In 2012 we initiated an international online archive of contemporary art to provide independent thematic investigations and work together with the artists on a comprehensive platform that discusses artist ideas, concepts and critical concerns. Since then, we have published the works of over 280 artists from 65 countries and continued to expand and approach different topics through artist interviews, essays, book reviews, and selection of representative exhibitions around the world. Throughout our interactions, we have become aware of the need to create a broader editorial project to bridge some of the gaps and discrepancies often perpetuated within the art world. This has lead us to creating a project that ensures understanding, visibility, gender balanced participation, in an effort to critically evaluate current cultural and social conditions as reflected in contemporary art. Based on previous experience as editors for art and architecture magazines, as well as discussions and encouragements from hundreds of artists and cultural agents, we have conceived a unique editorial project that can only come to life with your support.
The project communicates an increased need to rethink art and its place in society, in relation to social, technological, scientific and environmental concerns. We aim to create a 430 pages book that offers insights into various disciplines, including architecture, art history, computing, digital art, sociology, anthropology and philosophy, in an ample cultural perspective that discusses contemporary art, science, technology, biology, as well as a series of materials on highly relevant social and geopolitical issues. The visual material, written essays and featured conversations will be accompanied by short observations and special inserts that highlight art’s mediating role between people, cultures, nature and technology. They explore the changing notion of art today and consider the ways in which art triggers the deepest reflections on humanity and cultural differences. From romanticized perspectives to inciting simulations or political subversions, the book creates a complex discourse addressing the ways in which humans seek to expand, improve and exceed both cultural contexts and nature itself.
Your support will allow us to realize the project at the highest standards, stimulate independent cultural entrepreneurship, and contribute to social awareness and further developments. All revenues generated through this campaign go into the production and distribution of the book; 20% of all future revenues will be donated yearly to selected local charities supporting educational programs and programs oriented towards children and/or environmental concerns. The project is thus a meaningful approach to shaping a societal understanding of contemporary art and encourage the active engagement of an international network of people, artists, and cultural agents. Support us now to receive your copy in June 2016.
“revolving futures” is a unique editorial project created together with more than 220 international artists, curators and theoreticians that aims to shape a critical survey of the most representative projects we’ve published online throughout the years along with an impressive number of previously unpublished artists, exclusive essays and interviews. Blending various perspectives on contemporary art, technology, science, cultural studies, politics, environmental concerns and issues of (mis)representation, the book is a critical kit featuring both established and emerging countries from over 70 countries. It develops a complex discourse that brings together carefully selected artists working with a variety of media and reflects an independent critical position outside the art market.
We present sustained efforts in integrating artworks, observations and initiatives that reflect numerous social and horizontal concerns: by addressing these issues in connection with contemporary art and culture, we encourage reflection on a systemic change in mentalities. Reaching a significant number of artists, curators, theoreticians, researchers, organizations and the general audience, the book reflects a global, transversal and shared understanding. The transversal approach contributes significantly to the visibility and acknowledgement of artists coming from different cultural contexts and working with different artistic media.
The book is divided in two main parts. In “revolving” we look at recurring topics in politics, identity, the architecture of public space, cultural (mis)representation, narrative and perceptual constructions that shape artistic discourses. In “futures” we look at how new media, digital art, bio art, science and technology inform current artistic manifestations and reshape our understanding of art history. The book articulates a discourse that starts by investigating various structures, objects and representations as reflected in artistic practices, and moves through discussing issues of politics, contemporary spirituality, concerns about globalization and technological developments. We then look at narrative constructions and the shaping of cultural identities, to end with a consistent part on environmental concerns, hybridity and the reshaping of the human body. “revolving futures” is thus a critical publication that looks beyond artistic intersections to integrate a socially responsible discourse and raise awareness of the need to address a shift in cultural understanding.
It is important to stress our intention to create a gender balanced participation in this publication and raise awareness of more subtle, nuanced critical positions regarding art and its societal context. We discuss, among other topics, about photography in the Middle East with Peggy Sue Amison, artistic director at East Wing; net art and networked cultures with Josephine Bosma, Amsterdam-based journalist and critic; urban digital art and criticality in the media city with curator and researcher Tanya Toft; art and technology with curator Chris Romero; the politics of surveillance and international security with political scientist David Barnard-Wills; art and architecture with Maaike Lauwaert, visual arts curator at Stroom, an independent centre for art and architecture in the Netherlands; the intersections of art, law and science with curator and cultural manager Daniela Silvestrin; the architecture of sacred places with curator Jumana Ghouth; the historical legacy of feminism today with Betty Tompkins and Marilyn Minter; hacktivism and net culture with curator and researcher Tatiana Bazzichelli; culture, place and memory with Norie Neumark, director of the Centre for Creative Arts in Melbourne; anthropology and the tactical use of post-digital technologies with artist and philosopher Mitra Azar; or feminism and the digital arts with curator Tina Sauerländer. We present a special interview with Michael Najjar, the first artist to fly into space, the scientific-artistic mission at The Institute of Critical Zoologists in Japan, and carry an extensive interview with Peter Weibel, director at the ZKM / Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany. The book also features guest contributions by Ruben Pater, Jennifer Hall, professor at the Massachussetts College of Art and Design, and Manfred Blohm, professor at Universität Flensburg.
