Lanfranco Aceti
Since 2003
Works in London United States of America

Lanfranco Aceti works as an academic, artist and curator. He is Visiting Professor at Goldsmiths College, Department of Media and Communications, and at the Steinhardt School, at NYU; teaches Contemporary Art and Digital Cultures at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sabanci University, Istanbul; is Editor in Chief of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (the MIT Press, Leonardo journal and ISAST). He is the Founder of Director of the Museum of Contemporary Cuts (MoCC) and of Operational and Curatorial Research in Art, Design, Science and Technology (OCR). He was Artistic Director and Conference Chair for ISEA2011 Istanbul and the Director of Kasa Gallery, Istanbul. He has done digital art interventions and exhibited widely in Museums, Art Fairs, Festivals and Biennials. Recently he has exhibited Who the People? at the Chetams' Library and Museum. His artworks are in private and public collections.

He has a Ph.D. from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London and has published, lectured and exhibited internationally.
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YOU CANNOT AFFORD THIS! at Contemporary Istanbul

Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:00 - Sun Nov 10, 2013

Istanbul, Turkey

YOU CANNOT AFFORD THIS!, a collaboration between Kasa Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Cuts at CI – Contemporary Istanbul, is an art event that questions current art market practices and the disruptive nature of contemporary digital media. This continues an international theme that Kasa Gallery has addressed during the past year with a series of exhibitions that reflect upon the nature of contemporary art, politics, neo-capitalism and plutocratic practices.

Are the arts inexorably linked to the market? What is the role, if any, for politicized art media practices that bring new critical perspectives and alternative forms of engagement to the corporate art world? Is once again, as in the early avant-garde, the aesthetic choice trapped between total acceptance and total rejection, since the ‘third way’ appears to have failed in the past 20 years? In a climate of profound social and economic cuts, where the lack of social cohesion is bringing forward struggles and tensions, who are the ‘marketable artists’ talking to? Is a commercialized and purely self reflective aesthetic art practice the only option that can be set as a ‘successful’ example of aesthetic contemporary engagement?

Kasa Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, invited by Ceren Arkman (Director) and Irmak Arkman (Art Director) of Plugin at CI – Contemporary Istanbul, present artworks by John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer, Mark Skwarek and Tamiko Thiel.

YOU CANNOT AFFORD THIS! is a collaboration between MoCC, Kasa Gallery, OCR, Goldsmiths, NYU Steinhardt and the Royal College of Art.

Lead Curator: Lanfranco Aceti.
Senior Curators: Pat Badani, Nicholas Mirzoeff and Marquard Smith.
Event Manager: Çağlar Çetin.

CI – Contemporary Istanbul: November 7 to 10, 2013.

Please bring smart phones and iPads to view the installations.


I Occupy

Fri Nov 15, 2013 17:00 - Tue Dec 31, 2013

Istanbul, Turkey


I Occupy, the new exhibition of Kasa Gallery in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Cuts surveys, analyzes and questions current trends in interventionist art and Augmented Reality Art which, by intervening within the urban and socio-political landscape, contribute to redefining the aesthetic and cultural understanding of the environments we operate in.

“No Socialism for Capitalists” was the slogan on the sign that a man held during the days of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Other signs read “R.I.P. American Dream” and “Corporations Are Sociopathic People,” the latter held by an elegantly dressed woman. Visual culture theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff, who joined the movement, wrote “Why I Occupy,” a seminal essay that linked and expanded – via a personal blog – on the events, and Mirzoeff’s role within them. (Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Why I Occupy,” Public Culture 24, no. 3 (2012): 451-456.)

The Occupy Movement has catalyzed attention – nevertheless it has not really succeeded in creating the transformative change that people expected. And yet, it has succeeded in bringing on to the political arena the presence of a popular discontent about the escalating lack of participation and resulting erosion of democracy in the contemporary representation of the post-state.

What is the actual social and political legacy of the Occupy Wall Street movement today? And further, what is the role of art in advancing political activism? Do Augmented Reality interventions further Occupy’s claimed agendas? Does Augmented Reality art succeed in bypassing institutional control? Can this art practice exist without the autocratic and centralized stamp of approval of political bureaucratic institutions?

