Lunch Bytes conference, European edition

Lunch Bytes conference, European edition

Goethe-Institut Munich

Image courtesy of the Goethe-Institut

March 10, 2015
Lunch Bytes conference, European edition

20–21 March 2015

Haus der Kulturen der Welt 
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

T +49 30 397870

The Lunch Bytes Conference marks the conclusion of a discussion series that took place throughout 2014 in seven cities across northwestern Europe: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, Helsinki, London, and Stockholm. These panel discussions focused on the increasing significance of digital technologies with respect to art. Leading artists, academics, designers, and curators examined important trends in digital culture and their influences on contemporary art.

This particular two-day event at Haus der Kulturen der Welt delves deeper into the central themes that have emerged during the series of international meetings. Questions to be addressed at the conference include: How can we develop a fruitful discussion on digital culture now that digital technologies dominate our everyday lives and the internet has been declared “dead”? How can we enter a discourse about the internet’s influence on art that moves beyond the “post-internet” hype? And to what extent do we need to redefine concepts such as medium, materiality, activism, and subjectivity, considering the fact that contemporary art practices are so inextricably combined with digital technologies?

On the evening of 20 March the programme will kick off with an introduction to the conference and its themes, as well as a keynote lecture by art historian David Joselit and performances by artists Ilja Karilampi, Paul Kneale, and Jenna Sutela. The ensuing conference day on 21 March will be structured according to the overarching themes that have shaped the Lunch Bytes discussion series as it took place in 2014, through four panel discussions on “Medium,” “Structures and Textures,” “Society,” and Life.” After this there will be a second keynote by critic and editor Melissa Gronlund and a closing panel looking back on the conference and its themes.

The conference will be held in English. Free, reservations required: [email protected]


20 March, 6–9pm

SEO City
Paul Kneale, artist, London

Johannes Ebert (Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut) and Bernd Scherer (Director, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin)

Noise Tribe Speaking-Out-of-Control
Jenna Sutela (artist, Helsinki)

Melanie Bühler (curator, Lunch Bytes, Amsterdam)

Keynote Lecture
“Dark Cloud: Shapes of Information”
David Joselit (Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York)

Kapital FM
Ilja Karilampi (artist, Berlin)


21 March, 10am–7:30pm 

Panel 1: “Medium”

With Maeve Connolly (writer, lecturer in the Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technologies at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin), Katrina Sluis (artist, writer, curator of digital programmes at the Photographers’ Gallery, London), and Ben Vickers (curator of digital at the Serpentine Galleries, London)

Moderated by Toke Lykkeberg (curator, Copenhagen)

The first panel will focus on the concept of the medium. Digital techniques and tools have transformed traditional disciplines and blurred their external boundaries, while new and emerging forms of artistic production reflect the increasing ubiquity of the digital. This panel invites a discussion of the medium as an analytical entity, revisiting the concept of medium specificity. Does it still make sense to think in formal, media-related categories or have we moved beyond the medium as a recognisable and classifiable entity in the age of pervasive computing?


Panel 2: “Structures and Textures”

With Diedrich Diederichsen (critic, journalist, author, Berlin), Kerstin Stakemeier, (researcher and critic, Munich), Christopher Kulendran Thomas (artist, London/Berlin)

Moderated by Victoria Camblin (editor/artistic director of Art Papers, Atlanta) and Carson Chan (writer and curator, Princeton University, New Jersey)

Computational processes can be traced everywhere and are intrinsically interwoven in the fabric of our lives. This hybrid reality increasingly affects the materiality of artistic production in a variety of fields and disciplines. This panel will examine how online culture has affected our understanding of materials and question how contemporary art is shaped by the infrastructures that subtend the digital realm. Considering how the art world’s traditional spaces, such as the gallery or the museum, relate to the internet as a repository and space for the reception of art, the discussion will explore how spectatorship is constituted now that we have become used to online viewing habits. How do artists’ practices extend and relate to online spaces, and how has the production and dissemination of artworks changed?


Panel 3: “Society”

With Constant Dullaart (artist, Berlin), Stephan Dillemuth (artist, Munich), Kristoffer Gansing (Artistic Director of Transmediale, Berlin)

Moderated by Hito Steyerl (artist, filmmaker, writer, Berlin)

When considering the history of online culture, one sees a significant shift in how networked environments have been perceived as common spaces. The 1990s ideal of cyberspace, where knowledge and resources were shared freely, has largely given way to a webspace that is commercial and enclosed. Vast parts of the contemporary internet are presently owned by a few private mega-companies, which capitalise on the content and data generated by the users of their platforms. The internet has turned into a network through which everything is profiled and monitored for commercial and state interests beyond users’ control. This panel focuses on artistic strategies of resistance in response to present mechanisms of control.


Panel 4: “Life”
With Jesse Darling (artist, London), Cécile B. Evans (artist, Berlin/London), Cornelia Sollfrank (artist, Celle, Germany)

Moderated by Elvia Wilk (writer, editor, Berlin)

The last panel will zoom in on the individual subject, discussing notions such as affect, emotion, and solidarity online. Artists are invited to talk about their work relating to the question of how identities are established and configured through the various digital and material environments constituting our realities. If bodies don’t end at the skin but instead extend to and reconfigure themselves with the material environments they engage with, what kind of implications do digital technologies have for conceptions of representation, embodiment, and gender? If the various platforms we engage with influence our structures of feeling, how do they shape the way affective ties are created and mediated?


Keynote Lecture
“What Was Pre-Post-Internet? Why Net Art and Cybernetics Are Forgotten”
Melissa Gronlund (writer, critic, co-editor of Afterall journal)


Closing panel discussion/Q&A
With Melissa Gronlund, David Joselit, Paul Kneale and Hito Steyerl

Moderated by Maria Lind (Director, Tensta Konsthall) and Melanie Bühler (curator, Lunch Bytes)


Lunch Bytes is a Goethe-Institut project curated by Melanie Bühler in collaboration with the following organisations: Foam Photography Museum (Amsterdam); Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin); Nikolaj Kunsthal, Kunstforeningen GL STRAND (Copenhagen); Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin); Checkpoint Helsinki, Frame Visual Art Finland, Pixelache, Sinne (Helsinki); Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow); Arcadia Missa, Goldsmiths, University of London, Institute of Contemporary Arts (London); Royal Institute of Art, Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm).


Lunch Bytes Conference, a project initiated by the Goethe-Institut

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Goethe-Institut Munich
March 10, 2015

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