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The Future Was Then .... so now what ..... SCOPE New York

  • Location:
    New York


Perpetual Art Machine presents
The Future Was Then ….. so now what
Please join us in the SCOPE Lounge to celebrate the anniversary of the Perpetual Art Machine video art project and to commemorate the video art legend Nam June Paik. Paik was credited over thirty years ago with coining the phrase “The future is now”. [PAM] asks what that means today in our rapidly changing world by presenting an ambitious program of five specially curated video projects organized by Jarrett Gregory, Robert Adanto, Yiannis Colakides and Helene Black, Andrew Erdos and Ali Hossaini in addition to the newest incarnation of the [PAM] installation.

Special thanks to Scope Art Fairs, NeME.org, IFAC, and the Museum of Art and Design.

SCOPE New York March 26-30 08
Lincoln Center, 62nd & 10th Ave
New York, New York

We read [PAM]’s curatorial concept “THE FUTURE WAS THEN ………. SO NOW WHAT?” as a reference to the state of the medium itself and, as video is yet to be defined, our contribution showcases some of its formalistic investigations. Sean Cubitt writes: “video had a tendency, despite its early formalism to undertake to do broadcastings without broadcasting, filming things without film”1. A curatorial approach can admittedly not stand in such a thin yet very valid ground. So - as with any selection we have to define boundaries within which works have to be omitted in favor of ‘representative’ samples. According to Cubitt again. “…video prevents the prerequisite for a theoretical approach: that is, deciding upon an object about which you wish to know.”2 So if video refuses to be defined or abide to any theory, what is the platform which can be used to curate such works? Video’s presence in international art exhibitions and major collections has been documented since the 60s but most of the curatorial decisions for the inclusion of those works were made using aesthetic theories borrowed from the ‘traditional’ fine arts. This fact has helped the medium to establish itself in the mainstream art scene but also prevented it from occupying its own territory - that is to establish a set of aesthetic considerations which would exist ONLY for and within this medium. - Yiannis Colakides and Helene Black

1 http://www.rewind.ac.uk/Sean\%20Cubitt.html (sighted on 15 Oct 2007)
2 Cubitt, S. Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993, page xvi


[PAM] Best of the Next
Featuring: Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Bethany Fancher, Tim Folland, G.H. Hovagimyan, Patrick Lichty, Michael Lisnet & Sophie Sindahl Ivernesse, Andrew Logan, Francesco Sambo, Molly Schwartz, Lucien Samaha, Tor Jorgen van Eijk, Alison Williams, Amelia Winger-Bearskin, [dNASAb], and more.

Call and Response

Lutz Bacher, Neil Beloufa, Driton Hajredini, Domenico Mangano, Joshua and Zachary Sandler
Curated by Jarrett Gregory

Call and Response assembles five videos that address disparate modes of communication, from confession to telepathy, to compose a dialogue of verbal and non-verbal interaction. Drawing from the musical technique in which an unfinished phrase is answered by the audience or another performer, Call and Response explores the way in which these stories speak to the viewer and to one another. The subjects are characterized by their acquiescent exposure, allowing the work to achieve an intimacy that is at times desperate, absurd, and mystical. The dialogue follows Driton Hajredini’s confession in a German church; Neil Beloufa’s science fiction documentary; Joshua and Zachary Sandler’s unnerving exploration of mislaid grief; Domenico Mangano’s comic and tender portrait of a local personality; culminating with Lutz Bacher’s capture of an infectious performance.

About Jarrett Gregory
Jarrett Gregory is a Curatorial Assistant at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and an independent curator. She is currently working on Paul Chan’s upcoming exhibition The 7 Lights. Before joining the New Museum, Jarrett worked at the Whitney Museum, first on the 2006 Biennial and most recently as Curatorial Assistant to the Chief Curator, working on Lawrence Weiner’s retrospective. Jarrett curated Lutz Bacher's six-channel video installation Scenes from the Ring (2006) at White Box non-profit arts space in Chelsea. She earned her BA in Art History from Vassar College.

