Posts for April 2008

Reminder: Election '08 Panel Tomorrow!

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For the next event in Rhizome's New Silent Series, we have convened an eminent group of participants to discuss how political insiders are outsiders are using the internet to transform this election. Start time = 7:30. Location = New Museum. Ticket = $8. Dont miss it!


More details on Election '08: How the Internet is Reshaping National Politics

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Everywhere and Nowhere

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The relationship between place and memory is well-tread territory in the art world, but a new exhibition at the Netherlands Institute for Media Art/ Montevideo uniquely problematizes this dynamic diad. The works included in "Territorial Phantom" are less engaged with re-inventing the question of how an individual is affected by a place, and are more illustrative of the impacts that psychic investment--in the form of interventions, collective action, or physical possession--can have upon spaces real, symbolic, and virtual. Make no mistake, the show is decidedly political, explicitly responding to scenarios in which "organizations, businesses, and countries appropriate ever more space, by privatizing public space or bringing 'democracy' to countries, and where necessary eliminating opponents." Open through May 12th, "Territorial Phantom" includes works by international artists AES+F Group (RU), Yael Bartana (IL/NL), Cao Fei(CN), Yolande Harris (UK), Marine Hugonnier (F), Karen Lancel (NL), Lucas Lenglet (NL), Raqs Media Collective (IN), State of Sabotage (SoS), and Artur Zmijewski (PL). Honing-in on zones as specific as "a city, a mountain range, or simply a piece of paper," the show calls on viewers to ask themselves how "we define our own position in a country and in regard to various territories?" - Marisa Olson

Image credit: State of Sabotage (SoS), SoS Flag

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The New Transparent

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At least in principle, there seems to have been a wide embrace of the open source movement. The argument that things should be left open to improvement, and even personalization, by those with the know-how appeals to many of us. But where did the broader drive for "openness" come from? And what are its implications beyond technology? The "Disclosures" exhibition on view at London's Gasworks through May 18th looks at manifestations of open source methods in offline areas of cultural production. Curators Anna Colin and Mia Jankowicz describe these as "situations in which the viewer, reader, listener or internet user becomes emancipated through egalitarian participation, collaborative authorship, and/or the breaking down of hierarchical and social boundaries." Emancipation is, of course, a strong word, but it refers here to the freedom to participate in the social, economic, and production processes that inform our social reality. This is a utopia "Disclosures" both holds-up and critiques through the inclusion of work by artists and tactical media practitioners as well as cultural theorists and music producers. Projects include Declose, by Open Music Archive, a vinyl remix tool compositing copyright-expired breaks and samples from early jazz, blues, and folk recordings with new "copyleft beats" by invited musicians; John Barlow Gone Offshore, the newest chapter of Goldin+Senneby's effort to explore "the projects and mythologies of the invisible" in which fictional character John Barlow blogs his investigations into an offshore company known as Headless Limited; and Tsila Hassine and De Geuzen's web-based Image Tracer, a beautifully layered snapshot of the appearance, disappearance, and ranking of Google Image Search results that grows out of the collaborators' interest in "media images and the way their significance and presence fluctuates in the ecology of the world wide web." Not surprisingly, given its open source inspiration ...

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"James Chimpton" at Whitney Biennial

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Inside the Artists Studio with James Chimpton is a radio program/robotic chimp developed at Eyebeam by Jeff Crouse and Steve Lambert for Neighborhood Public Radio's "___ American Life" at the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

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We posted about Neighborhood Public Radio's temporary radio station at the Whitney Biennial earlier this week on Rhizome's blog. Here is a short video of the project, with a cameo by Jeff Crouse and Steve Lambert's robotic chimp "James Chimpton" who hosts the program "___ American Life."

Originally posted on Steve Lambert by Rhizome


One Night Stand

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Real estate is a limited and valuable resource in New York City, such that some curators have turned to one-day only exhibitions in order to make use of fly-by-night spaces. Recently curator Nicholas Weist staged the group exhibition (and dance party!) If I told you you were beautiful, would you date me on the regular? in Oliver Kamm/5BE the evening before the gallery's move, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space has long worked with the community to open up short-term properties to artists. Tonight curators Hanne Mugaas and Fabienne Stephan will transform the make-up room of a photographer's studio into an exhibition space for an international group of artists. Part of their ongoing project-based gallery Galerie Art Since the Summer of '69, the ten artists selected by Mugaas and Stephan work in a variety of mediums, such as sculpture, drawing, painting and new media. Highlights include a tangible version of Charles Broskoski's "New Flag" (2008), a computer-based work by Johannes P. Osterhoff, and new sculptures and paintings by Ida Ekblad, Anders Nordby and Lina Viste Gronli of Willy Wonka Inc. - Ceci Moss

Image Credit: Lina Viste Gronli, Sculptures in Progress, 2008 (Courtesy the artist and Galerie Art Since the Summer of '69)

