Posts for July 2004

Hereditary Remix

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DNA has become as powerful a force in popular culture as it is in the sciences, for better or worse. Some may go so far as to say that the power attributed to the double helix in the social imaginary is unrepresentative of current scientific positions. Whether or not one sees the 'Genetic Revolution' as a real worldview shift, it would be difficult to find many aspects of daily life that have not been touched in some way. The interactions between pop culture, public policy, and the industrial management of genomic research are the subject of Memory Flesh 2.0, a new project by artist Diane Ludin commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts. The second in a series of works by Ludin to explore the place of genomics in the popular imagination, Memory Flesh 2.0 juxtaposes images and text from the ongoing narrative of the genomic project, sound bites from public officials, and video of a live performance of the artist seemingly stitching different parts of her body. With recent events in the US involving artists and biotechnology, it's not hard to see how genetic policy can impact a body without manipulating even one gene. - Ryan Griffis

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net Camp NYC

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Here's a summer day camp worth sweating for: Eyebeam's Digital Day Camp is a month-long digital arts education program for New York City high school students interested in experimenting, learning and creating with new technology tools. The students explore the architecture of the city by studying design tools and game theory, exploring the parallels between urban design and game design, and observing the politics and players involved in urban renewal. The exhibition that opens at Eyebeam, NY, at 6PM tonight, is the culmination of students' creative projects generated with Macromedia's Director MX and a variety of digital editing software. At 8PM, Gamers Night Groove, New York City's only free gaming/music experience, takes to the floor with music by DJ's Bitshifter and Nullsleep, who transform the 8-bit sound bytes of Nintendo Game Boys into infectious electronic beats until midnight. If you’re not up for dancing, you can try out Sony's new Sudeki role-play game and Jonah Warren's interactive installation, which lets gamers use their whole body as a controller. The student projects will be on view Tuesday, July 27, through Saturday July 31, from 12-6PM daily. - Ophra Wolf

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Phone Art

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Few objects in recent memory have been so fetishized as the cell phone, which we should finally all agree to call a mobile phone - but old habits die hard, as generic Kleenex and Xeroxes remind us. As testimony, we've got snazzy faceplates and a range of supposedly unique ringtones (the use of which is embarrassingly similar to customizing your car horn). Whether 'cell' or 'mobile,' however, these ubiquitous little devices are rapidly changing the very concept of 'phone,' especially with the recent addition of built-in digital cameras, which is among the concerns to be highlighted in a smart new show, 'Cell-outs and Phonies,' at the L.A. Center for Digital Art - a punning title that may be particularly appropriate in Los Angeles. The show's premise that these gadgets have inspired a 'revolution in photography and digital filmmaking' is insightful and timely, but the suggestion that their 'accessibility is eliminating the boundaries between amateur and professional' is questionable. Yet, this is certainly the kind of show which will form the critical basis of research to come, when, in future, these objects will have the nostalgic charm of retro klunkiness. - Michael Freeman

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