Today we are witnessing an emerging line of digital platforms for exhibiting and distributing the moving image, which has opened up a new path for independent online curatorial work, events and biennials. When dealing with global subjects we need to explore the proper ways to reach a global audience and take advantage of the Internet’s social, cultural and political potential for distributing artistic content beyond borders and restrictions. Art Republic wishes to encourage this effort and highlight the artists and curators forging this path. KunstTV was launched as a pilot in conjunction with the Screen City Biennial 2019, presented as a hotel channel in collaboration with Clarion Hotel in Stavanger, Norway.
 

During November and December 2020, KunstTV presents works of artists and curators, bringing forwards new ideas around climate action in the irreversible decisions of the time, and how to counteract its structural speed – in strong relation to the current Covid19 situation. 

Curated by Daniela Arriado and Vanina Saracino.

December 2020

Machines of Deceleration 

The online program Machines of Deceleration considers the potential of the screen to become a space to expand different temporalities and to counteract acceleration and speed, the predominant pace of growth and progress in the dominant economic system. The culture of speed has led to a quick depletion of resources and to the deterioration of the world’s ecosystems favor the profit of a few. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 has globally imposed a decelerated rhythm of life, reassessing ideas about the mobility and sustainability of our lives in relation to climate change. It has brought some of us to further question our relationship with the planet’s resources, our role in the deterioration of ecological balances, and finally our place as humans. 

As an expression of the transition between an unsustainable past and an uncertain future, the program conveys reflections about the urgent socio-ecological change that is needed in order to build a more sustainable future. The four video works included shed a light onto multiple ways in which we can reflect upon the fast-paced, production- and extraction-oriented logic, and gaze through alternative worldviews where the planet is understood as a complex organism formed by irreplaceable life forms, elements, forces and relations among them, rather than treated as a supplier of resources.

Daniel Jacoby’s work Nehemías portrays the life of a man who has taken distance from the metropolitan environment of Lima and moved to the small village of Cocachimba in the high jungle of Peru, where he struggles for integration within the local community. What are the consequences of abandoning material comfort? What does it bring to live life at a different speed?  

In Strujanja (“Currents”), Katerina Duda inquires into the life of many plants still inhabiting the abandoned building of the Croatian oil company. Every week, a woman waters them and interacts with them, gradually witnessing their time, movement and transformation. Initially brought into the space as corporate culture’s office decoration, the plants silently reclaim space as growing and interacting ecosystems.

Michelle-Marie Letelier’s Outline for The Bonding poetically explores the practice of salmon farming, stressing the importance of Sámi epistemologies in questioning the anthropocentric worldviews that led to the genetic manipulation of fish. A narrating voice (Ande Somby) is reflecting the merciless condition of animal life, doomed to exploit the biochemical work of other living beings to survive. Is our subsistence necessarily entangled with the annihilation of other living beings? 

Finally, The Institute by Alexander Glandien inquires into the importance of biodiversity for Latin America’s cultural and economic independence, through the animation of a conversation with leading biodiversity expert and transgender activist Brigitte Baptiste, recorded by the artist at the Instituto Humboldt in Bogotà.

The online program expands from Vanina Saracino's homonymous text, originally published in the book Barricading the Ice Sheets. Artists and Climate Action in the Age of Irreversible Decisions, edited by Oliver Ressler (Camera Austria, 2020) and it is connected to the topics developed during Screen City Biennial 2019, Ecologies – Lost, Found and Continued.

Artworks

Daniel Jacoby
Nehemías

HD video, 16’, 2019
A couple of years ago, Christian moved to Cocachimba: a poor village in the high jungle of Peru. Coming from the capital, the stigma of being a city guy hinders his integration with the local peasants. Nevertheless, he’s taken it upon himself to become one of them—it’s what he calls his “game”. Through anecdotes of hallucinations and fights, this newcomer sheds light on the gaps between two contrasting cultures and mentalities that coexist in one country.
Bio:
Daniel Jacoby (1985, Lima, Peru) is a visual artist and filmmaker. His interest in the human condition has led him to eccentric characters, places and stories, which he strives to approach from inventively tangential points of view. With a recurring use of abstraction, the result tends to be a personal and subjective exploration of topics like outsiderness, belonging, loneliness, friendship, desire and spirituality. His films have won awards at IFFR, Videoex, Filmadrid, Curtocircuito and Lima Independiente, and have been screened in festivals such as Sheffield Doc/Fest, Les Rencontres Internationales, EMAF, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Kasseler Dokfest, MIEFF, 25 FPS Zagreb and Jeonju IFF. His work has also been part of exhibitions at EYE Film Institute (Amsterdam), Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona), The Banff Centre (Alberta), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Delfina Foundation (London) and Casino Luxembourg (Luxembourg).

