the gallery was not only a form of esthetisation
of technology, was devoted to creation of hypotheses and theories, but also were provokative and
has created discussions and vast social resonance.
The Art of New Technologies is a perfect reason
for discussions on humanism’s paradigms and that
is what we desire the most, as we believe that the
“art is to make you think”. Similarly to the problems of freedom, emancipation or equality in a society, in the case of building the new technologies
conscience in a society, or the so-called technical culture, art is to play an important part. Many
kinds of technology are initially rejected by a society, whose members have a distorted image of
it. Thanks to the open debate on a level of humanism, different from religion or science, that is – on
a level of art – one can observe many important
Exhibition curated by: Marco Mancuso and Claudia D’Alonzo for Digicult & Michal Brzezinski
Exhibition period: 20/04/2010 - 27/05/2010
Opening: Friday 20/04/2010
Milycon / En, Dorota Walentynowicz, Sašo
Sedlaček, Jan Van Nuenen, Les Liens Invisibles,
Marc Lee, Yorit Kluitman, Vít Klusák a Filip Remunda
On November 20, 2009, just few days before
the COP 15 in Copenhagen, the credibility of
the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) - the government body
that monitors the UN climate change studies, suffered a severe blow. A group of Russian hackers
had published a series of documents, e-mails and
confidential data from Hadley Center, Research
Center of East Anglia University, one of the major international institutions of climate studies,
strongly affiliated with the IPCC itself. The action
seems to expose efforts of scholars and researchers to falsify data on one of the hottest media topics of the millennium: anthropic global warming,
the so-called AGW. The ‘Climategate’ has shaken
the conscience of many: if international government bodies, research centers, environmental organizations and even ecologist organizations like
Greenpeace and even eco-activists groups have
been warning us for years that independent fundamental problems like global warming, the greenhouse effect, emission harmful gases, are based on
solid scientific foundations, what should we think
about the leak? That global warming is all a big
media game, serving superior economic and political interests? It’s a doubt that many are beginning to have.
In early days of January 2010, many international media revealed a striking news: the A(H1N1)
flu seems to be a hoax orchestrated by the World
Health Organization and the pharmaceutical companies. It was claimed not by some no-global critics, but the chairman of the Health Council of Europe, Wolfgang Wodarg, who forced the Council
to approve a tough resolution demanding an international inquiry into the matter. After months of
warnings and measures against the risk of infection involving the media and institutions around
the world, one wonders when we can speak of
trusted sources on a subject as important as health.
“Frankly, I believed beyond any doubt that Saddam
Hussein had weapons of mass destruction” - said
the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on
29th of January 2010, in front of the Commission
of Inquiry on Iraq at the Queen Elizabeth Center in
London. Blair denied that the government had put
the idea, in the intelligence dossier, that Baghdad
could use weapons of mass destruction in 45 min-
utes, admitting, however, to have said so in his speech to the
Commons in September 2002, although “without too much
emphasis”. The emphasis was placed by the press, raising the
issue that Blair now denies. So, how many and what threats
are real? How and why is ‘global fear’ started?
These ‘cases’ exposed the incredibility of news that for
months, if not years, have filled the media all over the West-
ern world. We talk about cases and not news, because
in them is put into question the very meaning of news,
of factual information.
The world that we live in, with its division into mediasphere and biosphere, have been defined in many
ways, among which two ideas are best known and
best describe the relation between man and medium.
Coined over 50 years ago by Marshall McLuhan,
these ideas seem not too precise, however prophetic.
One of them is the ‘global village’ theory (as a result
of media becoming the extension of our nerve system), the other is the division of media into ‘hot’ (the
ones that send a lot of impulses to stimulate senses)
and ‘cold’ (the ones that require imagination in creating the transfer). Paradoxically, it is frequent that the
‘cold’ media generate bigger emotions as they involve
imagination and feelings attached to it. Hot media, on
the other hand, often cause greater distance towards
the experiences. All visual media are hot as the visual
communication absorbs around 80 per cent of attention. However, when interactivity is involved, visual
media become cold, as they require complacement
from the recipient. Contemporary visual art, that use
abstraction or the beauty of artistic matter, are losing
the figurative forms. They are the means of ‘cooling’
the visual art and involving the imagination or knowledge in it. Viewer’s distance towards the classic forms
of art, which created a certain beauty canon, started
evolving in the beginning of the 19th century. Visual
art tend to approach literature, so much as through developing the conceptual layer of the work. The apogee
of the process is achieved in the art of new technologies. With this exhibition, we try to present different
attitudes of artists towards global warming of the media in our global village.
