You’ve come across this text wishing to learn more about our exhibition, and are almost certainly reading this message looking at the greasy screen of your phone or computer. Or perhaps – assuming the marketing and promotion people did their job – you are reading it in one of the printed media. You are still a user, though – just think for a while where your smartphone is now. The fact that you are here, at a particular time and place, who you are with, and what you were doing prior to it, will not cease to exist the moment you finish reading this message. No matter how trivial this moment may seem to you, just remember that information painstakingly collected by the 19th-century US Navy captain Matthew Fontaine Maury was treated precisely that way. Driven by obsession, Maury studied thousands of long-forgotten logs, and thanks to his ability to draw conclusions from the analysis of over 1,200,000 pieces of data, he created innovative maps to navigate the Atlantic Ocean. He offered them to crews in return for access to their logs. Nowadays, for corporations like Google, Facebook or Amazon, you are the log quantified by the invisible army of specialised algorithms. They hone their skills thanks to you. What took Maury years takes them a second, turning you into a beam of patterns and anomalies which may be monetised. Should you be worried if at this moment three billion other users are sharing your fate? You are plankton, but perhaps this is precisely your strength: dispersion against concentration. Cryptography against privacy policies. A blockchain instead of the black box of algorithms. Satoshi Nakamoto – the man who wasn’t there – instead of Mark Zuckerberg.
If you don’t have email or a Facebook account and has never seen the BWA website because you don’t use the Internet and are still reading this message, you will probably not visit our exhibition – it closed a few months ago. “Policy of Dissapearance” comes at various prices.
Artists: Pedro Barateiro, Sabrina Chou, Zuza Golińska, Lidia Grabe, Tomasz Hartman (Food Think Thank), Cyanne van den Houten, Piotr Kopik, Silvio Lorusso & Sebastian Schmieg, Manu Luksch, The One Minutes, Wojciech Stopiński, Amy Suo Wu
POLICY OF DISAPPEARANCE co-curated by Romuald Demidenko and Post-Noviki, moderated by Katarzyna Roj. Research and texts by Magda Roszkowska. Supervised by Joanna Stembalska. Produced by Klementyna Sęga, Michał Perucki and Tomasz Koczoń. Image supervision by Joanna Kobyłt. Administrative and accounting support by Magdalena Sierżęga-Dybek, Monika Wyspiańska and Maryla Wałuszko. Co-financed by the Institute of Italian Culture.
*POLICY OF DISAPPEARANCE is an exhibition and series of texts bringing up the issue of our existence online. The traces we leave there on a daily basis have become for the late-capitalist information economy what coal was for the industrial age – its essential raw material. On its basis, the increasingly efficient sets of algorithms decide which snippet of the universe we should see and what to desire. Their efficiency is to a large extent a consequence of our own activity. The artists and researchers present at the exhibition attempt to escape this logic in various ways: they test the man/machine boundaries, intercept the activity of algorithms, look for new forms of corporality or establish an alternative network of information flow.