Web Residents »Rigged Systems«

Projects that playfully rethink the political power balance, imagine new ways of circumventing censorship, or build alternative networks are among the four proposals selected by curator Jonas Lund for the web residencies by Solitude & ZKM.

Juror's Statement by Jonas Lund — Jul 22, 2019

The Web Residencies’ seventh call, »Rigged Systems«, curated by Jonas Lund, inspired artists, designers, and activists from around the globe to submit their projects. Projects that playfully rethink the political power balance, imagine new ways of circumventing censorship, or build alternative networks to corporate-owned infrastructures are among the four selected submissions for the web residencies by Solitude & ZKM. Read Jonas Lund’s juror’s statement and learn more about the proposals by artists and artist teams Agnes Cameron and Gary Zhexi Zhang, DISNOVATION.ORG, Sam Lavigne, and Xiaowei Wang, who will work on their projects for the coming four weeks.

The Rigged Systems open call asked for applications that aim to subvert the power structures in contemporary network systems and that wish to reclaim a sense of agency within the systems where it feels like there is none left.

Judging from the response and number of applications it’s evident that there is a tremendous desire to act, to subvert and reclaim agency, and that the time to do so is now. Submissions that seriously or playfully work toward rethinking the political power balance; submissions that imagine new ways of circumventing censorship, and others that build alternative networks to the corporate owned infrastructure. The quality, diversity, and range of the 168 applications made selecting four very challenging, and one can argue, that zero-sum open calls are in themselves part of a Rigged System and I recognize this conundrum. Nevertheless, in this scenario and in order of fairness, the rules have been honored. I wish there were enough resources to award all of the sixteen shortlisted projects with full residencies. (Do check them out below, they are great).

The four selected projects all look at the idea of rigged systems from different points of view and with different projected outcomes, from turning the profiling and modelling tools back toward the platforms that enable them, to circumventing censorship by cleverly working with language translations, to rethinking the power of hierarchical sorting (think ranking systems), to expanding and building localized alliterative network infrastructure in exposed areas. Together they all aim to rethink systems and alter the rules in which they govern, to hijack and subvert existing dogmas and offer up new ways of seeing the structures.

I’m very excited to see these projects come to fruition.

»Permaculture Networks« by Agnes Cameron & Gary Zhexi Zhang

Read the proposal here.

Zhexi Zhang, Cameron, »Permaculture Network«, 2019


Read the proposal here.


»Other Orders« by Sam Lavigne

Read the proposal here.

Sam Lavinge, »Other Orders«, 2019, Rigged Systems

»The Future of Memory« by Xiaowei Wang

Read the proposal here.

Xiaowei Wang, »The Future of Memory«, 2019, Rigged Systems

Jonas Lund

Jonas Lund (1984, Sweden) creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites and performances that critically reflect on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control. His artistic practice involves creating systems and setting up parameters that oftentimes require engagement from the viewer. This results in game-like artworks where tasks are executed according to algorithms or a set of rules. Through his works, Lund investigates the latest issues generated by the increasing digitalisation of contemporary society like authorship, participation and authority. At the same time, he questions the mechanisms of the art world; he challenges the production process, authoritative power and art market practices.

Lund earned an MA at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (2013) and a BFA at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (2009). He has had solo exhibitions at The Photographers’ Gallery (2019), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2016), Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2016, 2015, 2014), Växjö Konsthall Sweden (2016), Boetzelaer|Nispen, Amsterdam (2014), Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (2013), New Museum, New York (2012), and has had work included in numerous group exhibitions including at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Witte De With, Rotterdam, Kindl – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. His work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, Kunstforum, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Metropolis M, Artslant, Rhizome, Huffington Post, Furtherfield, Wired and more.

Agnes Cameron & Gary Zhexi Zhang

Gary Zhexi Zhang and Agnes Cameron make work about ecology, simulation and the social dimensions of computing systems.


DISNOVATION.ORG is a working group at the intersection of contemporary art, research and hacking. They develop situations of disruption, speculation and debate that question dominant techno-positivist ideologies, and stimulate post-growth narratives. They edited The Pirate Book an anthology on media piracy. They are currently research fellows at the University of California, Irvine.

Sam Lavigne

Sam Lavigne is an artist and educator whose work deals with data, surveillance, cops, natural language processing, and automation.


Xiaowei Wang

Xiaowei Wang is a Chinese-American artist and engineer based between the San Francisco Bay Area and Guangzhou. Their work focuses on the centrality of language, landscape and ecology in a digital world. They are currently researching Sinofuturism, technology use in rural China, and working on a set of speculative recipes that imagine a non-Western locus of technology.

Privat: Inga Seidler

Inga Seidler is a curator, cultural producer, and researcher based in Berlin. She is the head of the Digital Solitude program.
Her work addresses the issues and questions of making art with, or in response to, emerging technologies. It also considers the possible constellations of bodies, objects, and environments that move between the physical and digitals realms.
She holds a masters degree from the Cultures of the Curatorial postgraduate study program at the Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst) in Leipzig, and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg. Prior to her position at Solitude, Inga Seidler was a curator and producer at the transmediale festival for art and digital culture (2013–19).

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