Nora N. Khan named co-curator of the 2023 Moving Image Biennial
Geneva Contemporary Art Center
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Writer, editor and curator Nora N. Khan joins Andrea Bellini, director of the Center d’Art Contemporain Genève, as co-curator of the upcoming Biennial of the Moving Image 2023 (BIM’23). Together, they will select the artists and entrust them with the production of a new body of work which will be created in Geneva in November 2023.
Each edition of the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement enriches the curatorial and conceptual meta-discourse around the moving image, an omnipresent medium in perpetual motion. This new chapter will study and explore how new technologies – and their embedded ideologies – are shaping contemporary artistic production of moving images, often doing so invisibly and unreadably.
The Moving Image Biennale 2023 (BIM’23) will explore how technocratic values can inform our appreciation of creativity and investigate methods of resisting the spectacular nature of digital futures. The past decade has seen a boom in artistic creation dealing with the political and social impacts of machine learning and algorithmic surveillance: images funneled into hardware and then captured into vast extractive and predictive systems of sorting, ranking and identification. As these systems learn, they in turn generate countless invisible images, images created and refined by algorithmic and neural networks, in the process. These images, essential to algorithmic practice, have a life of their own.
We negotiate the space next to and in relation to these images intended only for machines. They are hardly made with us in mind or for us at all. Moreover, when harnessed by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), they actively create our reality. They are moving; they are very much alive; they produce their own context and worlds, hooked and processed by algorithms.
Trying to apprehend these new invisible images with the critical paradigms used in the 20th century – methods of reading traditional forms of cinema and producing moving images – leads to a dead end. These ephemeral images, in perpetual becoming, go beyond representation.
BIM’23 invites viewers to dive deep into the world of invisible, operational moving images that change visual culture and, in turn, look at how they change us. As we lose confidence in evaluating representative images, we become trackers and detectives, searching for clues in visual artifacts for the intentions and contours of the systems just beyond.
The artists gathered in BIM’23 will displace the core narratives of the obvious joys of human-AI collaboration and the inherent ‘good’ of hybridization with machines. They will deploy “tools”, ranging from powerful archives and ML-driven simulation technologies to simple hand-built computers. They will be deeply invested in helping audiences see the impact of this world of invisible, in-process images, and they will suggest new ways of looking at the invisible.
Regardless of the tool, they access the roots of a visual logic that we cannot access on our own. There are future environments and alternate narratives to our current timeline. Whether it’s post-image, post-human or post-AI – the riot that goes beyond, the insurrection, the space between now and the future – is filled with potential. Artists are in a safe position to shape our understanding of this empire of ghost images. They form new critical paradigms for navigating the new world of images, moving and displaced, made by humans and machines.
Participating artists will be announced in September 2022.