In recent years, we are witnessing the disintegration
of the belief that the Internet was, for its unique nature, a free, participatory medium, in contrast to the
medium of television. Positivity of the early years of
the Internet is giving way to a situation in which one
cannot help but admit that the Interet, even with large
areas of autonomy, is subject to the same dangerous
political and economic dynamics of traditional media.
It becomes crucial not just to understand what is the
most democratic medium of the third millennium, but
rather open our eyes to the dual nature of all media, to
identify ways in which we learn to move strategically
between truth and deception.
These methodologies are the focus of many works of new
media art: art is in fact the territory within which lays the
duality of the media, playing creatively between liabilities and autonomy of the viewer’s interpretation of misconceptions and information. The art is able to expose the
media automation because it puts the audience, and our
role as spectators, in the center of the discourse on media.
Globalne Ocieplenie / The Mediagate exhibition aims at
reflecting, through the new media artworks by international artists, our constant battle between questioning and
faith towards the media, without suggesting solutions, but
triggering questions and doubts about our role as users.
Globalne Ocieplenie / The Mediagate wants to become
explicit homage to the word Watergate, that has entered
common parlance to describe an embarrassing and outrageous discovery, often used as a measure to test the seriousness of a sudden truth, considered to be big enough to
be able to undermine any system.
artist: André Sier
curator: Michał Brzeziński
vernissage date: 18/06/2010 at 7 PM
the exhibition will be open from 18/06/2010 to
Contemporary art opens to a subject as a creator.
Contemporary artist, being familiar with the art of
internet and software, does not offer ready products, but delivers easy-to-use creative platforms,
which live independently afterwards. Consequently, we can say, that we have moved to 2.0 culture
whose manifestation is also Gallery NT. Artists
such as Ben Fry (creator of the processing – platform used also by Andre Sier) create artworks
presenting infinite opportunities of transforming
into unlimited number of subsequent artworks.
These are not only the tools, although artists treat
them as such. These works constitute one organism, enabling proliferation of subsequent, interrelated artworks – collective, but expressing the
ideas or expression of certain people. Contemporary art tries to establish interpersonal and social
bonds, but respects freedom and expression of individual, since the individual is a condition of its
Such situation is visible in the works of Andre
Sier, which become a rhizome of such dialogue,
at the same time visualizing data brought from our
presence in the gallery. It is not us, who decide
about the final shape of the artwork, but our body,
which speaks for ourselves. Entering a gallery, we
do not intend to interfere with the artwork, since
we have no readiness for the artwork in our consciousness. Next, observing its reaction to our
behaviour, we pay attention to the way we function in that particular space and we learn its (artwork’s) language. The artwork is our partner, subject which has its own logics, coupled to our body
and, thus, to our mind. In his other works, Sier
creates worlds closed in the glass ball of computer
monitor. He produces simple subjects, which he
puts to evolution and sets up laws, which will rule
„Now I’m a network of cells 2,5. My state depends
on 1,4, 2,4, 3,4, 1,5, 3,5, 1,5, 2,5, 3,5 and we will
be adding these values to check the current map of
rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m alive.
Now, I’m a network of cells 3,3. My state depends
on 2,2, 3,2, 4,2, 2,3, 4,3, 2,4, 3,4, 4,4 and we will
be adding these values to check the current map of
rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m dead.
Now I’m a network of cells 7,3. My state depends
on 6,2, 7,2, 8,2, 6,3, 8,3, 7,4, 8,4, 9,4 and we will
be adding these values to check the current map of
rules and to check if I’m dead or alive. I’m alive.”
The work of Andre Sier refers to the cubism aesthetically and visually, but, being interactive, it
does not evoke either broken mirror reflecting our
face, or typical cubist painting, which usually presents the picture spread on geometric solid figures.
