EPOCH x Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève
January 24 – May 16, 2024

Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme | Alfatih | American Artist | Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley | Sheila Chiamaka Chukwulozie | Formafantasma | Interspecifics | Lawrence Lek | Shuang Li | Lauren Lee McCarthy | Sahej Rahal | Jenna Sutela | Emmanuel Van der Auwera

Curated by Nora N. Khan and Andrea Bellini

[ Enter Virtual Exhibition ]

The major city’s handsome facades are showing deep cracks, irreparable wear. Waterlogged roads buckle and so you avoid them. People are hard found. What was once unthinkable has come to pass. To find energy and power, the wealthiest headed closer to the sky, a ring refining their social experiments in elegant, efficient living (the miles-long wall city in the desert, the sea colonies) to perfection. Energy is pulled, somehow, from some unseen source. You walked through the museum, with a continual sense of the galaxy just beyond – with a visual echo above of the photon ring by which a black hole is potentially known – and a dual sense of the history of the building, rooted in the history of measurement of time. Reports of fires and catastrophic flooding have not abated, but there’s a moment, even in survival mode, for a mental respite. A little treat to keep going.

The museum holds archival footage: of an astronaut who fell from heaven; of speculative computational life forms that shaped the directions synthetic biologists then knew to head in, and of infamous court cases of AI cars gone amok. If you made it here, you’d find meditations on deep learning in warfare, of fool’s journeys through tarot arcana, of all the hopes for what predictive systems could do. The masks still glimmer and activate with concentration and the viewer’s calm; secretly filmed reels show men at rest, speaking to upbeat bureaucracy bots of their exile. We can watch people chase down stock images and ML outputs back to their referents and training data, to reengineer the origin story.

Left alone, the museum could be a game where competing dreams for culture, technology, and the future could be observed at a remove, just in the world that would come to be. The museum could be an externalized mnemonic architecture, a memory palace of shared cultural artifacts. Visiting it alone, you imagined everyone who had stepped through before. The works feel new each time because of the accelerating decay, their intensity attuned over time through absence. Voices of long-disappeared language models swell in the stairwells. Suzanne Treister had once predicted a “Museum of the Algorithm,” perhaps a world in which, as she also imagined, “The Sky Was the Colour of the Death of the Internet.” Mild genetic algorithms gave way to unholy algorithms named after messianic foretelling, spawning concentrated apocalypses of their own.

Over a quick couple of decades, the rich and the visionary had become one and the same. The tech- innovators never had mentioned exactly how much wealth they’d accumulated, but you never had really seen them, and your parents didn’t know them, either. The tech- shamans had become both management and culture bearers at once. Any unruly, weird mysticism was efficiently married to an economic imperative. Throughout the museum, one could feel the tension between the seen and capturable and the unknown, immaterial world. The space was haunted by that stupid, seductive promise that all could be known and so, all could be solved, which we fell for over and over again. Each moving image generation had its own relationship to discipline and yes, each moving image disciplined!

Still, there was the screen in the space you could return to, where you could start again as player one, choose your direction, make a new decision, move towards a new object, re-orient, and then click to arrive, perhaps with another person, at the scene of another screen. Collected here are past models for intelligence made by an intelligent species gone off its rocker. Annals of generations of intelligent machines, competing and replacing one another. From simulation to reality, to reality as an outcome of simulation, and then back again, the human mind had evolved in relation to a host of models.

Each era generated the speculative metaphors that it needed for some other-than-here worth striving towards. In the 90s, the event horizon had been the metaphor for an asymptotic run towards the unknown, the limit. It would be replaced by metaphors for the black hole’s expansion and contraction, and then by metaphors for the cosmic movie camera. With all the effort to capture the image of that thing resisting measurement and location, they just couldn’t turn that lens onto the world around them, to see the underlying models for the banal creep of surveillant control and governance of mind long enough to change the model. They only knew those theories and ideologies by their aftereffects: flooding, and a ring in the sky.

In the building where time was marked, artist-engineers also worked at the edge of the decay. The ring rotates, and we can sit together on the top floor to watch it, and time its turns by the day.

Nora N. Khan

Each edition of the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement adds to the curatorial and conceptual meta-discourse around the moving image, a ubiquitous medium that is ever in flux.

