Our show Viewing Copy at Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo finished yesterday, which is why we want to share some images for those who weren’t there (like us!). The show functions as an introduction to Auto Italia, looking at how we work as an organisation and a collaborative framework by revisiting two of our past projects, Double Dip Concession (Auto Italia LIVE at the ICA, 2012) and My Skin Is At War with A World of Data (originally commissioned as part of Artissima LIDO, 2012).
As part of the exhibition, the Cairo based artist-run space Nile Sunset Annex presented A History of Two Mountains / One a Original / Two a Copy / Both Equally Heavy, a talk with props appropriating the title of our show A History of Two Mountains in 2007. Nile Sunset Annex were looking at connections between our two artist-run spaces, organisational similarities and aims.
Curated predominantly through email, Skype exchanges and shared Sketchup models, the show’s production became centred on considering how digital exchanges can work in today’s image economy and the the flexible nature of these files; these viewing copies.
We want to share a feature from the current issue of Frieze on the ‘Beginnings + Ends’ of Post-Internet Art, in which Tyler Coburn considers our Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working project alongside work by Metahaven, Hito Steyerl and Marysia Lewandowska and Laurel Ptak’s Undoing Property?
By letting writers, artists and curators such as Karen Archey, Katja Novitskova and Lauren Cornell directly respond to one another, ‘Beginnings + Ends’ gives an interesting overview of the recent discussion on problems with the term, the role of the network and where future generations of digital natives might take it.
It’s an interesting part of a wider discourse on how Post-Internet Art engages with network politics, marketability and how it might have ‘got lost’ (Ben Vickers) – themes discussed in a recent panel on Post Net Aesthetics at the ICA, organised by Karen Archey – watch the recording here!
You can find the article in the November / December issue of Frieze.
We’re excited to launch the RWBA blog – a platform for a series of four online residencies led by Rachel Pimm, Tim Ivison, Julia Tcharfas, George Moustakas with a wide range of invited contributors. Using this online space to continue conversations started with Recent Work by Artists , the artists involved will be looking at ideas around creative labour, work space design and the merging of production and consumption.
The RWBA blog will facilitate new thought experiments, indulge in specific research interests and provide a space to try out different forms of writing and digital image distribution.
Rachel Pimm is the first artist to take control of the blog, launching a month of contributions under her Interior Ecosystems title – take a look at her introductory editor’s letter here. Rachel’s residency will include extracts from her text Bleisure Island: A Copy-Paste Screenplay and will continue RWBA’s exploration of co-working by inviting a variety of contributors. The blog will be updated regularly throughout the residencies, so make sure to check for new posts.
Currently on at SPACE is The Fresh Air Collection, an exhibition bringing together a collection of artworks that feature plants as well as displaying artist’s own houseplants. As part of the show, artists Tim Ivison & Julia Tcharfas, George Moustakas and Rachel Pimm worked with Auto Italia to re-consider the work environment created as part of Recent Work by Artists. Now presented as a sequence of islands, visitors are invited to explore the structures and relax among the plants, custom-made cushions and water feature.
The show runs until October 13th, open Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 12-6pm on the weekend. For more information about the show, see SPACE’s website.
We’re really excited to go to Berlin this week where we’ll be showing our film My Skin Is At War With A World Of Data as part of abc Berlin‘s not-for-profit programme Upcoming Exhibitions curated by Shanaynay. We’ll be taking over the Upcoming Exhibitions space from 4-6pm this Saturday, 21st.
My Skin is at War is a film exploring the paranoiac function of images in our hyperreal networked-society, conceived of as a collective enterprise by artists Kate Cooper, Marianne Forrest, Andrew Kerton and Jess Wiesner.
The film has been touring and was shown in Stockholm as part of She – A Factory in March and is included in a show in Tartu, Estonia at the moment as part of Prada Pravda at ART IST KUKU NU UT festival. My Skin is at War was commissioned by Artissima LIDO and shown there in Turin last November.
For those who won’t be able to see the film in Berlin, here’s an extract from the script:
A: Let’s talk about our contemporary bodies.
