wet conceptualism

Wet Conceptualism:
Perspectives from the Global South

Syd Krochmalny and Carlos Huffmann in discussion.
Moderated by Sozita Goudouna and Warren Neidich

Saturday, February 4th, 2023, 2 pm
Opening Gallery
42 Walker Street
New York City, New York

Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950s-1980s took place at the Queens Museum in 1999 curated by Queens Museum Director of Exhibitions Jane Farver, the artist Luis Camnitzer and Rachel Weiss Professor at the New School. It contained over 200 works by artists all over the world with the purpose to understand conceptual art in its broader context. As it states on the Queens Museum website, the show was meant to “question the hegemony of the object over ideas in art, critique the way art is institutionalized both in museums and in modern economies, and find a new role for art and the artist in society by involving art in social and political protest.” Wet conceptualism shares many of these concerns but recontextualizes them in the context of cognitive capitalism in which the brain and mind are the new factories of the 20th century and the importance of immaterial labor subsumes the importance of the dematerialized object. Today we are overwhelmed and suffocated by immateriality and a material rebuttal is necessary as a form of dissensus. Our generalized intelligence has been reconfigured in our world of deep learning neural networks, robotics and wet ware. Wet conceptualisms interest in ecologies of knowledge is the starting point to engage with Global Conceptualism through the experience of our two guest artists from the global South in an attempt to relinquish the aporias of Dry Conceptual art.

Sozita Goudouna is a curator, professor and the author of Beckett’s Breath: Anti-theatricality and the Visual Arts on Samuel Beckett’s Breath, one of the shortest plays ever written for the theater, published by Edinburgh University Press and released in the U.S. by Oxford University Press. She is the founder of the Opening Gallery Initiative and the nonprofit Greece to The USA.

Carlos Huffmann is an artist and director of the Art Department of the Torcuato Di Tella University. He served as the main professor of the Work Analysis Seminar within the Artists Program during 2017, 2021, and 2022, and regularly teaches classes both in the Artists Program and in undergraduate courses at Torcuato Di Tella University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Economics from UTDT (2001) and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)-Master of Fine Arts, School of Art (2005). He was the editor of the art section of the online magazine Otra Parte Semanal. He regularly publishes texts about art in various media, such as Otra Parte, the Radar supplement of Página 12, artists’ books, and various blogs, among others. In 2020, the first monographic book on his work was published: Strange Ruler for a Heart. His main individual exhibitions are “Compostasmas” (2022, Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires), “Hito de Frontera” (2019, Art Week, BA), “Recursiva” (2018, Constitución Gallery, BA), among others.

Dr. Syd Krochmalny is an artist, curator, writer, researcher, musician, and Professor of Arts, Literature and Social Sciences. His multimedia work has been exhibited at the Reina Sofia Museum, Harvard University, David Rockefeller Center, the Malba, the Americas Society, Cultural Center of Memory Haroldo Conti, Remembrance Park, University of Oslo, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, MAC de Niteroi, Pinacoteca San Pablo, The University of Edinburgh, Museum of Contemporary Art in Buenos Aires, and the Guggenheim, among others. Syd has published Diarios del Odio (Journals of Hate, 2016), Débil (Weak, 2017), Los Sueños (The Dreams, 2018), El Tamaño de mi mundo (The Size of My World, 2021), Ramona, debates en el arte al filo del Milenio (Ramona, Debates in the Art on the Edge of the Millennium, 2021), and he wrote a prologue for Crypto Currency and Sovereignty (2022), among others. Syd was a part of several magazine projects, including editor of the magazine and subsequent book, ramona, co-founder and editor of the magazine, Jennifer, and co-founder and editor of the CIA magazine for the Center for Artistic Research (CIA), an Artist Program and a Masters Program on Latin American Art in Buenos Aires where Syd Krochmalny was Professor, the Pedagogical Director, and International Relations. Syd was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Columbia University. Syd is the Director of Barro in New York.

Warren Neidich is an artist, theorist and curator who works between New York City and Berlin. He is founder and director of the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art which will concern Apparatus, Apparatus, Apparatus in collaboration with the Brooklyn Rail. His work,The Statisticon Neon, is on view in the exhibition Singing in Unison curated by Phong Bui and From the Society of the Spectacle to the Consciousness Industry at the Taipei Digital Arts Festival, Taipei, Taiwan. Neidich’s An Activist Neuroaesthetic Reader was just published by Archive Press, Berlin.

Recent review about Wet Conceptualism in the Brooklyn Rail.

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