blow_hot_and_cold
24 August - 24 September, 2017
Vernissage: Thursday, 24 August, 6-10pm
How do we face reality in a so called post-factual and post-truth world?

The strangeness of recent social and political upheavals has been enough to provoke the question as to whether 2016 witnessed the demise of ‘factual’ reasoning: ‘Post-factual’ was the word of the year according to the Society for German Language (Wiesbaden, DE); ‘Post-Truth’ the word of the year according to the Oxford Dictionary (GB). These two terms seem alike enough to be interchangeable, but might fact and truth have different implications?

It appears that the ways in which facts are produced has changed with the increasing influence of information technologies. Perhaps the question one should ask is how to distinguish between real and virtual facts?-

Questions of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, and what is evil are increasingly outsourced and mediated by algorithms. The threat of losing critical independence in a world where meaning is collapsed into quantification is real. Under these circumstances, what parameters should be used to identify truth, and deception, and what architectures/platforms are these parameters capable of building? Further, how can prominent existing platforms be objective tools? Can any one platform have every relevant parameter built in?

FACT ≠ TRUTH, an exhibition and event series that attempts to untangle the problem. Organised by Anja Henckel and Marietta Auras
EXHIBITION I
BLOW_HOT_AND_COLD
24 AUGUST - 24 SEPTEMBER, 2017

DSG Collective: Damjanski, Vasco Barbosa, Derek Evan Harms

Curated by Anja Henckel

BLOW_HOT_AND_COLD is a kinetic installation that invites the audience to interact with the work, prompting viewers to take a stance on their political beliefs. A flag, a pole, 8 fans, 4 political issues currently dividing the German electorate.

In real time, an algorithm aggregates and processes conversations on Twitter around the four issues: social justice, refugee reception, EU exit and the ‘Energiewende’. The algorithm discerns sentiment from these texts, attributing wind force to each fan and as the sentiments towards the raised issue fluctuate, the direction of the flag shifts to face the opinion with the strongest support.

Twitter is used as the source for raw opinion data as it is a prominent global social platform that binds and amplifies groups of people who are geographically distant but ideologically similar. It’s use as a political tool has become ingrained in political reality – especially in the U.S. today. It’s influence in Germany is growing, with an estimated 57% of Bundestag delegates using the service and more than 12 million people in Germany interacting with tweets per month.

Ultimately the installation blow_hot_and_cold creates a space from the virtual swell of opinion and explores our relationship with the political that is newly mediated through social online networks.

The politician on the flagpole is Horst Seehofer, a german politician that has been active since 1992 and Minister President of Bavaria since 2008, he is often called #Drehhofer (twist hofer) for his play with political issues raised and his quick change of opinion.

DO SOMETHING GOOD is an Incubation Collective primarily focused on realizing interactive experiences that arise at the cross section of art and technology; driven with the purpose of creating unique transformative experiences. The NYC based collective is comprised of 17 members around the world. With a wide range of backgrounds in fine art, design, coding, computer science, robotics and more, the group uses its diverse knowledge base to collaborate on groundbreaking new media projects. The group was created to help enable each others projects and to do more good things. Previously, their work has been featured in major art, tech and culture publications including The Creators Project, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, The Verge, The LA Times, and The New York Times among others. http://dsg.do/
THURSDAY, 24 AUGUST, 19.00 VERNISSAGE
Informal tour of the exhibition and Q&A with artists & curator

MONDAY 28 AUGUST, 14.00-20.00 (6H INTENSIVE, 120€) ARDUINO WORKSHOP
For beginners to learn and realise the possibilities of making microcontroller kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical world. Sign up here (info@import-projects.org)

SATURDAY, 02 SEPTEMBER, 19.00-20.30, DISCUSSION
Elisabeth Wehling http://www.elisabethwehling.com/, a cognitive scientist, political strategist and author committed to language, thought and ideology research and to fostering transparent democratic discourse working in the U.S. and Europe IN CONVERSATION WITH blow_hot_and_cold artist Damjanski (DSG collective) http://damjanski.com/, artist and researcher Sascha Pohflepp http://pohflepp.net/Statement, who has been working with machine learning algorithms AND a representative of AlgorithmWatch https://algorithmwatch.org/, a non-profit initiative to evaluate and shed light on algorithmic decision making processes that have a social relevance.

SUNDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER, 19.00, FINISSAGE
Election day in Germany, will bring together a group of people, whose expertise lies in computing, art and journalism to discuss Knowledge production considering collecting, storing, and processing data for providing information and knowledge.

Image description: Orbix360 exhibition view, FACT ≠ TRUTH series, blow_hot_and_cold, DSG collective