INFECTED: VIRAL CALL for VIRAL WORK

Artist commissions for Anti-Bodies: Beyond The Body-Ideal, the South West

Cultural Olympiad, UK

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: 31 JANUARY 2009, sent by email to info@kurator.org

ANNOUNCEMENT OF SELECTED PROPOSALS: 19 FEBRUARY 2009,

in conjunction with the launch of Anti-Bodies: Beyond The Body-Ideal: http://www.anti-bodies.net/

KURATOR and LX 2.0 are looking for a new work to infect the Olympics.

We will commission two online projects that respond to the idea of the ‘virus’ for ‘Anti-Bodies: Beyond The Body-Ideal’, a series of projects that reflect on the ideal ‘body-machine’ of the Olympic athlete. By virus we mean to draw attention to any agent that is able to reproduce itself and spread over communications networks and infect the host body. For instance, a computer virus describes the self-reproducing activities of a program that can simply spread and affect other programs, and thereby reflects the structural properties of the computer and the network it operates through. Moreover, the cultural form of a virus embodies the principles of negation in keeping with the anti-bodies theme.

The commission fee is UK£1000. In addition, the artists will be offered a short residency (up to 10 days) to develop the work with the Art & Social Technologies Research group at the University of Plymouth in UK (www.art-social.net). Accommodation and travel will be covered (up to UK£500 /per commission).

There are a number of precedents for artists dealing with the virus as metaphor in the broadest sense. An example is the ‘biennale.py’ virus that contaminated the Venice Biennale’s web site (produced by 0100101110101101.org with epidemiC, for the Slovenian pavilion of 2000). For the programmer Jaromil, the source code of a virus is potential lyrical poetry. Related to this, the elegance of his Unix shell ‘forkbomb’ (2002) encapsulates this aesthetic approach in presenting only thirteen characters to dramatic effect. Once entered into the command line of a Unix shell and run, the program exhausts the system’s resources, causing the computer to crash. It was also included in the exhibition ‘I Love You: Computer, Viren, Hacker, Kultur’ (held at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, in 2002), referring to the ‘I Love You’ virus (of 2000) that spread through the communities of the Internet. The destructive potential of a virus operates in the spirit of auto-destruction and Dadaist tactics to negate the destructive tendencies of the social world.

Anti-Bodies is co-ordinated by Relational, supported by Arts Council England and has been granted the London 2012 Inspire mark as part of the Cultural Olympiad.