OPENING RECEPTION: 15 May 2008, 8 pm
EXHIBITION DURATION: 16 May – 22 June 2008
HOSTING INSTITUTION: Mala galerija – Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern
Art, Ljubljana
LOCATION: Slovenska cesta 35, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
CURATORS: Birgit Rinagl, Franz Thalmair / CONT3XT.NET


Mary-Anne Breeze (mez)
Christina Goestl,
Karl Heinz Jeron, Valie Djordjevic
carlos katastrofsky
Joerg Piringer
Marek Walczak, Martin Wattenberg

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Besides general information and documentation about YOU OWN ME NOW UNTIL YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. the website of the exhibition includes the possibility to extend the concept as well as the list of selected works of art. Just go to, enter a link of your own choice plus short link-description and submit your preferred work of art. Thank you for your participation!

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Speech and the faculty of meta-reflection about one’s language are inherent characteristics of human beings. All projects shown in the exhibition YOU OWN ME NOW UNTIL YOU FORGET ABOUT ME. are originally Internet-based artworks. The main common ground is their starting point in the exploration of our language with its arbitrary systems and rules, its corresponding functions within society, as well as with its absurdities and restrictions for the individual. Rather than to focus on the isolated – literary/literally – artwork, the exhibition highlights general artistic tendencies leading to a discursive process, which originates from the Internet and finds its way back to the “virtualities of our real life”.

According to Ferdinand de Saussure’s theses, human language can be divided into three fundamental aspects: the biological preconditions for speaking (langage), the fixed system of rules and signs (langue) and the act of speaking itself (parole). The supposition that the language system – thought as a collective institution of norms – and the speech act – thought as an individual, coherent and meaningful utterance – are linked reciprocally and that there is no backflow into the system without speaking, it becomes clear that human language withdraws itself from an immediate observation. Language can only be examined in the course of the reconstruction of the process of its appearance, that is, its articulation. Considering this point of view of our communication system, the question arises if, accordingly, language is an exclusively virtual product, the existence of which begins and ends with its realisation.

In parallel, digital artworks are predetermined by the binary (linguistic) code, but do not become “real” (commonly comprehensible) until the code is transformed into text, image, and/or sound (by opening the data file and executing the commands). Both language and digital artworks are based on processes, transformations, and a continuous fluidity. The creation of digital artworks is built upon the active participation of the user just like the existence of language is built upon a speaking person. Hence, word and image are no longer integer parts of the artwork, or langue and langage (as thought by Saussure) are no longer part of parole. The individual elements of both are entangled in a performative act making interpretation obsolete. The open work manifests itself by intermediation and is created individually through every new reception. But what happens if the user closes the data file, or if the speaking person stops talking?

“In the end there is nothing of an object here, just a process, a set of rules that leads you to the point of questioning unicity, ownership, and the object-like nature of digital art works and what you can own is nothing more than the memory of it.”