Thomas Feuerstein, ÉLAINE (Manna Machine), 2015. Algae (Chlorella vulgaris), glass, aluminium, pump, plastic tubes, lighting appliances, 263 x 33 x 27 cm. Courtesy by the artist and Gallery Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck/Vienna.

Device_art 6.018: Machines are Not Alone

Device_art Festival

December 18, 2018–February 3, 2019
November 26, 2018
Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb
Av. Dubrovnik 17
HR-10000 Zagreb

Everywhere it is machines and machines are not alone.

This powerful statement from curator Zhang Ga is at the heart of the upcoming sixth edition of Device_art festival and it’s large central exhibition Machines are Not Alone. Organized by the KONTEJNER association since 2004, Device_art triennial of arts, robotics and new technologies is based on re-thinking of our relations with technology, and the relations between technology and art, questioning at the same time the nature and traditional paths of their intersections.

The curatorial concept is rooted in the idea of machinic ecology, and the exhibition represents an ecosystem fitted with cloud machines, irrigation machines, earth machines, and many other emotive devices and apparatuses: “a unity which endorses giving each thing its due place as equally significant and worthy with respect and care.”

“The world is machinic.” Zhang Ga writes in his preface to the exhibition. “Not only does its function depend on a network of machines, such as data farms of distributed servers over the surface of the Earth, assembly lines that stretch endlessly long, and transportation vessels and vehicles crisscrossing the continents, out into space and traversing oceans; but also the land, rivers, mountains, trees, animals, cultures, and histories are all machines of some sort when seen from an operational point of view or an abstract sense of the word because they are systems of interconnected biospheres, geochemical aggregates, hydrodynamic flows, neural synapses, motor-sensor coordinates, psychosomatic attributes, social relationships and technical milieus, imbricated, intertwined, transversal and reciprocal, as intricate as the relationship between humans and thoughts, knowledge and freedom.”

The presented artworks reveal on many different complex levels this machinic nature of our reality: the poetry of our machinic surroundings, the machine that is ourselves, the machinic interconnectivity which determines our very existence.

Along the central exhibition, from November 22, 2018 to January 21, 2019 the festival offers numerous accompanying events in three cities: Zagreb (Museum of Contemporary Art and Šira Gallery), Rijeka (Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) and Split (Multimedia Cultural Centre): lectures, performances, workshops, concerts, education programmes for artists and citizens and a cinema programme.

Exhibition Machines are Not Alone features works of the following artists: Tega Brain, Martin Howse, Ralf Baecker, Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger, Gail Wight, Saša Spačal and Ida Hiršenfelder, Saša Spačal and Mirjan Švagelj, Marnix de Nijs, Ief Spincemaille, Thomas Feuerstein, Adam Donovan and Katrin Hochschuh, Navid Navab, Karolina Sobecka and Christopher Baker, Luiz Zanotello, Dorian Gaudin, Wang Yuyang, Silvio Vujičić, Tin Dožić, Vladimir Novak, Siniša Lordan and Mirjana Vodopija.

Curator: Zhang Ga
Organizer: KONTEJNER, Zagreb

Supported by: Creative Europe Programme of the European Union; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia; City of Zagreb – Municipal Office for Culture; Australian Council; Kultura Nova Foundation; Embassy of Belgium in Croatia; French Institute in Zagreb; Australian Embassy in Croatia; Austrian Cultural Forum Zagreb; Embassy of Switzerland in Croatia; The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Mondriaan Fund.