Citizens from San Francisco and beyond are offered a unique interface for collaborative gaming with SFZero, a website engineered by non-profit organization Playtime. Steeping their enterprise in unabashedly Marxist terms, the site organizers seek to engender in users “genuinely free, self-conscious, authentic activity as opposed to the alienated labor demanded under capitalism,” an aspiration practically manifest through a series of tasks players must perform in their metropolis to accrue points and advance in levels. Such tasks are assigned by and characteristic of the bureaucracies populating SFZero’s ranks, including the BART Psychogeographical Association, Humanitarian Crisis, and the University of Aesthematics, and range from outright urban intervention to poetic, quasi-Fluxist action. "Take a sign (the more permanent/authoritative it looks the better) and install it in a place that changes the sign's original meaning or intent," instructs one task from the Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts. "Preenact a major future occurrence of your choice in a public place," reads another from Chrononautic Exploratorium: "Props and costumes are required, though they need not be authentic." The accumulation of points, and their dispersal across the bureaucratic organizations - a process known as Grouposis - ultimately prove double-edged, however, revealing user choice to be fundamentally linked to the ideological constituencies of SFZero. In other words, while this novel platform promotes liberating ways of engaging with a given user's city, it partly does so to produce a sharp critique of contemporary capitalism: aping gaming's competitive infrastructure to reveal the potential of all individual action to be appropriated by overarching bureaucracies, and for virtual-political labor to service ulterior ends. - Tyler Coburn
Imagine an art collective whose practice--on the surface--revolves largely around inside jokes, self-congratulation, and the unabashed display of consumption. Throw in a fine balance between fearless experimentation with form and a general disregard for traditional aesthetics. Sounds like international biennale material, right? In fact, it's "Double Happiness," the net art collective who today celebrate their first anniversary of online rabble-rousing under the moniker of this popular Chinese calligraph. When the group was invited, via email, to ruminate on this auspicious occasion, "Dub Hap" co-founder Borna Sammak replied, "I've noticed that those outside the art community seem much quicker to 'get it' than art people." Then again, he also boasted, "I pride myself in having the worst website on the internet." Indeed, the group's site--also managed by artists Eric Laska, Evan Roth, Jeff Sisson, and Bennett Williamson--is chock-a-block with the fruits of inordinately long websurfing sessions: frayed gif mashups, hilarious if sometimes unnerving audio loops, shameless resizes calling for inconsistent page widths, ekphrastic word/image paradoxes, and very often beautiful collages of similar images (graffiti tags, gummi bears, umbrella hats... Google Image Searches are their friend) that not only signify through combination and quantity but overwhelm the viewer with a sheer cascade of visual awesomeness. In many ways, the blog recalls the motto of OG net artists Jimpunk and Abe Linkoln's classic site, Screenfull.net, "We crash your browser with content." Double Happiness has the fresh spirit of a sketchbook alit--a sort of exquisite corpse in which no age or end is predeterminate of today's chaotic link-dump. Ultimately, if Double Happiness revolves around an inside joke, then the joke is shared by all of us. As Williamson reasons, "I enjoy using the internet as a medium for dubhap because online we already view so many disparate ...
Williamsburg / Greenpoint / Bushwick
Morgan Croney is an artist who takes Sol LeWitt's famous dictum, "Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically", quite seriously. His complex of geometric forms and mathematical notations suggest nothing so much as deliberately purposeful rationality while leading nowhere - nowhere rational, anyway - and giving very few clues as to the mechanism of their production. The result is a critique of rationality - or, maybe, rationality for its own sake, devoid of its normal impulses.[CONTINUED]
Originally posted on ArtCal Openings by Rhizome
The Center for Integrated Media at the California Institute of the Arts announces the release of its new online sound/art collaboration called "The Lament Project." "The Lament Project" is part of the 2008 release of Viralnet.net, the Center's online journal and project space. Curated by Cindy Bernard, Kathy Brew, Beth Rosenberg, Martha Wilson and Tom Leeser.
The curators invited fifty artists from various media to submit a one-minute original sound work that they could describe as a lament, a wail, a moan or a cry.
'The Lament Project' grew from a desire to work with a wide variety of interdisciplinary artists to produce a unique online project that could respond to the personal and social anxiety found in today's contemporary global culture. We thought that the best way Viralnet.net could cut through the corporate media's commodification of suffering and conflict, would be in a personal and visceral way, using sound.
The lament is one of the world's oldest musical and poetic forms for expressing sorrow and grief. It is found in both the east and the west, in classical traditions as well as folk traditions. It has evolved over the centuries informing new genres along the way, like the blues. It is a primal sound that is born from a place deep inside the individual and reflects the cries of the larger collective.
Two years ago Caitlin Jones observed in NYFA Current that net artists working in multiple formats were increasingly finding venues to show. Today, the art world is still figuring out how to manage the practicalities of dealer and artist relationships. I spoke with Aron Namenwirth, of artMovingProjects, in an effort to better understand the challenges, and solutions, digital media presents to contemporary galleries with a focus on New Media.
NEW LIFE BERLIN is curated from the participatory art community WOOLOO.ORG , and will take place in Berlin between 1st and 15th June 2008. In addition to the published program, the curators invite members of the online community to participate throughout the festival itself.
In this way, NEW LIFE BERLIN connects the resources of a global artists network with the physical geography of Berlin, as Europe's pre-eminent centre for cultural production.
