Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems

Jonas Lund
Jonas Lund
Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems

15 May – 7 June 2019

Opening and artist talk
WED, 15 May 2019 at 7 pm

Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana

The exhibition Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems by Swedish artist Jonas Lund consists of a series of works exploring opaque algorithmic ranking systems and the increasing loss of agency online. The main body of the work consists of personalised signs, each presenting and ranking different aspects of Lund’s activity and emotional status, from happiness to productivity. Each ranking is the result of a different algorithm, written and composed by Lund, in order to make visible the aspects of his performance as an artist that typically remain unknown, how much trust his works inspire and how that, in turn, affects his happiness. By juxtaposing his own personal happiness in relation to opaque and large scale systems, Lund aims to explore the consequences and limits of algorithms and the rule book of avoiding responsibility as the current defaults for automatic decision-making and influencing processes.

Society has come to recognise that the current solutions presented by Silicon Valley startups often create more problems than solutions. From Airbnb and Uber to Google, Amazon and Facebook, etc., what is typically presented as a ground-breaking world-altering technological innovation quickly erodes political and social institutions with one main goal in mind: to maximise profits for shareholders. At the centre of this ideology lies the belief that all aspects of human behaviour can and should be measured. Thus, vast datasets of signals, preferences and parameters have become the foundation for data-driven algorithmic decision-making processes – how can we squeeze another 0.5% profit out of this transaction, how can we maximize the return on our investment in any given scenario, regardless of whom it affects, as long as it pleases the shareholders. The algorithm has become the ruler, the solution, the seemingly unbiased decision maker that functions as the justification for any arbitrary profit-driven decision. 

How do you counter a “solution” with a problem and think of alternative narratives to relentless technological innovations? In Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems Lund will present a new work in which he is exploring, subverting, satrising and portraying the current infrastructure of the internet and the different aspects of this problematic binary.For the last decade, Swedish artist Jonas Lund has been developing a consistent body of work, focused on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control. If there is a system to analyse, pick apart and reverse engineer, Lund will tackle it. A unique artist whose works are equally relevant in the gallery space as well as online through the development of net specific projects and websites, Jonas Lund attempts to portray the increasing algorithmisation of our daily life, from our daily web experience to economics, from art making to the art market.


In the talk Modern Solutions Require Modern Problems, Lund will explore his artistic practice and body of work through the vantage point of the “solution vs problem” binary division. Very often the technological solutions offered by the Silicon Valley elite quickly turn into societal problems. Conversely, the works that Lund produces can act as problems to the presented solutions. The artist talk will explore Lund’s body of work in relation to this dichotomy and present an alternative narrative to the current dogma.

Part of the ALUO uho events organized by The Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana


Jonas Lund (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Jonas Lund (1984, Sweden) creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites and performances that critically reflect on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control. His artistic practice involves creating systems and setting up parameters that oftentimes require engagement from the viewer. This results in game-like artworks where tasks are executed according to algorithms or a set of rules. Through his works, Lund investigates the latest issues generated by the increasing digitalisation of contemporary society like authorship, participation and authority. At the same time, he questions the mechanisms of the art world; he challenges the production process, authoritative power and art market practices.Lund earned an MA at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (2013) and a BFA at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (2009). He has had solo exhibitions at the Photographers’ Gallery, London (2019), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2016), Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2016, 2015, 2014), Växjö Konsthall Sweden (2016), Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam (2014), Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (2013), New Museum, New York (2012), and has participated in numerous group exhibitions including ones at Carrol/Fletcher, London; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, ZKM, Karlsruhe; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Witte De With, Rotterdam; De Hallen, Haarlem; and the Moving Museum, Istanbul. His work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, Kunstforum, the New Yorker, the Guardian, Metropolis M, Artslant, Rhizome, Huffington Post, Furtherfield, Wired and more.


Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2019

The Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana

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

Aksioma’s programme is additionally supported by the Ministry of Public Administration as part of the public call for co-financing projects for the development and professionalisation of NGOs and volunteerism as well as by JSKD

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