Dear fellow discourse lovers,
Greetings from all of us, as September arrives with the rains. It was a busy summer in Salonstadt, here’s a veritable (bit)cornucopia of goings-on to take you through the autumn.
0x Salon Revue 01 Published!
At long last, the first all-singing, all-dancing, all-memeing edition of the 0x Salon Revue is out. After months of hard work mostly by the editorial team of Habib William Kherbek and Patrick Riechert, the Revue brings together works by Salon familiars alongside a harvest of new names. We’re particularly excited about a number of interactive ritual pieces included in the Revue by ‘22 salon resident Alice Yuan Zhang and Paige Emery, as well as visual contributions by Victoria Bosch, Blazej Kotowski, Sahej Rahal, Kate Tyndall, and many others. You’ll know the Revue when you see it, as Lou Cantor’s cooler-than-a-21st-century-glacier Time Crystal [Tatiana] gazes out at you from the cover. Copies of the Revue will begin surfacing in Berlin and beyond in the last week of September, but if you can’t wait, we’re happy to send you a copy in the post. Just fill in the form on this page and we’ll get back to you.
Recent ‘Intergenerationalism’ Salon Discussion ::: Topic Page
Our most recent IRL Salon addressed the topic of GAN-assisted visual production. Advances in machine learning over recent years has made generative digital visual production vastly more accessible. Projects like Midjourney have made image producers of just about anyone with the ability to type in phrases like “Baudrillard, mycelium, goblincore”. What does this expansive, quasi-collaborative methodology entail for historical notions of agency or creativity?
The Salon participants confronted a number of uneasy issues during the event. Is the notion of authorship outdated? Literary theory has thought so for a long time, from Barthes to Wolfgang Iser, but there’s a difference between decentring an ostensibly unified narrative consciousness, and creating visual work with with post-human “eyes”.
What is the ultimate end of this process of machinic seeing? Those who are familiar with the role of CAPTCHA technology in drone targeting, or the hazards of allowing machinic “beliefs” to enter political discourse, recognise that it’s not all fun and games in the GAN Badlands. On a more prosaic level, the question was posed as to whether there isn’t simply a boring quality to viewing endless images generated by a known (if not entirely knowable) machinic process? Is humankind finally making machines as boring as neo-formalist painters? Dystopia beckons. We’ll conclude this section with some food for thought from Matt Colquhoun in a recent Twitter post:
The idea that that AI-generated imagery poses a threat to “authentic” visual expression is interesting. In some instances, we’re just feeding these things poetry. The strange thing is we might see AI as an “emancipated spectator” before we come to see ourselves in the same way.
THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY Premiere (Helsingør, DK) ::: Event Info
On 19 August, Helsingør, Denmark experienced the debut of THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY, the 0x Salon’s satirical re/de-imagining of the possible futures of Bitcoin. The Salon’s crack(ers) writing team previewed it at Trust earlier in the summer, with the writers all taking parts for the read-through. On the big night in Denmark the writers were joined by Klara Kofen and Salon Fellow Steven Warwick whose masterful audio and visual production work, alongside solid support from the Kulturvaerftet and Art Hub Copenhagen, brought things to vivid (artificial) life.
Not since the Murder of Gonzago debuted at Elsinor Castle has a group of travelling players brought forth a coup de theatre of such epochal proportions. Indeed, many of you, dear friends and colleagues have asked how it went. What we can safely say is: by all accounts, it did occur. Scattered around are fragments of documentation to whet the appetite, with video highlights to follow soon. In the meantime, perhaps a little time spent with $HASHY and the Runestone Cowboy might give you an idea of what’s coming (onstage and beyond…).
Winter calls: SEA tour & online events on time, ecological games
Over the months of European winter, Wassim will be taking the 0x Salon on tour through South-East Asia. From 22 November onwards, we're seeking creative and/or intellectual projects, locations, residencies, and interesting people to connect to over the coming months. We're very happy to hear from you with suggestions, recommendations, and inklings, so drop us a line!
Also, first heads up that there’ll be a series of online discussions over winter, revisiting old themes such as temporality, cooperation, risk, and artificiality with fresh twists.
Upcoming Exhibitions in Milan, IT and Karlsruhe, DE
On the topic of other debuts, our interactive story-game THE IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION is included in the upcoming S+T+ARTS exhibition :REWORLD (4th-30th October) at Meet Digital Culture Center in Milan. :REWORLD is the first of a series of three exhibition that concludes our ‘Repairing The Present’ residency at Art Hub Copenhagen. The exhibition speaks of worlding as a core activity in digital culture: an emerging domain of constructed reality that must face its own sustainability challenges and contradictions. As the blockchain economy appears to be going through a belated moment of critical self-awareness, :REWORLD will follow on from the drama in Denmark, importing the Salon’s satire into the realm of gaming.
THE IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION explores the four possible futures our writing team developed for Bitcoin (accelerate (hashtag optional); capitulate to the machinic god; attempt to bring the Coin under a regulatory regime; or resist implacably its advance). Instead of dramatising the narrative, we have developed an interactive game which allows players to enter the narrative themselves. You make the choices to determine which future we land in.
