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Exhibition: Copy / Paste

Exhibition: Copy / Paste
Piksel Fest Spill
22nd May – 21st June

The exhibition features works by Peter Sunde (FI), Eric Schrijver (NL), Constant (BE), Lorna Mills (CA), Carol Breen (IR), Duncan Poulton (UK), LoVid (US)

22nd May – 21th June
Opening hours (Monday closed): 14:00 – 18:00
Weekends: 13:00 – 18:00

At Studio 207:

  • Carol Breen (IR) – Still Stillness
  • Constant (BE) –
  • Lorna Mills (CA)
  • Duncan Poulton (UK) – Pile (Circles), Adventures of the Black Square (Workstations), e-hoarder (Xerox), e-hoarder (The Fast & the Furious), e-hoarder (III)
  • Eric Schrijver (NL) – Copy This Book
  • Peter Sunde (FI) – Kopimashin

At Piksel Cyber Salon:

  • Carol Breen (IR) – Still Stillness
  • Matthew Plummer-Fernandez + Julien Deswaef –
  • Shiv Integer
  • LoVid (US) – Young Antiquities
  • Duncan Poulton (UK) – Pile (Circles), Adventures of the Black Square (Workstations)

If you are an artist, then you have no doubt copied the work of others. This copying can range from using pages from a magazine in collage, adopting the style of an artist, or simply being inspired by the work of an artist. This natural process of copying, taught to us at every stage of our artistic development, is burdened by a very complex and messy set of laws and social conventions which define and limit how we can use copying within our practices. These don’t take into account exceptions or nuances, and come from a historical world where artworks were scarce physical objects, and don’t translate well into a world where culture is abundant and can be accessed and copied at will.

Being an artist who copies is to be an artist working in this murky grey area of right and wrong.

For those artists, I have curated Copy Paste. This exhibition features the work of nine artists and art collectives who all incorporate copying as a core aspect of their work. Taking the form of a physical exhibition at Piksel in Norway, an online exhibition, and an event and lecture series, the exhibition aims to show that copying is natural.

The works of Duncan Poulton and Lorna Mills exemplify the creative potential of diving into long forgotten archives to uncover obscure works that can be presented in new contexts to give them new meaning. These archives include works housed in libraries and universities, but also forgotten media from long-abandoned websites and broadcast media.

Carol Breen’s practice takes a more inward-facing approach to copying which sees Breen copy, edit, remix, rework and re-edit her work ad nauseam using a variety of methods to reiterate her work.

Peter Sunde’s Kopimashin takes the argument that copying is harmful and turns it on its head, creating an automated machine which copies infinitely but produces nothing.

Both Eric Schrijver and Constant take a more critical and educational approach to copying, examining the current conditions under which we copy and theorising on how we can better create licenses which reflect the nuances of creativity.

LoVid and Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Julien Deswaef both present works that use 3D objects as their material, creating new works from publicly available 3D models, and encouraging the public to creatively rework their own work.

Kolmisoppi, Kopimashin, Peter Sunde (FI) @Studio207

The Kopimashin creates an endless amount of copies of a specific audio track (gnarls barkley’s crazy). The audio track is copied to /dev/null, a unix data pipe for avoiding permanent storage. The Kopimashins lcd display consists of three rows of information, the serial number of the mashin, amount of copies created and the dollar value it represents in losses for the record labels (Downtown Records / Warner Music), currently represented by USD1,25 per copied piece. The goal of the kopimashin is to make the audio track the most copied in the world and by doing so bankrupting the record industry.

Peter Sunde (FI)
I’m Peter. I’m of Finnish and Norwegian heritage, born in 1978. I like to travel and try to keep my home base in Berlin. I work mostly with projects that can change society and I have done so for a couple of years. And I deal a lot with questions regarding immaterial rights. I’ve done a lot of projects around it and the most known project I’ve participated in is probably The Pirate Bay. On spare time I play house/techno music and I enjoy learning new languages and traveling the globe.

Young Antiquities, LoVid (USA) @Piksel Cyber Salon

Young Antiquities, a series of media objects, embraces relationships between time and physical presence, a utopian post-material world and the reality of decomposition. Using an array of 3D capture devices we translated textile sculptures from our Video Taxidermy series into virtual form.

