Overwrite / Discard / Save Both
SKALA gallery / POZNAN (Poland)
16.06.2018 – 30.06.2018

from the “Quake III: Arena” game sums up the next completed level, indicating that the difficulty level will be increased. According to Mohammad Salemy and Patrick Schabus , when searching for a new mythology, one needs to dig deeper in digital worlds. We can merely consume the reality, which is speeding up at a rate no-one can keep up with. Despite ostensible movements, we remain passive and helpless when faced with increasingly complex and overwhelming system. When searching for a place non-penetrated to date by technocratic capitalism, we fall into more and more sophisticated traps. The theories heralding the arrival of absolute Artificial Intelligence segregating “biological” organisms with minute precision create new dystopias. Difficulties in self-identification in the times of liquid tech-contemporaneity make long-term social planning and thus effective resistance impossible. Deterritorialisation, information collapse, new authoritarianism, machine learning, algorithmisation of behaviours, meme-politics, supervision, post-truth and trolling result in the fact that (quoting one of a Twitter comments) “we have been totally fucked & brainwashed”!

The title of the exhibition: “Overwrite/Discard/Save both” refers to a command displayed on computer (or other device's) screen when attempting to save a file with the same name as a file that already exists in the directory/folder. The system makes the user decide about the future of files that may be understood as pure information. At the same time, it suggests that it is not possible to save two identically defined data, while giving a directive to distinguish them. It refers to a choice we need to make when faced with dynamic development of technology, which increasingly often replaces human beings or their specific functions. When it comes to saving files on a personal computer, human being is the one in control. Active observation of the hybrid, technology-based world, makes us, however, reflect on whether it will actually be us to decide about our future the moment the peak of technological “Singularity” is reached .

Using the presented object, Lucińska and Knychaus create a multi-layered narration, they are building a dispersed, non-linear mythology of the future, which, instead of resentments, offers creation based on the “hotspots” of contemporary times. The central node of the exhibition is the latest version of the “Poetbot” algorithm which, seemingly designed for entertainment, collects and processes user data . Next objects create a network of mutually connected, but to some extent autonomous, senses. The “Overwrite/ Discard/ Save Both” exhibition is a hypertextual story of competing visions of he future. Immersive exhibition creates a specific environment which critically plays with the dehumanised, sterile gallery space. The narration, based on concrete theoretical experiments, drifts freely towards not-so-distant forecasts as if taken from sci-fi literature.

- For a couple of years Ula Lucińska and Michał Knychaus have created the Inside Job collective. Their artistic practice is based on carrying out interdisciplinary projects using the latest media and materials. They focus on the process of creating new identity which emerges when cut-off from the domesticated cultural contexts on the unknown visual territories and in the space of the changing language. The aesthetic experiments use mostly the subversive incorporation of fashion and sub-culture elements of contemporaneity.
Many of their to-date realisations use the “product” category, understood also as an artistic product, as well as how it functions in dispersed systems. Inside Job regards art as an adequate platform of communication between people living in a hybrid, post-digital world. They presented their works at individual exhibitions (e.g. Hot Wheels Projects, Athens; 9/10 gallery, Poznań) and collective (e.g. Athens Digital Arts Festival 2018, Athens; Galeria SKALA, Poznań; Galeria DuflonRacz, Berno, Switzerland; Ostrale Biennale of Contemporary Arts, Dresden, Germany; Musrara Mix Festival, Jerusalem, Izrael; New Waves, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Virginia, USA; Callegenera Festival, Monterrey, Mexico). They are the finalists of this year's prestigious, international Artagon competition in Paris and in 2016 they were merited with the Santander Universidades award. Grantees of the programme carried out by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Polish Culture Around the World.

Courtesy of the artists and SKALA gallery
Photocredit Tomasz Koszewnik