Kim? Contemporary Art Centre is pleased to announce the launch of Riga Technoculture Research Unit’s (RTRU) Season 2 Betweenness:
Uģis Albiņš (Riga)
Aleksandra Samulenkova (Harlem)
Dietmar Koering (Cologne)
Ignas Krunglevicius (Oslo)
Daria Popolitova (Tallinn)
Sebastian Muehl (Berlin)
Marc Ries (Vienna)
Eva Sommeregger (Vienna)
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (Rome)
Anastasia Sosunova (Vilnius)
Norman Orro & Joonas Timmi (Tallinn)
Iliāna Veinberga (Riga)
Curated by Elizaveta Shneyderman and Zane Onckule.
RTRU (Riga Technoculture Research Unit) is committed to the expanding universe of technical images in contemporary art practice. Our central premise is that art and emerging media don’t pre-exist culture but instead emerge from it. The feedback loop between media and its reception, between technics and culture, suggests a transductive relationship: bodies, images, technologies, and aesthetic modes merge in relation to and co-determine one another. It is only through engagements with and mediations of contemporary culture that we can effectively investigate and observe the technoculture that augments and shapes our world. We value and hope to display artwork and writing that is invested in the sub-perceptual effects that result from the contemporary regime of images.
By revealing novel ways art and technology affect one another, RTRU critiques the contemporary framing of emerging media/technology as entirely aligned with an economy of representation and pushes back against the notion that born-digital art, NFTs, and Web 3.0 are de-facto emancipatory technologies. We situate emerging media in recognizable pre-histories rather than as the unique products of contemporary transformations.
By invitation only, RTRU commissions and gathers materials from culture workers — artists, curators, and writers — that present multifaceted engagement with current theoretical trends while also questioning the hegemony of techno-positivist paradigms. RTRU is looking for something in present modes of visualization that are functions or signs of things to come — evidence of the ways we are starting to see ourselves more dynamically. Furthermore, RTRU emphasizes a focus on the particular localities of Riga, Latvia, and the Baltics, as well as the historical and cultural perspectives immanent to them.
Published on a seasonal basis, RTRU takes on a different theme that guides the work commissioned for each iteration. At RTRU, rigorous, thought-provoking, and decidedly niche content manifests as an educational depository. Though the site’s name denotes a possible connection to an existing technical university, it is more likely to occupy an informal, elective, and “passive” pedagogical model.
RTRU’s look-body is created, designed, and programmed by Becca Abbe. Not only does it reveal the inner workings of its indexically designed, web-based framework, but through its grid-based guiding structure, it further activates the thematic arc conducted by our contributors, giving us a chance to peer “from behind.”