If we could only catch up with the wave of information… we would, at last, be in the now… to digest and comprehend [its] totality would amount to having reality on tap as if from a fantastic media control room capable of monitoring everything, everywhere, all at the same time. - Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock

unkNOW is an international live stream festival based in Oslo. As a symptom of digital culture, streaming is the emphasis which defines relations between spatial and temporal distances. While the rapid-fire absorption of media overtaking our experience of the physical world, unkNOW creates a space to explore the complexities of internet culture and how we connect through the digital intimacy of performance and visual art.

The festival brings together works from Beijing-, London-, NYC- and Oslo-based performance and media artists, incorporating broadcasts and television taping events, live stream and physical performances, media art and music, which explore power structures of hyperconnected society, televisual language, surveillance and the relationship between the human and a machine. In addition to a physical event at Akademirommet, Kunstneres Hus in Oslo, the works are documented and presented as an online exhibition here at UNKNOW, 10.12.18 → 13.01.18.

Yoke Collective (London, UK)
Yoke Collective is an artistic and curatorial project by Emily Roderick and Georgina Rowlands. A heavily research based practice filters contemporary identity politics, examining the position of the female body within the surveillance state, into performance and installation. The relationship between the human and the machine is constantly reframed as Yoke dualistically resist and embrace the camera's gaze. Taking an interest in the male-dominated office space and corporate sphere, Yoke Collective present a performative installation consisting of a row of seven monitors forming a restrictive path. Combining workplace meditation and office chair exercises the performers follow dictated gesture and spoken instructions, the presence of authority moves through the work, from the ever-changing autocue monitors on the floor to the personas of instructor and worker, interchanging between the two performers, direct reference is made to relationships of corporate production and capitalist structures. A regurgitation of information occurs holding a doubled gaze between screen and performer, this durational performance aims to explore the mindset in the office space and issues of self-help within an overworked society.

Funa Ye & Beio (Beijing, China)
Funa Ye’s practice is mainly concerned with the relationship between the realities of everyday life, the perceived connection between authority and many areas of social life such as different power structure, ethnic groups, and the fictional space of propaganda for the concept of ‘perfection’ in an ideological system, and utopian landscape. Beio currently works and lives in Beijing. Since 2009 he has started Butoh performance and choreography. During the period, he has collaborated with various national and international musicians, as well as curated and participated several improvisations based on Butoh and sound art. For unkNOW, Funa Ye & Beio produced a new episode from their ongoing live online performance program “Exhibitionist: peep stream”. It is a unique form of performance, other than common performance art, online show or TV show. The purpose of Exhibitionist series is to break the boundaries of “daily display” and ”art exhibition”, and to reduce the distance between the public and contemporary art. In our current hyper-connected society, people’s desire to “display” is everywhere - selfies, Instagram, web chat, and in its most extreme form, live stream.

Josse Thuresson & Karin Keisu (Stockholm, Sweden)
Josse Thuresson and Karin Keisu work in collaborative processes where they challenge hegemonic structures in western society. Through context specific work they address the political climate and its consequences for marginalized groups. Queer strategies, aesthetics and historical documents function as a tool to make text-based performance and video art that center around performing resistance. At unkNOW, Josse Thuresson & Karin Keisu presents their new performance Embracing Flames, in continuation of their ongoing research.

E.S.P. TV (New York City, USA)
The new broadcast by NYC based multimedia collective E.S.P. TV focus on simulation and ASMR, signifiers of language, narrative, and sensory reaction. E.S.P. TV utilizes a mobile television studio to explore televisual language, placing a particular focus on the performativity of production itself through installations, broadcasts and live television taping events. A strong network through artist collaborations for broadcast, amassing an extensive archive detailing these unique explorations of performance, sound, and vision. E.S.P. TV has held over 100 live television taping events internationally and has worked with various venues and institutions including: The Whitney Museum of American Art; New Museum; Museum of Arts and Design; Swiss Institute/Contemporary Art; Hunter College Art Galleries; Flux Factory; Roulette; Queens Museum; Harvard Art Museums; Pioneer Works, and many others. E.S.P. TV is directed and operated by Scott Kiernan and Victoria Keddie.

