Posts for April 2008

PRIMITIVES

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animated gif using found images of primitive types

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Originally posted on jpegmess log by Rhizome


Teems Like Smell Spirit

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Who hasn't had the synaesthetic experience of a scent triggering a memory? Some argue that the sense of smell is among our body's strongest, and yet--"smellivision" aspirations aside--media culture revolves so much more around our eyes and ears. At present, New York's Lower East Side (a piquant sensorium, to be sure) is home to two olfactorily driven projects. At nonprofit art space Cuchifritos through April 26th is a group show entitled, "If There Ever Was," featuring seven "extinct and impossible smells" that have been "re-created" by Koan-Jeff Baysa, Bertrand Duchaufour, Christoph Hornetz, Christophe Laudamiel, Patricia Millns, Steven Pearce, David Pybus, and Geza Schön. Some of these creators call themselves artists while some work as scientists, engineers, or others with a vested interest in "olfactory images." For instance, botanist James Wong created a hyperreal scent equivalent to a bouquet of extinct flowers, calling attention to art's ability to invoke the absent, fantastical, or what cannot otherwise be said or seen. Neighboring nonprofit Participant, Inc is also supporting artists' exploration of the interface between sight and smell with Lisa Kirk and Jelena Behrend's Revolution Pipe Bomb project. The work was initially conceived as a fragrance by Kirk, who then approached Behrend to produce it as a special limited edition in the form of "a precious metal pipe bomb to contain a vile of [a] faintly aggressive fragrance." The perfume's core elements were determined after interviews with war journalists, activists, and others who've been on the frontlines of revolutions. It bears hints of "smoke, gasoline, tear gas, burnt rubber, and decaying flesh." Doesn't that make you wish this website was scratch-and-sniff? In all seriousness, this project explores the important subject of the commodification and marketing of violence and like Wong's imagined bouquet ...

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The Salt Satyagraha Online - Gandhi's Treadmill Powered March through Second Life (project by Joseph DeLappe)

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Saturday, April 5th marks the culmination of Joseph DeLappe's 22 days and 240 miles of walking on a treadmill to control his Gandhi avatar marching in Second Life to reenact Mahatma Gandhi's "Salt March to Dandi", the seminal 1930's protest against the British Salt Act of 1882. On this, the final day of walking both on the treadmill at Eyebeam, New York City, and in Second Life, the public is invited to either visit Eyebeam to witness the final steps of the march or join MGandhi Chakrabarti in Second Life to virtually walk the final miles!

The final steps of the march will occur on the Eyebeam Island in Second Life, MGandhi Chakrabarti will arrive some time after 5:00pm Eastern time:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Eyebeam%20Island/102/160/27

Otherwise please join MGandhi in Second Life where he will be marching between the hours of 12noon and 6pm daily until the end of the march on April 5th. For daily start locations visit: http://saltmarchsecondlife.wordpress.com

Coinciding with the original dates of the 1930's March, DeLappe began the reenactment to coincide with the actual dates of the original march from March 12th to April 6, 1930. The performance will be completed on Sunday, April 6th with a ritual making of the Salt at the virtual reproduction of the monument to the Salt March at Dandi on Eyebeam Island.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


Inside the Black Budget

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In patches decorated with rockets, bombs and dragons, a photographer and author, Trevor Paglen, finds a coded guide to a secret world of military research.

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Rhizome-commissioned artist Trevor Paglen appeared on the front page of the New York Times Science section today. The article discusses his work on secret military societies and his new book "I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me." Paglen will speak at the upcoming New Silent Series program "Blank Spots on a Map: State Secrecy and the Limits of the Visible" in May.

