A variety of meanings has been attributed to the ubiquitous word “algorithm”, as it gradually moves away away from its original definition of “a procedure for solving a mathematical problem”. In order to better understand its transformations and use, I spoke to the person who has referred to our epoch as “the age of the algorithm”. Massimo Mazzotti is a historian and sociologist of science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also the Director of the Centre for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society (CSTMS), “a laboratory [conducting research]… on the histories and implications of scientific research, biomedicine, and new technologies”. Mazzotti connected me with Shreeharsh Kelkar, who is a lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Studies program and affiliated with the Algorithmic Fairness & Opacity Working Group (AFOG), whose mission is to develop “policy recommendations around issues of fairness, transparency, interpretability, and accountability in algorithms and algorithm-based systems”. In this interview, we identify algorithms as tools and look at some of their implications, including profiling and record-keeping.
Caterina Riva, 2021
Caterina Riva interviews UC Berkeley scholars Massimo Mazzotti and Shreeharsh Kelkar on algorithmic systems, featuring artworks by Elisa Giardina Papa’. Keep reading on so far.
M92 was assembled in Wuhan, China in 2020, she bears no expiration date. At 9pm each day she enters the condo’s swimming pool, after swimming exactly 60 laps, she lies on a reclining plastic chair, water dripping from her industrially manufactured skin. While a puddle gathers under the chair following the bends of her body, she recites from her memory card words she has downloaded from various sources. Tonight they are from a book written in 1970 on Italian cinema. She starts with Italian words beginning with the letter A: Amore, Accarezzare, Azzardo, Ancora. She attempts translations in other languages like English: Love, Caressing, Hazard, Again. The alphabetical order is no longer valid, the rhythm changes.
Caressing implies touching and touching is forbidden since the bacteriological invasion of 2025, where even insects became extinct and had to be artificially produced. KT is M92’s pet beatle, often its transparent colour makes it hard to spot amid the plastic furniture but the noise reveals its presence when it flies. The metal shelf is a favourite spot for KT, it is also where M92 keeps her most treasured possession, a small book, printed on transparent sheets in 2019 by someone called Minne de Curtis, M92 found it in a spatial dumpster on Vega. She loves passing her fingers through it, each time she finds something new: today she spotted a small pot containing olive oil used in ancient times for sacred rituals. Repeat, tomorrow.
Find complete entry with artwork by Ambra Viviani here
I met the artist Sriwhana Spong in 2011 when I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, which is also her hometown. Today, she lives in London, and that’s where she spent the lockdown period. When we spoke from our respective lockdowns on a video call, Sriwhana was sporting an amazing high ponytail à la Ariana Grande and big headphones, as if she was a musician in her own recording studio. Sriwhana had sent me some links to her films to watch before the call and I formulated the questions below.
We spoke of many things: how to stay open during a pandemic, the feeling of being “far” from home no matter where you are, her peculiar personal history split between New Zealand and Bali, and how that created the conditions for the choreographic making of her filmic, sculptural and performative work. The following transcription alights on Sriwhana’s interests in animal bestiaries, performance as conduit to other dimensions, and the language of the ancient Christian mystics. Couched in the same refrains and legacy, hers is a language that could possibly re-enchant the post-pandemic world.
La solidarietà al movimento Black Lives Matter, dopo l’uccisione di George Floyd da parte degli agenti di polizia di Minneapolis, si gioca per strada con cartelli e mascherine ma anche sugli schermi dei nostri smartphone. Legacy Russell vive a New York City, è attivista per i diritti delle persone QTPOCI+ (Queer & Trans, People of Color, Indigenous), lavora come curatrice allo Studio Museum di Harlem e ha scritto un libro, Glitch Feminism, uscito da poco per Verso. A giugno l’abbiamo contattata per parlare delle proteste esplose nella sua città e nel resto degli Stati Uniti, e per riflettere sul rapporto che collega il cyber femminismo, l’attivismo digitale e le tecnologie di sorveglianza. Caterina Riva per Rivista Studio, 2020
Potresti descrivere come stai vivendo questo momento da persona americana nera? È un periodo devastante. Niente di quello che è successo è nuovo, in realtà, ma la confluenza di tutto ciò a cui abbiamo assistito sta portando a galla le storie problematiche e profondamente radicate che hanno gettato le basi per l’attuale condizione mondiale. Come parte della mia pratica quotidiana, continuo a lavorare per liberarmi, amare, celebrare l’importante lavoro degli altri e impegnarmi attivamente per fare spazio nella storia dell’arte per le persone QTPOCI+.
