Posts for June 2004

Movin' with rand()%

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Every night, I dream of a vast machine. It eternally shuffles quantum states; it churns all the integers of a complex equilibrium. It's sound that is at the same time landscape; pure extension and span. This condition has persisted for weeks, and I blame it on artists Tom Betts and Joe Gilmore, whose rand()% project seems to have commandeered my RealOne Player. Commissioned by Huddersfield England's Media Centre Network, this internet radio station devotes itself entirely to generative and algorithmically mediated music. Every program rand()% plays is composed afresh in real time; in essence, it's a soundbot. With talents like Itialian digital artist Lia and late German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in the mix, I'm finding it very hard to sleep. - Lewis LaCook

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Socket to me!

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There's a storm brewing and everyone's invited! Electric Weekend is a series of free events celebrating the launch of b3 media's new Brixton stronghold, Electric Avenue Studios. Curated by ELECTRA co-director Lina Russell, artists' talks, screenings, and network actions will channel London's interventionalist media arts scene as vital, mappable current primed for public combustion. Apt conductors will be made of spectators participating in DIY and BYOMedia happenings like Emma Hedditch's 'Video Home, Come On', an amalgamating montage of home-movie clips to be collected on-site from willing exhibitionists. Sarai Media Lab's Cybermohalla project recreates an Indian mohalla (dense urban neighborhood) online through the diaristic expressions of working class youth in Delhi. British net art collective low-fi and Irational.org veteran Rachel Baker will unveil new projects and get synaptic with each other, producing a participatory 'node drawing' stemming from Baker's forthcoming 'media arts mapping tool', which will track and visualize circuits of funding and influence for new media in the UK. This weekend, June 26 and 27, slide down to Electric Avenue Studios in Brixton, South London and land yourself in the eye of the storm: suit up and plug in. - Kevin McGarry

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52 weeks, 52 works

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In South Africa, while access to the networked medium - and certainly to broadband - is fairly limited, the gravity of public interventions to wide audiences is no less an important artistic forum. For these reasons, Capetonian artists James Webb and Thomas Cartwright initiated the 52weeks52works project. Participants are asked to create and publicly display one work of art every week over the course of a year. The website then acts as an archive of work (or the lack thereof, when a week is missed) and of its presentation. Contributing artists, mostly based in South Africa, are also in the US, Japan, Germany and Sri Lanka. The weekly projects range from workshops and exhibitions, to street performances, bathroom installations, street-pole signs and net.art. Some work is witty and dry, some political or even in toilet humor style; a lot are simply dead-end experiments, but pique attention regardless. Overall, we're watching the slow, but steady transformation of a mostly banal archive into a teeming public art project. The facilitators have reopened their call - if latecomers want to join the online, un-curated archive / exhibition / performance, visit the site and Email James Webb for more information. - Nathaniel Stern

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Stuck on Buck

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What do Dr. Suess, Henry Mancini, Lewis and Clark and R. Buckminster Fuller have in common? Well, starting July 12 all of their faces will grace US first class stamps issued in 2004. The US Postal Service is honoring the fiftieth anniversary of Fuller's patent for the geodesic dome with a 37cent stamp that morphs the visionary's head with the triangulated surface of his famous structure complete with his signature black frames. Ditch the I-heart-you and garden bouquet stamps and send a message of design innovation and technoartistry with each bill and letter you send this summer. Heck, you might even be inspired to catch up on all of your snail mail correspondence. Before you head to the back of the line at your local post office, check out the US Postal Service website: www.usps.com where you buy Bucky stamps in sheets of 20 and have them mailed to your Dymaxion House or wherever you call home. - Gloria Sutton

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