Ideas Digital Forum 2018: Gallery Making & Re Making & Rozemin Keshvani
Welcome, back to the ideas, digital, forum my, name is Lila Timmons and I'm the curator and manager of exhibitions. And collections here, at the Robert McLaughlin gallery. To. Begin I. Would. Just like to acknowledge that the Robert McLaughlin gallery, is situated, on the ancestral, in treaty lands of the Mississauga's, a school GOG Island first nation in the, traditional territory of the Mississauga nation. For. Me a territorial, acknowledgement, is an important reminder that, we are all treaty partners, and a, call to continue, to recognize our Co commitment, to, each other into this land that we're so lucky to work on as. A curator. I would also highly. Recommend, if you have not, seen. Our exhibitions, yesterday, to, please check out the two wonderful, shows that we have on as well as the show that you're situated in but. Public notice is curated, by Sonya Jones and a novel Wynne curated, by Danielle, print up shares. Some really beautiful and, important. Propositions, about treaty, and how to uphold these bonds so to encourage you to check it out I. Was thinking a lot this morning about yesterday's, proceedings and, I, just wanted to share how grateful I, am, for the tenacity and generosity of our artists presenters yesterday, I strongly. Believe that artists, are the reason why we're, all here and it's clear, that artists. Have been leading these conversations. On digital technologies, for a long time, and. It's important for institutions, to listen carefully when artists are sharing so generously, and to, be curious and open to what they're saying as. Thinking, about the simplicity of Steve Daniels message that, art, that is working is going to break, and. It's prescient and telling and what, I hear in that statement is that art this. Art and in this digital moment, it, demands. Collaboration. Not only to fix what is broken but, it also applies, more broadly to thinking about the larger solutions, and how, our institutions, can be adaptive to this change it. Also highlights. Importantly, the relationship, between artists. Institution. And our audiences, and. Requires us to think about these relationships, in new ways and it excitingly, it requires us to strengthen our networks between each other and to, shift where this authority lies it's. Challenging, work but it's vital work and it's really exciting for, us all to be discussing, it together. I. Would like to thank all the artists presenters from yesterday, and also to the ones that are speaking today, I, would also like to thank the important generosity, of our supporters EQ, Bank and surface impressive impressions. Sorry about that as well, as to recognize the Canada Council for the Arts and the digital strategy fund through. Which this event was made possible, I'm. I would now like to invite, senior, G. Executive. Director of a wag who will introduce our first session yes. A good morning everyone and Leila. Thank you and you, know late ISO right for. Us in our work in our business, the artist is the bottom line without, artists. There would be no art and there would be no reason for us to be here today to. Talk about that. Really, you know how do we show their work how do we engage with, them and the. Practices, in the, context, that we are in. Which. Actually. Is. At. This. Moment in time. Very, challenging, on many levels. Recently. I had, a, or, in this article or Canada's, municipal, art galleries, in crises in, Canadian. Art if you have not had time to look at it I'd welcome. You too and ask you to look at it one. Of the reasons is is that I. I. Think I've, learned so much over, my. Decades, of working, with municipalities I've. Worked with four different mayor's starting. With Gordon Campbell when, he was the mayor in Vancouver, and he founded the Vancouver Arts Initiative which really. Led to Vancouver's, first culture, plan this, is like I think, early, 90s, and went. On to work with others and with the most recent, being Hazel, McCallion who. Was mayor, for I, don't know hundred years at the City of Mississauga. Well. Fifty years, she's. 100 herself now, and. She started her career when she was 50 years old a very powerful, small. C mayor. Very. Anti. Cultural. What. Kind of mayor who was you know whose, task. Force that she pulled together demanded.
