Conversation at Spike, Berlin

16 Mar, 2018

In discussion with Jonas Lund on Social Media and the transformation of the public sphere, in the frame of Public Art Munich 2018. 16 March, 2018 @19:30 at Spike, Berlin

It’s well known that social media has become an essential part of everyday life for a decade, but how well do we know social media? Around 80% of the European population has a Facebook account and we generously labour for them, sharing our data to fuel FB share prices. Artist Jonas Lund targets Munich’s Facebook users and customizes personalised advertisements for every one of them. For example, a bilingual twenty-two-year-old who likes Haus der Kunst, FC Bayern, and Snapchat, receives a tailored message, with a certain bias. All of those messages construct a specific portrait of Munich – its individuals, tastes and behaviors.

It is also well known that social media create “bubble” effects. How do these effects transform publicness today? On the one hand, we have unprecedented communicative access to the world. On the other hand, these effects contribute to the dismantling of the public sphere understood as a space for encountering the unfamiliar and the unknown, the public sphere as a space that might not necessarily confirm our preferences, dissuading them from accessing models of the world that are not in line with our own biases. Starting from Jonas Lund’s Facebook art project for PAM 2018, the conversation will evolve into questioning whether we can only negotiate HOW to live together, but not THAT we live together. When public life ultimately hinges on the intermediation of unfamiliarity, how may we begin to construct uncommon bonds in-common, fit for 21st Century life, with coexistence now at the scale of the global, if not the planetary?

Jonas Lund is a Swedish artist who creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites, and performances that critically reflects on contemporary networked systems and power structures. He is based in Berlin.

Patricia Reed is an artist, writer and designer based in Berlin. Recent writings have been published in e-flux Architecture; Cold War Cold World (Urbanomic); Xeno-Architecture (Sternberg, forthcoming); and Distributed (Open Editions, forthcoming). Reed is also part of the Laboria Cuboniks (techno-material feminism) working group, and is currently a theory researcher for Public Art Munich 2018.

Public Art Munich 2018 is a performative program in the city of Munich curated by Joanna Warsza and commissioned by the city of Munich, 30 April-27 July.