Suzanne Treister: HEXEN 2.0

21. April 2012 - 22. July 2012 Dortmunder U, Level 3

Opening: Friday April 20th, 2012, 18:30

Curated by Inke Arns (HMKV, Dortmund)

HEXEN 2.0 is the sequel to HEXEN 2039 which imagined new technologies for psychological warfare through investigating links between the occult and the military in relation to histories of witchcraft, the US film industry, British Intelligence agencies, Soviet brainwashing and behaviour control experiments of the U.S. Army.

HEXEN 2.0 delves deeper into the histories of scientific research behind government programmes of mass control, investigating parallel histories of countercultural and grass roots movements. HEXEN 2.0 charts, within a framework of post-WWII U.S. governmental and military imperatives, the coming together of diverse scientific and social sciences through the development of cybernetics, the history of the internet, the rise of Web 2.0 and mass intelligence gathering, and the implications for the future of new systems of societal manipulation towards a control society.

HEXEN 2.0 specifically investigates the participants of the seminal Macy Conferences (1946-1953), whose primary goal was to set the foundations for a general science of the workings of the human mind. The project simultaneously looks at critics of technological society such as Theodore Kaczynski/The Unabomber, the claims of Anarcho-Primitivism and Post Leftism, Technogaianism and Transhumanism and traces precursory ideas of Thoreau, Heidegger, Adorno and others in relation to visions of utopic/dystopic futures from science-fiction literature and film.

Based on actual events, people, histories and scientific projections of the future, and consisting of alchemical diagrams, a Tarot deck, photo-text works, a video and a website, HEXEN 2.0 takes us to a hypnotic, mesmerising space of early technological fantasy to hallucinate feedback from the past from where one may imagine and construct possible alternative futures.

The HEXEN 2.0 book and separately available Tarot deck were released in March 2012 by Black Dog Publishing. Both are available in the exhibition at HMKV.

Film screenings in the context of HEXEN 2.0

On the occasion of Suzanne Treister's exhibition, HMKV cooperates with the RWE Forum | U Cinema. We will be showing four films from May 3rd, 2012:

eXistenZ (by David Cronenberg, 3rd and 4th May, 2012),
Pi (by Darren Aronofsky, 24th and 27th May, 2012),
Alphaville (by Jean-Luc Godard, 14th and 15th June, 2012) and
A Journey into the Mind of P. (by Fosco & Donatello Dubini, 21st and 24th June, 2012)

These four films illustrate in various ways the topics which are developed by Suzanne Treister in her body of work, describing the origin, reception, chances and risks of networked digital information technologies.

HEXEN 2.0 tour venues:

Science Museum, London, UK
7 March - 1 May 2012

WORK, London (selected works), UK
16 March - 12 May 2012

Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Dortmund, Germany
21 April - 22 July 2012

D21 Kunstraum Leipzig, Germany
11 July - 21 August 2012

P.P.O.W., New York, USA
January - February 2013

Funders and Partners

The exhibition Suzanne Treister: "HEXEN 2.0" is generously supported by:
British Council

The production of Suzanne Treister’s "HEXEN 2.0" has been supported by:
Arts Council England

Main funders of HMKV:
Kulturbüro Stadt Dortmund
Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes NRW
Sparkasse Dortmund

Media partner:
ARTE Creative -

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