Cultural Matter: Jan Robert Leegte on the Performing Machine

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On Wednesday 18 December artist Jan Robert Leegte will give a lecture on 'the performing machine'. From a technical and theoretical perspective he will explain how the computer is fundamentally performative.

"The internet is an unimaginably vast ecology of data and processes. Deeply stored data is immutable like buried granite, while other data is constantly in flux like a rushing mountain stream. The whole system is in continuous evolution through endless processes reshaping the data interacting with each other and with ourselves. Here, at the opaque surface of this churning ocean of bits, is where the exchange between the realm of the computer and that of ourselves takes place. A space that is in a permanent state of performance, the interface."


About the speaker
Jan Robert Leegte started working as an artist on the Internet in 1997. In 2002, he shifted his main focus to implementing digital materials in the context of the physical gallery space, aiming to bridge the online art world with the gallery art world, making prints, sculpture, installations, drawings and projections, connecting to historical movements like land art, minimalism, performance art and conceptualism. As an artist Leegte explores the position of the new materials put forward by the (networked) computer. Photoshop selection marquees, scrollbars, Google Maps, code and software are dissected to understand their ontological nature. His work has been exhibited internationally (Whitechapel Gallery, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ZKM Karlsruhe). He is currently represented by Upstream Gallery Amsterdam. Jan Robert Leegte lives and works in Amsterdam. 

Cultural Matter: JODI
Max Payne Cheats Only (2004) is a double projection video consisting of video game ‘cheats’: alterations to the behaviour of a video game, often built in by the original programmers to help players who have reached an impasse. JODI compiled cheats from the New York vigilante third person shooter game Max Payne. JODI: ‘We wanted to do something that was non-aesthetically ours. No scary black blobs on jumping white backgrounds, but trying to achieve the impossible - an abstraction within the aesthetic of a game which is already set.’ The work is a selection of 140 hours of game recordings, a process which starts as an endurance performance and ends in a machinima underground art film. In the exhibition and lecture programme Cultural Matter, the work will be presented and discussed.
JODI is a duo consisting of Joan Heemskerk (1968, NL) and Dirk Paesmans (1965, BE). The two artists, with a background in video and photography, turned their attention to the web in the 1990s, and have created some of the most subversive Internet artworks since. In line with video art pioneers such as Nam June Paik and Steina and Woody Vasulka, they subject their medium to a critical analysis and dismantle its structures. Their work uses the widest possible variety of media and techniques, from installations, software and websites to performances and exhibitions. Their pioneering website (1995) is a puzzling experience: a well-choreographed chaos. In a pioneering, medium-specific way, they deconstruct and analyse the languages of new media: from visual aesthetics to interface elements, from code to breaking code. They challenge the relationship between technology and users by subverting our expectations about the functionalities and conventions of the systems that we depend upon every day

Cultural Matter
Cultural Matter is a series of exhibitions and events that provide a platform for the international discussion on the position and intricacies of digital art. Leading artworks are the starting point for an exhibition and an additional public programme in which local and international experts will analyse the works in an art historical and material context.
Participating artists: JODI, Jonas Lund, Martine Neddam, Thomson & Craighead, Amalia Ulman.
Curated by: Sanneke Huisman and Jan Robert Leegte.

Cultural Matter: Jan Robert Leegte on the Performing Machine
Wednesday December 18, 8 pm
7,50 / 5 / free with Cineville 
Facebook event
November 20, 2019 - January 8, 2020
Every day from 12 - 22
LIMA (in the basement of LAB111)
Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam
Entrance is free

Design by Alix Chauvet
This programme is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts) and Stichting Niemeijer Fonds.