This lecture focuses on the practices of artists who exceed common frameworks of representation: by mixing art and technology, both of them create works in essentially new formats and mediums.
In 2012, in the sky over Venice, on its embankments and piazzas, fascinating birds could be seen—pigeons, painted in magical colors. That was German artist Julius von Bismarck’s (b. 1983) project accompanying the 13th Architectural Biennale. The pigeons, trapped in a special device, were instantly airbrushed and released straight afterwards (all technologies and paints used by the artist were natural and ecologically safe). Following Venice, the project traveled to Copenhagen and Berlin. In 2007, von Bismarck won the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica for his device Image Fulgurator—a modified camera with a flash turned inwards, allowing it to project any, e.g. random or prankster, images onto other surfaces and objects. The artist himself, for example, made a projection of a cross onto the speaker pulpit of Barak Obama, or that of an eagle featured in the German flag on the image of a German policeman captured during the annual May Day demonstrations. Identifying himself as a media artist, von Bismarck is closely linked with youth subcultures, who tend to critique “big” politics and “high” art. He lives and works in Berlin.
Carsten Nicolai (b. 1965) is a contemporary German composer, producer, performer, sound and installation artist. He performs under various stage names in a number of artistic collaborations (Alva Noto, Diamond Version, Signal, and Cyclo), all of which concentrate on electronic music and its close relation to visual arts, light, space and architecture. In 2010 Alva Noto traveled to St Petersburg, Russia, to perform at the annual Electro-Mechanics festival, while a year later, he played at Moscow’s ARMA 17. He staged the opening performance at the notable millennial exhibition at SFMOMA, dedicated to innovative digital technologies influencing contemporary art, design and architecture (010101: Art in Technological Times, 2001). The three-hour DJ set he recorded back to back with another musician, Scanner, was then edited into a twenty-six-minute limited edition CD entitled Uniform. Carsten Nicolai is one of the most sought after music producers of our times, having performed at such key venues as Sónar (Barcelona), Mutek (Tokyo), Club2Club (Turin) among many others. He has over fifty international personal shows to his name.