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Mark Amerika retrospective at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens
Regine Debatty, 13 Nov 09

While in Athens, i checked out the Mark Amerika retrospective at The National Museum of Contemporary Art. How could i miss it? I knew so little about Amerika, an artist who, as the press release reminds, had been described as one of the "Time Magazine 100 Innovators" of the 21st century.

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Society of the Spectacle (Digital Remix). Created by DJ RABBI : Mark Amerika, Trace Reddell, Rick Silva

Amerika describes himself as a "thoughtographer", an "artist-medium", a "fictional philosopher", a "remixologist", a "network conductor", a wonderer who constantly changes identities and roles in a fragmentary world where time acquires an a-synchronic and non real dimension. By trying to express the complexity and the interest of contemporary digital reality, he delves into different aspects of himself and draws on elements and traits that he transfers to the characters of his works, by using the media the technological platforms of our time. Developing projects on the net, filming with mobile phones, remixing common moments and figures of today`s culture in an VJ-like audiovisual rhythm, Amerika redifines the characteristics of today's culture and opens up the possibilities for new interpretations and thoughts from the audience itself.

What is sure is that he's probably the only net artist who is not only responsible for a publication that Publishers Weekly described as "the literary publishing model of the future" but also the director of a feature-length film shot entirely on mobile phone. After having seen the digital videos -Society of the Spectacle (A digital Remix) is particularly good- and internet artworks on show at the museum, i feel more puzzled than ever. It's one of those shows that require a second viewing (at least in my case) because everything doesn't come to you at the first visit. Just like the OK TEXTS printed on stickers and hidden under the steps of the stairs when you go downstairs to see the Amerika retrospective. I only saw them on my way out of the museum.

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I copy/pasted a couple of them below:

We cannot process your information. Your information is corrupt and needs cleansing. Erase brain?

OK

An error has been detected in your consciousness. All source-code is corrupt. Continue?

OK

Revolutionary double-speak has engendered a new information war. The system is about to crash. Download drugs now?

OK

The application could not be opened because your genetic code is dysfunctional. Abort?

OK

A cyborg orgy is not valid. Only digicash transactions are available at this time. Would you like to pay for the privilege?

OK

The network is monitoring your Digital Being. Create alias?

OK

This document wants to blow you. Go to finder?

OK

A transfer of $247,789.40 is about to download. Are you sure you want to disconnect?

OK

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VIews of the Media Lounge at EMST

At least, I'll get a second chance with the online works which EMST has listed on one of its webpages and made accessible to visitors in their Media Lounge.

Some images.
Mark Amerika - UNREALTIME, curated by Daphne Dragona, runs at the National Museum of Contemporary Art - EMST until January 3, 2010.

P.S. You can also see Immobilité Remixes at the Vivo Arte.Mov festival in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 12 - 15, 2009.

This piece originally appeared on We Make Money, Not Art.

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