In a world in which daily activity is monitored through electronic technologies marked by networked surveillance systems, biometric scanning and profiling mechanisms, people are required to surrender access to their personal spheres of privacy and movement.
'What is rejected and refused in the symbolic order, reappears in reality. Specters, ghosts and phantoms haunt the world.' (Peter Weibel on Jacques Lacan)
Under the guise of community safety and anti-terror security a demand for ultimate transparency is made. Suspense is created, in which a perpetual sense of fear of an invisible 'other' form a pre-emptive reaction to potential acts or events which may never occur. Increasingly urban space becomes a phobic zone, a horror-scape, in which an explosive mix of aggression and desire on something or against someone results in an irrational need to remove one's self from the public sphere, a desire for the incognito.
Inviting Horror focusses on the body as 'placeholder' of perception and physical memory in our media influenced conscience. How long can the body sustain a heightened level of alertness? What does constant tension do to our physical system and how does this process influence our contact with other persons? Such vigilance - the constant expectation of horror - can cause traumatic senses of bodily awareness, paranoia and phobias. Fear is externalized, and placed into our perception of reality; haunting specters such as 'stalkers' and 'terrorists' emerge.
How then, and why, to invite horror?
To invite horror, offer it a safe haven within our personal realms of well being and spheres of desire, implies both an obvious impossibility and a potential to counter the loss of control of our public domain. By inviting horror we begin to develop mechanisms for regaining the intended loss of the sense of ease, safety, movement and security of our environment ... but on our own terms. Using the movie related notion of horror, we search artistic strategies and scenarios in which the transition from desire and fear to a social phobia can be (re)constructed as a real-time and real-space action occurring live in the public sphere. Lancel and Maat have invited a group of artists and researchers whose work centers on notions of fear, the body and perception to engage a broader public audience to discuss and explore these issues to bring horror 'inside' from within the public sphere.
Karen Lancel & Hermen Maat, Inviting Horror artists, Amsterdam
Marc de Kesel, Lacanian philosphy researcher, Jaan van Eyck Academie Maastricht
Jordan Crandall, artist and media theorist, San Diego
Jill Magid, artist, live online from New York
Dennis del Favero, artist, live online from Sydney, Australia
Inviting Horror: city mobile monument
In conjunction with TANGENT_FEAR Rotterdam citizens are invited to upload short statements on urban experience to be exposed on the running text display of the KPN Communication Tower. The city mobile monument forms part of Inviting Horror's mobile urban memory archive which travels through and connects numerous urban centres worldwide. To upload a statement, please send a mail with your short text to firstname.lastname@example.org
KPN Telecommunication Company / Erasmus Bridge Tower; Rotterdam from February 25 till March 5, 2006.
Photo by artists Karen Lancel & Hermen Maat, Photoseries Tangent_Fear, artistic research on interactive media art in a changing social ecology and surveillance society. Portrait of Matt Klaassen, location: Schiphol Airport.
Archived event stream at: