Kim? Contemporary Art Centre
Online: Riga Technoculture Reaserch Unit (RTRU) Season 1 launch: “Under The Hood”

Online: RTRU Season 1 launch
Under The Hood


RTRU Season 1 contributors/participants: Dana Kopel (New York), Eltons Kūns (Riga), Rio Roye (New York), Līga Spunde (Riga), Candice Strongwater (New York), Alise Tifentale (New York/Riga), Viktor Timofeev (New York), and Jessica Wilson (New York).


Part research journal, part art and writing publisher, part hub for developments in emerging media, RTRU brings an interdisciplinary and technicity-centered approach to the status quo of contemporary art programming. Season one, Under The Hood, looks at the technical processes and economic and social structures of production that profoundly shape visual culture. Our first season considers the museum without images; the effusive “student body”; labor history; “the factory of phenomena,” the paradigmatic worksite of contemporary media culture; and much more.


In order to understand how imaging strategies produce the aesthetic effects that we frequently and unconsciously observe in the world, we must first understand the infrastructure for how these images are made, or go “under the hood.” The way visual culture comes to be constructed is at the center of these investigations: the real-time simulations and the skeletal rigs that form the underwire of thrashing corpses, the labor laws which structure capitalist workflows, the technologically dependent student body, the visible signature of video art tropes and their affective contours, many of which have become increasingly prevalent. All of these examples belie their beginning as metrics, inputs, algorithms, and other coding languages assigned by animators, programmers, and policymakers. The images produced by these original technical apparatuses thus introduce a new level of estrangement wherein the major referent is no longer the physical world, but the technical culture behind the curtain.