Hosted by: Dr Dani Ploeger
Photo: Dani Ploeger – Selfie #3 (Shyrokyne, Ukraine, 14 March 2017)
The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s marked the beginning of a roughly two decade long period of increasing focus on high-tech warfare and digital security systems. However, recent years have seen an upswing of conventional firearms in everyday life and media representations across Europe. Heavily armed police officers and soldiers are conspicuously deployed on the streets of Western European metropoles, while a growing number of volunteer militias equipped with Soviet era weapons are training for – and participating in – conventional war scenarios in Central Europe. Meanwhile, experiences of the public spaces in which these processes of re-militarization take place are – paradoxically – highly determined by advanced (mobile) consumer technologies.
This practical and theoretical workshop explores this paradigm shift in representations and experiences of violence in relation to digital culture through both analogue and digital media, in the context of cultural critical reflection and technology-based art practices.
The workshop work will include a substantial amount of reading, a (very basic) introduction to game development, site visits to a toy store and a shooting range (tbc), as well as hands-on explorations of theatrical blood effects.
Students should bring their own windows laptops to use in the workshop.
Dani Ploeger is an artist and cultural critic who explores situations of conflict and crisis on the fringes of the world of high-tech consumerism. His objects, videos, and apps emphasize both the fragility and rawness of the materiality of everyday technologies, and question the sanitized, utopian marketing around innovation and its implications for local and global power dynamics. In this context, quasi-journalistic journeys often provide the starting point for the development of his works.
Ploeger’s artwork is exhibited in museums, galleries and festivals around the world and he has received commissions from ZKM Center for Culture and Media in Karlsruhe, New Society for Fine Arts Berlin, V2_Lab for unstable media in Rotterdam and the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, among others. His VR installation The Grass Smells So Sweet was awarded the 2018 jury prize of the VRHAM Festival for art and virtual reality in Hamburg.