The Rising Tide
Shiyi Sheng, Xu Shuxian, and Zhang O
Curated by Robert Adanto

The aim of the exhibition is to offer the public a close encounter with contemporary Chinese art through recent works by emerging contemporary artists: Xu Shuxian, Shiyi Sheng, Zhang O, leading exponents of the latest generations, all of whom have achieved important international recognition. Artists who in their work reflect on the impact that current society has on personal experience and denounce the alienation of individuals in the modern urban environment. Their work emphasises exploration of the self, reflection on personal identity, and how this has been modified by the advent of new social conditions. In this context art takes up the redeeming position of a counter-reaction to the changes in social, cultural and political structures. Adanto's feature-length documentary of the same name will be screened in collaboration with [PAM] at Monkeytown on Thrursday March 27th at 7:30. For more information go to www.therisingtidefilm.com.
About Robert Adanto
Robert Adanto is an independent documentary filmmaker, who made his directorial debut with The Rising Tide, a documentary investigating the Chinese Contemporary Art scene, featuring Cao Fei, Xu Zhen, Wang Qingsong, Chen Qiulin and Zhang O. He earned his MFA in Acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and is currently working on two other documentary projects: a short he shot in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, and a second project that will take him to Tehran in December.

The Mirror Stage … so now what?

Muhammad Ali, Henry Gwiazda, Roddy Simpson, Eva Olsson, Orit Ben-Shitrit and Harold Moss
Curated by Yiannis Colakides and Helene Black / NEME.org

From documentary and guerilla video to story telling, from traditional animation, to compositing, to machinista and from optical and kaleidoscopic to algorithmic visualizations, video has come a long way since the early experiments with the medium in the 60s and 70s. This small selection of works crosses video genres to create a narrow spectrum of some of the medium’s possibilities. The constructed (animated) or manipulated (using compositing) moving image is the common thread linking the video works. Our selection for SCOPE does not provide answers to the questions but investigates through seven works the absence of any predominant form. For this selection we focused on single channel ‘narrative’ works - even when that narrative was an abstracted one as in the case of Roddy Simpson’s ‘Stair’ which uses composite techniques to create a poetic dance video reminiscent of Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending the Staircase’ or Henry Gwiazda’s machinista work ‘A Doll’s House is……’ which explores urban themes within a virtual world evoked in a screen split into four. These stand in contrast to Eva Olsson’s socio-politicized computer animation ‘Taking Control’ and Muhammad Ali’s ‘Face’, ‘Shadows’ and ‘Verting’ which use traditional hand drawn animation techniques. Finally Orit Ben-Shitrit and Harold Moss’ ‘The Long from Inside’ uses state of the art 3d animation to reveal a gothic world. The five video makers are thus presented together not for their similarities but for their differences, emphasizing the very pertinent question “…SO NOW WHAT?”. For more information on NEME and The Mirror Stage project go to www.neme.org.

About NeMe
NeMe (pronounced neem) is a non profit, non government, Cyprus registered cultural association founded in November 2004. NeMe works on two platforms - a virtual and an itinerant one - and focuses on contemporary theories and their intersection with the arts. NeMe’s itinerant platform, the IMCA (Independent Museum of Contemporary Art) presents NeMe projects which include, exhibitions, project InForm, performances, new media events, symposia and archives. The form of the IMCA is determined as a practice or process by the nature of each project with the notion of the exhibition “space” being constantly revised and redefined. The founders of NeMe are Helene Black, Yiannis Colakides and Konstantinos Sophocleous.

