Lars Bang Larsen

Lars Bang Larsen is an art historian and curator. He is coeditor of several volumes published by Sternberg Press, including Fundamentalisms of the New Order and The Phantom of Liberty.

  • The New Model

    The New Model

    An Inquiry

    Lars Bang Larsen and Maria Lind

    Revisiting a project that concatenated art, research, and urban activism into a visionary hybrid framework.

    For three weeks in October 1968, Stockholm's Moderna Museet was transformed into a sprawling adventure playground that was free to access for all of the city's children. It concatenated art, research, and urban activism into a visionary hybrid framework.

    Half a century later, through a series of seminars, exhibitions, and new artworks, The New Model revisits this utopian intervention, reviving discussions of public participation, children's agency, and shifting ideals of collective being. Curated by Lars Bang Larsen and Maria Lind, these inquiries took place from 2011 to 2015 at and around Tensta konsthall, in one of Stockholm's late-modernist suburbs. Through essays, exhibition documentation, and dialogues with the participating artists—among them Palle Nielsen, Magnus Bärtås, Hito Steyerl, Ane Hjort Guttu, and Dave Hullfish Bailey—this volume charts the evolution of two artistic, curatorial, and institutional experiments.

    Contributions by

    Dave Hullfish Bailey, Magnus Bärtås, Jessica Gogan, Ane Hjort Guttu, Lars Bang Larsen, Gunilla Lundahl, Palle Nielsen, and Hito Steyerl, with an artistic intervention from Metahaven

    • Paperback $26.00
  • Fundamentalisms of the New Order

    Fundamentalisms of the New Order

    Charlotte Brandt, Lars Bang Larsen, Jean-Charles Massera, and Cristina Ricupero

    Conceived as a textbook with images rather than an exhibition catalogue, Fundamentalisms of the New Order reflects on the diversity of fundamentalisms, a phenomenon that is not confined to particular cultures or modes of thought; its intention is to explore the concept in its many forms and multiple origins. Why have we, in recent years, seen such a resurgence of fundamentalisms—religious, political, cultural, economic? What are the fundamentalisms at work in our own culture? What happened to the idea of the Welfare State—a "positive fundamentalism"? In an era of rapid change, what positive fundamental values can we identify with or even insist on? These were some of the questions posed by the exhibition and elaborated in the present catalogue. It contains a selection of essays and interviews with the artists in the show, as well as a documentation of the events and panel discussions held at the Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen.

    Co-published with NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art

    Contributors Charlotte Brandt, Bülent Diken and Carsten Bagge Lausten, Lars Bang Larsen, Jean-Charles Massera, Toni Negri, Cristina Ricupero, Judith Schwarzbart, Sabine Strasser

    • Paperback $14.95
  • The Phantom of Liberty

    The Phantom of Liberty

    Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox

    Tone Hansen and Lars Bang Larsen

    One of the few things we have in common in contemporary society is the future of our children. But it seems that even the “we” of childhood, of learning and free play, has turned into a common ground for instrumentalization and competition. Today, the pedagogical paradox—Kant's meditation on the paradox that the subject's predisposition for freedom must be learned—is increasingly lost in governmental obsession about the efficiency of education and schooling. From another perspective, artists are addressing questions of childhood, play, and pedagogy.

    What ideological and moral transformations is the school system currently undergoing? What do the psychiatric diagnoses and treatments mean that are increasingly applied to children and youth? What happened to the reform pedagogy of the twentieth century? What is the status of childhood in the era of the consuming child and the playing adult? These are some of the questions addressed by The Phantom of Liberty, which sets out to reestablish a social and aesthetic dialogue between visual art and psychology, philosophy, pedagogy, and critical journalism.

    The Phantom of Liberty: Contemporary Art and the Pedagogical Paradox is published following the exhibition “Learning for Life” curated by Tone Hansen and Ane Hjort Guttu, November 11, 2012–February 24, 2013, at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK).

