The New Anxiety
Dominic Gagnon Going South
Dele Adeyemo + Christxpher Oliver The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism
Erica Scourti Exit Scripts
Óscar Escudero + Belenish Moreno-Gil [HOC] UK premiere performed by Darren Gallacher (percussion)
Luke Nickel Conversation Piece performed and adapted by SHOAL
on Recursivity and Uncertainty a conversation with Danae Io and Ezekiel Dixon-Román
The 300+ year technologies built to capture, understand and connect the world - from maps through geostationary satellites to contemporary algorithms and big data collection - have been exposed as weapons-grade systems that pluralise reality and destabilise the present. How does living in this anxious world feel, and how deep do these systems take root?
We open our SS21 series with a screening of the “cameraman without a camera” Dominic Gagnon’s feature film ‘Going South’, a vivid tapestry traversing the disconnected societal bubbles of 21st Century living. Built entirely from found YouTube footage - from excessive partying to climate disasters, shopping lists to sex tourism, granny gamers to Flat Earthers - ‘Going South’ panics and flails in its kaleidoscopic portrayal of a pluralised world.
stills from Dominic Gagnon's 'Going South'
Following this are two Manchester-recorded performances of multimedia compositions by Óscar Escudero + Belenish Moreno-Gil and Luke Nickel. The former’s ‘[HOC]’ follows an obsession with geolocation as the percussionist Darren Gallacher, absorbed in VR, struggles to pinpoint the ‘now’ in the always-ephemeral present. The latter’s ‘Conversation Piece’ is upgraded for Zoom performance by ensemble SHOAL as their online conversations are monitored to strain ensemble interaction.
still from Dele Adeyemo + Christxpher Oliver's 'The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism'
Within these technologies are recursive loops of coded language that birth implicit biases. In Erica Scourti’s video installation ‘Exit Scripts’ a problematic custom algorithm sequences her vast database of iPhone voice recordings according to their detected arousal. Dele Adeyemo and Christxpher Oliver’s video essay ‘The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism’ positions the history of map-making as causal to the global trade of sugar-cane and henceforth the displacement and enslavement of West Africans. Finally, VIRTUALLYREALITY brings together artists and thinkers previously working within research project Schemas of Uncertainty (Danae Io) and online symposium Recursive Colonialism, Artificial Intelligence and Speculative Computation (Ezekiel Dixon-Román). The conversation ‘On Recursivity and Uncertainty’ should traverse the centuries-old ramifications of computation through prediction, divination, haunting, algorithmic thought and Blackness.
Dele Adeyemo is an architect, creative director and urban theorist. Adeyemo is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, a fellow of the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and a current recipient of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Andrew Mellon research grant. He leads an architecture design studio at the Royal College of Art in London.
Ezekiel Dixon-Román is director of the Master of Science in Social Policy Program, chair of the Data Analytics for Social Policy Certificate of the Masters of Science in Social Policy Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is working on an authored book project that is theoretically and empirically examining the ways in which data and algorithms become racialized forces, particularly in the area of algorithmic governance, and, as a result, are active agencies in reconfiguring sociopolitical relations in society.
Óscar Escudero (1992) is a multimedia composer and performer who works at the crossroads between sound, video and virtual reality. His productions are characterised by working on the gap between the traditional analogue concepts of "body", "time" or "stage" and their current state as total virtualities, social networks as ideology and the creation of artistic devices operating in a "spam reality".
As a filmmaker, installation and performance artist, Dominic Gagnon works with non-orthodox images taken from the Internet. In addition to questioning the specificity of cinema, his work breaks conceptual and formal frames. By these twists, his practice challenges the institutional and cultural modalities of production and consumption of images. Since 1996, his work insists on various themes: mythologies, marginal production of the image and its censorship, the conditions of mediation between the work of art and its spectator.
Darren Gallacher is a percussionist and performer currently based in Manchester, England. He is a versatile musician, and has enjoyed a varied career within the industry, collaborating and performing in a host of different settings around the world, particularly within the new music and experimental scene. His most notable accolades include the RNCM Gold Medal and the Harriet Cohen Memorial Music award. Darren has a particular interest in interdisciplinary performance and the use of movement and gesture within musical performance and composition
Danae Io is an artist living and working in Rotterdam and Athens. She is co-founder of the research project ‘System of Systems’ and co-organises the research initiative ‘Schemas of Uncertainty’. Her writing has been published by Sternberg Press, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art and Contra Journal. Her work has been exhibited at Kunstverein Amsterdam; Stroom, The Hague; Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam; Rozenstraat, Amsterdam; Display, Prague; Sign, Groningen; SESI Gallery of Art, São Paulo; and Rich Mix, London among others.
Belenish Moreno-Gil (1993) is a multidisplinary artist, performer and musicologist. Since the early years of her life, she was aimed at music and performing arts, starting her piano and singing studies in Jerez de la Frontera, her hometown. Her research has focused mainly on traditional music, especially in the Zambomba de Jerez y Arcos de la Frontera festivity. Another important lines of her work dedicate special emphasis on gender and post-humanist studies.
Christxpher Oliver is a writer, research editor and art director. In 2019, Christxpher graduated from the Centre for Research Architecture masters program at Goldsmiths, University of London. He was the assistant symposium coordinator to Recursive Colonialism, Artificial Intelligence & Speculative Computation and as a part of Channels Research Group, is currently editing a project titled Burning Work with community law centre Windrush Defenders Legal C.I.C.
Erica Scourti is an artist and writer, currently based in Athens. Solo shows include Chief Complaint at Almanac, London and Spill Sections at StudioRCA (both 2018), group shows include High Line, New York, Wellcome Collection, Kunsthalle Wien, Hayward Gallery, Munich Kunstverein and EMST Athens. Her writing has been published in Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry (Ignota Press, 2018) and Fiction as Method (2017, Sternberg) amongst others and she was guest editor of the Happy Hypocrite- Silver Bandage journal (2019).
SHOAL are a physical performance, new music, multimedia and experimental ensemble who specialise in creating immersive experiences. With a particular interest in improvisation and interdisciplinary collaboration, SHOAL work with a variety of artists to commission and develop new works experimenting with sound, electronics, digital technology, light, space and movement.
Luke Nickel (b. 1988) is an award-winning Canadian interdisciplinary artist and researcher currently living in Bristol, UK. He has researched and created orally-transmitted experimental music compositions with internationally-established soloists and chamber ensembles. In addition, he creates traditionally-notated musical works, installations, videos, and spoken performances. Nickel’s works knot together themes of memory, transcription, translation, queer identity, and impossible roller coasters.