LoVid, the NY based artist duo comprised of Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus, LoVid’s work includes immersive installations, sculptural synthesizers, single channel videos, tapestries, stained glass, participatory projects, mobile media cinema, works on paper, and multimedia performance. Collaborating since 2001, LoVid’s work has been exhibited, performed, screened, and presented internationally among others at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, And/Or Gallery, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Real Art Ways, Good Children Gallery, BRIC, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Parrish Museum, Issue Project Room, Mixed Greens Gallery, The Science Gallery Dublin, The Jewish Museum, MoMA, Lampo (Chicago), Tectonics Festival TLV, The Kitchen, Moving Image Art Fair, Daejeon Museum (Korea), Smack Mellon, Netherland Media Art Institute (Netherlands), New Museum (NY), ICA (London), and International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands). LoVid’s projects have received support from organizations including:Wave Hill, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Graham Foundation, UC Santa Barbara, Signal Culture, Cue Art Foundation, Eyebeam, Harvestworks, Wave Farm, Rhizome, Franklin Furnace,, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, Experimental TV Center, NY State Council of the Arts, and Greenwall Foundation.

Copy This Book, an artist’s guide to copyright, Eric Schrijver (NL) @Studio207

Copy This Book is an artist’s guide to copyright, written for makers. At once practical and critical, the book guides readers through the concepts underlying copyright and how they apply in practice. It does so within one compact, contemporary and readable volume, packed with striking examples and boasting attractive, intuitive design.
Copy This Book provides answers to questions like: How do you obtain copyright? For what work? And for how long? How does copyright traverse mediums? And how do you go about integrating the work of others within your own?
Copy This Book also details the concepts of authorship and original creation that determine today’s legal systems. It provides the conceptual tools to participate in the contemporary debate about intellectual property.

Eric Schrijver (NL)
Eric Schrijver is a Dutch interaction designer, artist and author, born in Amsterdam in 1984.
He now lives in Brussels, and works for the Belgian IT company ACSONE, designing and developing interfaces for clients in the public and private sector. Eric directs a group blog called I like tight pants and mathematics, that aims to motivate designers and artists to get more involved in the world of computer programmers. Next to that, beneficiary of a grant from the Cultural Industries Fund NL, Eric recently published his first book: “Copy This Book”, an artist’s guide to copyright.
Authors of the Future (BE). Re-imagining Copyleft. Several authors (BE)
Can we invent licences that are based on collective creative practices, in which cooperation between machine and biological authors, need not be an exception? How could attribution be a form of situated genealogy, rather than accounting for heritage through listing names of contributing individuals? In what way can we limit predatory practices without blocking the generative potential of Free Culture? What would a decolonial and feminist license look like, and in what way could we propose entangled notions of authorship? Or perhaps we should think of very different strategies?

Constant – (BE) @Studio207 @Piksel Cyber Salon
Constant is a non-profit, artist-run organisation based in Brussels since 1997 and active in the fields of art, media and technology. Constant develops, investigates and experiments. Constant departs from feminisms, copyleft, Free/Libre + Open Source Software. Constant loves collective digital artistic practices. Constant organises transdisciplinary worksessions. Constant creates installations, publications and exchanges. Constant collaborates with artists, activists, programmers, academics, designers. Constant is active archives, poetic algorithms, body and software, books with an attitude, cqrrelations, counter cartographies, situated publishing, e-traces, extitutional networks, interstitial work, libre graphics, performative protocols, relearning, discursive infrastructures, hackable devices.

Pile (Circles), Adventures of the Black Square (Workstations) @Piksel Cyber Salon

e-hoarder (Xerox), e-hoarder (The Fast & the Furious) and e-hoarder (III) @Studio207

e-hoarder series (2019 – ongoing) Each departing from a different online trope – from ‘dumpster diving’ YouTube videos to detailed 3D scans of mundane household objects – the e-hoarder series is an ongoing sequence of digital collage works exploring modern habits of consumption, storage and waste.

