Poemfield No. 2, Stan Vanderbeek, US 1966, 6'
Wundbrand, Kain Karawahn, DE 1991, 8'
Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel, Steven Matheson, US 2000, 26'
Waves, Lisa Tan, SE 2015, 19'
Disobedient Children, Dorine van Meel, DE 2016, 17'
In the 1960s, Stan Vanderbeek worked at Bell Labs (as did Lillian Schwartz, whose early films open the ever elusive film and video program) on a series of experimental computer animations with Ken Knowlton. His Poemfields exploited the possibilities computers offered to produce forms that constantly shift between image and text, code and language, and transfer them to film: concrete poetry of the digital. The artistic process progresses through many different material states, some of which are hidden, thus anticipating the increasing complexity of a world shaped by electronic systems. Using Vanderbeek’s work as a departure point, Material Agents combines stories of the present and future that examine the conditions of an inclusive concept of subjectivity, and at the same time the potentials of political resistance and economic empowerment in neoliberalism.