It is the art of multitude of parallel information,
which are procured by different, not necessary
visual channels and subsequently visualized by
the computer. Computer is an instance creating
a picture, based on rules established by the artist. Gained information splits on the figures of
algorithms. His works also struggle with the understanding of physical and evolutionary mechanisms or the chaos theory and use simulation for
that. These are not ready artworks, but processes
or sometimes records of particular spaciotemporal
relations. Processualism and peformativity of his
works, as well as the temporality of final effects
is the fugitive artifact for the work of art. Graphics produced by the speakers splashing ink, which
makes random patterns on paper, is only a conscious, fetishistic record of what happened in gallery on a particular day, since the sources of sound
are the movement and the sound detected by the
system. However, it has nothing to do with the
artist’s expression or the search for chance in the
painting, it is not an action painting either. The essence of his art is algorithm – structure, which lays
at the basis of picture produced by the machine, it
is a programming language game, emerging at the
meeting point of human and machine languages.
It is possible to find it if we look at his works with
tenderness which characterizes the way human being looks at the other human being in action.
7.00PM 10 IX 2010
Łódzki Dom Kultury ul. R. Traugutta 18, 90-113 Łódź
Exhibition is on: Tue - Fri 12.00 - 18.00, Sat 14.00 20.00
The exhibition of Robert B. Lisek analyzes the context
of a “security” idea based on an example of the Smolensk crash.
Robert B. Lisek analyzes the social processes which,
through increasing public insecurity, contribute to the
legitimacy of violence, deprivation of freedom and civil
liberties and the consolidation of the authority as well
as its credibility. At the outset, the artist raises questions
about the nature of security:
What is the basis of security? What ensures it? He asks
about the state of security absence - permanently sustained uncertainty and constant raising of fears to maintain the services and structures responsible for security.
Conspiracy theories as a modern heresy, apostasy from
the doctrine of faith sustained by the media have recently become a very strong inspiration for artists around the
The history of modern societies knows many forms of
activity such as hijacking of both aircraft and people,
mysterious disappearances, plane crashes, bomb attacks,
and others that have influenced changing political situation and the distribution of power relations of a particular
country or group of countries. Rapid social chain reactions accompanied by such incidents become a primary
energy, a type of libido that animates culture, and this
constitutes the starting point for the project Crash 2.0.
It is widely known that such incidents and revolutions
usually resulted in the introduction of so-called doctrine
“son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch” (S.O.B. in short).
This obviously contributes to the rise of conspiracy theories around Smolensk accident, which are, however,
treated here as one of a class of phenomena occurring
around the world. The project addresses the issues of
security and analyses the disaster, particularly the air
crash near Smolensk as a culturally active factor, a factor which causes a political crisis and changes in existing
system. Robert Lisek uses the methods of contemporary
art and theory of computability, raises questions concerning political power and discussion which focuses on
the key points of the collective experience of the disaster.
The artist describes the work of the installation in short
The project begins with the analysis of large data sets,
examines how the disaster / conflict is depicted in the
web and media. Then, the new information is concluded,
as well as the probability of future events.
Robert Lisek stays within the long avant-guarde tradition which started with efforts to cut off the artwork from
the subjective individual, the artistic vision, inspiration
and the need for expression. Drawing this line in the text
constitutes a repetition of the avant-guarde history. The
artist defines this context in a following way:
In art, there is a tradition which combines both critical
and analytical approach with activities that can be seen
as a political praxis. The artist is inspired by groups such
as Group Material active in the US in the 90’s, and his
work should be considered in the context of contemporary groups connected to hacktyvism and tactical media:
Institute of Applied Autonomy, Critical Art Ensemble.
It is important that when Robert Lisek tackles the issue
of Smolensk, he distances from the old paradigm of the
artist showing subjective point of view, and this way
he can cut off from the explicitness characterizing the
authors of conspiracy theories, which would inevitably
discredited the artist entangled in his own opinion based
solely on the belief. The artist researches alternative story lines and to achieve it, he uses a web worm written
by him i.e. a programme for automatic search for information in the web (based on the model of the software
used by Russian special services GRU) and NEST portal
(http://fundamental.art.com / NESTofficial.html) which
is a web platform designed to analyze and visualize connections between individuals, groups, events, documents
and places. This way, the artist arranges a situation in
which the outside reality speaks for itself. In such arrangement, the artist’s creation is limited to constructing
transparent apparatus and arranging such construction as
a spatial artwork.
