• Location:

Robert B. Lisek

in Galeria NT

10 IX 2010, 19.00


Openin hours: Tue - Fri 12.00 - 18.00, Sat 14.00 - 20.00


[size=10]Robert B. Lisek is an artist and mathematician, focusing on systems and processes (computational, biological, social). Passing through conceptual art, hacktivism, software art and radical social interventions, his activities are impossible to be subjected to categorization. He is the pioneer of art using the methods of artificial intelligence and bioengineering. Robert B. Lisek uses disorders and suspensions of languages and systems, including code and commands errors, as well as network worms and viruses. In the Spectrum project which is a scenario of bio terrorist attack on Warsaw, he used the techniques of molecular biology, exploring the most fundamental process in nature, which is a self replication - the multiplication and spreading of structures. In particular, he focused on [DNA self replication] and built a new strain of bacteria that spreads rapidly in water. Lisek also researches security, privacy and identity problems in the network society. He built the NEST Intelligence Agency Citizens which is an advanced software and a portal to search for hidden relationships between individuals, groups, events, objects and places.

Robert B. Lisek is the founder of Fundamental Research Lab, initiator and the leader of the group Laboratory of Art Symposium ACCESS as well as the author of over a hundred exhibitions, actions and workshops. His projects were presented (among other places) in: NEST ARCO Art Fair, Madrid; GENGINE National Gallery of Warsaw; FLOATLower Manhattan Culture Council, New York; WWAI Siggraph, Los Angeles; Gespenst Leto Gallery, Warsaw; Falsecodes Red Gate Gallery, Beijing; State of Emergency Embassy - Entropia Gallery, Wroclaw; FLEXTEXT Byzantine Museum, Athens; FXT - ACA Media Festival, Tokyo; STACK - ISEA 2002, Nagoya; SSSPEAR-17th Meridian, WRO Center for Media Art, Wroclaw / [/size]


The exhibition of Robert B. Lisek analyzes the context of a "security" idea based on an example of the Smolensk crash.

Robert B. Lisek analyzes the social processes which, through increasing public insecurity, contribute to the legitimacy of violence, deprivation of freedom and civil liberties and the consolidation of the authority as well as its credibility. At the outset, the artist raises questions about the nature of security:

What is the basis of security? What ensures it? He asks about the state of security absence - permanently sustained uncertainty and constant raising of fears to maintain the services and structures responsible for security.

Conspiracy theories as a modern heresy, apostasy from the doctrine of faith sustained by the media have recently become a very strong inspiration for artists around the world.

The history of modern societies knows many forms of activity such as hijacking of both aircraft and people, mysterious disappearances, plane crashes, bomb attacks, and others that have influenced changing political situation and the distribution of power relations of a particular country or group of countries. Rapid social chain reactions accompanied by such incidents become a primary energy, a type of libido that animates culture, and this constitutes the starting point for the project Crash 2.0.

It is widely known that such incidents and revolutions usually resulted in the introduction of so-called doctrine "son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch" (S.O.B. in short). This obviously contributes to the rise of conspiracy theories around Smolensk accident, which are, however, treated here as one of a class of phenomena occurring around the world. The project addresses the issues of security and analyses the disaster, particularly the air crash near Smolensk as a culturally active factor, a factor which causes a political crisis and changes in existing system. Robert Lisek uses the methods of contemporary art and theory of computability, raises questions concerning political power and discussion which focuses on the key points of the collective experience of the disaster. The artist describes the work of the installation in short words:

The project begins with the analysis of large data sets, examines how the disaster / conflict is depicted in the web and media. Then, the new information is concluded, as well as the probability of future events.

Robert Lisek stays within the long avant-guarde tradition which started with efforts to cut off the artwork from the subjective individual, the artistic vision, inspiration and the need for expression. Drawing this line in the text constitutes a repetition of the avant-guarde history. The artist defines this context in a following way:

In art, there is a tradition which combines both critical and analytical approach with activities that can be seen as a political praxis. The artist is inspired by groups such as Group Material active in the US in the 90's, and his work should be considered in the context of contemporary groups connected to hacktyvism and tactical media: Institute of Applied Autonomy, Critical Art Ensemble.

It is important that when Robert Lisek tackles the issue of Smolensk, he distances from the old paradigm of the artist showing subjective point of view, and this way he can cut off from the explicitness characterizing the authors of conspiracy theories, which would inevitably discredited the artist entangled in his own opinion based solely on the belief. The artist researches alternative story lines and to achieve it, he uses a web worm written by him i.e. a programme for automatic search for information in the web (based on the model of the software used by Russian special services GRU) and NEST portal ( / NESTofficial.html) which is a web platform designed to analyze and visualize connections between individuals, groups, events, documents and places. This way, the artist arranges a situation in which the outside reality speaks for itself. In such arrangement, the artist's creation is limited to constructing transparent apparatus and arranging such construction as a spatial artwork.

Using his own system, Robert Lisek recovers, analyses and visualises information, creates a history, doing the job of historians. The model of history with the monkey at the typewriter is transformed into a model of a thinking machine which selects the data, creates versions and stories itself. Intellectual's work in the world of today transforms into the consciousness of communicating the rules of work, whereas the work in a traditional sense is done by machines. Similarly, in the field of social communication, open sources and the opportunity to intervene in the source code enable to put this artistic project in the place previously occupied by the media. Corporate Media imposed global outlook according to the policy of the capital standing behind them. On the other hand, the project 2.0 CRASH proposes ever proliferating versions of events, connects facts using contemporary logic and mathematics. The mechanisms behind its work, related to analysis and data processing are much more readable than the mechanisms of power manipulating the media. Open sources makes the means of processing information takes reconfigurable! Corporate media are therefore useless, become eliminated and replaced by an art project, since they provide only one possible course of events. In the world of media there seem to appear a new site for alternative portals, becoming leading sources of information, for example WikiLeads, which published 75 000 documents revealing an alternative picture of the war in Afghanistan. Such information is then analyzed. Crash 2.0 also provides information unavailable from official channels, subversive reinterpretations of events, alternative narratives, from which we can choose the most suitable one. However, such a choice is always limited and shows that we believe only to what suits our limited minds.

CRASH 2.0 - Robert B. Lisek

The vernissage will will be accompanied by the audio performance SUNUS

SUNUS is a radical music project which creates new dimension of music through innovative exploration of hacking practices within already existing areas of sound. The works of SUNUS constitute a crossing and a transgression of many musical genres: stochastic music, spectral music, concrete music, futurista musica, noise. The music of SUNUS features radical disruptions of language systems, subversion of rules, commands, errors and codes. SUNUS reinforce extreme interventions that destabilize existing music production. SUNUS applies asymmetric and "chaotic" sequences indicating deeper, hidden powerful symmetries of music built upon light construction. The works of SUNUS take a unique place, since they examine the cultural intersections of critical art and the art of programming. The core of SUNUS in practice is a search for new, hidden structures and compositions.