Venue: The Highlight Club, The Cube, Albion Street
Leeds, LS2 8ER U.K.
30th Mar. 2011

Art and Comedy at The Highlight

A free event featuring performance, projection, stand-up and art at the Highlight Club, Leeds

Katrin Lock & Tim Brotherton, Michael Burkitt, Douglas Park & Richard Crow, Shezad Dawood, Black Dogs, Makiko Nagaya & Disinformation*, Alan Dunn*, Ben Judd, Rory Macbeth, Harold Offeh, Mark Dean Quinn, Clunie Reid, Paul Sakoilsky, Micheale Spessa with MA Art and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University, Tim Caswell, Matthew Day, Phillipa Dyrlaga, Ken Fackrell, Natasha Howe, Matthew Hynds, Ruth Jamieson, Samira Lalani, Layla Rassouli, Hannah Roberts, Natalja Sadikova, Owen Thomas, Elina Unger

Curated by Peter Lewis and MA Art and Design, Leeds Metropolitan University

What is ‘superhybridity’?
The phenomenon of superhybridity hasn’t come out of the blue writes Jörg Heiser in Frieze. "It has been represented for decades in comic-book culture as, say, a powerful, elegant, brilliantly sculpted hero(ine) – or a decomposing monster rising from the swamps. Its more openly polemical – yet fragile – side was pioneered by artists who refused to take any medium, genre or discipline for granted. Mary Shelley, Alfred Jarry, Lina Wertmüller and Sigmar Polke are all super-hybridists avant l’Internet, but the question of what fuelled their methodical restlessness remains. Was it simply an eagerness to mimic capitalism’s restlessness? Yes and no (yes, because they’re fascinated by production; no, because they hate the business). Is it an adult form of child’s play? Yes and no (yes, because playfully testing perception is a part of it; no, because it’s too exhausting and risky for it to be just play)." Frieze, Editorial 133 September 2010

The curator writes of the logic of the 'hybrid' in transversing cultures. The different lines that intersect explore curatorial possibilities that expand their own mechanisms beyond the normal processes of the art exhibition and the museum generating new concepts of the public as producers of an excess. This is superhybridity, spilling everywhere as a form in the process of an egalitarian renewal. An excess too risky to just play dead - if the artist is dead, long live the Superhybrid!

As Boris Groys writes, the modern state of things is like a spectacle without spectators - we are now the unofficial producers in the digital age of hyper-consumption. The question always returns to the imagination by way of an iconoclastic provocation. Nothing new, if we guess that its a symptom, by proxy, of the spectacle of global culture, we could re-think it as 'digital futurism', or 'electronophilia' in superfluidity, without anywhere left to go. Amid the ruins of an equality of cultures, images excrete the here and now in wasted time, issuing out of the terminal end of modernity.

We design our experience precisely from these excesses of material with a risk to falling prey to believing in their occult sovereign force. Just as Lawrence Weiner had produced the system for experiencing Conceptual art; Superhybrid art can be physically realised or remain as an idea, but in any instance the intangible 'experience' of new art always performs as unacceptable hybrids, being both lucid and funny.

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