Video still from the performance-lecture ‘Are You Ready?’, Margareta Kern, 2018

I will be speaking about my current work and research on the militarisation of the ocean as part of Anne Robinson’s Wakeful solo exhibition, on Saturday November 17th, 3pm-6pm at APT Gallery, Creekdide, London,  SE8 4SA

Panel of artists: Anne Robinson, Margareta Kern, Andrea Luka-Zimmerman, Rachel Garfield and Veronique Chance - discussing artists’ responses to war and legacies of war violence.

Free, all welcome! Further info here.

Margareta Kern: ‘Are You Ready?’ performance-lecture, Thursday 8 November 2018, 6-8pm, at Birkbeck Cinema.
Reserve free tickets:
Followed by a conversation between Margareta Kern, Başak Ertür, and Bernard Keenan and general discussion.

Birkbeck Centre for Law & the Humanities is pleased to welcome Margareta Kern as the 2018-19 Artist in Residence at Birkbeck School of Law.

Margareta Kern’s practice deals with the politics of making visible forms of power and authority that are felt, yet not always easy to articulate or even perceive. In particular, her current work investigates the performative and mimetic strategies of digital capital, asking if an age of ‘fake news’ has destabilised conventions of ‘fact’ and ‘fiction’, what role is left for art? What kind of images and approaches do we need to cultivate, to counter reactionary and rightwing imaginaries generated by post-truth politics?

As an introduction to her work and ideas, Kern will present the performance-lecture ‘Are You Ready?’ on Thursday 8 November 2018, 6-8pm, at Birkbeck Cinema. First performed at Whitstable Biennale in June 2018, the lecture draws seemingly disconnected material together, from corporate literature and political speeches to undersea cables, planning applications, and sea monsters, to deliver a ‘pitch’ for a fictional libertarian tech-conglomerate building a new island-nation in a special seazone of the Channel.

The year-long residency will build on these ideas and questions, involving a number of events addressed to Birkbeck students, staff, and open to the general public. In particular, it will include a workshop based on a close reading of an Interim ReportDisinformation and ‘fake news’, recently published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee. A result of an extensive inquiry, the report contains disturbing evidence of the use of psychological warfare online, to manipulate voter behaviour by companies such as SCL Group/Cambridge Analytica (most notably involved in both Trump’s election in the US, and the Leave campaign in Britain but have conducted behavioural change programs for the governments and military organisations worldwide). Kern’s residency will critically and collaboratively explore the legal and performative potentialities of an inquiry, informing the development of new work.

Kindly supported by the School of Law, Birkbeck and the Arts Council England Project Grant.

Group Exhibition and Forum
Lothringer13, Munich, Germany
26.9.-11.11. 2018

Migrating images. Defiant knowledge. Diverse experiences. Energies transforming society. Setbacks. Power. Aesthetic processes. Spaces. Fights for rights. Objections. Transgression. Lived her/stories. Social facts. Reflection. Rights to rights.

In the run-up to the public remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the labor recruitment agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia no stop non stop extends an open invitation to the exhibition, forum with art education, screenings, talks, panel discussions, and performances, in which audiences may both experience and co-generate new stories, imaginaries, and solidarity images.

For a full programme and info about the exhibition please see:

Exhibition review (in German): here.

MARGARETA KERN Whitstable Biennale 2018.jpg

Are You Ready? Performance-lecture by Margareta Kern
Presented with Jessica Harrington.

Whitstable Biennale
9th June 2018, 1pm and 4.15pm.
Sea Cadets Hall, 
37 Middle Wall, Whitstable CT5 1BN

What does the world of high frequency trading have in common with a sandy beach in Cornwall and the village of Richborough in Kent?

In this performance-lecture Margareta Kern uses telegraphic maps, corporate archives, nautical charts, sea monsters, planning applications, and wireless frequencies to trace resonances between the imperial ventures that laid the network of undersea cables and the secretive networks enabling the high speed movement of capital freely across increasingly entrenched borders.

Are You Ready? is a speculative meditation on the militarisation of the ocean and a search for the resistant algearithm pulsating under the surface of our vision.

The world's first known wireless communication sent over the open sea in 1897 asked -  ‘are you ready?’

This is a newly commissioned work by the Whitstable Biennale, with the support of Arts Council England, and Falmouth University Institute of Photography. For further details please see Whitstable Biennale page.

Exhausted (art) geographies text by Jelena Petrović

Moving from theoretical insights to art practices, especially those which introduce geography into the sphere of political thinking and social life through transgressive voices, visual inscriptions and aesthetical glitches, there are several artworks which produce the politics of error as a trigger for new art or a differential one. This still unsettled and undomesticated art comes from the counter-space of the so-called contemporary art, the art which has for some time been (re)generating the borders of identification using the geopolitical relations of the globalizing, i.e. colonizing, machinery of the neoliberal state.

Margareta Kern’s To Whom Does the World Belong? art project rearticulates the Brechtian question within the contemporary capitalist world, faced with poverty, unemployment, homelessness, global disorientation and possible social resistance. The political montage of her work, which uses stop/slow motion animation, drawings, voice, poetry recordings, video documentation, sounds and silences, produces an inner voice which directs us, occupies our thoughts and reorients our actions, simultaneously creating the syncretic experience (aesthesis) of political affect.

