Black Box Festival 2.0, Main Gallery at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, USA | Website
“It is not down in any map; true places never are.”
— Herman Melville, MOBY DICK
Today cinema is everywhere and nowhere. Montage, the simple act of editing a scene, has become a universal tool for generating reality. The participatory, networked culture in which we live is now an entangled web of jump cuts, swipes and likes. Social media allow us to direct and stage our own lives. Surveillance reimagines personal, professional and biological narratives. Our obsession with innovation generates an infinite, and increasingly opaque, stream of data. The ambiguous cinematic landscape that is unfolding challenges our very ideas about what art is and what art can be.
As black box theory suggests, art makes the invisible, visible. Emerging technologies and digital culture are reformatting our consciousness and our cognitive capacities, our entire being. Our experiences of simultaneity, dispersion and juxtaposition have intensified. The artists of Black Box 2.0 embrace available tools to question the unknowns of our epoch. Many invoke pop as a carrier symbol, bringing art into our daily life through the platforms that surround us. The social and psychological consequences of technology are often either implied or revealed. In some works, the line between fiction and nonfiction vanishes, leading to new forms of narration. In others, the blending of the virtual and the physical is (re)presented and questioned. The changes in the genealogy of the sensitive, desire, the organization of dreams, and the invention of new forms of autonomy are themes and ideas fueling the works presented throughout the festival.
Black Box 2.0 is designed to explore the vigorous chaos of cinema. An international spectrum of artists are exhibited in industrial shipping containers, white cube galleries, black box movie theaters, your living room, and a building on the verge of destruction. Landscapes and stories are revisited, spaces are inhabited, and experiments are carried out. There is no map for this place.
Anne Couillaud, Independent Curator
Julia Fryett, Founder of Aktionsart