Oct 16 – Dec 4, 2022
12:00 – 18:00
Outernet Arts inaugurates its exhibition programme on October 16th with Dotcom Séance, a major public project by artist Simon Denny. Dotcom Séance is an expansive digital installation reflecting core facets of Denny’s work, which explores technology’s sustained influence upon global cultural and political development, with particular focus on the tech industry. For this project, the artist has selected 21 dotcom era companies declared ‘dead’ in the wake of the ostensible dotcom crash in the early 2000s, with the purpose of “resurrecting” their existence as it stands in a contemporary setting.
In bringing these companies back to life, Denny seeks to re-evaluate their relevance in the context of Web3, motivated by the resurgence in popularity today of many dead companies’ business models. In doing so, Denny highlights the cyclical nature of business strategies within the history of the technology industry.
Each company was given a number of new logos produced by text-to-image Artificial Intelligence, created in collaboration with Cosmographia, thus demonstrating the relationship between Web1 and Web3 through a visual manifestation of these companies’ “ghosts” and respective histories. These new logos, which take the form of NFTs, entitle their holders to register an ENS subdomain and serve as “employees” of the reanimated company. The artist Guile Twardowski also designed a bespoke new logo for each company, drawing on the AI outputs. The project’s first iteration went live through the online gallery Folia.app.
"Dotcom Seance at Outernet Arts brings the ghosts of the internet's commercial past to a spectacular business portal in meatspace, to speculate about where the internet meets the future of culture.” – Simon Denny
Writer and editor Adina Glickstein was commissioned to write a critical exhibition text in response to Dotcom Séance.
DJ, sound artist and composer Excelsior Ruth was commissioned to respond to Dotcom Séance with a new mix entitled 2001 Trance Mix.
A panel discussion about Dotcom Séance takes place on October 13th, 2022, between Simon Denny, Guile Twardowski, María Paula Fernández, Shumon Basar, Daniel Birnbaum and Marco Brambilla, as part of a newly-formed partnership between Frieze London and Outernet Arts. The event will be held in the exhibition space of the Now Building.
About Simon Denny
Simon Denny (*1982, New Zealand; lives and works in Berlin) makes visual art and exhibitions that unpack the social and political implications of the technology industry and the rise of social media, startup culture, blockchains and cryptocurrencies, using a variety of media including installation, sculpture, print and video. Denny has staged significant exhibitions about blockchain and art such as Proof of Stake at Kunstverein in Hamburg (2021) and Proof of Work at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2018). Recent solo exhibitions include K21– Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2020); the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona), Tasmania (2019); OCAT, Shenzhen (2017); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017); Serpentine Galleries, London (2015); MoMA PS1, New York (2015); Kunstverein Munich (2013). He represented New Zealand at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.