Anything To Declare? Thinking Outside The Border
What is a border? What defines a threshold? How do these man-made lines bend, mutate, contain, and eject? Where are the outlines porous, and where do they leak?
The second season invites residents to stretch, unravel, tamper with, and redesign the concept of freedom and the borders that restrict it. Three artists working between art and technologies will experiment, research, and play along the edge of poetics, imagination, politics, and movement. Responding to the enforced borders we must cross, borderless ecological movement, and even the gravitational entrapment that we experience, this residency will look at the question of “Where can my body go?” and how technology supports and entraps us.
A borderline is a relatively recent concept. Once a great wall around a nation, recent geographical boundaries have been established through warfare, colonization, or “mutual agreements.” Clearly defined and demarcated borders “regulate” and attempt to control the movement of animals, goods, and people with a mobility book (passport) based on the location you were born and that place’s geographic significance toward the world economy. We will attempt to look at this concept on three unique scales: bodies, landscapes, and nations as borders.
As native and invasive hybrids, our bodies cross border ecologies and infrastructures driving feral capitalism, which reinforces systems of division. Our permanent immigrants status grants us the unique ability to interrogate how the goods we produce, consume, and acquire as well as our languages and even our bodies’ own edges exist in both physical and digital space.
Together we will chart our course, dream beyond borders, and reach across, around, and through these new topographies and challenge how we think about the ways in which our worlds define and confine, and which rules we will follow, break, or recreate.
Anything to Declare? Thinking outside the Border activates through a series of workshops, artist talks, activities, and public exchanges. Together, artists and locals can explore how we “move to and away from” homes, places, spaces, and URLs, collectively envisioning strange alternatives to belonging.
Hyphen-Labs is an ether based design duo, led by Ece Tankal and Carmen Aguilar y Wedge that explores absurdities, fantasies, and coincidences at the intersection of technology, art, science, and the future. Charting a path between the profound and the absurd, their work offers reflections upon the relationships between digital platforms and the physical world and how art can be used as a tool of intervention and immersion.
With backgrounds in architecture and engineering Ece and Carmen use emerging technologies not solely as tools but as societal apparatuses to organize our species in alternative ways to rework the boundaries of materiality and imagination.
Hyphen-Labs live and work in London, Vancouver and San Francisco.
Liva Dudareva (b. 1984, Latvia) has a deep interest in man-made geological formations that have been created through industrial and extractive processes. Lithic formations we might consider techno fossils in the future.
Liva's research-based practice is situated between visual arts, geology, and world-building.
From crystals embedded in the electronic chips and liquid crystal displays (LCD) to man-made stones supposedly countering the negative effects of 5g radiation or volcanic glass like mineral forming a crust over the desert following the first atomic blast, she is not only interested in this new material reality, but also the mythologies and culture that is created around it.
Her sculptural work that she refers to as mineral fictions, blends together these new geological elements with their representations in order to discuss our relationship to nature, and to narrate the biographies of materials that make up our everyday objects, in particular consumer electronics.
Born in Latvia, and with a background in landscape architecture and urbanism, Liva positions the geological subjects within a larger geopolitical landscape, in which material realities and extractive processes are investigated.
I (will) destroy(ed) you…to protect you
The project “I (will) destroy(ed) you…to protect you” by Liva Dudareva explores the entanglement between the birth of ecosystem ecology and tests of nuclear weapons conducted in the U.S between 1945 and 1992 in order to open up a discussion about the future ecologies. Ecosystem ecology is a science that looks at the ecosystem as a whole, and explores the processes and relationships between its living and non-living parts.
The pioneer of ecosystem ecology Eugene P Odum was employed by the Atomic Energy Commission to study the environmental effects of the fallout. With the help of radioactive isotopes, some of which were new in nature and thus easily traceable, he was able to explore different processes vital for the sustenance of ecosystems, for example flows of energy and matter. He borrowed at the time cutting edge concepts from cybernetics, system theory and computer modelling in order to develop the theory of ecosystem ecology.
Dudareva is interested in how we can utilise the specific mineral examples and larger narrative of ecosystem ecology being born at the Atomic Energy Commission (USA), and the irreparable consequences of the air borne nuclear tests on every single organic and inorganic body inhabiting this planet to think about the future of living systems.
A digital atlas containing maps juxtaposing the territories of fallouts with borders of indigenous lands, ecosystems, climatic zones, fault lines, economic indicators, and new fictional boundaries will serve as a prologue to the proposed project “I (will) destroy(ed) you…to protect you”. Working with the idea of how borders are constructed, by whom and for whom, the atlas will challenge the human drawn lines across different territories.