The exhibition I Occupy will be prefaced by the text “Why I Occupy” by Nicholas Mirzoeff, world renowned scholar at NYU Steinhardt. I Occupy will also showcase the ARworks, actual live interventions and documents of past events during Occupy Wall Street, with pieces by Mark Skwarek (the organizer of the AR events), John Craig Freeman, Will Pappenheimer and Tamiko Thiel.

The exhibition showcasing these artists’ work will provide the opportunity for a panel discussion that will analyze the issue of art, politics and interventions in the public sphere within a technologically advanced society that allows for the creation of digital layers and tapestries in the urban landscape. These layers are no longer localized but part of increasingly globalized interventions that operate without and beyond the traditional – and perhaps obsolete – boundaries of national states.

The exhibition I Occupy is concurrent to the show Jackpot at MoCC (Museum of Contemporary Cuts). Jackpot and I Occupy are a collaboration between MoCC, Kasa Gallery, OCR, Goldsmiths, NYU Steinhardt and the Royal College of Art.

Lead Curator: Lanfranco Aceti. Senior Curators: Pat Badani, Nicholas Mirzoeff and Marquard Smith.
Event Manager: Çağlar Çetin.
Exhibition Dates: November 15 – December 31, 2013.
Opening: November 15 at 5pm.

Please bring smart phones and iPads to view the installations.


Journal of Visual Culture ~ Visions of Contemporary Cuts

Sun Jan 05, 2014 00:00


Journal of Visual Culture, in collaboration with the International Association for Visual Culture, Operational and Curatorial Research, the Museum of Contemporary Cuts and Kasa Gallery, is pleased to announce a new refereed issue titled Visions of Contemporary Cuts.

The issue is guest edited by Lanfranco Aceti, Sabanci University, Istanbul; and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Visions of Contemporary Cuts is a special call for a refereed issue open to international scholars, curators, artists and thinkers who are provocatively discussing and analyzing the contemporary economic crisis as well as the meaning of the word ‘cuts’ and how these affect contemporary society.

Visions of Contemporary Cuts – Theme

What are the contemporary narratives of the Great Recession (2008-Present) that are defining the politics of economic cuts to the arts, education and social services?

Historically, the narratives and stories of the Great Depression were mainly narrated through institutional forms of representation and visual imagery that presented a portrait of the dispossessed – Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Lewis Hine, to note a few of the most well known photographers. Their work of documentation was paid for by the American government, perhaps raising concerns related to an institutionalized form of narrative instrumental to the political realities of the time.

The most poignant portrait of the time, Migrant Mother by Lange, is surrounded by a certain controversy: “Florence Owen Thompson revealed her identity in a letter to a local newspaper, the Modesto Bee, stating her dismay about the iconic photograph. She felt exploited by it, never received a penny, and seemed hurt that the photographer never asked her name.” [Michael Stone, ‘The Other Migrant Mother,’ The Open Photography Forum, (accessed February 2, 2013).]

What then are the images of today that represent the contemporary economic crisis and symbolize the financial cuts that are being enforced across the arts, education and public health systems? What are the realities of these cuts in the context of societies in crisis such as the United States and Western Europe? Are the politics of rigor and cuts – with their institutionalized discourse – hiding other realities? And finally, what is the impact of the images and contextualized discourses that we as academics, practitioners, curators, and cultural commentators are constructing?

This themed issue of Journal of Visual Culture seeks papers that address, although are not limited to, the following themes:

1 Cuts and their visual mythology in contemporary discourses
2 Cuts, protest and resistance
3 Narratives of cuts
4 Lives cut: suicides in the economic crisis
5 The visual politics of cutting
6 Cuts and social justice
7 Dreams cut: the failing of upward social mobility
8 Creative finance and art cuts
9 Comparative analyses between historical images of poverty and contemporary poverty
10 The role of media technology in distributing imageries and in creating narrative of cuts
11 How to curate the visuality of cuts and its social impact
12 Artistic practices in a time of crisis
13 Other related topics


Cloud Banks, the new exhibition by Mark Amerika at Kasa Gallery

Fri Sep 27, 2013 00:00 - Thu Oct 31, 2013

Istanbul, Turkey

Cloud Banks, the new exhibition by Mark Amerika at Kasa Gallery, will coincide with another of Mark Amerika’s exhibitions titled Precipitations at the Museum of Contemporary Cuts, continuing the aesthetic analysis of the theme of Art and Economics.

