Posts for April 2008

Strangely Attractive

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The formulas and algorithms of mathematics may serve as sources of artistic inspiration, but are notoriously challenging to translate visually. Early computer-generated experiments often had a "gee whiz" quality (think psychedelic fractals) -- but now there's a growing cadre of artists using math as a muse in ever-more-sophisticated ways, according to curator George Fifield. He and co-curator Heidi Kayser assembled the work of five such artists in the exhibition "Math and Art," on view at Boston's AXIOM Gallery through April 27.

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Explore sound and movement with folly's

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folly's latest ArtCast series enters its second week tomorrow, with the release of a new set of podcastable artworks, this time exploring the tensions between sound and movement.

If you missed Week One last week, you can subscribe now - for free - to hear and see them in a variety of formats (no iPod required).

folly's ArtCast is an ongoing series of podcasting programmes - a platform for public access to new, innovative sound & video art. Find out about the ways you can access ArtCast right now by visiting www.folly.co.uk/ArtCast

For the Spring 2008 programme folly has worked with moves - www.movementonscreen.org.uk - to select sound and video art relating to the moves08 festival theme of "the interaction of choreographed movement and sound".

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


Live in the Studio

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For Internal Message Search: A Performative Installation, opening Friday, April 18th, pioneering video and internet artist Nina Sobell will install her Location One artist residency studio in the not-for-profit art center's project space, where she will carry on her practice for the duration of the show. Visitors will be able to see Sobell's recent wax sculptures and drawings, interact freely with the artist, and even accompany her for impromptu musical sessions (Sobell is a skilled improvisational guitarist and keyboardist). In keeping with Sobell's interest in extra-institutional viewing communities, the entire exhibition will also be webcast at all hours of the day, allowing online users access to the conventionally closed-off realm of the artist studio, in a fashion that constructively challenges existing divisions of public and private space, while also placing her web audience in the ambivalent role of surveillants. Sobell and multimedia artist Emily Hartzell realized a similar project in 1994, also using real-time webcasting to transform their studio at NYU Center for Advanced Technology into one of the internet's first time-based installations. Reflecting on the experience, they described moments when "our actions were heightened by our awareness of unseen Web visitors," and others when "we felt ourselves dissolved in...ubiquitous surveillance." Given her open invitation for musical collaboration for the duration of her forthcoming exhibition, it seems Sobell is presently aiming to produce an installation that both foregrounds the "artist-in-studio as spectacle" and facilitates a new type of community-centric performance space, accessible to viewers near and far. - Tyler Coburn

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the floating island (2008) by Jeff Baij

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the floating island (2008) by Jeff Baij

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Curvilinear Historiographs

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Norwegian-Serbian artists Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic (a.k.a. BULL.MILETIC) exemplify the modern fantasy of the nomadic artist, taking up shifting residences around the globe in conjunction with various residencies and exhibitions. This experience of constantly re-situating oneself in relationship to a new political geography plays out beautifully in their video works which are concerned with exploring "the relationship between physical and mental space.... to examine their immediate surroundings (architecture, objects, landscape, urbanity) as containers of emotions, memories, and political decisions." Their current solo installation in the salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, is entitled Unfinished: Scars of the Past/ Face of the Future and in it the couple creates a romantic tension--a sort of "love rhombus"--between the eyes of the viewer, those of the artists, the perspective of the camera, and the visage of the space itself. Because they are interested in what gets visually and ideologically framed-out of the histories of city spaces, the artists tried to construct a sense of objectivity in developing a method that doesn't require them to peer through a lens in order to capture on film what they see as the tension between Belgrade's past and future, as manifest in the tension between monumental architecture and new improvised developments. This method is one which captures a 360-degree panorama, feeding each sliced point-of-view into a streaming loop, thus effecting a psychological and visual sense of continuity that places the construct of history on a more fluid continuum while likening both video-making and video-viewing to the process of "mental mapping." The piece will be on view through May 12th. - Marisa Olson

Image credit: Bull.Miletic, Unfinished: Scars of the Past/ Face of the Future, video installation detail, 2007

