Annie Abrahams Born in 1954, Hilvarenbeek, Pays Bas Lives in France since 1987
Doctoraal (M2) in Biologie University of Utrecht 1978. Diploma (MA2) of the Art school of Arnhem 1985.
Annie Abrahams has a doctoraal (M2) in biology from the University of Utrecht and a MA2 from the Academy of Fine Arts of Arnhem. In her work, using video, performance as well as the internet, she questions the possibilities and the limits of communication in general and more specifically investigates its modes under networked conditions. She is known worldwide for her net art and collective writing experiments and is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art.
Abrahams develops what she calls an aesthetics of trust and attention and creates situations meant to reveal messy and sloppy sides of human behaviour, where she traps reality and somakes that reality available for thought.
She has performed and shown work extensively in France, including at the Jeu de Paume; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the CRAC, Sète; the Paris–Villette theater and in more than hunderd international galleries and museums including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, Asheville, North Carolina; the Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Spain; the New Musem, New York; the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan; Furtherfield gallery, London; Aksioma, Ljubljana, and NIMk, Amsterdam, in festivals such as the MoscowFilm Festival; the International Film Festival, Rotterdam and the Stuttgarter Filmwinter (1prize 2011), and on online platforms as Rhizome.org and Turbulence.
She teached at the university of Montpellier in the arts department. (2002-2005) Autumn 2005, she started provi&testi: meetings around art works to become, not yet finished, trespassing habits; and +++plus+++ editions. From november 2006 to january 2009 she curated the project “InstantS” and organized the “Breaking Solitude” and ”Double Bind” webperformance series on panoplie.org. In 2012 she co-organised the first Cyposium – online symposium on cyberformance, and published an article on webcam mediated communication and collaboration in JAR #2 (Journal of Artistic Research). In 2013 she started with Emmanuel Guez the project ReadingClub, an online venue for collaborative reading and writing performances. In 2014 she published two books: “from estranger to e- stranger” with CONA and Aksioma, Ljubljana; and “CyPosium – the book” published by LINK editions and la Panacée, co- edited with Helen Varley Jamieson. Since august 2015 Abrahams is the artistic director of a thesis by Muriel Piqué (University of Aix-Marseille).
Annie Abrahams was born as a farmer’s daughter in a small village in the Netherlands in 1954. When she is going to high school for the first time, she stays mute for three days, the time necessary to learn to express herself otherwise than in the local dialect. Having obtained a doctoral in biology in 1980 she leaves her post as an assistant researcher at the university because her colleagues didn’t appreciate she read Dostojevski in her spare time. Annie is teaching biology at high school and obtains a diploma in painting at the art school in 1986. In 1987, with a two years grant from the Dutch government for young artists she is going to live in France, where she stays until now.
There, using a custom-made computer program called DOEK, she learns to use a computer to help her to construct and to keep trace of the installations she makes with her paintings on complexity. Annie Abrahams shows her computer drawings for the first time in her show “Possibilités” in l’espace Forum in Nice, France in 1992. When in 1996 she creates a ‘meeting place’ in a show in Nijmegen, Annie uses the computer to be present from a distance. Since then she produces net specific work and starts “Being Human” (low tech mood mutators / not immersive 1996 – 2007) her most important web work, that explores interpersonal relations on the net. This work concentrates on the possibilities and limitations of communication on the net and has been shown in various international new media and video festivals and shows. (Skopje, Mexico City, Tallinn, Seoul, Atlanta, Montreal, Athens, Clermont Ferrand, Tokyo, Bristol, Seattle, Split, Rotterdam, San Fransisco etc.) Her work evolved into Internet related research pieces among which Huis Clos / No Exit : a networked performance series investigating collaboration and relational dynamics in a dispersed group, and Angry Women. Lately Abrahams continues investigating the role of empathy, things, the voice, absence and presence in online communication and the concept of “being with” in projects as besides, On Object Agency with the choreographer and theorician Martina Ruhsam and DistantFeeling(s) with Daniel Pinheiro and Lisa Parra. Abrahams often collaborates with other artists as for instance Nicolas Frespech, Antye Greie, Curt Cloninger, Mark River from MTAA, Laurie Bellanca, Helen Varley Jamieson and Igor Stromajer among others.
When studying biology I had to observe a colony of monkeys in a zoo. I found this very interesting because I learned something about human communities by watching the apes. In a certain way I watch the internet with the same appetite and interest. I consider it to be a universe where I can observe some aspects of human attitudes and behaviour without interfering. (for instance in ViolenceS http://bram.org/indexviolence.html )
I am also interested in providing a situation in which the visitors, by leaving a personal trace, collaborate in revealing a collective voice, participate in the emergence of a staggering beginning for a language of the multitude. I am convinced these collections contain a revelation of actual tendencies in society (our contemporary being) and procure us a kind of cartography of the other. (I am looking for ways to introduce the web-created-text objects in real space, to inseminate these collections with physical energy, I want to give “flesh and bones” to what exist as potential in a computer and what appears as only light on a screen)
On the web I am also experimenting with the possibilities of making visitor behaviour (by clicking, choosing, participating, the visitor reveals the work of the artist) the content of an esthetical contemplation (see Separation , Painsong, Karaoke). “Interview with Annie Abrahams” by Béatrice Bonfanti 2005.