Originally posted on NYT > Science by By WILLIAM J. BROAD


The Rematerialization of Art

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Marx and Engels claimed that capitalism's "constant revolutionizing of production" ultimately means "all that is solid melts into air." The contemporary art market, however, describes an opposite process: innovations such as the flat-screen monitor, the digital print, and the editioned DVD, have helped transform immaterial forms like video and net.art into a new generation of physical, sellable objects. Underscoring the gallery-friendly moment, "Holy Fire: Art of the Digital Age" at Bruxelles's iMAL Center for Digital Cultures and Technology presents a show of works already for sale on the art market. While it's not surprising to find a younger crew who came of age within the current market (Eddo Stern, Cory Arcangel, Paul Slocum), more significant are the first-generation net.art names who have ditched their former outsider status and joined the commercial club: note the inclusion of Jodi, Vuk Cosic, Alexei Shulgin, and Olia Lialina, as well as later, politically pointed artists like 0100101110101101.ORG and Joan Leandre. (As corollary, observe that old media have been effected as well as new: a similar if less totalizing movement towards object-production has taken hold within the formerly market-excluded world of experimental filmmaking.) Holy Fire curators Yves Bernard and Domenico Quaranta say that to speak of new media art "doesn't really make sense today," since "all contemporary art is, someway, new media art" and many artists prefer to state their concern as "just art." With a panel moderated by Patrick Lichty of anti-corporate hoaxsters The Yes Men, the debate on that claim is guaranteed to be lively. - Ed Halter

Image: Alexei Shulgin and Aristarkh Chernyshev, Commercial Protest, 2007

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Marta de Menezes: Functional Portraits

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03.07 - 04.15.2008

Marta de Menezes: Functional Portraits
special reception: Friday, April 4, 2008 5 - 9 pm
Koscielak Gallery
1646 N. Bosworth Ave.
Chicago, IL

In portraits, artists have been trying to represent not only the physical appearance of the subject, but also characteristics of the personality, by using the pose, elements in the composition, and even the choice of techniques. Science has developed powerful techniques to visualize what is hidden under the skin: and not only morphological characteristics, but also functional data. In Functional Portraits Marta de Menezes has been using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain, in order to visualize the regions of the brain that are active while a given task is being performed. With this visual information it becomes possible to create portraits - "functional portraits"- where besides the physical appearance of the subject, the function of its brain while performing a chosen task is represented. For example, she created a self-portrait incorporating images of her brain activity while drawing inside the fMRI scanner; a portrait of scientist Dr. Patricia Figueiredo allows the visualization of her brain activity while she was playing the piano.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


Living It Up

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Remember the olden days, when we didn't have to specify to people whether we were talking about second life or "first life"? These were the days when the notion of "liveness" was less problematic. Live once meant real-time, and live-art meant performance happening right here, right now. David Familian, curator of the exhibition "LIVE" at the Beall Center for Art and Technology, in Irvine, California, argues that the meaning of this word has changed now that "the majority of our day-to-day interactions are so mediated." This, of course, belies the dynamism of networks and interactivity, so he's selected project by media all-stars Natalie Bookchin, Karen Finley, Radical Software Group (Alexander R. Galloway) & MTAA (Mike Sarff & Tim Whidden), Ben Rubin, Aphid Stern & Michael Dale, and Siebren Versteeg whose work pulls "from the steady stream of unrelenting data [to] produce thought-provoking, aesthetic, and 'live' works of art." This includes Want (2008), a collaboration between RSG and MTAA which uses human actors to visualize peer-to-peer network searches and, like Natalie Bookchin's All That is Solid (2007), raises questions about privacy and surveillance. The latter is part of the artist's Network Movies series which exploits an unintended glitch in web-based security cameras permitting them to be indexed by Google and allows Bookchin to incorporate their streaming footage into beautiful films. Ben Rubin, a recognized maestro of visualizing information presents Two Lanes, 8th Avenue at 40th Street, October 27, 2007 (2007), a sort of time-based cityscape in which the uptown traffic on one particularly rainy day is translated into "linear pulses of color rendered on two LED tubes," each reflecting a lane of traffic. The piece creates a tension between stillness and motion that ultimately highlights the poetic significance of time spent waiting. But you don't have to wait to ...

