Announcement: Aksioma on nettime

Wednesday 9th June, 2021 - Bruce Sterling

At Share Festival we are quite the fans of the time-honored “nettime” email list.  They help us learn what is going on in Ljubljana.

Dear friends,

I kindly invite you to follow the MemesteticA programme, which is running until 2 July 2021 in Ljubljana and online:


Tactics & Practice #11


19 MAY–2 JUL 2021

A month-long conference on the relationship between visual art and memes the hot core of the fresh aesthetics of the online ecosystem and the mother tongue of internet subcultures. Curated by Valentina Tanni.


Valentina Tanni: MemesteticA (more)
Clusterduck: The Detective Wall Guide (more)

Primož Krašovec: Smetnjak vs. Ljubljana (Coming soon)



Clusterduck: Meme Manifesto, 19 MAY—4 JUN 2021 (more, opening)

Smetnjak: Everything Must Go, 9 JUN—2 JUL 2021 (more)


Series of talks (more)

Valentina Tanni / Book presentation (video)

Marc Tuters (video)

Joshua Citarella (video)

Smetnjak / 9 JUN 2021 at 5pm (streaming)

Clusterduck / 16 JUN 2021 at 5pm (streaming)

Eva & Franco Mattes / 23 JUN 2021 at 5pm (streaming)

In 1995, less than one percent of the world’s population had access to the Internet. Today, that number exceeds 60 percent, representing a staggering 4.5 billion people. It is a phenomenon that has brought all the levers of culture management into crisis and, in most cases, caused the collapse of the economic models associated with it. The field of visual arts also had radical consequences: the century-old crisis of the fundamental values of the art system, ie. uniqueness and originality, has just reached its peak, and the rise of the World Wide Web has brought a new destabilizing factor – the untamed emergence of amateur creativity. Internet memes, in all their various forms and remixes, have become the core of this new online ecosystem, and their impact has quickly transcended the boundaries of the web.

Through the Tactics&Practice program, Aksioma has been mirroring and researching current social debates for more than a decade. The MemesteticAconference represents the eleventh edition, focusing on memes, online subcultures and a new conception of art in the age of the Internet. Its starting point is the book of the same name by the Italian art historian Valentina Tanni, which was also translated to Slovenian as part of the program.

MemesteticA explores memes in relation to visual art in a month-long program and in a variety of formats. In an attempt to map the spontaneous and untamed nature of Internet images of “wild conceptualism”, it studies the“memesthetics” of digital culture through a combination of activities of an aesthetic and discursive and individual and participatory nature.

The program extends of two solo exhibitions of two art collectives that have been delving into memes and communication potential of meme symbology for years. The interdisciplinary collective Clusterduck, whose exhibition kicked off the conference in May, explores the processes and actors behind the creation of Internet-based content. As part of Memestetica, the collective presented the evolving transmedia project Meme Manifesto, which includes a solo exhibition and two interactive workshops, as well as the book novelty The Detective Wall Guide. The Slovenian anonymous collective Smetnjak has been combining memes with theory and art for more than a decade, and within Memestetica it delves into the (non) political nature of memes in the exhibition Everything Must Go and in a new essay by Primož Krašovec, Smetnjak vs. Ljubljana: The Singularity of Humour and Politics Beyond Elections.

The discursive part of the program takes the form of short discussions with the curator Valentina Tanni and well-known artists and theorists who research meme aesthetics and digital culture. Tanni opened the series of talks with the presentation of the book MemesteticA, and the following weekly streams host names such as the aforementioned Clusterduck and Smetnjak, professor of Media studies Marc Tuters, who discusses the connection between “deep vernacular web” and far-right political groups, artist Joshua Citarella who dissects the aesthetics of Generation Z memes, and the artistic duo Eva & Franco Mattes, pioneers of the movement, who study the ethical and political issues arising from the beginning of the internet.


As an “Easter egg”, hidden in the conference program is the Internet black market Internet Yami-Ichi, where at the end of May several local and international creators sold their Internet-related products in an attempt to recall the internet as a space of ‘freedom’ – and further blur borders between the online and offline.


Production : Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2021

Coproduction: Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, Ljubljana

The Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana

Partners: IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture], Utrecht; konS – Platform for Contemporary Investigative Arts

Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the Municipality of Ljubljana and the Italian Cultural Institute, Ljubljana



Marcela Okretič

Aksioma | Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana

Jakopičeva 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Aksioma | Project Space

Komenskega 18, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

tel.: + 386 – (0)590 54360

gsm: + 386 – (0)41 – 250830


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