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August 2017, English
14×24 cm, 120 pages, 46 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-162-8
Stuart Bertolotti-Bailey
Exhibition Research Lab, Liverpool John Moores University
Out of print

Systemics brings together a collection of new writing and curatorial projects that unfolded at Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark, over a two-year period from 2013 to 2014. Contained here are its various parts: details of the four core exhibitions and related events, two commissioned exhibitions, and four essays, together comprising the Systemics series program as a whole. Like any series, it unfolds over time, in associative parts, using descriptive and poetic exhibition titles to develop a cumulative experience.


Borrowing the term systemics from the Austrian cybernetician Heinz von Foerster to point to a new conceptual attitude that embraces the growing complexity of the world, the book extends it to curatorial thinking—as theme for the artistic program and as curatorial method. What results is something close to the understanding of exhibition as a series, to unfold ideas through their temporal relations in their seriality without an ending: like episodes of an ongoing film narrative, words that weave into sentences, chapters that add to a book, or data that is arranged by algorithms to correlate meaning. In this sense, systemics lends itself to thinking about the conditions for making curatorial “events” that are extended over longer durations to connect their constituent elements across space and time—exhibitions, texts, projects—formally and thematically, overlapping and feeding into one another like reflexive feedback loops in a cybernetic system.