Code Unknown: Ebru Yetişkin

Codes are laws. Codes determine. They create borderlines. We use new media technologies without knowing how codes make our life work and determine us. We cannot fully grasp the rules of the game anymore. We live by transiting borderlines.

We do not immediately understand what is being played out with codes in digital technologies, nor what is being profoundly transformed therein, even though we unceasingly have to make decisions regarding technics, the consequences of which are felt to escape us more and more.

In day-to-day technical reality, we also cannot spontaneously distinguish the long-term processes of transformation from spectacular but also fleeting technical innovations. This is code unknown, for us. Today we act without knowing the language of our time.

Installed in the rising side of Istanbul, “Code Unknown” is a video and photography exhibition about new media cultures. The exhibition suggests a precarious perspective for the everyday uses of media technologies with a focus on some ironic and paradoxical situations in contemporary data societies.

Adopting the romantic celebration of digital technologies, “Code Unknown” suggests holding a realistic approach.

Inspired by one of Haneke’s masterpieces, “Code Unknown: Incomplete Stories of Some Journeys” (2000), the exhibition focuses on how contradictory conditions that leak into the micro-temporalities and micro-spatialities of everyday life are experienced within digital societies.

Code creation is an inherently social and communicative act. It involves processes of collaboration, consensus and conflict resolution. If we do not know how the codes work, our possibilities for knowing and creating processes of collaboration, consensus and conflict resolution as social acts would be restricted.

“Code Unknown” opens up how such states of incompleteness activate the potentiality of creating alterities, only if they interact with each other within the flow of contemporary life, which we do not exactly how it occurs but we can only experience once we live. For this reason, knowing how code-work and code-writing is processed is important.

The artists of the exhibition cut these specific fragments of life, which are constructed on some unknown codes, with instantaneous moments, in which one reveals something only if it encounters with another.

In this way, the exhibition works with social, economic and political codes that can be traced by artistic practice.

The exhibition also reveals itself as an experiment about how knowledge/power is reproduced by collaborating with those who cannot access the production lines of new media cultures.

Within these circumstances, “Code Unknown” questions the contemporary tasks attributed to art, artist and art critic today.