Vilém Flusser Residency for Artistic Research 2014: Rosemary Lee

Rosemary Lee, Molten Media
Rosemary Lee, Molten Media

For the Vilém Flusser Residency Programme for Artistic Research 2014, jury members Kristoffer Gansing, Annie Goh, and Daniel Irrgang have selected the new resident Rosemary Lee and her project Molten Media.

The project Molten Media by Rosemary Lee connects various discourses in art, technology, and critical theory through a hands-on gesture of explorative experimentation. Molten Media examines the temporality and materiality of technological artifacts by transforming them into inert fossilized forms of media. The rate at which technology develops sees our mobile devices and other common technological gadgets turn from value to junk in ever shorter cycles. This oscillates with the rapid spreading of disposable culture into the field of electronic consumer goods: once a new generation of technology emerges, the previous becomes obsolete nearly instantly – with tremendous impact on environmental and social conditions in a globalized world. Molten Media connects to this global problem by giving apparently obsolete technological artifacts a second-life, perhaps to be considered a state of agony, by transforming them into fossil “post-artifacts”.

This experimental, laboratory-like approach towards the technological object allows an ontological perspective that examines the material structure of the artifact and its individual lifespan. It expands upon Vilém Flusser‘s phenomenological approach towards the object to an experimentation towards the material; and at the same time enlarges his discussion of objects becoming artifacts through processes of “informing” by suggesting another – fossil – state of existence. By combining artistic research with ontological questions of the object, the project might add a practical perspective to the strongly theoretical discourses of object-oriented philosophy or more generally, speculative realism.

With regards to the inter-discursive potential of Rosemary Lee‘s project, the Vilém Flusser Residency Programme for Artistic Research encourages the development of Molten Media and through it, the artist‘s critical approach towards a complex socio-technological subject.

The residency programme is a cooperation between the Vilém Flusser Archive at the Berlin University of Arts (UdK) and transmediale, festival for art and digital culture Berlin.

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