We Should Take Nothing For Granted!

MAXXI, Rome, Italy
05 May – 12 September 2021

The Systemic tactical environment addresses current positions and politics of privacy, surveillance and safety of the global citizenry in relation to the military industrial complexes and their visible and opaque ‘secret state’ structures. The title is based on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous speech of 1961 wherein he warns of the dangers of an unchecked military industrial complex, the extinction of creative free thinking within higher education, and the extraction of natural resources without consideration for their renewal. This address is extremely relevant today in light of recent revelations of massive surveillance programs, perpetual information and real wars, the reshaping of the university complex and intensified resource extraction. Eisenhower’s speech was not a dark forecast but instead stated that ‘…an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals…’ The text serves as the foundation for a set of Systemic activities in the fields of communications security, data aggregation, analysis and display. The work reflects on the conditions for the development of ‘an alert and knowledgeable citizenry’ in societal circumstances that, despite constitutional protections, do not warrant them.



Exhibited at
Bigger than Myself: Heroic Voices from ex-Yugoslavia, MAXXI, Rome, IT, 5 May – 12 September  2021 (Curator: Zdenka Badovinac)
Fragile Safari@ Paved Arts, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, 14 September – 20 October 2018
Festival Ars Electronica: Artificial Intelligence – the Other I, Linz, AT, 7 – 11 September 2017
FIELDS, 2014 Riga, Latvia (Curator: Armin Medosch)
Public Record, SPACE Gallery, Pittsburgh Biennial 2014 (Curator: Murray Horne)
Galerija Kapelica, Ljubljana, 2014

Radio form broatcasted by
Kunstradio ORF, Vienna
Radar, Radio Študent, 89.3MHz


Matthew Biederman & Marko Peljhan: We Should Take Nothing For Granted – On the building of an alert and knowledgable citizenry, 2014-
Audio-Visual environment, electromagnetic infrastructure, software defined radio, 6 discreet audio channels, custom software, database, custom computer hardware, 27 dibond prints

Produkcija: Zavod Projekt Atol
Thanks to: Aljoša Abrahamsberger, Brian Springer & Uroš Veber.

Supported by Ministry Of Culture, Republic Of Slovenia, City Of Ljubljana, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Wave Farm Residency Program (Acra, New York)


Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He founded and co- founded several still active arts organizations in the 90’s such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he worked on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art/science/engineering; the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation and the Arctic Perspective Initiative. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica with Carsten Nicolai and his work has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales (Venice, Lyon, Istanbul, Gwangju…) and festivals, at documenta, ISEA, Ars Electronica and museums and art institutions worldwide (YCAM, ICC-NT, PS.1. MOMA, GARAGE…).

He serves as professor and director of the MAT Systemics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chair of the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB, the coordinator of international cooperation of the SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.

Marko Peljhan

Matthew Biederman has been performing, installing and exhibiting works, which explore themes of perception, media saturation, and data systems from a multiplicity of perspectives since the mid nineties. Biederman was the recipient of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Langton Arts in 1999, First Place in the Visual Arts category of Slovenia’s Break21 festival. He has served as artist-in-residence at a variety of institutions and institutes, including the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions, CMU’s CREATE lab, the Wave Farm and many more.His works have been exhibited in the US, South America, Europe and Japan, in a variety of festivals and venues such as 7 ATA Festival Internacional (Lima), the 11th Lyon Bienniale, the 2011 Quebec Trienniale, 2014 Montreal Bienniale (Musee des Arts Contemporain), Bienniale of Digital Art (BIAN, Montreal), Artissima (Turin, IT), Moscow Biennale, Art and Alternative Visions (Tokyo) and Sonic Acts (NASA, Amsterdam) among others. As a film and video maker, his works have been included in the FILE festival (Sao Paulo), New Forms Festival (Vancouver), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Paris/Berlin International Meetings, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. His public works have been shown at the ZeroOne2006 Festival (San Jose US), the SCAPE Biennial in New Zealand as well as producing custom commissions. He has collaborated with musicians as a visual artist since 1999, performing at the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, as well as Ars Electronica, AV Festival, Elektra, Mutek, Futuresonic, FILE and many, many more. His works are included in public, corporate and private collections in North America.

Matthew Biederman

Brian Springer (born 1959) is an American documentarian and new media artist who works primarily in video, sound, and performance.

Springer spent a year searching for footage by intercepting raw network satellite television feeds not intended for public consumption. The result of his research was Spin. This 1995 feature-length documentary provides insights into how television is used by the industry and by politicians to mold and distort the American public’s view of reality. Springer produced Spin as a follow-up to Feed (1992), for which he also provided raw satellite footage.

In 2007, Springer released another documentary, The Disappointment: Or, The Force of Credulity. He earned a M.F.A. in art from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his works have been shown at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum in New York City, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and ZKM in Germany.

Brian Springer