The Seismography of the Indefinite
Thomas More’s “Utopia” turns 500 – studio ASYNCHROME sets out to celebrate the great narration in the smallest gallery.
For Marleen Leitner and Michael Schitnig utopia is an opportunity and a tool in equal measure. Which is why they have chosen Thomas More’s “Utopia”, which was published in 1516 and shaped our ideas of ideal societies in the near and distant future, as the starting point for their work for the smallest gallery – collaboration space.
Leitner and Schitnig, aka studio ASYNCHROME, have been exploring spatial and societal structures since 2013. Working at the interface between art and architecture, the two artists see drawing as a hermeneutic epistemological method for assimilating and interpreting process-based developments and complex facts. The comic medium allows them to highlight spaces of opportunity within architecture and the visual arts by means of narration, facilitating an experimental experience of these spaces. In 2015 the Austrian artist duo contributed to “Randnotizen” of steirischer herbst.
Pictures of the installation in occasion ofte „the smallest gallery – collaborative space“ and „steirischer herbst“ festival.
Are we still traveling, or have we already become tourists in hawaii shirts?
This question refers to the opening text of the philosopher Byung-Chul Han in his essay „Hyperculturality“. In today’s age of digitization and the simultaneity of things, he compares the ever-increasing lack of culture with the consideration of the „man of the future“ by the anthropologist Nigel Barley. studio ASYNCHROME´s work processes this question about the lack of culture in the demand to reintroduce utopian processes back into a present social discourse. Our globalized world consists of many cycles – from actions and reactions. Therefore our idea of the future, always from an understanding of the present, should not be reversed. However, our social understanding always depends on the possibilities of interpretation. In a time of codes and algorithms, however, this is gradually becoming more difficult to comprehend, since they have become much too complex from a human perspective. The binary code, according to Peter Weibel, the most aesthetic of all codes, illustrates for studio ASYNCHROME the abstract communication sphere of our world – the undefined, so to speak. But what happens when one draws attention to the hidden, that determines all our present actions, and places them as a distinctive symbol before the interpretable levels of image and text? The seismography of the indefinite!
Pictures by Michael Sladek of the opening on 24.09.16
This year, in keeping with the motto “utopia is dead, long live utopia”, studio Asynchrome sets out on a multimodal search for traces, designing a new piece for the smallest gallery which will take up the entire exhibition space – 256 x 174 x 45 cm. Based on the English scholar’s philosophical text, they confront utopian thinking of the past with its present-day potential, inspiring us to reflect on the future of the present. What is going to happen next? And how to trace this path seismographically, as indeterminate as it may be?