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For [Everyone's] Eyes Only

By Rhizome

The new media community has seen a fair share of open source-related art and exhibitions over the years, but as the open source movement continues to pick up steam, it's encouraging to see continued projects that bridge the gaps between the discourse of open source computing, the practice of art, and broader social practice. This is exactly what is strived-for in the exhibition, "Given Enough Eyeballs," curated by artist and organizer Annette Monnier, at Philadelphia's Esther M. Klein Art Gallery. Open March 14-April 26, the show takes its title from a passage in Eric S. Raymond's important open source essay, The Cathedral and the Bazaar in which he argues that, "Given enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow." This principle embodies the ideal of collective editing and authorship that calls for loosened restrictions on copyright and other impediments to growth, and which is the model behind collaborative websites like Wikipedia. The Klein Art Gallery exhibition includes works that employ mash-up techniques, excavate public documents, and offer tools for viewers to put to their own devices. Included is Yoshi Sodeoka's Let It Bleed (Left) Let It Be (Right), The Stones And The Beatles Getting Tweaked At The Same Time (2007), in which similarities between the two pop songs are compared sonically and visually, by swapping videos and audio for the two tunes. Putting a humorously geeky spin on the DIY industry is Ramsey Arnaoot's Audio-Video Sampling Synthesizer (2008), a program written "to manipulate preexisting video clips (from assorted sources) and audio from the movie Hackers." Kendall Brun's The Haircut Entries (2004) are included as documentation of a project that, in a sense, revolved around documentation. The artist posted a survey to his website encouraging viewers to suggest a new haircut for him. He then created a Reality-TV-esque documentary capturing the non-celebrity judging process, which can be viewed on the artist's Pizza Infinity video channel. In a true nod to the glory of development cycles, Monnier also included Brun's Nintendo hack, Landscape (2000), in an unabashed "homage to the plethora of artwork that has been created by hacking Super Mario Bros, or otherwise using the game's visuals." Monnier will be posting extended write-ups and building a "link library" for each of the show's artists (including, also, A.J. Bocchino and Joseph DiGiuseppe) on her blog, this week. - Marisa Olson

Image: Yoshi Sodeoka, Let It Bleed (Left) Let It Be (Right), The Stones And The Beatles Getting Tweaked At The Same Time, 2007

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