Proper and Improper Names: Identity in the Information Society

  • Location:
    Center urbane kulture Kino Šiška, Ljubljana Trg prekomorskih brigad 3, Ljubljana

Curated by: Marco Deseriis

What aesthetic and political strategies may counter the quest for collecting data and measuring and predicting human behaviour, characteristic of informational capitalism? This conference addresses this question by bringing together theorists, artists, writers, and performers who have forged concepts, aesthetic codes, and authoring strategies that tend to escape measurement and attribution. Continuing Aksioma’s long-running investigation into the problems of identity and authorship in the age of networks, Proper and Improper Names explores modes of intervention that cannot be reduced to individual or collective identities. Rather, in shuttling between the I and the We, as well as the multiple dimensions of the self, these experiments exceed state and market attempts at measuring and producing the subject as a stable political, biological, and epistemological unit.

The five guests of the conference are Marco Deseriis (IT), whose book Improper Names: Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous provides the conceptual framework for the event; Gerald Raunig (AT), a philosopher who has recently published Dividuum, a book exploring the genealogy of the term “dividual,” i.e. that which is divisible and combinable according to the principle of similarity; Kristin Sue Lucas (USA), a performance artist who has managed to “refresh” her birth name through a legal procedure in court; Natalie Bookchin (USA), a media artist whose work explores collective identity as performed on social network sites through video installations and online works of art; and the collective Wu Ming (IT), who have created a layered body of literary works, critical texts, screenplays and maps, collaborating under a pseudonymous identity. The first day will end with a screening of I-Be Area (2007), an experimental film by U.S. artist Ryan Trecartin, in which characters and voices are different manifestations of the same person, showing the fragmentation of identity in the digital age. Finnaly, the conference will come to a close with opening of the exhibition Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša at MSUM, curated by Domenico Quaranta.


TUE 17 October 2017
17:00–17:45 Marco Deseriis: Improper Names, Con-Dividual Subjectivities
17:45–18:10 Kristin Sue Lucas: Refresh, performance
18:10–18:30 Coffee break
18:30–19:15 Gerald Raunig: Every Beginning Is Dividual
19:15–20:00 Marco Deseriis & Gerald Raunig in conversation
20:30 Ryan Trecartin: I-Be Area (2007), movie screening

WED 18 October 2017
17:00–18:00 Wu Ming: Collaborative Authorship and Condividuality in the Wu Ming Foundation
18:00–18:15 Coffee break
18:15–19:15 Natalie Bookchin: Prospective Collectives: Animating the Shared Self
20:00 Exhibition opening Janez Janša, Janez Janša, Janez Janša at MSUM (Maistrova 3, Ljubljana). Curated by Domenico Quaranta.

Production of the exhibition: Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2017
Co-production: CUK Kino Šiška

Artistic Director: Janez Janša
Producer: Marcela Okretič
Executive Producer: Sonja Grdina
Public Relations: Alja Žorž

The conference is realised in the framework of the project State Machines, a joint project by Aksioma (SI), Drugo more (HR), Furtherfield (UK), the Institute of Network Cultures (NL) and NeMe (CY).

Supported by: the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipality of Ljubljana and Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Slovenia.

Media sponsors: Radio Študent, TAM-TAM

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Alja Žorž, 00386-(0)41 520 465,
Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Jakopičeva 11, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia