PRESS INFORMATION - JEMAND SOCIETY
A group of contemporary artists explore speculative futures inspired by trailblazer author Bertha von Suttner
On 4th February 2022, the Jemand Society will launch with an online event by self proclaimed Famous New Media Artist Jeremy Bailey. The launch will be followed by a different artistic intervention every Friday in the month of February (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th). Bailey, alongside Lucie Freynhagen, Sam Lavigne and Janne Kummer (Aka.Alaska) form the core of the Jemand Society, an artistic circle exploring the topics of utopias and dystopias through virtual interventions that aim to engage audiences in imagining, speculating and, possibly, taking action towards possible desirable futures.
Created by the Goethe-Institut USA and Canada in collaboration with Rosy DX, the Jemand Society draws its name from one of Bertha von Suttner’s pseudonyms Jemand (from German, meaning “someone”) under which she published her book Das Maschinenalter (1889). In the novel, she approaches the present while looking from a fictitious future. Like von Suttner, the members of the Jemand Society give us a glimpse into the present through the lenses of a possible future by questioning the status-quo.
Bailey’s project PAC - a nod to the makeup brand M.A.C. - inquires about the possibility of destabilizing gender norms and beauty standards through technology. He takes the phenomenon of filter dysmorphia - feeling shame after using Augmented Reality (AR) filters - as a starting point to use the same technology as a tool to empower and enhance contra-normative confidence.
Janne Kummer continues the programme with XOwB on 11th February, where she speculates on future artifacts that might enable humans to unfold as new sensory beings and to break free from rigid normative rules and expectations put on them through a patriarchal system. Kummer will present an interactive virtual performance where the audience can “touch” the artists through a wearable soft robot by triggering it via an online multiplayer platform.
On 18th February Sam Lavigne will challenge contemporary narratives of economics with the launch of The Capitalist Gene. Lavigne questions whether capitalism is written in our DNA based on the often unspoken assumption that our current political, cultural and economic realities are fundamentally unalterable because they are products of “human nature” itself. The Capitalist Gene is an attempt to tackle this assumption, by collecting genetic samples from noted capitalists and capitalistic ambients, in an unprecedented effort to isolate capitalism on a genetic level. The launch will instruct audiences on how to support the artist on his endeavor.
Closing the programme, on 25th February Lucie Freynhagen will open her Wunderkammer of Passing Futures to the public. The project is a crowd-sourced digital cabinet of curiosities of the present that breaks the power dynamics of curation by letting everyone become an author of our present, past and future. The artist collected objects through an open call and will present them in the opening at the virtual wunderkammer.
4th February: ‘PAC’ Online Launch & Workshop by Jeremy Bailey
11th February: ‘XOwB’ Virtual Performance by Janne Kummer
18th February: ‘Capitalist Gene’ Online Launch by Sam Lavigne
The following artists are collaborators in the Jemand Society projects:
Cibelle Cavali Bastos
Shawné Michaelaine Holloway