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Showcase ZFF: Ebru Kurbak on her project The Museum of Lost Technology

ZFF – Zentrum Fokus Forschung (University of Applied Arts Vienna)

Each month, AIL presents a selected research project realised at the ZFF, the department for postgraduate research projects in the field of art and science. Ebru Kurbak‘s “The Museum of Lost Technology” seeks new and original positions for “women’s work” in technology-engaged art frameworks.

A hand holding 3D-glasses in front of a cardboard with nails and some craft work. | Image by ©© Ebru Kurbak The Museum of Lost Technology. An FWF Elise Richter PEEK project by Ebru Kurbak, © Ebru Kurbak

About the project

The Museum of Lost Technology seeks new and original positions for “women’s work” in technology-engaged art frameworks. With this artistic research project, Ebru Kurbak explores textiles in the art and technology context with a historical perspective on the gender politics of matter, materials and making. Through practice-led research, the artist aims to challenge expectations brought up by media arts and tech-arts to discover and expose systemic biases rooted in history.

An experimental set-up of colors, thread, needles and a hand showing some results in fron of grey background. | Image by ©© Ebru Kurbak The Museum of Lost Technology. An FWF Elise Richter PEEK project by Ebru Kurbak, © Ebru Kurbak

The project departs from the idea that inventions are products of not only the intellectual capacity of the inventors but also their practical knowledge and skills. In the West, not only women but also their particular knowledge had been excluded from official sites of research for centuries. Over the course of the 4-year-project, Kurbak will carry out experiments at the intersections of textiles and scientific subjects to excavate “lost possibilities” unimaginable in the past due to the gendered social and spatial segregation of knowledge. Directed towards a speculative museum of technology, the studio inquiry searches for an imaginative collection of information, techniques and technologies that could have been conceived—but never were. The experimentation process is supported by conversations with experts from different scientific fields as well as art theoretical research, museum surveys, comparative histories and creative writing.

Ebru, how do you transform understanding?


My approach to transforming understanding prioritizes an open-ended and open-minded material investigation. The challenge here always is finding ways to precisely frame the research but at the same time avoid the limits of any predefined output. In my current project, I will be looking at two particular sites as a method to do this. Both “the lab” and “the museum,” in scope of the project, are understood as significant sites where truth is produced through the sorting of materials, objects, knowledge and practices. By moving my initial focus from the object, the thing, to the setting of the site, I intend to give myself the space to acknowledge the agency of materials and material processes, and trigger transformation.

Artistic researcher Ebru Kurbak, portrait | Image by ©© Ebru Kurbak The Museum of Lost Technology. An FWF Elise Richter PEEK project by Ebru Kurbak, © Ebru Kurbak

Ebru Kurbak is an artist driven by her interest in the hidden political nature of everyday spaces, technologies, and practices. Her works have been exhibited at the MAK, Ars Electronica Festival, ZKM, Siggraph, LABoral, EYEBEAM, and Istanbul Design Biennial, among other international venues. Kurbak was awarded the Art + Technology Grant by the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts in 2019, and currently is Elise Richter PEEK Fellow and Visiting Professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

The Museum of Lost Technology is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): V-795 in the Elise Richter PEEK Program.

For more information about the project and project activities, please visit https://losttechnology.museum/


CURRENT EXHIBITION BY EBRU KURBAK

11 June–2 July 2021
Chronolace Studies: The Standstill Crochet
by Ebru Kurbak
Curated by Başak Şenova

FABRIKRAUM
Johnstraße 25-27
1150 Wien
Visits by appointment: hello@fabrikraum.org