TRACE: Wayfinding in Contemporary New Media Art features artists who draw inspiration from different forms of situational awareness, transforming them into complex new platforms for reflection and discourse.
Addressing the general audience with an interest in contemporary art, the exhibition will tour various international venues over the course of three years, arriving at Pro Arts in July 2018. Though each iteration, the exhibition will be redeveloped as an autonomous and unique project with different selections and configurations of the pooled artworks which inform each other’s content within the particular venue. Each exhibition iteration will feature an educational program with round tables, lectures and workshops, which will be documented and publicly available.
Participating artists: BADFAITH, Yin-Ju Chen + James T. Hong, Dejan Grba, Jonathan Harris + Greg Hoghmuth, Ron Hutt, Nicolas Maigret, Kelly Mark, Seth Myers + Sarah Stolar, Julian Palacz, Alexander Schellow and Syntfarm (Vladimir Todorović & Andreas Schlegel).
TRACE is curated by Dejan Grba (Serbia), Anna Novakov (USA) and Yvonne Senouf (Spain) , members of [PAS].
TRACE will be accompanied by a print and e-book catalogue published by McNally Jackson in New York.
When I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia. Ptolemy, Almagest (Syntaxis Mathematica), AD 150.
Hellenistic astronomer Claudius Ptolemy looked to the skies and traced 48 constellations including Gemini (the Dioskouri twins named after Castor and Pollux), linked to Messier 35 cluster dating back 100 million years. Today, we can use mobile astronomy apps to follow the distinct colors of the stars Ptolemy described in his ancient wayfinding text. Science and technology of our time make it easier to track not only celestial mechanics, but the earthly movement of matter, animals and people in various scales and contexts: short routes from home to work, long-distance air travels or ancestral migratory routes gleaned from DNA analysis. They have created new aggregates of hybrid knowledge such as the atlases that map biodiversity and environmental changes on the planetary surface but also deep within the earth’s core. TRACE features diverse contemporary artists who draw inspiration from these and many other forms of situational awareness, and transform them into new platforms for reflection and discourse. They engage with wayfinding in unique and engaging ways, and address it on different conceptual levels.
Dejan Grba is a media artist, author and educator. His artistic investigation of the perceptive, cognitive and cultural factors of visual phenomenology is focused on constitution, representation and interpretation of the individual notion of reality. He has exhibited and lectured at venues including ISEA Manizales and Hong Kong, SIVA Shanghai, ZKM Karlsruhe, IFA Berlin, GfZK Leipzig, Montevideo Amsterdam, MiP Vienna, CCN and <rotor> Graz, MoCA Novi Sad, MoCA and MST Belgrade. He chairs New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade where he teaches Transmedia Research. He teaches Poetics of Digital Art seminar at Digital Art PhD program at University of the Arts in Belgrade. He was a guest professor with Computer Art program at the CVPA at Syracuse University, NY.
Anna Novakov is a writer and cultural critic whose most recent book, Imagined Utopias in the Built Environment: From London’s Vauxhall Garden to the Black Rock Desert was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2017. The daughter of noted environmental physicist Tihomir Novakov, she was immersed in the Ecotopian dreams of air pollution control from an early age. She was raised in both the Socialist Utopia of post-war Yugoslavia and the free speech, counterculture movement of Berkeley, California. Both radical movements had profound influences on women’s rights, new technology and the built environment – areas of study that would form the basis of Novakov’s creative practice. In 1992, after completing her doctorate at New York University, she came to prominence in Manhattan as one of the first art critics to write about the interrelationship between art, technology and Utopian spaces. The author of dozens of books, exhibition catalogues, magazine and newspaper articles, Novakov lives in Berkeley, in Santa Fe and on a ranch in Northern New Mexico and is Executive Director of Freehold Taos, co-Founder of Provisional Art Spaces and Adjunct Professor at University of New Mexico, Taos. Novakov is an art and technology correspondent for Art Press (Paris), critical reviewer for The Magazine (Santa Fe) and a member of Independent Curators International. Novakov is currently serving a three-year term as Vice President of the AICA (International Association of Art Critics).
Yvonne Senouf has more than thirty years of experience in the art world, working as a cultural manager for the public and private sector in the fields of production, development and communication. Her clients include Christies’, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA, The McKee Gallery, National Gallery of Art Venezuela and others. In 1995, she founded Clinica Aesthetica, an experimental multidisciplinary space dedicated to the production of cultural projects. She produced more than twenty international projects such as ADOLESCENCE, a series of video and sound installations by French artist, Ange Leccia, screened throughout New York City in both a mobile exhibit, and a show of his latest work at Clinica Aesthetica and the World Financial Centre. In 2009, Yvonne co-founded MELD, an interactive global art platform and collaborative catalyst to commission, produce and present ground-breaking art work, to cultivate social change by inviting exceptional artists and innovative thinkers. Projects include actions in situ, as well as travelling conceptual multimedia installations. A great part of her time is dedicated to research in the fields of climate change and culture, building precious relationships with prominent visual and performing artists, as well as experts in all the fields of science, including economics, politics, policy makers and sociology. Yvonne is currently based in Spain working as a freelance producer and consultant as well as directing MELD.
This exhibition is made possible by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and the City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program.