    Copublished with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

    Contributors Emanuel Almborg, Nils Christie, Carl Hegemann, Ane Hjort Guttu, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Adelita Husni-Bey, Carsten Rene Jørgensen, Lars Bang Larsen, Sharon Lockhart, Magnus Marsdal, Marit Paasche, Allan Sekula

    • Paperback $36.00
  • Networks

    Networks

    Lars Bang Larsen

    Considering art at the center of network theory, from the rise of the electronic media age in the 1960s to the present.

    The dawn of the electronic media age in the 1960s began a cultural shift from the modernist grid and its determination of projection and representation to the fluid structures and circuits of the network, presenting art with new challenges and possibilities. This anthology considers art at the center of network theory, from the 1960s to the present.

    Artists have used the “space of flows” as a basis for creating utopian scenarios, absurd yet functional propositions or holistic planetary visions. Others have explored the economies of reciprocity and the ethics of generosity, in works that address changed conditions of codependence and new sites of social negotiation. The “infra-power” of the network has been a departure point for self-organized counterculture and the creation of new types of agency. And a “poetics of connectivity” runs through a diverse range of work that addresses the social and material complexity of networks through physical structures and ambient installation, the mapping of the Internet, or the development of robots and software that take on the functions of artist or curator.

    Artists surveyed include Joseph Beuys, Ursula Biemann, Heath Bunting, Critical Art Ensemble, Fernand Deligny, Peter Fend, Gego, Jobim Jochimsen, Koncern, Christine Kozlov, Pia Lindman, Mark Lombardi, Diana McCarty, Marta Minujín, Aleksandra Mir, Tanja Ostojic, Ola Pehrson, Walid Raad, Artüras Raila, Hito Steyerl, Tomaso Tozzi, Suzanne Treister, Ultra Red, Wolf Vostell, Stephen Willats

    Writers include Jane Bennett, Hakim Bey, Luc Boltanski, Manuel Castells, Ève Chiapello, Guy Debord, Umberto Eco, Okwui Enwezor, Michael Hardt, Bruno Latour, Marshall McLuhan, Marcel Mauss, Reza Negarestani, Antonio Negri, Sadie Plant, Lane Relyea, Craig Saper, Saskia Sassen, Pit Schultz, Steven Shaviro, Tiziana Terranova, Paolo Virno

    • Paperback $24.95
  • The Populism Catalogue

    The Populism Catalogue

    Lars Bang Larsen, Cristina Ricupero, and Nicolaus Schafhausen

    “The best ways to achieve one's goal continue to be the simplest: The handshake; holding up children; listening accompanied by the attentive 'mmh' and 'aha'; relaxed speech combined with the expansive gesture for the purposes of underscoring that which is said; answering questions by using uncomplicated words; the slapping of the shoulder (with and without praise); eye contact.”—Gila Lustiger, The Ashe Encyclopedia

    The Populism Catalogue documents the four exhibitions at Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/M. It features works of fiction as a literary approach to the theme of populism.

    Artists: Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Fatma Akinçi, Petra Bauer, Bernadette Corporation, Marc Bijl, Jakob Boeskov, Phil Collins, Minerva Cuevas, Jeremy Deller, Dias & Riedweg, Wang Du, Gardar Eide Einarsson & Matias Faldbakken, Esto TV, Anita Fricek, Jens Haaning & Superflex, Russell Haswell, Henry Vlll's Wives, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Amar Kanwar, Per Kirkeby, Matthieu Laurette, Jani Leinonen, Erik van Lieshout, Mindaugas Lukosaitis, Annika Lundgren, Cildo Meireles, Sarah Morris, Begoña Muñoz, Roman Ondak, Willem de Rooij, et al.

