Friday, 19 May 2023, 24:00 | midnight
#131: Bianca Kennedy feat. kennedy+swan
Using a range of mediums, including animation, video, virtual reality, found footage, and drawing, Bianca Kennedy explores everyday relationships and routines, reflecting on human behavior, social norms, and expectations. In recent years, Kennedy’s artistic focus has been on physical withdrawal, creating a series that examine the theatrics of bathing and the cultural coding of the unprotected, naked body. Through her works, she uncovers conflicts that exist within power dynamics and identity politics, and how they intersect within categories such as class, gender, privacy, and public space. Currently, Kennedy’s work is centered around personal protest, featuring individuals who have grown disillusioned with the world and turned their anger inward. From early childhood protests to Straight Edge and Hikikomori, she examines the idea of renouncing the world and attempting to make it a better place through withdrawal.
kennedy+swan (founded in 2013) comprises the works of the two artists Bianca Kennedy and Swan Collective. They explore the future of evolution and its impact on plants, animals and humans. These utopias are liberated from human supremacy, illuminating the ecological benefits of hybrid life forms, and address the twisted relationship between humans and machines. For their videos, VR and AR installations, the duo employs a variety of animation techniques: drawings, stereoscopic film footage, 3D-scanned landscapes, and self-built characters create a rich tapestry
of analogue and digital imagery. Recently, the duo has incorporated AI-generated texts and images into their work, reflecting and commenting on the rise of artificial intelligence.
Bianca Kennedy will show:
Delphi Demons, 2022, stereoscopic video by kennedy+swan, 20:56 min
Do humans take themselves too seriously? After all, they consider themselves the most intelligent beings on earth. They claim to have the advantages of language, planning and self-reflection contrary to plants, animals or computer-generated beings.
The stereoscopic film Delphi Demons dismantles this supremacy in three episodes. How can we test „real“ intelligence? With AI already winning Jeopardy and Go games, are there questions we can ask to distinguish humans from robots? In Delphi Demons Max Frisch and the language AI GPT-3 have an emotional conversation, the character Circe begins to question her own existence when the popular image generation AI app Wombo distorts her reality in the form of an all-knowing oracle, and the double of a famous singer preaches why the human part of a brain-computer interface is the superfluous one. He himself is trapped in the uncanny valley and oscillates between human and digital deepfake.
in vivo · in vitro · in silico, 2023, video by kennedy+swan, 7:53 min
Are AI-designed biorobots revolutionizing medicine? A research group at Tufts University has created reprogrammable creatures from frog cells – Xenobots – to detect and cure diseases in the human body. kennedy+swan’s animated film in vivo • in vitro • in silico shows a frenetic image flood combining science and body horror. The work deals with the ambivalent implications of medical research set to the sounds of artist Drew Cappotto. Like any scientific breakthrough, the dream of a universal solution always arises alongside scepticism and conspiracy theories.
Will people open their bodies to healing AI organisms that are potentially hackable or could uncontrollably reproduce? Who will read the collected data? And who will be able to afford these buddy bots with their life-extending promise of salvation
Confessions of an observing mind, 2014, video, 5:55 min
In the animation “Confessions of an observing mind” the computer is the main protagonist. For years he had to keep his mouth shut about the online behavior of his user. Now he is going to defend himself against pictures he doesn‘t want to see and music he doesn‘t want to hear. While the viewer of this animation won‘t see the computer‘s owner Stella Skarsgård in person, he can observe her media consumption and becomes aware of the computer‘s opinion about Stella.
Weirdo’s Brain, 2012, stop motion-video, 13:33 min
Lenny finds himself in a surreal world after touching a plastic doll. With the help of strange questions, he’s trying to find a way through a disturbing maze of rooms. But will he ever learn from his mistakes?
Bath the Pain Away, 2021/22, Silent movie, 42:01 min
In 1963, Sylvia Plath famously quipped that “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” The character of Judge Bobby Flor in “Bath the Pain Away” takes this idea to an extreme by retreating permanently into her tub. She no longer wishes to confront the flawed world outside, but feels a sense of obligation to uphold morality in her own unique way. This strange and intricate film explores a variety of topics, from sustainability to the impact of new technologies, all through the lens of the bath as a metaphor for retreat and rejuvenation.
Bianca Kennedy (b. 1989, Leipzig) lives and works in Berlin. Her recent exhibitions include SCAD Museum of Art, Krinzinger Galerie Vienna, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, CCBB Rio de Janeiro, Goethe Institute Paris, among others. She has been awarded a number of prizes and scholarships including the first prize at Berlin Experimental Filmfestival, Stiftung Kunstfonds or the TOY Berlin Masters Award, donated by Burger Collection.
kennedy+swan exhibit internationally in galleries, museums and festivals. Exhibitions include the 16th Lyon Biennial, Gropius Bau Berlin, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Loop Discover Award, Geneva International Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival. They live in Berlin.