25 April – 31 May, 2008

Preview Thursday 24 April 6 – 8pm. With performance ‘Antidatamining’ by RYbN more info…

Digital technologies have become an integral part of how we work and communicate, understand ourselves and the world. Research into secret prisons in Afghanistan, a sci-fi movie entirely assembled from CCTV-footage and ball bearings used to represent deaths reported on the web are all part of a major debate on digital technology taking place in Aberdeen.

‘Recoded’ brings together a fantastic and diverse range of international works, many not previously shown in the UK, providing a pertinent and exciting reflection on the impact of new media on contemporary society.

The exhibition and series of events were developed by Peacock Visual Arts in collaboration with the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen.

Recoded encompasses film screenings, talks, a Pure Data workshop with artist Simon Yuill and an opening audiovisual performance by RYbN, as well as the Recoded Conference by the Centre for Modern Thought at the University of Aberdeen (25-26 April).

Artists in the exhibition: Alexander Egger, skúta, Anna Jermolaewa, Caleb Larsen, Manu Luksch, David Valentine/MediaShed, Trevor Paglen, plan b, RYbN, Jens Strandberg

close-up of hundreds of little yellow pingpong balls

Photo: Caleb Larsen

Some Highlights

Highlights from the series of events taking place across the city during the conference and the exhibition include:

Monument (if it Bleeds, it Leads) – an installation by Caleb Larsen. Part of a wider exhibition at Peacock, Larsen’s work uses a computer programme to continuously scan the headlines of 4,500 English-language news sources around the world, looking for people reported killed. It then instructs a ceiling-mounted mechanism to drop one yellow ball bearing per person. The ever-growing pile will eventually form a sort of monument.

Faceless – a sci-fi fairytale by Manu Luksch exploring the legal and political framework of surveillance technology. The film was entirely assembled using CCTV-footage and will be given a special screening at Peacock Visual Arts.

Secrecy – the Recoded conference also includes the UK premiere of Peter Galison and Rob Moss’s Secrecy (2007) on April 25 at 4.30pm. A 2007 Sundance Festival Selection, the film will be followed by a Q&A with the directors at Belmont Picture House. A drinks receptions follows afterwards at Peacock, at 6.30pm (all welcome).

Blank Spots on a Map: State Secrecy and the Limits of the Visible – a virtual road trip into the world of hidden budgets, state secrets, covert military bases and disappeared people by Trevor Paglen, the world-renowned writer and artist from the University of California. Over the course of his talk – one of over a dozen taking place as part of the Recoded conference – Paglen will travel from ‘non-existent’ Air Force and CIA installations in the Nevada desert, to secret prisons in Afghanistan and ‘black sites’ much closer to home.


  • RECODED CONFERENCE 24 – 25 April. World-leading academics in a broad range of disciplines – from computer and surveillance art to film and visual studies – will present papers over the two day event. Organised by the Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen More info
  • Film screenings: Secrecy (Peter Gallison + Rob Moss, 2007), Friday 25 April, 4.30pm at Belmont Picturehouse admission free, includes Q&A session with directors. Followed by reception at Peacock at 6.30pm. // FACELESS (Manu Luksch, 2007) / How Little We Know of Our Neighbours (Rebecca Baron, 2005), Tuesday 6 May, 7pm at Peacock Visual Arts admission free // Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki, 1988), Tuesday 20 May, 7pm at Peacock Visual Arts admission free
  • Jens Strandberg Talk – ‘Powerpoint’ Friday, 16 May, 6pm
  • Pure Data Workshop 26 – 30 May, 10am to 4pm. A hands-on workshop to explore ‘Pure Data’, a versatile open source application used for audio and video processing. No knowledge of PD is necessary but participants will need to be comfortable using computers. To sign-up and for further information e-mail jack@peacockvisualarts.co.uk or call us on 01224 639 539.

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