Gina Czarnecki. Palaces. 2012

·      4 – 6 November 2013

·      Old Billingsgate Building, City of London, EC3R 6DX

·      Korean and UK artists collaborate through science, IT and art

·      Harnessing technology to empower a global culture

The legacy of Nam June Paik and the ‘electronic superhighway’ is at the heart of a new exhibition being held in London from 4 – 6 November 2013 at the Old Billingsgate Building, City of London.

During the ‘Crystallize – New Media Art Lab Korea & UK’  exhibition, artists from Korea and the UK will explore how contemporary artwork is expressed through science, IT, social media and cinema. The three day exhibition explores how creative technology offers a common language for artists working in two different cultures. The work, featured in the historic vault at Billingsgate, illustrates how contemporary artists across the globe are harnessing technology and using it to empower and express a global culture.

Exhibition curator, Stephanie Seungmin Kim says, “Artists have great roles to play in any aspirational world by revealing the previously unseen – just like Paik’s stunningly visionary work. Our venue – an artistic laboratory – is truly harboring creative ‘crystallization’”.

The exhibition is part of the wider Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo 2013, celebrating Korea’s ‘creative economy’. At the heart of the expo is the spirit of collaboration, of shared ideas, mutual respect and a desire to curate a modern culture.

Nam June Paik, the world famous Korean video artist, pioneered the innovative use of technological tools that artists continue to practice today. Paik was the first to voice the phrase ‘electronic superhighway‘ as early as 1974. He saw the boundless possibilities offered by broadcasting and the Internet age. The exhibition features ‘Documenta 6 Satellite Telecast’ his collaborative work with Joseph Beuys and Douglas Davis, which was the world’s first live satellite performance, broadcast to 25 different countries.

Nam June Paik once famously proclaimed “the future is now”. His genius has inspired the works of the contemporary artists being featured at KBEE 2013. The curator of the ‘Crystallize’ exhibition, Stephanie Seungmin Kim, of ISKAI Contemporary Art, has carefully selected the 16 Korean and UK artists who each embrace art, science and creativity. Gina Czarnecki, for example, collaborates with biologists in her beautifully provocative work, ‘Palaces’.

Several other artists reveal a fiercely cherished DIY aesthetic. Terry Ryu Kim’s screens, Sam Meech’s knitting machine experiments, David Ogle’s laser projection and Dave Lynch’s ‘Project Nimbus’, all emphasise how viewers participate in the world of the artist.

New media artist Jeremy Bailey is regarded as being most evocative of Paik’s spirit. Bailey performs with custom software to parody the way we talk about new media. His work, ‘The Future of Television’, uses facial recognition software to show television channels on his face as he peers into a camera lens. His work questions the place of television in artistic discourse.

Highlights of the exhibition include Semiconductor’s epic ‘Worlds in the Making’ – a three channel video combining documentary footage with CGI to explore the material nature of the world and how we experience it. Using volcanology as a starting point, the work reveals, like the primordial landscape of our volcanic planet, a world that is real but invisible to us. Meanwhile GLTI.CH’s karaoke performance showcases a modern world where social media weaves through our natural discourse.


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