Celant scriveva nel 1971, in un epoca d’oro per mostre-idea che esistevano nella mente, in pubblicazioni e nel ricordo di chi aveva preso parte agli happening. Nel 2020 ci confrontiamo con una memoria smaterializzata e annacquata dal digitale e ad un’offerta bulimica. RIVIERA era un progetto ibrido-utopico forse un po’ romantico, condito dal nostro feticismo per l’oggetto-libro e l’innamoramento per la variazione semantica dello stesso. Nel comunicato abbiamo scritto: “RIVIERA è un progetto in cui il libro si fa protagonista: come oggetto, contenuto, forma, pretesto, fissazione, collezione o curiosità, specchio, ostacolo, miraggio.” La proposta nelle nostre intenzioni era varia come la tipologia degli eventi e il pubblico, e funzionavamo sia come agenzia di comunicazione milanese che come agenzia universale per artisti squattrinati. Caterina Riva, 2020
Continuate a leggere le domande di Progetto Replica su ATP DIARY
Dovrai imparare a godere la bellezza di una ghiandaia
e l’incanto inaccessibile dell’azzurro che ti svolazzerà davanti
Rapire il profumo intenso della lavanda
strusciando mani e corpo tra cespugli inebriati di sensualità
Dovrai conoscere la solitudine. E accompagnarti all’ingegno,
alla devota intelligenza, alla passione.
Dovrai imparare a leggere, scrivere, e far di conto
Divorare storie fino a farne ossessione e incessante fame
Imparare il nome delle cose
e il loro tremore
Prenderti di te cura come il curato di campagna
in un film in bianco e nero si premura delle anime,
con ironia, benevolenza, gentilezza. Fermezza.
Dovrai nutrire il condottiero
mai dimentica del pianto e dello sgomento
Non oscurare il desiderio, e non sentirne colpa
Diffidare della cerimoniosità, delle speranze logore,
delle dichiarazioni che tendono all’eterno
Non cercare posto sicuro dove fissarti
una volta per sempre
Non temere la confusione popolosa della tua testa,
di quelle tante io che sei,
eremita e puttana, ubriachezza e castità,
compostezza e alterazione
La furia e le sue deviazioni
Non ricoprire di disprezzo il tuo esser fatalmente madre
Che sia accettazione dell’intraducibile tenerezza
scritta sulla pelle di pesca del neonato
portato al mondo
o mescolamento del ventre quando guiderai un’idea
lentamente al farsi
allunga le mani e prendi quanto puoi della pienezza,
grattala con le unghie, rubala
e affondala in un posto solo tuo.
come quei puledri che cadono al suolo
ma continuano a provare ad alzarsi in piedi,
sanguinanti e coperti di paglia, pronti a mettersi in viaggio.
Indossa un maglione smagliante e vai. Via andare.
Perché solo da te dipenderà la salvezza.
Daniela Zangrando, estate 2020.
ad una giovane donna è dedicata a Francesco Fonassi.
When it comes to art-making, what determines who is deemed professional?
Among the many acts and ways of making art, the idea of the ‘professional’ artist seems to be that of an individual who is able to create value acknowledged both culturally and economically, whose actions and works are validated by institutions within society. In this context, the amateur is an individual fuelled by passion and interest but unable to create cultural or economic value on a societally significant scale. The divide between the two is neither clear nor permanent; it can go and has gone through endless variations and modulations with time: they are two extremes between which individuals who partake in cultural production find themselves.
