The present moment has many of us deeply immersed in the digital and the artificial. What is the value in shifting and diversifying our attention to more deliberately include the artisanal and the natural, to deliberately turn our curiosity to the unexpected, as an attempt to reconnect with the intuitive?

hand-code, is a practice-led artist research process. Marcus Neustetter explores the dynamics between analogue and digital approaches in the act of making and collaborating. He engages with documented and practiced handicrafts, materials, and tools from the past and in the present.

Drawing from diverse contexts and conditions, the exploration follows the artists movements between countries across Africa and Europe. The current journey ranges from rural and urban contexts in Benin (Ouadah, Setou, Kadé, Porto Novo, Dassa), South Africa (Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth), Austria (Murau, Vienna), France (Paris) and the Czech Republic (Usti nad Labem).

Conscious of the social, political, economic and environmental complexities in the sites of engagement, Neustetter has crafted a sensitive approach, each time seeking out a safe space for identifying common ideas and sharing personal vulnerabilities in the process of creating and inventing. Here the studio is not a physical space but rather a mobile offering, Neustetter repeatedly finds collaborative and spontaneous actions with others, ranging form intimate co-productions to large-scale public light projections. Evidence of communing and practice is created through process drawings, photographs, films and audio recordings.

The undertaking pulls scientific, philosophical, ethnographic, anthropological and artistic perspectives and debates into a shared space of experimenting with craft traditions and digital tools and media. Is it a project seeking to birth new provocations and forms, both in the hand-made and digitally coded.

hand-code is informed by and contributes to the THE ZoNE – eXpanding possibilities philosophical and scientific research collaboration and outreach. On the journey over the past 8 months, Neustetter’s artistic approach has been applied to various projects and partners, seeding the first hand-code network through dialogue and experience.

With seed funding and support from THE ZoNE – eXpanding possibilities and The Federal Ministry of Arts Culture, Civil Service and Sport, Republic of Austria, the project-series brought together different affiliates, participants, hosts, supporters and funders.

hand-code summary PDF

other important links:

The ZoNE

eXpanding possibilities