Posts for February 2004

Electronic Youth

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Looking to go out this Wednesday night in Manhattan? If you're an artist, designer, engineer, student, or anyone interested in any aspect of any electronic art at all, head to Dorkbot NYC's free monthly meeting at the Columbia University Music Center. Dorkbot, whose tag line is

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Medi@text

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Medi@terra, an annual International Festival of Art and Technology, ran in Athens, Greece from 30 January until 2 February, but is being followed by a conference examining the evolution of digital culture in Greece, on the 13-15 February. Beyond presenting a festival, Medi@terra aims to facilitate creative encounters between individuals and organisations and bring together different art forms. The theme of this year's festival (the sixth) was 'From Text to Hypertext' and included artists such as Mouchette, Antonio Muntadas, Moses Manias, Trafik, Andy Deck, Deena Larsen, Komninos Zervos, Moses Manias, Yujie Zhang, Christos Prossylis, Michel Joyce and Jim Rosenberg. In fact, many of their works can be viewed online. As the theme raises questions around the dynamics of hypertext and the power of the new textual form, it is curious that the design of the Medi@terra web site has rendered the text difficult to read. We hope the conference will yield some more legible results. - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Keep Track of What App He Is Using

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What happens when sociability reaches the furthest corners of your desktop? Ask Dublin-based artist Jonah Brucker-Cohen, who recently released two new Mac OSX plug-ins that are sure to win the heart of anyone who likes to live, all the time, on the grid. StatusPlay and PublicDesktop, two interactive experiments, add sociability to Apple desktop applications iChat and Desktop Images. Using the former, track what your peers are reading, listening to, and perhaps most importantly, with whom they are chatting. In the context of Brucker-Cohen's StatusPlay, surveillance equals social engagement. PublicDesktop allows users to share a canvas of sorts -- a canvas of the desktop variety. These applications are somewhat buried on Brucker-Cohen's site full of gems and ideas, but don't be fooled: StatusPlay and PublicDesktop are potent social softwares, and at the very least they make communing with friends and family via the CPU more lively and enmeshed experiences. -- Karen Kuslansky

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Swipe It. Swipe It Good

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The collection of personal data has certainly become a more visible process in post-Patriot Act U.S.A, both for American residents and visitors. And it's no consolation to know that for every visible act of fingerprinting, there are even more instances of invisible archiving going on. 'Swipe,' an ongoing project by new media artists/engineers Beatriz da Costa, Jamie Schulte, and Brooke Singer documents the process of personal data collection in the U.S., shedding some light on these hidden databases. The collaborative has released a new element of the project, an online 'toolkit,' featured on New Radio and Performing Art's Turbulence web portal. Swipe's toolkit includes such handy items as a calculator for determining the value of your personal data, forms for requesting a copy of the data that private companies have collected on you, and a bar-code reader that can decipher those printed codes on the back of many U.S. driver's licenses. The project also takes the form of live performances that include a cocktail bar... because you may need a drink when you find out what 'they' know about you. -Ryan Griffis

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Winning Does Not Matter

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Artists: do you have formal or critical ideas you want to wrap around a game? Gamers: do you have a game to wrap around a theory? If so, it may be your time to shine: Rhizome.org is seeking proposals for its 2004 Net Art Commissions and the theme is games. Five awards ranging from $1500-$3500 will be announced in late March, 2004 and winning projects will likely be exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. One must be a Rhizome member to submit a proposal, and interested parties should fill out the online entry form before the deadline next Monday, February 15. If you're an enthusiast or a player and not an artist, you can still be involved in this project: Rhizome members can participate in the evaluation of submissions. Game on!

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E.A.T.ing Right

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When Billy Kl

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Clicking is Believing

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Don't believe everything you click. Running until March 28 2004,

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See Joan Jonas Tomorrow!

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Get up off your couch! Joan Jonas, a central figure in the performance art movement of the 1960s, is to give her first New York performance in over a decade: 'Lines in the Sand: Helen in Egypt' opens at the Kitchen tomorrow, 19 February. The event follows a retrospective exhibition of Jonas' work currently showing at New York's Queens Museum of Art. 'Lines in the Sand' is a re-telling of the story of Helen of Troy, based on the epic poem 'Helen in Egypt' written by H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) and employing live drawing and video, pre-recorded sound and visual elements. Images of contemporary Las Vegas are intercut with Egyptian symbols crafted by the live performer with a piece of chalk. Through the fusion of new technologies with ancient symbolism, and performance with mediated images, Jonas continues to addresses questions of gender and identity. Don't miss a chance to see this legendary figure of contemporary art perform live. - Helen Varley Jamieson.

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Techno Heads

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The 23rd Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts will kick off one week from today, Friday, February 27, in Adelaide, Australia. With a healthy dose of local participants, the international line-up features everything from the Prague Chamber Orchestra to the Spanish National Ballet to Absolute Zappa, a 20-member New York band of 'musical omnivores

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Arrr! Take the Plunge, Matey

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Alternative forms of information and property regulation are increasingly visible in mainstream culture - whether it's IBM's recent promotions of the Linux operating system or the mass popularity of peer-to-peer 'sharing' technologies such as Kazaa. How are these beliefs about cultural ownership shaping and being shaped by art production? 'Dive,' a Kingdom of Piracy ('KOP') book/CD-ROM project edited by writer/curator Armin Medosch, represents one multifaceted attempt to engage the technology and ideas of the free software and copyleft movements. 'Dive' includes a broad sampling of works, ranging from essays to net.art to free alternatives for proprietary software apps. As KOP's name would suggest, a fair amount of discussion is devoted to the concept of 'piracy' in our current context. But 'Dive' doesn't just throw you a theoretical life-preserver, the CD-ROM also includes a bootable version of Dynebolic, a Linux OS designed for multimedia production. -Ryan Griffis

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