Continue reading HERE.

Zivot Umjetnosti Margareta Kern.png

TRANS|MIGRANCY: The Psychogeographies of the Threshold 

TRANS|MIGRANTNOST: psihogeografije prijelaza

The latest issue of 'Zivot Umjetnosti' January 2018, is on the subject of trans/migrancy and I'm pleased to have been interviewed by Jelena Pasic about my video and a long term project GUESTures for this timely publication.

Contributors include Keller Easterling, Artikişler Collective,  Ana Dana Beroš, Antonio Grgić, Ana Jeinić, Petra Kelemen, Tonka Maleković, Duga Mavrinac, Dubravka Sekulić, and others.

Available here.

6th and 7th October 2017

They'll Never Walk Alone: Remembering Gastarbeiters in the Neoliberal Age
Conference organised by Lina Dokuzovic and Boris Buden.
Participants: Manuela Bojadžijev, Jana Dolečki, Keti Chukhrov, Amir Hodžić, Ana Hoffner, Margareta Kern, Katja Kobolt, Monika Mokre, Stefan Nowotny, Jon Solomon, HOR 29. Novembar
Depot, Breitegasse 3, 1070 Vienna

Screening of GUESTures (GOSTIkulacije, 2011) and a presentation by Margareta Kern alongside a contribution to the online journal Transversal.

Conference details can be found here.

Transversal Online Journal: The Gastarbeiter: In Search of an Afterlife

The texts in this issue attempt to reawaken the memories of gastarbeiters in order to historicize the current experience of migration and its dangerous political appropriations. They aim at revealing a hidden genealogy of domination, exploitation, and manipulation, as well as a struggle for justice and emancipation. Those who cannot historicize the conditions in which they live will never be able to politicize them.

Read texts here.

14th June – 22nd July 2017

Margareta Kern, Božena Končić Badurina & Duga Mavrinac, Bosiljka Schedlich
Gallery Nova, Zagreb, curated by WHW

On Wednesday 14th June at 18h, Margareta Kern will be in conversation with Bosiljka Schedlich, whose words are re-enacted in the video GUESTures, and whose own exhibition from 1987 about the 'guest worker' women in Berlin will also be shown. Further info (in Croatian) here.

Poetics and Politics of Documentary: a documentary research symposium
2 - 4th June 2017,  Sussex University, UK

This symposium provides a rare and valuable opportunity to theorise documentary practice and to engage in dynamic discussion about documentary at the intersections between technology, aesthetics and ideology. This third edition of Poetics and Politics of Documentary will continue to explore the key themes of poetic praxis, with a particular emphasis this year on the theme “Beyond Empathy.”

I will present my new project 'Thursday War' on the militarisation of the sea. Please contact me if you would like further information.

 Margareta Kern, 'Thursday War', work-in-progress, 2017 -

Margareta Kern, 'Thursday War', work-in-progress, 2017 -

Subversive Festival, Zagreb, Croatia
2 - 11th May 2017

Screening of GUESTures as part of the Subversive Festival and the exhibition Europoly. 

Kopf & Kragen
Galerie der Stadt Backnang, Germany
19 Nov 2016 - 12th Feb 2017

Graduation Dresses series of photographs is exhibited as part of 'Kopf & Kragen' group exhibition on portraiture. Artists include: Thomas Schütte, Grayson Perry, Caroline von Grone, Sabrina Jung, Jonas Englert, Gregory Forstner, Isolde Frepoli, Caroline von Grone, Wolfgang Kessler, Jan de Maesschalck, Loredana Nemes, Jacco Olivier and others.

Engaged Urbanism: Cities and Methodologies edited by Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings
I.B. Taurus, UK,  December 2016

Margareta Kern in collaboration with Anthony Luvera has contributed an updated in-conversation text on her project GUESTures and Luvera's Assisted Self-Portraits. The publication poses the question: how can we understand the variety and dynamism of contemporary cities and urban experience across the globe? UCL Urban Lab

Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins
SPACEX Gallery, UK
April - June 2016

In response to an invitation by Spacex and curator Claire Louise Staunton, the artists Margareta Kern and Jonathan Hoskins were in residence throughout spring and summer 2016, critically exploring the new town of Cranbrook as a physical and psychological proposal for a new community, in an historical moment when the role of the state in shaping urban development and providing social housing is being dramatically restructured. 

The project culminated in a contribution to the symposium Living Together on 28th June 2016. The small publication produced by Hoskins and Kern for the event can be downloaded here

Unbribable Life. Art and Activism
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
3 - 4 Mar 2016

Margareta Kern, Damir Arsenijevic, Vanessa Vasic-Janekovic and Emina Busuladzic from DITA Factory, hosted an event on contemporary labour struggles in the former Yugoslavia, discussing new forms of direct democracy, like the Citizen's Plenum that emerged out of protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014, in relation to worker movements there and in the UK and Nottingham in particular.

The video from the event can be viewed here