Ten years ago, we did No Soul for Sale at Tate Modern, the London powerhouse museum that turned 20 this year.On that occasion, artist Adam Avikainen celebrated the nuptials between two paintings of his and two paintings he chose from the Tate Collection, in the galleries where they were hung with a group of us as witnesses1. Adam has been sending each year for 10 years an e-mail in May to the participants to these nuptials, he promised a forever and he is keeping his word. The e-mail addresses he gathered in 2010 though, have been bouncing, each year less people receive his message on behalf of the paintings. In 2020, we are scattered in different parts of the world, and in different phases of lockdown induced by Covid.Continue reading →
Ciao Lisa, ti scrivo dalla Lombardia in quarta settimana di quarantena, forse i pensieri non sono molto lucidi ma provo lo stesso a porti delle questioni che vorrei discutere con te. Innanzitutto grazie della traduzione in italiano dell’intervista che ho fatto all’artista Lawrence Lek tra il 2017 (quando ancora vivevo a Singapore) e l’inizio di quest’anno funesto, rientrata in Italia prima degli inizi del contagio da Covid-19. […]
Sarah Walker Surface Creep, 2019 Binaural audio work. 14’42. Created for Tropical Lab 13 at LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore
Anchored in the real space of the LaSalle campus, Surface Creep is a walking tour that works between worlds. It uses the bleed between narration and diagetic and recorded sound to disrupt the spaces between truth and fiction, present and future.
Set partly in a future where Singapore has reclaimed so much land from the ocean that the world has become a giant dust bowl, the work uses fictive inquiry to bring ecological disaster into the present. (Sarah Walker, 2019).
Lek’s work usually takes the form of film, where he applies his skills at CGI (computer generated imagery) animation and at composing soundtracks. With animated, filmic works like Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD), Geomancer, AIDOL and 2065, Lek conjures up future scenarios where the virtual is changing the definition of all human categories, including art. The artist ponders through different viewpoints — both human and artificial — and adopts English, Mandarin and Cantonese to describe how the world might be like a few decades from now.
Miao Ying, Happily Contained, 2018, VR, 7′ , Courtesy of the artist and MadeIn Gallery
I am not sure where your IP address is located as you read this article. I am in now Italy trying to question the reach of digital technologies in our lives, interactions and flailing democracies. I started becoming more aware of the role of technology in society while living in Singapore, noticing how interfaces were shaping the city and its inhabitants.
I move to the edge of the wall, touch the surface which is cold and chalky. What house system are you using? Yours is a new house, one you designed yourself. You open the window. I talk about what was on my mind that night. An image of two habits short-circuiting. One stimulated by the other, something being distilled, boiled down. That it was meant to be. You reposition my chair, wipe down the table. That it’s still a region of tissue, strata of flesh and nerves and muscle. I go through my list, I mention resistance training, flexibility, geophysical processes. You pour liquid into a glass. I steady the glass with my hand. I use the other to push the image across and let it drip, discharge onto the wooden surface like some form of glandular secretion.
Madison Bycroft, Mollusk Theory: Soft Bodies, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, 2018.
Kai is a perky Chinese-Singaporean woman wearing gray shorts, sneakers and a T-shirt adorned with cats. You get the impression she is getting ready for a run rather than a performance. The Ikea stools for the audience are arranged in an arch shape in part of the gallery close to a glass partition. My Brazilian friends, attending the performance with me, feel the audience setup is constrictive, mirroring public spaces in Singapore where any improvised crossing or alternative routes are obstructed by metal barriers and plant fences. It seems I have been in Singapore long enough to no longer pick up on bodily curtailment.
The text was written and first published in a Dance Mag, The Furor Issue, 2018.
Dafne Boggeri, Training Coincidences, 2017. Courtesy Marsèlleria. Photo Sara Scanderebech
Chi è Dafne Boggeri? i-D è un lavoro del 2006 dove l’artista si presenta in quattro carte d’identità, indossando in ciascuna una maglietta con una scritta diversa; la serie completa compone la frase: trans/lation/some/time. La traduzione non risolve l’enigma che, anzi, si infittisce quando nel campo relativo alla professione nei documenti si legge “astronomo”. Dafne Boggeri si divincola dalle definizioni e si muove agilmente fra una molteplicità di linguaggi.
