Posts for April 2008

tobias c. van veen interview

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Last fall I posted about espaceSONO, a sound art show at the SAT in Montreal curated by Tobias c. van Veen. Tobias is an old friend who is active as a musician and DJ, curator and critic and in his spare time he plugs away on his Ph.D in communication & philosophy at McGill. I have wanted to interview Tobias about his creative practice for a while, but we have held off having this dialog for several months so we could specifically address his new turbulence-commissioned project, 'til death do us a part. Tobias will be performing this piece and participating in the Programmable Media II symposium in New York City tomorrow at Pace University.

Tobias C. Van Veen / Le Placard / 2008

[tobias in the mix at noplacard feb. 2008 / photo: cato p.]

Your recently launched turbulence piece 'til death do us a part is decidely lo-tech. Not only is underlying reel-to-reel technology slightly archaic but even your references are coated with a fine layer of dust. Listening through the piece, it feels very much like an autopsy for "dead media." Could you talk about the inspiration for the piece?

Only in the 21C would recording technology scarcely dated -- the magnetic tape, still in use, of course -- be called 'archaic'. Yet perhaps 'archaic' & 'inspiration' traffic together at this moment when using reel-to-reels to call forth the voices of the dead. If a reel-to-reel is dead media, it is because when, at the height of its use in the 1960s, it was already being used to conjure the spirits of the dead by Konstantin Raudive...

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In a recent interview for Serial Consign, artist Tobias c. van Veen discusses his latest project 'til death do us part (commissioned by Turbulence), as well as his approach toward sound and his activities as a curator in Montreal.

Originally posted on serial consign - design / research by smith


phone usage data sculpture

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mobile_sculpture.jpg

a physical data sculpture representing the movement & communication made with a cell phone in the timespan of 1 week. the aim of the project is to draw attention to the German telecommunications data retention act & the breach of privacy it constitutes. the law requires the telecommunications providers to store the connection data of all customers for 6 months & to make it available to law enforcement agencies upon request. the density of the cell sites reflects the speed & frequency of a person's movement within the city. the more often a place is visited, the more cell sites were added to the map.

[link: dasautomat.com|via dataisnature.com & we-make-money-not-art.com]

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Originally posted on information aesthetics by Rhizome


The Club Who Was Thursday

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Bearing a deceptively straightforward name, The Thursday Club at Goldsmiths College, University of London plays host to a wide range of technologist-artists for its recently-announced Summer Season; in upcoming weeks, the Club's guests will explore such diverse topics as narrative interactivity, biofeedback, coded textiles and "strategic walking." On April 17, Rachel Beth Egenhoefer presents works in progress from her ongoing art-melds of knitting and coding, including a knit zoetrope and knitting with the Wii. Writers Kate Pullinger and Chris Joseph talk about their "networked book" Flight Paths on April 24; a novel to be based partially on strange-but-true occurrences of immigrant airline stowaways tragically plummeting to earth, Flight Paths is currently crowdsourcing research and ideas in its online forum. May 8th brings two artists who use medical technologies to esthetic ends: Camille Baker, whose MINDTouch combines biofeedback and mobile phones to create live performances, and Marilene Oliver, who creates artworks with MRI and CT scanning data. Future clubbers include E:vent organizers Colm Lally and Verina Gfader, artist/writer Richard Colson, and "live coders" Alex McLean and Dave Griffiths. - Ed Halter

Image Credit: Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, Detail of Knit Zoetrope (Work in Progress)

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Before the Bonus Round

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The Olympics are not simply a matter of fun and games. They are a multi-national media spectacle that--as we've seen in recent protests--can arouse and galvanize political action. The event's organizers pitch it as a zone outside of politics, but of course issues of national identity, human rights, autonomy, economic might, and foreign policy all coalesce around the Olympics. While much of the current attention to these matters is directed at Beijing, groups in Montreal and London are already forming to address the impact that the arrival of the famous torch (ceremoniously relayed in a model invented by the Nazis to promote a strong image of the Third Reich around the 1936 Berlin games) will have upon local communities. The London art space, E:vent, is among the first to chime-in with an exhibition addressing these issues. Their show, "Sound Proof" (open April 19-May 11), features six artists "using sound materials, drawings, and annotations [to create] audio and visual maps that preserve observations of transformation." These site-specific works focus on the Lower Lea Valley, below London, which will be virtually reinvented for London 2012. In a way, they will function as aural time capsules--records or "proof" of a space and culture if not doomed for demolition, then certainly slated for overhaul. The valuable question raised by the show is that of preservation--what is deemed worthy of saving (memories, relics, cultural practices) and what is the responsible, effective way to do so. This form of ethnographic programming takes "game art" to another level. - Marisa Olson

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Design and the Elastic Mind

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To document MoMA's wonderful, monumental exhibit spanning design, science and technology, "Design and the Elastic Mind," we enlisted the help of the show's esteemed curator, Paola Antonelli. Paola speaks in detail about several of the exhibits, including "The Afterlife," a system for turning corpses into batteries, robots that act as personal climatizers and DNA origami. She also weighs in on her curatorial approach, addressing the role of the designer, her mission to shift public perception of design and how design revolutionizes our lives.

