Following the battle of the ecological movement in the 1970s and 80s and the pointing out of the „limits of growth“, the rapid advancements in (natural) science and technology in an increasingly globalized world resulted in the most radical social change since the Industrial Revolution.
Against the backdrop of standard sequencing of the human DNA, largely free access to information and images on the Internet as well as voluntary and at the same time natural exposure of confidential information and identities in social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, the private sphere has become public. Humans have become transparent creatures illuminated by algorithms in a closely-knit network of private and state-run surveillance.
Artists are increasingly locating the objectification frenzy of our times and questioning the much-worshipped experimental approach as a presumed law. They scrutinize our thought system which is based on objectification and trustfulness in the general law of nature prior to the shift in meaning in the post-industrial consumer society.
The fundamental view of what nature was and is has changed considerably, with nature now appearing to be more makeable and reconstructible, a subject matter Mathias Kessler has been exploring in depth. Thomas Feuerstein goes one step further by synthesizing a new molecule, making him a creator of neo-nature. In contrast, Dana Sherwood takes the natural cycle in a closed system as a reference by having her cakes devoured by animals while Brandon Ballengée smoothly combines his work as an environmental activist with his activities as a researcher and artist.
Günther Selichar, on the other hand, takes a closer look at the technology of our new reference system; the new digital elementary colors green, red and blue, and the screens and scanners as obvious interfaces to our brave, new world.
The artistic projects are a homage to and criticism of a break and a continuity with both natural science and art history. Even though the traditional conception of nature, the desire for the unspoiled, the experimental scientific approach, and the belief in progress form the basis of these art practices, and although the artists seem to adopt them despite the paradigm shift, they transform and recode what is assumed to be predefined.
Dieter Buchhart & Anna Karina Hofbauer