STADT AM RANDE - Urban Topologies
STADT AM RANDE - Urban Topologies
Curators: Pierre Wolter & Melanie Zagrean
Special guest: Stephen Kovats (Artistic Director of transmediale)
Location: Today Art Museum Beijing
A commission of Goethe Institut Beijing and transmediale in co-operation with the gallery Art Claims Impulse
Julius von Bismarck: Image Fulgurator (2007/08), Torus (2010), Untitled (2010)
Julian Oliver: Artvertiser (2009/10)
Holger Mader, Alexander Stublic, Heike Wiermann: Expanded Spaces (2009/10)
Dave Ball: How to Live (2008)
Michelle Teran: Buscando al Sr. Goodbar (2009)
Maria Vedder: Threshold (2006)
Marc Aschenbrenner: Im Abri/ In the rock shelter (2008)
Martin Howse: Psychogeophysics (2009)
Matthias Fitz: Electromagnetic plot (2008)
Adam Somlai Fischer, Bengt Sjölén, Usman Haque: Panoramic Wifi Camera (2008)
Miles Chalcraft: At the End Road (2008)
Andreas Fischer, Benjamin Maus: Reflection (2009)
Boredom Research: Snail Mail (2008/09)
Tudor Bratu: Conversation Piece (2008)
Niklas Goldbach: Habitat C3B (2008)
The exhibited artworks deal with static and moving, virtual and material topology of an urban site, obvious as well as hidden structures, materialising or 'grounding' virtual networks, and shapes and traces 'invisible' to the naked eye, some of which are the result of current media and communication technology. By way of digital devices, engineering tools and software, but analogue means of creating minor ruptures or alterations in the topological surface, they question, re-interpret, visualise and explore that topology, uncovering some of the complexity of urban environments.
Some of the works, such as The Image Fulgurator and The Artvertiser alter or 'sabotage' the topological surface of the urban space, thus revolting against and challenging cultural, social and political seemingly rigid 'structures'. The works of Mader Stublic Wiermann and Dave Ball explore the physical space by inverting structures, breaking them, playing with perception and thus challenging mind and eye or causing minor ruptures to disturb pre-conceived perspectives on 'how things are or should be'. The platform 'New Berlin' on Second Life translocates this discourse into the virtual world, into a parallel universe resembling the material or physical topology but functioning through different paradigms and parameters and thus expanding allowing for parallelity between reality and utopia.
The works of transmediale.10 award winners Michelle Teran, Maria Vedder, Tudor Bratu, Niklas Goldbach and Marc Aschenbrenner look at human existence and interaction, at networks, boundaries and thresholds, virtual and real, yet frequently invisible in the topological structure of an environment. While Michelle Teran's work attempts to visualise virtual social networks and their content by 'tracking them down' to their physical location, Maria Vedder explores constructed and imagined boundaries of borders and transitional non-spaces, also alluding to the issue of migration, portraying 'undetermined' contours, movement and interaction. Marc Aschenbrenner and Niklas Goldbach's work visualises an extremely altered, almost apocalyptic, urban topology with humanoid forms resembling atomised solitary sculptures or clones.
The visualisation of inevident or invisible structures, and with it the drawing of attention to the increasing complexity of material and immaterial structures that change our society, has been a common artistic practice over several decades. Some of the works, such as those of Adam Somlai Fischer and Bengt Sjölén, Matthias Fitz, Benjamin Maus and Andreas Fischer, portray their percussions of digital media on the physical environment, use complex engineering and software to digitally visualise complex material structures, and 'visualise' yet undetermined or imagined dimensions by using interdiciplinary scientific approaches and subjective reactions to topologies.