That She actually needed. To think about culture, given that it was Canada's. Six largest city anyway. There was an many, stories there but I won't get into those challenging. Environment, but. The reason that I bring this up is because today's. Presentations. Will at least have. Two. Presentations. To case studies coming, from municipalities. Now. Being. The IDI, of the O AG and working. With the membership, and the regional galleries, we, see increasingly. How difficult. A context. Ontario's. Municipal and. Regional galleries, are working in we, have now a very difficult provincial, government government that's come in that, can challenge us in all sorts of ways and and. Also, how municipalities. Are. Dealing, with you. Know there's more and more need. For galleries. To move away from their initial. Mandates. Their. Real mandates, and and act as sort of adjuncts, to, community. Community. Rec. And Parks you. Know offer dance, offer, yoga. For. Zumba you. Know. You. Take care of its citizens in particular kinds, of ways etc, so, and. I think today we're going to hear you know some very and on top of that now, we've. Got sort of this digital, arena coming, in but. I think what we'll also find out is that some of the smaller galleries, have, the ability to make things happen and, because. They're more nimble they're, not necessarily, in the case of the new media, gallery they, don't have a board for example you know etc. So. I. Think. It's going to be a very exciting. Session. Ahead, so. I'm now going to introduce. Rosemon. Kewanee who, is our first, presenter. And. We're. Delighted to have her lo Rosa has come in from the, London UK she's. An independent curator, and art critic, whose, practice, focuses, on excavating. And recreating, undiscovered. Contemporary, histories. She is guest lectured, in many places included, including. The said km center for arts and media the, Chelsea School of Art and the Henry Moore Institute, and has. Also curated, several research exhibitions. In, contemporary, spaces, I recently. Worked, with Roseman on the alga Khan's Diamond Jubilee international, art gallery where she, was invited, to, come in as a faculty member. And and, work with the community, there and. Very. Exciting, she, just finished hot, off the press. This. Amazing. This. Amazing, book and.
It's. Just come out it's it's art. Anarchy, a pasty. Counterculture. And the new avant-garde. Published. By coning books in London and she worked with Peter weeble and, Alex. Hal so. Congratulations, to you and. We. Look forward to hearing, what you have to say about the Whitechapel she's, welcome Roseman. Thanks. Everyone while, I'm really impressed that everyone is here this morning. First. Of all let, me thank the, Ontario. Association of art galleries and also. The, Robert McLaughlin gallery, who has done such a wonderful job, in organizing, this really. Exciting. And I, think very topical, and needed, conference, thank, you so much to the nob and. Jessica. And Lynn and Linda. I'm not sure where Linda's but Jessica, who's, behind here. Hyland. Jessica. Who's in the back who we don't see all the time but who's making this all possible on. The, electronic. And digital side, so. The topic of my conversation today. Is. Electronic. Superhighway. This was an exhibition that. Took place, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in. 2016. January, until I think it closed in about April, and. It's. A very, interesting, exhibition, because it actually began. From. That moment, when you walked into the gallery you were seeing work that was. Literally. Just completed. So from that moment of, January. 2016. And, the, exhibition actually. Involved. A reverse chronology so. You were walking backwards. In time. Let's. See if I can make this work there we are there's, a picture of the Whitechapel the Whitechapel is, a really. Amazing space, with a fantastic, history. It. Is. One. Of these areas in London which has become gentrified, and as everyone who works. In the art community knows, this is one of the one. Of the wonderful, things that, we can sell art, galleries, to. To. To, the business community. But. On the other hand is always a really difficult issue for artists, and the people who are living in those neighborhoods so this was traditionally, a very impoverished, neighborhood.
