Cultural Matter: Rafaël Rozendaal

Rafaël Rozendaal is an artist who works with the materiality of the Internet. Many of his artworks are at home on the web, and deal with the context that this specific environment offers. Since 2000, Rozendaal has created dozens of generative websites, characterized by an abstract and colorful visual language. This online edition of Cultural Matter 2019-20, will present a selection of ten websites by Rozendaal that gives an overview of his online practice. Curators Sanneke Huisman and Jan Robert Leegte each selected five websites in which the generative elements and medium specific qualities of Rozendaal’s work coincides with his art historical interest in geometric abstraction and animation. With shapes that are reminiscent of Kazimir Malevich's early abstract experiments and animations that bring to mind Suprematist compositions in motion, some of the websites seem indebted to the early experiments with abstraction of the Russian avant-garde. A number of websites reflect the tension between the manifestation of digital and physical reality, or contain a pronounced degree of suppressed emotion: a work like seems to be about endlessness and loss.

Over the last two years, each Cultural Matter edition contained a physical show and two live events with a conversation and a talk. Due to the situation of the COVID-19 outbreak we have moved the live talks online. Together with Rafaël Rozendaal we looked into a way to exhibit the selection of works online that would present them in a novel way. Based on recent formats in which Rozendaal would, in a physical exhibition space, place multiple monitors showing the same work, emphasizing the procedural uniqueness of every instance of that work, we have rebuilt this model online. The show presents each of the ten works in four parallel instances. In this way, the variation of the works becomes visible, while at the same time, they become a multichannel new work in themselves, each instance playing and relating to the other three.

Cultural Matter is a series of exhibitions and events that provide a platform for the international discussion of digital art and highlights the enduring expressive power of digital artworks: works in which art and technology and the past and the future come together in a way that is as logical as it is groundbreaking.

Also part of this series: JODI, Jonas Lund, Martine Neddam, Thomson & Graighead, Amalia Ulman
Curated by: Sanneke Huisman and Jan Robert Leegte.
Concept online show: Rafaël Rozendaal
Show realisation: Jan Robert Leegte
Cultural Matter is a project by LIMA media art platform

This programme is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts) and Stichting Niemeijer Fonds.