17 September 2020, 20:00
The Hmm @ Grey Space in the Middle
In 2020, The Hmm is popping up all over the Netherlands. We’re very happy that our first stop, outside of Amsterdam, will be in The Hague at The Grey Space in the Middle. The project and presentation space merges culture with science, technology, and philosophy — a perfect parallel to The Hmm.
David Veneman and Tom Laan have been “crashing browsers since 2012” with their artist-run studio buurmen. Specializing in internet-based projects, and generally just trying to make cool stuff for the internet, they’ll be helping us put together a very exciting program.
Artificial neural networks play an unseen but crucial role in our digital ecosystem by defining and recommending what should be seen, listened to, and read. But can these same neural networks, trained on massive datasets of images, sounds, and texts, augment human memory? Chris, a digital dreamer, media artist, and graphic designer, will be joining us for The Hmm to talk about her project AImnesia, that explores the concept of the human hybrid memory, which can be augmented, influenced, and modified by AI. Chris’s speculative work intends to prompt a discussion about evolving algorithms that can be trained on our online photos and fill in memory gaps by creating fake memories that are plausible enough to be perceived as real.
Previously based in an international augmented reality laboratory in the middle of a mountain in Japan, Inari now finds himself in Rotterdam because of his increasing interest in container shipping and global trade. Collaborating with researchers from TU Delft, he primarily works on the concept of a “one-container container ship”. But he’ll be joining us for The Hmm to talk about another kind of infrastructure, the former net.art collective IRATIONAL.ORG. Founded in 1995, and most active in the late 90s and early 2000s, the server collective is now a practical infrastructure stuck amongst modern gaming computers. Inari will talk about the transitions the collective has gone through over the past 25 years and how its legacy benefits his current practice.
As we move closer and closer to a near-future where our cities are populated by self-driving cars, drone delivery, and even fully autonomous weapons, the question arises about how we will shape the ethical frameworks around these technologies. Natalia, an interdisciplinary artist working with a variety of media to create context-aware installations, which combine sculpture, video, sound, text, and drawing, is interested in the human condition as defined by the relationship between the human and technology. She’ll be joining us for The Hmm to talk about the concept of non-human ethics, as defined within her installation Museum of Non-Human Ethics. In this work, death cases caused by robots are the starting point for speculation on the possibilities to assign consciousness to non-human, human-made entities.
Many of the red light districts around the Netherlands, particularly in Amsterdam, have become tourist attractions and spectacles. Despite this visibility, there is still a lot of stigma around sex work and being a sex worker. Viki, a social service provider at Spot46, a center for information and advice for sex workers in The Hague, has chosen to use Instagram as a medium to fight back against the stigma. Loosely based on Humans of New York, Viki started ‘Humans in the Red Light_The Hague’ together with her colleagues as a way to show the human side of the red light district.
Willem de Haan
Every space a human enters, whether a city square, white cube gallery, or a family member’s house, is subject to a set of social, political, and mental rules. Willem believes that a playful or humorous intervention offers the opportunity to undermine or even challenge those rules, and in many of his artworks he tries to evoke a moment of absurdity, alienation, and confusion. Willem spends a lot of time on Google Street View when preparing for his projects in public space, and while planning a project in Saint Petersburg, Russia he began to notice some of the limitations of Street View. He’ll be joining us for The Hmm to talk about what he found and the latest project that he’s developing based on this revelation.
Our lives are constantly being mediated by digital technologies. Yun is a composer, performer, and curator who is concerned with how our filtered ways of sensing both limit and extend the ways we understand, categorize, and compose the world. Yun’s work investigates links between recording technologies and human senses to unearth histories of erasure, power relations, and shifting definitions of what being human is. They will be joining us for The Hmm to talk about cultural and digital erasure, taking examples from their self-deleting digital essay “Poetics and Politics of Erasure”.