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Originally posted on Cool Hunting Video by coolhunting.com


Rhizome's Videos on Rhizome!

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BLACK ON WHITE, GRAY ASCENDING by YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES from Rhizome on Vimeo.


We launched Rhizome's vimeo channel a few weeks back, and today we introduced a new video page on the Rhizome site. Check it out!

Big thanks to Nick Hasty and Dennis Knopf for developing this section of the site.

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Shifter 11 : Intimate

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Shifter 11 : Intimate is now online
Editors: Sreshta Premnath & Steven Lam

Dorothy Albertini, Avi Alpert, Steve Ausbury, Jonah Bokaer, Karen Cunningham, Dorit Cypis, Elaine Gan, Stephan Hillerbrand, Mary Magsamen, Erin Ming Lee, Simon Leung, Matt Lipps, Chana Morgenstern, Sudha Premnath, C Premnath, Megan Piontkowski, Sarah Ross, Ann Stephenson, Anup Matthew Thomas, Soyoung Yoon.

The intimate is one of proximity and familiarity. As a relational category, intimacy is a quality of closeness, attachment, and belongingness. To be intimate with someone or some thing is to have an innermost connection. Intimacy, or intimus, designates interiority or an inward sensation, as in under one's skin. To intimate is also to communicate with a hint, to imply subtly. This process requires a codified reception, a circle of acknowledgement and recognition. Intimacy not only designates issues pertinent to the discussion of home, sexuality, identity, the slippage between the private and public, but also relationships made out of kinship, friendship, and neighborliness...

Shifter's 11th issue will attempt to re-route mechanisms of connectivity: it seeks to complicate notions of proximity, interiority, and attachment by inserting the concept of intimacy into a different economy of associations - one pertinent to the shifting language of globalization and its post-colonial realities. How can artists/theorists/designers, etc. remap a new thinking of intimacy pushing it away from a private emotional ideal frequently narrativized in consumer culture to a zone that seems capable of addressing our time of social upheaval marked by hatred, fanaticism, war, vulnerability, estrangement, and immobility?

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


The Art of Soothsaying

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Nao Bustamante is a crazy-awesome artist. There's no other way to slice it. Though she's currently based in New York, her work bears the distinct mark of having incubated in the San Francisco Bay Area, where performance, video, and installations go together like [tofu] bacon, lettuce, and tomato. To say that she is visionary would be a critical cliché, but if there are only a handful of artists one would trust to paint a picture of the year 2057, Bustamante belongs on the list. For her new video project, Earth People 2507, the artist positions herself as "a cosmovideographer shot into space and time," to create something "that is part Public Service Announcement and part time capsule," intended for an audience 500 earth years away. Video artists are no strangers to time-based media, but this duration was inspired by Bustamante's recent decision to work with NYU's Hemispheric Institute on preserving her work, in successive media, for five centuries and a curiosity about who her audience would then be. The contract that sealed this deal made an interesting argument about what constitutes her practice, stating, "performances function as vital acts of transfer; transmitting social knowledge, memory, and a sense of identity through reiterated behavior." Bustamante took this reading from scientific to sci-fi in her new project, as she imagined the radical possibility of video and performance being put on life support, against their ephemeral instincts. The narrative of the work finds the artist "at the mid-point on a millennium timeline that begins in 1507." Going back to repeat history for the sake of anticipating the future, Bustamante's studio performance vignettes (many of which star her dog Fufu!) comment on this era as the cradle of globalization and the impacts of cartography and Renaissance-era perspectivalism upon not ...

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(>’.')>=O____l_*__O=< ('.'<), (2008) by Oliver Laric.

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Originally posted on VVORK by Rhizome


Guess Who?

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One of the stranger exhibitions to grace London in recent years kicks off this evening at Seventeen Gallery. WE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE CURATORS WHO WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS is a group show comprised of work by ten artists, each installed alone for two-day periods in the gallery's main space. The traditional notion of a group exhibition, whereby a series of artworks coalesce in support of an overarching topic or theme, is thus counteracted by the two anonymous curators' parameters, producing a scenario in which the collective interplay of the artworks actually occurs in a storage space, in the gallery's rear, built to wonky perfection by English artist Graham Hudson. There artworks by an international array of artists, including Benoit Maire, Ana Prvacki and Lovett/Codagnone, will be in full operation (including monitors and video projection), regardless of whether they await a turn on the exhibition stage or have just made their exit from it. By reframing the show to focus on the internal structure of gallery display, the curators have shifted their inquiry from the exhibited works to the institution itself -- a feat all the more notable for not rendering these artworks secondary in the process. As to the issue of anonymity, there seems to be just the right mix of self-effacement and provocation in the curators' decision to flex their critical muscle without formally taking ownership. - Tyler Coburn

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