Suzanne Treister
HEXEN 2.0, 2009-2011
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 05.02.15

The paradox is well established: along with increased technical know-how comes the feeling of loss of control over one’s own life. Since at least the second half of the twentieth century, the West has witnessed power and agency slip away from tangible, accountable structures of governance toward intangible, quasi-mystical forces whose goals and interests rely on programmatic techno-utilitarianism.

Referring directly to witchcraft, Suzanne Treister’s HEXEN 2.0 (2009-2011) takes as source material The Macy Conferences of 1946−1953, whose stated objective was to, according to Treister, “set the foundations for a general science of the workings of the human mind.” These cross-disciplinary events are the templates for Treister’s telling of alternative and interconnected histories that centre on the intersections between technological innovation (from the atom bomb to the Internet), the society of control (the military-industrial complex) and their discontents (anarcho-primitivism). Based on actual events, people, scientific inquiry and future conjecture, and consisting of diagrams, a Tarot deck, photo-text works, a video and a website, HEXEN 2.0 investigates the possible foundations of the current condition while offering a perspective to envision the future and its alternatives.
– ML

HEXEN 2.0/ Historical Diagrams/From ARPANET to DARWARS via the Internet, 2009-2011, archival giclée print on Hahnemuhle Bamboo paper, 29.7 x 42cm (courtesy of the artist, Annely Juda Fine Art, London and P.P.O.W., New York)
HEXEN 2.0/Tarot/XVII The Star - Quantum Computing – AI, 2009-11, archival giclée print with watercolour on Hahnemuhle Bamboo paper, 21 x 29.7cm (courtesy of the artist, Annely Juda Fine Art, London and P.P.O.W., New York)

Suzanne Treister was born in 1958 in London, where she currently lives. Utilizing various media, including video, the Internet, interactive technologies, photography, drawing and watercolour, Treister’s work engages with eccentric narratives and unconventional bodies of research to reveal structures that bind power, identity and knowledge. Often spanning several years, her projects comprise fantastic reinterpretations of given taxonomies and histories that examine the existence of covert, unseen forces at work in the world, whether corporate, military or paranormal.

Her recent solo exhibitions include In The Name Of Art, Annely Juda Fine Art, London (2013); HEXEN 2.0, P.P.O.W., New York and Cleveland Institute of Art, OH (2013); THE REAL TRUTH A WORLD’S FAIR, Raven Row, London (2012); HEXEN 2.0, Science Museum, London (2012); D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, Germany (2012); and Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV), Dortmund, Germany (2012).

Among her recent publications: HEXEN 2.0, Black Dog Publishing, London (2012); NATO The Military Codification System for the Ordering of Everything in the World, Black Dog Publishing, London (2008), and HEXEN 2039 New Military-Occult Technologies for Psychological Warfare: A Rosalind Brodsky Research Programme, Black Dog Publishing, London (2006).