Project: Iterations

Iterations 2015-2016

In june / july 2016 we organise the second edition of Iterations, with the name I don’t know where this is going. For info on this, please read this article.

Iterations is a travelling exhibition and residency of each time a new group of 6 artists who are creating a collective media work. They are invited and guided by Constant and esc medien labor from Graz, Austria. As a starting point for their work they take the artwork that is made in the previous edition of Iterations, by a different group of artists. This leads to a chain of ’iterating’ artworks that aim to formulate a visual answer to the question in what ways artists collaborate in a technological era.

Iterations can be considered as an experimental arrangement with blurred boundaries. The project creates a situation based on art extending into other fields and disciplines: informatics, sociology, privacy studies, network theory or copyleft studies.

At the beginning of the Internet, networking consisted in an infrastructure that actually grew in a decentralized way, which necessitated, facilitated and also conditioned cooperation at the same time. This collective character of the web marked art and culture of this newly emerging virtual space with branches into realms created by fantasy and functioning on equal terms. The basic concept was the interleaving of various strands of knowledge and experience in order to gain insights into the present.

Software and hardware were aimed at facilitating the coexistence of collective and individual elements. With the developments around web 2.0, it was (almost) exclusively the users’ individualization that was fostered through the simultaneous monopolization of the infrastructures. The individualized is thus the default (the "norm"), while even though collective forms are still present and possible, they rather exist in the background.

The two organizations that initiated this project, Constant and the esc media art laboratory, were founded at a time when the semantic web and web 2.0 were still well-meant, partly also utopian ideas. Today, not only technically accomplished activists, but also above all multinational companies are concerned with open-source and free software. The latter has transformed itself from the promising alternative into the digital mainstream. Terms such as "open", "sharing", "cooperation" are nowadays an integral part of the inventory of the online business. ITERATIONS, however, suggests reconsidering the current use of these terms. ITERATIONS deals with the processes and motivations that prompt artists to explore models of cooperation that make use of free digital tools.

The Tech Oracle is the first in a series of ITERATIONS. After its realization in Graz, the next Iterations in 2016 will be carried out in Brussels. TTO reflects on the disproportionate confidence that we currently place in services of the WorldWide Web. Because it seems as if we would not only look for practical answers in the web, but also for instructions for the next steps in our lives.


Peter Westenberg, Reni Hofmüller

(Iterations #1) Pascale Barret, Julien Deswaef, Heidrun Primas, Ushi Reiter, Agnese Trocchi, IOhannes m zmölnig
(Iterations #2) Miriam Raggam, Pascale Barret, Claire Williams, François Zajega, Julien Deswaef, Annie Abrahams

In collaboration with:
esc medien kunst labor :

Supported by:
Wallonie-Bruxelles International
Federation Wallonie Bruxelles