It Was a Jewish community, and, and. Then, more, recently a. Bangladeshi, community where, you can get some of the most amazing, Indian food and. Vegan. Friendly, neighborhood. For sure so, that is where, the exhibition. Happened. And as I said it charts a course backward, in time, examining. How artists, have pioneered little. Digital forms of art taking. As its backdrop the. Prevailing, context. Of the internet post. Internet, art of our networked, culture. I'm. Just gonna see if I can, uh-huh. Okay, and it's. Hard because I'm trying to do two things at the same time. So. The, conceptual starting, point according to the co-curator, America, live is a. 1974. Paper authored, by the korean-american. Artist, Nam June Paik it. Was called media planning for the post-industrial, society. The 21st century, is now, only. 26. Years away. Imagining. Television. As the technology, that would foster globalization. Pyke, used the term electronic. Superhighway. To, describe the emergence, of a high-speed, direct. Connectivity. Which, he presently, described. As a broadband. Communication. Network, or, electronic. Superhighway. Which. Would include not only television, and video but, audio cassettes, telex, data pooling. Continent. Oil satellites. Micro, fishes private, microwaves, and eventually. Fiber optics, on laser, frequencies. I think. It's really interesting to, note, that paper, and to note the starting, point well, in this case for the exhibition the end point but this, starting, point of. 1966-1967, this, paper was in a 1974. Paper but, just to have an understanding of how far. Back it, is, that. These ideas were actually in play and being explored. By. Artists. The. Pioneering, media, theorist, Marshall, McLuhan famously, wrote when. Faced with a totally, new situation. We. Tend always, to attach ourselves to, the objects. And to, the flavour of the recent pass we. Look at the present through, a rear view mirror, we, march. Backwards. Into, the future. Electronic. Superhighway, emulates, this prescription, taking. As its starting point it's then present moment in January, 2016. And looking backward, in time to. Reveal a picture, that is far more complex, interconnected. And. Potentially. Dangerous. Than. Is apparent in, our world where nearly all human relations. Activities. And decision making is increasingly. Regulated, functionalized. And distributed. In the form of vast interconnected, flows, of data governed. By algorithmic. Procedures. Featuring. Over a hundred, and fifty artworks. From 73. Artists, the, exhibition. Presented an ambitious, and dizzying. Survey, of work that, was nevertheless carefully. Choreographed to, imitate, the, seeming, anarchy, of the internet and seeking. To tell the story of a post internet art world it aimed, to trace a narrative conduct, connecting, today's generation. Of post Millennials, with, artists, of the previous generations. And that, is something that is really, important, and that, we often forget and is very earnest a challenge. For. Contemporary. Curators, is to find ways, first. Of all difficult. As it is for us to get our minds, around the, new work that is is being made by artists, and is being pioneered, and the. Collaborative, work and interdisciplinary. Work but, then to be able to trace that back to, things that were happening in fluxes, things that were happening in conceptual, art and yet, it's really. Really, important. That, we find, a way to. Embrace. That narrative, and Men and make those narratives clear. For audiences. And I, think also for the artists, who are working in, these, areas because. Often. It's. Not obvious, that. Your. Language, or your discourse, actually, has a history, especially when it seems to, be materially. So, distinct. And and. Well-defined and that's often, one of the issues, that any avant-garde. Actually. Faces. So. That's just another image that, gives you a sense of, you. Know how how, the exhibition. Was curated. Now. Someone raised this yesterday. So the, exhibition, takes us on a journey that's, completed, fifty years prior in 1966. With, the nascent collaborations. Between Robert. Rauschenberg, and the visionary. Engineer. Of Bell. Laboratories Billy, kluever, that, resulted. In experiments. In art and, technology. EA T an, organization. That would over the course of its ten years involve. Hundreds, of artists, and produce several landmark. Exhibitions. To suggest. That today's interdisciplinary. Approach in artistic practices. Can, be traced back to these early collaborations. Experiments. In art and technology, the first of which collaborations. Resulted. In the groundbreaking, nine evenings, theatre and engineering, was, held from the 13th of October, till, the 23rd of October. 1966. At the 25th, Street armory New York, participants. Included a who's who of the American, avant-garde most.
