25 June 2021
JUNGE AKADEMIE and E.ON Foundation award Human-Machine Fellowship to Indonesian media artist Natasha Tontey
From more than 250 international submissions, the jury for the Human-Machine Programme has chosen the Indonesian media artist Natasha Tontey as the 2021 fellowship holder. For the programme, she is continuing her research in connection with “Makatana”, a project about ancient technologies, healing practices and the machine philosophy of Minahasan cosmology in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. During a working residency in Berlin in autumn/winter 2021, she will create a new work that investigates the significance of technology and mechanisation for Minahasan society then, now and in the future.
“Makatana’ is one of those rare projects that impels us to think generously about the relationship between humanity and machines in two respects. In the cosmology of the Minahasan, Natasha Tontey allows pre-colonial non-European and deep-time dimensions of technology to collide, making their archaic power productive for future presents,” writes Siegfried Zielinski in the jury’s statement.
The Human-Machine Programme is a collaborative project between the JUNGE AKADEMIE and the E.ON Stiftung’s Artist in Residence programme “VISIT”. The programme supports international artists from all artistic disciplines who facilitate new patterns of thought, narratives and approaches to the world in the context of the topic and explore urgent aspects of the current situation of society and the planet and implement them in an aesthetically compelling way. The fellowship is endowed with EUR 20,000 and includes a guest residency in the studios of the Akademie der Künste at Hanseatenweg.
This year’s jury was composed up of Inke Arns (Director of Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Anna Fricke (Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum Folkwang, Essen), Johannes Odenthal (Director of Programming of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin), Harald Welzer (sociologist, Director of the foundation “Zukunftsfähigkeit. FuturZwei”, Berlin) and Siegfried Zielinski (media theorist, Akademie member).
Natasha Tontey is an artist and graphic designer from Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In her work, she explores the fictional elements of history and myths. She observes the possibilities of a different future that is not envisioned from the point of view of large and established institutions, but is based on the subtle and personal struggles of excluded entities and beings/modes of existence. Her work was shown at transmediale in 2021 and at the Kyoto Experiment festival. In 2020, she received the HASH Net Art award from the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe and the Akademie Schloss Solitude.
For the VISIT programme the jury also selected three other artists, who are addressing the subject of energy: Lola Göller investigates the phenomenon of pyramid energy, Sven Johne devotes his research to the conflicts surrounding the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and the duo Nina and Adnan Softic question the relationship between factual and emotional knowledge in the context of the climate data collected by the Polarstern expedition. The findings will be presented in various accompanying programmes and a final exhibition on completion of the fellowships.