For the book, we have specially invited more than 120 artists to present their work, including David Altmejd, Allison Kudla, Diana Thater, Joyce Kozloff, Mike Pelletier, Dominik Lejman, Leila Alaoui, Yael Kanarek, Zeitguised, Mark Dorf, Brigitte Kowanz, Herman Kolgen and Dominique Skoltz, Victoria Vesna, Brandon Ballengée, David Maisel, Daniel Canogar, Ahmed Mater, Anne de Boer, Keita Miyazaki, Sama Alshaibi, Dimitris Merantzas, Yann Mingard, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, and many others.
We also feature works by some of the artists we’ve already collaborated throughout the years, including Ivonne Thein, Claudia Hart, Carla Gannis, Kurt Hentschläger, Norimichi Hirakawa, Susan Silas, Quayola, Gregory Bennett, Macoto Murayama, Maija Tammi, Melissa F. Clarke, Pascal Grandmaison, Michael Najjar, Annett Zinsmeister, Wesley Meuris, Herwig Turk, Katie Torn, Sophie Kahn, among others.
We need to secure the funds that will allow us to print the book at the highest standards and send it to you for free, wherever you are. We have opted for fixed funding because we want to ensure we can design, print and distribute the book at the standards we’ve set and which are described below.
Technical details about the book:
430 pages in full color
28 x 21,5 cm
Printed on high quality Gmund recycled paper
3,500 copies, of which:
– 1,500 numbered copies for artists, reviewers, and supporters of this campaign only
– 2,000 numbered public copies to be made available online and in selected bookshops. 20% of revenues obtained from selling the 2,000 public copies will be donated to supporting educational and artistic programs for children and/or environmental programs. We will make sure to announce our supporters about the programs to ensure transparency.
The book will be launched in July 2016 for the public and includes launching events in Vienna, London and Berlin. We will communicate the dates in due time and hope to meet you personally at one of the openings. You will receive your copy of the book already in June 2016.
The budget of 54,000 euro is split transparently as follows: 30,000 euro for book printing and binding (based on official offer provided by specialized printing house in Germany who can ensure the desired standards); 8,000 euro for book design and image processing; 10,000 euro for shipping the book to all artists and potential supporters via courier (calculated as: an average of 12 euro/shipment for approximately 830 copies, including artists’ and supporters’ copies); 2,000 euro to design and program a custom online shop and ensure shipping logistics – to be made available on our online platform exclusively; 2,000 euro as emergency fund to cover for unforeseen costs; approximately 3,000 euro – fees and taxes we must pay for this campaign. All funds we raise go into the production and distribution of the book. In case the emergency fund is not used, the money will be invested in additional printing services, such as foiling and/or dust jackets.
Once published, the book will only be available online in a custom shop we’re creating as part of our platform, and in selected independent, alternative bookshops. By avoiding large distribution services, we aim to also encourage a consistent and coherent type of cultural entrepreneurship, working closely with artists and people and avoiding art market or publishing market strategies.
We have created a set of simple perks to allow us to create this book. In return, you receive a high quality publication and can be part of a community of people who share interest in a broader perspective on contemporary art. For all perks, SHIPPING IS INCLUDED FOR FREE, wherever you live, so you don’t need to worry about additional shipping charges when opting for a perk. For perks that include two or more copies, you can also tell us if you’d like us to send one or more of the copies to a different location: maybe you’d like to send it to someone as a present or next summer’s holiday companion; maybe you have more friends who might be interested but don’t have the time to look up for this project, your chance to surprise them with a book that is beautiful, comprehensive and meaningful. If that’s the case, just send us an email at hello@anti-utopias after choosing your perk and we’ll take care of the rest.
We are totally fine with you opting for the simplest perk: your personal copy of the book. For more comprehensive packs, we’re also giving ebook versions, a set of special postcards, and limited edition posters. The earnest of our supporters receive a limited edition poster, signed by an artist specially for them, a gesture of our appreciation.
This is fixed funding: money will reach us only if we raise the entire budget, because we want to make sure we can deliver the book we’ve promised and you receive the book you’re expecting to get.
With your support, this project can become a meaningful investigation in contemporary art. You do not only buy a beautiful book: you help shape a critical expression and raise cultural awareness; you provide a direct contribution to independent cultural entrepreneurship by allowing us to avoid art market and publishing market strategies; you help us help others by providing the means to develop educational programs for children; you support the consolidation of an international network of artists and specialists whose work provides a synthetic expression of the world today.
Through this editorial project, you help shape an independent perspective on art, stimulate cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary dialogues, and enable us to reach artists and audiences in over 60 countries. This continues our four years of online work and allows us to develop our project further.
We have over seven years of editorial experience in online and print, having worked for a series of art and architecture magazines. We’ve identified design and production issues and drafted a plan to solve possible problems by creating a list of alternative services and providers who can help us achieve our goal – the publication of this book. We have paid careful attention to delivering a book at the highest standards that completes our editorial and curatorial experience over the years, and share the enthusiasm and passion with you.
If you’d like to support our project but, for various reasons, you cannot contribute to it, we’d be grateful if you could let others know about our initiative. If you know friends, acquaintances or professionals who may take interest in it, let them know about it – thank you!
You can use the sharing tools provided by Indiegogo and can access the campaign here: revolving futures