Proper and Improper Names

Identity in the Information Society

What aesthetic and political strategies may counter the quest for collecting data and measuring and predicting human behaviour, characteristic of informational capitalism?

This conference addresses this question by bringing together theorists, artists, writers, and performers who have forged concepts, aesthetic codes, and authoring strategies that tend to escape measurement and attribution.

Continuing Aksioma’s long-running investigation into the problems of identity and authorship in the age of networks, Proper and Improper Names explores modes of intervention that cannot be reduced to individual or collective identities. Rather, in shuttling between the I and the We, as well as the multiple dimensions of the self, these experiments exceed state and market attempts at measuring and producing the subject as a stable political, biological, and epistemological unit.

The five guests of the conference are Marco Deseriis (IT), whose book Improper Names: Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous provides the conceptual framework for the event; Gerald Raunig (AT), a philosopher who has recently published Dividuum, a book exploring the genealogy of the term “dividual,” i.e. that which is divisible and combinable according to the principle of similarity; Kristin Sue Lucas (USA), a performance artist who has managed to “refresh” her birth name through a legal procedure in court; Natalie Bookchin (USA), a media artist whose work explores collective identity as performed on social network sites through video installations and online works of art; and the collective Wu Ming (IT), who have created a layered body of literary works, critical texts, screenplays and maps, collaborating under a pseudonymous identity. U.S. artist Ryan Trecartin will be screening the experimental film I-Be Area (2007) in which characters and voices are different manifestations of the same person, showing the fragmentation of identity in the digital age.

Finally, the conference will come to a close at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova with the opening of Janez Janša®, the anthological exhibition by Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša, curated by Domenico Quaranta.

Credits and more information about this event and its side programme HERE.

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Marco Deseriis: Improper Names, Con-Dividual Subjectivities


Wu Ming 1: We Want the Asteroid! — Psychic Warfare and the Wu Ming Foundation


Natalie Bookchin: Prospective Collectives: Animating the Shared Self


Kristin Sue Lucas: Refresh


17 – 18 October 2017
Kino Šiška, Ljubljana

Curated by: Marco Deseriis


Natalie Bookchin
Marco Deseriis
Kristin Sue Lucas
Gerald Raunig
Ryan Trecartin
Wu Ming

Janez Janša®, curateb by Domenico Quaranta