THE PAST OF THINGS TO COME
2018




The Past of Things to Come is a site-specific interactive installation based on an alleged occupation of a building, developing into a critical and sarcastic narrative of a dystopic future by applying fictional and real events.

The installation spans in two rooms: The room where the visitors first enter is a display/exhibition room, and the other one is a bunker, a safe room. The visitors entering the exhibition room have no idea of the existence of the bunker. The display resembles that of an archive, consisting of visual documentation, mainly photographs and footage from surveillance cameras, all dated in 2112. What it is depicted is an enclosed space, a building and its surroundings which is no other than that of the exhibition. Yet the images present a completely different situation: it looks like a disaster had struck and the interior space served as a shelter and eventually turned into a bunker.

However the visitors soon discover that this room actually exists. A secret door in the exhibition space leads them to the future-past bunker. The surveillance cameras in that room transmit live in the monitors in the exhibition room, so the visitors in the bunker are now part of the display as they are watched by the newcomers who will soon take their place.

The visitors’ role changes from spectators to participants suggesting not only a change of relations between them, but also of time and space. This incessant shifting between a virtual past, present and future, private and public, outside and inside, near and far, creates a loss of coherence where linear time and space orientation does not make sense, like being in a kind of loop, which leaves no ground for fixed or secure positions and points of view.


Download pdf here for more.


The catalogue of the exhibition The Past of Things to Come was published by Cube Art Editions with texts by Elina Axioti and James Bridle. Available for orders here.



Curated by Elina Axioti


Special thanks to:

Evangelia Argyrou

Dimitris Mitropoulos

Eleni Saroglou


With the support of NEON, the Architecture Syndicate and A-DASH.

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The Past of Things to Come was also presented and published as a paper in: Urban resilience, Changing Economy and Social Trends, 2019, eds. F.Othengrafen and K.Serraos, Leibniz University of Hanover and the National Technical University of Athens. http://resilient-cities.eu/wp-content/uploads/20190125_Hekris.pdf









AFTER THE END
Mare Crisium
2016



We are not in the world, we become with the world; we become by contemplating it. Everything is vision, becoming. We become universes. Becoming animal, plant, molecular, becoming zero.
Deleuze G. and Guattari F.
What is Philosophy? London, Verso (1994, p.169)



The main idea of After the End builds on a sci-fi, possibly doomsday, scenario where a group of people find themselves on a deserted land among dispersed apparatuses. The work reflects on the relations between society, technology and nature and the dystopian scenarios that largely surround them today.
The series editing follows a continuation as the photographs succeed one another, in an attempt to suggest the notion of movement and transition and the importance of passage, as a means of reinventing ourselves and our futures within the world.


Installation shot, (IM)Material Gestures, Talking PIIGS, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2016

ELECTRIC DREAMS
2019






















Electric Dreams is a site-specific installation reflecting on how new technologies apprehend and transform the urban environment. In the near future, a computer, along with a printer and other peripherals, is found ‘alive’ in an abandoned, wrecked office space. The computer seems to have developed a kind of artificial intelligence in its effort to escape years of boredom and loneliness. With the use of Google street view, it sets off to explore its surroundings and to discover what lies outside its dark and cold room. As it navigates through parts of the city, it takes photographs i.e. screenshots, then copies and repositions elements as to final construct its very own masterpiece.

The computer as a future flaneur throws itself into the urban landscape and takes on reinterpreting the image of the city[1]. In his infamous Arcades Project, Benjamin suggests that: “The anamnestic intoxication in which the flaneur goes about the city not only feeds on sensory data taking shape before his eyes but can very well possess itself of abstract knowledge –indeed of dead facts – as something experienced and lived through”. What ‘sensory data’ can the machine absorb? What sort of urban experience do its algorithmic processes allow? Could there be any ‘anamnestic intoxication’ at all?

A machine’s (urban) experience can seem indeed limited, or even nonexistent, to that of humans, yet its learning ability, when it comes to speed, storage and information access, is massive compared to ours, as it is its capacity of multiple simultaneous interconnections. Do we really know how a machine is capable of using the endless data that is receiving? The computer-flaneur seems to be limited to the information of Google Street View, but perhaps this is not the case. Perhaps in its effort to make sense of the multifaceted layers of the city, it reaches out to other facts and figures: It reads through texts and manuscripts, searches historical and philosophical writings, examines old photographs and sound recordings, various Youtube videos and movies.

