Review of UBERMORGEN.COM – MEDIA HACKING VS. CONCEPTUAL ART.
By Rob Myers.
Review of the new glossy hardback publication ‘UBERMORGEN.COM – MEDIA HACKING VS. CONCEPTUAL ART’ spanning a decade of work by the dynamic duo Ubermorgen.com (Hans Bernhard and lizvlx). A comprehensive and informative study of their conceptual media hacking adventures, including images, essays and interviews by Inke Arns, Florian Cramer, Raffael Dorig, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Peter Weibel and others. Edited by Alessandro Ludovico of Neural.it, designed by Bernhard Faiss.
The word ‘Ubermorgen’ means both ‘the day after tomorrow’ and ‘the ultimate day’ in German. Bernhard was previously part of the controversial media art collective Etoy. Hans Bernhard and lizvlx’s collaboration began in 1999 and although Ubermorgen share etoy’s strong corporate aesthetics and mischievous media savvy, the book shows that they have progressed from Etoy’s ironic self-promotion into a force that successfully appropriates conditions of the traditional art world – whilst maintaining a critical edge.
“All net artists eventually find that you can’t take net art into the gallery untransformed any more than you can take mail art or land art into the gallery untransformed. It’s fascinating to see (and read about) the solutions Ubermorgen find to the technical problems of producing and making work that addresses their ideological and personal concerns. As well as kiosk-style installations of computers and incongruous installations of the dated information technology of overhead projectors, Ubermorgen have adopted the strategy of producing prints and paintings of the imagery of their online projects. This rises to the challenge of the gallery without compromising the work on the web and it also protects against bitrot.”