Scottish artist Zoe Irvine's 'Dial-A-Diva' project has its historical roots in the Theatraphone, a medium that existed roughly from 1840 to 1920 that allowed those with the means to have a telephone in their home to patch in performances from theater and opera companies. Irvine has reincarnated the pre-radio transmission method as a day-long, globe-spanning series of short performances that will take place on September 8. Beginning at 7:00 p.m. local time in New Zealand and ending roughly 24 hours later with a performance in Hawaii, just before Saturday slips over the international date line, audiences around the world are invited to dial in to the continuous conference call. The roster of performers includes karaoke singers in Seoul, musicians 'The Anger Boys' in Ramallah, a carnival band from Poland, folk music from Burkina Faso, MCs and opera divas from Colombia, and a similarly far-flung list of other styles. A half-way celebration will take place in Stavanger, Norway, and a complete schedule of local performances times, phone numbers to call, and a link to a live web stream can be found on the project web site. Its Victorian roots aside, Dial-A-Diva has an appealing and even nostalgic quality that looks back to the more recent history of pre-Web connectivity, when land lines--humbly tied as they are to things like time zones--were at the forefront of networked communication. - William Hanley
The recently-founded Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Media.Art.Research in Linz, Austria, supports research, archiving, and publication in the field of media art and theory. On September 10th, during this year's Ars Electronica Festival they will realize this mandate by organizing the panel Closeness vs Dislocation: Contextualising Net-Based Art. The star-studded list of speakers includes Ted Nelson, Lev Manovich, Marc Ries, Charlie Gere, Verena Kuni, Julian Stallabrass, Gunther Reisinger, and Dieter Daniels. This group will track the internet's development as an artistic medium, the relationship between networked practice and art history, and strategies of preserving internet art and the context from which it was borne.
Before a scarcity of real estate--or similar physical limitations--in the 'first life' began driving artists to explore the possibilities of Second Life, humankind had long projected its spatial fantasies onto the moon. With this bit of history in mind, the collaborative duo of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese are staging Crater New York: A Lunar Drawing Contest at Manhattan's Location One gallery, now through September 26th. Taking its title from the career-making show of emerging artists 'Greater New York,' the event is a drawing contest in which artists and non-artists alike are invited to sketch a model installation of the moon by hand or using illustration software. Entries will be hung in the gallery for the duration of the project and be judged by an as-yet unannounced panel of 'artists, critics, real estate developers, and celebrities.' Winning representations of the heavenly body will be announced on the final day of the exhibition, and the artists behind them will receive a deed to a plot of land on the lunar surface. Thirteen drawing challenges--corresponding to the 13 annual lunar cycles--will be held while the project is on view, and in acknowledgment of the new territory inspiring fantasies of uncharted space, each of the proceedings and the work created will be simultaneously on view in Second Life at Richard Minsky's SLART gallery.
'AniMotion,' an exhibition and screening series at Gallery F-15 in Moss, Norway, explores the state of animation from technical, narrative, structural, and cultural perspectives. Curated by Elisabeth Byre, the exhibition features the work of Michael Bell-Smith, Ian Burns, Ewa Einhorn, Mai Hofstad Gunnes, Ezra Johnson, and Martin Skauen. The term 'animation' could be used to classify these artists' work, but the descriptor falls far short. Instead, 'AniMotion' attempts to show the scope of the word as applied to media art production today. The accompanying screening programs curated by Peter Burr, Bjorn Hegardt, and Hanne Mugaas will further expand on the themes brought to light by the artists in the physical installation space.
'Psychogeography' was defined by situationist Guy Debord as the 'the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals.' Glowlab's annual Conflux festival, taking place from September 13-16th in various locations throughout Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, is dedicated to this notion of psychogeography, and makes it far more fun than Debord's scholarly definition might suggest. Through performances, visual art, music, games, panel discussions, and hybrids of all of the above, participants will engage with the street and amongst themselves in this four-day intervention into New York's city spaces. The long weekend's spectacles will be documented in real time by a team of bloggers and will be accessible along with a full schedule of events, online. So whether you participate in person or on the web, there is ample opportunity to play. - Caitlin Jones
Installed against historic architecture and in strategically-chosen exhibition spaces throughout the city of Mechelen, Contour 2007, the third edition of the northern Belgian municipality's biennial of video art opened last month and runs through October 21. Featuring new and recent work by some 17 international artists, the exhibition's subtitle, Decoder, references the rhetorical moves that underpin visual perception and suggests that each of the works in the show somehow relates back to these fundamental tricks of comprehension. Among them are a 2007 work by Omer Fast, 'De Grote Boodschap,' which was shot on location in Mechelen, and several performance based single-channel pieces by Tsui Kuang-Yu, an artist who, like the biennial, inserts himself into opportune segments of urban spaces.