Notably Composers. And performers who, had already come. Collaborated. At Black Mountain College John. Cage listened to childs Merce Cunningham, Alex. Hey Debra, hey Steve. Parkton. Paxton, sorry Robert, Rauschenberg, David shooter Robert, Wittman and the, Brazilian, Swedish, artists, Avant falls from. The. Diverse, use of electronics. As an artistic, medium for large performances. Was, explored, here in all its patent, so while. The second milestone, was Robert Breyers floats and Fujiko. Nakaya's. Excuse. Me for the poor pronunciation. Fog, installation. Of a manufactured. Clouds. At the 1970. Expo. Pavilion in Osaka. That was sponsored by Pepsi. When. Explaining, the rationale, for involving. Artists, in the development, of technologies. Billy, kluever, declared, as follows, we. All know and remember this is night in 1966. We. All know, technology. Has become a part of our lives, and now. We can see absolutely no reason why it should not become more so no. Sound has been heard from another culture to oppose Western, technology, the. Faster, the underdeveloped countries. Have it the, faster they want it on, the. Other end of the spectrum we now have systems, where we don't quite, know where the Machine ends, and the human being, begins I am. Thinking of the space system, which, has introduced, the new and maybe inhuman, objective, the, system, has to work no failures, are allowed no, personal, emotions, or mistakes may interfere with the success of the project. Laborious. Ly we, are translating, every, aspect, of human language into computer, language the. Engineers, are not visionaries. John. Cage has recently written a wonderful how, to improve, the world as a, blind engineer. One, of his observations, gave me a real, jolt. Cage. Points, out that, there exists. A system, of interaction. Between, human, beings that. Exists, without any police or power. Structure. Whatsoever. In fact. There. Are hundreds of agreements, between countries, that work, perfectly. Well, it, seems. Technology. Bleak breeds agreement. So. Of course what he's talking about here, is cybernetics. And the. Artists, who got so excited by, the cybernetic, movement, that had originally been written. About in the 40s and. It's. About this idea of systems, theory and being. Able to reach agreement tacitly. Without. Needing, any kind of outside, organizational. Structures, so. They're, they're. Incredibly. Excited, and they're, almost, I would say a kind of euphoric, optimism. About the possibilities. Of this which, maybe we're now pulling, back on a little, bit and reconsidering. And. So. That that statement. I think is something to, keep in mind. So. He says this to sum up first the artists have to create with technology, because technology is, becoming, inseparable from our lives today. Technology. Is the extension, of our. Nervous. System. McLuhan. Said. Second. Artists, should use technology because, because, technology. Needs, artists. The. Artists, work is much like that of a scientist, it is an investigation. And this. Is this is this, is quite telling it is an investigation, which may or may not yield, meaningful. Results. In, many cases, we will know only years, later what. I am suggesting is, that the use of the engineer, by. The artist, will, stimulate new, ways of looking at technology. And of, dealing with life in the future. You. Might find it interesting to hear, kluever. Say, technology.
Needs To be revealed, and undressed. Much. Like, we undress, a woman. There's. A lot that could be unpacked in these few statements for. The moment it's instructed, to footnote, both, the motivations, and collaborations. Which, have led to burgeoning. Interdisciplinary. Practices, using technology. And the, almost euphoric and. Unhesitating. Embrace of the, possibilities. Presented by technology. Urged. On, by an underlying, confidence. In the, apparent. Neutrality. Of the systems. Generated, through technology. Assumptions. Which are being exposed and challenged by contemporary, artists, whose practice is critically. Engaged, with, these technologies. And which, are manifest, and explored, throughout, this exhibition. So. Electronic, superhighway, takes its name from Nam, June Paik smaii mental sculptural, installation of. 1995. I'm. Sure everyone's, quite familiar, with this work it's part on which to the interlocking system, of Road transportation. That connected, all. Of the United States. That came, to be known as the interstate highway system it. Was begun by President Dwight. Eisenhower in. 1932. And, wasn't. Finally proclaimed, complete, until, 1992. The. Smithsonian, Institute who now owns this work and in fact owns much of the legacy of Nam June Paik, writes. That. When none June Paik came to the United States in 1964. The interstate, highway system was only nine years old and super. Highways offered everyone the freedom to see the USA, in your Chevrolet. Employing. Three three hundred and thirty six television, sets. 50. DVD, players 50, DVD, players. 37,000. Hundred fifty feet of cable and, 575. Feet. Of multicolored. Neon, tubing, this. Mammoth, work presents, an iconographic. Imagery. On 51, channels, positing, the construction, of a shared identity through. Television and there's, a fantastic. Clip, you can watch on the internet that, tells. You what, was involved, in the, conservation. And. Care. Of this, work and just, gives you an idea of what, it must what it must be to organize. 336. Televisions, and keep, them under way and deal with all the buses in the line etc. This. This. Is the work that was actually in the show not. Surprisingly. The. Electronic. Superhighway. That the name you know the name of the exhibition actually wasn't shown at the at. The, exhibition. Instead, this work was shown Internet, dream and I think that's, for, obvious reasons it was just too large of a work to transport. And to.
