Saturday 15 Sep until Sunday 21 Oct 2018
Private View: Friday 14 September 18:00 – 20:00 (Register)
Open Sat – Sun, 11:00 – 17:00 or by appointment
Transnationalisms is an exhibition exploring changes in how we think about territory, border and movement in an age of increasing digital connectivity and nationalism. Curated by James Bridle at Furtherfield Gallery from 14th September to 21st October 2018, it is part of a series of events belonging to the EU-funded State Machines project on new relationships between states, citizens and the stateless.
‘Jus sanguinis’ or ‘right of the blood’ refers to the way Spain aligns physical and geographical bodies by giving people citizenship only if they contain Spanish blood. It is also the name of a performance and installation (2016) by Peru-born and Spain-dwelling artist, Daniela Ortiz, who arranged a blood transfusion from a Spanish citizen while 4 months pregnant. From deep inside her, infused by liquid Spain, her baby transcends national borders and her own body becomes a complex cultural terrain. The use of blood reminds us of the real violence of immigration laws, while the video installation recalls the ease at which mortal harm can flow through media veins.
Physically traversing Europe, the exhibition arrives by way of State Machine partners Aksioma & Museum of Contemporary Art, Slovenia and Mali salon, Croatia. At Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park it occupies land straddling its own official and vernacular boundaries. Sitting within Islington, Hackney and Haringey, Finsbury Park is described as ‘superdiverse’ with over 180 languages spoken and high levels of ‘churn’ as people come and go.
If Ortiz represents a radically open border, then VPN (2018) by Critical Computer Engineering Group (Julian Oliver, Gordan Savičić, and Danja Vasiliev) is about protection. The work considers how VPNs can ‘sheath’ our private (data) parts during social intercourse online. Audience members will be able to use the repurposed condom machine to select an international destination for rerouting their data and then download a completely undetectable VPN to a USB for personal use. This is the first showing of the work which was commissioned as part of an artwork open call by the State Machines partner organisations.
Journeying ‘home’ to Furtherfield – where it was made and first shown in 2017 – is video installation We Help Each Other Grow by collective They Are Here (Helen Walker & Harun Morrison). It features former Tamil refugee, Thiru Seelan, seen only as his thermal signature from a heat-sensitive camera. He motions to a past and present he has no ‘right’ to – a dance that belongs to Tamil women; a city that belongs to the blood of British people. Yet there he is, at least temporarily, warm and well in both ‘spaces’ at once.
OTHER WORKS INCLUDE
Movables (2017) is a series of images by Jeremy Hutchison which look at the fashionable world of refugee disguise design.
CNI (2017) by Raphaël Fabre is the entirely digital portrait the French government accepted as photographic proof of Fabre for an ID card.
New Unions / After Europe (2016-) by Jonas Staal is a campaign and system for a new trans-democratic union in Europe.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
James Bridle is an artist, writer and curator and one of Wired’s ‘100 most influential people in Europe’ (2017). He is the author of New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future (Verso: 2018). He is based in London.
Critical Computer Engineering Group is a collaboration between Julian Oliver, Gordan Savičić, and Danja Vasiliev. Their manifesto begins: “The Critical Engineer considers Engineering to be the most transformative language of our time, shaping the way we move, communicate and think. It is the work of the Critical Engineer to study and exploit this language, exposing its influence.”
Raphaël Fabre works on the interference of fictions and narrative storytelling in the real world, using techniques ranging from digital 3D technologies to set decoration. Born in 1989, he lives and works in Paris.
Jeremy Hutchison explores with situational performance in sites of production and consumption – often collaborating with factory employees, migrant labourers, online workers – to explore unequal human relations constructed by global capital. He was recently a member of the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.
Daniela Ortiz generates spaces of tension in which the concepts of nationality, racialization, social class and gender are explored in order to critically understand structures of inclusion and exclusion in society. Daniela gives talks and participates in discussions on Europe’s migration control system and its ties to coloniality in different contexts. Born in Cusco, she lives and works in Barcelona.
Jonas Staal has studied monumental art in Enschede and Boston and received his PhD for research on art and propaganda in the 21st century from the University of Leiden. His work includes interventions in public space, exhibitions, theatre plays, publications and lectures, focusing on the relationship between art, democracy and propaganda. He lives and works in Rotterdam.
They Are Here is a collaborative practice steered by Helen Walker and Harun Morrison (f. 2006). Their work can be read as a series of context-specific games through which they seek to create ephemeral systems and temporary micro-communities that offer an alternate means of engaging with a situation, history or ideology. They are currently based in London and on the River Lea.
Furtherfield is an internationally-renowned digital arts organisation hosting exhibitions, workshops and debate for over 20 years. We collaborate locally and globally with artists, academics, organisations and the public to explore digital culture and the changing world we live in. From our unique venues in Finsbury Park we offer a range of ways for everyone to get hands on with emerging technologies and ideas about contemporary society. Our aim is to make critical digital citizens of us all. We can make our own world.
Finsbury Park, London, N4 2NQ