B: I identify with my own image – present it, represent it – image and imagine myself online, IRL, at a fashion shoot, in the beauty salon.
C: You mean narrate your own life? You’re your own own voiceover? I’ll tell you what’s happening in real time…
B: Yes I navigate my own paranoia and those delirious networks – being careful not to get exploited or enveloped or stabbed in the back with a fibre optic wire.
D: I’m disconnected, but still leaking – all high definition and sticky.
C: Although I might be a princess, I’m definitely not a drama queen. I’m not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking…
D: I’m thinking that my Second Life heart is breaking in real time. I want to be loved for the non-being that I am. And after all seduction is an act of social labour, right?
A: We’re overstuffing the data turkey and I’m getting a repetitive strain injury.
C: Well this is an art fair.
B: Look, there’s no new bad news. To produce yourself, you need to know about your own value. This is the nature of hermetic enterprises. A teenage fashion blogger recast as a post-Fordist labour model creates her own capital, the production line of her life.
A: Welcome to the She Factory.
D: In the future, they will wonder why people ever made art about the internet. After all, language and communication are not the same thing.
B: Desire and connectivity might be…
C: I want to participate but my legs hurt. Sometimes I wake up and have a physical need to log in; like the feeling of needing meat in your body, or chocolate. I have this physical need for information: to feel plugged in, connected and consuming something. I want more, but I never feel full. I log in and I just wander around and feel empty. No connection and no way of producing things. What is this bodily experience all about?
D: Archive yourself for reproduction as a prospective army, because in the future woman will just be DNA: infinitely reproducible.
B: I mean lets talk about this. I produce so I can consume. I consume so that I can produce myself. I can retouch and create and improve myself, and be more productive.
A: Anxiety is the new self-producing work ethic.
D: My own interiority is the new factory floor. Industrial strength hormones ensure I am still visibly productive, all day every day. The glandular worker never gets tired and never gets bored.
B: Welcome to the She Factory!
C: We’re auditing images. I’m unsure of what tone this should be. I’m trying to make it more conversational, although I feel like some of the ideas are direct statements.
A: Hit refresh
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working audio series; a selection of recordings taken from the events. You can now listen back to sessions from a huge range of speakers on the ILIW website:www.iliw13.autoitaliasoutheast.org/recordings.
Immaterial Labour Isn’t Working was a series of free events and workshops that ran from 20th April to 12th May 2013. The programme brought together activists, artists, writers and technologists to discuss the problems and possibilities digital technology offers the contemporary worker and to examine how it is changing our political selves.
This week we are releasing sessions featuring Alex Andrews, Hannah Black, Jessica Bland, Harry Burke, Mark Fisher, Alex Hern, Dougald Hine, Dave King (part of Luddites 200), Huw Lemmey, Metahaven, Alex Vasudevan, Georgina Voss, Ramona and Jay Springett.
Covering topics from open access publishing to post-Fordism’s effect on mental health and from New Luddism to an in conversation with Dutch research and design studio Metahaven – these sessions grapple with a wide range of ideas and concerns that face our society that never “switches off”.
We will be uploading the remaining recordings in the next couple of weeks, so keep checking the site and @iliw13 for updates.
Last Wednesday, the 28th of August Auto Italia hosted an event as part of the Recent Work By Artists exhibition featuring Mute editor Anthony Iles and myself discussing the intersections of art and urban development. Anthony gave an account of the impact that the concept of the ‘creative city’ and creative regeneration has had on London, picking up on some of the salient themes in the book he co-wrote with Josephine Berry Slater, ‘No Room To Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City’. I added a short history of the King’s Cross development, focusing on the planning politics and the evolving notion of the space of work. What followed was a lively debate on the economic and political situation of development in London and a number of different opinions on where we go from here. As a way to keep this conversation going, I have begun a reading list on AAAAARG that includes a number of the texts that informed my initial interest in the topic and others that I have discovered in the last few weeks researching the subject. Please feel free to suggest other readings and if anyone is interested in starting a discussion group around these themes, I would be happy to help organise. Thanks to everyone who came to the event!
