Suinbike SuleimenovaDenys Shantar
Wawelonskaja Sozialistitscheskaja Sowjetskaja Respublika BCCP
Video loop, projector placed on books about the Soviet Union, photographic print (40x60), framed
Suinbike and Denys Shantar focused on the theme of Babylonian linguistic confusion. In the Bible, the Tower of Babel stands for a grand project, which is hampered by god: he confused the people building the tower by splitting their once unified language into many, thus making communication impossible. This story shares similarities with the grand project that was the Soviet Union. Suinbike used video footage of workers in Kazakhstan on their journey home. The footage is underlaid with the Biblical passage reabout the Tower of Babel, read in the language of every post-soviet country. Denys Shantar reaproppriated Brueghel's famous painting (The Tower of babel, 1563) by inserting contemporaray elements within the image. The artists wirte: “We who once were neighbors, brothers and sisters are now strangers, enemies. We don’t live in the same country, we don’t speak the same language anymore. We, who live next to each other, have borders and walls much higher than we can imagine. We decided to break the borders between us and document the history we or our parents lived together and how it affects all of us now. We are the people of the post-soviet era. This is our history, whether we like it or not. And no matter where we live now, what language we speak or in what god we believe, shouldn’t we be kind to each other? Shouldn't we stop raising our children in hatred? Didn't we try to make the best of it when we were forced to? Why can’t we do that now when we are free?”
Zoya FalkovaYarin Shmerling
Do You Know How To Milk A Horse?
in Almaty: knee cartilage of a sheep, bell jarin Zurich: 30 x 3-D printed replicas, instructions, game installation
Do Swiss people know how to milk a horse? Are Kazakh people punctual? Cultural stereotypes problematize the discourse between contemporaries, and lead to a simplified understanding of the Other. The transfer of a street game from Kazakhstan to an exhibition in Switzerland tends to produce a paternalistic, “westernized” point of view. Through the recreation of an everyday object in one culture, a knee cartilage, into a 3D-printed exhibition-piece, a critical view on neo-colonial behaviour is produced – piece by piece. This work can be an example of how an institutionalized context playfully helps break through rigid narratives that dominate the west/east-dialogue.
Victoria BayelevaEvegenia Babich
Experiment 1: "Pocket Temple"
Installation in Alamaty: candle, two speakersOnstallation in Zurich: speaker, latex bubble, amplifier, strings
Having received various sound recordings from his partners Victoria Bayeleva and Evgenia Babich from Almaty, Manoj Patrik Rajakumar transformed and edited the sounds. Both the edited and unedited sounds come together in an installation which makes visible the the physical dimension of sound. In turn, Victoria and Evgenia also produced an installation using sound-files that Manoj sent them. In an experimental set-up using a candle and two speakers, they want to discover how the presence of objective truth is manifested, taking into account subjective bias.
Manoj Patrik Rajakumar
Installation in Zurich: Speaker, latex bubble, amplifier, strings Installtion in Alamaty: candle, two speakers
Jana VanecekMarea Hildebrand
book, 76 pages
Humanoids was written on the train and is situated on the edge [or in between] theory and literature. It follows the tradition of borrowing in literature, like collage and pastiche – taking a word from here, a sentence from there – Michel de Certeau’s related concept of bricolage – William Burroughs Cut-Up technique – Kathy Acker’s plagiarism – Walter Benjamin’s professed love for copying and the means of appropriation in the tradition of Shanzhai. Combining historical traditions in literature with new technologies – some as simple as using the three keystrokes: select / copy / paste; translation programmes, or speech-to-text editors – the authors (the re-mixers) try to explore new ways of writing by dealing with a basic change in the operating system of how we write at the root level. By accepting that language is “already written” and gets recycled via ongoing social/political institutions and linguistic fashion, the authors the re-mixers – in place of innovation – employ appropriation and the queering of existing styles, and genres. In place of a coherent text, they favor a form that is fragmentary, inconclusive and digressive.
A Training Set
Taking an ambiguous sentence from Dostoyevsky’s novel “The Idiot” as a point of departure and continuing the literary direction of the book Humanoids, Kulyash ran the Russian phrase through Google Natural language API, which translates texts using artificial neural networks. The resulting texts (in English, German and Kazakh) show that not only are translations imprecise and do not fully transfer Dostoyevsky's ideas, demonstrating the existence of bias in such systems. The train is a metaphor for change and transformation, as it was for industrialisation in Dostoyevsky's novel. The moral concern expressed in the excerpt is still very relevant, especially now, when we enter the age of AI with technology controlling many aspects of human life. Technology itself is dependent of a data, which is used to train it on. Thus if the data is biased, this bias will propagate even further with continuous technological reproduction.
#232 17 24'07 15
A long-distance relationship between a girl in Astana and a boy in Zurich is magically transformed into a virtual reality meeting through the use of a mysterious hashtag.
Claudia StöckliGregor Vogel
3 speakers hidden beneath floor
Claudia Stöckli and Gregor Vogel began by sending voices out into the open, where someone might grasp them. Field recordings from multiple trips abroad are played through speakers that are hidden beneath the floor of the exhibition space. Sometimes the sounds are barely audible, sometimes lower frequencies shake up the ground.
Aida AdilbekovaLucien Wampfler
«Сәлем, Люсьен!» “Bisous, Lülü!”
video in Zurich: screen placed on the gallery roof in zurichin Almaty: screen placed on the floor
What do you feel and how would you express those feelings when you hear somebody’s voice for the first time? For the second time? When they’re sharing their thoughts or singing you their favorite songs? How does your body react to these vibrations? Aida Adilbekova and Lucien Wampfler sent each other audio messages of different length. The person receiving the message recorded one part of their body while listening to the message for the very first time. The videos show their bodies' response to the other person’s voice.
in Zurich: 4 photogrphic prints (40x60cm)in Almaty: 34 (out of 36) postcards
The images were produced by directing a projector out of a train window and photographing the result when riding through the Kazakh desert. All the projected words are inspired by the journey through multiple countries and across their borders. The artists cut up the series of photographs into 36 postcard-sized squares and sent them to Almaty to be shown in the exhibition there.
Kulyash Zhumadilova and Aisulu Shaikenova’s works are translations and re-interpretations of the themes of the book “Humanoids” by Jana Vanecek and Marea Hildebrand