Posts for July 2005

Towards a Networked Modernism

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The Data Browser series, published by Autonomedia under a Creative Commons license, has so far emerged as two text compilations. The first volume, Economising Culture: On The (Digital) Culture Industry, came out in late 2004 and Engineering Culture: On the Author as (Digital) Producer has just hit a distribution system near you. Edited by Geoff Cox, Joasia Krysa and (only vol. 1) Anya Lewin, the series intends to situate recent changes in art and activism in historical contexts as well as relate them to contemporary trends and agendas. Reflections from agents in the field like the Yes Men, Cummings & Lewandowska, Armin Medosch and Matthew Fuller have been marshaled to constitute the first 'browser,' conceived as a tool of engaged wandering rather than bored consumption. Data Browser 02 addresses Walter Benjamin's trope of author as producer to see if and how its premise of cultural activism through teaching and participation holds up in an age of networked systems, and the upcoming 03 will address the de-materialisation of the curator within her landscape of shifting new media curatorial roles and styles. - Marina Vishmidt

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Daily Dose from the Dirty Librarian

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If you're fretting because you've missed any or all of the Banff New Media Institute Summits, having taken place deep in the Canadian Rockies, fret no more: audio recordings of the best Banff discussions since 1995 are being broadcast during Archive Hour on pirate radio station Radio90. You can tune in online at 4pm GMT Monday through Thursday to hear presentations from speakers such as Sara Diamond, former Director of BNMI (now at the Ontario College of Art and Design), artist Thecla Shiphorst, Jean Gagon from the Daniel Langlois Foundation and Carl Goodman, Curator of Digital Media at the American Museum of the Moving Image. Archive Hour's mysterious facilitator, the Dirty Librarian, will select transmissions that probe topics such as the conservation of ephemeral artworks, contemporary curatorial concepts in new media, and, broadly, "technology, art and science." Listen by linking from the Radio 90 web site, and if you're lucky, someone else will be listening, too, who might join you for lively discussion in the accompanying chat room--where perhaps the Dirty Librarian will also make an appearance. - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Rhizome Promotion: Summer Hosting

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This summer, consider buying a virtual sort of timeshare: a web hosting plan from BroadSpire. Rhizome.org has been in business with BroadSpire, a mid-size commercial web hosting provider based in California, for three years now. Not only does BroadSpire host the Rhizome.org site, but Rhizome also earns essential revenue whenever supportive readers like you purchase a BroadSpire hosting plan and mention Rhizome. No matter how much space and services you require, there's bound to be an affordable, reliable plan for you, whether to launch a new project, relocate your homepage or consolidate your web design portfolio. Broadspire offers a Starter plan at $65 per year for 350MB disk storage, 1GB data transfer a month, POP email, free setup and daily content back-ups, and larger plans for those interested in housing E-commerce empires. Anyone seeking refuge this summer in our favorite locale--the Internet--should check out BroadSpire. - Rhizome.org

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Public Poster Production

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"Imprimatur," a multi-user software for poster-making, is the latest online tool for collaboration from artist Andy Deck. The software brings the design process to life, allowing multiple designers to democratically tweak the layout and statements of a single canvas. Anyone with a smidgeon of graphics experience will find the interface easy to use, and the product is a PDF that can be disseminated widely via email and print. In his background to the work, Deck refers to the proliferation of homemade posters in the aftermath of 9/11 and at the invasion of Iraq. He envisages "a wave of colorful, independent, and low-budget posters in public places" and sees "Imprimatur" as a means to channel energy into thoughtful public dialogue. Like many of his previous works, "Imprimatur" is written in Java, but this time the source code is not quite open; as a challenge to funders to support software art, Deck will only release the source code once he has received his next commission (New Radio and Performing Arts funded this one). I hope he's made a poster about that. - Helen Varley Jamieson

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Total Eclipse of the Arts

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A primary goal of SCANZ, short for Solar Circuit International New Media Workshop Residency Aotearoa New Zealand, is to connect the "solar circuit"--the northern and southern extremities of both hemispheres--as a translocal new media arts community. SCANZ encourages its residents--artists and curators--to engage with geography by producing projects in response to the environment--human, natural or technological--unique to Taranaki, where the host university, The Western Institute of Technology, is located. Dialogues like these offer relevant counterpoints to recent conversations around New Zealand's relative geographic isolation. The 2006 residency is to be held July 3rd - July 16th, and initial letters of interest are due to SCANZ by July 18th, 2005, after which a select few will be invited to elaborate their project proposals during the fall. So, get interested and complete the circuit! - Kevin McGarry

