Haifa-Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, 2013

Haifa-Jerusalem-Tel Aviv, Haifa Museum, Curator: Ruti Direktor

Mofc project: Sala-manca | Exhibited Show: “File Transfer Protocol”, Curators: Pil and Galia Kollectiv

Mauas and Rotman devised the project The Storage Room, as part of The Museum of the Contemporary which they recently undertook in the framework of Mamuta’s activity. In The Museum of the Contemporary Mauas and Rotman intend to create a virtual collection of exhibitions that could be realized in any exhibition venue, anywhere in the world. They contacted Pil and Galia Kollectiv, an artist duo collaborating in London, and invited them to offer a proposal for the first exhibition in the collection. Here the extension of an invitation was elaborated and expanded: the museum invited Mamuta, Mamuta invited Pil and Galia Kollectiv who invited six London-based artists. For the realization of the exhibition the museum received directions from the members of Mamuta, who themselves received directions from Pil and Galia Kollectiv. (Ruti Direktor)

 

FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL

The discourse surrounding the virtual has moved away from the utopian thinking accompanying the rise of the Internet in the 1990s. The Cyber-gurus of the last decades promised a technotopia removed from materiality and the confines of the flesh and the built environment, a liberation from old institutions and power structures. But since then, the virtual has grown into a distinct yet related sphere of cultural and political production that both parallels and occasionally flows over into the old world of material objects. The strict dichotomy of matter and digital purity has been replaced more recently with a more complex model where both the world of stuff and the world of knowledge support, resist and at the same time contain each other. Online social networks amplify and extend existing ones; other cultural interfaces like youtube have not replaced the communal experience of watching moving images in a semi-public space (the cinema) or the semi-private space (the family living room). Rather the experience of viewing is very much about sharing and communicating, offering interpretations and comments. Many of the web’s strongest entities (Amazon, eBay, Gumtree etc.) sit exactly at this juncture of applying tools taken from the knowledge management industry to organize the chaos of the material world along (post-)Fordist rationality.
Since the early 1990s there have been many artistic and curatorial attempts to use the Internet as a platform of producing and exhibiting art, but a lot of these were reluctant to let go of the fantasy of digital freedom. Storage Room collapses the binary opposition of real and virtual space by using online data storage as a conduit for IRL art production. The artworks here will not be available for viewing online in a ‘screen’ environment but only as part of a downloadable package with the intention that the exhibition could be displayed (in a physical space) by any interested party and realised as ambitiously or minimally as the downloader wishes, based on their means. The artists will therefore also supply a set of instructions for the physical installation of the work alongside the digital files. In response to this curatorial initiative, File Transfer Protocol invites seven UK based artists to produce digital art for a physical environment, addressing the intersection between the virtual and the material. The files range from sound, video, digital prints and net art, blueprints for an action to take place, something to be made, a conceptual text piece, etc.

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About the works and artists:

Polly Fibre is the pseudonym of London-based artist Christine Ellison. Ellison creates live music using domestic devices such as sewing machines, irons and slide projectors. Her costumes and stage sets propose a physical manifestation of the virtual space that is created inside software like Photoshop. For this exhibition, Polly Fibre invites the audience to create a musical composition using a pair of amplified scissors and a turntable. http://www.pollyfibre.com

John Russell, a founding member of 1990s art group Bank, is an artist, curator and writer who explores in his work the contemporary political conditions of the work of art. In his digital print, Russell collages together visual representations of abstract philosophical ideas and transforms them into a post apocalyptic landscape that is complex and banal at the same time. www.john-russell.org

The work of Bristol based artist Jem Nobel opens up a dialogue between the contemporary and the legacy of 20th century conceptual art around questions of collectivism and participation, authorship and individualism. His print SPACE concretizes the representation of the most common piece of Unicode: the vacant space between words. In this way, the gap itself turns from invisible cipher to sign. www.jemnoble.com

Annabel Frearson is rewriting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein using all and only the words from the original text. Frankenstein 2, or the Monster of Main Stream, is read in parts by different performers, embodying the psychotic character of the protagonist, a mongrel hybrid of used language. www.annabelfrearson.com

Darren Banks uses fragments of effect laden Holywood films to create an impossible space. The fictitious parts don’t add up to a convincing material reality, leaving the viewer with a failed amalgamation of simulations of sophisticated technologies. www.darrenbanks.co.uk

FIELDCLUB is collaboration between artist Paul Chaney and researcher Kenna Hernly. Chaney and Hernly developed together a project that critically examines various proposals for the management of sustainable ecological systems. Their FIELDMACHINE invites the public to design an ideal agricultural field. By playing with different types of crops that are found in the south west of England, it is possible for the user, for example, to create a balanced, but protein poor, diet or to simply decide to ‘get rid’ of half the population. The meeting point of the Platonic field and it physical consequences, generates a geometric abstraction that investigates the relationship between modernist utopianism and contemporary actuality. www.fieldclub.co.uk

Pil and Galia Kollectiv, who have also curated the exhibition are London-based artists and run the xero, kline & coma gallery. Here they present a dialogue between two computers. The conversation opens with a simple text book problem in business studies. But gradually the language, mimicking the application of game theory in the business sector, becomes more abstract. The two interlocutors become adversaries trapped forever in a competition without winners. www.kollectiv.co.uk