Binary Art Group
«Art should dull disruption and disrupt dullness»
Along with our artistic action, ever since we started walking this path together what became immediately clear was our inner need for sharing, for giving to others and to society. Beyond the stereotypes of presenting a body of work in an exhibition space and the egocentric inclination toward recognition, one day we found ourselves creating artistic actions on bridges in Spain, taking part in marches to the French-Spanish border, digging ancient graves and making books dealing with justice and integrity and handing them out to museums and libraries around the world, sending out sociopolitical messages through satellites and the internet, making performances and lectures in the Theaters of Nations in Korea for the energy relationship between earth and man, criticizing american politics and the western forms of power taking hold in the east in the Triennale India, posing issues of “human greed” in a container outside the parliament in Strasbourg, recording histories and images of the elderly and immigrants of our neighborhood… And all this articulated as humanly as possible through a language of immediacy and poetry.
In 2000 we establish ARTos, a foundation centered on contemporary art, science and philosophy, functioning as a platform of free thinking and social sculpting. In 2004 we complete its building facilities, which allow us to house its vision and to begin its artistic, scientific and activist action, intervening in various facets of society. In 2006 we create ResArt, a space of alternative and intercultural accommodation, and in 2008 micrARTos in Madrid. In the same year, ARTos is awarded by the University of Cyprus for its contribution to Cypriot culture and society. Somewhere around this time we begin to use the “binary art group”. In 2012 we create “be the change” – a space-generator, a glass showcase that hosts free thinking, at the same time contributing to personal and social change. It is here that the “Bank of Commons” is hosted.
Mapping out the course of all these years, we realize that from 2008 until now both our common and personal projects happen to gradually approximate philosophy, which sees art and science as spaces conducive to creating the conditions that take humanity one step further. Having the deep conviction that each one of our works is a forerunner of the following one, culminating in the “Bank of Commons”, we consider it necessary to mention some of these previous works, or at least make a brief reference to them.
Binary Art Group
Art should dull disruption and disrupt dullness
Binary Code: The language of digital technology (codes made of combinations of the numbers 0 and 1), in other words the relationship between the null and the full. An eternal relationship that remains a timeless reality, even though it has not been researched as much as it should. It is as timeless as ancient tragedy, even as love and death. It is with this intuitive thought, therefore, that we experience, create and live. In essence, the Binary Art Group functions only as a collector of ideas and biographer of our actions, which remain “automatic”, “impulsive” and, in many cases, “extremely focused”, having as their ultimate aim our social and attitudinal change.
Through this group is recorded everything that we as artists want to say (in a different code each time) or everything that we choose to share or offer. At the same time, what gets recorded is the voice of resistance we raise at socio-political developments, believing that inaction feeds the perpetuation of social injustice.
The basic principles of the Binary Art Group are: free thinking, meaning, consistency and self-criticism, with the willingness to induce change and reformation within the contemporary perception of the mundaneness and triviality of life through an ethics of truth which, according to the Marxist/Platonic philosopher Alain Badiou, creates the truth of love, art, science, revolution. A specific ethics of truth and event – an event which leads us to choosing a new way of being, for instance a great scientific discovery, a revolution, a great and absolute love – which threatens the ruling power of the elite (Ethics, A. Badiou, Scripta, 1998).
With this approach, the Binary Art Group creates independent entities and networks (ARTos Foundation, ResArt, microARTos Madrid, Cultural Observatories, festivals, movements, Urban Heroes, etc), and takes part in other groups and networks (on a local and international level), generating and creating, at the same time, individual work.
Our need to illuminate values brings us face to face with a series of philosophical viewpoints, ideas, works. We would therefore like to place next to these our own work in the form of exhibitions, interventions, movements, activist actions and suggestions. Our common ground is an anthropocentric approach, as well as sharing.
With reference to the unpredictable and difficult times we experience daily, we suggest and present philosophical and socio-artistic approaches/positions. A position-opposition that reevaluates and reconfigures everything with the aim of safeguarding the basic and the obvious. One work at a time which forms part of a whole in perpetual evolution: something that sets off a ceaseless call for doubt, reflection, awakening. A call for a different kind of exploration, for another relationship between ME and WE: which in essence is anothing more than the reversion of an M into a W. A mapping of ideas and a resistance which challenge us to see across the very depths of time… the future itself. A social sculpting.
We consider it appropriate to quote previous works because we believe that each work, each idea is a forerunner of the next one, ultimately concluding with the Bank of Commons.
Maria Papacharalambous & Achilleas Kentonis