Uncanny Valleys of a Possible Future

CTM 2018 Exhibition, curated by CTM.

Still from Lawrence Lek's "Geomancer"

The CTM 2018 Exhibition presents diverse artistic approaches – often playful, always political – that respond to CTM 2018’s Turmoil theme. Tension/explosion, apathy/engagement, regression/progress, peril/hope – these artists propose different ways by which to navigate the ongoing strain and unease of being torn between polarities.

Music’s role in fostering and releasing collective emotions is explored by Anne de Vries, who, through a hardstyle stadium show setting (complete with extreme VJ/light effects, high-power DJ sets, and screaming promotional posters) explores the relationship between technology and mass experience. A very different, quiet form of release is to be experienced in Teun Vonk’s “The Physical Mind”, which hugs visitors between two giant air pillows, guiding them out of a stressed “fight or flight” mode into a feeling of security and physical well-being.

Voices of protest and unrest are electrified into a storm by Zorka Wollny and Andrzej Wasilewski. Recordings from two disputing vocalists (captured at the CTM 2018 Opening Concert) will be diffused in the installation space and electrified by Tesla coil, exploring the explosive potential of political inequality and unease. CTM 2018 Radio Lab commission winner ZULI similarly explores unrest via a series of 360 audiovisual vignettes of the bustling metropolis of Cairo. Blending street interactions and conversations and his own original compositions, he will create an immersive sound collage with the tension and latent explosiveness of his native city’s environment.

Five artists provide various access points to turmoil around technology. By exploiting the way virtual reality rests on our expectations and illusions, Jessica Ekomane examines the tacit rules informing the visual representations we create. Peter Flemming speculates on systems which can de-orchestrate our rational daily lives with a room-scale kinetic installation of ordinary objects (ladders, chairs, tables…) that are suspended as if trapped in an invisible web. The eerie polyphony of undulating objects create pulses of shadow and sounds, with the aim of engulfing viewers in a system that we can enjoy even if we don’t fully understand it. In Frédérick A. Belzile’s “Eyes in the Sky”, a Dakota Access Pipeline protester’s drone seems to take such de-orchestration to heart – by flying away. Meanwhile, Geomancer, a newly-awakened and escaped satellite AI, comes down to earth with dreams of becoming the first AI artist in Lawrence Lek’s namesake film. Rendered in HD with Unreal Engine video game software, and featuring a neural network-generated dream sequence and synthesised vocaloid soundtrack, Geomancer explores the implications of post-human consciousness. Guy Ben Ary’s “cellF" opens up a dialogue into technology's reach into and fusion with the organic realm. Using the artist’s own neutrons to form the living brain of “the world’s first human synthesizer”, cellF represents a radical new way to think about what a musical instrument can be and how music can be made.


The CTM 2018 Exhibition is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the German Federal Cultural Commission. Supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Canada, and the Québec Government Office Berlin. The CTM Radio Lab is produced with Deutschlandfunk Kultur Hörspiel / Klangkunst, ORF Ö1 Kunstradio, ORF musikprotokoll im steirischen herbst, and supported by media partner The Wire.


Opening: 26.1.2018  |  19:00

Runs: 27.1–2.4.2018

During CTM: 27.1.–4.2.  |  daily 11–22:00

All other days: 11–20:00 

Venue: Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien


Anne de Vries[NL]

"Critical Mass: Pure Immanence"
HD video, 2015

Frédérick A. Belzile[CA]

"Eyes in the Sky"
Video, 2017

Guy Ben-Ary[AU]

Installation, 2017

Jessica Ekomane[FR/DE]

VR Installation, 2017–2018


Lawrence Lek[DE/UK]

CGI film, 2017

"Sinofuturism (1839 - 2046 AD)"
Film, 2016. Courtesy of the artist


Peter Flemming[CA]

Site-variable kinetic and sound installation, 2016

Teun Vonk[NL]

"The Physical Mind"
Installation, 2016

Zorka Wollny & Andrzej Wasilewski[PL/DE]

Installation, 2018



Audiovisual installation, 2018
Commissioned for the CTM 2018 Radio Lab