3rd 01SJ Biennial September 2010

A global festival of art on the edge

ZER01 Announces 2nd Biennial Exhibition at San Jose Museum of Art

Superlight = Collision of Innovation, Things As They Are Now, and Need to Re-imagine What Matters Next

ZER01, organizers of 01SJ A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, today unveiled the Festival’s 2nd biennial exhibition: Superlight, which takes place from May 10, 2008 – August 31, 2008 at the San Jose Museum of Art. Exploring the age-old question that exists at the intersection of art and technology – “what’s next?” – the artists in Superlight are compelled by the supercharged collision between innovation, the way things are now, and an irrepressible need to re-imagine that matters next.

”The artists in Superlight lighten but do not make light of the seemingly intractable problems facing us,” says Steve Dietz, ZER01 creative director. “They use the tools at hand, especially contemporary technology, popular culture, and the hybrid, virtual reality that we increasingly inhabit, to aerate and illuminate. They enlighten without getting heavy. They practice levity without making fun. They embrace ambiguity as an elemental life force. They believe in their issues without having to prescribe exactly how others should feel; without dictating how, precisely, others should act.”

Superlight is not a style. Nor is it devoted to a specific medium. Work ranges from printed leaflets to algorithmic films to kinetic sculptural installations. Yet all of the work in Superlight shares an affinity for the glossy culture in which we live, whether it is the ever-present Blackberry-iPhone, constantly feeding us the latest headlines, like Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Global Mind Radar/Reader (an Emotional Barometer) or the commercial-looking light boxes of Kota Ezawa that both memorialize the Spring 2007 IKEA catalog and critique the culture of consumption wherein it is our patriotic duty to shop and keep on shopping.

Some of the works in Superlight are topical, such as Jane Marsching’s Audiovisualization of temperatures at the North Pole over the course of the next 100 years or Piotr Szyhalski’s propaganda meticulously produced according to the rules and procedures of US military PsyOps manuals. Genevieve Grieves, an artist from the Worimi Nation in Australia, humorously re-imagines the real story behind falsely honorific colonial-era photographs in Picturing the Old People.

The British group Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji, formerly of Mongrel ,examines the paradoxical role of coltan, a rare mineral used in most cell phones, which both contributes to genocidal war in the Congo, where it is mined, and aids refugee populations to stay connected through the enabled telecommunications network. Other works deal with the enduringly human, such as Bruce Charlesworth’s mysteriously interactive Love Disorder or Lián Amaris Sifuentes’ 72- hour ordeal on a Manhattan traffic island becoming Fashionably Late for the Relationship.

Still other work in Superlight is more obliquely metaphorical. Is Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s Heaven and Hell about being nice to people on the way up or the inevitability of descent? Situated in Silicon Valley, is it about the tribulations of the business cycle in particular or the giddy roller coaster of humanity in general? Adam Nash’s Ways to Wave teaches us a new way to make music amidst the dissonance of displacement, both physical and virtual.

The term superlight has many possible connotations, from weightlessness to levity to brightness. The artists in Superlight use these characteristics to shine a bright light on some of the weightiest issues of our time with a deft and often humorous touch. The result is that through their collective work they confound our expected question, what’s next, with a question about technological progress and its consequences. Given what is coming next, global climate change, for instance, what kind of ethical progress can we make toward a superlight framework for an enlightened and danceable, light-on-our-feet future?

Featured Artists: Cory Arcangel • Jim Campbell • Bruce Charlesworth • Paul DeMarinis • R. Luke DuBois • Kota Ezawa • Daniel Faust • Free Soil (Amy Franceschini, Corrine Matesich, Nis Romer, Stijn Schiffeleers, Adam Wight) • Genevieve Grieves • David Haines • Harwood, Wright, Yokokoji  (Harwood, Richard Wright, Matsuko Yokokoji) •Lynn Hershman Leeson • Joyce Hinterding • Shih Chieh Huang • Jane Marsching • Jennifer + Kevin McCoy •  Adam Nash • Ed Osborn • Qiu Zhijie • Red76 (Sam Gould, Laura Baldwin, Gabriel, Mindel-Saloman, Zefrey Throwell) • Lián Amaris Sifuentes • Eddo Stern • Piotr Szyhalski • Terreform (Mitchell Joachim) • Craig Walsh • Marina Zurkow.

ZER01 is an independent nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to conduct a biennial festival in Silicon Valley that offers attendees compelling experiences made possible at the intersection of art and digital culture. ZER01 is the producing organization for 01SJ A Global Festival of Art on the Edge.