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Lecture Performance, 2018

lecture performance


Metahaven are an acclaimed artist and design collective known for their films, installations, and writings. With their conceptual and political practice, Metahaven provoke critical new imaginaries, such as with the publication Uncorporate Identity (2010), which traces the connections between corporate and nationalist identities. In recent years, the duo has moved towards filmmaking that is often situated between documentary and fiction. Not only describing but evoking the atmosphere and sensations defining our contemporary moment, Metahaven have captured social, political, and economic actualities in their visually striking and incisive essayistic collages. On the occasion of AB6, Metahaven present the newly composed lecture performance titled Lecture Performance. Drawing on poetry and fiction merged with investigative journalism, Metahaven scrutinize the personalized space offered by corporations, infiltrated by government agencies, the seduction of fake news, and users’ obsession with their own image in the myriad of interfaces that surpass our reality today.

#power #design #data #socialmedia #control #communism #fakenews #burningphones
Sat 24 Nov 2018
Long Take, 2018

Esperia Palace, KINO, 1st floor

In this talk, Metahaven are arguing that we need to go beyond meme culture in order to understand today's complex political realities. They are arguing for a re-appreciation of the cinematic long take as a way to shed light on the texture of truth. Claude Lanzmann (1925-2018) believed that "art and morality are identical," a belief that he appears to have shared with Leo Tolstoy, who argued similarly in his seminal manifesto What is Art? (1897). Lanzmann's film Shoah, a nine-hour cinematic artwork about the Holocaust, shot on celluloid over a 11-year period in the 1970s and 1980s, embodies a method of inquiry that could be seen as pertinent to our present day. Indeed, Lanzmann's "arrogance, narcissism, and megalomania, as well as his intolerance and contempt for his critics were notorious, as was his passion for life," as Enzo Traverso wrote recently. Nevertheless, Shoah contains a deep cinematic literacy and a temporal dimension that seems antithetical to today's online reality, with its relentless focus on memes and other easily repeatable and imitable patterns. As Traverso asserts, "the historical wound of mass extermination ceases to appear as an abstract, ungraspable category and becomes a concrete trauma lived by real people in their bodies and their souls," and indeed Lanzmann claimed that Shoah possessed "the status of an original event." 


The work of Metahaven consists of filmmaking, writing, design, and installations, and is united conceptually by interests in poetry, storytelling, digital superstructures, and propaganda. Films by Metahaven include The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda) (2015), Information Skies (2016), Possessed (2018), with Rob Schroder), Hometown (2018) and Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) (2018). Publications include Digital Tarkovsky (2018), PSYOP (2018), Black Transparency (2015) and Uncorporate Identity (2010). Their work is screened, published, and exhibited worldwide.