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Suzanne Treister, Fictional Videogame Stills/Would You Recognise A Virtual Paradise?, 1991–92 © Suzanne Treister

Ars Technica in Ethereality

Artist talk and lectures by Esther Leslie and Suzanne Treister.

16.11 2019


Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics, and Suzanne Treister, artist, give talks related to their contributions to the exhibition ”Mud Muses – A Rant About Technology”. Follow along into a world of fictitious computer games, tarot cards that tell the history of cybernetics, and a screensaver that endlessly insults our contemporary technosphere. The talks by Leslie and Treister will be followed by a discussion about technological reason (and the lack thereof) with ”Mud Muses” curator Lars Bang Larsen.

Video: Ars Technica in Ethereality

Lectures and artist talk

In the exhibition catalogue Leslie develops a media archaeology tracing “the floaty movements of ether, a substance that serves as a concept while it moves between technology and art, science and myth, metaphor and monies.” In her talk she will be chasing other odd resonances of a mystical materialism through the arcane gestures of the digital-device world, the propositions of Third Nature and its new materials and the tangled fates of media and mediums.

Suzanne Treister will talk about her work from the point of view of her mini-retrospective in ”Mud Muses” that spans four decades of her artistic production. Through paintings from the 1980s of fictitious computer games, a CD-ROM game with the time travelling avatar Rosalind Brodsky, tarot cards that tell the history of cybernetics, she explores alternative models of understanding of the future.

The talks by Leslie and Treister will be followed by a discussion about technological reason (and the lack thereof) with ”Mud Muses” curator Lars Bang Larsen. 

Esther Leslie

Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London. Her books include various studies and translations of Walter Benjamin, as well as ”Hollywood Flatlands: Animation”, ”Critical Theory and the Avant Garde” (Verso, 2002); ”Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry” (Reaktion, 2005); ”Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage” (Unkant, 2014), ”Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form” (Reaktion, 2016) and ”Deeper in the Pyramid” (with Melanie Jackson: Banner Repeater, 2018).

Suzanne Treister

Suzanne Treister’s paintings from the 1980s are of fictitious computer games, and in the early 1990s she produced her first computer piece by hacking games on an Amiga computer. In the mid-1990s she started working with the fascinating time-traveller Rosalind Brodsky, an avatar employed by a military research institute in the future. Treister explores and changes our beliefs about technology, using for example watercolours or the ritualised information architecture in tarot decks and the cosmogram. Apart from being an early cyber feminist, Suzanne Treister is a pioneer when it comes to digital and media-based art, who has gone from intoxicated curiosity to a sceptical and critical attitude to new media and issues such as who controls the Internet, software and all forms of data.

Kontakt: Karin Malmquist, intendent