Pile (Circles) (2018) Pile (Circles) is an attempt to categorise and map out the artist’s archive of digital imagery; to treat it as a miniature internet to be searched and defined according to arbitrary terms. By layering all the circular images gathered in a single year in chronological order of their creation, Poulton creates an enormous yet invisible stack which traces his habits and rhythms of accumulation across the online and physical world.

Adventures of the Black Square (Workstations) (2019) The anonymous black square of the computer screen becomes the protagonist of this digital animation, in which hundreds of online images of workstations, offices, storerooms, gaming dens, libraries and internet cafes are cut together to create a quivering black shape in the centre of the frame.

Duncan Poulton (UK)
Duncan Poulton is a London-based artist working in an expanded form of collage, spanning digital video and image assemblage. Itinerant in nature, his work is currently preoccupied with themes of simulation, copying and circulation, acting out an ongoing remediation of our increasingly virtual world. Working exclusively with found content, his digital works evoke a new visual culture of constant juxtaposition, ambivalence towards images and the collapsing down of history and meaning engendered by the internet. With productive misinterpretation, intuition and automatic technique as strategies of choice, he aims to produce a body of discrete works that make sense of our hyperconnected and oversaturated reality, one bit at a time.

Recent exhibitions and screenings include Coventry Biennial 2019; Art Licks Weekend, London; OUTPOST, Norwich; MIT Museum, Massachusetts; The Wallace Collection, London; Eastside Projects, Birmingham Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, South Korea; Tate Modern, London; QUAD, Derby; Transmediale, Berlin; Kochi-Muzeris Biennale, India; Flatpack Festival, Birmingham and Athens Digital Arts Festival.

Ethereal Imperial, Lorna Mills (CA) @Studio207

Ethereal Imperial by Lorna Mills

Lorna Mills
Canadian artist, Lorna Mills has actively exhibited her work in both solo and group exhibitions since the early 1990’s, both in Canada and Internationally. Her practice has included obsessive Ilfochrome printing, obsessive painting, obsessive super 8 film & video, and obsessive on-line animated GIFs incorporated into restrained off-line installation work. Recent exhibitions include “Abrupt Diplomat” at the Marshal McLuhan Salon at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, for Transmediale, “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” at Transfer Gallery, Brooklyn NY, “DKRM” at DAM Gallery, Berlin, “Dreamlands” at the Whitney Museum, NY, “Yellowwhirlaway” at the Museum of the Moving Image, NY and “The Great Code” at Transfer Gallery, NY. For the month of March, 2016, her work “Mountain Time/Light was displayed on 45 Jumbo monitors in Times Square, NYC, every night as part of the Midnight Moment program curated by Times Square Arts.

She has also co-curated monthly group GIF projections, with Rea McNamara, for the “Sheroes” performance series in Toronto, a group GIF projection event “When Analog Was Periodical” in Berlin with Anthony Antonellis, and a four person GIF installation, “:::Zip The Bright:::” at Trinity Square Video in Toronto, with Sara Ludy, Nicolas Sassoon and Rick Silva. Lorna Mills’ most recent curation project, “Ways of Something” is a collaborative remake of the 1972 John Berger documentary “Ways of Seeing” episodes one through four, featuring over 115 networked artists.

Lorna Mills is represented by Transfer Gallery in New York & Los Angeles, Elephant in Montreal and DAM Gallery in Berlin.

Shiv Integer, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez + Julien Deswaef @Piksel Cyber Salon

Shiv Integer is a bot making assemblage art for 3D printers. Rummaging through Thingiverse, the biggest online 3D-Print community and a vast archive of user-made models – full of knick-knacks and engineering parts – the bot picks objects at random to conjoin into sculptures and gives them apt word-salad names such as “disc on top of an e-juice golf.” The process follows a lineage of Dadaist readymade and chance art, but also explores the authorship-inheritance of Creative Commons licensing, as well as performing an archiving of an Internet subculture, taking cross-database snapshots of 3D-Print culture.