    Contributors Bernadette Corporation, Matias Faldbakken, Liam Gillick, John Kelsey, Gila Lustiger, Jean-Charles Massera, Niels Henrik Svarre Nielsen, Ignacio Vidal-Folch

    • Hardcover $45.00
  • The Populism Reader

    The Populism Reader

    Cristina Ricupero, Lars Bang Larsen, and Nicolaus Schafhausen

    “Populism has many different faces. Many different things can be called populism for very good reasons. We may not necessarily agree on the meaning of the term populism. And maybe the term populism should not necessarily have only one meaning. The usefulness of a term with different meanings resides in the fact that it may hint at family resemblances between different phenomena called populism.”—Dieter Lesage, “Populism and Democracy”

    The Populism Reader accompanies Populism, an exhibition project in four European cities (Vilnius, Oslo, Amsterdam, Frankfurt am Main) exploring the relationships between contemporary art and current populist cultural and political trends. Conceived as an anthology, the publication comprises essays covering various aspects and approaches to the populist experience. The book is designed by M/M (Paris) and illustrated by Atelier Van Lieshout; contributions stem from amongst others activists, journalists, art critics, philosophers and political scientists.

    The Populism Reader goes beyond academic styles in order to respond to historical and current aspects of the populist experience, as they surface in relation to art, activism, the role of the intellectual, political desires, religion and other issues.

    Contributors Marius Babias, Ina Blom, Anthony Davies, Mads Ted Drud-Jensen & Lars Erik Frank, Simon Frith, Brian Holmes, Ernesto Laclau, Dieter Lesage, Bart Lootsma, Chantal Mouffe, Vanessa Joan Müller, Iver B. Neumann, Ingo Niermann, Piotr Piotrowski, Pierre-André Taguieff, Niels Werber, Audrone Zukauskaite

    • Paperback $29.95
  • Sture Johannesson

    Sture Johannesson

    Lars Bang Larsen

    “When the legend becomes a fact, print the legend”

    In the sixties, Sture Johannesson's psychedelic posters upset both the Swedish authorities and the “serious” left wing with their delirious drug politics. His pioneering body of work developed throughout the seventies and eighties, capturing the zeitgeist of three decades. More importantly, Johannesson's posters, happenings, and experiments with new media – electronic as well as narcotic–demonstrated that the way authority programs society is more hallucinatory than any drug could ever be.

    This book, part psychedelic philosophy, part biography, is the first to present Sture Johannesson's work in depth, documenting his affiliations with the “high” underground and the punk movement, his activism and his radical exploration of the relationships between art, politics, technology, and human consciousness.

    Co-published with NIFCA, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art

    Contributors Lars Bang Larsen and Sture Johannesson

    • Hardcover $27.00

Contributor

  • Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History

    Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History

    Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048

    Joasia Krysa and Jussi Parikka

    A critical mapping of the multiplicities of Finnish artist and technology pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi—composer of electronic music, experimental filmmaker, inventor, collector, futurologist.

    Over the past forty years, Finnish artist and technology pioneer Erkki Kurenniemi (b. 1941) has been a composer of electronic music, experimental filmmaker, computer animator, roboticist, inventor, and futurologist. Kurenniemi is a hybrid—a scientist-humanist-artist. Relatively unknown outside Nordic countries until his 2012 Documenta 13 exhibition, ”In 2048,” Kurenniemi may at last be achieving international recognition. This book offers an excavation, a critical mapping, and an elaboration of Kurenniemi's multiplicities.

    The contributors describe Kurenniemi's enthusiastic, and rather obsessive, recording of everyday life and how this archiving was part of his process; his exploratory artistic practice, with productive failure an inherent part of his method; his relationship to scientific and technological developments in media culture; and his work in electronic and digital music, including his development of automated composition systems and his “video-organ,” DIMI-O. A “Visual Archive,” a section of interviews with the artist, and a selection of his original writings (translated and published for the first time) further document Kurenniemi's achievements. But the book is not just about one artist in his time; it is about emerging media arts, interfaces, and archival fever in creative practices, read through the lens of Kurenniemi.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00
  • Oh, Wilderness

    Oh, Wilderness

    Maria Loboda

    “Verbal sculptures” and “strange archaeologies”—Maria Loboda's recent works expose prior events through sparse details of entangled secrets, material contradictions, and masked collusions. Her sculpture is both indulgently verbal and obstinately reserved. Oh, Wilderness also demonstrates the artist's aesthetic equation between language and materiality as it works the other way around, translating materials expressive of a certain weak semiotics to language. Through these materials, nature is observed and read—now constituting a grammar, rigorously arbitrary, formal, and conventional.