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Yolande Harris - Sun Run Sun: on Sonic Navigations

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Artist in Residence November 2007 - April 2008 at the Netherlands Media Art Institute in collaboration with STEIM in Amsterdam.

'Sun Run Sun' charts a path between environmental awareness and technological development, using sound as the medium to enhance both. The project investigates the split between the embodied experience of location and the calculated data of position, exploring the individual experience of current location technologies through a personal experience of sound. It seeks to (re)establish a sense of connectedness to one's environment, and to (re)negotiate this through an investigation into old, new, future and animal navigation using sound.

This project consists of two different parts, a sound installation and a series of portable instruments to take on a walk through the city. In the installation 'Dead Reckoning' Yolande Harris reveals the patterns of orbiting satellites coming in and out of range and inconsistencies in how GPS technology locates the self in a longitude/latitude grid. The mobile 'Satellite Sounders' transform the live satellite data directly into a sonic composition listened to on headphones as one walks through the city. Live signals from satellites in orbit, together with the performer's coordinates on earth, generate a continuously transforming electronic soundscape. Yolande Harris's soundscape questions what is inside and what is outside, what it means to be located and what it means to be lost.

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Originally posted on newmediafix.net by Rhizome


Election '08: How the Internet is Re-shaping National Politics

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"Election '08: How the Internet is Re-shaping National Politics" is the next program in Rhizome's New Silent Series at the New Museum. See description below and mark your calendars for Friday, April 11th at 7:30pm.

Grassroots organizations like MoveOn.org and Meetup.com played a significant role in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election. Campaign '08 has thus far been a very different project, with some of its most crucial points playing out across YouTube.com, viral marketing, and blogs. For Election '08, leading critics, artists, and media strategists will address the increasing role the Internet and digital technologies have come to play in national politics and focus specifically on the ways new media have been used for advocacy in the run-up to the election.

The panel will be moderated by Jason Pontin, Chief Editor of the MIT Technology Review; Panelists include Farai Chideya, host of NPR's News and Notes, and founder of PopandPolitics.com; Jonathan Askin, a strategist on Barack Obama's Technology Advisory Board and Professor at Brooklyn Law School; Beka Economopoulos, artist and founder of The Change You Want To See; and Liza Sabater, founder and publisher of Culture Kitchen and Daily Gotham.

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Academically Qualified

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Since the 2006 cancellation of Manifesta 6, a biennial conceived as a temporary school in Cyprus, education has been at the forefront of the art world's attention. At a time when costly enrollment at a top-tier art school seems like the accepted route to a gainful career as a creative practitioner, artists and curators alike have begun assessing the standards of art education and mining critical alternatives, a process that culminated in unitednationsplaza's exhibition-as-school in Mexico City, this past month, as well as in the New Museum's yearlong "Night School," an "artist commission in the form of a temporary school" by Anton Vidokle, UNP member and co-organizer of Manifesta 6. Professing relatively less anti-institutional rhetoric and a bit more grassroots irreverence is The Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study, an ongoing project by a handful of Philly artists and thinkers, including Brandon Joyce and Ramsey Arnaoot, offering seminars and symposia to members of their local community. Classes range from the pragmatic, including German and Spanish instruction, to the more specialized, in which interested pupils can help use Pure Date (pD) programming language towards constructing an audio-video sampling synthesizer, or contribute to Zusammenstoppeln, a group novel written using the Surrealist technique, "exquisite corpse." What complicates the Institute's seemingly benign agenda is its website, which adopts the mock tone and design of an elitist organization, calls artist residencies "Eric James Johnson Memorial Fellowships," and assigns equally buttoned-up appellations to its academic departments. While whimsy is evidently at the heart of it, the Institute's website makes an insightful point about the expectation for educational branding, in this day and age, and the performance of a certain elitism often accepted as necessary to lend credence to an organization, regardless of what it professes to teach. - Tyler Coburn

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