Spring Fling at NYU

NYU's ITP department runs a highly-regarded new media art graduate program in which the students meld immersion into deep media theory with intense hands-on programming and design. The art produced in the program tends to be socially- and form-conscious, and is often quite entertaining. In fact, the otherwise 'serious' department sometimes describes its huge East Village loft as a 'funhouse' and it certainly looks like one at the end of each semester, when the best student projects are put on display. On May 8th and 9th, the space will be overrun by projects ranging from low-bit music and video to eco-friendly installations. There will even be a pair of robots spewing celebrity gossip! Highlights include Lumen, an artificial bioluminescent deep sea creature displayed in consideration of unseen and alternative energy sources; Experimental Devices for Performance, Andrew Schneider's series of wearable prosthesis meant to augment performances; and News Brews, Benjamin Brown's 'hack' of taste receptor-systems to evaluate public 'taste' for news about certain world regions, which in turn brews coffee plucked from those parts of the world. While Zach Layton and Jeff Sable consider the topology of sound, Tristan Perich's 1-bit sound and video series find abstract beauty in the complex simplicity of signals. Visitors can also sink their teeth into Michael Ang's comparison of human and insect aesthetics, and whet their appetite for future projects by reviewing the trailers for Kati London's thesis project, an upcoming festival of artists' consumer-related interventions. The show's website thoroughly documents the many projects that will be on display, and the cumulative impression is one of the ITP show as a touchstone for innovation and new artistic currents. - James Petrie