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Call No. 9 – Violent Consumer Media

by Dani Ploeger

© Akademie Schloss Solitude, Foto: Dani Ploeger
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Call release: Dec 17, 2019
Applications: Jan 15, 2020 (midnight)
Web Residencies: Feb 15, 2020
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Over the two past decades, mobile phones, action cameras, toy drones and other digital consumer gadgets have played an increasingly important role in warfare, terrorism, hunting and other forms of what Slavoj Žižek calls »subjective violence.« The online distribution of self-generated content by soldiers, terrorists, and citizen journalists has complemented and influenced the narratives of mainstream media, while social media and other online platforms have facilitated the distribution of instructions to build DIY weapons and explosives.

Since the introduction of the smart bomb in the early 1990s, images of high-tech warfare became increasingly prominent in mainstream media representations of military conflicts. However, more recently, the proliferation of videos made with helmet cameras by soldiers and fighters in places like Iraq and Syria have drawn attention to the persistence of – now often seemingly archaic – ground warfare. Whereas terrorism in previous decades mainly focused on the outcomes of the act, contemporary terrorists in Christchurch, Halle, and elsewhere have planned their actions to facilitate live-streaming and global distribution of the »process« of the attack to inspire copycats, and promote the use of FabLab-like technologies to produce weapons. Meanwhile, discussions and research about the presumed relationship between violent behavior and exposure to violent media, especially video games, continue to be instrumentalized in political campaigns.

The current call for web residencies by Schloss Solitude and ZKM focuses on close engagements with these developments through artistic explorations of their methods, aesthetics, and broader cultural implications. How do advanced consumer technologies relate to high-tech weapons, their uses and perceptions? In what ways are news media affected by representations of violence made by those participating in and/or affected by acts of violence? What are the ideological and practical aspects of the aesthetics of violent DIY media content and homemade weapons? How might the beliefs and ideologies of DIY electronics and maker movements resonate with the world views of homemade weapon advocates and lone wolf terrorists? What are the interrelations between news media representations of violence and their counterparts in video games? How are perceptions of violence and technology intertwined with performances of masculinity and femininity?

Project proposals for this call may include texts, performances, apps, documentary video and fiction, 3D objects, net sculptures and installations, web archives, and any other experimental mediums. Selected projects should be carried out in open-source formats that are well-documented, shareable, and consider the accessibility of its users, who may range in age, race, gender, economic class, and ability.

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Web residencies
In 2016, Akademie Schloss Solitude launched the web residencies to encourage young talents of the international digital scene and artists from all disciplines dealing with web-based practices. ZKM has been program partner since 2017. For each call, the curator selects four project proposals whose creators receive a four-week residency and 750 USD.

Artists are invited to experiment with digital technologies and new art forms, and reflect on the topics set by the curators. Web residencies are carried out exclusively online, and the works are presented on schloss-post.com.

Artists and students of all disciplines as well as former or current Solitude fellows may apply. There is no age limit.

Learn more about the program.

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Residents Call No. 9

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    Gore Devaluating Tool
    Leonardo Aranda
    Mexico City/Mexico

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    VIGIPIRATE CUADQCOPTER DRONE
    Miyö Van Stenis
    Paris/France

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    1001 Drone Nights
    Ronnie Karfiol
    Tel Aviv-Jaffa/Israel

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    Late Night in Sorrento
    Kosta Tonev
    Vienna/Austria

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Juror/Curator of This Call

Dani Ploeger is an artist and cultural critic who explores situations of conflict and crisis on the fringes of the world of high-tech consumerism. Through a combination of technological objects, video, software applications and performance he emphasizes both the fragility and rawness of materiality in digital culture. Thus, his work questions myths of progress and their implications for local and global power dynamics.
In this context, quasi-journalistic journeys often form the starting point for the development of his work. He has been embedded with frontline troops in East-Ukraine, travelled to e-waste dumping sites in Nigeria, stole barbed wire from the Hungarian anti-immigration fence, and interviewed witnesses of US drone attacks in Pakistan about sound and technologies of violence.

Dani’s artwork has been shown at transmediale, WRO Biennale, ZKM Karlsruhe, V2_Lab for the unstable media, and many other places. His texts have been published in Leonardo, The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Imagination, and the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, among others. His curatorial projects include exhibitions at Stadtgalerie Bern (CH) and the Maritime Museum of Flushing (NL). Holding a PhD from the University of Sussex (UK), he is currently a Research Fellow at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, Artistic Researcher at Leiden University and Associate Research Fellow at De Montfort University in Leicester. He lives and works between London, Berlin and Flushing (NL), mostly on trains and ferries.

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