[rohrpost] Opening Critical Media Lab Basel

Shintaro Miyazaki miyazaki.shintaro at gmail.com
Mon Nov 10 08:42:56 CET 2014

Eine Einladung für alle. Liebe Grüsse aus Basel,

Opening Critical Media Lab Basel
Design, Media and Criticality

20th of November 2014, 6 to 10 pm

Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures / Academy of Art and
Design FHNW
Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4023 Basel

We are happy to invite you to the opening of the Critical Media Lab Basel.
The lab is an integral part of the Institute of Experimental Design and
Media Cultures (ixdm) at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel. We
celebrate the opening on Thursday, 20th November 2014 with scholarly and
artistic presentations, discussions and a sound performance all arranged
around the topic of “Design, Media and Criticality”.

About the Critical Media Lab
Located within the new campus facilities the Critical Media Lab is a
vibrant, international hub for historically and contextually engaged
critical media and design practices. A group of international media
artists, design researchers and scholars from the fields of cultural, media
and socials studies operates under the direction of Prof. Dr. Claudia
Mareis and conducts highly innovative, interdisciplinary research projects
at the crossroads of design, media arts, science and technology. Outputs
include publication, lectures, as well as public-facing artefacts and
exhibition designs. Concurrently the Critical Media Lab is developing a set
of contemporary and pioneering research methods through projects supported
by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Comission for
Technology and Innovation (CTI). These methods include practice-based
research through critically reconstituting, restoring and examining
historical technologies, the technology-based sensibilisation for
algorithms and imperceptible media signals, and steering public discourse
towards media technological issues through artistic and designerly
practice. The newly constructed lab facility at the new Campus of the Arts
at the Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel provides a space and up-to-date
media technologies supporting our projects.

Opening Programme
For the opening event the US-American media and design historian Prof. Dr.
Orit Halpern (The New School/ Parsons The New School for Design) will give
a keynote on cybernetics, postwar design and intelligence. Artist and
activist Gordan Savičić, one of the founders of “Critical Engineering”, and
the renowned Swiss-based artist group !Mediengruppe Bitnik will present
their projects and works at the crossroads of and oscillating between art,
design, technology and criticality. The opening culminates in a sound
performance by the Swiss-based sound artist Iris Rennert and a short 8-bit
music session by local DJ STU from Micromusic Basel.

18:00 Introduction by Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis and the ixdm team
18:15 Keynote by Orit Halpern (New York)
19:15 Gordan Savičić (Lausanne)
19:45 !Mediengruppe Bitnik (Zurich)
20:15 Discussion and then Apéro riche
21:00 Performances by Iris Rennert (Zurich) and STU (Basel)

Short biographies
Orit Halpern is an assistant professor in History at the New School and
member of the new Design MA program at Parsons School of Design. Orit’s
research interests include histories of digital media and cybernetics,
tackled from cultural and social science perspectives and exemplified in
art and design projects. Her forthcoming book, titled Beautiful Data: A
History of Vision and Reason since 1945” (Duke University Press) constructs
a history of “big data” and maps contemporary obsessions with storage and
interactivity in digital systems to previous modernist concerns with
temporality, representation, and archiving. She completed her Ph.D. in
History of Science at Harvard University (2006). Fellowships at the Max
Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and at the Digital
Cultures Research Lab of Leuphana University of Lüneburg.

Gordan Savičić is an artist fascinated by issues of our contemporary
existence caused by the effects of new media on subjectivity and its deep
social implications. He is currently based in Lausanne and holds a BA in
Digital Art and New Media from University of Applied Arts Vienna and an MA
from the Piet Zwart Institute. Gordan has been teaching media art practices
at various schools and universities such as the Piet Zwart Institute,
Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Zurich University of the Arts, University of
Applied Arts Vienna and HEAD Geneva. His works, collaborative projects and
performances have been shown in festivals and institutions such as
Transmediale, Arco Madrid, IRCAM, V2 as well as HeK in Basel.

!Mediengruppe Bitnik live and work in Zurich/London. Using Hacking as an
artistic strategy, their works re-contextualise the familiar to allow for
new readings of established structures and mechanisms. One of the projects
represented an intervention into Londons surveillance space by hijacking
CCTV cameras and replacing the video images with an invitation to play
chess. In early 2013 the group sent a parcel to Wikileaks founder Julian
Assange at the Ecuodorian embassy. The parcel contained a camera which
broadcasted its journey through the postal system live on the internet.
They call this work a system_test and a live mail art piece.

Iris Rennert is a sound and media artist. She is teaching media art at Bern
University of the Arts. Iris is developing and conducting projects on
Circuit Bending and Hardware Hacking as well as artistic research on

STU is a Basel-based chiptune composer (on the Atari ST), producer and DJ.
He is an active member of Drop da Bomb (founded 1997) and the Micromusic

How to get there:
The opening will take place in the Critical Media Lab, situated at the
Institute of Experimental Design and Media Cultures (ixdm). Address:
Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4023 Basel (Tower building, 3rd floor). Take tram 11
(direction: Aesch) from Basel Central station (Bahnhof SBB) and get off at

Entrance is free, although places are limited.

For further information about the Critical Media Lab and current research
projects please visit our website: www.ixdm.ch