Research, Curatorial Practice and Writing
The Invisible Landscapes, Lund
Lund Konsthall, Lund, Sweden
September 8th to 17th, 2006
In the age of worldwide digital communication mobile telephony promises to connect us to new possible fields of action. The mobile phone can be considered a crucial connecting point for various disciplines that cultivate contemporary modes of thinking. To describe the geopolitical and epistemological impact of the mobile phone, I have researched the actual and notional spaces it creates. I call them ‘invisible landscapes’, referring to the wide range of everyday invisibilities triggered by the mobile phone. They are modulations of new realities caused by small individual acts, but they also connect to the ‘mass imaginaries’ of politics, media, technology, and other social organization.
Telecommunications have for the longest time been described as complex, mysterious, or ‘uncanny’. Today’s mobile technologies make it more difficult than ever to achieve a ‘full understanding’, especially if we don’t limit ourselves to one particular field of observation. The overall condition of crisis-ridden visibility that we now experience makes it necessary to (re)consider mobile telephony through contemporary art.
The exhibition project The Invisible Landscapes, Lund (2003-06) presents research, experiments, and references to different instances of transformative socio-technological interaction. It was curated with two main objectives in mind: to further awareness of new technological developments and to actively imagine the visible, the invisible, and the invisible within the visible by analysing their gradual and inter-connected realisation.
The exhibition in Lund combines the physical space of the Konsthall and various media spaces created by portable devices such as iPods, mp3 players, and others. The challenge of this project is to recreate a similar proximity through mobile telephony among its audience. Together with a presentation of the two previous projects, all video works are shown in Video iPods, for example “A Telephone Call”(2006) by Jimmie Durham (USA), “The Uninvited”(2005) by Judith Hopf and Katrin Pesch (Germany), “Hidden Curriculum “ (2006) by Annette Krauss (Germany), “Marching Exercise” (2005) by Hiroharu Mori (Japan), “Superflat Monogram” (2003) by Takashi Murakami (Japan) and “Fasten your Seatbelt” (2004) by Pius Sigit Kuncoro (Indonesia). In other forms of presentation, Peder Alexis Olsson (Sweden) shows SMS poetry (2005) and sound poetry, “Transmitter” (2006) by Jonas Burn (Sweden), “Tokyo Dream” (2006) by Leif Holmstrand (Sweden) and “Almost There” (2006) by Maria T. Alves (USA) are streamed through localized sound speakers. Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann (Germany) present their research-based “Atlas on Monopoly-like Productions” and on “The Coltan Case” (2005), which refers to a mineral component essential in the construction of mobile phones. The group “Rimini Protokoll” (Switzerland/Germany) shows a documentation of their Mobile Theater Project “Call Cutta” (2005), which was a mobile phone guided tour in Berlin navigated from a call center in Calcutta, India.
Displacing such diverse topologies of mobile telephony into a gallery, the exhibition aims at revealing the complexities of communication spaces as well as the limits of synchronicity and perceptual evidence in contemporary lifestyles.
The presentation of the video works on eight iPods aims to bring the aesthetic transformation of our daily space through portable gadgets into exhibition space – four white iPods show new art works for the site of Lund, four black show documentation of the two previous projects (in Malmö and Bangkok).