I come from Northern Italy, not too far from where Marco Polo started his journey East more than seven hundred years ago, but I now live in Singapore. I travelled there by plane with one big luggage and no immediate return ticket. In Europe my skin is white but gets tanned in summer months, in Asia when I stand in the sun I get ‘sunburnt’ instead. Language reveals a lot of cultural and historical biases.
Massimo Bottura is a Michelin star chef, his restaurant, featured on Chef’s table, Master of None and many other food and TV programmes, is Osteria Francescana in his hometown, Modena, a city in the centre of Italy where making pasta is considered an art. Bottura is married to Lara, an American woman he met when, in their 20s, they started working on the same day in the same New York restaurant. Lara eventually married the man but also a vision and then a restaurant. She was the one who introduced Massimo to art galleries and contemporary art exhibitions. Those encounters and ideas gradually made their way into dishes, inspired by Bottura’s childhood and traditional Italian family recipes transformed into new creations through conceptual twists often referencing works of contemporary art.
Adrian Piper è un’ artista-filosofa. Lo si apprende dal suo enciclopedico sito web (www.adrianpiper.com), che rivela come la sua ricerca trovi espressione in tre differenti discipline: non solo l’arte e la filosofia, ma anche lo yoga. Nella pagina dedicata alle sue notizie biografiche sono raccolti diversi documenti: testi brevi o estesi, scritti, riscritti e aggiornati a distanza di anni; saggi in prima persona e compendi in terza, oltre alla pagina Wikipedia ricostruita personalmente dall’artista. Sul sito compaiono lettere inviate a redattori, editori e curatori nelle quali Piper prega di correggere informazioni scorrette e di non basarsi su considerazioni esterne all’opera d’arte.
Articolo commissionato da L’Officiel Art Italia e apparso sul N. 3 Aprile 2018
Jeremy Sharma’s exhibition at ICA Singapore has a vibrant pulse and operates as an orchestra. The instruments the Singaporean artist plays are his videos: in one of them there is a saxophonist who introduces a soulful vibe resonating in the entire gallery. Billy Wong, who played in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, was befriended by Sharma as a street busker; in the video he performs his interpretation for a song composed for guitar, the new score Wong wrote can be found pinned on a wall in the gallery. Sharma films the musician playing at sunset by the windows of a room with a recognisable backdrop of Singapore HDB flats’ skyline. A paper contract next to it, reveals it is an office space rented only for the day of the filming.
Sto in un albergo nel caos sporco di Mong Kok, la mia camera e’ su un piano alto e mi pare di essere un’ eroina di un telefilm del giro del millennio tipo quello con Jessica Alba con il tatuaggio di riconoscimento a codice a barra sulla nuca. Se non sto attenta, mi e’ gia’ capitato di aprire la porta dell’armadio anziché quella della doccia, dato che sono uguali e adiacenti.
Finding a title for this exhibition has been hard; there was for a moment The abstraction of the art object (2017–2065) but I am no Lucy Lippard and it sounded like I was setting out to write a treatise. Then there were Satellite dreams, Dancing satellite and a brief Star Wars reprise, The last satellite, untileventually the satellite was shut down.
Haji Widayat (Indonesia) Wild Orchids in the Forest 1985, oil on canvas
Early morning and the fog pouring into the valley like a river. The hills a shade of emerald so dark that they are almost black. The gently rustling ferns, the wood-plank walls, the water dripping off the roof in beads of light—everything seemed to be drawing breath. She emerged from her sleep as if coming out of a cocoon, opened her eyes into the blooming of things. Through the window she could feel the crisp bite of the wind, see the fog enveloping everything as if the clouds were descending from above. For a moment she closed her eyes. Suddenly the sound of marbles falling onto the roof. When she opened them again the world had whipped itself into a storm.