Improperly Named: Collective Pseudonyms, Social Brands, and Readymade Names


Upgrade! NY presents a panel and discussion on “multiple singularity,” or when a group of people makes work or takes action under a singular name. Panelists Marco Deseriis, Leónidas Martín Saura, and Janez Janša will present and discuss radical strategies in the construction of singularity by tracing a genealogy of collective pseudonyms and “multiple-use names” such as Ned Ludd, Alan Smithee, Monty Cantsin, Karen Eliot and Luther Blissett, and connecting it to contemporary experiments such as Yo Mango! and Janez Janš

Panelists:
Marco Deseriis (New York University)
Leonidas Martin Saura (Artist and Professor, Yo Mango! and Enmedio)
Janez Janša (Artist, Janez Janša Janez Janša Janez Janša)

***

About the Panelists

Marco Deseriis is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU and a free-lance journalist. In 2003, along with co-author Giuseppe Marano, he wrote Net.Art: L’arte della Connessione (Milan: Shake), a book which explores net.art both as an internet-based art and an art of networking. Deseriis has also been involved with the organization of the net culture festival Digital-Is-Not-Analog (d-i-n-a.net) and of the culture jamming festival The Influencers (theinfluencers.org), which is currently hosted and funded by the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB). In 2007-2009 he received three grants from the NYU Council for Media & Culture to program the conference Radars & Fences at New York University. His dissertation, currently titled On Distributed Subjectivity: Collective Pseudonyms as Social Media, traces a genealogy of collective and distributed naming strategies by bridging gaps between the history of the labor movement and the twentieth-century avant-gardes. Some of his writings have recently appeared on the British magazine Mute and Networked: a (networked book) about (networked art). As a journalist, Deseriis has been contributing to Italian dailies and magazines such as Repubblica.it, D-La Repubblica delle Donne, XL Magazine, L’Unità and others.

Leónidas Martín Saura is Professor of video and political art at the School of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona. He also lectures and holds seminars as a visiting professor at other universities in various countries. As a co-founder of three art and activist collectives Las Agencias (2001-2003), YoMango! (2003-2007) and Enmedio (2007-current), he has designed and co-produced a number of guerrilla-communication projects including New Kids on The Black Block, Pret-a-Revolter, O la Bolsa o la Vida, Dinero Gratis, Yo Mango Tango, You Will Not Have a Home in Your Fucking Life, La Bola among others. Saura is also a filmmaker and a graphic designer.

Janez Janša is a conceptual artist, performer, and producer who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Milan, Italy. His work has strong social connotations and is characterized by an intermedia approach. He is co-founder and director of Aksioma, Institute for Contemporary Art in Ljubljana. His first public artistic project was the urban installation I Need Money to Be an Artist, which was presented first in Ljubljana, Slovenia (1996) and then in Venice, Italy (1997). In 2001, he established (with I. Štromajer) Problemarket.com – the Problem Stock Exchange, a virtual platform on troubled public companies. The following year, Janša produced machinaZOIS, an electro-mechanical patron that financially supports contemporary artists and artistic productions. He then started development of DemoKino – Virtual Biopolitical Agora, a virtual parliament that provides voters with the opportunity to decide on a series of life-related issues. In 2005, Janša established the platform RE:akt!, which examines the media’s role in manipulating perceptions and creating (post)modern historical myths and contemporary mythology. A part of this platform is the project Mount Triglav on Mount Triglav by Janez Janša, Janez Janša, and Janez Janša. Janez Janša is also co-editor (along with Ivana Ivkovic) of the textual and pictorial reader DemoKino – Virtual Biopolitical Agora, published by Maska and Aksioma in 2005.

***

Upgrade! is an international network of autonomous nodes located throughout the world that are united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Upgrade! NY is a monthly programming series co-produced by Eyebeam and Not An Alternative. The 2010 curatorial theme explores open source activist and creative practices. http://upgradeny.net