Karen Nikgol (Oslo, Norway)
Survival/Dreams is a performance investigating contemporary vigilantism, poverty and crime, through the use of lyrics by the rapper Grandmaster Melle Mel, riot footage from England and Ukraine, plus techno music. The performance is the third installation in an ongoing series of works, culminating in the production Ghetto Justice at Black Box Theatre in September. Karen Nikgol is an artist and curator based in Oslo. His work investigates topics of mysticism, eroticism and power and connecting the ancient to the contemporary, and ranges from film and paintings to stage productions and performances. Karen is also one of the founders and curators of the artist run space Noplace, Oslo. His work Empowerment, exhibited at K4 gallery, was awarded Årets Kunst by Natt&Dag OSLOPRISEN, as the most distinguished and important artwork in the contemporary art scene in Oslo in 2017.

Magnus Andreas Hagen Olsen (Oslo, Norway)
The installation nownownownownow points a live camera to its own live documentation. Every image and every sound captured by the looping stream is repeated infinitely but is ultimately limited by bitrates and broadcast speed. The image is destroyed by the resolution, and the sound begins crumbling in its repetition. At the same time, a rhythm starts developing, mimicking constant and real-time distribution of information through methods of communication. Through his artistic practice, Magnus Andreas Hagen Olsen explore notions of communication in relation to specific structures or settings. Concerns revolving around ideas of power, discourse, representation and identity politics propose central questions in his work, which involve explorations of language or translation, referencing physical and interpersonal themes like body language and voice in contrast to experiences around distributions of data, algorithms, and digital spheres.

Lesia Vasylchenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Lesia Vasylchenko takes on a multidisciplinary approach using a variety of media including photography, film and video. The video work Between Being Too Early Or Too Late is a juxtaposition of CCTV, from uncontrolled spaces with uncontrolled narratives, that simultaneously and continuously frames and broadcasts the landscapes and its inhabitants. The fragmentary moving image data are transforming a society and places into contributors to an endless “other cinema”. In the context of constant camera surveillance and “observation without an observer”, the work depicts the topology of digital media consumption and uncontrolled visual content dissemination in a connected world.



Yoke Collective
doubled_deskercise

Funa Ye & Beio
Exhibitionist: peep stream (excerpt)

Josse Thuresson & Karin Keisu
Embracing Flames (excerpt)

E.S.P. TV
1: E.S.P. TV #51: "Just Desserts"
2: Salem (by E.S.P. TV & Blue Jazz TV)
3: E.S.P. TV #112: "Lifestyle Guru, Pt. 2"
4: Tilt Up, Pan Left

Karen Nikgol
Survival/Dreams

Magnus Andreas Hagen Olsen
nownownownownow (live output from installation)

Lesia Vasylchenko
Between Being Too Early Or Too Late


If we could only catch up with the wave of information… we would, at last, be in the now… to digest and comprehend [its] totality would amount to having reality on tap as if from a fantastic media control room capable of monitoring everything, everywhere, all at the same time. - Douglas Rushkoff, Present Shock

unkNOW is an international live stream festival based in Oslo. As a symptom of digital culture, streaming is the emphasis which defines relations between spatial and temporal distances. While the rapid-fire absorption of media overtaking our experience of the physical world, unkNOW creates a space to explore the complexities of internet culture and how we connect through the digital intimacy of performance and visual art.

The festival brings together works from Beijing-, London-, NYC- and Oslo-based performance and media artists, incorporating broadcasts and television taping events, live stream and physical performances, media art and music, which explore power structures of hyperconnected society, televisual language, surveillance and the relationship between the human and a machine. In addition to a physical event at Akademirommet, Kunstneres Hus in Oslo, the works are documented and presented as an online exhibition here at UNKNOW, 10.12.18 → 13.01.18.

Yoke Collective (London, UK)
Yoke Collective is an artistic and curatorial project by Emily Roderick and Georgina Rowlands. A heavily research based practice filters contemporary identity politics, examining the position of the female body within the surveillance state, into performance and installation. The relationship between the human and the machine is constantly reframed as Yoke dualistically resist and embrace the camera's gaze. Taking an interest in the male-dominated office space and corporate sphere, Yoke Collective present a performative installation consisting of a row of seven monitors forming a restrictive path. Combining workplace meditation and office chair exercises the performers follow dictated gesture and spoken instructions, the presence of authority moves through the work, from the ever-changing autocue monitors on the floor to the personas of instructor and worker, interchanging between the two performers, direct reference is made to relationships of corporate production and capitalist structures. A regurgitation of information occurs holding a doubled gaze between screen and performer, this durational performance aims to explore the mindset in the office space and issues of self-help within an overworked society.

