Jana Vanecek

+c1 Jana Vanecek -c1 was born in former Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and is based in Switzerland. They hold degrees in fine arts, critical theory and transdisciplinarity in the arts. Their +c2 transdisciplinary artistic research -c2 is situated at the intersection of +c5 conceptual art, autotheory and activism,-c5 with an emphasis on +c4 class, the economization of healthcare, health inequality, and critical neurodiversity.-c4 Beyond these areas, Vanecek delves into the realms of +c3 non-human agency and generative A.I., -c3 showcasing a broad yet focused spectrum of inquiry.

As the co-founder of the Arab Film Festival Zurich and the HOSPIZ DER FAULHEIT artist group, Vanecek fosters collaborative spaces for creative expression and dialogue. Their participation in the Madame Psychosis online publishing collective and Club La Fafa, alongside their partnership with Chantal Romani in the KUNST BRAUCHT KOHLE duo, illustrates a socially engaged approach to contemporary art practice.


Pro Helvetia Residency Shanghai

During their Residency in Shanghai Jana Vanecek will continue their work on “TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS“. Weaving together speculative fiction, philosophies of the simulacrum and generative A.I. “TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS“ challenges us to reconsider our notions of representation and coexistence.

“TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS“ draws inspiration from Alexander Bogdanov’s 1908 science fiction novel “RED STAR,” presenting a speculative narrative that reverses traditional fantasies of Mars colonization. In this story, Earth is visited by 4600 intergalactic cyborg cockroaches aiming to save the planet from global warming and teach humans to establish a reciprocal relationship with the cosmos.

The artist created each of these cockroaches using an AI text-to-image generator with the same prompt, exploring the concept of the simulacrum, as discussed by Gilles Deleuze in his book ‘The Logic of Sense,’ particularly in the chapter titled ‘Plato and the Simulacrum’. This concept challenges the notion of original and copy, asserting that the simulacrum holds a positive power that negates both, which is embodied in the unique appearance of each cockroach.

The project not only celebrates the differences among the cockroaches, emphasizing Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and repetition, but also delves into the neurodiversity found within the cockroach species. Contrary to their common perception as pests, cockroaches exhibit complex behaviors and neurological adaptations, including memory and learning capabilities similar to mammals, and a decentralized “second brain,” showcasing their advanced neuroanatomy.

Cockroaches, with their ancient lineage and remarkable adaptability through mass extinctions (survived the dinosaurs), symbolize resilience and non-hierarchical social structures, reflecting the interconnected, simulacrum world “TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS” portrays. Their close relationship with human environments and their overlooked role in ecosystems are highlighted, inviting viewers to reconsider their perceptions of these creatures.

The project aligns with ecofeminist principles of mutual respect and interconnectedness among all living beings and the land, emphasizing the need for reciprocity to maintain health and well-being in both human and non-human communities. The choice of cockroaches as the main protagonists echoes Donna Haraway’s concept of “making kin” and Karen Barad’s „intra-action“. It also seizes Isabelle Stengers’ call for an “ecology of practices“, urging a reevaluation of our relationship with nature and advocating for a future of harmony and balance. “TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS” serves as a poignant reminder of our shared destiny with the non-human world and the essential role each species plays in planetary health.

Working Environments for Neurodivergent Artists @Sihl Delta

Thursday, 11 April, drinks from 6 pm

Lecture by Cassiane Pfund at 6:30 pm, followed by an open panel.

Organized by Sylvain Gelewski. Please join us for an evening of thinking, drinks, and conversation!

Cassiane Pfund, artist, writer, Collectif mot de passe, Picto residency, Geneva

Jana Vanecek (they/them), artist, writer, Zurich (online from Shanghai)

Rada, (she/they), researcher and musician, Zurich

Bassma El Adisey (she/her), curator, art historian, Aargauer Kunsthaus, F+F School for Art, Media Design, Zurich

Wild at Art: Zeitgeist pre and post analogue

The ‘Wild at Art’ art exhibition embraces the vivacity and vibrance of the city, that comes alive within a different context, amidst the hustle and bustle of Art Basel 2024. This second time, we celebrate the many expressions of multi-disciplinary artists from India and Switzerland, with a diverse selection of artworks, in the midst of the Campus of the Arts in Basel at Atelier Mondial.

The exhibition reflects the techno-spirituality of the Zeitgeist or ‘spirit of the time’, pre and post analogue, amidst a heavily digi-centric world. With sentiments of new and old, we show harmonies and anomolies between two contrasting multilingual and multi-ethnic nations of Switzerland and India. The alpine nation with its small ecologies; distributed over mountains, lakes, economically and culturally industrious landscapes, remains a land-locked island in the midst of the European Union. Whilst India, the largest tech-savvy democracy in the world, which superceded China with its human capital last year, being a sub-continent of the east, rich in resources, with great mountains, deserts, forests, plateaus, surrounded by seas.

Ancient philosophies outline the fundamental principle that ‘desire creates sorrow. With worlds interconnected and ever-growing populations, we are expressing evermore thoughts and creating unbounded desires, which algorithms are processing whilst catalysing weird and wonderful new entropies, exponentially. Daily we feed huge databases with insatiable appetites. They devour monstrous quantities of digital content, through gateways and cookies around the world, each second. Are these quantities and implementations necessary and digestible? Are the benefits of digitalisation setting us free? Are we really helping ourselves in the pursuit of a higher state of liberation ? With an energy crisis, when we have to switch off the machine, can we switch ourselves off? Can we disconnect from machines? Where is ‘the’ switch?

There are many fabulous art works for sale. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to two development organisations locally that help refugees and cultural projects in India. Be Aware and Share, a local registered charity that supports people on the move by promoting intercultural relations and social integration. We are grateful to raise awareness and support an initiative that helps people to find a better position in life.

The exhibition is curated by Rama Kalidindi.