Posts for April 2008

Mark Your Calendars! Rhizome Benefit May 15

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Join us for Rhizome's upcoming benefit on May 15. Buy your tickets here.

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Game Over

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"Does interactivity stand in the way of depth, of thoughtfulness?" This question appears on a recent post to the blog of Tale of Tales, the Belgian game development studio of Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn; their latest project addresses this very notion. The Graveyard is a small but lovingly detailed black-and-white 3D game with a simple but compelling premise: you navigate an old woman, hobbling with excruciating slowness on her cane, through a shadow-dappled pathway in a cemetery, approach a bench on the edge of a chapel, and allow her to sit and rest. Once the woman sits, the game switches to a more non-interactive mode: her face is superimposed in close-up on half the screen, while a somber three-and-a-half minute song plays, its lyrics pondering the vicissitudes of mortality. The player may then have the woman stand up, and slowly shuffle out of the cemetery, ending the game. (The free trial version and the $5 full version differ in one respect only: in the full version, the woman may die at any moment, her head bowing down and cane dropping to the ground. When I played the game, she died during the song, remaining on the bench afterwards for a seemingly interminable amount of time until I manually quit the application.) Like Teller of Tales's non-violent all-deer MMORPG The Endless Forest, The Graveyard sits on the borderlands between new media art and indie gaming, where its designers seem at home: in their Realtime Art Manifesto, they urge art-game creators to "reject conceptualism" and "make art for people, not for documentation. Make art to experience and not to read about." In The Graveyard, interactivity may not stand in the way of thoughtfulness, but does so by altering our accepted sense of game-time: its extremely limited set of input ...

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Off the Grid, Into the Air

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On view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, through June 1st, is a group show entitled "Off the Grid," which presents the work of thirteen artists injecting a sense of ecological responsibility into a world increasingly polluted by an obsession with power, energy, and wireless communication. In this case, the concept of "the grid" takes on multiple meanings. While it initially invokes the act of unplugging from a communications network, it also means escaping the rigid conventions artists have traditionally followed in addressing environmental issues. This is to say nothing of the historical role of the grid, in modern art, in entrenching the perspectives and organizing principles of machine culture. Curators Jacqueline Shilkoff (of the Neuberger Museum) and Galen Joseph-Hunter, Tianna Kennedy, and Tom Roe (of free103point9) say that they sought to include "contemporary works which formally and/or conceptually challenge conventional and commercial infrastructures"--a wise idea, since it is commercial enterprise that has delivered us to the messy environmental quandary in which we now find ourselves. These works include Seth Weiner's Cryptographic Payphone (2008), which "employs a chaotic motion system to encrypt wireless data transmission, modeled upon the patented use of lava lamps to generate random numbers for the creation of cryptographic codes;" Nina Katchadourian's Ant Static (2003), a continued exploration of inter-species collaboration in which a mass-mob of ants are assigned the creative role of meditating on the levels of competition and technological conflict found in nature; and Cary Peppermint and Christine Nadir's (a.k.a. EcoArtTech)'s Environmental Risk Assessment Rover-AT (2008), a "solar-powered, all-terrain mobile station that collects real-time risk data relative to its GPS coordinates," thus reacting to and changing its environment by projecting videos (cued by a 14-tier threat level system) onto immediate surfaces. Also included in the show are ...

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Computer Love

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Andrzej Zielinski
5%, 2005

Oil on canvas on wood panel
20 x 20 inches


Andrzej Zielinski
4$, 2005

Oil on canvas
20 x 20 inches

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Originally posted on Loshadka by smack


soundOBJECTS

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tobias c. van Veen, DIGITAL BREAKDOWN [GIMME A BREAK], 2007

SoundLAB - sonic art project environments announces
"soundOBJECTS"
exhibition of soundobjects

curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) to be presented in the framework of NewMediaFest2007 - at "La Nau" - exhibition palace of DIGITAL MEDIA Valencia 2008
17 April -10 May - Valencia/Spain

"soundOBJECTS" -
will feature sculptural objects dealing with digital sound and space by the artists Andrew Burrell (Australia, Martin John Callanan (UK), Chad Eby (USA), Heloisa Escudero (Brazil/Sweden), Timo Kahlen (Germany), Jesse La Flair (USA), Dario Lazzaretto, Italy), Matt MacKisack (UK), Paul Magee (UK), Dan Mikesell (USA), Jeff Morris (USA), Jay Needham (USA), Sean O'Neill (USA), Dmitry Strakovsky (USA), tobias c. vanVeen (Canada)

After the show, the website will be extended by a comprehensive documentation online and PDF.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


"Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon" at 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge

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Jason Van Anden, Neil and Ion-- Mixed Feelings, 2003.

