Francesco Finizio, Touch Screen: Slime Studies, 2023
Joshua Simon is a curator, writer, scholar and publisher whose work revolves around visual histories of contemporary social and political structures. His exhibitions were described as “catalysts for artistic creation of a different order” by Haaretz Daily News, and The Los Angeles Review of Books declared: “His writings constitute one of the most ambitious attempts in contemporary art criticism to develop an aesthetics consistent with historical materialism.” For his project at the Secession, Simon is joining the artists Francesco Finizio, Liv Schulman, and others to develop SLIME, a hybrid online and onsite program.
SLIME is a unique hybrid project about our hybrid realities. Taking place at the Secession as an onsite event and as an online program, it includes commissioned and historic artworks, talks and performances, screenings and workshops (including one for making actual Slime). Taking its name from the children’s toy—a metastable plasma-like substance that has both unique material and tactile features and a constant presence online through tutorials and documentation of people playing with it—SLIME tackles the social, cultural, political, and sensory operations of digital hybridity.
Where we meet today—at the point of realization, as opposed to the point of production—shifts occur in the ways meaning is organized: from strikes to riots, from working class to surplus populations, from solidarity to conspiracy, from organization to petty sovereignty. Digital hybridity continues finance’s assault on social reproduction. Infused with its belief in digitality as an unmediated mode of operation, it generates sensory and political frontiers—be it ASMR or extreme right-wing politics. In this world, Slime is the form of that which has no form, a non-productive high viscosity, an overflowing superfluous matter, an informe of sorts. Exploring this cultural phenomenon and its precursors in art, the program at the Secession looks at our political, economic, and cultural realities stemming from the digital hybridity that is SLIME.