At the turn of the 21st century, human civilisation is increasingly shaped by machines, networks, data, artificial intelligence, financial speculation, digital traceability and the commercial exploitation of behaviour. The exhibition Ars Memoriae brings together artists who question the dominant frameworks of media mediation by going back in time to the history of science, by re-examining the mythologies of origins and by speculating on our technologically augmented futures. How to account for the multiple dimensions of the materiality of technologies while they are largely built on the myth of their immateriality? What is the influence of technology on human behaviour? From what moment in time did we start to include this ‘science of craft’? How do new media technologies connect with or built upon ancient knowledge systems?
Ars Memoriae brings together a diverse selection of artworks that each deal in a unique way with memory in the framework of what we could define as a ‘media archaeology approach’. While unravelling the interdependencies of material extraction and persisting inequalities, an important focus of the exhibition is the place of the African continent within the larger historic record of techniques and technological innovations in particular. How to rehabilitate non-Western contributions, notably through the relationships established by non western societies between mathematical knowledge and divination? All the artists in the exhibition give an account of a parallel history of digital technologies. Their works evolve on the margins of conventional history and show the blind spots, potential alternative visions and possible new connections by unveiling the invisibilized parts of the history of science and technology. They introduce a different narrative towards the understanding of interconnections that are an intrinsic part of their existence. Together, they draw up a critical and alternative cartography of new media history.
Date: 25 March to 16 May 2022
Time: Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun 13:00 - 18:00
Location: 601 Artspace, 88 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002, US
Participants: Marjolijn Dijkman, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Lo-Def Film Factory (Francois Knoetze & Amy-Louise Wilson) + Joe-Yves Salankang Sa-Ngol, Mimi Onuoha, Tabita Rezaire, Analia Saban, Suzanne Treister, Maarten Vanden Eynde.
Curatorial concept: Oulimata Gueye and Maarten Vanden Eynde