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Speaking in Tongue

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Linguistic researchers have speculated that the number of global languages in use could be cut in half within fifty years. The rapidity at which languages are disappearing has already surpassed endangered animals' extinction rates. What are the implications of this loss? Such questions frame "OnlyOneNativeSpeaker," an evolving component of the Netherlands-based art website "Social Fiction." Through "OnlyOneNativeSpeaker," "Social Fiction" explores language in the same way it has explored social space through psychogeography, by combining institutional knowledge with lived experience. Utilizing a wiki, Yahoo! group, and del.icio.us list, the project proposes to harvest "thousands of new artificial languages" in order to "add parallelism, diversity and heterogeneity" to the standardization of mass communication. There are a few examples already archived, including Sasxsek and Sinnish, and you can submit your own linguistic creation, whether a programming language or the ad-hoc one you use to win a game of Scrabble. This won't reverse the diminishing landscape of spoken languages, but it could enhance our experience of navigating through it. - Ryan Griffis

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Exponential Sound Experiences

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Given the abundance of artists who consort with one another amidst the driving sound of a techno beat, electronic music culture's growing influence on the visual arts is no surprise. But increasingly, the reciprocal influence of the visual arts can be 'seen' in the ways in which electronic music is created. "Techno²," organized by the Netherlands Media Art Institute, is the electronic music branch of the "5 days off" music festival, running July 13th to 17th in Amsterdam. Eight sound installations and twelve live performances evince their spatial and visual aspects as equally important to their compositions as their audible elements. The live performances vary widely, from Dutch noise artist Gert Jan Prins, who unleashes big noises from four small radio receivers and transmitters set at slightly different frequencies, to the Swiss group Codespace, who use algorithms to transform the architectures of dark, empty spaces into oceans of crystalline shapes. The installations, such as Farmers Manual's helmet worn by visitors to transmit meditative ultrasound waves, factor the active attention and participation of audience members into catalyzing the artistic fusion of audio and visual. - Ophra Wolf

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The Tune of the Band

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If you rate your summer by how many festival wrist bands you accumulate, you might want to hotfoot it to Manchester, UK, for FUTURESONIC 2005 (July 22nd to 24th) and obtain another! Although in addition to wrist-wear, FUTURESONIC, the International festival of electronic music and media arts, in partnership with Manchester's premiere international concert venue the Bridgewater Hall, boasts a huge and impressive line up of events. There are performances by Robert Lippock, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra and A Guy Called Gerald, amongst many more. There is also Low Grade, an "interlinked exhibition, workshop, music event and symposium on technological obsolescence" curated by Jackie Passmore and Michael Connor, which includes projects by the likes of Alexei Shulgin, Olia Lialina, Sadie Plant and Cory Arcangel. And your wristband will also gain you entry to a network of events (EVNT showcase) happening right across Manchester. However, if you rate your summer by how muddy you get, I'm sorry to report that you have missed Glastonbury! - Charlotte Frost

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save the robots!

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back in dublin. arrived yesterday and had an intense day adjusting to the time change as well as gathering materials for the midi scrapyard challenge. the artbots exhibition is so cool! so many great projects and the artists are even more interesting.

never thought i’d write this here, but i’m loving dublin right now. it is different when you return to a place for a short visit… and there are so many familiar faces, friends very dear to us that we haven’t seen in a long time. tomorrow we start the exhibition and workshop bright and early at 10:30am for a gaggle of kids (normal hours are from 12 - 6.) it’s going to be a long day…

by the way, dublin has been invaded by robots! if you’re in town you’ve already heard about the call to save the robots!

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Originally posted on personaldebris by kaki (mailto:kaki@personaldebris.com)


what exactly IS new media?

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help me/us all out here if anyone knows more.

been confused for over a decade until today. but as far as i can tell, "new media" means the equipment is available in metallic but not chrome. it's easy to be mislead when everybody says it like we all know, but probably nobody really does and they're just pretending. don't sweat it.

for instance, a toaster is available in metallic, but it is chrome, so it is clearly NOT "new media". digital cameras and hand-held camcorders usually come in brushed metal or titanium, so obviously, they do qualify. even cell phones that are equipped with cameras are generally silver, but never chrome. the term is misleading. you'd be right in thinking video and photos really ARE old technology, based on inventions that have been around for 100+ years . the "digital" stuff is actually far, far lower resolution and far, far higher priced than the analog predecessors. but this equipment was, for years, always heavy and painted black. not interesting. only recently did everything become exciting when it got a shiny new casing.

the real tricky part to making the extra conceptual leap that the phrase "new media" essentially indicates potential retail mark-up value. every era in art has its name. after impressionism, abstract impressionism, modernism, and post-modernism, we are now in silverism, which will be followed by shiny silverism. the term "new media" will be considered obsolete and un-hip, in favor of "new new media", meaning "shinier than ever".

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Raw by Plasma Studii