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Dirty Signals: counter-aesthetics of omission and absence in the entangled paths between here and elsewhere 


16.10.2023 at 10.00 at the Art Academy in Bergen

This lecture will explore the idea of artistic practice as offering a set of tools to interact with dominant systems of circulation today—what or who provides the means for materials, people, and data to travel? To attempt to dirty up the clean and slick representations of consumer experiences, the bright promises of near futures is to bring forward the logics and repressions that also flow, the material messes, the ecological demands of corporate control, and the invisible labour behind the smart machinery. What are the potential avenues for art to translate the seemingly abstract and distant phenomena into tangible forms and situations, to be understood and reimagined by intimate groups and public encounters?




Benjamin Gerdes is an artist, writer, researcher, and organizer working primarily in video and related public formats. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His work focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes, investigating methods for art and cultural projects to contribute to social change. His individual and collaborative projects emerge via long-term research processes in dialogue with activists, trade unionists, architects, and geographers, among others. Exhibitions and screenings include: The Centre Pompidou, National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), New Museum (New York), Rotterdam International Film Festival, Museum of the Moving Image (New York), Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Tate Modern. After two decades in New York City, he is presently based in Stockholm at the Royal Institute of Art, where he directs the Swedish Research Council-funded artistic research project Ghost Platform: Generating the “Complex Image” of Data, Labour, and Logistics. In addition, he maintains an ongoing research affiliation with the Department of Visual Culture at the Technical University of Vienna.

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