Using his own system, Robert Lisek recovers, analyses
and visualises information, creates a history, doing the
job of historians. The model of history with the monkey
at the typewriter is transformed into a model of a thinking machine which selects the data, creates versions
and stories itself. Intellectual’s work in the world of today transforms into the consciousness of communicating the rules of work, whereas the work in a traditional
sense is done by machines. Similarly, in the field of social communication, open sources and the opportunity
to intervene in the source code enable to put this artistic
project in the place previously occupied by the media.
Corporate Media imposed global outlook according
to the policy of the capital standing behind them. On
the other hand, the project 2.0 CRASH proposes ever
proliferating versions of events, connects facts using
contemporary logic and mathematics. The mechanisms
behind its work, related to analysis and data processing
are much more readable than the mechanisms of power manipulating the media. Open sources makes the
means of processing information takes reconfigurable!
Corporate media are therefore useless, become eliminated and replaced by an art project, since they provide only one possible course of events. In the world
of media there seem to appear a new site for alternative
portals, becoming leading sources of information, for
example WikiLeads, which published 75 000 documents revealing an alternative picture of the war in
Afghanistan. Such information is then analyzed. Crash
2.0 also provides information unavailable from official
channels, subversive reinterpretations of events, alternative narratives, from which we can choose the most
suitable one. However, such a choice is always limited
and shows that we believe only to what suits our limited minds.
Pomyłka / The Tipping Point of Failure.
29 Oct – 05 Dec 2010
Galeria NT / Imaginarium
ul. R. Traugutta 18, 90-113 Łódź
Today many people enjoy their time watching super 8 tapes,
while listening to poorly recorded vinyl records or endlessly
copied cassette tapes. They enjoy the discolorations, cracks,
and noises of these media. This retro-fetishism shows that we
find ourselves at an aesthetic turning point; the good quality
of the old image is no longer important. Instead, we are attracted to the traces of “old” media, that seem to be absent or
at least imperceptible in the “new” media of today. Artists such
as Rosa Menkman aim to show and evaluate the flaws that we
haven’t yet learned to appreciate or even recognize in our new
media – the imperfection.
ROSA MENKMAN (1983, Arnhem, Netherlands) is a leading
international theory-practitioner of glitch art. She has written
extensively on digital artifacts and noise, including the Glitch
Studies Manifesto (2010). Her videos and real-time performances have been included in festivals like Cimatics (Brussels ’08 + 09), Blip (Europe and US in 2009), Video Vortex
(Amsterdam ’08 + Brussels ’09), ISEA (Dublin ’09) and File
(Sao Paolo ’10). She was also one of the organizers/curators of
the successful GLI.TC/H festival that took place in Chicago in
2010. She has collaborated on art projects and performed together with Alexander Galloway, little-scale, Govcom.org and
the Internet art collective, Jodi.org. Menkman received her
Master’s degree in 2009 and is currently pursuing a practical
PhD at the KHM Cologne, writing on the subject of Artifacts.
Roman Jakobson identified various functions of communication in the primary axis between the addresser, the addressee
and the message. When communication revolves only around
the message itself, it has, according to Jakobson, a poetic function. Such a message does not communicate anything but its
structure. Glitch is a radical implementation of this postulate
on the grounds of visual arts.
The aesthetics of glitch, which continues traditions of structural film, comes from the interest in the medium itself, and thus,
the process of image formation. The medium and its inherent
specificities has become radically important for contemporary
art, since many significant contemporary artworks use some
form of exploitation of the material of (modern) media, or are
known thanks to documentation done within these media.
The exhibition of “Pomyłka / Tipping point of failure”
(„Pomyłka” means „Mistake”) aims to pinpoint a quintessential phenomenon of aesthetics and contemporary art – the
phenomenon of glitch. The aesthetics of glitch stems from an
interest in the structure and research on conditions and characteristics of each medium.
