Art After the Internet
March 31, 2017–January 14, 2018
Panel discussion: Would you be an artist if there was no Internet? : April 1, 1–3pm, with Ed Atkins, Ilja Karilampi, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Artie Vierkant
Ed Atkins live performance: April 1, 5–6pm, with Kallio Cantata Choir
Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma
Instagram / Twitter / Facebook
ARS17: Hello World! is a survey of contemporary art focusing on the global digital revolution and its impact on our culture and economy, as well as human identity and behaviour. The exhibition in Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki brings together 35 artists from 13 countries representing three generations, from the ‘60s to the ‘80s. Many of the artists featured in the exhibition are post-internet millennials, who are digital natives more or less from the moment they are born. For them, the physical and virtual worlds are inseparable components of the same merged reality. In their world, digital technology is not an end itself, but a tool for creating, sharing and experiencing.
"What can art tell us about life in the digital age?" This question forms the thematic catalyst of the ARS17 exhibition. Each ARS exhibition has traditionally taken up a cultural or societal topic for in-depth analysis. This time the theme we are investigating is the digital revolution, though not from a technology-driven perspective, but rather from a human-interest angle, focusing on behaviours, feelings, desires and communities. In our daily lives, digital services and platforms have become tools for connecting people and for delivering streamlined, personalized services. Meanwhile, our consumer habits, relationships and personal interests have become more public and visible than ever before. The internet has become a state of mind, both on a personal and collective level.
For today’s artists, "embracing the future" is not about chasing trends, but more about making choices that will affect tomorrow. One of the core goals of ARS17 is to deepen our critical self-understanding of digital culture in relation to how art is presented, and also to foster an inter-disciplinary approach in bringing art into a wider arena of debate on our digital future.
Many interwoven themes are raised by the works in the exhibition. These themes include human relationship with animate objects, technology and energy production; the connection between the physical and virtual worlds; self-image as shaped by social media; and where we are headed in the future, whether in the direction of techno-utopias or frightening dystopian visions. Some of the works depict the internet as the great collective unconscious of our time. The exhibition also highlights the new aesthetics of the digital age and the experimental use of brand aesthetics in the post-capitalist era.
The ARS17+ Online Art is a collection of online art that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, via personal mobile device if the user so desires. Some of the pieces in the online collection add an extra dimension to an accompanying physical work in the exhibition.
While celebrating the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017, as part of the official "Finland 100 Years" programme, ARS17 also emphasises the importance of looking forward, focusing on the shaping of the next 100 years. ARS17 includes over 50 artists in three programmes: ARS17—the main exhibition; ARS17 + Online Art—a newly launched platform to present works online, to extend the experience beyond the museum walls; and ARS17 at Kiasma Theatre—a new programme exploring the issues of digital transformation on the present and future of live art, including guest performances and four Finnish premieres.
The ARS exhibitions are a series of major surveys of international contemporary art, organised since 1961. In total, the exhibitions have had more than half a million visitors, presenting work by about 600 artists or groups. ARS17 is the ninth exhibition in the series, and the fourth to be held in Kiasma—the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland.
Artists: Ed Atkins (1982, Great Britain), Andrey Bogush (1987, Russia), Nina Canell (1979, Sweden), Cécile B. Evans (1983, USA), Lizzie Fitch & Ryan Trecartin (1981, USA & 1981, USA), Melanie Gilligan (1979, Canada), Juha van Ingen (1963, Finland), Yung Jake (2011, Internet), Ilja Karilampi (1983, Sweden), Nandita Kumar (1981, Mauritius), Tuomas A. Laitinen (1976, Finland), LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner: Shia LaBeouf (1986, USA), Nastja Säde Rönkkö (1985, Finland), Luke Turner (1982, Great Britain), Reija Meriläinen (1987, Finland), Katja Novitskova (1984, Estonia), Jaakko Pallasvuo (1987, Finland), Aude Pariset (1983, France), Jon Rafman (1981, Canada), Charles Richardson (1979, Great Britain), Rachel Rossin (1987, USA), Jacolby Satterwhite (1986, USA), Hito Steyerl (1966, Germany), Anna Uddenberg (1982, Sweden), Julia Varela (1986, Spain), Artie Vierkant (1986, USA)
ARS17+ Online Art artists: David Blandy (1976, Great Britain), Ed Fornieles (1983, Great Britain), Juha van Ingen (1963, Finland), Rachel Maclean (1987, Great Britain), Florian Meisenberg (1980, Germany), Reija Meriläinen (1987, Finland), Pink Twins Juha Vehviläinen & Vesa Vehviläinen (1978 & 1974, Finland), Angelo Plessas (1974, Greece), Jon Rafman (1981, Canada), Tuomo Rainio (1983, Finland), Charles Richardson (1979, Great Britain), Jarkko Räsänen (1984, Finland), Axel Straschnoy (1978, Argentina), Jenna Sutela (1983, Finland), Amalia Ulman (1989, Argentina)
ARS17 is curated by Dr. Leevi Haapala, the Director of Kiasma, with curatorial team including Chief Curator Marja Sakari along with curators Kati Kivinen, Patrik Nyberg and Jari-Pekka Vanhala. ARS17+ Online Art is produced under the direction of Chief Curator of collections Arja Miller along with curators Eija Aarnio and Milja Liimatainen. The commissioned works by Angelo Plessas and Jenna Sutela were curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini, a London-based curator who specialises in online art. Kiasma Theatre’s program is curated by Mikael Aaltonen.
ARS17 catalogue available from March 31 also online at Kiasma Shop.