A new contemporary art gallery is opening its doors in Sofia, Bulgaria. Started by curators Chris Byrne and Illiyana Nedcova, ARC projects has gotten off to a promising start by representing all three artists in the Bulgarian Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. With backgrounds in new media (Byrne was the founder of New Media Scotland and Nedcova has written and curated extensively in the medium) and a roster that includes Vuk Cosic and Thomson and Craighead, it appears as though new media will have a major place in their programming. Sure to be an asset to the city of Sofia, ARC projects will also be an asset to the medium as a whole, as they will be one of a few galleries on the international art fair circuit representing new media--not as a novelty but as integral part of the contemporary art scene.
On the Functions of Documenta
Radical Culture Research Collective
From the introduction: "Radical Culture Research Collective (RCRC) is a group of activists, artists, researchers and writers in Berlin, Hamburg, London (England), Montreal, London (Canada), New York, San Francisco, Tampa, Weimar and Vienna aiming to build structures and processes for critiquing the capitalist art system, reflecting on politicized artistic practices, and developing modes of a militant praxis within and without the field of art. Our recent discussions have revolved around the ways in which criticality is recuperated through neo-liberal managerialism. This text, written for Radical Philosophy, briefly sketches some aspects of this problem using Documenta XII as a case study."
Originally posted on post.thing.net - A lean, mean, media machine. by Alan W. Moore
With a resume that lists film, video, and photography alongside the traditionally less technical media of crochet and knitting, New York artist Sabrina Gschwandtner's body of work could seem a bit disjointed. But given the tendency, in the last decade or so, for artists to make conceptual and even subversive use of domestic craft in their work--a move that parallels D.I.Y. and homespun approaches toward digital media--her divergent practices begin to make sense. In 2002 the artist founded 'KnitKnit,' an editioned journal devoted to handicraft as fine art, and after five years of chronicling vanguard work created in traditionally home-bound media, Gschwandtner has also authored a book on the topic slated for publication this fall by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang. Manhattan's Greene Naftali gallery hosts a party celebrating the release of KnitKnit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting's New Wave on September 13. The author will sign copies of the book from 6-8 pm, accompanied by Teva Durham, Beryl Tsang, Jim Drain--who has a concurrent show of new work at the gallery--and other artists featured in its pages.
A day without the mobile-phone is an installation in public space that is made up of one hundred cell-phones collected from the people in the city. The phones are hanged on a tree next to St. John's church (Jaani kirik) where they create a light- and sound-installation. To participate in creating the installation you may give your cell-phone to be hanged on the tree and you may call your friends who have done the same. It is also possible to call public mobile-phone numbers that have been opened specially for the installation.
A day without the mobile-phone does not take a black-and-white stance on blaming the mobile-phone addiction --instead it attempts to create a discussion. The installation may lead to the conclusion that we use our phones too much, or it may prove that mobile-phones add an important value to our lives. We would like to evaluate the role of the mobile-phone by taking a few steps and looking at it from a distance.
Plektrum -- The Festival of Visual Sound is the main platform for audio-visual media culture in Tallinn -- the capital of Estonia. Taking place this September for the 5th time, it showcases events that range from eclectic avant-garde music parties and forward thinking VJ-performances to media-art happenings and exciting hands-on workshops. The main aim of the festival is to bridge new technologies with the innovative ideas baking in the creative minds that lay scattered across different disciplines. By urging, promoting and sustaining the popularization and development of new media, Plektrum shapes the cultural landscape of the 21st century that will distinguish Tallinn as the European Capital of Culture in 2011. We hereby invite you join us in Tallinn ...
Originally posted on Networked Music Review by jo