interfaces of control mechanisms
 Basak Senova
artists: Nooshin Farhid, Hristina Ivanoska, Effie – Amir, Zhou Hongxiang, Ran Slavin, Anabala, Sala Manca, Ligna, Erhan Muratoglu, Michael Zinganel, Pragmatic Sanction, Vuk Cosic, Nicole Pruckermayr – IOhannes zmölnig Yane Calovski, FOS, and Igor Stromajer – Brane Zorman. artists of the loosing.ctrl screening programme: Yael Bartana, Erhan Muratoglu, Ruti Sela – Maayan Amir, Can Turkinan – Özlem Sulak, and Hatice Guleryuz.
venue: Forum Stadtpark
coordinates: Graz, 2006
websites: http://www.nomad-tv.net/under_ctrl

The project series, under.ctrl, intends to define “the interfaces of control mechanisms” which systematically compose our lives. Interfaces themselves have become the locus of control by being more effective than their underlying mechanisms, yet more invisible and subtle in normalizing such mechanisms which they veil. They operate in various layers of our daily perception and realization through the re-designing of life styles; procedures of auto-control; re-perception of histories; generating modes for social psychology; constructing communication channels; and particularly through technological embodiment.

The significant influence of these interfaces, along with the direction and intensity of implicit and explicit acceptance and rejection modes, are being detected and questioned through subversive activities and reactions in different forms of expressions by artistic practices.

The project follows an empirical method through various researches carried out by different artistic practices focusing on various kinds of interfaces of control mechanisms operating in the social, political, economic, cultural, geo-political, and psychological layers of our daily lives.

The aim of the project series, under.ctrl is not to propose an objection or resistance models to these systems but to investigate art projects and art-based actions that raise the threshold of the awareness for comprehending and deciphering these mechanisms. In the same line of thought, this project is also an attempt to detect tactics and rejection mechanisms along with the “off the record” strategies of the art works and actions against the pressures and conditions of these mechanisms. But we also question whether such strategies paradoxically serve for these systems by absorbing any kind of resistance and normalizing reactions. In this respect, since 2004, under.ctrl as an on-going project manifests these questionings and thoughts through various formats. For Graz launch, the curatorial practice once again followed and mimicked these considerations.

under.ctrl was planned as an event in process with various performance formats, put forward observations on the various aspects of the mechanisms that control our lives, in connection with their designed interfaces. Throughout three days, Forum Stadtpark hosted sound performances, installations and screenings of works and documentaries (in a definite time frame with a controlled but composite schedule) along with a panel that will be publicized after the event. Therefore, it operated as a platform of discussion on how these interfaces are shaped and alter our lives in different local contexts. loosing.ctrl -as one of the sub channels of the series- was also be presented with a screening programme. under.ctrl graz launch brought a specific emphasis to the local context through the works of Austrian artists and a local activist group.

The design/layout/setting of the exhibition

All of the art works, extracts, documentations of art works and actions in the exhibition were presented by using the same interface and format. Yet, theer were two parts of the exhibition: (i) The installations of Nooshin Farhid, Nicole Puckemayr and Johannes Zmölnig were presented at the entrance of the exhibition hall; (ii) the video works along with the live performances share the same space (the exhibition gallery of the Forum StadtPark . It was a proposal which was working on the perceptual level.

The operation logic of the four screens proposed an unpredictable and playful process within limits of time and space. The order and placement of the works were directed by Erhan Muratoglu, as a live action. This action proceeded through the low-level interaction according to the reactions and responses of the audience. Yet, this probabilistic system was thoroughly open to any kind of error and accident. This was also valid for the streaming process via Internet. (the streaming was hosted by Ales Zemene (ice.mur.at).

The audience became active at the moment he or she had entered the space. The audience had to take decision where to position him/herself and his or her movements were in a way controlled by the changing order and the placement of the screenings. Furthermore, every night the sitting units were changed so the audience were forced to adapt another setting for watching the screenings.

Last but not least, different contingencies could be visualized through this operation logic. The order constantly suggested a new set of interrelations. These were not linear; yet emerged simultaneously through a network of themes, visual languages, geographical inputs and sound.

Time frame of the live performances along with the design of the space enabled the live performances to be seen outside of the gallery from the StadtPark.

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