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The Promise of Total Automation


Curator's tour with Anne Faucheret
Kunsthalle Wien
11th March - 29th May 2016

Today, humans aren’t the only ones linked to the global network: machines and things communicate with each other and with their environment without any human agent. Disposing of this autonomous quality, technical devices and things, as well as ritual artefacts, begin to lead a life of their own and challenge the common separation between subject and object.

Have technical devices, originally designed to satisfy our desires, enslaved us already, or will they enslave us in the future? Or rather, do they open new ways of thinking, acting and creating?

The “promise of total automation” was the battle cry of Fordism. What we nowadays call “technology” is an already co-opted version of it, being instrumentalised for production, communication, control and body-enhancements, that is for a colonisation and rationalisation of space, time and minds. Still technology cannot be reduced to it. In the exhibition, automation, improvisation and sense of wonder are not opposed but sustain each other. The artistic positions consider technology as complex as it is, animated at the same time by rational and irrational dynamics. Ritual artefacts, production machines, technical objects, images and artworks populate the space, coming from the archaeology of the digital age as well as from utopias of a technological future, to challenge a political ecology of things.

Artists: Athanasios Argianas, Zbyněk Baladrán, Thomas Bayrle, James Benning, Bureau d’études, Steven Claydon, Tyler Coburn, Philippe Decrauzat & Alan Licht, Harry Dodge, Juan Downey, Cécile B. Evans, Judith Fegerl, Melanie Gilligan, Peter Halley, Channa Horwitz, Geumhyung Jeong, David Jourdan, Barbara Kapusta, Konrad Klapheck, Běla Kolářová, Nick Laessing, Mark Leckey, Tobias Madison & Emanuel Rossetti, Benoît Maire, Mark Manders, Daria Martin, Shawn Maximo, Régis Mayot, Wesley Meuris, Gerald Nestler, Henrik Olesen, Julien Prévieux, Magali Reus

Curator: Anne Faucheret
24.03.2017