HOW SOON IS NOW?

Antoni Rayzhekov, Birgit Graschopf, Borjana Ventzislavova, Dimitar Solakov, Kay Walkowiak, Natalia Jordanova, Oliver Laric, Jacob Lena Knebl

curated by Walter Seidl and Maria Vassileva

27.09.2022 - 29.09.2022

Antoni Rayzhekov. Fragile Perspectives, 2022, glass, metal, speakers, electronics, A.I. software, news data sonification, variable dimensions.

Antoni Rayzhekov. Fragile Perspectives, 2022, glass, metal, speakers, electronics, A.I. software, news data sonification, variable dimensions.

Borjana Ventsislavova. We are nowhere and it’s now. From the “Works for public space” series, 2012-, c-prints, color, behind diasec, dimensions variable

Borjana Ventsislavova. We are nowhere and it’s now. From the “Works for public space” series, 2012-, c-prints, color, behind diasec, dimensions variable

Jakob Lena Knebl. Invitation of the Soft Machine and Her Angry Body Parts, wallpaper, 2022 Courtesy of the artist and Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna

Jakob Lena Knebl. Invitation of the Soft Machine and Her Angry Body Parts, wallpaper, 2022 Courtesy of the artist and Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Vienna

Oliver Laric. Person with crab, 2019, electroformed copper 95 x 100 cm, 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles

Oliver Laric. Person with crab, 2019, electroformed copper 95 x 100 cm, 5 + 2 AP. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles

Oliver Laric. Dog man, 2018, polyurethane, 53 х 52 х 58 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles

Oliver Laric. Dog man, 2018, polyurethane, 53 х 52 х 58 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Los Angeles

With the exceptional support of the Austrian Embassy, ​​Sofia

The exhibition “How Soon is Now?” deals with the question of how future living scenarios influence our present-day reality and how reality is dedicated to a machine-driven, virtual universe. Artificial intelligence and robotic machines determine our ways of thinking and (re-)acting while the physical subject becomes less important than its virtual, web-based component or sometimes even avatar. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a song by The Smiths from 1984, a song about human beings and the necessity for interpersonal relations. “I am human, and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does.”

Art has always been at the forefront of media technologies and tries to analyze how technical developments mingle with physical realities and how the subject is situated within this realm of representation. For more than twenty years, the Internet has been the testing ground for new methods of interfering into reality and virtually connecting people. The construction of image politics has equally been at stake as the representation of reality no longer follows the concept of truth or mere documentation.

Over the years, artificial reality and artificial intelligence have led to a new process of image making that is bereft of the human subject. Yet it is humans who influence these virtual mechanisms, sometimes leaving it up to machines to deliver the end product. 3D printing is one of the results of this evolution, which allows the computer to generate whole new worlds out of a binary source code. The final question is when will these entities programmed by human beings take over humanity itself? The artists in the exhibition try to work with future conditions that might be looming or already be implemented in the present. They try to fathom ways in which a not-so-distant future interferes with the present and how different image politics help foster utopian scenarios.

“How Soon is Now” includes artists from Austria and Bulgaria who investigate into distant realms which determinate the present and seek for modes of representation including photography, video, and sculpture in order to gauge the parameters of reality and the development of media technology. At the same time, the dissolution of binary gender models is at stake as virtual personae often adhere to a fluidity of identity constellations that cannot be attributed to only one self. The exhibition questions how the otherness of virtuality intertwines with present conditions of life and the implications that computer-generated worlds arouse.