Make Love, Not Art.*
* Jebe & #353; umetnost.
Prevod: Jure Novak
Exhibition opening: Wed, 29 February 2012 at 7 PM
29 February – 16 March 2012
Theoretical and conceptual contextualization: Ida Hiršenfelder, Digital Death
Photo: Janez Janša, Aksioma
Igor Štromajer, 2011
Igor Štromajer’s exhibition focuses on the project Expunction. Between 11 May and 16 June 2011, Štromajer, one of the pioneers of net art in Slovenia and worldwide, carried out a ritual expunction of his classic net projects, which he created between 1996 and 2007. Every day during that period, he deleted one net art project; he removed it permanently from his server, so that the projects are now no longer available on the web server of Intima Virtual Base. He completely deleted 37 net art projects, totalling 3288 files or 101 MB. The documentation of the expunction and the entire project is available online at www.intima.org/expunction.
Photo: Janez Janša, Aksioma
The project Expunction raises questions about temporality, duration and availability of net art projects (the so-called “net art”), which change over time and slowly, but persistently lose their utility and, accordingly, their content. Štromajer’s principal guide in this project was the idea that one who creates, programs and constructs art can also deprogram, deconstruct, delete it. This is not an aggressive or destructive act, but rather an instance of taking into account natural rhythm: birth, life, death, which repeat themselves cyclically and oscillate in natural amplitudes. Štromajer has deleted history, including his own personal, intimate history, for he believes that memory is here to deceive, to betray us, and not to show and describe the past for us. A deceitful memory is not hard to delete, for it does not offer a realistic image of the past of which it speaks; it is always just a fraudulent, fabricated image. Hence, once they are published, the deleted art works or their remaining fragments – which can no longer be deleted due to the dispersal and the fragmentation of the world wide web – tell us much more about their originals (the original art works) than the originals themselves.
Number of deleted net art works: 37
Number of deleted files: 3.288
Amount of deleted files: 101.72 MB
Deletion frequency: one (1) net art work per day
Started: 11 May 2011
Duration: 37 days (last project deleted on 16 June 2011)
Subject: net art works by Igor Štromajer, created from 2007 to 1996, were being deleted, erased from the original http://www.intima.org server
If one can construct, program, build and create art, one can also delete it and deprogram it. Expunction was a natural, normal process of deleting my net art works, of removing them from my server. It was not a spectacle, nor an act of aggression or anger. It was not the artist’s attack on society, and it was also no religion. It was simply a procedure, a protocol. Something you have to do, to follow. Things appear, things disappear. My decision was conceptual, and I saw it as a constructive one, not as a destruction. I was deleting to revive, to vivify.
All initial net art works lost their “natural environment”, because the Internet 1.0 has already gone. It is impossible to preserve the net art works in their original form, because there is no original form anymore, browsers have changed, external links are broken, external linked servers are down, pop-up windows are blocked, Java functions differently etc.
Memory is there to deceive, not to tell us how it was.
An act of love, definitely.
Igor Štromajer (Intima Virtual Base – www.intima.org) is a web artist, intimate mobile communicator and virtual performer, who has participated in various exhibitions and festivals at home and abroad. The opus of Intima Virtual Base comprises more than fifty projects, which have been exhibited at more than a hundred different exhibitions in 45 countries. Štromajer received several awards for his work (in Moscow, Hamburg, Dresden, Belfort, Madrid) and his projects have been purchased to be included in permanent collections at leading art institutions (such as the Centre national d’art et de Culture Georges Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne in Paris, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Computerfinearts Gallery – Net and Media Art Collection in New York, the Hamburger Kunsthalle in Hamburg, the Slovene Museum of Contemporary Arts in Ljubljana, and the Maribor Art Gallery in Maribor). As artist-in-residence, he lectures at universities and contemporary art institutes worldwide.
Accompanying the opening of the exhibition, there will be three presentations. They will shed light on digital life in cyberspace, which can end with the expunction of data, oblivion or the death of online identity. Igor Štromajer will present the incentives for the project Expunction and the problem of archiving online works of art. Gordan Savičić – who, as part of the project Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, enabled the users of the social network to erase their entire profile to secure their right to privacy and free management of digital life – will discuss the issue of persistence of online identity in social networks. Ida Hiršenfelder will consider digital death as a political and aesthetic statement in works of art and the idea of eternity of online life as an absurd desire to archive everything that exists.
Aksioma Project Space, Resljeva 7, 1000 Ljubljana, T: +386 590 54360, F: +386 590 17010, E: projectspace[at]aksioma.org
Entrance: Komenskega 18, Opening Hours: Tue-Fri 12pm – 6pm, Sat 10am – 2pm
Production of the event: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2012
Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Executive Producer: Marcela Okretič
Assistant Production: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Mojca Zupanič
Technical Supervisor: Valter Udovičić
Acknowledgments: Robert Sakrowski, Brane Zorman
The program of Aksioma is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana
Sponsor: Datacenter d.o.o.
Mojca Zupanič, 041 924 515, mojca.zupanic1 [at] gmail.com
Marcela Okretič, 041 250 830, aksioma4 [at] siol.net
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Neubergerjeva 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia