In military parlance, the terms asymmetrical and symmetrical are employed to refer to political provocations and diplomatic démarches, escalation and tension, and power dynamics of the highest order. Not specific to war, these terms also refer more generally to a set of relations that define our connections to power.
On the eve of Y2K, Russian-born Olia Lialina—who is among the best-known participants in the 1990s net.art scene—first met American artist Cory Arcangel. Ever since, the artists have been deep in dialogue about the social and cultural impact of the Internet’s historical shift from a tool for military communication to an “information superhighway” promising open and equal exchange, and, finally, the increasingly asymmetric “content delivery system” we experience today. In this first collaboration, Arcangel and Lialina present complex bodies of work that arose through their continuing conversation. Curated by Caitlin Jones for Western Front, Vancouver; organized by Tim Griffin and Lumi Tan for The Kitchen.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the performance Olia Lialina: Bear With Me will be presented in The Kitchen's theater on February 18, at 8pm.
Cory Arcangel and Olia Lialina: "Asymmetrical Response" is made possible with support from Cristina Enriquez-Bocobo & Michael Kantrow, Eleanor Cayre, Eileen & Michael Cohen, Hilary & Mo Koyfman, and Team Gallery; annual program grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Accommodations provided by Ace Hotel New York.
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