Random International: Life in a Different Resolution

Random International: Life in a Different Resolution

Nxt Museum

December 11, 2023
Random International
Life in a Different Resolution
September 27, 2023–June 30, 2024
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Nxt Museum
Asterweg 22
1031 HP Amsterdam
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Curated by Bogomir Doringer.

Nxt Museum is currently hosting its inaugural solo exhibition, Life in a Different Resolution, showcasing the pioneering digital art creations of Random International over two decades. The exhibition marks a significant retrospective, featuring six iconic works that trace the evolution of Random International’s innovative endeavours. This marks the first time the German artists, Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, have exhibited these works in Europe.

The foundation of Random International dates back to the fortuitous meeting of Koch and Ortkrass at London’s Brunel University, leading to a collaborative journey that began after both completed master’s degrees at the Royal College of Art. Since its inception in 2005, Random International has grown into a multidisciplinary team, merging art, science, and technology to craft experimental artworks.

The exhibition’s title, Life in a Different Resolution, originates from a unique project initiated by Koch in 2011. Proposing a series of studio dinners featuring diverse guests from fields like navigation, animation, and psychology, the aim was to foster knowledge-sharing through existential discussions. These informal gatherings, named Life in A Different Resolution, became pivotal, influencing the conceptual trajectory of the studio’s future works.

The exhibition itself serves as a living study, translating intricate concepts into immersive experiences that prompt contemplation on human consciousness. Nxt Museum’s curation provides insight into the craftsmanship and intellectual background behind Random International’s seminal works, offering a deeper understanding of their vision and experiments.

Curator Bogomir Doringer expands, “The artworks of Random International are creative, collective dances between the audience and technology; they create stories in our minds about what it means to be human and alive and together. How do we stand before technological challenges such as AI that excite and scare us? For this exhibition, they have created a stage for immersive, large-scale installations and contributed to developing new media art. Random International’s work has inspired many, and in fast-moving times, it is essential to recognise their importance to what is happening today in creative arts and our lives upgraded by new technology.”

Noteworthy pieces in the exhibition include Living Room, a monumental artwork exploring space as a living being. Visitors enter a dynamic architectural domain, an interactive space that responds to occupants in unpredictable ways, creating a real-time, sentient labyrinth.

Life in Our Minds: Motherflock introduces a virtual flock of paper-like objects, delving into digital collectibles and Blockchain technology, pioneering communal ownership of public art.

Fifteen Points explores the human brain’s ability to recognise identity from minimal data through a moving sculpture developed during a research residency at Harvard.

Throughout the exhibition, the boundary between human and artificial intelligence is intentionally blurred, reflecting contemporary anxieties about the convergence of physical and digital realms. The artworks prompt questions about recognising sentience and applying human-like consciousness in the absence of rational thinking.

Random International emphasises, “This process encouraged us to weave together some major dramaturgic threads that had previously been somewhat discrete, allowing us to foreground new angles on what we had thought to be familiar. The show’s long-duration format enabled experimentation, co-creation, and instinctive engagement to become more than topics nested within the exhibition’s core, and instead develop their own ongoing dynamics together with audiences and collaborators. In short: the exhibition represents the studio’s current perspective on how we live today and how we look at all our lives in different resolutions.”

Nxt Museum, dedicated to new media art, opened in Amsterdam in 2020. As the first museum in the Netherlands focused on art, technology, science, and sound, it exhibits and commissions large-scale new media art installations, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. The museum’s program encompasses exhibitions, performances, and education, aligning with its mission to seek, show and question what’s next.

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Nxt Museum
December 11, 2023

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