The new millenium isn't space age, it's raw

Michael Barrett, B-Team, Ondrej Brody and Kristofer Paetau, Julie Casper Roth, Colette Copeland, Celeste Fichter, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Naomi Leibowitz, Benjamin John Van Male, J.D. McPherson, A.D. Logan, Zach Rockhill, A.R. Wilkinson, Jessica Yatrofsky, Hye Yeon Nam
Curated by Andrew Erdos

As we continue into the new millennium we step away from technology and focus our attention on something more basic, raw and less institutionalized. Over time art's values change and so do our perceptions. 160 years ago Gustav Courbet was being rejected by the Paris Salon and shocking the establishment with his rough brush strokes and un-idealized depiction of humanity. Now he is viewed as an important figure in art history and a master of his time (with a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art occurring simultaneously with SCOPE NY 2008). The videos in this exhibition are literal, physical, and real. They are documentations of performances that challenge the physical and physiological stamina of the the artist and the viewer. These pieces address the banality and absurdity of widely accepted art and entertainment. The new medium of video is used to re-contextualize seminal pieces from art history and apply them to the present. It is the new millennium and it isn't space age, it involves chickens, vomit and Rachel Ray.

About Andrew Erdos
23 year old renegade rude boy American artist Andrew Erdos is on the rise. Erdos has shown his unique combination of performance, video and time based sculpture in over 15 venues in 11 countries on 4 continents since graduating Alfred University in 2007. Recent venues have included Beijing BS1 Contemporary Art Center, the Cultural Center of Spain in Tegucigalpa Honduras, and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Erdos was a featured artist our show "Perpetual Art Machine: Video Art in the Age of the Internet" at the Chelsea Art Museum and has been a P.A.M member since 2006.

Schpilin Aqui, Theo Angell, Ericka Beckman, Lili Chin, Bradley Eros, Ali Hossaini, Fred Taylor, Leslie Thornton, Grahame Weinbren, Pawel Wojtasik, Ellen Zweig
Curated by Ali Hossaini

LAB HD was an experiment of Voom HD Networks. For three years it provided selected artists and filmmakers with the tools to explore high-definition video. Participants worked in a professional facility with complete creative freedom, and their work was broadcast nationally in the USA on an eponymous TV channel. Top creative talent ranging from Hollywood stars to noted fine artists have worked on LAB HD productions. Their work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, festivals and museums in the U.S., Europe and China. The work selected for PAM represents a particular concern of LAB HD: reimagining the medium of commercial TV. These films were produced to commercial standards, but each one is a poetic departure from literal imagery and storylines. Could visual poetry shake the channel surfer's world? When watching these works, keep in mind that they are TV shows that were once sandwiched between reality programs, nature documentaries and other narrative fare. For more information please visit www.voomhdlab.com.

About Ali Hossaini
Ali Hossaini has worked on the cutting edge of television for many years. He is executive producer of Equator HD, a travel channel committed to natural and cultural preservation, and Voom HD Lab, a program that produces video art in high-definition television. He produces work with avant-garde theater director Robert Wilson, and his productions include performances by Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey, Jr, Princess Caroline of Monaco, Sean Penn, Marianne Faithfull, Juliette Binoche and other cultural icons. As director of acquisitions for the Voom channels Gallery HD and Equator HD, he has built a library of premium cultural programming from Europe, Asia and North America. Previously he developed two Emmy-nominated iTV channels, Metro Traffic Interactive and Metro Weather Interactive. The ambient channel LAB, which was broadcast from 2003 to 2005, is on permanent exhibit at the American Museum of the Moving Image. His HDTV production of Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, a Dan Graham project directed by Tony Oursler is exhibited at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His first directed feature, Epiphany, premiered at Anthology Film Archives in 2006.

Created in 2006 by the artists Chris Brokowski, Aaron Miller, Raphaele Shirley and Lee Wells in collaboration with SCOPE, the Perpetual Art Machine is an internationally-reccognised touring interactive installation, a free online video art database and an expansive participatory community. The purpose of [PAM] is to increase the visibility of video art, develop a worldwide community for video artists, and to help video artists find opportunities to exhibit their work.

[PAM]’s unique interactive touch-screen system, allows for the artist and the viewer to become active participants in the curitorial process through an increased engagement, creating an ongoing dialogue with thousands of video works from some of today’s most exciting emerging video artists.

For more information click here or contact us at: pam(at)perpetualartmachine.com