Katerina Duda
Strujanja (Currents)

HD video, 16’, 2019
The plants are the only ones remaining in the vacant business building. In this large and once lavish space, the gardener still maintains the plants, which have become part of its architecture. She sifts through the ones in pots and prepares them for their relocation. Plants such as Dracaena, Ficus, and Philodendron were integral parts of the socialist modernist architecture in the seventies and eighties. Today, they remain strong visual reminders of the socialist state.
In Currents, the movement of plants, the only remaining residents of the building, may be read as a part of a wider context, the change of currents. One paradigm of understanding space is being replaced with another one, the concept of the welfare state, and its undertakings are treated with contempt.
Bio: 
Katerina Duda (b. 1989) is a multimedia artist based in Zagreb/Croatia. She graduated in Animation and New Media at the Academy of Fine Arts, and in Sociology at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In her work, she combines social practice art, actions and interventions in the public space, as well as documentary film and video. In 2015, she attended Restart’s School of Documentary Film and made a short film The Cutting. Currents is her second documentary film.

Michelle-Marie Letelier
Outline for The Bonding

16mm film transferred to HD, 5’2’’, 2017–2019
Outline for The Bonding poetically depicts part of a deep exploration into the practice of salmon farming, the genetic manipulation of fish, and the impact of aquaculture on the local wildlife and on the ecosystems’ balance. It stresses the importance of ancestral knowledge in questioning the anthropocentric worldviews that led to the genetic manipulation of fish. The narrating voice belongs to Sámi artist Ánde Somby, and it is an extract of a conversation with Letelier recorded in Tromsø in 2019.
Bio: 
Michelle-Marie Letelier (Chile, 1977) lives and works in Berlin. Her work orchestrates transformations of natural resources, alongside extensive wide-ranging, interdisciplinary research into the landscapes where their exploitation and speculation take place. Through her work, she places together different epochs, regions and societies, examining political-economic, historical and cultural aspects. Her work has been shown at Gropius-Bau (Berlin), Screen City Biennial 2019 (Stavanger), Bienal Sur 2017 (Buenos Aires), El Museo de Los Sures (New York), Kunsthall 3,14 (Bergen), Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (Santiago), Fondazione Cini (Venice), Museum of Contemporary Art (Santiago), Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda (Santiago), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Santiago) and Kommunale Galerie Charlottenburg (Berlin), among others.

Alexander Glandien
The Institute

HD video, 13’, 2020 
The Institute is an animated documentary about the importance of biodiversity for the cultural identity and the economic independence of Latin America. It shows the connections between the historical research expeditions of Humboldt, Mutis and Caldas in South America with genetic research and contemporary biology in today’s Colombia. The long-awaited peace in the country has not only opened unreachable territories for research, but also sparked a debate about how to deal with the country's biological heritage. The work is based on a conversation with the leading biodiversity expert and transgender activist Brigitte Baptiste, which was recorded at the Instituto Humboldt in Bogota, the world's first institute for biodiversity research.
Bio: 
Alexander Glandien works as an artist and filmmaker in Vienna. During the last years, he attended studio grants in Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain and he has had numerous international exhibitions, most recently at the Thessaloniki Biennale, at the Casino Luxembourg, the State Gallery in Linz, at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. He has taught Experimental Art at the University of Arts Linz and he was guest lecturer at the Facultad de Artes of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota and at Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig.

November 2020

Tuomas A. Laitinen

KunstTV’s inaugural program in 2020 presents a selection of works by Finnish artist Tuomas A. Laitinen. Laitinen works with moving image, sound, light, glass, chemical and microbial processes, as well as algorithms to explore the entanglements of multispecies coexistence. Laitinen composes situations and installations that inquire into the porous interconnectedness of language, body, and matter within morphing ecosystems. In recent years, he has been working around questions of ecology, mythology, the notion of the extended mind, and processes of knowledge production.