Along the atlas a series of digital and ceramic sculptures will highlight specific geological creations of atomic tests and their socio-economical, political and cultural significance in order to imagine the future of Earth’s ecosystems.
More information coming soon.
Jazmin Morris (b. 1997, England) is a Creative Computing Artist and Educator currently based in London. Her personal practice and research explore representation and inclusivity within technology. She uses free and open-source tools to create digital experiences that highlight issues surrounding gender identity, race, and power; focusing on the complexities of simulating culture and identity.
Described as a 'Jack of all trades', Morris explores an array of mediums throughout her practice varying from read.me files through to 3D animation. Her practice often also takes the form of a workshop, participatory work or collaboration. She is resistant to the contemporary 'polished' digital aesthetic and enjoys 'clunky technology' and 'sellotaping her code together'.
Morris is the Lead Computation Tutor on the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins and a Lecturer in Creative Computing & Digital Outreach at UAL’s Creative Computing Institute. She founded and runs a successful community initiative called Tech Yard that encourages voices that are often excluded from technical developments to gain skills and confidence in the area. Jazmin Morris envisions a better, decentralised web that enhances identities instead of hindering them. She still fantasises over web.1 and Super Mario 64.
Don't touch my hardware
Jazmin Morris's project "Don't touch my hardware" is an exploration of the borders between software, hardware and the body. As modern product design is becoming minimalist and streamlined, this project pays tribute to the Barbie TV's and Hot Wheels computers that were around in the 90's and creatively questions how hardware can enhance our relationship with modern technology.
Morris will speculate on the future of human-computer interaction with a focus on centering identities that have historically been marginalised in technology and inviting an element of play back into design and technology. Play is a key word throughout this project; expect satire, audience participation and references to gaming and gaming culture.
For this project, Morris is influenced by alternative game controllers and hardware and will blur the lines between game design, product design and web design. The terms 'De-growtth' and 'Protopia' have been at the centre of Morris's research in recent years, this project will question how we can draw from existing knowledge and technologies to generate new ideas and explore how hardware can assist in developing a better, or at least more playful tomorrow.
Pablo Somonte Ruano
Pablo Somonte Ruano (b. 1992, Mexico) works with ambiguous software, generative systems, experimental websites, transmedia narratives, p2p infrastructure and odd music. He is interested in subjects such as structural violence, mutualist economies, organizational theory, free software, the commons, decolonial action, feminism, games, memes and language.
At the moment Ruano is enrolled in the MA Program for Theory, Technology and Design at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He is working as Design Lead for neighbourhoods, a framework for ‘groupware’ built on holochain that enables communities to coordinate through collective sensemaking.
Ruano is part of XORG, a research-collective that spawned out of the Economic Space Agency (ECSA) that explores the intersection between games and organizations. He’s also making music for his personal project Párvulos, as well as in a duo with Nicolò Cervello called Actual Occasions, a sound and distribution exploratory practice inspired by philosophies of affect, materiality and modulation.
In the past he has collaborated with filmmakers Nicolas Gutierrez, Analía Goethals and Santiago Mohar on DERIVA.MX, a transmedia collective researching structural violence in Mexico through cinema, participation and automated montage.
He has shown artistic work in collective exhibitions and festivals in various cities in Mexico and Germany.
POCAS (POCAS Organización Cooperativa de Auto-Servicio)
A POCAS (POCAS Organización Cooperativa de Auto-Servicio)" is a fictitious store that appropriates characteristics of the viral model of self-service convenience stores (7-Eleven, OXXO, Extra) that relentlessly populate Mexico City but subverts their capitalist neoliberal logic with a mutualist one to imagine a new type of post-capitalist store.
POCAS draws inspiration from the commons, counter-economics, agorism, platform cooperativism and cybernetics.
A POCAS store would enable person-to-person forms of economic activities in a setting that is self-governed and collectively owned by its members. The aim for POCAS is to de-commodify basic goods like water, food, clothes, hygiene products and simple medicine so that members of a POCAS can provide these to one-another.
But a POCAS can have other multiple simultaneous use-cases like becoming an accelerator for cooperative enterprises, a place for communities to share infrastructure and a space for social coordination, among others.
While POCAS is a speculation, its components are not fictitious at all. Fiction is used only as a way to articulate a potential configuration of technologies and practices that are existing today. The result of the project will be a website that describes the functioning of a POCAS store through different digital artifacts like diagrams, 3D models, images and a series of interviews with practitioners of the fields POCAS is inspired by.