Electrified 02 - Hacking Public Space


The S.M.A.K. and the Vooruit Arts Centre are joining forces to overrun the town. Electrified 02 – Hacking Public Space focuses on artists whose field of action is the ‘public space’.

Unbounded and virtually unregulated, they hack into the town with unannounced interventions. Traces of this seep into the museum, where new and existing works are brought face to face with flashbacks from the seventies and nineties.

Electrified is the name under which the S.M.A.K. and the Vooruit mount this biennial project. This second edition is taking up a decisive position on the crossroads of several directions in the visual arts. At the same time it will expose the friction between the areas where the two institutions operate: the S.M.A.K. in contemporary art and the Vooruit in media art, sound and performance art. In the quest for a shared ‘mentality’ in these different dynamics, the public space is taken as a common thread. In this case, the term ‘public space’ is all-embracing, without losing sight of the actual distinction between real and virtual public space. In addition to probing the boundaries between the different fields of art and the way artists currently enter the public space, Electrified 02 - Hacking Public Space is also a study of changing trends that have kept the notion of ‘public space’ in vogue for the last thirty years. In this sense, the project presents itself as a complementary triptych: sixteen artists, who operate internationally, with extremely varied backgrounds, will be showing new and existing work in the museum. More than half of them will also be undertaking actions in the town. These actions will be documented and gradually inserted into the exhibition. The furniture-maker, lock specialist and artist Lucas Murgida probes the boundaries between public and private space. In concrete terms, he examines the way we rigidly mark off our private territory and the key role that… keys play in this. Using his self-designed ‘Image Fulgurator’, Julius von Bismarck smuggles symbols into other people’s snapshots – visual material which we are usually certain is unique, private and self-determined. Ivan Moudov sells an ordinary conjuring trick to passers-by for extortionate sums in the hope of introducing a parallel black economy into the urban fabric.

The other artists are: Ben Benaouisse, Carlos Rodríguez-Méndez, Amilcar Packer, Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, Dogma00, Javier Núñez Gasco, Roberta Gigante, Messieurs Delmotte, Wilfredo Prieto, Miet Warlop, Helmut Smits, Christophe Bruno, Pierre-Laurent Cassière. There is a supplementary Flashback section in which a framework for the project is provided by significant points in the quite recent history of ‘hacking public space’. This will involve the digital display of the work of about thirty artists who can count pioneering actions in the public space among their achievements. Artists like Wolf Vostell, Nam June Paik, The Yesmen, Christophe Bruno... played a crucial role within this history and will be shown in the exhibition. Electrified 02 – Hacking Public Space: practical details Both the Flashback section and the urban interventions are presented in visual form in the S.M.A.K. and the Vooruit. The exhibition itself is in the museum.

A Salon evening is also planned in the Vooruit, with talks by Alessandro Ludovico and others. He is the publisher of Neural, magazine for hacktivism and also guest curator of the historical section. More Information: Vooruit S.M.A.K. news

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