    The book contains a Q&A between Loboda, Caterina Riva, and Isobel Harbison, which traces the artist's work and context. An essay by Riva highlights Loboda's use of antagonisms, duality, and enigmas in her practice; Lars Bang Larsen points to a state of echoing and spiritualization in Loboda's works; and Harbison analyzes the engagement with history and artifact in Loboda's new approach to sculpture.

    Oh, Wilderness is Loboda's first monograph and contains work from 2009 to 2012.

    With essays by Isobel Harbison, Lars Bang Larsen, and Caterina Riva.

    • Paperback $28.00
  • Participation

    Participation

    Claire Bishop

    Art that seeks to produce situations in which relations are formed among viewers is placed in historical and theoretical context in key writings by critics and artists.

    The desire to move viewers out of the role of passive observers and into the role of producers is one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century art. This tendency can be found in practices and projects ranging from El Lissitzky's exhibition designs to Allan Kaprow's happenings, from minimalist objects to installation art. More recently, this kind of participatory art has gone so far as to encourage and produce new social relationships. Guy Debord's celebrated argument that capitalism fragments the social bond has become the premise for much relational art seeking to challenge and provide alternatives to the discontents of contemporary life. This publication collects texts that place this artistic development in historical and theoretical context.

    Participation begins with writings that provide a theoretical framework for relational art, with essays by Umberto Eco, Bertolt Brecht, Roland Barthes, Peter Bürger, Jen-Luc Nancy, Edoaurd Glissant, and Félix Guattari, as well as the first translation into English of Jacques Rancière's influential "Problems and Transformations in Critical Art." The book also includes central writings by such artists as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Joseph Beuys, Augusto Boal, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. And it features recent critical and curatorial debates, with discussions by Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.

    Copublished with Whitechapel Art Gallery, London

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Ecstasy

    Ecstasy

    In and About Altered States

    Lisa Gabrielle Mark and Paul Schimmel

    Another landmark catalog from LA MoCA, featuring recent works by contemporary artists that experiment with alternative modes of perception, creating a heightened sensory experience for the viewer.

    Ecstasy acts as an intersection in which structures of human consciousness meet a range of contemporary art practices. Each work in Ecstasy, which accompanies an exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, enacts its own particular intervention into human consciousness—surprising us, questioning familiar realities, and suggesting alternative ways of ordering experience—through installation, painting, sculpture, and new media.Ecstasy traces two lines of contemporary inquiry into surrealism's fixation with altered states of consciousness. One follows the tradition of artists attempting to capture metaphysical conditions in representational form—as seen in the wall-scale, resin-suspended pill paintings of Fred Tomaselli; Charles Ray's photographic self portrait, Yes, which depicts the artist on LSD; and Franz Ackermann's recent Mental Maps, abstract paintings that represent cities using his own subjective form of GPS. The other trajectory explores the notion of phenomenological experience through works that play on disjunctions in scale, or disrupt our means for spatial orientation. In Carsten Holler's Upside Down Mushroom Room, for example, the ceiling and floor appear to change places, while in Jeppe Hein's Moving Walls, museum walls begin to close in on the viewer. The 2,200 hand-painted polymer psilocybin mushrooms of Roxy Paine's Psilocybe Cubensis Field, meanwhile, suggests other possibilities for altering our sense of reality.These and the other bold and imaginative works in Ecstasy challenge conventional notions of interactivity while creating a heightened sensory experience for the viewer. Six essays accompany the artworks, considering such topics as the relationship of altered states to art-making, both as the manifestation of the artist's state of mind and as an experiential effect created for the viewer; drugs and the process of self-observation in literary works; and the "dark side" of altered consciousness. Distributed for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £32.00