Posts for 2003

Artful Didactics

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'Artful' isn't what comes immediately to mind when you think of PowerPoint-based lectures, unless you really enjoy stilted motion graphics and pie charts. But some artists have found creative potential for the presentation-enhancing software, like David Byrne's recent 'Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information' and the Yes Men's performative impersonations of the WTO. Portland, Oregon-based artist Amos Latteier has also found that PowerPoint lectures can be critically-engaging and artful. His PowerPoints anchor lectures analyzing the human face as a communication machine and overviews of the different uses of the word 'model.' With these unlikely topics, Latteier's absurdist lectures question the arbitrary, yet powerful, systems of classification that govern both the mundane and spectacular. From his web site, you can view the lecture on models and other projects such as photography created with pigeons. Don't forget to take notes. -Ryan Griffis

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I'm An English Landscape In New York

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Once when invited to look though the exotic traveling photos of a new acquaintance I found a picture of my best friend! It was as though a world I knew had merged with one totally alien. It is this effect that Brooke A. Knight has created in

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End of Year Giving

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Do you respect Rhizome.org's commitment to new media art and to its expression and discourse? Do you value Net Art News enough to support those who write it? Rhizome hopes so, because we need your contributions to sustain our organization. Rhizome is several weeks into a campaign to raise $37,000 by February 1, 2004. So far, we are about one-quarter there. Supporters who give more than $5 will be eligible for individual memberships and can subscribe to lists such as Rhizome RAW, RARE, and DIGEST. Members are eligible to win Rhizome Net Art Commissions (see the Commissions page for details), and as an added bonus, those who give more than $15 will receive a 10-20% discount in the New Museum of Contemporary Art's Online Store. Get your books, art editions, gifts, jewelry, and children's merchandise at a discount and help Rhizome at the same time! Check out the Online Store here: http://www.newmuseum.org/comersus/store/comersus_dynamicIndex.asp. Thank you for considering this request. -- Rhizome.org

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Aural Fixation

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In 'The Audible Past' Jonathan Sterne notes that 'it is not the breaking down of borders between sound and not-sound that should fascinate us but rather the continuous constitution and transformation of the two.' For more exposure to current investigations in the field of sound/technology, turn your ears towards Huddersfield, England where Ultrasound, the experimental sound and music festival will reverberate for 3 days starting today, November 27. The focus of this year's festival is on Icelandic sound works and features a program curated by Thor Magnusson of the ixi-software project who will also lead a workshop on interfacing sound and robotics. Don't miss other favorites such as Johann Johannson, Nullpointer and 'Messa di Voce' (a collaborative performance by Golan Levin and Zach Lieberman investigating communication, abstraction and synaesthetics by melding speech recognition technology with real-time interactive visualization software). rand()\%

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Not Everything Is Black and White

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2003's low-fi net art commissions are multi-relational in their efforts to complicate the binary oppositions that often inform our communicative and technological relationships. Ruth Catlow, for example, contributes a model of three-player chess that precludes dualistic competition; 'SimpleTEXT', by Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Tim Redfern, creates a ground for interactive, public performance by cleverly deploying mobile-phone technology; Cavan Convery's 'Vertical Scroll' allows web users to virtually unravel a text that suggests the historical continuity of communication methods across time and place. Projects launch at BALTIC in Gateshead and Limehouse Town Hall in London on the 27th and 29th of November, and emergent connection is very much in the cards -- phones, chessboards, paper, even phraseology are useless to resist!

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Pass the Banana, Gertrude!

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The Guerrilla Girls have been honouring female artists in their own special way since 1985, and this year they were honoured themselves when Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson gave her BAXten Passing It On Award to GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand. This unique award requires each recipient to choose another individual or organisation to pass on the prize money to. As she handed it over, Ms Wilson was heard to say, 'I want these wylie, wired, next-generation feminists to take over the world.' The Guerrilla Girls gave birth to GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand in 2001, with the specific goal of tackling 'the primordial discrimination of our technologized world'. The interactive site lets you download posters, buy merchandise, learn more about about the Girls' activities and peel your own bananas. Featuring feminist funerals and fembots, it's fantastically full of the F-word! - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Turn On, Log In and Bliss Out

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Though the Art For Networks exhibition (through 12 December) has an interesting web site with comments from the likes of Matthew Fuller and project originator Simon Pope, the show's aim is to redirect attention offline. Its objective is to communicate the fact that not all networks are internet-based -- radio, post, text messaging, video, photography, and even ice cream vans are here mobilized as examples. Participating artists include Nina Pope, Karen Guthrie, Radioqualia, Jodi, Rachel Baker, Heath Bunting, James Stevens, Anna Best, and Technologies to the People. Adam Chodzko documents the plight of a gypsy community being chased from their settlement by

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A Chip on the Shoulder of Art

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Far from frivolous recreational diversions, computer games are not only prototypes of the post-industrial period, but were already, circa Pong, 'testing out the new possibilities of ''digital capitalism'' long before artists (just like companies, politicians, and the rest of society) discovered these possibilities for their own purposes.' So argues German media art critic Tilman Baumgartel, one-third of the curatorial force behind the Games: Computer Games by Artists exhibition on display through November 30 at Phoenix Wests Reserveteillager warehouse in Dortmund, Germany. Nearly 30 works by international media artists including Vuk Cosic, Tom Betts, and Cory Arcangel 'modify' (i.e. tamper with and transform) commercial juggernauts like Tetris and Counter Strike. Arcangel's witty Super Mario Clouds (2002), for example, boasts a hacked version of the ubiquitous Nintendo cash cow in which our mustachioed hero has completely vanished -- all that remains (after Arcangel literally cracked open the game cartridge and replaced the factory graphics chip with his own) are white clouds on blue sky. -- Andrew Comer

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Digital Diaspora

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As terms like 'eTourism' and 'digital tourism' become common commercial slang for the uses of new media in exposing more of the *Center* to more of the 'Periphery,' it is also easier to find examples of new media artists working from such outward-looking subjectivities. But how do artists engaging the technology as subjects derived from the 'Periphery' look inward? Digital Africa, an exhibit presented by the African Film Festival and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), deals with relationships between diasporic identities and digital technologies. The show features 5 works in video, installation and interactive mediums, including a new web-based project by Mendi and Keith Obadike, 'The Pink of Stealth,' which includes audio, hypertext, and a game (http://www.blacknetart.com/pink/PINK-1.html). The exhibit is at the venerable EAI and runs through 25 November. -Ryan Griffis

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Choosing My Religion

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Net.art 'can't match your curtains,' maintains Mumbai, India-based artist Shilpa Gupta, citing one alluring reason she opts to strategize within its 'default' idioms. It can, however, proffer the vistas of spiritual tranquility

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