The Real Estate Show: Readings in Art and Urban Development
‘Artists are the vanguard of real estate’, or so I was told at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by an enthusiastic agent during a life skills workshop offering legal, financial, and career advice. Of course, the truth of this statement is also the source of its discomfort. Artists and creative professionals have indeed played an important role in the last few decades of urban land speculation, especially in the fields of urban renewal, gentrification, and large scale urban development schemes. The stereotypical ‘struggling artists’ and their search for cheap rent and studio space are now a founding myth of the transformation of blighted urban centres. Add to this the integration of the studio aesthetic and the fetishisation of ‘creativity’ in the very design of the dot-com boom and you have an urban designer’s recipe for the creative class and their metropolitan ascendancy.
But if the ideology of Richard Florida seems to have been handily debunked in the last few cynical years of the economic downturn, it seems that the relationship between cultural producers, art organisations, and the large-scale and long-term forces of urban planning and policy are still on the periphery of critical discourse, much less action. Save a few notable exceptions, the geography of the culture industry is a topic that has yet to make a dent in the syllabi of studio art, design, or architecture programmes, the graduates of which are destined to become the subjects, if not the very protagonists, of these transformations. Meanwhile, artists and creative professionals –wrapped up with everything ‘green’ and ‘vibrant’– have become central to the thinking and design of urban plans, community outreach, and policy guidance for corporate and government strategists.
The question for us seems to be, how to get perspective on such a complex dynamic from within? How can we begin to build a vocabulary through which to discuss and articulate our positions? Working through a non-linear set of readings within and around planning theory, art activism, marketing and think-tank documents, art history and criticism, these readings will attempt to unpack the complicated but entirely legible and direct relationship between creative practice, value creation, and the processes of urban land and real estate development.
- Tim Ivison
Our space is open 12-6 Wed-Sun, so if you’re looking for a tranquil yet energising work space, come and pop in for a few hours – you’ll never want to leave again. The Recent Work by Artists space caters for a wide variety of today’s working demands with an open-plan work island, japanese-style tables, insulated supportive mats, WiFi, a screen for private phone calls and organically shaped sofa corners.
Too much work? Come to enjoy the greenery, water features, calming blue surroundings and custom picked reading material.
For updates on the space you can follow the #dailydesk feature on our new instagram profile @autoitalialive dedicated to the show.
Get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to spend some time here!
See you soon
Wed, August 28th, Anthony Iles in conversation with Tim Ivison, 7pm
|We’re pleased to present The Real Estate Show: A Discussion on Art and Urban Development, an event taking place as part of the current exhibition, Recent Work by Artists.|
|Artist Tim Ivison will lead a discussion investigating the conditions of artistic labour, with a site-specific conversation on the topic of contemporary art in culture-led regeneration and planning with invited guest Anthony Iles. The event will address the recent history of large-scale development in London, the impact of government arts policy, and the political and aesthetic impacts these have on art and artists working in the city today.Anthony Iles is Deputy Editor of Mute, co-author, with Josephine Berry Slater, of No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City, co-editor, with Mattin, of Noise & Capitalism, writes fiction and non-fiction, and screens films with Full Unemployment Cinema.|
The event is free but booking is essential as space is limited.
As part of Recent Work by Artists, a book club will take place to discuss W.R. Bion’s text Experiences in Groups.
From Arctic field work, to astronaut training, to living in communes, and working in offices, W.R. Bion’s psychoanalytical text, Experiences in Groups (1961) has been widely used to try and better understand group dynamics. Beyond the text’s significance for the field of psychoanalysis, it is the broadly applicable nature of its findings and the impact that it has had in the most challenging group working conditions that make it the focal text of our six-week collaborative environment.
The book club will be a network for those interested in group work. Please join us to share your group working experiences and to discuss the nature of group work and living experiments through Bion’s text.
If you are interested in taking part in the reading group, please contact Auto Italia on email@example.com for more information.
Experiences in Groups, is on display at Auto Italia over the course of the show.