AUGMENTED CIRCUMSTANCES

Niki Passath, Arnold Reinisch, Jani W. Schwob

Platforms Project 2018
“Nikos Kessanlis” Exhibition Hall of the Athens School of Fine Arts (Piraeus str. 256, TK 182 35)

https://www.kunsthallegraz.at/content/augmented-circumstances-niki-passath-und-arnold-reinisch

Niki Passath, Arnold Reinisch and Jani W. Schwob form the artist collective „los dodores de dolor“ for the Platforms Project in Athens and realized together a performance exhibition with the title “Augmented Circumstances”. Arnold Reinisch combines various techniques and media in his artistic practice. For a few years now, objects have been created that simulate human flesh in their materiality: on an optic and haptic level, the mixture of plastic, acrylic and wax conveys the impression of organic tissue. Jani W. Schwob moves in the media of graphics, painting, object and installation and develops playful stages which are questioning current phenomena, such as popular culture or social media. Niki Passath develops works in his cross-genre (media) artistic practice that question for instance the relationship between technology and art. He deals with the life sciences, as well as with physics, robotics and AI. In this process, he creates expansive, kinetic installations, as well as objects, paintings and drawings.

A starting point for the Platforms Project in Athens was a tattoo machine by Passath with the name “Kurt”. The work, completed in 2002, subversively questions contemporary technical ideas as well as a changed concept of the body. The art work report to a symbiosis between the organic body and the machine body – as well as to a synergy between the algorithms and the physical world (1). Kurt actually inscribed himself in the artist’s body in the form of a drawing tattooed by the machine. The other conceptual basis of the performance exhibition was the highly semantic work (2) by Reinisch – cubes out of flesh. The collaboration of the artists consisted in the combination of these approaches: performatively by the artists, but by a machine operated, generative drawings were created on seemingly organic tissue. The machine leaves in the drawing traces of its existence behind (3), controlled by a mechanical algorithm but formally unpredictable and coincidental. The performance of the artists together with the machine operates with themes such as autonomy and authorship, the physical and the carnal. The objects, reminiscent of pixels cut individually out from flesh, become artificial artefacts – the drawings, executed in various colors, which formally recall orbits of planets or stars, become witnesses to the possible autonomy of the machine.

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