Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck in collaboration with Media Farzin | Eames-Derivative, (small version). From the series Cultural Diplomacy: An Art We Neglect, 2006-2013 | 1242 custom-made slotted cards, silk thread, 5 framed vintage magazine ads, narrative wall labels, vinyl wall lettering, glass and wood platform and metal fixtures
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck in collaboration with Media Farzin | Eames-Derivative, (small version). From the series Cultural Diplomacy: An Art We Neglect, 2006-2013 | 1242 custom-made slotted cards, silk thread, 5 framed vintage magazine ads, narrative wall labels, vinyl wall lettering, glass and wood platform, metal fixtures
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck in collaboration with Media Farzin | Eames-Derivative, (small version). From the series Cultural Diplomacy: An Art We Neglect, 2006-2013 | 1242 custom-made slotted cards, silk thread, 5 framed vintage magazine ads, narrative wall labels, vinyl wall lettering, glass and wood platform, metal fixtures
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck
Photo: Ethan Carrier/def image
Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck

Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck

in collaboration with Media Farzin

Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck, born in Caracas, Venezuela, 1972; lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Media Farzin, born in San Diego, California, 1979; lives and works in New York, USA

Since the mid-nineties, Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck has developed a hybrid practice that incorporates the activities of a researcher, archivist, historian, curator, and designer. Media Farzin has written extensively on contemporary art as a critic and art historian, and is currently completing a doctoral dissertation on the books and performances of French Los Angeles–based artist Guy de Cointet. Since 2007, Balteo Yazbeck and Farzin have been collaborating on archival and historic research into chronological coincidences, the histories of cultural diplomacy, and the modernist artifacts of the Cold War era.

The installation Eames-Derivative (small version) narrates a three-decade-long story of socioeconomic power structures and modern design. The sculptural component comprises custom-made slotted cards that depict now-outmoded computer technology. The cards are a “remake” of the Computer House of Cards, produced by the Eames office in 1970 for IBM’s pavilion at the Osaka World’s Fair. Much of the Eames’ iconic work for IBM, which was intended to promote a friendly image of computers to the public, laid the groundwork for the omnipresence of digital technology today. The fragility of Eames-Derivative’s technological house of cards invokes both the dominant influence of modern technology and the volatility of today’s most vital financial systems. The installation also includes five vintage IBM magazine ads from the 1950s, which illustrate the company’s deliberate emphasis, through the language of advertising, on the importance of its products as the enabling technology for the growing US military-industrial complex as well as the global financial system.

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