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/ecm diskurs 67: Digital Afterness: Precarious Collections and Data Colonialism


Friday, November 10, 2023, 7pm
Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien, Flux 2
Vordere Zollamtsstraße 7, 1030 Wien

Ofri Cnaani Artist and Researcher
Moderation: Martina Griesser-Stermscheg /ecm-Leitungsteam

In the alarming phenomenon of endangered cultural heritage, whether through loss, neglect, or environmental catastrophe, institutions often turn to digital solutions for the preservation of knowledge and the repair of contested pasts. The notion of Digital Afterness explores how the loss or removal of physical artifacts can both engender and reveal intricate frameworks of lingering colonial residues that proliferate throughout the techno sphere. Using the notion of Afterness, Cnaani argues that the demise of cultural collections due to climate crisis, governmental apathy, and the ravages of political violence can and must be traced back to the colonial practices that originally gave rise to their conditions of existence. Afterness critically engages with the state of incompletion that follows the dissolution of an institutional site—how in the collapse of spatial infrastructure, the orders and relations that shaped and conditioned its existence live on, mutate into new forms, and indeed often multiply. Driven by a specific focus on how such violence continues to reverberate through pervasive techno-financial infrastructure, it thereby asks how we might envision and facilitate alternative routes for the use of these collective resources.

Ofri Cnaani is an artist and researcher. Cnaani writes about data and coloniality, institutional practices in the algorithmic turn, and performance as a model to create critical technology. Cnaani is a visiting scholar at TU Wien and a research fellow at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) at the University of Amsterdam.  She also teaches at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv university. Cnaani’s work appeared at Tate Britain, UK; Venice Architecture Biennale; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Inhotim Institute, Brazil; PS1/MoMA, NYC; BMW Guggenheim Lab, NYC; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna. Cnaani recently co-organized Choreographic Devices, a three-days chorographic symposium at ICA, London and is currently working on a project at the International Space Station (ISS).