Technically, this is can be accomplished by the exploration of
the opportunities offered by for instance circuitbending and databending. These techniques that are often used by artists that
are working within this field of art can be divided into several
main types. Firstly, they focus on observation of the audiovisual
effects caused by reconstruction of hardware, such as soldering
wires, the changing of values (of resistors or data), introducing
external components to the integrated circuit, etc. A second type
is intentional damaging the media. A third type is damaging and
redesigning data in digital files, when the artist gets to the content of the file and changes it manually by typing in a variety of
values (computer graphic programs perform the same actions
but in a mechanical way). A fourth type is the action associated
with the transmission of the signal and its modulation. Artists
repeatedly send the same files between devices up to the point
when some of them commit certain errors. A fifth type of activities are actions related to the repeated compression of files or
using errors of various compressed audio-visual materials.
To this collection we can also add many other related strategies such as the usage of TV interlacing or “freeze frame” in
the VHS machines, the scrolling of the preview of DV devices,
exposing differences in the frequency of images’ refreshing and
scanning rates in the camera and TV systems, the usage of differences in the lighting of different parts of the old style kinescopes that are invisible to the naked eye or the large variety
of feedback techniques, etc. It is an extremely interesting field
of aesthetic exploration, which influences design, advertising
industry and popular culture.
Often, the artists within this field treat each of these tactics as
a research in the extensions of the human senses. Such orientation places them close to the position of for instance scientists. Artists, similarly to scientists, set up a research context
and let the examined matter speaks for itself. But in glitch art,
the word mistake has also become a synonym for the natural
consequences of actions and gives right to a following and a
following trial, which might cause different effects every time.
From this perspective, glitch art could become a chapter in the
history of art by just a simple exploration of the aesthetical relationships between a first and a subsequent mistake and its references to known canons of composition. Each of the redesigned
devices can produce dozens of interesting abstract images per
second and disrupt a yet to be constructed history by the inherent impossibility of capturing ephemeral artifacts – mistakes.
However, this kind of art can also, and maybe more interestingly, be understood in a metaphorical or even political or ethi-
cal way. Glitch is obviously related to the aesthetics
of punk or DIY strategies. Striving for a poor quality
image (Low Quality) or deliberately destroying or redesigning a final message, or to recapture the creativity
of a medium can be described as the key features of an
ing an advanced glitch studies, in which she strengthens
practical research in aesthetics and design by scientific
research, with focal points on politics, art-history and
technological forms and discourses.
While artists are no longer interested in achieving results,
but they want to explore the material and are open to the
strangest sensory conclusions, it must be a meaningful
sign that we live in a time in which totalitarian and fascist aesthetics of ideal projections, or the principle of socalled art without randomness, are fading into oblivion.
Rosa Menkman aims to show and evaluate the flaws
that we haven’t yet learned to appreciate or even recognize in our new media – the imperfection – and sets
out to create an awareness of the many questions and
different dichotomies inherent to these imperfections
are brought to the front.
Instead, once again, art has become the domain of creative experiment. This is why, if the history of art wants
„Within a high-tech world, consumers are blinded by to explore this strategy, it has to go very deeply not only
the sparkles of the latest protocol. They are on an el- into the artifact, the mistake, but into a process of createvator that seems to take them to a realm that functions ing these images and the unveiling of their hidden logic.
cleaner, better and faster. However, during this trip in The artists no longer create finished works of art or even
the elevator they never seem to arrive at a final desti- exclusive artistic ideas, but instead they produce creative
nation – the holy grail of perfection. New media are platforms, where the addressee has the power to become
not perfect and will never be perfect. Diverging and the creator of the final work of art. In this sense, glitch
sometimes even opposing retro-fetishism, we need to is a constantly mutating entity, that can move from a
be aware of the doctrine of our flawed, yet superficially ephemeral form of randomness to a new paradigm. This
perfect new media.„
is where we can find the tipping point of failure.
The essence of Rosa Menkman’s art does not lie in
achieving visual effects or within the development of
just another glitch aesthetics. Instead she is conduct-