Thuistezien 139 — 05.01.2021

Josephine Bosma & Pascal Gielen

These days hyperconnectivity is growing fast: around the world there are more than 4 billion people using the internet; over 5 billion people own a mobile phone and there are 3,2 billion active social media users worldwide. Our entire system of living and thinking is undergoing accelerating changes. Due to technological developments our physical daily lives seem to merge more and more with a digital world — and we can see this reflected back in the contemporary art world. As it can provide us with many beneficial elements in our daily lives, merging together with technology also creates a broader realm of diversity in ways how we want to express ourselves, yet it also creates some challenges within one’s artistic practice — or at least asks for some coping strategies when we are completely drawn into our computers.

In this ‘Encounter’ moderated by critic and writer Judith Vrancken, Josephine Bosma and Pascal Gielen meet each other in this field, both coming from different backgrounds. They discuss how artists are becoming more hybrid with means of collaborating with technicians or people with other professions and disciplines. Josephine Bosma is an art critic and theorist from the Netherlands and her specialization lies within art in the context of the Internet. Pascal Gielen is professor cultural sociology at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts.

This conversation is organised by West for Art Rotterdam 2016. In this talk Gielen touches upon some interviews he has conducted with several artists who explain how the existence of internet at times interferes or influences their stress levels. The borders between on- and offline are fading progressively, which can have an effect on one’s art practice. It is necessary for an artist to get disconnected for a while, is something that Gielen and Bosma can both agree on. How does one set borders for him or herself in terms of internet dosage? And besides that — Bosma touches upon our gain of the hybrid times we live in and ways to get the social media work with us instead of against us. In the covid-era a talk like this couldn’t be more useful as we are tied to our homes, and the door to the internet is wide open, trying to lure us in.