Verina Gfader is an artist and researcher whose practice is concerned with fictional collectivity, non-linearity and the accumulative nature of knowledge in art. Between 1990 and 1996, Gfader completed an MA in Visual Media at the University of Art and Design Linz, followed by an MA in Photographic Studies at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design in London (1996–1998). Her practice-based PhD in Fine Arts at Central Saint Martins in London (2000–2006) included a residency at Tokyo University of the Arts, during which Gfader researched non-commercial Japanese animation.
Gfader is co-director of the international animation network Animate Assembly, and creative director of 'EP'—a series published by Sternberg Press in Berlin and founded by Alex Coles that moves between the themes of art, design and architecture. Published in 2013, the first edition examines the activities of the Italian Avantgarde between 1968 and 1976, highlighting links between collectives and groups such as Arte Povera, Archizoom and Superstudio. Situated amongst a number of contributions by writers such as Paola Antonelli, Pier Aureli and Andrea Branzi is Gfader's interview with Italian sociologist Antonio Negri, titled 'The Real Radical?'.
Gfader was amongst the 92 artists invited to participate in the 11th Shanghai Biennale entitled, Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories (12 November 2016–12 March 2017), for which she devised a performance project titled The Guests 做东 (2016). In a conversation with Ingrid Chu for Ocula Magazine in 2018, Gfader describes the project as a 'performance publication' that functioned as a discreet 'blink and you miss it' event during the Shanghai Biennale.' The work involved four amateur performers, including one child, who were 'equipped with audio recorders. They approached any willing visitors with a particular set of questions.' These statements were collected, translated and assembled into a book titled Cloud Chamber (2017), and as such the audience 'became its co-producer and co-author.' Through an array of voices, Cloud Chamber looks towards the future through the lens of a social imaginary that manifests itself as a combination of cartographic entanglements and expressions of subjectivity.
In 2014, Gfader was an invited speaker at Kinema Club Conference for Film and Moving Images from Japan XIII (17–18 January 2014). The Club—set up in the 1990s—involves an international community with a shared interest in Japanese animation. Her research was also presented in a talk entitled Wild Iconographies held at Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong (5 December 2017) that discussed 'how printed matter is imagined and realised as an agent for collective action, social thought, and "world imagining."' The talk was the result of Gfader's residency at Asia Art Archive (3–10 December 2017) that involved an exploration of past magazine movements along with a closed-door workshop with artists, researchers and cultural and theatre practitioners to explore the passage of time.
In September 2016, Gfader began a postdoctoral fellowship with The Contemporary Condition research project at Aarhus University in Denmark. The research project investigates contemporaneity as a defining condition of our historical present. It is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research to take place from September 2015 to August 2018.
A quick tally of the number of international art book fairs may be all that's required to quell any doubts as to the state of art publishing. This provides temporary respite from the steady stream of new tech gadgets and digital platforms that are nonetheless causing seismic shifts in the creation, production, distribution, and engagement of art in...