Gretta Louw: Controlling_Connectivity
Performance and exhibition

Online performance: 2-12 November, 2011

Opening: 25 November, 2011, 8PM
Exhibition: 26 November, 2011 - 15 January, 2012
(winter break: 19 December, 2011 - 5 January, 2012)
Fri - Sun 2-6PM and by appointment

14 January, 2012 3.30PM: Tour of the exhibition and Artists' talk with Gretta Louw
+ plan b (Sophia New & Daniel Belasco Rogers) and Igor Štromajer; moderation: Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz (curators).

In many ways participation in the elaborate communication networks that now underlie social interaction is no longer a matter of choice, since failure to participate is, in many demographics, akin to social withdrawal. Our decision to connect with and perform within online networks also plays an increasingly large role in determining professional success. The question, however, is what are the other effects of our growing reliance on online communication and community on our lives, culture, and society?

With the opportunity for connectivity and limitless access to information, comes the obligation to be increasingly available to receive and transmit; to be perpetually connected. The consequent erosion of true leisure time, the blurring of the traditional professional / personal, public / private dichotomies, and an information overload are creating hitherto unknown levels of psychological pressure.

Controlling_Connectivity uses the pervasiveness of internet-based social networking, as well asthe obligation and opportunity for constant connection with these platforms as a paradigm for a severe and systematic disruption of normal, socially accepted patterns of life and interpersonal interaction during a self-documented performance. Taking to its natural extreme the notion that new technologies are increasingly dictating our social interaction, professional life, and have a far reaching effect on many other aspects of daily life, Gretta Louw will complete a durational performance, living in the gallery space in complete isolation except for contact through various social networking sites and the internet.

For 10 days the artist will be available 24 hr/day for discussions, emails, comments, or interviews of both private and professional nature for any internet user wishing to take part in the project. All necessary supplies will be stored within the gallery and the windows will be blacked out to ensure that the environment is not normalised by natural light or social rhythms outside, but defined purely by the internet connection to external participants. A number of planned online events (the artist's 30th birthday, live talks with partners in New York, interviews with press) will be scheduled at intervals throughout the performance, with these social and professional pressures becoming progressively more difficult to fulfill as sleep deprivation and isolation take effect.

During the performance the artist will create and install the subsequent exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin, with the aim of examining how extreme internet use and our reliance on online connectivity could affect psychological functioning; our ability to censor ourselves and continue to behave in a socially acceptable and comprehensible way under the constant pressure of inexorably increasing connectivity.

Selected events during the performance (CET= Berlin time):

02.11. 2011 - 12-13 hrs GMT (13-14 CET): google + hang out to mark the start of the performance.
03.11. 2011 - 19-21 hrs, CET: 30th birthday party online (google + hangout, twitter, facebook, skype)
07.11. 2011 - 22 hrs, CET online interview at WerkStadt, Berlin
10.11. 2011 - 21.30-23 hrs (3.30-5 CET): live skype chat with Flux Factory's monthly salon evening event, Flux Thursday.
11.11. 2011 - 21-22 hrs, CET online talk at c-base, Berlin (google+ hangout)
11.11. 2011 - 22.30 hrs (4.30 CET): live discussion with Panoply Lab during their Conference of Work: Operations and Participations series on performance art.
12.11.2011 - 11-12 hrs Greenwich mean time(12-13 CET): google + hang out to mark the end of the performance.

Selected online venues:
skype: controlling_connectivity



Controlling_Connectivity Day 1 from Gretta Louw on Vimeo.



Controlling_Connectivity: Collaborative Online Performance at Flux Factory from Gretta Louw on Vimeo.



With the generous support of: