Founded in 1995 by lizvlx and Hans Bernhard.
'If art and art production politicizes itself, it becomes political and ceases to be art'
(UBERMORGEN.COM Manifesto, 2009)
UBERMORGEN’s research-based practice is driven by a desire to satisfy their own curiosity, without the constraints of having a defined political agenda or preconceived beliefs. Their open-ended investigations focus on the concept of corporate and governmental authority, power structures, and institutional and individual responsibility. The material they source and sample is eventually used to infiltrate, or hack the net and mass media; even a press release becomes a ’Media-Hack‘, an opportunity to let loose a contentious issue into the world. Once in circulation, it is manipulated and moulded by different agents, constantly evolving and adapting to this journey becoming installations, videos, websites, actions, pixel paintings and photographs, often involving unaware audiences in the process.
The artists’ strategies and actions are reminiscent of 1960s and 1970s conceptual practices, systems and action art, but anchored in present socio-political matters and adapted to the contemporary context through the use of everyday technology. The data and questions that are the seeds of their projects mutate and expand to create multi-layered and flexible narratives that explore what it means to exist at or beyond the margins of today’s societies and systems. Their work deals with current issues such as international rights, piracy, e-commerce, torture, democracy and global communications.
In GWEI – Google Will Eat Itself, (2005) UBERMORGEN created a system of economic auto-cannibalism in which the money made by placing Google text advertisements on a network of hidden websites established by the artists is automatically invested in Google’s shares and held in a common ownership trust. By uncovering the complex mechanisms of mass media and how reality is mediated and structured, a new apparatus of control crystallizes: a shapeless force composed not only of corporate and governmental actors, but also of the individuals that feed into networked systems. This shift in responsibility points to our own agency to affect change and emancipate ourselves from the vicious circle of the processes of subjectification in today’s societies.
Exhibitions include Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel; MUMOK Museum of Modern Art, Vienna; MACBA, Barcelona; ARS Electronica, Linz; SFMOMA, San Francisco; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; New Museum, New York; Malmö Konsthall; NTT ICC Museum, Tokyo; MoCA Taipei; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; WRO Media Art Biennale, Wroclaw and Prague; Sydney and Gwangju biennales. Awards include ARCO Beep, Swiss Art, Ars Electronica and IBM New Media.
Ubermorgen: German for 'the day after tomorrow' and 'super-tomorrow'.