PCAI is happy to announce its partnership with KW Institute for Contemporary Art on the occasion of KW Digital and the Last Museum. This new program consolidates KW’s commitment to exploring the cultural implications of digital change through creative and critical means. KW Digital opens with The Last Museum curated by Nadim Samman (April 30–June 6, 2021), a website-specific exhibition. Further outputs in 2021 include the online program Open Secret (July 2–December 19, 2021) and the formalization of an enhanced online mediation program initiated at the start of COVID-19.
The Last Museum will tour as a “pop-up exhibition” on partner institution’s websites. Each touring iteration will acquire a new chapter—with an additional artist/site from the host institution’s country added to the navigable sequence. The Last Museum will be hosted by PCAI website from September 16 to October 16, 2021.
More about the Last Museum
Artists: Nora Al-Badri, Nicole Foreshew, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Zohra Opoku, Charles Stankievech
The Last Museum simultaneously unfolds across six continents and the virtual realm. Principally accessed through www.kw-berlin.de/thelastmuseum, the exhibition features all-new commissions that blur the line between cinema and sculpture, while exploring the potential of web-site-specificity.
The Last Museum’s site is a layered reality or (to borrow a term from computational engineering) a “stack.” This stack encompasses land, sculpture, code-user experience, metadata, and still more softer specificities. In this respect, each artwork is a vector that intersects with the website’s various layers. Each artist was commissioned to author a sculptural group, to be installed at a physical site of their own choosing. The choice was only limited by a request that it be associated with communications infrastructure. Final locations ended up highlighting both technical and more esoteric resources for connectivity. They included a notorious hacker space in Berlin, Indigenous land in rural Australia, a popular electronics mall in downtown São Paulo, a Cosmic Ray Research Station in the Rocky Mountains, a half-built mortuary in Accra, Ghana, and burning fields in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Each sculptural intervention was videoed by the artists and the resulting clips were handed over to a coder, before being brought together by a digital way-finding protocol. The outcome, debuting as a pop-up window on the KW start page, is a website experience that unfolds as an interactive sequence of objects and places, navigable using bespoke tools. At times, these tools amount to additional (digital) artworks.
Zohra Opoku and Nora Al-Badri deploy sign systems that were once undecipherable (in the form of Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics). Charles Stankievech (in addition to Al-Badri) also makes use of Mesopotamian cuneiform. Closer to home, the Wiradjuri artist Nicole Foreshew highlights indigenous communications that resist the colonial gaze—through her work with “message sticks.” The Last Museum imagines information transmission across the historical longue durée, dramatizing points of intersection with emerging technologies, (body) politics, and the global economy. As it does so, a leitmotif of displacement, limbo, loss, and undeath plays out.
More info: https://www.kw-berlin.de/thelastmuseum/start