Zin Ex. From Abstraction to Algorithm
The Man with the Personal Computer. Robert Luxemburg (2020)
Looking back over a history of one hundred years, experimental cinema has always rigorouslychallenged cinematic conventions. As Jonas Mekas noted in 1965, to reach beyond telling stories, filmmakers became conscious of the material conditions of their medium: light, motion, celluloid, screen. Later, television, video, and computer animation were all appropriated in order to create new audiovisual experiences. The non-narrative aesthetics of experimental cinema, however, did not imply that the political context and social situatedness of artistic practice was neglected. On the contrary, with the advent of the modern information age, it has continued to deal with daily life and media representation, issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, and the ambivalent effects of industrialization in a critical way.
Against this thematic background, Tabakalera begins a series of annual exhibitions that will open at the same time as the San Sebastián International Film Festival. German curator Florian Wüst has been invited to work with Tabakalera on the first edition: Zin Ex. From Abstraction to Algorithm. The exhibition and the accompanying program of events present an international selection of early avant-garde cinema, computer and video art from the 1960s and 1970s as well as contemporary films, installations, and other artistic media. Archive material and objects shed light not only on production processes and historical reception, but also on the significance of the mutual exchange between art, science and technology, such as that which occurred at the Centro de Cálculo de la Universidad de Madrid.
In particular, Zin Ex. From Abstraction to Algorithm reflects on the shifting image of the human body, language, acts of emancipation and the role of automation and virtuality in a world increasingly shaped by time-based media and digital.