Funa Ye & Beio (Beijing, China)
Funa Ye’s practice is mainly concerned with the relationship between the realities of everyday life, the perceived connection between authority and many areas of social life such as different power structure, ethnic groups, and the fictional space of propaganda for the concept of ‘perfection’ in an ideological system, and utopian landscape. Beio currently works and lives in Beijing. Since 2009 he has started Butoh performance and choreography. During the period, he has collaborated with various national and international musicians, as well as curated and participated several improvisations based on Butoh and sound art. For unkNOW, Funa Ye & Beio produced a new episode from their ongoing live online performance program “Exhibitionist: peep stream”. It is a unique form of performance, other than common performance art, online show or TV show. The purpose of Exhibitionist series is to break the boundaries of “daily display” and ”art exhibition”, and to reduce the distance between the public and contemporary art. In our current hyper-connected society, people’s desire to “display” is everywhere - selfies, Instagram, web chat, and in its most extreme form, live stream.

Josse Thuresson & Karin Keisu (Stockholm, Sweden)
Josse Thuresson and Karin Keisu work in collaborative processes where they challenge hegemonic structures in western society. Through context specific work they address the political climate and its consequences for marginalized groups. Queer strategies, aesthetics and historical documents function as a tool to make text-based performance and video art that center around performing resistance. At unkNOW, Josse Thuresson & Karin Keisu presents their new performance Embracing Flames, in continuation of their ongoing research.

E.S.P. TV (New York City, USA)
The new broadcast by NYC based multimedia collective E.S.P. TV focus on simulation and ASMR, signifiers of language, narrative, and sensory reaction. E.S.P. TV utilizes a mobile television studio to explore televisual language, placing a particular focus on the performativity of production itself through installations, broadcasts and live television taping events. A strong network through artist collaborations for broadcast, amassing an extensive archive detailing these unique explorations of performance, sound, and vision. E.S.P. TV has held over 100 live television taping events internationally and has worked with various venues and institutions including: The Whitney Museum of American Art; New Museum; Museum of Arts and Design; Swiss Institute/Contemporary Art; Hunter College Art Galleries; Flux Factory; Roulette; Queens Museum; Harvard Art Museums; Pioneer Works, and many others. E.S.P. TV is directed and operated by Scott Kiernan and Victoria Keddie.

Karen Nikgol (Oslo, Norway)
Survival/Dreams is a performance investigating contemporary vigilantism, poverty and crime, through the use of lyrics by the rapper Grandmaster Melle Mel, riot footage from England and Ukraine, plus techno music. The performance is the third installation in an ongoing series of works, culminating in the production Ghetto Justice at Black Box Theatre in September. Karen Nikgol is an artist and curator based in Oslo. His work investigates topics of mysticism, eroticism and power and connecting the ancient to the contemporary, and ranges from film and paintings to stage productions and performances. Karen is also one of the founders and curators of the artist run space Noplace, Oslo. His work Empowerment, exhibited at K4 gallery, was awarded Årets Kunst by Natt&Dag OSLOPRISEN, as the most distinguished and important artwork in the contemporary art scene in Oslo in 2017.

Magnus Andreas Hagen Olsen (Oslo, Norway)
The installation nownownownownow points a live camera to its own live documentation. Every image and every sound captured by the looping stream is repeated infinitely but is ultimately limited by bitrates and broadcast speed. The image is destroyed by the resolution, and the sound begins crumbling in its repetition. At the same time, a rhythm starts developing, mimicking constant and real-time distribution of information through methods of communication. Through his artistic practice, Magnus Andreas Hagen Olsen explore notions of communication in relation to specific structures or settings. Concerns revolving around ideas of power, discourse, representation and identity politics propose central questions in his work, which involve explorations of language or translation, referencing physical and interpersonal themes like body language and voice in contrast to experiences around distributions of data, algorithms, and digital spheres.

Lesia Vasylchenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Lesia Vasylchenko takes on a multidisciplinary approach using a variety of media including photography, film and video. The video work Between Being Too Early Or Too Late is a juxtaposition of CCTV, from uncontrolled spaces with uncontrolled narratives, that simultaneously and continuously frames and broadcasts the landscapes and its inhabitants. The fragmentary moving image data are transforming a society and places into contributors to an endless “other cinema”. In the context of constant camera surveillance and “observation without an observer”, the work depicts the topology of digital media consumption and uncontrolled visual content dissemination in a connected world.