ARTIFICIAL TEARS, Group Exhibition curated by Marlies Wirth at the MAK, Vienna Biennale 2017

The exhibition ARTIFICIAL TEARS. Singularity & Humanness—A Speculation quotes from a chapter of human history yet to be written. Thirteen artistic positions open hypotheses, pose questions, and provide impetus for a confrontation with the “singularity” foretold by American futurist Ray Kurzweil and being ushered in through the exponential growth of technology and highly intelligent machine interfaces.

With the proliferating possibilities for fusing science, medicine, and technology, the boldest and most terrifying visions from science fiction are being implemented in our daily lives in a manner both tangible and stealthy. The margin between animate and inanimate matter appears increasingly implausible, as does the differentiation between “real” people and their media incarnation, between “originals” and dummies.

Many of the utopian or dystopian narratives of the 20th and 21st centuries developed scenarios of societies shaped by technology as a tool for control and surveillance, their “humanness” ultimately utterly convulsed. The question arises of whether we human beings want to escape our increasing marginalization through technologies controlled by capitalist and political systems and whether we will work up the courage to fight for our freedom as a society and as individuals-in fact mainly against ourselves: When our utopias fail, we will have to unlock the potentialities in our dystopias. “The imagination is a unique mental faculty that fuses rational and emotional faculties,” writes philosopher Ágnes Heller (Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York) at the opening of her essay From Utopia to Dystopia (2016). And adds, “Neither thought nor action occurs without some kind of emotion.”

ARTIFICIAL TEARS is a plea for humanity, for the resilience and variability of the human condition and the significance of remembering and forgetting.

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Aleksandra Domanović
Things to Come, 2014
UV flatbed print on polyester foil, 7 panels à 5 parts; Unique
Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Mariechen Danz in cooperation with Genghis Khan Fabrication Co.
Modular Glyphic System, 2013/2017
Aluminum with screen print

Mariechen Danz in cooperation with
Genghis Khan Fabrication Co.
Modular Glyphic System, 2013/2017 (Detail)
Aluminum with screen print

Mariechen Danz in cooperation with
Genghis Khan Fabrication Co.
Modular Glyphic System, 2013/2017 (Detail)
Aluminum with screen print

Mariechen Danz
Imprint Pressures, 2013
Imprinted stone
Courtesy of the artist and a private collection, Berlin

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Daiga Grantina
Sun scarfs, 2017
Foam, cotton wool, synthetic
Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Tang, Paris

Mariechen Danz in cooperation with
Genghis Khan Fabrication Co.
Modular Glyphic System, 2013/2017
Aluminum with screen print

Mariechen Danz
Imprint Pressures, 2013
Imprinted stone
Courtesy of the artist and a private collection, Berlin

Daiga Grantina
Sun scarfs, 2017
Foam, cotton wool, synthetic
Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Tang, Paris

Daiga Grantina
Sun scarfs, 2017 (Detail)
Foam, cotton wool, synthetic
Courtesy of the artist and Joseph Tang, Paris

Jeremy Shaw
DMT, 2004
8-channel video installation; dimensions variable
3/3 + 2 AP
Courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin

Jeremy Shaw
DMT, 2004
8-channel video installation; dimensions variable
3/3 + 2 AP
Courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin

Dora Budor
Our Children Will Have Yellow Eyes, 2015
Screen-used miniature living container from
Johnny Mnemonic (1995); steel armature, epoxy clay, infected silicone prosthetics, acrylic polymer with pigment suspension, SFX and weathering paint, assorted metal hardware
Courtesy of the artist and a private collection, Vienna

Sarah Ancelle Schonfeld
Shamanistic Travel Equipment/Coats, 2017
UV print on cowhide
Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Marso Mexico City

Sarah Ancelle Schonfeld
Shamanistic Travel Equipment/Coats, 2017 (Detail)
UV print on cowhide
Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Marso Mexico City

Sarah Ancelle Schonfeld
Shamanistic Travel Equipment/Coats, 2017 (Detail)
UV print on cowhide
Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Marso Mexico City

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Matt Mullican
Untitled (5 Worlds), 2013 (1987)
Oil stick on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and Massimo De Carlo,
Milan/London/Hong Kong

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Cécile B. Evans
Working on What the Heart Wants, since 2015
3-screen livestream installation with HD files, streaming program, Ethernet cables, table, chairs, and different items belonging to the artist
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna/Rome

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Kiki Smith
Untitled, 1992/93
12-part installation, receptacles made of mirrored glass, pedestal
MAK GK 105

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Sean Raspet
Ester Grid, 2015
16 artifical flavor components
Courtesy of the artist and New Gallery, Paris

Kiki Smith
Untitled, 1992/93
12-part installation, receptacles made of mirrored glass, pedestal
MAK GK 105

Sean Raspet
Ester Grid, 2015
16 artifical flavor components
Courtesy of the artist and New Gallery, Paris

Clemens von Wedemeyer
A Recovered Bone, 2015
3-D printed sand, plinth, light spot, video
(color, silent); dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and KOW, Berlin

Dora Budor
One Million Years of Feeling Nothing, 2015
Screen-used miniature living garages from The Fifth Element (1997); steel armature, epoxy clay, diseased latex prosthetics, acrylic polymer with pigment suspension, SFX and weathering paint, assorted metal hardware
Courtesy of the artist und einer Privatsammlung
and a private collection, Zurich

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS
Jean-Marie Appriou
Exo-Bath, 2017
Marble, aluminum, glass
Courtesy of the artist, Jan Kaps, Cologone and CLEARING New York/Brussels

Exhibition view, ARTIFICIAL TEARS

Aleksandra Domanović
Things to Come, 2014
UV flatbed print on polyester foil, 7 panels à 5 parts; Unique
Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin

~~~

ARTIFICIAL TEARS
Singularity & Humanness—A Speculation

w/ Jean-Marie Appriou, Dora Budor, Mariechen Danz, Genghis Khan Fabrication Co., Aleksandra Domanović, Cécile B. Evans, Daiga Grantina, Matt Mullican, Sean Raspet, Sarah Schönfeld, Jeremy Shaw, Kiki Smith, Clemens von Wedemeyer

Curator: Marlies Wirth, Curator, Digital Culture and Design Collection, MAK

 at the MAK, Vienna Biennale 2017

Vienna Biennale