Actually. Show in the Whitechapel. However. The works established. Televisions, capacity. To alter geographies. And penetrate. Previously, static, and instrument, surmountable. Boundaries. And. This. Is what changes. This. Is the first thing that television, and these, kinds, of transmissions. And interconnections. Change they. Change your conception, of space. Suddenly. Everything, becomes interconnected. Distances. Are altered, distances. Cease to exist it, alters, our notion of geography, and, distance, is eliminated, and space. Becomes. Flattened. Unlike. Richard, Serra's darker. Narrative, on the power of television articulated. Nearly 20 years earlier in, television. Delivers people Pike, provides. An optimistic. Perhaps, as I've, said euphoric. View of televisions, power to unite and connect. Electronic. Superhighway, asserts a transformation. On our notion of space as distances. That once seemed dauntingly. Vast instantly. Disappear. The. Exhibition, itself unabashedly. Navigates. The cocoon, the. Cacophony of radical, anarchy that the web presents, us showing us the range of new media works which traverse, geographies. Of time distance. And, materialized. Work that was made for a computer, and making. Transparent. The relationship. Between the, analog, and the digital. Many. Of the works permit, viewers, a hand on playful. Interactive. Enticing. Engagement, with the work so. Petra court rights system, landscapes, and pixel paintings, reverses. The traditional, indexical. Relationship. Between reality. And image. Jacobi's. South awaits, 3d. Animations. Which, emerge from drawings made by his mother while suffering from mental illness. And. The. Paintings, of Celia Hampton, whose fragmentary. Flash works and you're only so long as she can hold a conversation in, a, chat room. All. Together. With. Thomas. And Craig heads. Strange, I don't know if you know this work it's really quite, amazing Thomas, and Craig had strange, karaoke, love songs none of which could exist without, the Internet and challenge our acceptance, of the status stasis, of art and the, authorial voice of the museum, which is what, we are of course all familiar with they. Also engaged, the viewer to consider, the relationship, between the virtual and the physical and, the relationship. Between old, and new media, and I'll tell you this was a very, interactive, exhibition. The downstairs, was. Full, of young people, it was, absolutely. Jam-packed all the time and it. Felt like walking into the the. Apple store not, not walking into a museum. So. Are, people familiar with the good. Morning mr. Orwell. So. Some of us are some. Of us might remember seeing it so. Yeah. Do you wanna. So. This, is the first time this is January. 1st 1984. Nam June Paik, creation. And it's, the first time that we had this kind of live. Satellite. Transmission, that connected, up so many different. People and locations. And was, available and was seen apparently, by 25 million people and. It's. Just to. Think that this was 1984. It's just absolutely, stunning, and of course, Pyke and all the artists, who worked on this and there were some, of the artists from the most, remote regions of, the avant-garde I know Allen Ginsberg, even has a piece on there. We're. Trying. To. Rebut. The. Proposition, in George, Orwell's book and, were, specifically. Telling. Encouraging. Us to look beyond 1984. And not to be afraid of, Big, Brother. I'm. Told that I have about, five minutes left, so. I'm going to. Quickly. Flash, through some of these. Gonna. So. I'm just gonna stop at John Latham's full stop which. John, Latham is a British, artist he. Died in 2010. And this is his work full stop 1961. Which, is a, single. Shot of, a spray gun on, a. Blank, canvas, and. At. Some point in the 1960s. We entered a new moment in heart history, the, artist John Latham, who used a spray gun to spray a black dot on a white canvas which, he called his one-second, paintings. Declared. That with Rauschenberg's. White canvases. The. Artist deconstruction. Of space, was, complete. Time. Would now become, the new medium. For the artist.
