What do nano materials and aerial technologies, sound waves and global-scale computation, optical engineering and energy networks, microchips and global warming, the H2O molecule and AI training datasets, your domestic routines and global policies have in common? They either exist or operate beyond the visible spectrum, beyond our ability to see them and develop a conversational membrane with them. In order to cope with these phenomena, we need to develop the ability to think larger or smaller than the human scale.
6 March 2023, Kino Šiška, Ljubljana + online
Anna Engelhardt, Mark Cinkevich
Opening: 7 March 2023 at 19:00
7–24 March 2023
Aksioma | Project Space
8 March 2023, 14:00–17:00
ALUO / Tobačna 5
Steffen Köhn, Nestor Siré
19 April 2023, 14:00–17:00
ALUO / Tobačna 5
Opening: 19 April 2023 at 19:00
19 April–12 May 2023
Aksioma | Project Space
Localizing the Internet: Cuban alternative data distribution networks and the social infrastructures that sustain them
20 April 2023 at 18:00
Opening: 20 April 2023 at 19:00
20–28 April 2023
How does scale affect our ability to deal with complexity, see the world and understand it in a way that would preserve our agency in it? How can we deal with realities that either exceed or fall beneath our ability to see and interface with them?
The 14th edition of Tactics&Practice, the discursive cultural programme launched in Ljubljana in 2010 and focused on contemporary investigative art, society and new technologies, brings together artists, theorists and researchers in an ongoing exploration of the concept of scale, from nano to global and beyond.
The programme consists of an articulated series of artistic, discursive and educational activities that will take place in Ljubljana between March and May 2023. The opening conference Shifting Scales: Visions, Politics and Infrastructural Violence in a More-Than-Human Planet will take place at Kino Šiška and be made remotely accessible via online streaming. This event will be followed by four clusters of activities, each of which will focus on the work of one artist and will include an exhibition, an artist talk and a workshop.
What do nano materials and aerial technologies, sound waves and global-scale computation, optical engineering and energy networks, microchips and global warming, the H2O molecule and AI training datasets, your domestic routines and global policies have in common? They either exist or operate beyond the visible spectrum, beyond our ability to see them and develop a conversational membrane with them. As media, literary and environmental scholar Zachary Horton suggests in Cosmic Zoom (2021), to cope with these phenomena, we must develop the ability to think larger or smaller than the human scale; finding ways to access non-human scales – like Alice in Wonderland – is not enough, we must also learn how to think from within them, “how to incorporate a multiscalar form of thought without homogenising detail and difference”.
The opening conference approaches these issues through a keynote by academic, editor and writer Anthony Downey, moderated by writer and publicist Mojca Kumerdej, a keynote by materials science and nanotechnology scholar Laura Tripaldi, followed by a conversation between the author and new media artist Špela Petrič, a storytelling performance by speculative architect and filmmaker Liam Young, and a series of previews of artistic projects focused on the politics of vision, from the micro to the macro scale, presented by their authors Anna Engelhardt, Mark Cinkevich, Solveig Qu Suess, Nadim Choufi and Yu Hsin Su, and moderated by curator, educator and researcher Bani Brusadin.
Tripaldi discusses the modern pregnancy test as an example of a device that exploits the intelligence and agency of nanomaterials to open a technological interface between the interiority of the biological body and the political dimension of the gendered body. Downey questions the common idea of artificial intelligence as an objective “view from nowhere” and presents it as a contemporary regime of Western power that perpetuates historical and technological forms of colonial violence, while Liam Young addresses climate change as an ideological problem that could be challenged through an active effort to decolonise the atmosphere and by building new infrastructural imaginaries.
Node #1 features artists Anna Engelhardt and Mark Cinkevich who will present their new single-channel video installation Onset in a solo exhibition and a workshop both investigating the correlation between existing energy networks and military infrastructures, with a focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Articulated in an exhibition, an artist talk and a workshop, Node #2 shifts the spotlight onto the multidisciplinary practice of architect and designer Farzin Lotfi-Jam, who investigates how our most personal thinking habits and domestic routines are increasingly yet invisibly shaped by global infrastructures and international regulations.
With a similar articulation, Node #3 introduces the collaborative artistic research of Nestor Siré and Steffen Köhn, who combine ethnographic research, science fiction and “recombinatory” forms of cinema, exploring the role of piracy in establishing informal networks and human infrastructures of data exchange and distribution.
Finally, Node #4 focuses on Chilean artist Nicole L’Huillier’s investigation of sound, vibrations, resonances and the poetics of sonic unintelligibility, and her interest in the performativity of every material reality by presenting her latest interactive installation La Orejona Records and introducing audiences to the politics of receiving and transmitting as a way of belonging.
This edition of Tactics&Practice is realised in partnership with various public and private cultural institutions and venues in Ljubljana and is a follow-up programme to transmediale 2023, conceived independently by the Aksioma team with curatorial advice from Nora O Murchú, artistic director of transmediale.
The conference and all the workshops are produced under konS ≡ Platform for Contemporary Investigative Art – a project chosen on the public call for the selection of the operations “Network of Investigative Art and Culture Centres”, co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union – and form part of the event konSequences – Fragments of a Possible Ecosystem.