I want to know how they function, not by them telling me, but by me almost forcing them to reveal an instance of their ‘hidden code’ in public. I want us to go beyond self-representation and the control that this requires. Am I really forcing them to do this?… No I am not. What happens is that the situation in itself that is, the telematic performance interface, the protocols, the flaws in the streaming connections rewrites the conditions of communication in a way that makes this revelation possible, if not inevitable. Annie Abrahams. Allergic to Utopias, Interview by Maria Chatzichristodoulou fir digicult, 2010.
We perform experimenting thinking together using words and things and the affects transferred via our voices. We experiment performing thinking together, We think performing experiments together, We experiment thinking performance, We experiment performing thought together using words and things and the affects transferred via our voices... Extracted from besides, what are we doing? Notes on besides,… by Annie Abrahams 03/2016.pdf
Want to know more on how I practice the relation art/science in my performance art, the role of its audience, what means intimacy in networked performances and to be a female artist. Read this interview done by Maria Chatzichristodoulou in 2010. It is still actual!
Information in Fr on http://bram.org/info/aaf.htm (en français)
2015 txt Eng Choose your muse interview: Annie Abrahams, Marc Garrett, Furtherfield. 2015 txt Fr Annie Abrahams, Le principe d’incertitude .pdf, pages 12-13, Gaspard Bébié-Valérian, MCD #78. 2014 txt Slo Annie Abrahams: Jezik v svetu med realnim in virtualnim Pogovor z umetnico ob njeni aktualni razstavi 29 10 2014 ob 06:28 Pina Gabrijan, Potrpežljivost in pozornost (Patience and Attention), DEVNIK Nov 3, Mojca Pišek., V performanse vložim tisto, ?esar ne razumem Interview Annie Abrahams Tanja Lesni?ar – Pu?ko, Dnevnik 17/04. 2014 txt Eng Igor Štromajer & Annie Abrahams by Gretta Louw, BOMB Magazine April 21st 2014. 2013 txt Fr Entretien avec Annie Abrahams (page 20 – 33) INFRA 02 Editions Macrosonges 2012 txt Eng Annie Abrahams interview by Alessandro Ludovico, Neural 43, Autummn 2012, Networked Tangibility, ISSN 2037-108X. 2012 txt Eng Annie Abrahams Interviewed by Christina Papagiannouli. 30 November [Online] 2012 txt Eng Trapped to Reveal – On webcam mediated communication and collaboration, article by Annie Abrahams for JAR2 (Journal of Artistic Research), ISSN 2235-0225. 2012 txt Eng Today I conversed with, Interviewed by Filippo Lorenzin 20/05. 2012 txt Fr Ita Being Human /Tweet-intervista a Annie Abrahams Tweet Intervista by Simona Polvani. 2011 vidéo Fr INTERVIEW DE LA BOITE # 28 – ANNIE ABRAHAMS C’est à Sète (intime -personnel) 2011 video Eng Reportage made for “Simeio Art” by Evi Tsirigotaki and Philippe Vu for the Greek public television NET . 2011 txt Fr “Conversation avec Annie Abrahams“, livre avec Manuel Fadat 60 pages. 2011 txt Fr “| Interview | Annie Abrahams |” Entretien par Aleksandra Smilek pour Paris-art.com. 2010 txt Eng “ANNIE ABRAHAMS, ALLERGIC TO UTOPIAS“, Interview by Maria Chatzichristodoulou for Digimag 58 2010 txt Eng “Annie Abrahams and life in networks” by Maria Chatzichristodoulou [aka Maria X], Lecturer in Theatre and Performance – School of Arts and New Media -The University of Hull @ Scarborough, for Digimag 54. 2010 txt Fr “qui suis-je? Annie Abrahams (1999)” Review, article, Cyril Thomas, Magazine electronique du CIAC no 37. 2010 txt Fr “La vie dans les réseaux d’Annie Abrahams“, by Maria Chatzichristodoulou [aka Maria X] for Digimag 54 translated in French for Poptronics. 2010 txt Eng Artistic Textual and Performative Paths in New Media Correlations: An Interview with Annie Abrahams by Evelin Stermitz. 2010 txt Eng “If not you not me – catalogue essay“, Ruth Catlow, Catalogue txt for the show in HTTP gallery, London. 2009 txt Fr SORTIR DE SA BULLE : ENTRETIEN CROISÉ ENTRE ANNIE ABRAHAMS ET ALBERTINE MEUNIER par Cyril Thomas. 2009 video Fr Derrière l’écran : Entrevue avec Annie Abrahams 10 min. Paule Macrous Patric Mondou. 2009 video Fr Entretien avec Annie Abrahams. Annie Abrahams présente son film “The Big Kiss” lors d’un regard croisée avec Agnés de Cayeux dans le cadre des RIAM 06 à Marseille. 2008 video Fr “Rencontre avec Annie Abrahams“, Video interview with Charles Prémont for Le Lien MULTIMÉDIA. 2008 radio Eng Radio interview Annie Abrahams by Ida Hiršenfelder 2006 txt Fr Entretien avec Annie Abrahams pour une mémoire. 2005 txt Eng “Interview with Annie Abrahams” by Béatrice Bonfanti for weblogart. 2003 txt Fr Eng Pavu.com interviews anniea for P2P 2000 txt Fr Interview with Annie Abrahams par Bertrand Gauguet in Archée. –