Nestor Siré & Steffen Köhn
Nestor Siré's artistic practice intervenes directly in specific contexts in order to analyse social and cultural phenomena. His artistic methodology consists in expanding social structures in such a way as to find more effective ways through which art can intervene in the complex relationships between official and informal networks. More specifically, the idiosyncrasies of digital culture in the Cuban context; focuses on unofficial methods for circulating information and goods, such as alternative forms of economic production, and phenomena resulting from social creativity.
His works have been shown in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Havana), Queens Museum (New York), Rhizome (New York), New Museum (New York), Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Mexico City), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santa Fe (Argentina), among other places. He has participated in events such as the Manifesta 13 Biennial (France), Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), Curitiba Biennial (Brazil), the Havana Biennial (Cuba) and the Asunción International Biennale (Paraguay), the Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Cuba and the Oberhausen International Festival of Short Film (Germany).
Steffen Köhn is a filmmaker, anthropologist and video artist who uses ethnography to understand contemporary sociotechnical landscapes. For his video- and installation works he engages in local collaborations with gig workers, software developers, or science fiction writers to explore viable alternatives to current distributions of technological access and arrangements of power.
His works have been shown at the Academy of the Arts Berlin, Kunsthaus Graz, Vienna Art Week, Hong Gah Museum Taipei, Lulea Biennial, and the ethnographic museums of Copenhagen and Dresden. His films have been screened (among others) at the Berlinale, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the Word Film Festival Montreal.
Basic Necessities shows the increasing digitisation of the informal economy in Cuba, exposing the images and interactions between Cubans buying and selling goods through online chat groups. The scarcity of essential goods worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, led tens of thousands of Cubans to use platforms such as Telegram in order to access everyday products. This online extension of the work invites the visitors to search through products that are being shared live on hundreds of Telegram channels.