Networks as Structural Models for Art—Distributive Practices since 1960


27 August 19, 7 pm

Venue: KW Studio, Front building, 1st floor

In German


Lectures by Prof. Dr. Julia Gelshorn, University Freiburg (CH) and Hanna Magauer, Berlin University of the Arts 


<p><em>Réseau art 1982</em>, Cover of the exhibition catalogue <em>Art prospect</em>, Paris/Lyon/Strasbourg 1982</p>

Réseau art 1982, Cover of the exhibition catalogue Art prospect, Paris/Lyon/Strasbourg 1982


With the emergence of new electronic media in the 1960s, the modernist grid as emblem for art’s formal and ideological condition shifted into the more fluid, rhizomatic structure of the network. Emphasized and articulated by artists in different ways–as connectivity, co-dependence, utopia, reciprocity, or environment–, the idea of the network initially served as a counter-cultural momentum and a concept to think about new forms of agency. As some of these new “networked” forms of expression prefigured a lot of what seems contemporarily ubiquitous and normalized (user-generated-content, hash tagging, cybernetics, global interconnectedness, for instance) it remains to ask how the structural conditions of a late capitalist art world have changed the concept of the network and distributive practices altogether.


Taking Image Bank’s emphasis on interconnectivity as a prompt, the two lectures attempt to outline a brief history of what brought the network as a structural model in art into being and how its terms would need to be re-assessed and re-written for contemporary conditions–beyond “networking” as an accumulation of social capital.


Julia Gelshorn is professor for modern and contemporary art at University Freiburg (CH). Among other topics, her research interest focuses on the network as a metaphor and structural model in art.


Hanna Magauer is a PhD candidate in the postgraduate program “Das Wissen der Künste” at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin), where she currently writes a thesis on “Distributed Practices: Strategies of post-conceptual art in France in the 1980s and the work of Philippe Thomas“. She has worked as an editor for Texte zur Kunst and writes as a freelance critic and translator.