Networked Curating

Christopher Kulendran Thomas and Annika Kuhlmann

  • Christopher Kulendran Thomas_Being Human_2019_3

    Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Being Human (2019) in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann. HD projection on glass, aluminium and steel. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.

  • Christopher Kulendran Thomas_Being Human_2019

    Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Being Human (2019) in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann. HD projection on glass, aluminium and steel. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.

  • Christopher Kulendran Thomas_Being Human_2019_2

    Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Being Human (2019) in collaboration with Annika Kuhlmann. HD projection on glass, aluminium and steel. Photo: Andrea Rossetti.

Past Event


This event was on Thurs 29 Oct, 5pm

Talk

The COVID-19 pandemic has been yet another turning point in the history of the internet and our reliance upon it. Galleries and arts institutions are looking anew at how we might use technology for expanded curatorial methodologies. This screening and discussion with the artists takes Christopher Kulendran Thomas and Annika Kuhlmann’s film installation ‘Being Human’ (2019) as a launch point to discuss the networked image and experimental modes of practice. 

Shot in Sri Lanka, the film traverses documentary and fiction. It features Kulendran Thomas’ uncle (a family hero who founded the Centre for Human Rights in Tamil Eelam), as well as various guests of the Colombo Art Biennale – a well-known painter, a famous pop star and a young Tamil artist (some of them algorithmically synthesized characters) – who take the viewer on an elliptical journey around the island, from the fallout of the Sri Lankan Civil War to the biennale founded in its aftermath.  

Examining the idea of creativity as a humanist fiction, the film itself is made through multiple systematic and machinic processes, with characters generated using neural networks running on purpose-built computers. Exploring the interrelationship between contemporary art and human rights in an era of globally uneven technological acceleration, Being Human reflects upon issues of individual authenticity, collective sovereignty and what it means to be ‘human’ when machines are able to simulate human understanding ever more convincingly. 

In partnership with Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University, to coincide with the launch of the collaborative MA Curating Art and Public Programmes with Whitechapel Gallery. 

About Christopher Kulendran Thomas

Christopher Kulendran Thomas is an artist whose work manipulates some of the structural processes by which art produces reality. Recent solo exhibitions include Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2019), Institute for Modern Art, Brisbane (2019), Spike Island, Bristol (2019) and Tensta konsthall, Stockholm (2017). Kulendran Thomas’ work has been included in the 7th Bi-City Biennale, Shenzhen (2017); the 11th Gwangju Biennale; the 9th Berlin Biennale; and the 3rd Dhaka Art Summit (all 2016). Recent exhibitions include Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI, de Young Museum San Francisco (2020), Time, Forward!, V–A–C Zattere for the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), Alternatives for LivingKunstmuseen Krefeld (2019), I was raised on the internet, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2018); moving is in every direction, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2017), Bread and Roses, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2016), Co-Workers: Network As ArtistMusée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2015) and Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making, Tate Liverpool (2013). Upcoming solo exhibitions include ICA, London (2021), and V–A–C Foundation, Moscow (2021).

About Annika Kuhlmann

Annika Kuhlmann is a Berlin based curator. Together with the artist Christopher Kulendran Thomas she has been conceiving of the art and research project New Eelam with presentations for the 9th Berlin Biennale, the 11th Gwangju Biennale, Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für GegenwartTensta konsthall (Stockholm), Spike Island (Bristol), the Institute for Modern Art (Brisbane), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the V–A–C Foundation (Venice) amongst others. She has worked on exhibitions at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), BFI Miami, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (Hamburg) and Gropius Bau (Berlin). She’s currently Executive Director at Berlin’s Schinkel Pavillon. 

Access Information

The Whitechapel Gallery is committed to making all of our events as accessible as possible for every audience member. Please contact publicprogrammes@whitechapelgallery.org if you would like to discuss a particular request and we will gladly discuss with you the best way to accommodate it.  Further information about access at the Gallery is available here.

About This Event 

  • This event takes place online only 
  • You can access this event for free through this web page and also on the Whitechapel Gallery’s YouTube Channel, here. 
  • This event is suitable for those over the age of 16 
  • We are unable to provide British Sign Language interpretation for this event 
  • We are unable to provide live closed captioning or CART for this event.  
  • As the event is scheduled for a total of one hour, we will not take a rest break. 
  • As the event is being live streamed, you can access it from your home if you have access to an internet connection 
  • We do not yet know if we will be able to make the recording available afterwards. 

This information will be updated where required.