Faith in Exposure

Published on February 24th, 2007

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From 24-02-2007 until 17-03-2007

Faith in Exposure shows artists, activists and visual researchers engaged in different ways with the language and power of ‘news media’. It is a project in which artists ‘talk back’ to the news media.

Beirut Letters, De Geuzen,, Lynn Hershman, Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied, Avi Mograbi, Sean Snyder, Thomson & Craighead, Jody Zellen

Oog (Volkskrant): Luis Mendo, Graham Harwood, Micheal Takeo Magruder, Laure Ghorayeb, Rob Hamelinck & Nienke Terpsma, Kessels Kramer, Jeroen Kooijmans, Jochem Niemandsverdriet, Max Kisman, Tjebbe van Tijen, Persijn Broersen & Margit Lukacs, Lust (Thomas Castro, Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen, Jeroen Barendse), Willem van den Hoed, Han Hoogerbrugge, Occulart (Geoff Lillemon), Jody Zellen, Motomishi Nakamura, Rob Moonen and Tom America
Curator: Nanette Hoogslag

Opening 23 February, 17.00 – 19.00 hour
Curated by David Garcia

Faith in Exposure shows artists, activists and visual researchers engaged in different ways with the language and power of ‘news media’. It is a project in which artists ‘talk back’ to the news media.

This exhibition and seminar addresses the central narrative of western democracy our ‘faith in exposure’, the unquestioning belief that the circulation of knowledge through news media (and other means) constrains the powerful and guarantees democracy. In a world where we may know but are still compelled to obey, Faith in Exposure is a platform for artists and researchers to ask whether it is still tenable believe the central myth of the information age; that knowing the truth shall make us free.


Saturday 24th of February
13.30 – 16.30 hours
With Jodi Dean, Noortje Marres, Richard Rogers, moderated by David Garcia

The seminar accompanying the exhibition Faith in Exposure will take place on the 24th of February. It will begin with a key-note presentation by leading US political and media theorist Jodi Dean. Dean’s book “Publicity’s Secret“ approaches (according to Slavoj Zizek), the key issue of critical theory: “how are we to subtract the authentic democratic impulse from its perversion in the media manipulated notion of public and public support”. Part of Dean’s book involved looking for sites of resistance even in odd places like UFO and conspiracy theories.

For the seminar Dean has prepared a talk which deepens her interrogation of the ways in which conspiracy theories operate in the public domain. Entitled Popular Credibility, the presentation will address matters of certainty and conspiracy theory around 9/11 and will involve showing and analysing portions of a video that has been circulating the Internet called Loose Change.

Also present at the seminar and acting as respondents to Dean’s presentation will be Noortje Marres and Richard Rogers, two important Amsterdam based theorists who have both, in different ways, challenged dominant notions of the ‘public’ and rethought our conceptions of how democracy has changed since its fate became entwined in the Internet.

Exhibition Faith in Exposure

Our goal with this exhibition is to temporarily transform the Netherlands Media Art Institute into a center for what the artists collective De Geuzen call “multi-visual research”. Not only a gallery space alone but an “art and knowledge workshop”.

This is why the Amsterdam University research network have occupied the Netherlands Media Art Institute recently on the basis of a temporary residency. During these weeks they have been working with their specially developed web-crawler application to investigate fluctuating alliances between political issues and celebrity endorsements.’s installation will focus on the case study of the Heather Mills and Paul McCartney saga and uses this instance to ask whether the link between celebrities and issues can be dismissed as the ‘politics of distraction’ alone.

In the installation Global Anxiety Monitor, the artists collective, De Geuzen (a foundation for multi-visual research) deploys Google’s multi-lingual image search functions to look at the way different key words raise the anxiety temperature of different cultures including Arabic, English, Hebrew and Dutch, monitoring the ebb and flow of global anxiety.

Sean Snyder is a self confessed news addict. A shortwave radio enthusiast who grew up with cable television, a remote control, and a computer. He works with basic consumer computer applications, Final Cut, QuickTime, Photoshop, enabling him to re-watch, slow down, and enlarge images. With a high-speed Internet connection, a satellite television receiver, and accounts with the Associated Press, Reuters, and the BBC Snyder has slightly enhanced access to events and reports. Since Sept 2001 he has used these resources to pursue his preoccupation with the way media events are subject to different forms of reconstruction, both textually and through images.

I am not so much interested in the politics (although I have my opinions) and/or the “truth” behind the reporting of events, but more the question, to what degree can visual art approach and potentially provide a different perspective on reading such events?…Maybe my question is, hasn’t news become entertainment? By definition, entertainment is contrary to so called “reality,” which is supposed to be represented in the news. If entertainment is something that feeds on our unconscious, does this mean that we increasingly see our own fantasies projected on screens (in this case, through globalized consumer items) with the appearance of objectivity? Finally, what do these images reveal?

Oog is a remarkable experiment in which the major Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant has opened a space in its on-line edition in which each week an artist is commissioned to make visual commentary on the news. The project has existed for 18 months and is one of the most visited pages on the site, outside the news-pages. From the extensive archive Oog’s initiator and curator Nanette Hoogslag has made a small selection of pieces to resonate with the Faith in Exposure theme. The contents are made accessible though a specially created interface by Joes Koppers and Bente van Bourgondiën.

The Beirut Papers is an soul scorching video distributed freely on the net during the Israeli incursion into the Lebanon in 2006. A powerful example of how the subjects of the news can take control of the instruments of representation and dissemination.

Avi Mograbi is an internationally acclaimed documentary film maker. An Israeli himself he goes into areas of conflict in Palestine and uses his camera and the journalistic role not only to record events but occasionally to provoke them. He frequently confronts highly charged political and emotional issues head on. His work is an eloquent repudiation of the idea of news gathering must be cool and ‘objective’.

Jody Zellen is an artist of remarkable sensitivity who mobilizes a range of visualization tools to engage with highly charged news material in ways that allow for new spaces of subtle reflection and engagement.

Thomson & Craighead’s installations take to an extreme the notion that the news has become little more than a narcotic. They take the notion of a visual narcosis to an extreme by deploying the visual paradigm of the ticker-tape news feeds that run along the bottom of the screen on 24 hour news channels and transforming them to an extravagant baroque spirals.

Lynn Hershman’s latest heroine is DiNA, an artificial intelligent robot. DiNA is candidate for ‘tele-president'; a virtual presidential candidate with a brain as big as the Internet, and growing smarter as she processes information. DiNA responds to the concerns of her constituents; her ‘mind’ shifts through tidal waves of information on the web to form concise opinions on issues ranging from abortion to gun control. DiNA is a socially intelligent and aware agent capable of evaluating news events and relaying them immediately to users.

Olia Lialina was one of the earliest exponents of net-art a practice in which the contextual and aesthetic possibilities of the Internet were explored in a series of remarkable pieces. Lialina is also a both keen historian and an amused commentator on the evolution of the web. In the pieces shown in Faith in Exposure she exploits, together with Dragan Espenschied, the paradoxes of the news paper cover as an interface in the era of screens and networks.

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