Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space

Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space

TU Dresden

Rosa Barba, Language Infinity Sphere and Language Infinity Sphere (Recording), 2018. With teaching objects from the scientific collections of the Office for Academic Heritage, TUD. Installation view of The Color Out of Space, TUD Dresden University of Technology, 2023. Photo: David Brandt. Courtesy the artist and Esther Schipper. © Rosa Barba.

September 29, 2023
Rosa Barba
The Color Out of Space
Schaufler Residency@TU Dresden 2023
September 29, 2023–January 19, 2024
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TU Dresden
Office for Academic Heritage (Kustodie) Gallery
Helmholtzstrasse 9
D-01069 Dresden
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Who (or what) decides what we remember? How are those decisions enacted? Together with researchers from TUD Dresden University of Technology, artist Rosa Barba takes up residency at the Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden from September 2023 to February 2024 to pursue the creation of a “new machine” to transform the storage and archiving of knowledge through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Barba’s work examines the constitution of histories of knowledge as well as the annals of memory. Extending her path of earlier research at CERN and scientific collaborations at Harvard University, she will research the application of artificial intelligence upon histories of knowledge with particular focus on the cascading paradigm shifts this implies upon the organization of thought. In the coming months, Barba will collaborate with experts in a transdisciplinary exchange to develop a software that brings to the foreground scientists from underrepresented groups. Striving to ensure this “new machine” can both detect and close the gaps in our cultural memory going into the future, the data-set will be Open Source to enable expanded use for other practitioners and applications.

Her inaugural exhibition at the Schaufler Residency@TU Dresden takes place alongside a selection of scientific teaching objects from the TUD Office for Academic Heritage’s scientific collections, featuring the film installation The Color Out of Space (2015), as well as her sculptural piece Language Infinity Sphere (2018). The latter, which is a non-linguistic configuration of thousands of obsolete lead letterpress blocks is emblematic of Barba’s residency project wherein language itself can be grasped as a digital object, its constituent blocks, and their semantic purposefulness entirely transformed through decomposition and recomposition.

Barba’s works often demonstrate the speculative similarities between artistic investigations and scientific research. Despite the deployment of different means and objectives, both fields explore and analyze the contours of facticity and ignorance, yet never without social mediation. Which societies and institutions possess and determine access to knowledge systems and research outcomes, not to mention the power to adjudicate something as “knowledge” at all? How may hegemonic categories of knowledge be unsettled by way of AI technologies, and what conduits for collective memory may be opened as a result? Barba’s artistic project is entangled with such questions located at the nexus of science and social discourse.

Discussions and tours will take place during the exhibition, and a symposium to conclude the residency is being planned for February 2024, at which the process of artistic-scientific collaboration will be presented.

Rosa Barba (lives in Berlin) is an artist and filmmaker who balances conceptualism with a distinctly personal vision in her work. She merges films, sculptures, installations, live-performances, text pieces, and publications that are grounded in the material and conceptual qualities of cinema. She also creates installations and site-specific interventions to analyze the ways film articulates space, placing the work and the viewer in a new relationship. Her work is part of numerous international collections and her recent and forthcoming exhibitions include: Esther Schipper, Seoul (2023); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2023), Tate Modern, London (2023), PICA, Perth Australia (2023), Villa Medici, Rome (2022); Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours (2022); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2021–22); Cukrarna, Ljubljana (2021, 2022); Beaufort Triennial, Belgium (2021); Yokohama Triennial (2020).

About Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden
The Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden—a joint project of TUD Dresden University of Technology and The Schaufler Foundation—is a lively forum for a forward-looking dialogue between science, art, and society. Its artist in residence program enables artists to become part of the TUD’s scientific community to jointly conduct research with scholars from various fields. In April 2024, the Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden will start its second funding phase (until 2027) with the guiding theme “Data–Worlds. Sociotechnical and cultural syntheses of new realities”. The announcement of seven dissertation projects and a postdoctoral position as well as the first of three artist residencies will take place in October 2023.

Speakers Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden: Kirsten Vincenz, Lutz Hagen / Curator Schaufler Residency@TU Dresden: Gwendolin Kremer / Coordinator Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden: Anke Woschech.

Additional links
Rosa BarbaSchaufler Lab@TU DresdenThe Schaufler Foundation / Office for Academic Heritage, Scientific and Art Collections (Kustodie).

Press contact: Lena Ludwig-Hartung, e-mail: schaufler.lab [​at​]

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