Controlling_Connectivity was an art project by artist Gretta Louw, which used the pervasiveness of internet-based social networking, and the obligation as well as the opportunity for constant connection with these platforms as a paradigm for a severe and systematic disruption of normal, socially accepted patterns of life and interpersonal interaction during a self-documented performance. Taking to its natural extreme the notion that new technologies are increasingly dictating our social interaction, professional life, and have a far reaching effect on many other aspects of daily life, Louw completed a durational performance as she lived in the gallery space in complete isolation except for contact through various social networking sites on the internet.
(Text from Art Laboratory Berlin)
Following the conclusion of the performance a solo exhibition in the gallery space, Art Laboratory Berlin, curated by Christian de Lutz and Regine Rapp, was installed. The new video, sound, and installation works are based on documentation from the performance and examine issues around societal and cultural change as a result of the development of internet technologies, as well as the increasing psychological pressure on individuals that result.
The book brings together documentation of the project - images from the performance and the exhibition, as well as text contributions from participants and discussions with the artist - in a comprehensive analogue overview. The project is contextualised by critical essays from the curators Christian de Lutz and Regine Rapp, who examine the art historical context and contribution. Interviews with the artist provide insight into the internal, mental changes brought about by the project, as well as highlighting some of the most memorable experiences. Theoretical texts from art and media theorists, such as Dr Leon Tan, expand the relevance of the book as a significant assessment of where we as a society stand in relation to the internet and how these radical technological advancements are silently shaping us. Printed on high quality semi gloss paper (170 gsm), the limited edition book comes with a DVD video piece comprising edited screen recordings from conversations, interviews, and discussions recorded during the performance. Addressing topics from Performance Art to internet addiction, the potential of technological advancement to alter our perception of time and reality, and the ways in which the internet affects communication, relationships, and thereby even perhaps identity itself, the video piece is a fascinating record of current thoughts around the internet and its psychological, cultural, and sociological consequences.
Funding is required primarily for the material and printing costs to produce the book and DVD. However it is also important to me to offer some remuneration to the writers for their efforts and skill.
'I would greatly appreciate your support to get this record of the Controlling_Connectivity project published. I believe this is not only an important conclusion to this project, in order to have a comprehensive, analogue record of a predominantly digital project, but also that it is a significant document of many different perspectives and theories around the dramatic impact of internet technologies - something that is at the very crux of the Information Age zeitgeist.'
- Gretta Louw
Pre-order the limited edition, signed and numbered artist's book incl. DVD and shipping with a donation of US$30. Or, even better, become a sponsor of the publication, or order yourself a high quality digital print from the project. Go to http://www.indiegogo.com/ControllingConnectivity-Publication
For more information about the project and to see some existing documentation, visit: http://controllingconnectivity.tumblr.com/
More video documentation from the performance can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/user7570190
The performance and exhibition part of the project was made possible by the generous support of the Karin Abt-Straubinger Stiftung.