Fear & X-Files

Lampo has received a grant from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation that will make it possible to bring writer Nora Khan to Chicago. On December 1 she joins artist Steven Warwick to present Fear Indexing the X-Files, in a lecture and performance reading at the Lampo Annex. Khan and Warwick analyze key episodes of the television series to address the evolving climate of fear during the Clinton-Bush years, which also marked the birth of the commercial internet and a new era of networked communication. They will share their research, featuring images, clips and ephemera.

The original run of The X-Files aired from 1993 to 2002—between the end of the Cold War and the start of the War on Terror—a time in which enemies of the state shifted, with aliens replacing Communism, and a fear of ghosts and the paranormal prefacing our current climate of Islamophobia. Khan and Warwick gather and index the fears that occurred as themes throughout show. They link this index to the rise of the World Wide Web, which emerged in the same period.

Fear Indexing the X-Files has been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, UnionDocs in New York and the CTM Festival in Berlin, and was published by Primary Information in July 2017 as an artist book.

The artist talk takes place on Friday, December 1 at 6pm in the Lampo Annex at 53 W. Jackson Boulevard, and precedes Steven Warwick’s Saturday, December 2 performance at the Stony Island Arts Bank.

Nora Khan is a New York City-based writer of criticism and fiction. She focuses on issues within digital art, the philosophy of technology, electronic music and artificial intelligence, and her work has appeared in places like 4Columns, Art in America, The Village Voice, Rhizome and After Us. Khan is a Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Fellow in Digital Art, an Eyebeam Research Resident and acting editor at Rhizome. She has most recently spoken at Triple Canopy, Gray Area Festival, transmediale, the Whitney Museum, UCLA, New Museum, NYU and New School. She frequently collaborates with artists, including Katja Novitskova, Yuri Pattison and Jeremy Shaw, writing essays commissioned by Sternberg Press, Mousse Publishing, Chisenhale Gallery and König Galerie.

Steven Warwick is an artist, musician and writer based in Berlin. His practice includes durational performance installations, plays and films, using the construction of situations and language. He also makes music as Heatsick and under his own name—the latest release, Nadir, appeared recently on PAN. He has exhibited and performed throughout the United States and Europe at venues including Exile Galerie, Berlin; ICA, London; the Modern Institute, Glasgow; MoMA/PS1, New York; MUTEK, Montreal; the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; New Theater, Berlin; and Unsound Festival, Krakow. His writings have appeared in Texte zur Kunst, Urbanomic and Electronic Beats.