No. Longer confined to linear notions, traditional, understanding. Of history becomes, completely. Upended. Time. Simultaneous. History. Tele-audiology. The notion of progress our hag alien, understanding. Of history that has driven so much of what, art historians, have done gone. Finished say goodbye to it. I'm. Gonna skip a lot of these works which are the newer, pieces, surveillance. Is another big issue Gary. T marks which is a very. Important, surveillance, theorist, talks about what the maximum security society. Is he has six. Statements. About it it's a dossier, society, in which computerized. Records play, a major role an. Actuarial. Society, in which decisions, are, increasingly. Made on the basis of predictions, about future behavior, as, a result of membership, in and comparisons. To aggregate, categories. Ie. Big data a. Suspicious. Society, in which everyone, is suspected, and you. Know that the most amazing, thing about walking, through that barrier, when you're travelling. Now which, we all do quite a lot as soon as you go through that machine. You. You, never know if you're gonna get stopped it doesn't really matter what color you are what religion, you are what. You look like you. Inside. Of yourself, you're. Afraid am I gonna get stopped is someone gonna pull me aside and. And. It's, totally random so everyone. Is a suspect an engineered. Society, in which choices, are increasingly, limited and determined, by the physical and social environment a. Transparent. Society, in which the boundaries of time distance, darkness, and physical barriers that traditionally, protected. Information are, weakened, and a, self monitored society, in which auto surveillance, plays, a prominent role and we have been talking about all. The forms of auto surveillance, that we engage in these. Are some of the issues of course that come. Out of that. This. Is a artist. Artist group Zak black the blast who you probably know, of who uses a lot of, strategies. To, to. Infect, and intervene. In, marketplaces. And and. Transactions. Of capitalism. And get us to think about it so. I'll just close, by noting. Some of the issues, that we have we. Have curatorial, issues, we have practice knowledge issues, we've been talking about them over the last few days we. Have issues of conservation. And we, have ethical issues that we have to face - as some, as. Curators. And as workers. As. Part of the museum. Art. Industry. I'm. Just going to close by reading, something that, people, Peter vile wrote he. Has a very, important, exhibition, going on right now called, open. Coats and. The. Main. Theorem. Of open, coats is the, world is a field of data and. He. Asks, us to look at all the different ways in which that is the entire, world, is a field, of data today and he, says for, for. Museums, and, for. Art spaces and projects bases this really, creates a new, problem as. A. Thinking, space as co-working. Space as assembly. As a, new form of congregation. To, exchange and, acquire knowledge and a, new form of collaborating.
Citizens. Educate, other citizens, an, unusual. Interactive. Mode, of engaging with art, introduces. Them to this new strategy of assembly, in, part. The. Exhibition, visitors themselves, Devine. A new, format, of exhibition, as a, preview. Of the future, self-confident. And self-aware. Life. That, is not non. Hegemonic. And. He. Uses that word I think, their. Engine used it yesterday. Which. Is oh. I. Have to use this hang on. This. Is what his, vision for the new, museum of the future is the, museum becomes the location, for civic education where, acquisition, of knowledge is not only worthwhile but also rewarded, for. The actual message of digital. Check digital, technology, digital change is. That, the society of tomorrow, will change, we'll, have to change into, the knowledge society and, we. Shall need culturally. Competent, citizens. In order, to defend democracy in, the future, because. Democracy, needs, thinkers. Thanks.