The BEEP Collection at the latest edition of well-known Ars Electronica festival

Starting on 6th September the Austrian city of Linz will host the most important event in the world of digital art: the Ars Electronica festival. In this latest edition, the BEEP Collection will be one of the protagonists as an invited collection. As such, it will be charged with exhibiting one of its latest productions as well as various selected works from the collection.

On one hand, the latest work of the British artist Paul Friedlander, the installation “Tycho; Test One” will be on view. The piece was produced in the laboratories of Eurecat (Centre for Technology of Catalunya dedicated primarily to research, development and innovation in the fields of communication, new technologies and materials) in collaboration with Escofet, as winner of the first open call of the ATA Programme for creation and artistic training with advanced technologies. This programme, convened by the collection and the NewArt Foundation, has the objective of connecting artists, scientists and technology so that the scientific and artistic methods may converge and generate new lines of knowledge that culminate in the development of a work of art. The result is a monolith of luminous cement, a new material developed by Eurecat for Escofet which the artist has been able to work with before anyone else.

For more that two decades Friedlander has been investigating a diversity of materials with the objective of transforming light into a flexible and malleable material that can take on any shape or volume. The piece, which is the first test, fruit of this open call and which continues a line of work initiated by the artist in pieces such as Spinning Cosmos which was exhibited at ArtFutura Rome 2017, will be exhibited for the first time at Linz. Through this piece the collection proposes an installation accompanied by all the methodology of record keeping necessarily required to allow any work of art of a technological nature to be reinstalled in the future following a strict manual and, as such, be a collectable and preservable work in the long term for future generations.

Friedlander obtained a bachelors degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Essex. his personal tutor, Anthony Legget received the Nobel Prize for his work on superfluidity. Friedlander has exhibited in 12 countries on 3 continents in his extensive artistic trajectory. Of special note is his participation in 2008 in the exhibition Machines and Souls, digital art in new media at the National Centre of Art Reina Sofia Museum, dedicated to exploring the convergence of science, art, technology and society at the beginning of the 21st century. In 2011 he exhibited Wave Function at ArtFuture XXI (Alhóndiga Bilbao, now Azkuna Zentroa).

In addition, the following pieces from the collection will be on view at Ars Electronica.

– Gust(2017) by Daniel Canogar. Generative animation that reacts in real time to the direction and intensity of wind in the city of Madrid.

The pieces that compose the series Echo, which this piece belongs to, are made of flexible LEDs, a technology that allows the artist to create curved screens. Behind these sinuous forms the innards, the cables and electronic components of the apparatus that are usually hidden, can be seen. For the artist, these screens have ceased to be a window that frames reality to become a sculptural presence that illumiates and dialogues with its surroundings.

Canogar has observed a substantial change in the way that we interact with screens. From screens worn on the wrist that monitor our biorhythms to enormous LED advertising billboards that envelop entire buildings,  we are surrounded by their blinking and luminous surfaces. Screens are acquiring a new materiality, a membranous quality that extends over multiple surfaces, objects and architectures. The series, Echo responds to this new concept of skin screen.

Screens that appear to melt, exhausted by our anxious need to represent the world. In this state of decomposition they find a new role as a creature that instead of representing, feel their environment through the internet. Plugged into the web they perceive planetary phenomena beyond the reach of our sensorial capacity, and which nonetheless are vital for our survival as a species.

– Try Not To Think So Much (2018) By Eugenio Ampudia. Winner of the XIII Edition of the ARCOmadrid/BEEP Electronic Art Prize (2018).

With this piece Ampudia continues in the line of earlier works that emphasize the nature of art as an effective means of communication, but on this occasion the artist plays with the paradox of interrupting this flow with communicational noise. By applying the term “noise” to communication, he not only speaks of annoying sound but of any interference in this process. With this piece he alludes to the communicational noise that we live with and which envelops us, and which become a silent method of influence in our daily lives.

The artist takes aim at that communication in the art world that tends to be endogamic and self-referential while promulgating discourses that supposedly bring culture closer to the spectator. That fact that the noise of the pieces is created from the appropriation and juxtaposition of difficultly tangible theories related to the world of art is a wink at the theoretical apparatus as well as the codes that underly the artistic system. The phrase is a composed amplifier and every letter that makes it up has a perturbing mission that allows Ampudia to configure a story cut in pieces that also speaks of the subjectivity of discourse and open doors towards thoughts such as the discourse of power and the power of discourse of Foucalt.

– The Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus (2008) by Julius Von Bismarck and Benjamin MausWinner of the V Edition of the ARCOmadrid/BEEP Electronic Art Prize (2018).

A piece capable of creating infinite works. This could be a definition of The Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus that tells a story in images, through illustrations extracted from the archives of the U.S. Patent Office.

The artefact searches the internet for illustrations whose descriptions contain key words taken from an account provided by the artist and it prints them in realtime under the gaze of the public. The patent that best fits with the analysed description is used as a seed and from there cronologically earlier patents are searched for. In this way, the illustrations of more than seven million patents are continually reproduced, on a long sheet of paper as if they were the exquisite cadaver of the third millennium. This may be cut to the desired measurement, making the machine a perpetual creator of unique works.

The Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus constitutes an important contribution to the topic of semantic connections and the translation of the word into images.

Finally, the presence of the BEEP Collection at Ars Electronica will be completed with two round tables and a guided tour. The first round table will take place on 8 September about the less visible position of digital art in comparison with to the global contemporary art market. The participants will be the director of the collection, Vicente Matallana, and the following experts: Ulvi Kasimov, Aleksandra Smilek, Steven Sacks and Anne-Cécile Worms. More information here.

The next day there will be another round table centering its attention on the conservation of technological art in which Vicente Matallana will again take part in the debate regarding the importance of creating new strategies for the preservation of works of new media art. He will be accompanied by Mariano Sardón, Dr. Moisés Mañas, Sonia Milewska and Marie-Therese Hochwartner. More información here.

Finally, all this will be completed with a guided tour by experts from the BEEP Collection that will take place on 7 September, once more led by Vicente Matallana who will be accompanied by Christl Baur, curator of Gallery Spaces at Ars Electronica. Inscriptions here.

Further information:

Marta Lorenzo

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