Archives du Futur Antérieur

AFA 23 // TECHNOCULTURE 2 [Man-Machine]

expo festival

Halle Grise, blueFACTORY
Fribourg, Switzerland
by AFA

TECHNOCULTURE started as the first living being used a tool to simplify his life a very long time ago.

In 1998, Michel Ritter proposed to Adrien Laubscher-Thévoz to work on an exhibition project that would articulate contemporary art with electronic music and technology. Two generations of artists were invited to take part in the collective exhibition in Fri-art. This polymorphic event, shared the exhibition space with a documentation center where you had free internet access and a center stage that was used in the week-ends for performance, concerts and dj gigs. This exhibition was a form of legacy as the invited artists came from different backgrounds and from different generations.

21 years after the Fri-Art exhibition, the second edition of TECHNOCULTURE

was held in a big industrial hall of blueFACTORY in Fribourg, Switzerland. This time a third generation of artists joined the original list.

Technology is invading the everyday life of humanity at a fast pace and has had a tremendous impact on the artistic production. Technology is a modern version of Janus, the two headed god.

TECHNOCULTURE 2 was the opportunity to reflect on technology with a critical eye, but also to expose its innovative creative possibilities. The exhibition allowed a space for critique as more and more artists engage in a dialogue with technology by refusing it and going back to original forms of technology like shamanism.

Michel Ritter liked the idea of using the contemporary art institutions as a laboratory to experiment with the artists. This model is at the center of the curating concept and defines an open collaborative system in which artists and institutions are asked to participate to the program and the final curatorial set up. This exhibition is a great opportunity to reflect on the relationship between humans, technology and art and how it has developed in the last 20 years.

For TECHNOCULTURE 2 [Man-Machine],
the intention was not to do a replica of the first show,
but rather to do produce together an augmented updated version and include a new generation of artists in the group.

It was the occasion to complete the spectrum addressed by the first exhibition by including forms like Afrofuturism, queer clubbing, augmented reality, VR, dance and performance that were left aside in 1998.

The event started as a performing arts festival and then morph into an exhibition. It started on may 25th with the creation “ In C ,”from Terry Riley
interpreted by the Young Gods and the Landwehr brass band.

The festival allowed the public to witness the construction of the exhibition as the space was shared until the official opening of TC2 on the 4th of July.

Almost no traces of TECHNOCULTURE [Computerworld], the first edition of 1998 can be found on the internet, bad digital archiving practice from the different curating team of Fri-Art have contributed to this loss. It is part of our mission to fix this archiving amnesia through collaboration and archive awarness. A website,, including the archives and a publication will make sure traces of TECHNOCULTURE 1 & 2 are left for the future. TC2 is a great opportunity to reflect on the way humans, art and technology have evolved in the last 20 years. It allows also to rethink digital heritage and reflect on the current procedures of digital archiving of art production and art exhibitions.