• Horst Ademeit, 4535, 2001, ballpoint pen on Polaroid print, 4 3/8 × 3 1/2". From “Under the Clouds: From Paranoia to the Digital Sublime.”

    “Under the Clouds: From Paranoia to the Digital Sublime”

    Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
    Rua Dom João de Castro, 210
    June 20–September 20, 2015

    Curated by João Ribas

    “No more vapor theory anymore,” wrote media theorist Geert Lovink in 2002. Already, tech-giddy journalists were portraying information networks as fuzzy, weightless, ethereal. Now, of course, “the cloud” is the strategically innocuous marketing term favored by companies eager to store (and harvest) consumer data. Curator João Ribas seeks to strengthen the cloud’s political valence by connecting it back to the mushroom cloud of Cold War paranoia. For the atomic age and the information age alike, the cloud has served as a condensation of technology and affect that conjures the threat, and perhaps comfort, of mankind’s annihilation. Comprising video, film, painting, and sculpture, “Under the Clouds” sets postwar figures such as Stan VanDerBeek, Jean Tinguely, and those radiation-obsessed outsiders Horst Ademeit and Harald Bender alongside artists who currently have their heads in the cloud, among them Cory Arcangel, Melanie Gilligan, Julie Mehretu, and Hito Steyerl.