A visual catalogue that dramatically expands ACT Festival’s sweeping scan of digital culture, the ACT_F15 screening program provides a supplementary survey of the creative output of the Exhibition and Forum participants. From a noisy jam session on Zach Lieberman’s radio frequency-scanning keyboard, to the many-reflections of Laleh Mehran’s monetary mandela, to the delicate orchestrations of several of ART+COM’s kinetic sculptures, to the strangely satisfying crackle emitted by exonemo’s keyboard and mouse bonfire – the sixty-four selected works offer a window into approximately thirty vital practices.
Many of the selections document installations, pieces that anticipate, inform, or compliment the works featured in the ACT Festival’s exhibition. These include the planck universe [micro], a floor-based dynamic data study by Ryoji Ikeda drawing on his recent residency at CERN and the taut geometries of Kimchi and Chips Line Segments Space, which dashes out an architectural web of illuminated nylon thread. In other videos, we see the realized imagination of other influential artists like Golan Levin, Moniker, and Yunchul Kim, whose rich interactive works offer more insights and experiences for us to consider.
Moving beyond documenting technical wizardry, many of the selections wander into more idiosyncratic territory. The Man Who Wanted to be a Goat details the trials and tribulations of Thomas Thwaites as he dons prosthetic appendages and joins a herd of goats in the Swiss Alps and – moving into the realm of exploring film as a medium in its own right – Ilona Gaynor’s Everything Ends In Chaos is the (eerie) cinematic component of a research project proposing a fictional global financial crash.
Elsewhere we see artists playfully experimenting with performance. 99 Objects: Taeyoon Choi and Christine Sun Kim on Incomplete Text #6 “E” by Charles Gaines documents the artists’ fusion of selfie-sticks, metronomes, and humans at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Meanwhile, longtime collaborators Rhizomatiks and ELEVENPLAY showcase their incredible augmented choreography with a pair of music videos. Perhaps the performance that most neatly encapsulates the spirt of ACT_15 is Diana Band’s Anarchist’s Toolbox. In it, a cart of simple wood and plastic noisemaking devices is wheeled into the centre of the frame by Wonjung Shin, who then tests the musical potential of each instrument; each of the videos in this program should be considered with a similar earnest curiosity.
ART+COM, ByungJun Kwon, Carsten Nicolai, Chris Coleman, Diana Band, Dunne & Raby, ELEVENPLAY, exonemo, Golan Levin, Hyojung Seo, Ilona Gaynor, Joanie Lemercier, Jürg Lehni, Kimchi and Chips, LAb[au], Laleh Mehran, Marius Watz, Markus Heckmann, Moniker, Nosaj Thing, Ralf Baecker, Rhizomatiks, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Ryo Ikeshiro, Ryoji Ikeda, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Sam Conran, Taeyoon Choi, Thomas Thwaites, United Visual Artists, Yunchul Kim, Yuri Suzuki, Zach Lieberman