Testing the Surface

A symposium with Lennaart van Oldenborgh, Chris Horrocks, Arjen Mulder and Debra Solomon [1999]
chris horrocks

Chris Horrocks lectures on the Matrix

Testing the surface of the real requires playing with its representations and images. Pliable, reflective, elastic and permeable, the real has been and continues to be fertile ground for cultural and popular forms of production. As its agents and manipulators, we shape reality through our reception, interpretation and pure invention. But how far can it be stretched and pulled before something new or other is constituted? Testing the Surface was a lecture series examining just how much fun it can be to stretch the real to its very limits.

Speakers and Artists
Chris Horrocks is Senior Lecturer in Art History at Kingston University, Surrey. He has published several books on cultural theory, including Postmodern Encounters: Baudrillard and the Millennium, and Marshall McLuhan and Virtuality. His forthcoming publications for Berghahn books include a critique of psychoanalytic readings of Marcel Duchamp’s late work and an essay on postmodern theory, science and cultural relativism. He is currently researching a book on art, memory and identity.
Arjen Mulder is a Dutch essay writer and media theorist based in Amsterdam who has written books and articles on contemporary media culture. Recently, in collaboration with Maaike Post, he published Book for the Electronic Arts (V2_Organisation), a collection of essays and interviews on the cultural, philosophical and technical context of interactive and machine art. He has also published The Photographic Enjoyment (Het fotografisch genoegen) which addresses the radical differences between analogue and digital photography.
Lennaart van Oldenborgh is a Dutch artist living in London. His video works have been screened at a variety of venues in Germany, Belgium and the United States. Alongside his individual practice, he has curated video programmes and published articles in magazines such as Variant and Metropolis M. Most recently he has curated an exhibition for Smart Project Space in Amsterdam and is working on a new multi-channel video installation. Besides these activities, he freelances for the media industry.
Debra Solomon is an artist whose work traverses a wide range of media and worlds. From the analogue, to the digital, to the occasionally galactic, establishing connective networks is key to her practice. Her latest installation, the artist-astronaut project not only constructed a virtual environment from a physical one, but a narrative thread on which participants created a future scenario concerning artists becoming astronauts. Most recently she has formed a group called Art Race In Space that seeks to set up a structural basis for collaboration between the space agencies and industry.

debra solomonDebra Solomon preparing for her presentation