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RADAR CONTEMPORARY

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EXTENSIONS VOL 2 - COSMOLOGY

 Black Quantum Futurism, Lea Porsager, Marie Kølbæk Iversen

Ida Kvetny og Helene Nymann

 

Curated by Radar Contemporary

 

EXHIBITION TEXT

By cand.mag in art history Ida Schyum

 

How did it all begin, and what will the future look like? Cosmology deals with the past evolution of the universe to answer these exact questions. But humans cannot repeat the big explosions of the past to know for sure. Instead, we must dig up extragalactic fossils and put them together into never fully provable hypotheses, as a reminder of human’s the eternally limited knowledge.

 

From when Galileo Galilei discovered that we are not the center of the universe to Einstein's theory of relativity perceiving time and space as interdependent. The way we imagine the origin and structure of the universe is crucial to our self-perception and worldview, which is reflected further into science and art. Radar Contemporary is an exhibition platform for artists working with technology. Thus, they have created the exhibition Cosmologies to reflect on whether our digital present is changing our whole conception of the cosmos and how the technologies we use determine our knowledge of the universe.
 

Through intuition, shamanism, esotericism, decolonial tools, and mnemonic techniques, the artists in the exhibition present approaches to the universe, breaking with the Western traditions of science. Thus, they expand not only our narratives about the cosmos but our understanding of ourselves in relation to the rest of the universe.

 

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EXTENSIONS VOL. 1

Amalie Smith, Andreas Refsgaard, Diana Velasco, Ida Kvetny, 

Helene Nymann, Kristoffer Ørum, Louise Alenius, Uffe Isolotto.

 

Curated by Radar Contemporary

 

EXHIBITION TEXT

By cand.mag in art history Ida Schyum

 

Through an online group exhibition the new artist-driven platform Radar Contemporary puts the Danish digital art scene under the microscope. Made even more relevant by the corona lockdown, the exhibition Extensions vol. 1 takes the measure of what happens when our lives and art get extended into the digital field. And precisely by focusing on technologies as extensions of ourselves, the artworks stage the ways we embody the digital.

 

The corona crisis has radically extended our bodies. As a point of no return, we now conceive ourselves as intertwined in an enormous microbic network constantly exchanging microorganisms. Since a stranger under two meters away from us these days seems like a risk of contagious connection, the embodied sense of a relation to the world’s larger goings-on, will always be prevalent. But while the analog body is in quarantine, we extend ourselves digitally more than ever searching for intimacy through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Skype. As these meetings for most of us has turned out somehow unfulfilling in the end, it is even more clear that art is crucial to investigate, expand, and critically question our digital platforms and interfaces. 
 

While meeting up for the after-work beer on Teams felt like drowning in a sea of pixels breathing desperately for intimacy, Amalie Smith’s work Michanikos mediates the history of how Greek divers lost the control of their bodies due to new technology. Michanikos literally means ‘mechanical’, and is the name of a Greek folk dance, also called ‘The Sponge Diver Dance’. The dancer shakes as if he is suffering from decompression sickness, which sponge divers experienced when they were the first to use industrial diving suits in the mid-19th century. Smith’s artwork consists of a double projection with one video showing the contemporary dancer Sophia Mage interpreting ‘The Sponge Diver Dance.’ A motion capture suit tracks her movements and tranfers them to an animated diver standing on a virtual seabed on another screen. While the diver suit symbolizes the industrial revolution, the motion capture suit questions what sequelae will follow our next digital paradigm. Maybe it was digital decompression sickness I felt chatting with my co-workers during the quarantine?  

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