Hyper War art
Curator: Katerina Gregos
We live within a culture marked by violence, both real and simulated. In the society of the spectacle where the image exercises an all-pervasive power and everything tends to be reduced to mere representation, images of violence have become commonplace, yet another product for consumption. In the wake of the recent war in Iraq, the international ‘war against terrorism’ and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this culture of violence seems to be heightened. As a result, it appears we increasingly exist in a state of (almost) constant alert; post-1989 euphoria and optimism have given way to cynicism, pessimism and the return of fear as a very real issue. Invisible walls of terror, ignorance and hate have replaced the walls of the cold war. Within this expanding culture of violence, the relationship between fact and fiction has been conflated, and it is often difficult to distinguish between the two. Real life events involving explicit violence have become the basis of a perverse sort of entertainment in television and the entertainment industry; on the other hand, news casting and journalism have become increasingly formulaic, sensational and less ‘neutral’ and ‘objective’. The barrage and repetition of a specific kind of media-related violent imagery in many cases causes detachment and indifference. The fact is, that calamity (of any kind) remains largely ungraspable and un-representable as we, the audience, increasingly experience the world through the filter of the media.
The artists participating in Channel Zero make art that responds to the culture of violence that surrounds us and explore representations of violence in the media, entertainment industry or society in general to analyze, undermine, deconstruct or simply critique them. They examine the social, political, and cultural as well as the personal aspects of violence through film, video, photography, digital media and the Internet. In many ways, this is an exhibition about media using new media. However, apart from being fixated with images of violence and catastrophe Channel Zero will also aim to offer a redemptive alternative, which reflects the ever-increasing desire for a culture of peace and a critique of war-mongering. Through their works, the comment on, counter, and transform the conventions of the mass media which frequently objectifies violence. Sifting through the often-deceptive images created by the media, they point to the heavily mediated perceptual field of the representation of violence and offer alternative readings of them.