The bot ran anonymously with only a vague FAQ explanation. Thingiverse users either love or hate the bot; it’s provoked hundreds of comments ranging from fan poetry to hate mail, and sparked a long debate over if it makes art or spam. User’s binding stake in authorship made them fiercely active, forming a key facet of Shiv Integer, which from the outset was an anagram of Thingiverse.

Matthew Plummer Fernández
British/Colombian artist Matthew Plummer Fernández works across sculpture, print, software, and installation. After receiving an MA from London’s Royal College of Art in 2009, he completed his practice-based doctorate at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2019. Plummer Fernández’s interests in copyleft culture, digital fabrication, and social-computational entanglements interrelate to form a varied body of work that is influenced by the artistic traditions of Generative Art, Critical Design, and Internet Art. Plummer Fernández’s work has been exhibited extensively, and commissioned by institutions including the Victoria & Albert Museum and Somerset House in London, ZKM in Karlruhe, AND Festival in Manchester. His works Digital Natives and Disarming Corruptor are in the collection of Centre Pompidou in Paris, and in 2014 Disarming Corruptor received an award of distinction at Ars Electronica. Plummer Fernández is represented by Nome gallery, Berlin. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Arts, London, and a visiting researcher at Goldsmiths.

Julien Deswaef
Born in Brussels, Julien Deswaef is a software artist, experience designer and interface developer based in Barcelona. Active both in visual arts as well as in free / libre and open source culture, he has the ability to transform ideas into digital realities. He regularly collaborates with artists in the world of entertainment, music and fine arts. His art practice usually questions copyright, authorship and the impact of technology on our society through generative graphics and social media bots. Deswaef’s work has been visible in multiple art and music festivals across Europe such as Pukkelpop in Belgium, Les hivernales in Switzerland, Les Nuits Blanches in France or Kurzfilmfestival Koeln in Germany. Some of his artworks have been featured in collective exhibitions with institutions including Somerset House, LEAP, ESC Medien Kunst Labor, iMAL, Le Manège, Le Vecteur ou Les Brasseurs.

Still Stillness, Carol Breen @Studio207 @Piksel Cyber Salon

still_stillness is a clusterfuck of copies, a collage of digital interfaces and banal mediations the artist gets lost in, as she continously re-makes her own archive of images.

Carol Breen (IR)
Carol Breen is an Irish artist based in the West Midlands, fascinated by the impact digital technology is having on human agency and vision. Through practice I explore the idea of images as ecologies. I return to my own archive of images and re-make them again and again. This allows me to think about the relations between, images, data and the body. I am currently undergoing a PhD Studentship at C-DaRE, The Centre for Dance Research. I have undergone artistic residencies in Norway, Canada and the UK. Worked collaboratively on funded projects with researchers from a range of disciplines and co-designed BA (Hons) student projects with the The Media Archive of Central England, and The British Film Institute as well as Recent exhibitions include Press on and Play in collaboration with Gemma Jones at Vivid Projects, in Birmingham and Rephotography: Coventry Then and Now, at The Herbert Gallery in Coventry.

About the curator Antonio Roberts
Antonio Roberts is an artist and curator based in Birmingham, UK. His practices explore what ownership and authorship mean in an age impacted by digital technology.

His work has been featured at galleries and festivals including in Arles, France (2012), Glitch Moment/ums at Furtherfield Gallery, London (2013), Loud Tate: Code at Tate Britain (2014), glitChicago at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, US (2014), Permission Taken at Birmingham Open Media and University of Birmingham (2015-2016), Common Property at Jerwood Arts, London (2016), Ways of Something at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017), Green Man Festival, Wales (2017), Barbican, London (2018), and Copy / Paste at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2019).

He has curated exhibitions and projects including GLI.TC/H Birmingham (2011), the Birmingham editions of Bring Your Own Beamer (2012, 2013), µChip 3 (2015), Stealth (2015), No Copyright Infringement Intended (2017). He is part of a-n’s Artist Council, is an Artist Advisor for Jerwood Arts and from 2014 – 2019 he was Curator at Vivid Projects where he produced the Black Hole Club artist development programme.



Piksel Fest Spill is supported by the Municipality of Bergen, Arts Council Norway and ProHelvetia.