December 8, 2014

The art collective Chicks on Speed is already considered to be legendary. It was founded by Melissa Logan (USA) and Alex Murray-Leslie (AUS) in Munich (Germany) 1997. Today it consists of seven members. Promoting feminism and nonconformity, Chicks on Speed have over the years, experimented in numerous projects and directions. Initially, the group was formed as a performance art collective but also evolved into music and fine art ensemble. Their worldwide success and cult status was gained throughout the 2000s when the group kicked off a new genre in music called electroclash, which later led to many collaborations with numerous artists and institutions such as Douglas Gordon, Francesca von Habsburg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peaches, Karl Lagerfeld and Peter Weibel of ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany). In recent years, their live art performances were to experience worldwide at major festivals such as the Venice Biennale and in renowned museums such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the MoMA in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Now, the multidisciplinary collective has gathered again for another avant-garde project happening at Berlin’s 401contemporary Gallery.

Chicks on Speed, photo: Tim Levy

Exploring the Data

Today’s data can be chaotic, beautiful and dangerous, but it can also be knotted, unpredictable and slow. The latest exhibition by Chicks on Speed is directly focused on these important particles of life. By combining artistic and scientific experiments, developed at media institutes such as ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany) and Hangar (Barcelona, Spain), the art collective presents new set of data at their show wittily entitled Datastravaganza. It is a mixture of hi-tech/no-tech, slow craft processes, painting, patchwork, rapid prototyping, ‘objectinstruments’, wearable computing and e-textiles that includes ubiquitous and tangible objects visualizing and sonifying data into a giant “data footprint”. As suggested by Mika Satomi and Perner-Wilson in 2000 "Craft materials are more often praised for their aesthetic, decorative and material qualities, than their ability to convey technological concepts". As a support to Satomi and Perner Wilson and opposition to the traditional view of craft, The Objectinstruments (self-made musical instruments of Chicks on Speed) take rare craft techniques and combine them with new digital hardware, as well as analogue technology.

Chicks on Speed, performance, 2014. Photo: Tim Levy


Berlin show by Chicks on Speed will also take on Peter Weibel’s famous song Wir Sind Daten (We are data), and try to create a multi-media, interactive and spontaneous mix of performance, music and visual art combined with the daily presence, exploitation and manipulation of our data. Parallel to the opening of the exhibition Datastravaganza that will open December 7th at the gallery 401contemporary in Berlin, the collective invites all visitors to an “artformance” on December 6th at Radialsystem Berlin, where they will develop the song We are data into the leading theme of the evening. The recorded tuned can be found on the new album called Artstravaganza.

Participating artists and technicians at Datastravaganza are Sam Ferguson (Creativity and Cognition Studios, University of Technology, Sydney), Shannon Williamson / SymbioticA / The Sleep Department / The University of Western Australia, Tina Frank, Ramon Bauer, Pilar Roch, Kathi Glas and Johnny Dogday. The show will stay on view until February 15th, 2015.

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Chicks on Speed - Neuro Sleep Production Symphony, 2014