The Big Flat Now: Curated by Joerg Koch
We regret to inform you that there is no future. Nor is there a past. Music, art, technology, pop culture, and fashion have evaporated as well. There is only one thing left: THE BIG FLAT NOW caused and driven by circulation. THE BIG FLAT NOW is the infinite plane on which our culture operates today. Its frictionless surface is composed of the obsolete hierarchies that have been melted by the Internet. Its shallowness belies a seamless texture that allows for the rapid collision of ideas. In a fiberoptic landscape, the difference between next door and next continent is a matter of imperceptible nanoseconds. Northern Baroque paintings, Triassic fossils, and yesterday’s op-eds are tabs on the same browser. Raised by a global chorus of voices, our identities are voluntary, malleable, and unprescribed. We are everywhere, anytime, and everyone at once. In THE BIG FLAT NOW, gesture, friendship, and amateurism have replaced jargon, messaging, and expertise. Product design has become a form of DJing, and vice versa. Contemporary art and luxury fashion have come to operate through the same logic, sharing practitioners who glide freely between each field. Film, music, fashion, visual art, and the marketing machines that support them have been compressed into a unified thing called “content”. At the power core of this ecosystem is circulation, which creates the feedback that serves as an endlessly renewable energy source. If in order to unlock the total potential of a networked society, new languages and strategies for cultural production must be formed, this includes a revisioning of how we circulate – our ideas and their material products, our knowledge and our fictions, our data and our codes, our capital and our bodies. Circulation is the dynamic and the fuel of content in the present day. Like the proverbial tree in the forest, it may even be the condition of our creative and cultural existence. The exhibition THE BIG FLAT NOW presents artistic views on this new paradigm. It brings together works by such artists as Rosemarie Trockel and Sterling Ruby, who belong to the canon of contemporary art and share an affinity for fashion; Mike Meiré from Cologne and Jonathan Castro from Peru, both of whom are influential in graphic design and visual arts; and photographer Eli Russell Linnetz, who combines art, music, and fashion and is responsible for the album covers of Kanye West, among others.
The exhibition THE BIG FLAT NOW is part of the Viennese gallery festival Curated_by. Each year, twenty-two galleries present twenty-two exhibitions by twenty-two curators working along a common theme; this year it is “circulation.” Curating THE BIG FLAT NOW at Crone is Joerg Koch, publisher and editor-inchief of 032c, an international print and online magazine for art, culture, and fashion, headquartered in Berlin, which describes itself as a “manual for freedom, research and creativity.” It started its own fashion label, 032c Apparel, in 2016.