The works in the exhibition Invisible Power deal with dismantling the structure of organizational systems and the dispersal of knowledge on the Internet. Today, all agree that in the past few decades, knowledge has become a main productive force, a phenomenon that has already changed considerably the texture of active populations in the developed world. In this form, as an essential computerized commodity needed for creative power, knowledge has become an important object of struggle in the global competition for power. Just as countries fight with each other over control of territory, raw materials, or cheap labor, the great powers today fight over control of knowledge.
Artists: Saclike Hayshed, Chark Wag and Young Hae-Chang, Marc Lafia, Valery Grancher. Dates: 06.03 — 06.12.2002
In Trapped, Saclike Hayshed presents questions asked by serial murderers. Hayshed pulls out information on murder and murderers from Web-based criminology databases, and combines this information with images and a personal bio. Serial killers are a phenomenon in our society which, even if not new, causes fear for our lives that is quite real. It’s a fact that serial killers have become one of the steady variables of the 20th century, and it appears that they will remain so into the 21st century as well. Trapped is heavily based on direct questions that serial killers have asked. The text and quotes were taken from crime archive Web sites, while the pictures of the victims and the killers were taken from similar sites. Hayshed combines biography with pictures from his private collection with images and biographies of serial killers in order to reproduce the sense of human reality of which we are a part – the very subject of Trapped.
In The Struggle Continues, Chark Wag and Young Hae-Chang come out against the typography, images, and design on the Web that serve the information dispersal structures of the Internet. They combine interactivity with the trigger-release action of click-and-bang. The text and the sound in their works clash: pleasant, quiet music accompanies aggressive text that appears and disappears in an almost-too-short time frame for reading, yet burns the words into our brains while the melodious music plays on. The Struggle Continues is based on the importance to cross borders, to break or to dismantle the inflexible laws of viewing art, yet in order to please the eye, it is important to make a ”proper Internet.” This is the big dilemma with which artists grapple in Web-based art because of the techniques used – and because of art itself. In creating net art, it is necessary to comply with the inflexible laws of text flow, picture, and sound. A single error in the HTML code and nothing works – nothing comes up on the screen. The Struggle tries to break as many rules imposed on Web site building as possible. It is not interactive: There are no graphics or graphic design, no pictures or illustrations, no banners, no million colors, font play, or fireworks. Wag and Hae-Chang declare that they are not fond of interactivity, as it is akin to pulling a trigger: click and bang! In Struggle, they try to point out the essence of the Web-information and disinformation – and when you take away the interactivity, the graphics, the pictures, and the colors, what’s left is the text.
The Vanndemar Memex or Lara Croft Stripped Bare by her Assassins by Marc Lafia, is built as a play-and-move game. Its world contains monitor cameras, secret instructions, and structures of artificial intelligence that paint an environment of futuristic paranoia. The Memex is presented as several events in chronological order, or story paths, with access to them via a set of navigation instruments. The participant first chooses a code name and an image that enables the system to create a stereotypical psychological profile of the user, who then enters the system. Upon entering Memex, one hooks up to transient surfaces and is asked to identify with the character of the ”agent” in this post-affinity world. The questions ”Who is talking to me?” ”Who is giving me instructions?” ”Who are you and who do you work for?” and ”Who is whose agent?” are presented in the giant space of agents, lineups, and remote control. Memex arouses thoughts of valuing the self, distribution of narratives, artificial insight, and collective intelligence. Constructed as a game, it attempts to combine the contemporary thought processes of Duchan, Manor, video games, and computers.
In his work, Jerusalem, Valery Grancher takes live images from monitoring cameras that capture events from atop the Western Wall and the eastern wall of Jerusalem’s Old City. The cameras were not set up by Grancher, but rather for other purposes unknown to us. In Jerusalem, Grancher asks who loves who and who hates who, as pictures are broadcast in real time from the Western Wall and the eastern wall, one next to the other. Who placed the cameras? Was it Grancher? Grancher uses monitor cameras set up by an unknown party that convey a stream of images onto the Web. The availability of the image on the Web enables her to link two physical places in a virtual space, whereas political space does not allow this
Curators: Galit Eilat and Eyal Danon