hello@marijnbril.work / Instagram / LinkedIn

is a media art curator and researcher. With an interest in digital culture in all its complexity and absurdity, she explores topics such as networked image culture, digital metaphors, and productivity. She reflects upon these predominantly through curated programs and essays.

Marijn has worked with IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture, the Young Curators Academy, The Wrong Biennale, CIVA Festival, and Institute of Network Cultures. Currently, she studies in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Excellence Master Media Arts Cultures, at the universities of Krems (AT), Aalborg (DK), and Łódź (PL).

Language As Apparatus: Deconstructing Terminologies (CIVA Festival)
Discursive tour through CIVA Festival 2022 exhibition Embodied Structures at Belvedere21 (Vienna, 26/02/2022)

Language as Apparatus is a provocation to see language as a structure – and a wink to the frequent appearance of the word in discursive (arts) programmes. More than mere content, words point to their larger ideological context. Digital art-speak borrows from the arts and technology, inheriting the implications and histories of both. How can we critically engage with media arts on a semiotic level? And by doing so, how can we carve out a space for more nuanced and contextualised discourse? Through readings and embodied exercises, we collaboratively explored terminologies for shifting experiences and phenomena.

Pondering the terminologies within media arts, the final exercise of the tour was to triangulate the disucssed terminologies. In groups, the participants picked three words and discussed what happened at their intersections. Which experiences and phenomena come up? Do we have words to describe those meanings, or are we need in for new terminologies to express nuances? I’m borrowing the verb ‘triangulate’ from the book Critical Terms for Media Studies (2010), edited by W. J. T. Mitchell and Mark B. N. Hansen, who in their introduction describe triangulation as a strategy to approach media:

“Why “triangulate” at all? […] Part of the answer is that we want to avoid the seductions of binarism, the prevalent rhetorical fallback in polemical and preanalytical discourse: past and present, new and old, art and technology, society and the individual, subject and object, space and time, nature and culture, ancient and modern.” )

“A more elusive reason for triangulating the topic of media has been our intuitive sense that media themselves are always and everywhere understood by way of tripartite models. Consider, to list just the obvious examples: sender-channel-receiver (in communication theory), symbol-index-icon (in semiotics), image-music-text (in Roland Barthes’s aesthetics), opsis-melos-lexis (in Aristotle’s analysis of mimesis), and symbolic-imaginary-real (in Lacan’s analysis of psychic “registers”). Think also of the structure of a syllogism, where the “middle term” is called the medium.”