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The Utopia of Access: GradCAM@Research Pavilion 2017, Venice Biennale


September 29 (Friday) 9:00 pm - October 1 (Sunday) 5:00 pm


Pavilion 2017, Venice Biennale


Event Information

Following a successful and well-received pilot edition in 2015, the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) is again realizing a Research Pavilion within the context of the Venice Biennale. The project is implemented in co-operation with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Arts Universities’ collaboration Konstex. This new edition will last five months (from early May to mid-October) and will be undertaken as a Nordic collaboration together with institutional partners outside Scandinavia, this year including the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts. The second Research Pavilion is an official collateral event at the Venice Biennale and GradCAM will be host for two days of the discursive programme end of September beginning of October 2017.

Theme: The Utopia of Access

The program of the Research Pavilion will focus on accessibility, a theme that has become essential in the fields of art, politics, and research. What are the consequences of “Open Access” for research in the artistic field? How accessible will artistic research itself remain? How can we assure that the current access-thinking has a constructive future and does not result in the decline of human imagination and its radical potential?

Under the title The Utopia of Access, the Research Pavilion wants to give room to a variety of artistic interpretations and viewpoints involving access-oriented thought, in particular by connecting it with aesthetic, scientific and political perspectives. Therefore, the pavilion organizes a series of experimental exhibitions organized by different partners (May-June: a Nordic project; July-August: a project by the Zurich University of the Arts; September-October: a project by the Vienna Art Academy). In Parallel  at the Research Pavilion there is discursive program which GradCAM will participate in: GradCAM is the host at the research Pavilion from the 29th of September to the 1st Oct 2017.

GradCAM@Research Pavilion.

The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM) at the Dublin Institute of Technology propose a 2-day program of seminars, panel discussions, interventions and performances in line with the overall thematic of The Utopia of Access. The focus of the program will be twofold, firstly, to revisit questions of digital aesthetics in the wake of the development of computational analytics and cognitive computing and secondly, to raise questions of new political economy through the development of new forms of economy, namely, the contributive economy.

The Digital Aesthetic in Utopia of Access will be a series of interventions and performed research which promote forms of art and art works exploring the post-digital aesthetics within an era of open data and open access. These will include questioning the nature of the self and shadow self i.e. the data subject and the issues that these raise.

The Contributive Economy in Utopia of Access will be a specific seminar focusing on the new political economy, this seminar will be part of the Digital Studies Network Seminar hosted by GradCAM, Dublin and IRI at the Centre Pompidou Paris. The event in Venice will be part of the overall Seminar Program for 2017. The speakers will include Prof. Bernard Stiegler one of the leading philosophers developing a critical understanding of the digital and political economy.

The Digital Aesthetic in Utopia of Access will be led by GradCAM’s researchers seminar groups, in particular The Enquiry and The Aesthetics Group. Both these groups have extensive experience in organising events and exhibitions. The Enquiry held a one day event in the Irish Museum of Modern Art in July 2016 which comprised of a text based interactive installation and a series of screenings, live performances and presentations. The work of Jean-François Lyotard was central to the event which pivoted around his mobilisation of ‘immateriality’ which informs our consideration of the digital.

The Enquiry is comprised active researchers and professional curators. Members of the group are currently working on a project premised on the International Biennale model which is based on scattering rather than concentration, for instance The Italian Pavilion could be a burnt out Fiat in Albania and the Irish Pavilion an Irish Bar in Queens New York. Artists and curators have ‘open access’ to participate and a central concern of the project is the notion of ‘assuming’ permission. An artist or curator may assume to represent a nation of their choosing in a manner of their own determination. This project would be realised both digitally and materially in Venice as a formal extension of the ‘Post-internet’ Art conversation.

The Aesthetics Group are concerned with performative pedagogy. The group collaboratively write texts around which they then enact performances. This has included ‘A Unique Press Conference’ for their text ‘Turn, turn, turn: Civic Instrumentalisation and the Promotion of Autonomy in Contemporary Arts Funding’ at the European Society for Aesthetics Conference in Dublin, 2015. The conference was organised and hosted by GradCAM. The Aesthetics Group also performed ‘A Re-turn to Schiller: Dublin v Barcelona’ a live link between Dublin and The European Society for Aesthetics conference in Barcelona 2016. This performance was based around Schiller’s mobilisation of ‘play’. The group are currently researching the aesthetics of the digital. All members of the group are also members of The Digital Studies Network Seminar.

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