24 February—27 April 2024
State of Concept proudly presents a group exhibition with newly commissioned works exploring the relationships between attention, algorithms, and social justice. Founded in a collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim, Art Hub Copenhagen, Tropical Papers and Swiss Institute New York, with The Friends of Attention, D. Graham Burnett (Princeton University), Justin Smith-Ruiu (Université de Paris) as associated partners.
The two-year collaborative project Attention After Technology explores how algorithms affect us and how we could imagine them otherwise, through newly commissioned works by six international artists. The artists consider how our attention is commodified and monetized, examine how algorithms reinforce bias while also probing their emancipatory potential, and analyze attention as a political space to foster sustained critical thinking and to support collective action.
The exhibition title, Attention After Technology, is a reference to Ruha Benjamin’s celebrated book Race After Technology (2019). In her publication, Benjamin decodes the discriminatory designs embedded in algorithms that prop up racial, socioeconomic, and other systemic hierarchies. Attention is a much discussed topic with regard to technology. It is closely connected to epistemic justice, or the creation and recognition of diverse forms of knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Our capacity as knowing subjects, and being recognized as such, is an essential component of agency agency and our ability for choice. It is crucial for social justice.
While distraction and fragmentation may seem like antonyms of attention, the exhibition resists such simple dichotomies. Far from luddites opposing technology, the exhibiting artists both use and hack, celebrate and critique, discard and invent new tools. The exhibition explores attention as a practice, as an embodied technology, and as an evolving aesthetic, social, and political sphere. In bringing attention into debates around algorithmic justice, the works in Attention After Technology pull back the curtain on the neutrality of technology, while using it to draft new ways of relating.
In the lead-up to the exhibition, which considers the intersections above, the artists participated in regular online meetings to workshop their artworks with the exhibition curators, the associated partner collective The Friends of Attention (an informal network of creative collaborators), and advisors from diverse disciplines including computer science and artificial intelligence, visual arts, and queer and transtechnology studies.
This exhibition is the last of three expressions of the expansive project, spanning over two years (2022–2024). The exhibition has travelled from Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway (13 October 2023–28 January 2024) to State of Concept Athens (24 February 2024–27 April 2024). Online versions of the artworks have been available on Tropical Papers’ web platform from November 2023. The associated symposium “The Digital Divide – Attention, Algorithms and Social Justice”, coordinated by Art Hub Copenhagen in partnership with IDA – the Danish Society of Engineers and TOASTER, took place on 4 May 2023, while Art Hub also hosted two artist residencies, with biarritzzz and CUSS Group. The overall project also includes curatorial and strategic contributions by Swiss Institute New York, USA.
The last activity of the parallel program, is an online discussion between iLiana Fokianaki (Founder
and Director of State of Concept) on the 29th of February at 18:30 CET. Zoom Link HERE
The exhibition is collectively curated by Kunsthall Trondheim’s team: Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen, curator and project lead “Attention After Technology” with Stefanie Hessler; Liz Dom, project manager “Attention After Technology”; Kaja Grefslie Waagen, producer and communications manager; and Art Hub Copenhagen: Lars Bang Larsen, head of art & research; Rose Tygat, project coordinator; and Tropical Papers: María Inés Rodríguez; and State of Concept Athens: iLiana Fokianaki, founder and director; Konstantina Melachrinou, production manager and press officer; and Swiss Institute New York: Stefanie Hessler, director, curatorial concept and project lead “Attention After Technology” with Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen.
In collaboration between Kunsthall Trondheim, Art Hub Copenhagen, Tropical Papers and Swiss Institute New York, The Friends of Attention, D. Graham Burnett (Princeton University), Justin Smith-Ruiu (Université de Paris).
Attention After Technology is funded by the European Union.