‘Electric Dreams’ reflects on advanced technology as a means of understanding the world and the places we inhabit, wondering on the use of machine learning and the potential of AI. Narrating probably one of Sci-Fi’s favourite stories, that machines can and will eventually develop Emotional Intelligence, which will render them more human than we are.




[1]Benjamin, Walter, 2002, The Arcades Project, Harvard University Press






Electric Dreams (2019) by Zoe Hatziyannaki is a site and context responsive installation reflecting on a future scenario where technology has obscurely reached a more advanced stage. A screen, a printer and other peripherals take the shape of a curious apparatus functioning on a self-programming and self-operating system. Artificial intelligence and its engagement with the advancement of technology lies within the artist’s immediate interests. The integration of simulated intelligence with emotional intelligence could be a credible plot changing the way we see technology today and how we interact with it.

The machine presented by Hatziyannaki belongs to a framework of a future reality, perhaps not so far away. It is able to enact its very own logic and reasoning and concomitantly perform a task while wielding its own emotional artificial brainpower. We witness a device

Analysing the topographical coordinates and other constituents with algorithmic and computational procedures, it automatically generates an image that for itself this represents the ultimate exquisiteness of aesthetics for such scenery.

With perspicuous allusions to the role of technological means over contemporary art practices, Hatziyannaki examines the debate on what is art today and to what extent technology is acceptable to be entangled with the production of an artwork. She challenges the belief that technology can arise as an obstacle for artistic expression as opposed to the fact that it is widely used to produce an artwork. The prospect of a self-thinking and feeling appliance might still be far away yet the sense of a manmade machine sharing mutual feelings with us may seem paradoxically comforting, especially when it comes to postulating a state of future dystopia on our planet.

Text by Kostas Prapoglou in the catalogue of +9 exhibition.






C-BEAMS
2015
















I have seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

(Blade Runner, Ridley Scott dir., 1992)



C-Beams was part of the  Luminous Flux/Reflected Overlays on Locative Norms workshop organized by Campus Novel in Syros island.



ΓΥΝΑΙΚΕΣ
2020




                          
                   

Γυναίκες (meaning women in Greek) is a site-specific installation. The work developed from the recently discovered material of my mother’s archive. The archive includes publications, mostly between 1973-75, of the Greek press (newspaper and magazine clippings), zines and magazines by feminist organizations and groups in Greece, and some from Italy and France, as well as notes and sketches. The reasons that drove me to work with this material were mainly sentimental but also because its rediscovery coincided with the #metoo movement, in US at that time, and thus with the return of feminist’s issues to the public debate.

The archive, although it has a purely political and social orientation, was read in emotional terms which were mainly determined by the close relationship with my mother. The photos of the public figures found  in the archive, are placed in photo frames in order  to decorate the living room of a house. They abandon their public character and become close relatives and friends. This change of roles is not directly understood as their relocation from the public to the private sphere, is very personal. Regardless of the different roles and references that shape them, the subjects depicted, contain, right from the start, another meaning for me. One which, perhaps, can only be described in the sense of punctum that Barthes attributes to photography in general, and especially to the “Winter garden photograph”. (R.Barthes, Camera Lucida, 1993, Vintage).

My reading of the archive deprives the subjects of their original political, historical and sociological implications, by seeking a more intimate approach. It completely discharges them from any mission, no matter how important that is, and looks at them through the sensitive prism of the closeness to my mother. It could be suggested that this imposes an atemporal and apolitical dimension to the subjects, causing amnesia and detachment, yet it could also mean release, even redemption, whether they deserve it or not, from the established public image reinforced by the media and the social norms.


            
                             
           

                         




Γυναίκες was part of Lipiu group exhibition, curated by Christina Petkopoulou, A-DASH space, Athens, October 2020. 



Read related Interview by Despina Zefkili, Athinorama (only in Greek).