Robots
Evolution of a Cultural Icon
San Jose Museum of Art
April 12, 2008 - October 19, 2008

Robots: Evolution of a Cultural Icon examines the development of robot iconography in fine arts over the past 50 years. In 1920, the term robot was coined from a Czech word robota, which means tedious labor. Since then, the image and the idea of a robot have evolved remarkably from an awkward, mechanical creature to a sophisticated android with artificial intelligence and the potential for human-like consciousness.

more here: http://01sj.org/?p=383

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Originally posted on Autonomous Mutations by marynowsky


Brush-off

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ArtFagCity's Paddy Johnson couldn't have picked a more damning category in which to place British painter Dan Proops--"BoingBoing artist"-- glossing that mega-blog's indiscriminate penchant for tiki-bar kitsch, airbrushed girlies and steampunked everything as merely "art pabulum for readers who can clearly handle more." To be sure, Proops's work does seem unduly suited to geek-pandering, offering quick-glance commentary on medias new and old through easy-to-get juxtapositions: Proops's oil paintings depict familiar art-historical subjects with random parts pixilated (as if censored) or "desktop" images of iconic images, complete with trashcans and folders at their margins. To be fair, one must withhold ultimate judgment until seeing the work in physical form, but even online reproductions suggest that Proops' paintings, evidently bereft of any compelling composition or technique to offset their facile gimmicks, suffer from the dull ache of YBA hangover. If you can't travel to London to see them in Proops's upcoming show Sam's Desktop III, then be sure to catch them sometime in the future, when they will be displayed in the spacious living rooms of Hawaiian-shirted IT dudes with more money than taste. - Ed Halter

Image: Dan Proops, Caravaggio, Censored, 2007

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Programmable Media II: Networked Music

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Programmable Media II: Networked Music, a one-day symposium examining the current and future possibilities of network-enabled music, will be held on April 11, 2008 at Pace University, NYC. The symposium is free and open to the public, and will include artist presentations and live performances.

Based on the rapidly expanding archive of music/sound experiments to be found on Networked Music Review and the fifteen short works recently commissioned for it, the symposium aims to stimulate critical and far-ranging discussion on emerging music and sound art practice.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


Access in Excess

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Standing out at this year's Whitney Biennial are Neighborhood Public Radio (a.k.a. NPR). Founded in 2004, in Oakland, California by artists Jon Brumit, Lee Montgomery, and Michael Trigilio, the group share both an acronym and a logo with National Public Radio, but their focus is on local communities and DIY broadcasts. The group takes the act of transmission into their own hands, but are quick to point out that they are not "pirate radio," as they don't steal a spot on your dial, they simply hop onto an empty airwave. Their intentionally unlicensed practice is a touchstone for discussion of corporation-controlled spaces, like the air around us, and the programmed homogenization of the radio. What NPR delivers to listeners is a low-budget (but relatively high production value) snapshot of the neighborhoods in which they are stationed. The group has traveled the world, one neighborhood at a time, engaging in dialogue with local inhabitants about pressing local issues, in addition to presenting artist's recordings, audio experiments, and performances. At the Biennial they are broadcasting in the museum, and on the air, from their temporary headquarters in an empty shoe store, a few doors down from the museum. Along with co-hosts Linda Arnejo, Whiz Biddlecombe, and Katina Papson, the founders will welcome a number of visiting artists to the program and invite locals to come in and chat about issues of importance to them. They will also receive and re-transmit broadcasts from other neighborhoods, who are participating in the program from afar and offering a point of contrast with New York's Upper East Side. NPR is influenced by the history of community radio broadcasts, as well as collective action groups and situationist collaboratives, but their focus is squarely on the present and the opportunities afforded by ...

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Interview with Eddo Stern

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Image: Still from "Amongst Fables and Men"


Tonight artist Eddo Stern will host "QQ More", a screening he curated of offbeat fan-made machinima dealing with real-life issues such as drugs, pornography, and death at Brooklyn's Light Industry. The show begins at 8pm and will be followed by a discussion between Stern and Alexander Galloway. I conducted an email interview with Stern about his interest in the phenomenon and its relevance to his own art practice. - Ceci Moss

In gaming parlance, what does "QQ More" mean? How does this relate to the concept behind your program "QQ More"?

QQ is an emoticon that means crying or sobbing - think two big round eyes with lil' tears. The program contains a few real tearjerkers hence the title "QQ More."

When and how did you start working on "QQ More"?

I've spent quite a few too many hours watching fan made machinima from MMOs on fan sites, most of which I would call "vanity videos" -- short films of players' tributes to � themselves, set to emotionally charged music. Then one day I stumbled on a video called Rest in Peace Ignoramus -- a Norwegian World of Warcraft video made by a few guild members to commemorate a fellow guildmate's death -- the video's intended audience appears to be Ignoramus's family and his online friends. The video is uncomfortably intimate, and the production is very amateurish - it runs way too long, has terrible camera control, sappy music and no editing whatsoever but it still will bring you to tears. (Oh pathos, I cannot resist thee!)

After unearthing Rest in Peace Ignoramus and watching the infamous video by Serenity Now about the memorial massacre, I started a more systematic search through fan-made WoW videos and found a few other oddballs -- the selection for QQ ...

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