In 2001, Shu Lea Cheang created Steam the green, Stream the field (Cheang, 2001-02), a work which anticipated a major shift in the discourse and practice of post-media art by 10 years. Shu Lea Cheang insists on calling herself a 'self-styled' artist, emphasising her autonomy to define her activities as art. Her projects highlight the potential of the coming together of social self-organisation with a social and trans-media art practice that combines landscapes and datascapes, the natural and the digital commons.
This text outlines a research strategy and context for the Fields exhibition to take place in Riga in 2014. While not directly about the exhibition, this text explores the notion of Fields as a broadening and deepening of an inquiry began with the exhibition Waves. The notion of the field and its various links into scientific disciplines purports a long term epistemic shift from fixed identities and dualisms to vectors and forces/lines of attraction and repulsion; from a world of fixed entities to one of energies and the exertion of force from a distance.
Dieser Artikel präsentiert in geraffter Form die sogenannte quantitative Revolution des Finanzwesens und dessen Crashs, aber auch dessen Widersprüche und Defizite als System. Anstatt Informationsgesellschaft sollten wir eigentlich Zeitalter des informationstechnisch gestützen Finanzkapitalismus sagen. Die paradigmatischen Leittechnologien - im technopolitischen Sinn - sind die Finanzmärkte und ihre Tools - Formeln, Bildschirme, Netzwerke, Computer. Diese "Revolution" ist begründet auf Finanzmathematik und die Computerisierung und Vernetzung der Börsen; ideologisch vollzog sie sich gleichzeitig mit dem Aufstieg des Neoliberalismus.
No one who suggests to do work under the title Fields should be surprised if it turns out to be fertile. Or maybe even too fertile, where the naming of the one concept, field, generates a multiplicity of connections with other things nearby, fields, whose interconnections can be thought of as pathways, channels, tracks, boundaries, trees-structures, rhizomes, lines of flight, trajectories, networks ...
Information in the terms of information theory is the likelihood of the selection of messages in relation to all possible messages. Thus, if a selection is made from a number of possibilities which are all equally likely or unlikely, the information is high. The mathematical theory of information is linked to the concept of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. This says that the available degree of ordering of matter - and thereby the energy contained in it - is decreasing.
This final piece in the Eleonore series sums up some more theoretic and political thoughts about the relationships between digital art, autonomy and the division of labour. It comes to the conclusion that the least digital artists can do is to use free software, strive for egalitarian types of working relationships and to name all their collaborators as co-creators of work, regardless of the usual social valuations of types of work and the institutional pressure they come under if their work joins the art circuit.
In my last article, I described Eleonore as a conceptual art work, a non-utopian 'social sculpture'. It carries a proposal for the role of artists in society, working out alternative routes for social-artistic-technological development. It does so without the universalistic-totalitarian notions inscribed into previous avant-garde projects. Yet still, it contains 'future' - therefore its' characterisation as non-utopian. It is real and realistic: small, cheap, livable and as far as possible, environmentally friendly. After spending one week here, I try to summarise my insights.