books 2o16 

a collaborative art project by patrick lichty, erik h.zepka and david quiles guilló, featuring a selection of books auto generated of facebook timelines by prolific artists and heavy fb users exhibited in arebyte london from april 17th to 3oth 2o16

digital folk aesthetics meets the participatory reality show. what is art after technological saturation, matured in virtual urbanity under the logographic conditions of the post-commercial real?

your every move is charted towards self obliteration and synthetic reinvention, the performative demands of what material fragments remain. the book as a mass snapshot, the exhibition a proliferation, cultural categories consistent only in their ability to be re-ordered and re-mixed

books is an exhibition that explores these themes, that turns the performed real of cultural practitioners into the publication and exhibition of the local and material. a library of babel for the personalised era of public simulation

selected artists showcasing their facebook profiles: aaron de lanty, alberto cuteri, alex mendoza, alix desaubliaux, andreas skourtis, anysia nefissi, arthur machado, ben grosser, benji blessing sayed, bibbe hansen, boaz torfstein, boris hoppek, brooke kelty, bryan cera, carolyn frischling, carrie gates, cecily feitel, claudia hart, clint sleeper, curt cloninger aka play damage, daniel temkin, david quiles guilló, defi gagliardo, dustin hostetler, débora delmar, ellectra radikal, eltons kūns, erik h.zepka, esteban ottaso, facegruber, frère reinert, george crîngașu, giovanna olmos, isabelle arvers, jan robert leegte, jeremy bailey, jon cates, joseph delappe, julian stadon, jun seo hahm, karen eliot, keigo depic hara, klara vincent-novotna aka doxa phloxa, lanny quarles, laura eftychia, liz solo, lorna mills, mark klink, martina menegon, michaël borras aka systaime, miltos manetas, miyö van stenis, nathan shafer, nora renaud, nıhıl mınuş, ole tersløse jensen, patrick lichty, paul hertz, prosthetic knowledge, rafael morales cendejas, rosa menkman, sadaf h.nava, sandrine jacquot, sara goodman, scott macleod, shawné michaelain holloway, spencer selby, stefan saalfeld, tara cook, thierry art, tikul tikul, tim guthrie, tobaron waxman, vagner whitehead, ynfab bruno, zandi dandizette


words in the flux of social technology
by erik h zepka

face books, printed books, books that document the profile the private and the quasi-performed of artists thinkers writers citizens

books in the world of memes, in the autobiographical social space, in the mediation of a realism at every moment reinvented

everything is funny now - icons have become important and tell us everything in language but please make it quick

reality demands that you determine the parameters for its existence or that something determines them say a robot or a series of connections. once you start talking to people the link rating will determine whether or not you exist on the network - be catchy, accessible yet entertaining, be nice while maintaining an opinion - post pictures, not text and show your face as much as possible. there’s no need to be shy. none of this can last if you don’t play the game. invest yourself in arbitrary rules and you’ll grow attached - these are the images of code structures.

in the simulation ideas operate in swarms, movement is done in masses and when someone exists we are talking about viruses and algorithmic ubiquity. aesthetics on a generic scale, universal placenessness binding community through activity. authors dissipating, being spread thin or being re-organized as keepers of the hive, networked managers that hire simulations on the condition that they are able to be consistently unreal.

friends or family or maybe you just feel intimate with them because they’re attractive. they’re good at knowing what to show, or how to frame a bit of language

(everything is social everyone is social)

content is getting drowned - what are individuals - swarm times during a swarm climate

the apocalypse is coming but it’s actually just a figure of speech

the swarmed exhibition, the exhibition whose concept is consistent and whose virtual instances are forever cloned and instantiated - we can never be sure what the object is, which location

self-obliteration, performed reinvention: at any moment you are nowhere to be found in the electric mashing of spatial simulacra, at every moment you are everywhere, each instance part of a document of mathematical traces that never describe humanity that always determine each moment of identitarian coding

the selfie does everything to eliminate the self through the staging of its projections

parasites everywhere, michel serres would be proud, every message sent to the noise body that usually doesn’t know how to reply (order in the stream, saturation meets corporate algorithm meets who decided to show me this)

the author died, then they were uploaded, and now they are being distributed back into your cyberconsciousness, one cloud party at a time

digital folk aesthetics meets the participatory reality show. what is art after technological saturation, matured in virtual urbanity under the logographic conditions of the post-commercial real? your every move is charted towards self obliteration and synthetic reinvention, the performative demands of what material fragments remain. the book as a mass snapshot, the exhibition a proliferation, cultural categories consistent only in their ability to be re-ordered and re-mixed.

how do we exhibit literature - where is the person (the characters)

we have way too much literature (and none of it meets the status of literature)

books is an exhibition series that turns the performed real of cultural practitioners into the publication and exhibition of the local and material. a library of babel for the personalised era of public simulation.

my favourite literary character is my friend who’s been forced to use their state identity and perform the bureaucracy in the most shakespearean way possible

the profile offers you backstage insight into how actors prepare for their roles

writing without clear categories whose delineations are performed each time

folk aesthetics: groups of people, collective ideas - the concept before the person holding the concept (bodies and corporate communities and not the cogs)

here in the network there are discussions with barad and pickering about how the objective realm is performing, how well is it meeting its quarterly goals, are the investors happy,
have enough molecules been data mined to give us an accurate physiology, materials
for each profile

saturation: emergent properties are those things that arise once the boat becomes the ocean - once foundation becomes background - once ideas become assumed and collapse is a mode of discourse. one person talks to another to another to another, the symptoms of
communication are noticeable once popularity becomes another mode of privacy.

saturation: floating once the vessel is flooded this is the point when fish overtake people.

