All of Your Base

IOCOSE
IOCOSE
All of Your Base

Exhibition
1 December 2021–14 January 2022

Opening day
WED, 1 December 2021 from 3–9 pm

Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana

Curated by
Claudia D’Alonzo


The artistic practice of IOCOSE collective focuses on the failure of narratives about the future and technological innovation while producing new interpretations of imaginaries, iconographies and rhetorics, sabotaging their original meanings through often surreal poetics. All of Your Base presents the video animations Pointing at a New Planet (2020) and Free from History (2021). The works are the first two chapters of in-progress research on the NewSpace Economy, the movement of extraterrestrial colonization through private investments that is expanding its scope from Silicon Valley to outer space.

In Pointing at a New Planet, a male hand crosses an alien landscape, pointing at an invisible destination. The lone limb is that of Elon Musk, one of the main protagonists of NewSpace. In order to bring it to life, IOCOSE has collected online videos of his public appearances as SpaceX’s CEO, creating a 3D casting and reconstructing the proxemics used by the entrepreneur to push our imagination towards unknown planets through pointing with his forefinger. This gesture has long been investigated by the collective for its multiple symbologies: within the iconographic tradition it is used to indicate knowledge, scientific progress or the future, but also as an image of command, deception and illusion. The journey of the hand is accompanied by a karaoke that mixes some of Musk’s most sensationalist statements with the voice of Albertine Sarges, author and performer of the melody.

In the sequel Free from History, the hand arrives on Mars and begins a process of adapting the planet to human life. Albertine Sarges once again gives voice to the mashup of texts taken from websites and statements of investment funds urging the expansion of markets beyond Earth’s borders. Through the double click on the landscape that the mouse pointer typically performs in terraforming video games, the hand makes trees, buildings and rollercoasters appear out of nowhere, as well as marvels of science and new forms of interplanetary entertainment. Among the constructions generated by the creating hand is a complex of geodesic domes, a form that IOCOSE also physically presents in the exhibition space through its installation. The geodesic dome was made famous in the 1950s by Richard Buckminster Fuller who used it as a structure to symbolize a sense of confidence in progress, technology and the future. Its use spread rapidly in diverse sectors, initially in institutionalized science and the military to then gradually enter mass culture. In the 1960s, thanks in part to the growth of the myth of Fuller, for many a visionary and innovative guru, the geodesic dome was appropriated by counter-cultural circles: its model was used for the self-built constructions of hippie communes, such as Drop City, the radical architecture of Archigram or Cedric Price, and the ephemeral structures hosting happenings and Expanded Cinema, the first expressions of multimedia art. Like the videodomes by Stan VanDerBeek, a visionary media art pioneer who in the late ‘60s saw in the geodesic dome the representation of “Cultural intercom”, a model of knowledge of the future based on a global network of interconnected links and nodes. The exhibition All of Your Base evokes some of the cultural references used by the NewSpace Economy gurus that hybridize individualism, libertarianism, neoliberal economics, counterculture and utopianism. IOCOSE brings out how their narratives about the future actually tell us very ancient stories, rooted in western collective imaginaries. The figure of the male genius, able by himself to create worlds from nothing and conquer new wild territories, now pushes – by his own hand – the progress of humanity beyond the borders of the Earth.

 

ARTIST TALK

IOCOSE
Lip-synched Stardust

1 December 2021 at 5 PM
The Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana
Video and New Media studies, atelje 3, ground floor
Tobačna ulica 5, Ljubljana
https://goo.gl/maps/LzJeRLfo535zsYyr7

❗ Due to current COVID regulations, this event is only open to ALUO students. Documentation will be available to all on our dissemination channels, on a date and format to be defined.

In this talk the artist group IOCOSE will discuss their most recent production around the NewSpace movement, composed of the video installations Pointing at a New Planet (2020) and Free from History (2021), and the image series The Fortune Teller (2020). The NewSpace movement produces immense economic, technological and discursive investments towards the private colonization of extra-terrestrial planets. The most involved and visible actors are Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), but there is an ever-growing number of related investment funds, technology consultants and start-ups, based for the most part in Silicon Valley. The movement opens up numerous questions related to the privatization of extra-terrestrial space and on the conditions of possibility of imaginaries linked to the future of humankind. NewSpace, as a concept, appears as a technological solution for a limited few, unlikely to be implemented within our life span, but capable of moving enormous capital in the very short term. IOCOSE explores the utopian promises surrounding the NewSpace movement and their inevitable failure, and asks what could be done with the traces left on our planet of this adventurous project.

THE AUTHORS

IOCOSE are a collective of four artists: Matteo Cremonesi (Brescia, IT), Filippo Cuttica (London, UK), Davide Prati (Berlin, DE) and Paolo Ruffino (London, UK). They have been working as a group since 2006. IOCOSE investigates how the narratives surrounding the future of technology leave traces on the present. They work mostly with video installations and digital images and have been exhibiting internationally at several art institutions and festivals, including MAMbo (Bologna, 2018), OGR Torino (2018, 2021), Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland, 2017), The Photographers’ Gallery (London, 2016, 2018), Tate Modern (London, 2011), Science Gallery (Dublin, 2012), Jeu de Paume (Paris, 2011), FACT (Liverpool, 2012), MACRO (Rome, 2012, 2017) and Transmediale (Berlin, 2013, 2015). Their work is featured in publications such as Wired magazine, The Creators Project, Flash Art, Liberation, Der Spiegel, El Pais, Adbusters, Neural and Vanity Fair, and on television channels RAI and France4.

THE CURATOR

Virginia Sommadossi

Claudia D’Alonzo is an independent researcher and curator, holds a PhD in Audiovisual Studies and is a professor at the Accademia di Brera, Accademia G. Carrara in Bergamo and a Master of the Modena Photography Foundation. She is the curator of the INBTWN review for Centrale Fies. She has curated projects with Cimatics, Careof, Digicult, ICA Milan and Subtle Technologies Festival. She has written for Alfabeta2, Digicult, double zero, Exibart and Motherboard. Her essays are featured in editions of Mimesis International and Amsterdam University Press.

BROCHURE

CREDITS

Authors: IOCOSE
Curated by: Claudia D’Alonzo

Production of the exhibition:
Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2021

The film Free from History (2021) was commissioned by Aksioma Institute.
Music: Albertine Sarges

The talk is organised in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Ljubljana. 

Supported by:
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana

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