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noTours in Tallinn: starting point

noTours has recently arrived Tallinn for starting the production of a new geolocalized soundwalk in the context of the exhibition Gateways (opening in May 2011 at KUMU).

We would like to link to the official website of the exhibition Gateways and copying some lines of the curatorial statement by Sabine Himmelsbach. Stay tuned.


The exhibition gateways. Art and Networked Culture presents artists whose work deals with the changed conditions of an interconnected world that increasingly is transmitted through media. The artistic works presented here use various means to tackle the theme of gateways that open to realms of action and experience in our digitally interconnected culture.

Mobility and connectivity are significant aspects and characteristics of our modern networked society; laptops and smart phones are the dominant accessories of the age of information. They offer constant and ubiquitous connection and access to a globalized digital network of data and information that overlays our reality like a second skin and that also influences our perception of the real objects surrounding us. Linked with GPS, RFID, GIS and other geographic information systems, mobile technologies enable us to temporally meld real space and virtual space. Data retrieval is accomplished directly on site and provides information on exact geographical location, products and much more. The Internet, too, has developed into one of the most important participatory media, next to the mobile phone. The catchphrase “Web 2.0” attempts to sum up the changes that have turned the Internet into a medium whose content increasingly is generated by users, and where people connect and exchange ideas in global online-communities. The name of the game is “participate!” And for years now, an ever-growing global online community has been busy uploading photographs and videos on online portals, announcing activities or expressing opinions through blogs or Twitter, or carrying on virtual financial transactions through online markets. Computer games, Second Life or online portals like Facebook or Myspace offer opportunities for global networking. The Internet culture, with its space- and community-building potential, is crucial to our society today.

The gateways exhibition presents works that deal with communication and networking, and that reflect a global Internet culture through the societal changes introduced by digital media. One aspect of the exhibition will comprise an examination of the reconfiguration of public space through the increasing overlap of the informational sphere and geographical space. Artists are pushing the envelope of locative media, testing their potential to provide gateways into spaces and communities and to identify alternative ways of networking beyond a largely consumer-oriented society. Mobile technologies are used in unexpected ways to render the invisible data network visible and tangible. These artistic interventions are not limited to data visualizations of a virtual space, but rather provide an opportunity to reveal suppressed knowledge – as a gateway to information.

Through the raising of various questions, a portrait emerges of how this increased networking influences our actions, our perceptions and our experiences of the world. The artistic confrontation with the significance of digitalization in society is not primarily about a reflection of technology per se, but rather about the consideration of its impact as a socio-economic phenomenon. Thus, along with the question about changing space and the increased layering of information, the question about the development of the self – which also exists through and within existing networks – comes to the fore. French philosopher Michel Serres says that new systems of communication lead to new ways of being human. How does a human being behave in a changed world where, the term “privacy” takes on a new meaning and where personal networks and digital links contribute fundamentally toward the individualized world in which we live? In a networked culture, information is not so much the product of discreet data processing units as it is the experience of networked relationships between them.

”Gateways” means access – access to spaces, to information, to data networks or communities. In computer science, a “gateway” is a switching apparatus for converting data, as an interface between various types of networks, digitally transcoding various media. The works shown in the exhibition thematize – in a manner analogous to the digital function of transmission – the transcoding or even translation of data and its evaluation in new contexts of meaning. The artistic positions on display use the opportunities of local and global networking to create access to information and to actively intervene in political and social developments. Media art in the 21st century thus does not limit itself to media forms, but rather reflects the importance of new technologies for societal and social change in a world increasingly influenced by media. The exhibition will present these concepts through a variety of artistic formats – from screen-based or Internet-based installations to interactive or sculptural environments, from the use of locative media to audio-guided walks, and more.

The gateways exhibition presents new forms of art and experimental works through which a young generation of artists in Europe – using a wide variety of media formats, including electronic networks and mobile technologies – encourages active public participation and conveys new experiences of perception. Thus the exhibition will extend beyond the KUMU Art Museum into the urban space of Tallinn, with interventionist happenings, audio-visual installations, walks or other formats.

Kunst und vernetzte Kultur / Art and Networked Culture
13 May to 25 September 2011