books as a contingent framing, content depends entirely on time

these are blanchot’s unavowable communities, an austinian illocutionary gambit of dynamic combinations - people together in some form or another (not together, but written on the same page, shared with the same alien audience where individuals have become masses)

what material fragments remain: we have bodies, or had bodies - we can still see things, feeling is a measure of equation remainders that give you powers you can read about in video game literature (either superheroes or anomalies, in both cases inhuman mechanics)

upending cultural categories: there’s no way you can have that many friends if you had a house party your place would blow up - whatever you mean by enemy has totally changed

database realism, cybernetic objects for a more virtual future (how the objects interact, how latourian actors don’t always have faces - the new page as photo album, as fashion shoot and family census records with mugshots to ensure proper identication - faces everywhere
for the mathematical material that has no interest in seeing - our most intimate symbols of sense are also the most impersonal

post-commercial realism: after mcdonald’s colonizes mars aliens will still need places to get together with their friends

virtual urbanity: everywhere’s a city all the time, location is no barrier to achieving cynical liberation

as technoscience evolves, more and more of its new spaces become socialized. there are certain consequences to that socialization - a shift in the space of created objects to the space of performed subjects, a categorical upending of forms that travels from discrete entities to protocols to the contingent forms of folk taxonomies. all this becomes increasingly immersed in a capitaloscene collective space that compares quotidian action with market values. the power structures of the popular web (social dynamics

the database of babel

longinus would find a convenient home in the rhetorical aesthetics of the social web, as do the theatrical ideas of brecht.

virtualisation increases locality, the parameters become simpler, all you need is your docking station to say that you are here, you are home, and your diary is published on the latest global reality show

these are books, but books that are portals and traces to another world, to a matrix of electrical connections and binary reductions - what can math do now once we’ve weaved it through gutenberg’s tombs. print technology for the robot public.

books, perfect bound selfies, cinema verite for those literate in streamed classics
and the banality of making oneself into a fictional brand (iago has added you)

you are here, everything in the virtual realm surrounds you in this location and what is here is always

what material means, what the face means, what do you mean by writing

erik h.zepka (2o16)
books: an identity (re)defined
by patrick lichty

the role of the algorithm as a shaping aspect of technological culture currently affects almost any aspect of anyone’s life who uses the internet to a large extent.
or even how the world perceives them.

inference and predictive models gather information about our online activities and feed us selections in advertising, “like” selections on facebook, and even preferences for which feeds of media one receives online. much like the advertising scene in the movie minority report where the john anderton character is deluged with personalized appeals with the assertion of any urban souk in the middle east. the harbingers of this culture are evident in predictive advertisements feeding through google application interfaces to one’s holistic experience online, creating the uncanny feeling of being followed in cyberspace. the algorithm creates an identity of the online person to shape, commodify, and objectify. the algorithm curates data to create a construct of the individual as needed by whatever entity desiring to consume it.

this is the concept of this show – the algorithmic recreation of the individual as an object of identity and desire to be sold back as a memento of our time with our loved ones online. what relationship does the person shown in social media feeds like facebook, instagram, and twitter? what relationship does this construct have to the person one faces in the mirror every morning? or as turkle and haraway might have us believe, are we fragmented, distributed selves shown only as an aggregate data set?

on the other hand, co-curator erik zepka feels that by manipulating the algorithms of the internet to create art might result in a collaborative “digital folk” art. this may be found in generated products like commemorative facebook memories videos or peculiar performative moments, like my finding out that “gif” is not an allowed word in the lexulous online word game. the line blurs between what is found and what is intentional in these places, and we are confronted with the difference between the discovery of digital readymades and fluxus-like manipulations of process, and finding artifacts of life as art.

in his text for his anthology you are here: art after the internet, chicago museum of contemporary art curator omar kholeif wrote about a simulated art ecology in doppelganging the gallery, critical, and museological models through blouin, artsy, and others. what then, if the gallery is a hybrid between a soho storefront and amazon art. digital production and traditional models of curation are in being contested on the online world.

serpentine gallery digital curator ben vickers mentions in the no internet, no art anthology that everyone online has been relegated to the role of curator in one form or another. however, institutional power wrestles with this redistribution of cultural production, and as vickers continues, “…we now find ourselves in a horrendous period of readjustment in the meaning of a term (“curator”) with a short-lived history. he ends his commentary in saying “we need a buzzfeed of the art world (he never elected to participate in this future) – then we will be free, then we will be relevant, democratic; let all cultural forms merge, let us not cast judgment outside of the commentariat form.”

i began creating printed reflections of my social media self on facebook using mysocialbook in the beginning of 2014. much like the comments of kholeif and vickers, i wondered what the role of facebook’s data model combined with mysocialbook’s algorithms would be in making of a “folk art” book-as-facebook selfie would be. would it be more like a duchampian “museum in a book”, or more like gannis’ recasting herself in any number of digital guises…

what i found was that every time i generated each book, i found so many idiosyncrasies, like one iteration putting my profile image in klingon drag and snapshot from my drone crashing into a tree with the word “fail” on it. another had rosa menkman standing on the boom of the calatrava’s bulding of the milwaukee art museum, and another had a picture of my dead cat. so, the chance-laden, aleatoric arrangement of the moments of my life from facebook put in print created such alien associations that i could not find it as anything but a work of art once the process was wed with intention.

so, when i talked to david quiles guillo and erik zepka about what i had been doing, david felt that this had to be expanded to include many artists, and not just myself. i thought this was an amazing idea, and from this, books was born. we look forward to seeing what eccentric archives are created from the heart of social media, and come forth into this series of exhibitions.

patrick lichty (2o16)

2o23©d ll ´