Simon Denny & Linda Kantchev

Blockchain Visionaries - BB9 2016


 How nations and corporations visualize and brand themselves has long been an interest for Simon Denny. Blockchain Visionariesshowcases three real companies—Ethereum, 21 Inc, and Digital Asset Holdings—at the forefront of digital monetary platforms and the application of the blockchain, a decentralized transaction database technology that is the backbone of the denationalized cryptocurrency BitCoin. Denny has created a trade-fair-like information booth and a postage stamp for each company, which individually embody a future direction in blockchain technology. Through the stamp, a waning technology and a literal image-turned currency, Denny foregrounds these three startups as enacting supranational economic schemes. Created with Linda Kantchev, a postage stamp designer born in the former East, the stamps’ illustrative potential is instrumentalized to convey each company’s market ambition and implied systemic proposition for the future. Denny’s installation reaps dramatic force through its location in the vast conference room of a building that was formerly the site of the East German Staatsrat(State Council) and is now a management school. Still in its original condition, the room is dominated by a large metal mural rendered in the official style of Socialist Realism and bearing the smokestacks of a bygone industrial age—accompanied by a dove of peace, a monument to the hope technology can bring.

Daniel Keller on alt-right memes

"The simple act of thinking about and considering such taboo and offensive ideas serves to normalize them. Debating against them only stretches the “Overton Window” of acceptable discourse. Attempts to suppress or publically denounce them tend to lead to a counterproductive “Streisand Effect”, where the memes gain a greater reach than ever before. "


Hyperindividualism (Adam Curtis)

The hyperindividualism of our age is not going to be going back into the bottle. You’ve got to square the circle. You’ve got to let people still feel they’re independent individuals, yet they are giving themselves up to something that is awesome, greater, and more powerful that carries them into the future beyond their own existence. That’s what people are yearning for.


“Let the people see what I’ve seen.”

Whitney Biennial curators, Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks, sent the following statement to artnet News:

The 2017 Whitney Biennial brings to light many facets of the human experience, including conditions that are painful or difficult to confront such as violence, racism, and death. Many artists in the exhibition push in on these issues, seeking empathetic connections in an especially divisive time. Dana Schutz’s painting, Open Casket (2016), is an unsettling image that speaks to the long-standing violence that has been inflicted upon African Americans. For many African Americans in particular, this image has tremendous emotional resonance. By exhibiting the painting we wanted to acknowledge the importance of this extremely consequential and solemn image in American and African American history and the history of race relations in this country. As curators of this exhibition we believe in providing a museum platform for artists to explore these critical issues.