Performance, Art and Anonymity
Prof. Dr. Ulf Wuggenig & Dr. Andreas Broeckmann, Leuphana Universität, Lüneburg

The project „Making Visible – Performance, Art and Anonymity“ (SP 5) invites a number of internationally renowned artists and groups to participate in the research project on regimes of anonymity in transformation by creating new art projects that are developed alongside and in dialogue with the other subprojects. The areas of technical and social transformation where regimes of anonymity have been most crucially tackled in recent years – video and data surveillance, online commerce and services, online and offline mediated communication, hybrid and virtual communication spaces – have also received heightened critical attention from artists and media activists, who have explored issues like online identity, the data body, data vulnerability, or surveillance.

The research project „Making Visible“ asks how contemporary artists address the notion of anonymity, and which aspects of anonymity current art projects focus on. Moreover, it explores, how the experimental methods of art-based research can contribute to the interdisciplinary study of anonymity as a social phenomenon.

 

The participating artists have been invited on the basis of their prior work and expertise. They have had experience with connecting online and offline spaces, with offering speculative and „secure“ solutions for digitally based collaborations, or developed analytical and practical tools for understanding and „hacking“ identity systems of exclusion, both physical and virtual. Others have worked in public, offline and online spaces, testing their specific potentials for in/visibility, agency, and subjectivation. The invited artists are:

In addition, the artist Johannes Paul Raether (http://johannespaulraether.net/) was associated to the project; in 2016, he is an artist in residence at the Leuphana University Arts Program.

SP5 investigates experimental situations in which the structure and relevance of particular forms of anonymity can be explored. The commissioned art projects are geared towards highlighting aspects of anonymity that cannot easily be studied „in the everyday social arena“, but that can be tested, provoked and dramatized in the specific, semiautonomous context of the art field. From the analysis of these events and instances, conclusions can be drawn about the structures and general status of anonymity in contemporary society.

The resulting projects will be presented in an exhibition, scheduled to take place in major art venues in 2018.