technopolitics timeline

The Vienna-based interdisciplinary research group Technopolitics will present an exhibition and workshop program under the umbrella term of “Curated Knowledge Space” at SIGraDi 2018.

The most prominent visual aspect of the project is the TECHNOPOLITICS TIMELINE. The timeline traces the Information Society from the year 1900 to today and contains about 500 entries of events that have contributed to the emergence and transformation of our era. These entries are organized in six horizontal categories and 12 vertical tags. Technopolitics will present the timeline as a print-out measuring 20 x 1.5 meters.

The timeline will be accompanied by audio-visual and printed material that contextualizes the entries and is assembled on a table in front of the timeline. An additional contextual layer is provided by three hyperlink network visualizations of the Timeline entries identified in multilingual Wikipedia that yield a crowd-sourced view on their semantic relationships.

Prior to the opening, a two-day invitation-only workshop will be held, bringing together researchers and artists for a cross-cultural examination, critique and revision of the timeline (currently v4.0). The results of the workshop will be visible as added edits on the timeline (resulting in Timeline v5.0), highlighting the processual and open-ended character of the project.

Within the format of the curated knowledge space, the timeline and the associated material provide the framework for an open-ended exploration of the genesis and current configuration of our shared techno-cultural realities. This will be achieved through a transcultural dialogue that is aimed at expanding and transforming the timeline. In workshops and lectures with artists, researchers and students the notion of the Information Society – and the events taken as central to its development – is challenged, assessed, and reformulated. Each new entry that results from these discussions replaces an existing entry and thus opens the Timeline to cultural, social and political diversity.

The development of the Technopolitics Timeline has taken place, from the beginning, as a collaborative process to allow different perspectives to coexist within a unifying but open framework. The relatively simple organizing principle of the timeline and its modular structure allow for multiple, parallel edits and bring together different perspectives, which make competing claims for relevancy to the global development of the Information Society.

An important common objective is to investigate large scale historical processes structured by techno-economic paradigms from a critical, explorative standpoint. Using postdisciplinary approaches, these processes are connected to the cultural forms of the respective historical moment, including the participants’ own contemporary work. Over the course of the project, a specific methodology has been developed, which centers around physical gatherings that combine formal presentation, open-ended discussions and convivial moments of eating and drinking together. The aim of the method is to produce substantial input but then allow the discussion to take on a life of its own beyond the constraints of the perspective presented in the formal part.

In 2015, the group initiated the long-term artistic research project TECHNOPOLITICS TIMELINE and presented the first version at the group show Social Glitch(curated by Sylvia Eckermann, Gerald Nestler and Maximilian Thoman, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna). Timeline v2.0 was developed for a solo exhibition at MAK/Museum for Applied Arts, Vienna, in June 2016.

In cooperation with the media art festival Transmediale, Technopolitics set up a curated knowledge space at nGbK, Berlin and organized one of the main Transmediale conference panels at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (January-February 2017).

In June 2017, Technopolitics presented the Timeline project at Connecting Spaces, Hong Kong. The curated knowledge space featured as a space for lectures, workshops and displays. The aim of the event was to establish a long-term engagement for intercultural and postdisciplinary exchange to challenge the Western conception of the Information Society – in this case from an East-Asian point of view.

Technopolitics Working Group is an independent, transdisciplinary platform of artists, journalists, researchers, designers and developers. In 2009, Armin Medosch and Brian Holmes launched it as an online discussion group and since 2011 a circle has formed, mainly in Vienna, that regularly meets for lectures and discussions and produces interdisciplinary conferences, art and research projects.

The group has convened more than 20 Technopolitics Evenings where artists and researchers present and discuss their current projects. Since 2014, the meetings have been complemented with a more public format, the Technopolitics Salons, at venues in Vienna and internationally.

Core Members of Technopolitics Working Group

In Sylvia Eckermann‘s work, a discursive engagement with form and media culminates in critical artistic reflections about our entanglement as individuals in current socio-economic situations. She works with various media including digital and physical environments, installations, animations, videos, and sculptures. Eckermann is a pioneer of Game Art and the first recipient of the City of Vienna Award for Media Art (2014). She is the initiator and artistic director of the art series “The Future of Demonstration” (together with Gerald Nestler and Maximilian Thoman, 2017 / 2018).

Doron Goldfarb graduated in computer sciences from the Technical University Vienna and has contributed to numerous art and performance projects since the early 2000s. Currently, he is working on large scale e-science data infrastructures in the context of several EU research projects and is concluding his PhD in computer sciences in the area of Digital Humanities at the Technical University Vienna.

Gerald Nestler, PhD, is an artist and author who explores the “derivative condition” of social relations and its paradigmatic models, narratives, and processes. Among many other grants, he was awarded the Austrian State Award for Visual Art and the Austrian New York/ISCP residency grant. His work has been shown internationally and he has published widely, most recently the essay “Towards a Poietics of Resolution,” in Journal for Research CulturesVol.1/1 and the special issue on art and finance, in Finance and Society(coedited with Suhail Malik, 2016). He holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmith, University of London.

Felix Stalder, PhD, is a pioneer of net culture and research and the co-editor of the nettimemailing list. He is Professor for Digital Cultures and Network Theories at Zurich University of the Arts. Stalder’s latest book, The Digital Condition, appeared 2018 at Polity.

Axel Stockburger, PhD, graduated from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna (Master Course for Visual Media Art headed by Prof. Peter Weibel). Between 2000 and 2006 he lived in London where he received a PhD following a scholarship awarded by the University of the Arts London. During this period, he was part of the media art group D-Fuse. Since 2006 he is an Assistant Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He is a member of the artist association Secession and his video works and installations are shown internationally.

Ina Zwerger is a journalist and has been working for the Austrian Public Radio (ORF) since 1988 – from 2000 to 2007 as a producer of the weekly series “matrix – computer & new media” and since 2007 as the director of the Ö1 education program “Radiokolleg.” She has received the “Radiopreis der Erwachsenenbildung” (radio award for adult education) multiple times throughout her career. She has worked as co-initiator and curator of numerous symposia, among others Ars Electronica “Goodbye Privacy,” 2007; “Creative Cities”, Ö1 / ORF Radiokulturhaus, 2009; “Learning in the Network Society,” 2011; “Map of a new civil society”, Ö1 / ORF Radiokulturhaus, 2013.