Copy All: Zines as community responses to algorithmic culture
Presented by UKAI & the Goethe-Institut Toronto
as part of the Goethe-Institut Toronto‘s Algorithmic Culture project
A zine is a self-published work of text and/or images often with a small circulation. Zine have historically been used to celebrate shared interests poorly covered through mainstream media or to describe lived experiences not reflected in popular culture. Zines often serve as responses to hegemonic discourses and celebrate difference and distributed authorship. As part of the Algorithmic Culture series, the Goethe-Institut Toronto has commissioned six zines --three from Canada and three from Germany-- to serve as a multi-nodal ‘program’ to accompany conversations throughout 2021-2022 around how automated systems are transforming how we live and how we as human beings are being shaped by the needs of these systems. The commissioned works range from children telling stories about their digital life to immigrant youth repurposing digital tools as sites of resistance to a multi-generational family living in a smart home.
What happens when zines are placed at the centre of a process of open socio-cultural sense-making? Rather than responses to worked-out narratives, might zines provide a starting point for exploring idiosyncratic experiences of the world around us? The underlying experience of AI can be hard to access as so much of it is invisible. We asked a diverse range of artists in Germany and Canada to make their and their community's point of view and lived experience visible so as to begin the process of mapping out local and lived responses to the automation of culture. Rather than abstracted debates centered in Western ethics, we are after what Neta Bomani calls "a technology to help further educate and organize our friends, family, and community by locating our distribution of selves across intersecting systems of power."
The zines will serve as both a digital and analog constellation of sense-making to inform ongoing programming aimed at the ethics and underlying experience of artificial intelligence in our lives.
Stay tuned for release announcements!
THE ARTISTSJasmine Ghandtchi: Jasmine has Iranian-German roots and lives in Berlin. She works as a freelance intercultural mediator, language teacher and artist in Germany and worldwide. Connecting the dots between humans, art, culture, technology, nature, language is the core of her work. She loves developing new creative forms of learning. Her passion is storytelling, drawing, cooking and Yoga.
Bianca Weeko Martin: Bianca is an architectural researcher, published author and passionate practitioner of the arts and the internet. Her work explores themes of family, memory, domestic space and urban life. She was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and raised in Scarborough, Toronto.
Yasmeen Nematt Alla: Yasmeen is a visual artist and art worker living in Tkaronto, Ontario. Her practice approaches alienated narratives from an interpreter’s perspective; examining how the translation of language, experiences, and visuals intertwine with care, grief, and community building. She has most recently exhibited at the Gladstone, Xpace Cultural Center, and ACRE Projects and is currently a resident in the CreateSpace STEPs Residency.
Alexandra Ruppert: Alexandra is a visual storyteller, illustrator and graphic designer based in Berlin, Germany. Driven by a bewildered curiosity for humans, she lets you dive into parallel universes like lucid dreams, the subconsciousness or the internet. Be prepared to be shaken up with what we call „reality“.
Shireen Norouzi: Shireen is an artist from Toronto Canada with interest in technological and societally influenced artwork, as well as portrait photography. She works in digital illustration, photography, risograph, and lighting/video design. She hopes that her art can help elevate socially and politically relevant information and create a sense of community.
Melanie Sien Min Lyn: Melanie works with video, audio and performance to investigate how bodies and boundaries, identity and ideology exist within neoliberalism. A recurring theme in her work is the individualisation and cooptation of resistance and empowerment practices. She sees her work as an often humorous intervention in serious business and explores trash aesthetic, poor images and DIY culture. With Kollektiv KINOKAS, she has been working on an experimental feminist documentary on reproductive justice. As part of the cyperpunk zine and research group, aaronhasacar, she has created zines and digital interventions. She studied in the art and digital media class under Constanze Ruhm at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.