ARTBO 2022 | Jakob Steensen & Janet Biggs

As part of the 2020 ArtBo edition, the Bogotá Art Fair created online versions of a large number of exhibitions due to COVID-19. In addition, performances, academic discussions and interviews with artists, galleries and art organizations were also converted to digital spaces. Hyphen Hub was invited to take part in this edition by inviting artists from our global artist community to present their work.

Hyphen Hub participated in the segment titled SENSORIA, curated by Colombian artists Juan Covelli and Juan Cortés. The term SENSORIA is used to describe the new and sophisticated technologies that are designed to feel and see the planet. Around the globe, an infrastructure network embodied in fiber optic cables, satellite cameras, unmanned aircraft, mobile phones, and machine vision technology is used in modern governance and geopolitics. 

Hyphen Hub members of the artist community Jakob Kudsk Steensen and Janet Biggs were part of this curatorial selection organized by Covelli and Cortés. 

Steensen presented Re-animated (2018-2019) which starts from the story of the mating song of the world’s last Kaua’i bird that died in 1987, leaving the entire species extinct. Re-animated is a response to this song. In this project, Steensen makes a reconstruction of the habitat of the bird during that time period, in a process that led him to use scientific methodologies to find and scan contemporary fauna and flora in search of a faithful representation of the past.

Jakob was in conversation with Chilean artist Patricia Domínguez about her work which was moderated by Asher Remy-Toledo. Dominguez discussed her project Madre Drone (2020) which was produced during her residency at the Kiosko Gallery in Bolivia. This audiovisual piece transports us to a dreamlike place to explore and better understand Latin American cosmologies. This particular history captured by the artist, 2011 shows the violent process of transformation from the indigenous experience to the neoliberal ideologies of mineral and land extraction for the purpose of selling to corporations, which then privatize natural resources such as water.

Janet Biggs presented her video work Brightness All Around. In this work, Biggs brings the viewer back to an inspiring determination to define and defend one’s identity in perhaps the Earth’s most extreme environment. The video focuses on Linda Norberg, a woman coal miner working in a very inaccessible and dangerous place. Norberg begins each day by descending miles into the darkness beneath the frozen Arctic. Surrounded by deafening machinery, relying on her small headlamp for light, she is seen drilling and bolting the newly excavated cave ceiling in freezing temperatures and relentless darkness. Serving as a counterpoint to the terror of the underground is a vocal performance by New York music guru Bill Coleman. As an isolated performer, Coleman is sexual, seductive, and a bit threatening. Using lyrics taken from near-death experiences, Coleman becomes a witness to the struggle to maintain a self of sense.