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Soup Session: Peter Lemmens

Soup Session by Peter Lemmens
invited by research group Maxlab

Tuesday 12 March 2024, 12:30-14:00
at the Research Room, Academy

The current two year research project 'What I’m talking about when I’m talking about narrativity' by Peter Lemmens focusses on the interplay between distribution, narrativity, technology and art. It tries to describe the following: Let’s consider that in a current Western capitalism, distribution and infrastructure have become more and more synonymous with recent information technology. This technology harbors a massive, unprecedented, uncountable amount of data. We like to think this turns into information at the tip of our fingers as long as we master the art of the Google search. Let’s propose however that in order for such an amount of data to be understandable at all, data distribution is no longer about information. It’s all about storytelling and narratives may be the dominant distributed currency. Let’s suggest then that data is separated into the frontend infinite scroll — i.e. replaceable, indeterminate clickbait-and-switch narratives and the backend tag — i.e. a covert database operation of predictive, cryptic metadata. Where the frontend narratives circulate at light speed over our ubiquitous screens, the backed narratives aggregate extraction narratives in infrastructural darkness. Let’s submit now that via narrativity, maybe data infrastructures and distribution have been hacked by a party-in-the-front-business-in-the-back model. As with any currency, when exchanged over and over again, value is lost and transaction costs incur.
For this Soup Session, together with the audience, Peter Lemmens will try to detail and discuss the impact of such narrativity and what the role of art could be within such an environment.