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Group show: Sculpture Today: A New Renaissance And Transhumanism (over)

20 September 2012 until 28 October 2012
  Sculpture Today: A New Renaissance And Transhumanism
Maja Smrekar MaSm Metatransformation, 2011
  Center for Contemporary Arts Celje

Center for Contemporary Arts Celje
Trg celjskih knezov 8
3000 Celje
Slovenia (city map)

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Arctic Perspective Initiative (API); Špela Petrič and Robertina Šebjanič; Maja Smrekar; Polona Tratnik with colleagues (Andrej Gregori, Mirjan Švagelj, Ajda Marič, Marin Berovič); Zupančič :: Turšič :: Živadinov

Center for Contemporary Arts Celje, 20.9. – 28.10.2012
Exhibition curators: Tomaž Brejc, Irena Čerčnik, Jiři Kočica, Polona Tratnik

Opening of the exhibition on Thursday, September 20, at 7 p.m. at the Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje.

With the third edition of the Sculpture Today project, we look at the field of sculpture conditionally, and yet: we discuss the very contemporary occurrence of the intertwining of art with science. In the recent decade, practices at the intersection of art and science have consolidated, and contemporary art centres continue to stimulate artists to work in laboratories and collaborate with scientists in transdisciplinary projects. The New Renaissance and Transhumanism project has been conceived experimentally: artists and research groups were given the chance to carry out joint research and present their results, which could take on diverse forms and did not necessarily need to follow the notion of “purified” aesthetic installations. The extent and method of the scientific contribution, as well as the degree of emphasis on the artistic part of each individual project and its presentation, was therefore a question that was left up to the individual groups. We are well aware that by doing so we have opened up a series of topical questions, such as: how do we understand art today and what is its meaning, what constitutes authorship, what constitutes scientific research, how can an artist contribute to a scientific project, etc., which will need to be posed in continuance. There are no easy answers to these questions and one of the purposes of this project is to provide a platform that will allow or even force some of these out into the open. We will have the opportunity to discuss these issues, at least to a limited extent, during the course of the project: artists, scientists and curators, as well as aestheticians. Hence, we have linked the project with a related project in the field of aesthetics, the colloquium of the Slovenian Society for Aesthetics entitled Surplus Art: Art – Science – Philosophy. The symposium will be held on 13 October in the gallery, where the groups will also present their projects.

Zupančič :: Turšič :: Živadinov / 14::VERTICALIZATION::MG. Dragan Živadinov, Miha Turšič and Dunja Zupančič have spent years working on the culturalisation of space, and this is precisely the year in which their efforts have seen significant effect. The Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in Vitanje opened its doors. The aim of the longstanding endeavours of the Živadinov–Turšič–Zupančič artistic threesome in the culturalisation of space is an initiative to promote an understanding of space, not only in terms of militarization and commercialization, but also otherwise: as a place of multiple possibility, including as a place of art and the reflection of various activities within space.

Špela Petrič and Robertina Šebjanič / Towards the Human Spore: Reminiscing Algae (2012). Robertina Šebjanič and Špela Petrič, an artist and a biologist by basic education, suggest a subversive creation of a trans-species of the human and alga, humalga, which would provide humans with better conditions of survival on Earth in circumstances that may be difficult to predict. The project also discusses the biotechnological feasibility and conceptual implications of the new organism, as well as assesses the project within the current ecological anxiety, considers the implicated bioethical issues and envisions future scenarios involving the humalga.

Maja Smrekar / Human Molecular Colonization Capacity (2011 – 2012). Questions on the politics of life and the body are also addressed by Maja Smrekar. The question posed by this project is whether there may be a possibility - considering the consequences of a potential global food deficit and the drastic reduction of the value of material goods - that the human molecular production capacity in DNA, as one of the few uncolonized biotechnological materials, could become a trade tool (based on a system of genetic credit), which could become one of the next stages of evolution.

Polona Tratnik / Nomadology (2012). In 1980 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari defined the concept of the rhizome (non-hierarchy, decentralization, heterogeneity) as the basic model for the existence of contemporary society. The Nomadology project is investigating the life of fungi and is observing the evolution of a rhizome. Its aim is to establish a rhizome on a literal level (as the literalness was actually also requested by Deleuze and Guattari). In such a manner it will establish a living biological system of a philosophical concept.

Arctic Perspective Initiative (API) / ᓯᓄᓂ SINUNI. In 2010 and 2011 API developed and for the first time experimentally deployed a robust open hardware sensor network and communication system SINUNI. The system was developed in conjunction and collaboration with the communities in the North. Traditionally within many Arctic paradigms, there is a history of research conducted in the North, with the community having very little, if any, access to the results of the research conducted on their own land. The SINUNI proposes to allow communities to conduct their own research, and own their own data. Within this framework, the data would be validated, vetted, and ‘owned’ by the community, thereby further empowering the North.

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