KunstTV presents an overview of Laitinen’s artistic research on the octopus’ complex mind and body. It departs from his latest video works Haemocyanin (2019) and Blend 01 (Chromatophores), 2020, and comprises the AR experience Tentacle Tongue (2019), which has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial (SCB) Ecologies – Lost, Found and Continued, and exhibited outdoor, on a large scale billboard placed at Torget (the City Square in Stavanger, Norway) throughout October 2019. Visitors and passersby walking along the square could experience the AR activation of Tentacle Tongue through their phone or tablet, by quickly downloading the app and pointing the device toward the billboard. 

Connected to Laitinen’s video works and AR experience is also the series of mouth-blown glass objects Proposal for an Octopus (2016–ongoing) and the glyph typeface Ctongue, drawn from the research on octopus arm movements. Images of both these works are also presented below.

Laitinen´s works have been recently shown in the 21st Biennale of Sydney, 7th Bucharest Biennale, Screen City Biennale 2019 (Stavanger), SADE LA (Los Angeles), Amado Art Space (Seoul), Moving Image New York, A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam), Art Sonje Center (Seoul), Helsinki Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, and MOCA Shanghai. In 2013, Laitinen received The Fine Arts Academy of Finland Prize.

www.tuomasalaitinen.com

laitinen_vaaka_web

Photo: Ilkka Saastamoinen

Artworks

Screenshot-2021-01-13-at-19.54.47

Haemocyanin

HD Video, 8’2’’, 2019
Since 2016, one strand of Tuomas A. Laitinen’s artistic practice has touched upon the research into cognition and consciousness in other-than-human minds, focussing on octopuses in particular. This endeavour is emerging through different forms: glass objects made for octopuses, multiple video and audio works, and a series of glyphs—made both as a font and with glass—derived from research on octopus arm movements. In Haemocyanin, an octopus is exploring the glass objects, which can be seen as tools to speculate on the possibilities of interspecies communication. In the video, glass is also present in the form of computer-generated objects that simulate the qualities of the material, and further distorting the image plane and consequently moving it to a more hallucinatory state. At the core, it is a work about radical difference and adaptation to environmental changes.
Screenshot-2021-01-13-at-20.01.49

Blend 01 (Chromatophores)

HD Video, 6’2’’, 2020

Octopuses can blend into their environment by the help of chromatophore cells. In Blend 01, a machine learning system is attempting to produce an image sequence based on a database of images that are showing the animals blending into their environment. The video is part of a series of experiments made with a collection of images of Cephalopod camouflage. The mutating textures are mimicking how these animals can morph their bodies in myriad ways.

Tentacle_Tongue_Torget

Photo by Oddbjørn Erland Aarstad

Tentacle Tongue

AR experience, 2019
Tentacle Tongue is part of Tuomas A. Laitinen’s research on more-than-human minds. The conductors of this work are cephalopods, and through this class of species, Laitinen examines questions of biodiversity and radical difference. The work consists of a trigger-image that the viewers can activate with an Augmented Reality (AR) app, on their mobile devices. This act of scanning will unfold as an intimate audiovisual work that dives into imaging technologies and the production of knowledge in the age of hyper-capitalism and climate crises.

Tentacle Tongue has been commissioned by Screen City Biennial and will be premiered during the upcoming edition Ecologies - lost, found and continued.
Tentacle_Tongue_Trigger_AR_web
This trigger works with the app Arilyn (for IOS and Android). Scan the image with Arilyn App.
Get Arilyn (App Store / Google Play)
arilyn_ios_android
Octopus_Glass_2k_web

Photos: Jussi Tiainen 
Courtesy of the artist and Helsinki Contemporary

Proposal For An Octopus (selection)

Mouth-blown glass objects, 2016-ongoing
An ongoing series of glass objects made for Cephalopods.
Ctongue_2k_web

Ctongue

Glyph typeface, glass objects, 2018
A glyph typeface drawn from the research on octopus arm movements.

Wet Code

Myriagon (Tuomas A. Laitinen & Jenni Nurmenniemi)
SCB Journal

Projects

SCB 2019Project type

The Bone VRProject type

Son.ARProject type

SCB 2017Project type

SCB 2015Project type

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Art Republic is a platform dedicated to art and new technology in public and online space. The platform explores the relation between image, sound and architecture – seeking to expand the borders of the cinematic experience. Art Republic curates and commissions moving images, sound art, interactive and immersive site-specific art installations and online screenings.