press release

Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce This is Presence, on view in Marfa, Texas from September 23, 2016 to February 5, 2017. This exhibition features newly-commissioned work from artist collective the Institute for New Feeling (IfNf), including the video nominated by Ballroom Marfa for the 2016 season of Artists' Film International (AFI). AFI is an international collaboration organized by Whitechapel Gallery, London, that showcases emerging artists working in video and animation. The IfNf project will be complemented by two micro-exhibitions hosted by Arturo Bandini in Ballroom's courtyard. These distinct projects will both respond to the theme of AFI 2016: technology.

Founded by Scott Andrew, Agnes Bolt, and Nina Sarnelle, IfNf describes their collaboration as "a research clinic committed to the development of new ways of feeling, and ways of feeling new." Their multidisciplinary works and installations borrow from the language of corporate branding and new age healing, injecting the mystical and uncanny into commercial interfaces.

The first of IfNf's two commissions is the 17-minute video, This is Presence (2016). The video replicates the endless linking actions of web users as they search for answers on the internet. The artists' marshal search engine logic as a sort of modern oracle system while simulating the marketing mechanisms that optimize online presence. As part of the AFI program, This is Presence will be screened at 14 international partner institutions. Ballroom will, in turn, screen short videos from the artists selected by these partners on-site over the run of the exhibition in Marfa. The artists and partners for AFI 2016 include:

Igor Bošnjak selected by the Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia Fareeha Ghezal selected by the Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA), Kabul, Afghanistan Andrés Denegri selected by Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires, Argentina Eva and Franco Mattes selected by GAMeC (Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea), Bergamo, Italy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA Zeyno Pekünlü selected by Istanbul Modern, Turkey Igor Jesus selected by Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia (MAAT), Lisbon, Portugal Mateusz Sadowski selected by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland Dimitri Venkov selected by the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia Karin Sander selected by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany Mak Ying Tung selected by Para/Site, Hong Kong Rohini Devasher selected by Project 88, Mumbai, India Tor Jørgen van Eijk selected by Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway Rachel Maclean selected by Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK

The Institute will also present a newly commissioned, immersive virtual reality experience, created in collaboration with 3D programmer Gary Tyler, that envisions the surreal future of online shopping. This project will be hosted alongside the IfNf video, objects from the Institute's product line, and the other AFI 2016 international selections.

In the Ballroom Marfa courtyard, Arturo Bandini hosts two shows-within-the-show, Sim City and Grey Goo Gardens. These micro-exhibitions will include work from 16 artists, who will play with and off of the exhibition's technological themes. Sim City features Edgar Bryan, Jason Roberts Dobrin, Michael Dopp, Liz Glynn, Kate Hall, Julian Hoeber, Nevine Mahmoud, and Mungo Thomson; Grey Goo Gardens presents Ed Fornieles, Sonja Gerdes, Joel Holmberg, Dwyer Kilcollin, Channel Von Habsburg-Lothringen, Anna Mayer, Thomas Mcdonell, and Isaac Resnikoff.

Ballroom Marfa's fall programs are organized by Curator Laura Copelin.

This is Presence is made possible by the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston; National Endowment for the Arts; Pace Art + Technology; Texas Commission on the Arts; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees and Ballroom Marfa Members.