Karl Heinz Jeron & Valie Djordjevic, À la recherche du temps perdu, performance in London, SPACE Gallery, 20 March 2006. Participants: CPU - Karl Heinz Jeron, Zero - Yair Wallach, One - Valie Djordjevic, Display - Elvina Flower, courtesy the artists

15 May - 22 June 2008
Mala Galerija, Slovenska cesta 35, Ljubljana

Saturday, 21 June 2008 at 7 p.m., guided tour in English, ADELA ŽELEZNIK

Mary-Anne Breeze (mez), Codemanipulator®, Christina Goestl - clitoressa.net, Karl Heinz Jeron & Valie Djordjevic, carlos katastrofsky, Jörg Piringer, Martin Wattenberg & Marek Walczak

Curators: Birgit Rinagl & Franz Thalmair / CONT3XT.NET
Exhibition You Own Me Now Until You Forget About Me, has been selected for the Igor Zabel Competition, launched by the Moderna galerija in December 2007.

"Speech and the ability for meta-reflection on one's language are inherent characteristics of human beings. All the projects shown in the exhibition YOU OWN ME NOW UNTIL YOU FORGET ABOUT ME were originally Internet-based artworks. But the main thing they have in common is that they take as their starting point an exploration of language, with all its arbitrary structures and rules, its various functions within society, its absurdities and constraints on the individual. Rather than focusing on the isolated - literary / literal - artwork, the exhibition highlights general artistic tendencies toward a discursive process that originates on the Internet and finds its way back to the "virtualities of real life"."

As the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure explained, human language can be described under three fundamental aspects: the biological preconditions for speaking (langage), the fixed system of rules and signs (langue) and the act of speaking itself (parole). Given the supposition that the language system-conceived as a collective institution of norms-and the speech act-conceived as an individual, coherent and meaningful utterance-are reciprocally linked and that there can be no backflow into the system without speaking, it becomes clear that human language eludes immediate observation. Language can be examined only by reconstructing the process of its appearance, i.e. its articulation. Viewing our system of communication from this angle, we must ask if language is, then, an exclusively virtual product whose existence begins and ends with its realisation.

By the same token, digital artworks, although predetermined by the binary (linguistic) code, do not become "real" (generally comprehensible) until the code is transformed into text, image, or sound (when the data file is opened and the commands executed). Both language and digital artworks are based on processes, transformations, and continuous fluidity. The creation of digital artworks is founded on the active participation of a user, just as the existence of language is founded on a person who speaks.

Word and image are, therefore, no longer discrete parts of the artwork, just as, in Saussure's theory, langue and langage are no longer part of parole. In both cases, the individual elements are entangled in a performative act that makes interpretation obsolete. The open work is manifested through mediation and created anew with each new reception of it. But what happens when the user closes the data file, when the speaking person stops talking?

"In the end there is nothing of an object here, just a process, a set of rules that leads you to the point of questioning unicity, ownership, and the object-like nature of digital art works and what you can own is nothing more than the memory of it."
(Birgit Rinagl & Franz Thalmair / CONT3XT.NET)

More about the exhibition www.youownmenow.net

Related events:

Thursday, 15 May 2008
6.30 p.m. Birgit Rinagl & Franz Thalmair: Curating media / net / art; lecture in English

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 - 18.00. Free admission.

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