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Ho Tzu Nyen with Jan Gerber & Sebastian Lütgert

Dictionaries and Aporias
2–14 August 2021

Ho_Tzu_Nyen video still
The Cloud of Unknowing, 2011, HD projection, 13 channel sound, smoke machines, floodlights, show control system system, video still.

Course format
Hybrid class

Either Fortress Hohensalzburg (on site) or online*

Teaching language
English (and some Python for beginners)

What to bring
Computer/laptop with camera, microphone and keyboard, headphones, any drawing materials (physical or digital surfaces), textual or other material.


Maximum number of participants
12 on site, 6 online

Participation fee
€ 640,– (€ 480,–)

In this course, students will develop a practical understanding of recombinatory film: database-driven audiovisual artworks that create new narratives, as well as generating lists, maps or dictionaries, by way of algorithmic retrieval and assembly of digital footage. We will take a closer look at cinematic theories and techniques of montage, images situated between images, and explore what becomes possible – both visible and imaginable – when we delegate some of the creative processes of editing to computer programs.

Throughout the course, students will engage with a variety of audiovisual archives and datasets, contribute their own selections of online materials, experiment with computer-aided image analysis, sketch out concrete projects individually and collaboratively, and develop a sense of the vocabularies and grammars that both underlie and emerge from recombinatory video works. We are also going to study a selection of "prior art" in the field, with occasional ventures into found-footage film, interactive video art and computer games. Students will, in the process, develop a critical perspective on algorithmic media art and "artificial intelligence" as an artistic trope and technological paradigm.

*If necessary, the course may be held exclusively online.
Ho Tzu Nyen makes films, installations and performances that begin as engagements with historical and theoretical texts.  His recent works are populated by metamorphic figures such as the weretiger (One or Several Tigers, 2017) and the triple agent (The Nameless, 2015), under the rubric of The Critical Dictionary of Southeast, an ongoing meta-project that includes online archiving through algorithm.

Solo exhibitions
2019 Edith-Russ Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg (DE). 2018 Kunstverein, Hamburg (DE). 2018 Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai (CN). 2015 Guggenheim, Bilbao (ES). 2012 Mori Art Museum, Tokyo. 2011 Ho Tzu Nyen represented the Singapore Pavilion at the 54. La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (IT).

Group exhibitions
2019 Aichi Triennale, Aichi (JP). 2018 12. Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (KR). 2017 2 or 3 Tigers, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. 2014 10th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai (CN). 2014 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi (IN).

His theatrical works have been presented at various festivals: 2020 and 2018, The Holland Festival, Amsterdam. 2020 and 2014, Wiener Festwochen, Vienna. 2010 Theater der Welt, Mülheim an der Ruhr (DE). 2006, 2008 and 2010, KunstenFestivaldesArts, Brussels.

His films have been presented at the Film Festivals in Berlin, Sundance (US), Cannes (FR) and Venice. Together with Taiwanese artist Hsu Chia-Wei, he also co-curated The Strangers from Beyond the Mountain and the Sea, the 7th Asian Art Biennale, at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (TW).

Ho Tzu Nyen was awarded a DAAD scholarship in Berlin and the Grand Prize of the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize.

Jan Gerber and Sebastian Lütgert live in Berlin and work as artists and programmers. In the last two decades, they have initiated a variety of collaborative projects – shared workspaces, online archives, conference series and software platforms – situated at the intersections of art, politics and technology. They are co-founders of The Pirate School (since 2020), Wiederaufbau für Kreditanstalt (2007), Amerikanische Botschaft (2005), Pirate Cinema Berlin(since 2004) and Bootlab (2000-2007), and developers of the media archive platform (since 2012).

2021 Feral Methods, nGbK, Berlin. 2020 Zin Ex: From Abstraction to Algorithm, Tabakalera, San Sebastian (ES). Sebastian Lütgert: No-Show, Edith-Russ Haus, Oldenburg. Bärenzwinger, Berlin. Transmediale, Berlin. 2019 Open Scores, Panke Gallery, Berlin. A Cinematic Museum of the Everyday, NextMixing, Shanghai. Screenshots: Desire and Automated Image, Galleri Image, Aarhus (DK). 2018 Berlin: Zentrum der Netzkunst, Panke Gallery, Berlin. Between Points, Supportico Lopez, Berlin. Open Codes, Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai (IN). 2017 Kiev Biennale, Kiev. The School of Everything, Documenta 14, Kassel (DE), Athens. Taylor Macklin, Zurich (CH). 2015 Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul (TR). 2014 Public Library, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (DE). 2012 Poor Man's Expression, Artists Space, New York, NY (US). Center for Contemporary Art, Tbilisi. 2010 Speak Memory, Townhouse, Cairo. Homeworks, Beirut.

Archive Projects
2021 The New Abécédaire: A Dictionary of 2020, 2019 Leftovers (with MayDayRooms, London), 2018 Fwd: Re: Archive (with CAMP, Mumbai), CineMuseSpace (with University of Cambridge) 2017 (with Mosireen, Cairo), The Critical Dictionary of South-East Asia (with Ho Tzu Nyen), 2014 DAU media archive (with Phenomen Films, London), (with Videooccupy, Istanbul), (with Bilkent University, Ankara), 2013, Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai), 2011 Properties of the Autonomous Archive (with CAMP, Mumbai), 2008 (with CAMP, Mumbai), 2007 0xDB, The Oil of the 21st Century (Amsterdam, New York, Berlin, Mumbai), 2006 Dictionary of War (Frankfurt, Munich, Graz, Berlin, Novi Sad, Gwangju, Bolzano, Taipei, New York),