For this new chapter, writer, editor, and curator Nora N. Khan joins Andrea Bellini, director of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, as co-curator to select the artists commissioned to produce original works presented in premiere in Geneva for the occasion.

The artists of the 2024 edition are: Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Alfatih, American Artist, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Sheila Chiamaka Chukwulozie, Formafantasma, Aziz Hazara, Interspecifics, Lawrence Lek, Shuang Li, Diego Marcon, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Sahej Rahal, Jenna Sutela, et Emmanuel Van der Auwera.

The Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024 (BIM’24), titled A Cosmic Movie Camera, will expand on ever-evolving discourse on the moving image in all its forms, particularly in an algorithmic age. “A cosmic movie camera” is a reference to astrophysicists’ recent discovery of the photon ring around a black hole, the “infinite light trap” that may be the key visible way mankind can learn more about the still unknown: the inside of black holes. Each artist presents up a host of visual cues to the unseen, and the unknown, creating holographic figures, television shows running in Butlerian ruins, simulations that take on their own life, libraries of generative, new biological forms, AI courts, games of distributed, ancient intelligence, tragic dramas of artificial beings, labs of future genetic exchange, hallucinated cloud cities, endless projections, and on.

The opening of the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024 (BIM’24) marks the first event of an important year for the institution, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. To mark the event, the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève will propose an initiative around the notion of gift which is integrated as part of a tailored furniture and architectural project commissioned to Peruvian designer Giacomo Castagnola for BIM’24.

In tandem with the physical exhibition of the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024 at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, a 3D virtual world-as-exhibition, presented by EPOCH, will live online far beyond the close of the show on May 16th. This virtual world not only translates the artists’ works into a 3D realm into a new virtual context—the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève imagined in a speculative future—but also models the past, present, and possible futures of the city of Geneva.


Organized & Created by Peter Wu+
Key 3D Modeler: Hings Lim
3D Modeler: Gabriel Wartofsky

Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève:
Director: Andrea Bellini
Curators: Nora N. Khan & Andrea Bellini
Assistant to the director and General Coordinator: Marie Debat, Laura Baude
Administration and Accounting: Bassir Yunus
Head of Exhibitions and Registrar: Maxime Lassagne
Tecnical Coordinator: Antoine Siron
Registrar: Julien Girard
Technical Team: Antoine Chapel, Fabien Duperrex, Mathilde Fenoll, Ted Häring, Luca Kasper, Donat Prekorogja, Bruce Pequignot, Johan Rosset, Emma Schelling, Emilie Triolo
Head of Press, Communication and Special Projects: Priscilla Gonzalez
Press & Communication Assistant: Trinity Mesime Njume-Ebong
Head of Education: Asma Barchiche
Education Programs Assistant: Rita Hajj
Education Department: Eytana Acher, Lisa Anzellini, Stefan Botez, Cindy Cedeño, Ghalas Charara, Sonya Elif, Léa Gallon, Emma Schelling, Fatima Wegmann
Graphic Designer: Robert Huber
Translation & Editing of Texts: Nicolas Garait

The Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève would like to thank everyone that was involved in some way in producing the Biennale de l’Image de Mouvement 2024.

R E C E N T   P R E S S

Clara Che Wei Peh, “The Online Exhibition — Do We Like Them Yet?,” Check-In 2024, Art and Market, Singapore, June 2024: 275-281.

Eleonora Milani, “Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024 at Centre d’Art Contemporain,” Spike Art Magazine, issue 79 (Spring 2024): 136-137.

Marija Olga, “A Cosmic Movie Camera and a Biennial of Moving Images,” Kinoki, March 7, 2024.

OUTLAND in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, “On the Metaverse,” in On NFTs, Taschen, Köln, 2024: 524.

Robert Nashak, “Museum as Interface Metaphor,” Los Angeles Review of Architecture, February 22, 2024.

Doreen Rios, “A Cosmic Movie Camera,” Anti Materia, February 19, 2024.

Alice Bucknell, “A Camera Tracks to Infinity: Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024 at Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva,” Mousse Magazine, February 10, 2024.

Vanessa Murrell, “Saliva Lounges and Pram Playgrounds at the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement 2024,” Elephant, February 1, 2024.