Joshua Simon: “Don’t Hate The Meme, Hate The Algorithm”: The Mesoscopic, The Metastable and The Curatorial

Visiting Curator Lecture
Sept 24, 12:30pm
601 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23220

Joshua Simon, curator and author. Former director and chief curator at MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam (2012- 2017), now based in Philadelphia, PA. Co-founding editor of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa based Maayan publishing. Author of Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013), and editor of United States of Palestine-Israel (Sternberg Press, 2011), Ruti Sela: For The Record (Archive Books, 2015), Communists Anonymous (with Ingo Niermann, Sternberg Press, 2017), and Being Together Precedes Being: A Textbook for The Kids Want Communism (Archive Books, forthcoming 2018). Recent curatorial projects include: The Kids Want Communism (MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam and Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien, Berlin, 2016-2017), Second Nature (International Photography Festival, Tel Aviv 2017), and In The Liquid (PrintScreen Media Art Festival, Holon 2018). Simon holds a PhD from the Visual Cultures department, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. 


“Don’t Hate The Meme, Hate The Algorithm”: The Mesoscopic, The Metastable and The Curatorial

2018 might be remembered as the year of graphic cards shortage. The price for the cards soared since the beginning of that year, parallel to the price of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Their strong processing capabilities made graphic cards an ideal tool for amateur crypto-mining. Interestingly enough, the graphic card is usually used for rendering visual plans and programs (from architectural plans to videogames), but here it was used for something that has no visual presence as far as human vision is considered. This is a telling example of where power is today – unattainable by the human eye. Therefore, we who are working in the field of the visual, are compelled to renegotiate our understanding of vision and power. In this talk,we will look at the exhibition as a model which allows for relations to be assessed and measured, while asking what kind of relations and connections are available in contemporary art. Working with notions of structural physics and optics such as the mesoscopic – the field of vision we inhabit, between the microscopic and the telescopic, so to speak; metastability – an assembled structure which holds through minimum points of contact with maximum intensity; homophily – “love of the same,” which became the architecture of the “real existing internet,” from ad-based search engines to social media outlets – this talk will venture into curatorial strategies, cinematic and artistic projects, histories of ideas and technologies, theoretical and mechanical positions, to address the relations of vision and power today.