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Search Engine

Gallery21 March – 30 April 2011

1 cycle of open-residencies and workshops, 3 artists groups, 1 place of arrival and departure, 3 ongoing research projects and works.
A 6-week programme of new research, contexts of collaboration, creation and distribution.

History is a story. And to write down the story of the fourteenth century, to just ask yourself – “what happened in the fourteenth century?” — is a very different matter from asking the atemporal question: “What does Google do when I input the search term ‘fourteenth century’?”

Bruce Sterling on Atemporality, Transmediale; February 2010

SEARCH ENGINE is a six-week open-residencies programme aimed at facilitating new processes of production, collaborative research and forms of distribution.

For SEARCH ENGINE Grand Union has invited three artists groups – Manu Luksch & Mukul Patel, American Mountains, GOTO10 – to work in the project space for two weeks each; taking as their departure point the investigation of the complex relationship between history and technology, and the way it connects to the Grand Union locale, Digbeth (Birmingham).

The processes of artistic investigation that SEARCH ENGINE sets out to explore, have been triggered both by the characteristic of the area in which Grand Union operates and Atemporality, a talk by Bruce Sterling, in which the sci-fi author discusses the effects that technology and the rise of networked society, have had on history – the way it is generated, interpreted and distributed.

Digbeth is a former industrial site and an important point of the economic network organised around the Grand Union canal, but in recent years it has become an area of cultural and artistic production. These changes in function have generated an historical shift which has not only impacted the way that Digbeth is organised and ‘lived’, but also raises questions about the relationship between technological advances, history and the way in which we relate to the present place.

How do we, as networked people, people with access to that “colossally huge search database” which is the Internet, interpret historical shifts and changes in the function of the spaces we happen to inhabit? How do we relate to the space surrounding us in light of current modes of writing and interpreting history?

This set of reflections and questions have been offered to Manu Luksch & Mukul Patel, American Mountains and GOTO10, to consider during the time they spend at Grand Union setting up an ongoing laboratory.

During SEARCH ENGINE Grand Union project space will be transformed in a place of arrival and departure, from which data will be searched, collected, tested, inputted and outputted into contexts that will emerge throughout the process of artistic research and production.


21 March – 2 April
MANU LUKSCH & MUKUL PATEL, Kayak Libre [[free thinking, free transport]]

Thursday 24 March, 6-9 pm: Opening
Artists’ talk at Grand Union, 6.30 pm
Screening of shorts by Manu Luksch at VIVID , 9 pm

Thursday 24 Mar – Sunday 27 March:
WATER TAXI available to book from 19 March.

Saturday 2 April, 12-2 pm: Final open workshop


2 April – 16 April

Friday 8 April, 12-8 pm: Not Romania day
Event 6-8 pm

Saturday 9 April, 12-8 pm: Greenway day
Event 6-8 pm

Friday 15 April, 12-8 pm: We Fucked This Up day
Event 6-8 pm

Saturday 16 April, 12-11 pm: Book Launch and Closing Party

16 April – 30 April
GOTO10, /!POP!: points of presence/

Saturday 30 April: Final open workshop

Friday 13 May 2011, 12-8pm
Grand Union presents an exhibition of material produced throughout Search Engine.

Artists’ and Curator’s Talk – 6.30pm
Panel discussion between SEARCH ENGINE artists, the project curator, Marialaura Ghidini, and guest speaker Mattia Paganelli, artist and researcher at the Institute for the Converging Arts and Sciences (University of Greenwich, London).
Looking at the notion of Atemporality as discussed by Bruce Sterling, the round discussion will focus on the work developed during Search Engine following a series of questions proposed by the guest speaker.