Artists Space

Kari Altmann & Ruth Saxelby

May 21, 2015, 7pm

For the last in a series of events organized in tandem with the exhibition Hito Steyerl, invited artist Kari Altmann will be in conversation with writer Ruth Saxelby about aspects of her work, and the systemics of the culture industry.

Two figures crouch next to two abstract artworks standing on the floor of a gallery space. Both people have dyed hair and half-blue facepaint.
CaptionKari Altmann, still from XOMIA, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Ellis King Gallery. [Two figures crouch next to two abstract artworks standing on the floor of a gallery space. Both people have dyed hair and half-blue facepaint.]

Altmann’s practice takes as its ground the contemporary omnipresence of networks for instantly creating and mutating culture. Her work is heavily immersed in an understanding of aggregation, encryption, representation and scene-formation, and the new cultural formats generated by and in response to these processes. She has been identified with labels like “hypergenre,” “ambiguationist,” “post-internet,” “post-western,” “meta,” and “circulationist,” while treating the creation of new tags and lexicons as a site of production itself. Her project R-U-In?S began life as one of these lexicons, assuming a dystopian, accelerationist attitude in creating black market culture out of the over-availability of hypercapitalism, algorithmic organization, and art tropes. The conversation with Saxelby will take in Altmann’s creation of genres, lexicons, trends, and cultures and touch also on her curating of the work of her peers, and her role as moderator of several gender-focused discussion groups.

Altmann’s work also extends beyond the fine art world, including roles as a musician, DJ, director, and ghost producer, and collaborations with the likes of Kingdom/Fade to Mind, DJ GC, Fatima Al Qadiri, Maluca Mala, and Mixpak. Her own work has been featured in publications including The FADER, DIS, and Art in America, and she has completed projects for The New Museum, Art Dubai, The Goethe Institute, and many others. Altmann’s first major solo exhibition, Xomia, occurred this year at Ellis King Gallery. Another solo project, Hitashya, will feature in the Biennial of the Americas at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver in July.

Ruth Saxelby is the managing editor at The FADER in New York. She has previously written for The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, and Dummy, amongst other UK publications. She writes about new genres of audio and visual culture, with an emphasis on electronic music and feminist concerns in the music industry. She has interviewed and written about Kari Altmann several times in recent years, including “The Visual Artist at the Center of the Post Internet Explosion,” “Dallas to Dammam Direct: Kari Altmann on Gulf Futurism’s U.S. Outpost,” and “We Talk in Pictures Now, But What Does It Mean?”