Keynote | Shadow Knowledge

Rosa Menkman



Shadow Knowledge is knowledge of how to perceive the shadows; the fringes of what is enlightened (or not in the dark) but also knowledge of what exists in the shadows…. 

Discussions about what is „real“ are often fuelled by the use of terms like “hyperreal”, “fake” or „alternative facts“. As a result, the 2010s have become a very interesting decennium for images of „reality“. As it turns out Standard Models need extensions, fields of knowledge can scale and vision can reach beyond the unseeable. Take for instance the discovery of the Higgs boson particle (2012) or the capturing of the shadow of a black hole (2019) – these are examples of when science and imagination cross and together shatter norms previously thought of as ‚universal realities‘.
Even for the laymen, realities should now finally be understood as complex and multiple. And because of this, we need space for Shadow Knowledge – knowledge derived from objects of unsupported dimension and scale. In the shadows, things lack definition. The shadows offer shady outlines that can function either as vectors of progress or as a paint by numbers.


Quelle: Rosa Menkman,
About: Rosa Menkman


My work focuses on noise artifacts that result from accidents in both analogue and digital media (such as glitch and encoding and feedback artifacts). I believe that these artifacts can facilitate an important insight into the otherwise obscure alchemy of standardization via resolutions.

The standardization of resolutions is a process that generally imposes efficiency, order and functionality on our technologies. It does not just involve the creation of protocols and solutions, but also entails the   obfuscation of compromises and the black-boxing of alternative possibilities, which are as a result in danger of staying forever unseen or even forgotten.

Through my research, which is both practice based and theoretical, I hope to uncover these anti-utopic, lost and unseen or simply „too good to be implemented“ resolutions — to produce new ways to use and perceive through our technologies.

Rosa Menkman ist eine holländische Künstlerin, Kuratorin und Wissenschaftlerin. Nach A Vernacular of File Formats (2010) schrieb sie im Folgejahr mit The Glitch Moment/um und dem Glitch Studies Manifesto zwei seminale Text zum künstlerisch-wissenschaftlichen Umgang mit dem Phänomen Glitch, auf die eine Vielzahl weiterer wichtiger Publikationen folgten.

Menkman kuratiert und organisierte unterschiedliche Medienkunstfestivals, unter anderem die GLI.TC/H Festivals in Chicago und Amsterdam, das ästhetische Symposium der Transmediale 2012 sowie weitere Ausstellungen.

2015 startete Menkman die Institutions for Resolution Disputes [iRD] und erforschte dabei anti-utopische, verlorene oder nicht gesehene (Auf)Lösungen. 2017 präsentierte sie das Projekt Behind White Shadows, in dem sie sich mit den Politiken von Farbtestkarten beschäftigte.

Seit 2018 ist Menkman Vertretungsprofessorin für Neue Medien | Visuelle Kommunikation an der Kunsthochschule Kassel.

Eine Übersicht über Rosa Menkmans umfangreiche Projekte finden sich auf ihrer Webseite Beyond Resolution und auf ihrem Vimeo-Kanal.