Hito Steyerl focuses on the role of media, technology and the circulation of images in the era of digital nativism. The artist creates installations in which film production is associated with the construction of architectural environments.
For her exhibition at Castello di Rivoli, she premieres The City of Broken Windows (2018), stemming from research into the practices of Artificial Intelligence industries, surveillance technologies and the contradictory roles Museums often play today. The City of Broken Windows revolves around neural sound recordings that, like an atonal and discordant symphony, document the process of teaching artificial intelligence how to recognize the sound of breaking windows, a practice that symbolizes social disruption. Steyerl explores how AI affects our urban environment and how alternative practices may emerge through pictorial acts in the public space. Chris Toepfer, protagonist of the new work, has boarded up Castello di Rivoli with trompe l’oeil window paintings. Steyerl’s new project offers an intriguing perspective on how the digital contemporary imagination shapes our emotions and experience of reality. Screens, windows, liquid and non-liquid crystals all tie together in this first new installation since Hell Yeah We Fuck Die in 2016 looked at Robot performativity and precariousness.
Hito Steyerl’s celebration of the potential of critical thought in the digital era has influenced the work of numerous artists and activists worldwide. Amongst her most influential texts, she published In Defense of the Poor Image in e-flux online journal in 2009. Most recently, her writings have been collected in volumes such as The Wretched of the Screen (e-flux journal series, Sternberg Press, 2012) and Duty Free Art. Art In the Age of Planetary Civil War (Verso Press, London and New York, 2017) which includes Duty Free Art (published first in 2015) and A Tank on a Pedestal (2016).
The exhibition is accompanied by a new Castello di Rivoli publication and by a one-day Symposium and study day on Artificial Intelligence, which has been held on December 12, 2018 with the participation of Jules Laplace, Esther Leslie, Anne Roth, Eleanor Saitta.