Black Cloud – Kyiv Biennial 2019

Artificial intelligence, big data and Europe after Chernobyl: the program highlights of the Kyiv Biennial

Black Cloud – Kyiv Biennial 2019 will present a series of art projects and educational events focusing on the political and social role of modern technology. The main locations of the Biennial will be KPI Library and the House of Cinema.

Black Cloud, the third Kyiv Biennial of contemporary art, knowledge and politics organized by the Visual Culture Research Center, will take place on October 11 – November 23, 2019. The goal of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 is to reflect on social and political transformations in Eastern Europe over the past three decades, influenced by the Chernobyl catastrophe, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the development of information and communications technology.

The Biennial’s program will incorporate an exhibition presenting the works of artists from Ukraine, Germany, Great Britain, India, Canada and other countries, as well as a public program featuring international researchers, scholars and activists. The exhibition will take place in KPI Library – a unique architectural masterpiece of the Soviet modernism which will become one of the locations of this year’s Kyiv Biennial. The events of the public program will also be held in the House of Cinema.

The Black Cloud exhibition will unite artists working with the topics of mass communication, artificial intelligence, environment and the Chernobyl catastrophe. In particular, it will feature a well-known installation “The Glass Room” by Tactical Tech collective, illustrating the mechanisms of personal data collection and the problem of privacy on the internet. A number of works will explore the liaisons between technology, politics and environment. For example, Susan Schuppli’s installation “Delay Decay” shows cover pages of the Pravda newspaper published in the 20-day gap between the Chernobyl nuclear accident and its public disclosure by the government, drawing parallels between radioactive threat and media manipulations. Other works question the anthropocentric perspective and address non-human life forms, such as Emilio Vavarella’s film composed of video fragments shot by animals.

The public program of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 will include around 15 lectures, presentations and panel discussions. For instance, international symposium “Communicative Militarism” focused on the phenomenon of cyberwar will take place on October 17-18, followed by a discussion on October 26-27 with Ukrainian experts and activists on how data is generated, used and protected online. A part of the public program called “Middle East Europe” will address contemporary historical conditions and ideological divisions in the countries of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that have become the battlefield for new authoritarianism and right-wing populism. It will consist of a series of lectures by the renowned philosophers, historians and political scientists, such as Geneviève Fraisse, Philipp Ther, Jan-Werner Müller, Sandro Mezzadra, Claus Offe, among others.

In 2019, Kyiv Biennial became part of the newly established East Europe Biennial Alliance, which also includes Biennale Matter of Art in Prague, Biennale Warszawa and OFF-Biennale Budapest.

Featured participants of the Kyiv Biennial 2019 include: Isabelle Alfonsi (France), Clemens Apprich (Austria), Arab Media Lab (Morocco), Keti Chukhrov (Russia), Geneviève Fraisse (France), Georgiy Kasianov (Ukraine), Oleksandr Kupnyi (Ukraine), Geert Lovink (Netherlands), Oliver Marchart (Austria), Svitlana Matviyenko (Canada), Sandro Mezzadra (Italy), Jan-Werner Müller (Germany/USA), Claus Offe (Germany), Niels ten Oever (Denmark), Oleksiy Radynski (Ukraine), Raqs Media Collective (India), Kirill Savchenkov (Russia), Susan Schuppli (Great Britain), Tactical Tech (Germany), Aleksei Taruts (Russia), Philipp Ther (Austria), Emilio Vavarella (Italy), et al.

PROGRAM

October 11, Friday, 19:00 – KPI Library
“Black Cloud” exhibition opening

October 12, Saturday, 18:00 – KPI Library
“Час не чує, але він чекає на нас. On the nth Ground of the 6th Ocean: Ocean-Sensing Practices.” Performance by Kirill Savchenkov (Russia)

October 12, Saturday, 19:00 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“The Deregulation of Representations.” Lecture by Geneviève Fraisse (France)

October 13, Sunday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Arab Stereotypes in Western Media. Hollywood as an Example: From Silent Movies to the Late 90’s and the Beginning of 2000.” Presentation by Abdelaziz Taleb (Arab Media Lab, Morocco)

October 17-18, Thursday-Friday, 18:30 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“Communicative Militarism.” Symposium curated by Svitlana Matviyenko (Canada)

October 19, Saturday, 19:00 – KPI Library, Auditorium 6.5
“History and Memory: Use and Abuse (Ukraine and Post-Communist World).” Lecture by Georgiy Kasianov (Ukraine)

October 24, Thursday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“From Neoliberalism to Illiberalism. The Great Transformation after 1989.” Lecture by Philipp Ther (Austria)

October 25, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Queer Art, Herstories and Emancipatory Strategies.” Talk by Isabelle Alfonsi (France)

October 29, Tuesday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Is there Really a Crisis of Democracy?” Lecture by Jan-Werner Müller (Germany/US)

November 2, Saturday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Proliferating Borders in the Battlefield of Migration. Rethinking Freedom of Movement.” Lecture by Sandro Mezzadra (Italy)

November 15, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Conflictual Aesthetics. Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere.” Lecture by Oliver Marchart (Austria)

November 16, Saturday, 16:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Borderlines in the East of Europe.” Symposium of the “Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe” (EUME) research program at the Forum Transregionale Studien (Germany)

November 17, Sunday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Data Sonification.” Seminar and workshop by Daniel Siemaszko (Switzerland)

November 17, Sunday, 21:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“The Black Cloud.” Оriginal composition played live by electroacoustic jazz duo INFLUUT (Nat Cilia – saxophone, Daniel Maszkowicz – electronics) (Switzerland)”

November 17-18, Sunday, 17:00, Monday, 19:00 – Metaculture
“Open Call (For Opinions).” Theatre exhibition by Studio Lajf (Czech Republic / Slovakia)

November 19, Tuesday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Philosophy beyond Computation. On Evald Ilyenkov’s Critique of Artificial Intelligence.” Lecture by Keti Chukhrov (Russia)

November 22, Friday, 19:00 – The House of Cinema, Blue hall
“Transitioning from State Socialism to Democratic Capitalism. Observations on Ten Construction Sites.” Lecture by Claus Offe (Germany)

LOCATIONS:

The Scientific and Technical Library of the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” (37 prospect Peremohy, metro Politekhnichnyi Instytut).
The House of Cinema (6 Saksahanskoho Str., metro Palats Sportu).
Metaculture (31 Nyzhnioyurkivska Str., metro Tarasa Shevchenka).

Admission to all events is free of charge.

With the Support of ERSTE Foundation, Foundation for Arts Initiatives, Goethe-Institut Kiew, i-Portunus, Prince Claus Fund, Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”.