Later in the autumn we will also be showing video from THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY performance premiere at ZKM in Karlsruhe, Germany. Salon Ambassadors will be on hand to discuss the creation and realisation of the play and the video game, and where the narrative might move in the future. Longtime Salonniers know how fond we are of radio plays…
0x Salon @ Unsound Festival: PROPHET MOTIVES Lecture & Group Discussion
The 0x Salon will be present at the 20th edition of Unsound Festival, where Wassim will debut a new lecture, PROPHET MOTIVES, and we will hold a 0x Salon discussion on web3 and the arts with Laura Lotti and Paul Seidler.
Wassim’s lecture will focus on the ways in which crypto-logics are infiltrating artistic discourses. Markets simultaneously read and rewrite realities. They can be thought of as a distributed conversation amongst speculators driven by profit (and prophet) motives. Boom and bust cycles appear to be a universal feature of the zero-sum game of trading – be it in shares, derivatives, or cryptocurrency and web3 applications. The ones who benefit are the ones with the foresight; prophets make profits and the unregenerate pray for a respawn in a more hospitable realm. As the art world is eaten alive by digital tokens, who are the winners and losers in this Brave New Non-Fungible World? Are crypto-believers’ calls promising emancipation for underpaid creatives credible? There’s only one way to find out: join us in Kraków for the lecture! Wassim’s recent lecture at the New Centre for Research & Practice might hold some clues as to way things might go…
Our Unsound Salon will involve a panel discussion on the utopian possibilities and uncomfortable realities manifest at the junction between web3 and the arts. The tabula rasa of blockchain technology has afforded a new architecture for imagination-states which are being heralded as no less than a new internet, a radical break from the desubjectified state we live in under today's contemporary expression of technofeudalism. As new digital commons bloom, enduring political questions around influence, agency, and control still linger. Blockchains, NFTs, and DAOs create new bubbles within which to germinate new econo-techno-socio-political ideologies. As always, with every affordance comes an implication, an externality. What is the price of the decentralised dream of empowerment?
We’d recommend tuning into out ‘DAOcolonisation’ podcast for an inkling of territories we might explore.
Time-theory Redux: Capitalism’s Transcendental Time Machine Foreword
Following on from our explorations into weird temporalities with ‘Transcendental Time Machines’ and ‘Temporal Secessionism’, the 0x Salon has teamed up with Nascent again for our most ambitious collaboration yet. Wassim, Max Hampshire, and Paul Seidler recently completed an introductory foreword to Anna Greenspan's ‘Capitalism's Transcendental Time Machine’, to accompany the release of the seminal Warwick Ph.D. thesis in book form. Greenspan’s thesis remains a touchstone for thinking about the realtionship of capital, temporality, and technology. More soon, but for now here’s something a little less serious.
CPRU: ‘Romance, Capital, Time’ & ‘Versus In Numinis’
The creative wheels of the Salon continue to roll. Here are two recent poems composed by the CPRU over the summer months: ‘Romance, Capital, Time’ and ‘Versus In Numinis’.
Rare m3m3pl3x Interview for Spectrum, Milan
The 0x Salon's semi-dormant meme tentacle 'm3m3pl3x' recently got interviewed by Spectrum Milan under the rubric of Memetic Countercultures. A discussion certain to grab your attention.
THIS WEEK: Fantasia Malware Event & Chloê Langford Residency Piece
Fizzy video game poetry reading swinging and swimming in a squiggly orbit around a wet and weird clock. Pet a cornflower, tickle a star-thistle, and stroke a snail. Tear through caves like a carbonated tempest with an erotic fixation on chaos.
These are the words of Salon Resident Chloê Langford who will be performing CHAOS CAVES in the guise of Fantasia Malware on September 21st at 19:00 in the Transmediale studio, Silent Green, Gerichtstr. 35, 13346 Berlin.
It’s sure to be an intense evening, set your wet and weird watches for a night to remember.
That brings us to the end of our update. See you next month, Salonniers (and Salon-curious). Until then, we’ll be hard at work, exploring the outer reaches of time, technology, and human folly and passing the highlights on to you!
What is the 0x Salon? At the Salon we are working tirelessly to unlearn any possible answer to this question. New beginnings are our end, and openness is our means. The Salon is a meeting point for methodologies, a site for distinct disciplines and epistemologies to connect, however casually, for conversation among friends.
Discursive knowledge sharing and production is a key aim for salonniers and organisers. One could think of it as an epistemological skunkworks where nothing is forbidden and nothing is required beyond a spirit of enquiry. Since 2020, the 0x Salon has been meeting at Berlin’s storied Trust workspace, itself a haven for artists, designers, and technologists striving to move in new directions beyond their disciplines. Trust provides the backdrop for the broad and encompassing discussions that the Salon fosters. As the Salon seeks to provide a minimally prescribed forum for intellectuals from various disciplines to think freely without formality and the often siloed approach of academia, we employ Chatham House Rules for every salon, ensuring anonymity to all involved so that participants can have the confidence to question all answers (and even all questions) without fear or favour.
More about the 0x Salon.