The Unabated Radicality of Information (1970) at MoMA

(During the first year of the pandemic, I received the curious invitation to write a review of an exhibition that happened fifty years ago as if it were happening today. Because that exhibition was one of the benchmarks in media art history, I was happy to take up the challenge. The review was originally published in Dutch in METROPOLIS M 3-2020. The Dutch article contains a few more images. I translated it with DeepL and checked it with Grammarly.)

Exactly 50 years ago today, on Sept. 20, 1970, was the last day of Information at the MoMA in New York, the still radical-looking exhibition that used dial-up poetry lines, audience surveys, and lots of documentary projects to bring a new genre of art to the museum: information-oriented, interactive, documentary and critical. Josephine Bosma writes about the significance of this milestone in exhibition history.

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                                                                                                     Information catalogue front

Whistleblowers & Vigilantes | Exhibition Review

In 2016 I wrote a review of an important exhibition about whistleblowers in the information age at the HMKV in Dortmund. The wonderful artspace and online art community space Furtherfield from London was kind enough to publish it. You can still find the full article there. The picture below shows one of the drawings in the exhibition by Clark Stoeckley, The United States vs Pvt. Chelsea Manning © State of the Arts NJ.

2016 vigi videostill 02 aus the united states vs pvt chelsea manning von clark stoeckley c state of the arts nj 0

In the Shadow of the Big Projector

Review of David Blair’s The Telepathic Place: from the Making of "The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES” at the MUHKA in 2013. The review of this magical show somehow got lost after the renovation of my website, so it is reposted.


The top floors of the MUHKA in Antwerp have been transformed into a walk-in dream sequence. Five rooms filled with traces of a history that never could have been but which still comes alive together form a sort of 4D feature film. In it film itself is both a theme and a surreal, malleable prop. David Blair’s The Telepathic Place: from the Making of "The Telepathic Motion Picture of THE LOST TRIBES” is a surprising and captivating installation work. Poetic text scraps painted in oil on small canvasses or written on walls with pencil, traces of (im)possible histories in the shape of manipulated film devices, miniature train tracks as tangible traces of … of what? Though the main story describes the fictional history of a rather esoteric movie industry in Manchuria, the most important underlying themes of The Telepathic Place seem the driving sentiments and imperfections of storytelling through media, in particular film and video. The Telepathic Place exposes the malleability of memory and history, even if it is captured on film, recorded in any other way, or, as historical practice, materialized in old tools and objects. At the MUHKA Blair makes the experience of film and that of train travel get entangled to the extreme, which evokes an uncanny feeling of mock nostalgia. Both film and train travel take the visitor, whilst sitting in her seat, to far away places, while life and time pass by. By crossing such similar experiences David Blair taps into that part of our memory where things easily blur, creating confusion, surprise and wonder.

Olia Lialina - 20 Years of My Boyfriend Came Back From The War

In March I went to see My Boyfriend Came Back From The War at MU Gallery, Eindhoven. I wrote a review, which I then left on the shelf for too long, because I got distracted. It is worth publishing though, because writing it forced me to think about the very turbulent nineties and their aftermath again. It made me mull over how art on the Internet has evolved and specifically on how individual works live on and gain new meanings many years later. In some ways seeing this exhibition was like meeting an old friend and, though still feeling the love, having to find your place in its new life.     

Olia Lialina at MU, photo courtesy MU Gallery

Excerpt Nettitudes: Context and Cultural Identity: Brian Mackern

I often get requests for digital versions of my book. Unfortunately I cannot put the entire book online, but I can publish excerpts. Here is an part of chapter two, which is called Levels, Spheres and Patterns. In this chapter I discuss the many 'layers' at which the Internet is used in art. The following excerpt deals with the conceptual layer, which I call context. I discuss a book by Urugayan artist Brain Mackern, who decided to close off a crumbling archival project of Latin American net art by documenting it in book form: The netart_latino database.

Will Work for Food - A studio visit to Karl Heinz Jeron

In the summer of 2008 I went to Berlin, where I visited the studio of artist Karl Heinz Jeron.

From 1996 until 2003 Jeron had collaborated with Joachim Blank as Blank & Jeron.

On their website Blank & Jeron presented early web projects such as Dump Your Trash from 1998, which invited the audience to submit web site addresses into an online form.

The submitted website would be 'recycled' as if carved into a slab of stone. There was the option to actually order the website carved in stone. The influential text Introduction to Net.Art by Alexei Shulgin was immortalized this way. After having been among the main initiators of the Berlin digital city project Digitale Stadt Blank and Jeron separated ways on friendly terms.

Blank now makes more sculptural works, while Jeron has, next to or overlapping with his online projects, moved into 'relational', performance, and conceptual art.

This is a photo of one of his drawing robots in action. The robots are part of a work called 'Will Work for Food'. In this work the audience could request to be sent one of the drawing robots, and in return the audience would have to send the artist food in return. The robots played music while they worked. They could be made to sing either Happy Birthday or The Internationale.


Florian Cramer surprised by the Piet Zwart class of 2008

The class of 2008 students of the media design course of the Piet Zwart Institute decided to thank course director Florian Cramer in a special way. They made a giant portait of his face from the back covers of the black and white books. Cramer was overwhelmed. In the background one of his students, Gordan Savicic, applauds. Other graduates that year were Danja Vasiliev, Linda Hilfling, Ricardo Lafuente, Annemieke van der Hoek, Ivan Monroy Lopez, Maria Karagianni, and Michael van Schaik.


Zine Fiends: Zinecamp at WORM May 2014

In the weekend of May 24-25 2014 a gathering of zine makers and zine lovers happened at WORM, the 'institute for avantgarde recreation' in Rotterdam.

I dropped in to make a simple photo report.

Overview of the Zinecamp space.

OMD: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark bij Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam

Hij werkt beter des avonds dan overdag, de expositie Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) in Arti et Amicitiea te Amsterdam. Het overdadige daglicht in de grote zaal verdringt alle duisternis, waardoor de meer donkere tonen van de expositie aan kracht inboeten. Toch blijft deze vierde expositie van curator, kunstenaar, DJ, en flamboyante persoonlijkheid Martin C. de Waal overeind. De expositie brengt een ode aan eigenzinnigheid en individualiteit in deze tijd van crisis waarin nationalisme en conservatisme soms welig lijken te tieren.


The Greater Cloud

The exhibition The Greater Cloud at the NIMk (Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst) in Amsterdam is compiled by five different curators.

NIMk's house curator Petra Heck selected works for the main room. Here are some photos from that room.