June 25, 2018

Natalie Bookchin: The Digital Mass Ornament

University of Amsterdam

Natalie Bookchin, Now he's out in public and everyone can see. Installation (2012) / film (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

June 28, 7–9pm: Artist talk and film screening
Location: LIMA/Lab111, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam

June 29, 3–6pm: Roundtable/workshop: Found Collectivities in Contemporary Art and Culture
Location: Belle van Zuylenzaal, University Library, Singel 425, Amsterdam

On June 28, internationally acclaimed American artist Natalie Bookchin will give a talk about her work followed by a screening of her latest film Now he’s out in public and everyone can see.

Bookchin interrogates the seemingly trivial surface phenomena of contemporary digital culture in order to reveal the social realities that lie beneath. Her work addresses how the digital has transformed notions of publicness, identity, mass, community, and self, and reflects on what counts as political speech in the age of social media. Documenting a history of the present, Bookchin's video montages rearrange found video material from platforms such as YouTube to reveal a complex dialectics between isolated frames of digital representation and regulated patterns of generalized bodies (mass ornaments); between the intimate and singular and the public and collective; and between standardization of expression and a common voice.

Now he’s out in public and everyone can see (2017) constructs an account of an unnamed man whose racial identity is repeatedly redrawn and contested by masses of impassioned vloggers. This deeply political film explores a social landscape where cascades of disinformation, rumours, and insinuations spread wildly across electronic networks, aggravated by racist mobs and algorithms that favor scandals, conflicts, and conspiracy theories.

On June 28, Bookchin will speak about her work and screen her film.

On June 29, there will be a roundtable discussion and workshop to engage with Bookchin’s work and the larger themes it addresses.

Participants include:

Natalie Bookchin Artist and filmmaker whose critically acclaimed films and installations have shown around the world at museums, galleries, theaters, and festivals, including at MoMA, PS1, Mass MOCA, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney, the Tate, and Creative Time. Her most recent recent solo exhibition was at La Virreina Center for the Image in Barcelona. She is professor of Media and Graduate Director in the Department of Art and Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Karen Archey Curator of Contemporary Art for Time-Based Media at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. She is the former editor of e-flux Conversations.

Zachary Formwalt Artist and filmmaker based in Amsterdam. Recent solo projects have been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade and Stedelijk Museum. In 2013, his film, Unsupported Transit, received a Tiger Award for Short Films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Johan F. Hartle Acting director, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG), where he teaches political aesthetics. Recent publications include Aesthetic Marx (2017) and The Spell of Capital (2017), co-edited with Samir Gandesha.

Daniel de Zeeuw PhD-candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, co-editor of Krisis: Journal for contemporary philosophy, and affiliated researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures.

The discussion will focus on:
–the collective contestation of identity online
–individual, mass, and collectivity in the digital age
–mediatization and representation of self and social collectives
–the aesthetics of Post-Fordist labor conditions
–fractured masses and the semblance of unity

The events will be in English.
Admission is free.

Organised with the support of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA) and LIMA media art platform

Please register for the workshop beforehand by sending an email to Noortje de Leij N.F.deLeij [​at​]

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