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The Following Conference announcement may be of interest:-

Tenacity: Cultural Practices in the Age of Information and Biotechnology
March 24 to May 13, 2000

Ursula Biemann, Zürich; Bureau of Inverse Technology; Ricardo Dominguez, New York; Marina Gržinic and Aina mid, Ljubljana, Slovenia; Natalie Jeremijenko, New York; Kristin Lucas, NY; Diane Ludin, NY; Jenny Marketou, NY; Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, NY; Francesca da Rimini and Michael Grimm, Adelaide, Australia; ®™ark, USA; and Cornelia Sollfrank, Hamburg.

Curated by Yvonne Volkart

Opening: Friday March 24, 6-8 pm with webcast, Involuntary Reception, by Kristin Lucas 7 pm

Curator's/artists' tour: Saturday March 25, 1 pm

Conference: Saturday March 25, 2 pm

Information, communication, and biotechnology play an increasingly important role in the globalizing society of the changing century. Beyond simplistic technodeterminism, there are good reasons to recognize that these technologies influence our ideas of subjectivity, agency and politics. This process is linked to the culturalization of economic interests among other things. In this context, the arts, as a field of the visual, hold an important and active place in our increasingly visualized society, be it in an affirmative or a critical sense.

Tenacity wants to examine how art strategies and esthetics interfere in the universalism of technologies, asking how artists can be users while at the same time opposing the ideologies provided by these technologies. Beyond a simple criticism of hegemonic ideas of art and technologies, the Tenacity participants engage in producing alternative esthetics and omitted subject matters. They assert that digital media, new technologies and virtual realities don't abolish the embodiment of knowledge, criticism, and resistance. In so far as art is always an embodiment of ideas and a realization of imaginative and utopian moments, it has a crucial function in tenaciously insisting on the materiality of actual bodies and their contexts. Reflecting the importance of identity and agency in a networked context, many artists focus on the figuration of net personae with a wide range of psychic and political dimensions. Cyborgs, monsters, nomads, bots, lurkers and hackers cross the multi-layered space.

The Tenacity participants have been involved in an engaged digital media discourse for years and are among the best-regarded artists in the new media scene. The exhibition will establish a display specific to their critical reflections on new media and new technologies focusing beyond the visual into the acoustic. As an embodied virtual space, the gallery provides the temporary and symbolic location, where tenacious agents and images gather and move in a kind of high-speed, virtualized acoustic and visual space.

Yvonne Volkart

Ursula Biemann (Zürich) perceives the Internet as a space of textualized desires, disembodied sexuality, and commercialized gender relationships. Biemann s new video, Writing Desire, researches two related phenomena: listings for mail-order brides offered on the Internet, and the increasing number of people who develop on-line romantic relationships.

Bureau of Inverse Technology are self-described as an international bureaucracy for the Information Age. Their public profile emulates multinational corporations such as The Walt Disney Company, but to very different ends: with The HalfLife Ratio, part of the Bitsperm Bank ™, they compare the different market values of sperm and ovum to illustrate how traditional gender-based inequities are reproduced in the high-tech marketing of reproductive tissue.

Ricardo Dominguez (New York) is a co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater, which invents playful and spectacular forms of virtual resistance, stemming from a concern for the relative autonomy of the subject in cultural, political, and social contexts. Through his performance, Mayan Technology for the People: A Zapatista haiku on the question of technology and the politics of intervention, Dominguez will provide a hacker s glimpse into the military mindset.

Marina Gržinic and Aina mid (Ljubljana) produce videos and technology-based projects that examine the Communist subject and its representations. Gržinic and mid illustrate that new technologies are not ideologically neutral, but instead reflect Western concepts of "freedom." They question what it means for people who have been shaped by Communist societies to appropriate these predefined new media.

Natalie Jeremijenko (New York) uses technological products to explore social imagery. In Touch synthesized human skin is employed as portraits of the idiomatic categories used in medical research tests, such as Non-Smoking, post menopausal, female. The material is synthetically biological and human and human, yet stripped of its body it is drawn into cultural, social, and political discussions of identity and representation.

Kristin Lucas (New York) will show her latest video in which she performs as a young woman who discharges an enormous electromagnetic pulse field. This E.P.F. prohibits her from watching television or using cellular telephones, as she jams the frequencies at which both radio and television signals are broadcast, meanwhile she can read minds and pick-up police radio transmissions. The CIA, FBI, FCC, and IRS all have her under constant surveillance, although they are unable to document her activities on tape. This fictional cyborg woman is the hybrid offspring of our data world.

At the Tenacity opening, Lucas will transmit Involuntary Reception, a pirate radio webcast.

Diane Ludin (New York) has collaborated with Francesca da Rimini (see below) and Agnese Trocchi (Rome) to develop a network installation entitled Identity Runners: Re-Flesh the Body, which is constructed from multiple scenes based on digital myths developed by each of the artists. Ludin, da Rimini, and Trocchi propose new forms of identity more appropriate to the post-human age of information.

Jenny Marketou (Greece/New York) developed a net-running bot software persona, an artificially intelligent agent, which gains unauthorized access to chat rooms and CU SEE ME teleconferencing environment servers. Viewers are able to participate in a real-time lurking experience as they identify with the intelligent agent, while at the same time the definition of their own identity, as well as the identity of the subjects they meet in virtual space, becomes unclear.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (New York) present two pieces: a special high-speed acoustic environment, which is a real-time audio collage derived from the other artists pieces in the exhibition. In their second piece, they sample visual material from the Internet, which they detect as being representative of the increasing commercialization of the web.

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