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Traces from Memory

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Johannesburg-based artist Marcus Neustetter explores the potential for communication and exchange across a variety of mediums, including digital photography, video and installation, giving particular consideration to how the limits or irregularities of a given medium can constitute new conceptual, aesthetic, and even social territory. This investigation finds its most formal treatment in Disruption (2007), a series of photographs taken with a damaged camera, and Afterimages (2005), in which Neustetter used sensitized paper and an ammonia fume development process to generate analog "scans" of light and space. On the social end of the spectrum is UrbaNET: Hillbrow/Dakar/Hillbrow (2006-7), an ambitious project conceived by Neustetter and frequent collaborator Stephen Hobbs endeavoring to produce a "comparative analysis" of Hillbrow, a depressed neighborhood of Johannesburg with a large population of Senegalese immigrants, and Senegal capital Dakar. In 2006, while preparing for a two-week residency in Dakar and their participation in the Dak'Art Biennale 'Off' Program, the artists asked Hillbrow-based Senegalese immigrants to draw memory maps of their home city, which they would use to navigate the capital during their stay. Over the course of the residency, the artists documented their journey in photographs and video and even visited friends and relatives of the mapmakers. For the 2007 exhibition of their project at University of Johannesburg, Neustetter and Hobbs conducted a twenty-person walk from the campus, in Auckland Park, to a Congolese nightclub in Hillbrow, where the project was discussed by art-goers, neighborhood residents and the mapmakers. Neustetter and Hobbs' project thus does not profess to establish any authoritative study of the respective cities it maps, but rather overlays remembrance, map-making, navigation and the documentary image to tell the specific tales of a group of immigrants and a broader story about home, migration and place. - Tyler Coburn

Image Credit: Ali Jaiteh, Memory ...

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Deadline for Rhizome Commissions Program is Sunday Night!

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Calling all artists! This is it -- the last few days to apply to the Rhizome Commissions Program. The deadline is midnight, April 13th EST. Apply now!

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Going Postal

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Impending obsolescence adds a veil of wistfulness to aging media forms: just look at what video has done for 16mm, or digital photography for Polaroids (may they rest in peace!) So our hubbub of electronic messaging, texting and twittering in all its various permutations, now invites contemplation of its paper-based, postage-stamped ancestor: mail art in an email age. Brooklyn-based artist David Horvitz recently closed a show in San Francisco, entitled "I Will Go Somewhere and Mail You Something From There," comprised of photos snail-mailed every day for a month from New York to the gallery, exhibited alongside print-outs of daily emails heralding their arrivals. This is only one of Horovitz's correspondence projects: for "Things For Sale That I Will Mail You," he sets prices on various travel-based artifacts he promises to send generous PayPallers: sand from the beaches of Okinawa or Coney Island; photos from trips to Perth, the island of St. Helena, or just down the street; documentation of a reading of The Little Prince at the New York Stock Exchange. (St. Exupery is a pitch-perfect mirror to Horovitz's often all-caps texts: conceptualism done cute with an unwavering little-boyish sincerity.) More vibrantly material pleasures can be found in an online exhibition of Anne McGuire's painted postcards, altered with inks, watercolors and postage stamps, then sent through the mail. Some offer delicately extended landscapes behind moose and birds, expanding stamp-art beyond its frames; others bear cartoon zaniness along the lines of McGuire's past animation, giving Queen Elizabeth's head a nude sunbathers’ body or adding an imperative below Mister Donut's logo: "he’s hot EAT HIM." - Ed Halter

Image Credit: Anne McGuire, "From Anne McGuire" Postcard, 2008

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Electric Heat

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Who's ready for summer? Starting Wednesday, the monitors and projector's inside London's Seventeen gallery will be burning-up with the work of four North American video artists. Yet, while their show, "We Like What You Eat," is a "micro survey" of outstanding work, it's not a question of who's "hot or not." In fact, what's more interesting about the show is that its venue all but proclaims itself "not hot" in saying, "In terms of exposure, the art gallery has been matched and perhaps even surpassed in importance by the website itself as an artistic platform for the included artists." It's true, the work of Paul B. Davis, collaborators John Michael Boling and Javier Morales, and Eric Fensler has simultaneously borrowed from the visual lexicon of the internet and blossomed there, finding scores of fans among the ranks of computer geeks and musicians as well as fellow artists and savvy curators. It's this crossover--or, rather, this practice of reciprocity--that binds the artists together in the show, with pop cultural phenomena flowing into the work as inspiration or source material, only to find it flowing back out as the art work itself becomes a part of pop culture. Call it the pop art visualization of the adage, "you are what you eat." The gallery declares this an all-out international movement that "nonetheless maintains its spiritual center in the United States of America." Fortunately, you can surf the artists' work from anywhere, but prepare your eyes for the optical poptitude proffered by these guys. In the words of ironically now-forgotten 80s pop musicians, Timbuk 3, their future's so bright, they "gotta wear shades." - Marisa Olson

Image credit: John Michael Boling and Javier Morales, "Body Magic," 2006 (video still)

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landscape

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The above is a partial screengrab from "Landscape" by Borna Sammak. View the entire image here.

Originally posted on double happiness by borna