Blog

Artist-in-residence at the Internet Archive, S.F.

I remember the day I discovered archive.org amazed by the boldness of its mission; I remember browsing the Prelinger archives in disbelieve how the wealth of ephemeral films was all in a sudden made accessible to the world. It’s such joy to work and live in the heart of the Internet Archive in its HQ at Presidio, S.F., for a couple of weeks, developing a new film script. 

2022 King’s x Somerset House Studios R&D project

For Artefacts of Resistance I am looking forward to collaborating with Mukul Patel, founder of emergence.is, Dr. Srilata Sircar, lecturer in India and Global Affairs at the King’s India Institute, and her colleagues, Raktim Ray, University College of London, and Dr Ufaque Paiker, Ashoka University, India, on an innovative online archive documenting contemporary protest movements that builds on transnational solidarity networks.

The toxic legacy of technology companies

During my artist residency at Stanford University, a conversation about health implications due to pollution caught my attention. Some of the most severely polluted sites, co-called Superfund sites, are located in Santa Clara County, widely known as Silicon Valley. TCE was stored underground, and containers started leaking, polluting the ground water for decades to come. I visited the locations: light industrial buildings, campuses of tech companies, parking lots, sports grounds. The only visible sign of ongoing monitoring of the levels of TCE were these lids on the street. Watch this space – my next project will explore the notion of responsibility & contamination.

Public Lecture at Stanford University

As part of my Roberta Denning Visiting Artist residency I was invited to give a public lecture at Oshman Hall – due to COVID-19 only for Stanford folks. Stanford Daily, the student-run newspaper at Stanford University, summed up my artistic practice in this article >

New installation format for Third Quarterly Report

Together with the curators of Solid Roof, Severe Weather, currently showing at WUK, Vienna, we developed an angular presentation format for the double screen media installation. Previously, the piece was shown as two opposite projections – both projections display a synchronised recording of the 3QR procedures, but the attentive observer will notice inexplicable room aberrations – the conferencing room behaves like soft architecture. The new presentation format is enhancing this moment of doubt and irritation in the visitor’s perception by bringing the screens closer together.
The exhibition will remain open until end of November – check the venue’s website for opening times. 

Installation view. Third Quarterly Report by Manu Luksch, WUK 2021

Uncertain Archives

For the publication  Uncertain Archives. Critical Keywords for Big Data. MIT Press, publisher & editors chose a still from my video work Predictive Cities (2020) – I love it!
Here’s a link to my text contribution, Prediction, as pdf. It includes my text collage Alfiya – A Found Dystopia,  using excerpts from the report by Human Rights Watch, China’s Algorithms of Repression: Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App (2019)

Strengthening democracy in the Philippines

I have just come off a talk event that followed the screening of my film ALGO-RHYTHM as part of the Austrian Film Month 2021 in Manila. Two hours flew past in no time, thanks to a dynamic conversation hosted by journalist Vino Lucero the highly interesting local contributors: Timothy Salomon, legal and advocacy officer Buklaran, who told us about his study on the public perception of voting, like to many representing “to bring change”, and who is now working with indigenous peoples on issues around land rights; Atty. Mildred Ople of YouthLed, which runs a training programme to foster understanding of the workings of democracy, from positions and their responsibilities to the dangers and opportunities that open up with digital campaigning; Atty. Carlo Africa, Executive Director of  Hirayang Kabataan highlighted the need for informed voters with a good level of digital literacy to ensure a meaningful election process. That ALGO-RHYTHM might support the journey towards fairer elections in the Philippines even in the smallest way fills me with humble pride.

What is cryptart, as opposed to digital art? Are Ethereum art platforms in any way different from commercial art galleries? What are the new ideas and structures in this field?

These questions and more accompany me on my journey into this space. My first observation is that the ‘attention economy’ seems to be one of the more important factors in the formation of pricing, hence an artist who is very social media savvy will gain higher prices than an artist whose work is based on in-depth concepts. However, the secondary market is set up in a way that is beneficial for artists when their work gets sold on. Here’s my page on Ethereum art platform KnownOrigin.

Recording sessions continue

Alexej von Jawlensky created Mit Roter Schwalbentapete – see below – in 1915. The proclamation of WWI forced him to leave Germany for Switzerland, where he painted this work, now part of the Forberg Collection at Albertina Wien. Our work on the collection’s audio guide narrated by Mathias Forberg continues to astonish me with fascinating details about the history and personal experience with the art works.