Cloud Banks at Kasa Gallery will explore the way artists, political and economic theorists, metaphysical philosophers, and businessmen use language as a tool to construct their vision of the world as they see it.

As with much of Amerika’s conceptual net art, the title is a pun, one that refers to both a weather phenomenon – a layer of clouds seen from a distance – and the recent rise of both cloud computing and too-big-to-fail banking systems.

Amerika has taken numerous texts from authors such as Immanuel Kant, John Ruskin, P. T. Barnum, Andy Warhol, Raoul Vaneigem, Karl Marx, John Stuart Mill, and various documents produced by Conceptual artists of the 1960s, to produce experimental tag clouds that reveal both the writer’s use of language and the thematic subjects they obsessed over.

Amerika then cleverly manipulates the tag clouds by mashing up some of the texts for aesthetic and political effect. For example, in the show at Kasa Gallery, two of the works on exhibit mashup Conceptual art documents with John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economy out of which emerge a subset of tag clouds titled Conceptual Art Mill.

This post-structuralist and postmodern approach to contemporary art introduces multilayered issues on the blending of image and text that create a series of relationships indicative of the current struggle to preserve old definitions and hierarchies, which are increasingly unable to explain the current socio-political upheavals in an economic context that is increasingly deteriorating.

Senior Curator: Lanfranco Aceti. Curator: Ozden Sahin.

Exhibition Dates: September 27 – October 31, 2013.

Address: Kasa Galeri Bankalar Cad. No: 2, Karakoy, Istanbul.

Visiting hours: 10:00 – 17:00 every day except Sunday.

Notes on the Artist and the Artworks

Mark Amerika’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center. In 2009-2010, The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece, hosted Amerika’s comprehensive retrospective exhibition entitled UNREALTIME. He is the author of many books including remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press, 2011 — and his collection of artist writings entitled META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press, 2007). His latest art work, Museum of Glitch Aesthetics [], was commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympics.

Amerika is a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Principal Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at La Trobe University.

More information can found at his website, and at his twitter feed @markamerika.


I Am Occupied Occupying: Rhetoric and Realities of Artistic Interventions from Performance to Augmented Reality Art

Mon Sep 09, 2013 16:55 - Mon Sep 09, 2013


I Am Occupied Occupying: Rhetoric and Realities of Artistic Interventions from Performance to Augmented Reality Art is a talk at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, Monday September 9, 2013 at 16:55.

The discussion, convened by Prof. Robert Rowe, will see curators Lanfranco Aceti and Pat Badani analyze together with AR artist Mark Skwarek, the meaning, possibilities and limitations of contemporary AR political interventions as art form. AR artworks have invaded the air bringing into the limelight the medium itself, and the new artistic interventions that deploy said medium.

Yet, considering the ‘end’ of the Occupy Wall Street movement, can we now quantify the political and aesthetic impact of AR interventions? And, what have these artworks contributed to art history’s aesthetic debates on performance and on politically engaged practices as ’bearers’ of change?

In 2010, Mark Skwarek initiated the AR occupation of Wall Street project, bringing together numerous artists from all over the world. In hindsight, and in light of the political phenomenon of new global Occupy movements, can we now gage the success and the failures of these art interventions? More importantly, what has this practice contributed anew to the debate on “public art”?

The panel’s exchange will take the form of a discussion modeled after a trial, with Mark Skwarek presenting his case, with Pat Badani acting as defense attorney and with Lanfranco Aceti as prosecutor. Prof. Robert Rowe, as the convenor, will moderate the debate.

The talk follows the publication of a seminal issue on Augmented Reality Art titled “Not Here Not There” Volume 1 and Volume 2, published by the Leonardo Electronic Almanac and edited by Lanfranco Aceti and Richard Rinehart.

I Am Occupied Occupying: Rhetoric and Realities of Artistic Interventions from Performance to Augmented Reality Art will become the foundation for future research and projects on interventionist political and aesthetic strategies at OCR.

Image credit: Jackpot, 2012, Mark Skwarek. Location-based Augmented Reality iPhone screenshot. This work was located over Wall Street during the events of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, in 2012.