Posts for April 2003

Today -- The Cat's MeAOW

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Gnutella, Limewire and Napster have manifest some of the powers of peer-to-peer data swapping. In hot pursuit of these applications, the entertainment industry has gone on the defensive and flexed its legal muscles. But what about other possibilities for culturally challenging uses of decentralized broadcasting? To address this question, NYU's Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) is hosting another of its 'Media Art Or Whatever' (MeAOW) forums, this time entitled 'Post Napster Audio and Video: Innovations in the Network.' Panelists include Christian Nold (RCA), Pit Schultz (klubradio.de, nettime.org, mikro.org), and Natalie Jeremijenko (Bureau of Inverse Technology and Yale University) with remote participation from Zeljko Blace, Mark Davis, and Kate Rich. The forum will take place on Tuesday, April 15 at 4:00PM EST, with a concurrent live webcast. - Ryan Griffis

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Wandering the World

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The Austin Museum of Digital Art in Texas is set for the US premier of We All Are Global Nomads by Cinque Hicks (April 19th), as the

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Studio Visit with Peter Horvath

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Turbulence Artist Studios recently launched some works by Peter Horvath as part of its program to showcase fresh faces in the net.art scene. Featuring 3 full-length and 6 ten-second web pieces, Horvath's works are non-interactive, net.based videos engaging us in the possibility of technological intimacy. They are multilayered and created with a logic and aesthetic endemic of the web, while referencing surrealist and collage film vocabularies. These works employ the lyrical language of the cinema to compose an autobiographical portrait wherein the viewer hovers over a series of multi-layered videos. Finally, they exist as a composition of emerging frames which overlap, collapse and fill the computer's own bordered space.

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A Smart Virus?

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Most computer viruses are stupid. Once unleashed in a network they usually rely on human error to augment their destructive behavior. Not so with Tactical.Virii, a smart virus dreamt up by artist Atle Barcley of Biomatic.org. Operated from a command centre in an undisclosed location, not only can the virus enter 'stealth' mode and target specific computers within an organization, but it can also self-destruct if it 'senses' disinfectors. As a means of subverting corporate conglomerates, the virus' "Sniffer" agent could even "liberate" data from pyramid schemes by collecting CEO usernames and passwords and redistribute them to bottom-rung employees. By injecting a little artificial intelligence into something already hazardous to the Internet, Barcley has created the ultimate social weapon for tactical media activists. Homeland Security never sounded so good! -Jonah Brucker-Cohen

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Cyber-Activists -- On and Off

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Cybersalon will demonstrate offline networking as a method for improving online networking when it takes over the London ICA for a discussion on technology and the Internet as activism tools, tomorrow 22nd April, 7.00pm. There will be examples and speakers from Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth, OneWorld TV and activists targeting the World Trade Organisation, along with a screening of some independent activist films. In the bar afterwards, live music care of YaD Arts and an opportunity to thrash out some ideas with the speakers. Check out the site for a webcast if you still prefer to stay screen-side.

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Have Duct Tape, Will Travel

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Conceptual artist Richard A. Lou has created a new work that takes a dark, humorous look at patriotism, fear, and security. The work called 'Homeland Security Rules,' is a click-through Flash animation that combines images and text to create a biting satire wherein Lou becomes a self-proclaimed Patriot and entrepreneur. Rather than using duct tape and plastic to secure his home, Lou finds a more individualistic, i.e. American, application - a personal 'Anti-Terrorism Suit' (patent pending). Using imaging tactics similar to Guillermo G

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TRL: Science Edition?

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Despite the aesthetic sexiness of new digital gadgets, most users have little knowledge of the science that precedes product development. The artist-scientist team of Martin Kersels and Peter Schr

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Kids Dig the Digital

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The Serpentine Gallery, London, has begun educating some digital artists of the future. The Digit project is an exhibition of animated screensavers on show in the gallery foyer until 18th May created by school children with the assistance of Katherine Green of Red Leader industries and artists Meera Chauda and Liane Lang. You can get a CD ROM of the savers or view them online: my favourite is the one that looks like floating internal organs, although the kissing ponies come a close second. Wonder if Rhizome should have sent some talent scouts, or if Bookchin is going to grade these works?

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What'cha Got on that Zip Disc?

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Want to get away from the desk, but can't shake that obsession for file sharing? If you happen to be in New York this Saturday (April 26), you're in luck. 'Projects and Prototypes Open Swap' is an event that invites you to bring your portable storage device of choice to trade your digital images, audio and original code with others. The event is a component of Blur, a forum for sharing innovations in new media initiated by the New School, Creative Time and Parsons School of Design. The swap meet takes place from 1 to 5 PM in the New School Courtyard at 66 West 12th Street. Who knows who'll show up and what goodies they'll bring on which devices! --Ryan Griffis

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Striking the Right Tone

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Express-on covers are so last season, another way to adorn and adore our mobile phones is Artones by mobile content producers; a site of slightly more unusual ring tones and logos by artists such as Lucy Kimbell and Thompson and Craighead. Nick Crowe's axis of evil ringtones and 'jihad' in Arabic are topical. It's part of their wider scheme to subvert existing types of mobile phone content, and if you visit their other site at The-Phone-Book Limited, you can learn and build your own WAP animations. Although Artones are only available in the UK, mobile phone obsessives, of which I count myself as one, are also mostly in the UK!

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