FEEDFORWARD – Angel of History
FEEDFORWARD – The Angel of History, the exhibition Christiane Paul and I have been working on forÂ a couple of years opens Thursday!
There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise, it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm.
Walter Benjamin, from On the Concept of History, 1940
FEEDFORWARD â€“ The Angel of History
Cleaning up after the 20th century. What is progress now?
FEEDFORWARD â€“ The Angel of History addresses the current moment in history where the wreckage of political conflict and economic inequality is piling up, while globalized forcesâ€”largely enabled by the â€œprogressâ€ of digital information technologiesâ€”inexorably feed us forward. The exhibition title references Paul Klee’s painting â€œAngelus Novus,â€ which Walter Benjamin famously interpreted as an â€œangel of historyâ€ transfixed by the wreckage of the past that is piling up in front of him while being propelled backwards into the uncertain future by a storm from paradise (progress).
The exhibition, curated by Steve Dietz (Artistic Director of the 01SJ Biennial and Northern Lights.mn) and Christiane Paul (Director of Media Studies Graduate Prgram, New School, and Adjunct Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art), features 31 artworks by 29 artists and artist teams. The projects are presented, as if in the rear view mirror of progress, in sections relating to five themes:
- the â€œwreckageâ€ of the 20th century created by wars and conflict
- the countermeasures of surveillance and repression that the state as well as global capital set up in an to attempt to maintain control
- the aesthetics and symbolic language of the media of our times
- the forces of economic globalization such as outsourcing and migration
- the possibilities of reconstruction and agency.
Together, the projects featured in FEEDFORWARD create a complex picture of the global political and social forces that drive us forward. The exhibition features both the problematic aspects of the present and future, and the potential for collectivity and responsible action. At the nadir of the current global economic crisis, FEEDFORWARD is in effect about cleaning up after the 20th century and asks the question, what is progress now?
AES+F, Last Riot, 2007
Daniel Garcia AndÃºjar, Postcapital Archive (1989-2001), 2009
Christopher Baker, Hello World! or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise, 2008
Stella Brennan, South Pacific, 2007
Paul Chan, Baghdad In No Particular Order, 2003
Workers (leaving the factory), 2008
Liverpool animation, 2008
Nonny de la Pena and Peggy Weil, GONE GITMO, 2007
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2006, 2009
Tracking Transience: A Month of Sundays, 2009
Cao Fei, Whose Utopia, 2006
Barbara Fluxa, Car project, excavating XX centuryÂ´s end, 2009
Fernando Garcia-Dory, Museum’s Pastoral – A Meeting of the Federation of Shepherds, 2009
Goldin+Senneby, â€œIn Search of a Story,â€ 8-part journal by K.D., 2008-2009
Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji, Tantalum Memorial – Residue, 2008
Knowbotic Research (Yvonne Wilhelm, Christian Huebler, Alexander Tuchacek) + Peter Sandbichler, be prepared! tiger!, 2006
Langlands + Bell, The House of Osama bin Laden, 2003
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Big Box, 2007
Margot Lovejoy, Storm from Paradise, 1999
Naeem Mohaiemen, Live True Life or Die Trying, 2009
Ali Momeni + Robin Mandel, Smoke and Hot Air, 2008
Carlos Motta. The Good Life, 2005-2008
From The Other Night Sky series:
LACROSSE/ONYX II Passing Through Draco (USA 69), 2007
DMSP 5B/F4 from Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation (Military Meteorological Satellite; 1973-054A), 2009
From the Limit Telephotography series:
Morning Commute (Gold Coast Terminal) / Las Vegas, NV/ Distance ~ 1 mile/ 6:26 a.m., 2006
Large Hangars and Fuel Storage / Tonopah Test Range, NV/ Distance ~ 18 miles/ 10:44 am, 2005
Rachael Rakena, Fez Faâ€™anana, and Brian Fuata, Pacific Washup, 2003
Stephanie Rothenberg + Jeff Crouse, Invisible Threads, 2008
System77 Consortium, ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR!, 2009
Labor Camp Study Room: D, 2008-2009
White Star Cluster, 2008-2009
T+T (Tamiko Thiel & Teresa Reuter), Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall, 2009
Carey Young, Product Recall, 2007