Manifesto of the Liberated Pixel

by: Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová

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2017, single-channel video (HD), 6’39’’, sound, color, 16:9 | Courtesy: the artists

Considering the etymological roots of manifest as ‘clearly revealed’ and ‘caught by hand,’ the work revels in contradiction. If at all, a pixel can only become visible in interference patterns. It resembles the utmost other to that of the embodied gesture of grabbing by hand, of embodied perception. Retreating even further from the realm of visibility, clarity, and sense perception, the “liberated pixel” declares: “I vacate my state in favor of a data-free-self, randomness, and anti-representation […] covering the realm between unconsciousness and oblivion.” And yet, this pixel, refusing to be captured in image formats and frames, seeking darkness and retreat, does so through manifesting, through quoting the recognizable format and the modernist figure of the freedom-seeking, revolutionary subject I. But maybe its revolutionary dimension lies exactly in reveling in such contradictions, in the non-dualist oscillations between existence and non-existence, materiality and virtuality, a multi-temporal “extended now.”

It is not the first time that artists Anetta Mona Chişa & Lucia Tkáčová have worked with the format of the manifesto. In their 2008 work Manifesto of Futurist Women (Let’s Conclude), they refer to Valentine de Saint-Point’s 1912 Manifest de la femme futuriste, which was a response to the 1909 foundational futurist manifesto of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. A chain of resonances rippling across a century, but extending the concept of revolution far beyond the solely human realm.

Anetta Mona Chişa and Lucia Tkáčová have been working in collaboration since 2000. They both graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. They work across a variety of media including video, sculpture, and performance, often employing language and game tactics in their work. Their projects have been shown widely in numerous institutions across the world, from Art in General, New York; n.b.k. Berlin; MoCA, Miami; MuMoK, Vienna; The Power Plant, Toronto; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt a.M.; to the Taipei Biennale; Moscow Biennale; and the 54th Venice Biennale; among others.