By inviting participation (while still retaining curatorial control), NEW LIFE BERLIN will investigate the much discussed "online community" - How effective is this community? What binds this community? What governs it? In contrast to traditional art festivals and biennials, NEW LIFE BERLIN will not represent a set of cultural conclusions, but create a model for a fluid cultural landscape.
The NEW LIFE BERLIN festival program is structured along three themes:
Transnational Communities. What do 'community' and 'identity' mean today? Presenting projects from both artistic and sociological starting points, NEW LIFE BERLIN will use group participation to explore real-life cultural mobility.
Artistic Social Responsibility. What is the relationship between cultural practitioners and corporate entities in the new millennium? How does contemporary cultural production relate to the concept of 'Corporate Social Responsibility'?
Participation and Intervention. How do participatory arts practices affect the socio-cultural environments in which they take place? How and why can local audiences become involved in artists' projects, and what does their involvement mean in terms of civic engagement and social empowerment?
To apply for participation in the festival as an artist or writer, please go to www.wooloo.org/festival
After a standout contribution to Postmasters' summer 2007 group show - which caused even tough cookie critic Roberta Smith to advise New York Times readers to "take notice" - Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung returns to the gallery this month with an accomplished solo turn, "Residential Erection," running through May 10th. Spanning the space's two rooms are the artist's recent video contributions to his brand of twenty-first century baroque, Residential Erection (2008) and Gas Zappers (2007), as well as digital prints and monumental pop-up displays, all deriving imagery from Residential Erection. While the pop-ups offer interesting translations of Hung's collage-heavy video practice into the sculptural realm, they ultimately feel secondary to the videos themselves, which interpolate political hubris and prop-like flatness with a greater level of sophistication, evoking theater sets, commercial advertisements, image search refuse and one-on-one combat video games. All of these references (and countless others) make a turn on Hung's digital stage, collectively giving a performance as critical of contemporary American politics as it is symptomatic of the artist as capitalist-schizophrenic par excellence. In one of the choicer scenes from Residential Erection, for example, an infantile Barack Obama suckles from the teat of mega-advocate Oprah Winfrey (in Virgin Mary attire), only to transform into a variation on Ali G's Borat, emblazoned with the logos of Verizon, UBS and a handful of his other corporate campaign sponsors. At another moment, a cadre of conservatives roll out the "Straight Talk Express," led by Republican cheerleader John McCain - replete with tutu - and proceed to erect a chain-link fence, hoard burritos and manufacture "Minutemen Salsa." Hung's garishly Pop take is thus no disguise for our nation's unsavory realities, but rather uses the aesthetics of mass-culture to dispel the sleek, rhetorical surface of American politics and tease out its dirty ...
A panel discussion and Second Life event
Sponsored by the S.F.A.I. Film Department
Monday, April 14, 2008 - 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Lecture Hall, San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut St., San Francisco
A panel discussion and virtual performance event to explore ways the digital medium has reconfigured the moving image and thereby redefined concepts of cinema. The digital medium has transformed the moving image. Image sequences have become discrete units that can be remixed in new constellations, through software processes or interaction by the viewer. Digital interactivity is connected to databases. The possibility of assembling and reconfiguring media elements from a compilation of image sequences have created new cinematic forms.
These emerging cinematic forms include database cinema, interactive narrative or non-narrative films, as well as machinima- filmmaking within computer games or 3D virtual worlds, such as Second Life, where characters and events can be either controlled by humans, scripts or artificial intelligence.
"From Cinema to Machinima" will bring together artists who will present their works in the area of digital cinema. The discussion will be followed by a short performance event in Second Life, which will be broadcast in the Lecture Hall.
Moderators: Lynn Hershman Leeson, Chair, SFAI Film Department; Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum.
Participants: Henrik Bennetsen, Char Davies, Scott Kildall & Second Front, Howard Rheingold (via Second Life), Scott Snibbe, Camille Utterback.
The New Museum produced a special website, which went live today, in conjunction with Paul Chan's new exhibition "The 7
Image Credit: Paul Chan, 5th
Who could disagree that cities are systems? Certainly not anyone who's ever read an Italo Calvino novel, watched a German Expressionist film, tuned-in to the Jetsons, or witnessed any of the other myriad artifacts of the cultural casting of townships as machines. Of course, some of these machines are better-oiled than others, but as population, worldwide, continues to boom and buildings continue reaching for the stars, there is an increasing role for the artist-savant to intervene in divining the future of urban systems. This platform is the launching pad for the "On Cities" exhibition at Stockholm's Arkitekturmuseet (March 4-May 4, 2008), where four artists' projects push us toward "an understanding of architecture and the city as a dynamic system, consisting of social, economic, legal, political, cultural, geographical and physical layers." Oriana Eliçabe's Rebel Voices embraces hip-hop as a means of defining and asserting one's self within cities. The documentary slide project explores hip-hop as a global phenomenon before looking at its success as a means of local expression in various cities in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Fernando Llanos traces regions on his bike, with his Videoman project, in which he cycles through existing communication channels to simultaneously record and project his immediate environment in a way that heightens awareness of the space by putting a frame around it. The Delhi-based consortium, Cybermohalla Hub draws parallels between "real" and "cyber" spaces by architecting a real neighborhood (the meaning of the word "mohalla" in both Hindi and Urdu) in the form of a cultural lab in which inhabitants can consider the shifting nature of online place-based identities. The members of the artist group flyingCity perceive a lack of landmark images for Seoul, Korea, and they've collaborated with local community groups to envision utopian ...