With her work, Femke Herregraven focuses on the effects of abstract value systems on ecosystems, historiography and individual lives. This research is the basis for the conception of new characters, stories, objects, sculptures, sound, video, and installations. In her recent work she explores the conceptualisation of the future as a ‘catastrophe’ and uses the voice, the respiratory system, and code to examine these calculated and monetized eventualities that haunt our social, biological, and technological ecosystems.
Shu Lea Cheang
Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker who engages in genre bending gender hacking art practices. Celebrated as a net art pioneer with BRANDON (1998-99), the first web art commissioned and collected by Guggenheim Museum, New York, Cheang represented Taiwan with 3x3x6 at Venice Biennale 2019. Pursuing her own genre of Sci Fi New Queer Cinema, she is currently touring her newly released 4th feature film, UKI, presenting in Berlin (LAS Art Foundation), Paris (Centre Pompidou) and New York (MoMA) among other venues.
biarritzzz (b. 1994, lives and works in Recife, Brazil) is an anti-disciplinary transmedia artist who believes in magic and low resolution as important counter-narratives to live the current cosmological dispute of realities. She has exhibited in Pivô, A.I.R Gallery, The Wrong Biennale, FILE, The Shed NY, among others. Her works integrate Rhizome Artbase (New Museum), KADIST Foundation, IMS, and MIS-SP (Museu da Imagem e do Som de São Paulo) permanent collections.
Vivian Caccuri uses sound as the vehicle to cross experiments in sensory perception with issues related to history and social conditioning. Through objects, installations, and performances, her pieces create situations that disorient everyday experience and, by extension, disrupt meanings and narratives seemingly as ingrained as the cognitive structure itself. She wrote her first book “Music is What I Make” (2012), published in Brazil and awarded by Funarte Prize of Critical Production in Music in 201, published by Bloomsbury NYC in English. Vivian has participated in the 2019 Venice Biennale and had commissioned works by the Serpentine Gallery, the HighLine Art, São Paulo Biennale and was shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize in 2018 in Ukraine.
CUSS Group’s activities have spanned the founding of a web television initiative, online publications, digital art, and curatorial projects in their HQ, Johannesburg. The collective responds to commercial, cultural and technological super-hybridity through the filter of urban trends, material artifacts, and youth culture in contemporary post-post-colonial South Africa.
Kyriaki Goni critically and poetically inquires into political, affective and environmental aspects of big tech. Listening to the deep past, she explores extractive practices on bodies and landscapes, other forms of intelligence, networks and infrastructures, and possible futures. Algorithms, fossil remains, ancient seas on Mars, lunar craters, DNA plant, archipelagic infrastructures are some of the protagonists in her cosmologies. Manifesting through storytelling, coding, drawing, video and sound, her installations seek to connect the local with the (inter)planetary, the fictional with the scientific. She is the recipient of among others, the Ars Electronica fellowship (2021), Goni exhibits internationally, latest solo exhibitions include SixtyEight, Copenhagen (2022); Kunstverein Ost, Berlin (2022) as the latest examples.
Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen, Curator and Project Lead Attention After Technology (with Stefanie Hessler, Swiss Institute New York)
Liz Dom, Project Manager Attention After Technology
Carl Martin Rosenkilde Faurby, Program Curator and Production Manager
Kaja Grefslie Waagen, Producer and Communications Manager
Art Hub Copenhagen:
Lars Bang Larsen, Leader of Art & Research
Rose Tytgat, Project Coordinator
Susanne Hviid, Administrative Director
Jacob Fabricius, Artistic Director
Fafaya Mogensen, Project Leader
María Inés Rodríguez
Mariana Vieira Marcondes
Andres Sandoval Alba
Yu Hsiaoh Hwei
State of Concept Athens:
iLiana Fokianaki, Founding Director
Konstantina Melachrinou, Production & Program
Swiss Institute New York:
Stefanie Hessler, Director and Project Lead Attention After Technology (with Katrine Elise Agpalza Pedersen, Kunsthall Trondheim)
Alison Coplan, Senior Curator and Head of Programs