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Shots for an unrealized dream sequence. A. captures the beach in a bottle and confronts the commodification of her smile.
Closed on Wednesday 08.03.2023
Truth will not take Care of itself
A series of investigations, facts and oral histories
Can the art institution become a care-taker of truth? Continuing our work through the research platform The Bureau of Care, that examined the ethics and politics of care and how they can inform cultural practice, State of Concept is looking into the way two crises unfolding in tandem these last years are presented in the mainstream: the climate and what became known as the refugee crisis.
We will be investigating how they are both affected by new technologies of surveillance, developed within and outside of Europe, especially in developing economies like Greece. Particularly when this last decade we observe that data, information and manipulation play a substantial part in major political changes and interventions.
The two year-long program arrives as a response to what we see as an emergency: the corrosion of truth and the major discrepancies of what states say and do. While fake news has a long history, today the bio-political methods of power, via big data and surveillance technology, manipulate knowledge production and the understanding of reality in ways and speeds before inconceivable. This manipulation is most often related to both the fabrication of alternative truths for both environmental catastrophe and the refugee crisis, many times built through a weaponisation of nature- presented as the culprit instead of state necropolitics or climate change denial.
In many countries around the world, Greece included, democratic checks and balances are increasingly absent, due to a lack of understanding of technology by bureaucrats, but also due to a rigged judicial system that does not act when it comes to major breeches of individual citizen (and migrant and refugee) rights. In some cases, the judicial system is instrumentalised by the state to criminalize those that speak truth to power. In Greece, it persecutes activists in the fields of environmentalism and human rights, and in contrast protects through inactivity, those that pollute, extract, violate and survey.
The current wire-tapping scandal involving various EU countries, among them Greece, where dozens activists and journalists were under surveillance via hacking spyware Predator, is an example of how surveillance technology is used against those that aim to safeguard truth: in the case of Greece activists of civic society and journalists. The scandal prompts us to ask:
What can an art institution do, when it claims to care? What should its role be, when the public sphere is shaped by racist discourse, fake news and alternative facts, poisoning our reality and jeopardizing our future? In an age of mistrust, surveillance and disinformation, how do you gain back people's attention to the multiple crises we face? State of Concept is aiming to become a vessel of hard facts and precarious testimonies, in a sea of alternative truths. How can we "re-invent life through a hopeful futurity", in the words of T.J. Demos in order to avoid the possibility of de-futuring all life?
The two year-long program "Truth will not take Care of itself", discusses the current questions that arise from the relationship between social and environmental justice inspired by the sociopolitical problematics that arise in Greece today and the responses of civic society to them. We are proposing the institution as a place where misinformation and right-wing propaganda can be contested, through the presentation of informed data and facts via people's forensics. The program will unfold in two phases, with the first to be launched in March 2023.
On the 2nd of March FA/Forensis will present a new investigation on Greece, which will be screened until the 1st of April, followed by a public program.
5th of April until 29th of April: second presentation of Forensic Architecture’s investigations with a public program.
6th of May until 10th of June: Third and last part of FA investigations and public program.
Due to the nature of the project, the activities and participants will be announced closer to the date of the events.
Thursday, 2nd of March 2023
13:00 Press Conference, at State of Concept - live streamed via Facebook Forensic Architecture / Forensis will present a new investigation on Greece.
18:00 - 19:30 Keynote Lecture of T.J. Demos, Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture and Director of the Center for Creative Ecologies at the University of California, followed by a round table with Forensic Architecture, and a Q&A with the audience. The conversation will be moderated by iLiana Fokianaki.
Writer, activist, and professor T. J. Demos discusses his latest research and the need to rethink climate aesthetics and politics in a time when climate denialism and discriminatory politics are infiltrating the mainstream. He will be presenting some new lines of analysis on his current work on environmental violence vis-a-vis political organising and the legacies and mishaps of past environmental justice movements.
20:00 Drinks and soft opening of Forensic Architecture/Forensis new investigation.