Media Art Festival Arad. Arad, Romania

R.A.M. /// Random Access Memory
Media Art Festival Arad

Random Access Memory

“any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes”
( )

The premise of the exhibition is the ubiquitous presence of photography in the contemporary visual landscape. This enveloping, knowable and unknown, constantly regenerated, yet self-referential image-scape translates here into space and physical form, whether digital or analog, when registered through our immediate sensorial perception. It includes experiences that are lived and simultaneously recorded, or edited at a later time. Alternative logical sequences and altered narrative streams ensue, whereby daily events may run parallel courses, intersecting even at opposite times. We witness multiple versions of the present-past. Open-ended, sleepless, permanently awake, imaging technologies are set to complete exhaustive tasks, searching (as if by instinct) to map out the whole. The photographed / photograph-iable universe thus unfolds, each step pointed towards a new path through memory.

Signs, Markers, Roadblocks, Crossroads and Turning Points:
>> The first step on the moon, the ultimate physical frontier of the human body in 1969, captured and preserved in a series of medium-format (Hasselblad) analog images >> the first photograph of Earth from outer space taken in 1972 by the Apollo 17 mission >> fast forward to the launch of Google Street view in 2007, the silent vehicular insertion of the all-seeing panoramic camera-eye leaving no segment of the Earth’s surface intentionally un-photographed.
Within these technologically defined, and refined, frames of reference, the rapport of scale shifts from the elemental to the whole, from eye level to aerial view. It is imperative to acknowledge the degree to which direct observation has been supplanted and/or substituted by imaging and visualization technologies, some of which have since become obsolete, others nostalgic.
The naturalization of synthetic vision has already occurred on the broadest societal levels, its factual truthfulness drafted into the establishment of legal-political boundaries through which individual life is monitored and regimented.  Within these newly developed ecosystems authorship and subjectivity are maintained in constant flux, negotiated and exchanged between the human and the artificial, unbound. Current statistics approximate that 380 billion photographs are produced annually, and predict the acceleration of this cumulative process. In the Anthropocene, our current hypothesised geological age, mankind has become a geological force. Whether through force (mass) or volition, has photography become a geological force as well?

Which are the elements that form and shape this advanced informational system? While fundamentally soft, the photo-sphere nonetheless operates and reacts in accordance with some core principles, extensions of the intrinsic qualities of the medium (see Marshall McLuhan “the medium is the message,” Paul Virilio, Lev Manovich). An important instance to consider here, is the perpetual expansion of the system enabled through digital media - where the fringes of the Internet travel alongside the infinity of the Universe. The Exhibition is thus on a search for aesthetic entry-points and methods for analysis of these current conditions. Surrounded by physical and virtual images and photographic entities, visitors are invited to look and interact, developing individual, subjective states of awareness which as a whole participate in the final, and most salient, lived component of the exhibition.