press release

Art In The Age Of…
Throughout 2015

Witte de With kicks off its 25th anniversary with Art In The Age Of…, a three-part presentation series that investigates future vectors of art production in the 21st century, highlighting the circulation of art and its underlying economies rather than its territorial location, its spread and infectious expanse rather than its arrest within narrowly defined genealogies and media. These presentations focus on the role of raw materials, destruction, and computation within art’s creation and its dispersal. With the core question: how does the creation of art relate to the flow of energy, or to algorithms; which infrastructures is or will it be parasiting in the 21st century?

Art In The Age Of… Energy and Raw Material
23 January – 3 May 2015
Opening: January 22, 5-8 pm

The first framework focuses on Energy and Raw Material, and how these phenomena shape, or are narrated by, contemporary artistic practices. Since early times art objects have floated on currents of exchange; drifted with the motion and transformation of raw materials like wheat, minerals, and cotton. How does contemporary art relate to geothermal energy? To oil, gas, or even alternative sources such as the sun? Or could it even fly on rays of cosmic energy? The installation Strobank by artist duo MAP Office examines wheat, its distribution and symbolic capital, alongside a history of the stock market’s trading pit. Nina Canell meditates upon the the loss of information and energy that occurs during processes of transference in her sculptural constellation of stumps and cross-sections of telecommunication and power cables, each becoming sentences cut-off mid-flow or instances of material forgetfulness. In Children of Unquiet, Mikhail Karikis interweaves sound recordings of geothermal activity and industry in Larderello, Italy, with a cinematic and cultural history of Dante’s Inferno, whose vision of hell was inspired by that very location. Anton Vidokle’s This is Cosmos turns its eyes to the stars and charts the Cosmism movement in Russia and its disavowal of death through cosmic energy, positing the medium of film itself as an irradiation treatment. Through image and archive, Celine Condorelli addresses the relationship between Egypt’s cotton industry and its nationalization after Nasser’s revolution. Zircon, a 4,400-million-year-old mineral is excavated, dematerialized and reanimated in Nicholas Mangan’s A World Undone, whilst material is mapped to stock market fluctuations in Talk About the Weather. In Marlie Mul’s sculptural series Puddles, messy dark matter glistens and seeps, contaminated by human interaction.

Alongside artist presentations, a dedicated research blog has been founded. This blog will track the development of Art in the Age of… Exhibitions for 2015 and acts as a visual reader accompanying artists work: Art In The Age Of… continues throughout 2015 with frameworks dedicated to Planetary Computation and Asymmetrical Warfare, opening May 21 and September 11 respectively.

With: Celine Condorelli, Nina Canell, Mikhail Karikis, Nicholas Mangan, MAP Office, Marlie Mul and Anton Vidokle.