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Collage by Travess Allen Smalley

Originally posted on Loshadka by Travess


Recorded/Live

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Houston venue Aurora Picture Show's annual multimedia festival Media Archaeology kicks off tonight and will run through the weekend. Dubbed "Live and Televised," the diverse group of artists selected for this year's festival integrate pre-recorded audio or visual media into their live performances. For the opening event, legendary culture jammers Negativland will broadcast a religiously-themed radio show to a blindfolded audience. For a preview, click play below and close your eyes:



Animator Brent Green will also incorporate sound into his act, by accompanying his stop animations with his own live narration as well as an improvised score by a three-piece band. Shana Moulton will take the stage with an intricate and vibrant performance by her character Cynthia as she seeks out spiritual enlightenment and self-improvement. Finally, Tara Mateik will compete in a strenuous match against himself in his reenactment of the 1973 defeat of tennis player Bobby Riggs by Billie Jean King in the humorously titled "Putting The Balls Away." - Ceci Moss

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Risky Bidness

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Video has always ridden the double-edged sword of its own verité. As a realist medium, it bears the burden of speaking the truth, but as photographic media, it labors under questions of authenticity that now tend to precede the image. This is a perfect if chaotic framework in which to engage the question of the relationship between video art and activism. In a new exhibition at New York nonprofit art space Art in General, entitled "High Risk Citizen" and curated by Mary Billyou and Eva Díaz, no less than twenty-eight artists chime in with contributions to this trouble-making discussion. These include Peggy Ahwesh, Harun Farocki, Eric Fensler, Sabine Gruffat, Les LeVeque, Martha Rosler, Keith Sanborn, Shelly Silver, and The Yes Men, among others. The show is unabashedly situated in the heat of the moment, with the curators arguing that, in this "year of presidential electioneering, a costly and ongoing war in Iraq, and growing economic recession, both the precarity and possibilities of the moment are incredibly high." All of this weighs on artists who've taken it upon themselves to comment upon the world. Whether the artists interpret this as a utopian opportunity or a dystopian jaunt towards failure, the focus of the show is to consider what it means to act radically or resistantly, in this era, and how the increasing tension between public and privates spaces, identities, and policies relates to the current increase in privatization and brokering of human relations vis-à-vis access to capital. Ultimately, the show falls back on the oft-neglected question of citizenship, which brings with it a valence of state ordainment and, yet, a long-documented public responsibility to participate in public governance by occasionally questioning authoring. The exhibition will be open through May 3rd. - Marisa Olson

Image Credit: Sabine Gruffat, Head Lines ...

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Man vs. Blob Beast

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The latest in Dia Art Foundation's series of web-based Artists' Projects, Ezra Johnson's Wrestling with the Blob Beast (2008) comprises sixteen screensavers made using his uncommon method of animation. Johnson builds his work by painting and repainting canvases with a loose, gestural flair, producing densely textured sequences that somehow also manage to feel buoyant. What Visions Burn (2006), Johnson's acclaimed, twenty-two minute opus, adopts the language of a heist flick to recount the theft of paintings from a museum, producing a reflexivity between the artist's production process and the trajectory of the story itself. Johnson's current crop of screensavers forgoes such explicit narrative, yet offers sixteen vignettes that collectively continue the artist's meditation on his process. Screensaver Wrestling the Blue Blob (2008) is the most apparent example of this, depicting an unruly mass of blue and red brushstrokes in the corner of a room, which sprouts canine fangs and menacing eyes each time a pair of hands attempts to grasp it. A similar story unfolds in Shapes Shifter (2008): a transmogrifying, geometric form wavers between representational and abstract states, as if staging the artist's own anxieties about painting's historically separate practices. By bringing his animations into the realm of the screensaver, Johnson challenges the cinematic conditions through which his work has been previously viewed. As Sara Tucker notes, in her introduction to the project, "The screensaver is a paradoxical medium, present when the computer isn't in active use, so presumably not the object of one's focus, yet often running at such lengths that its image becomes indelibly etched in one's visual memory." Slow, indirect absorption may provide the perfect route for viewers to explore the questions and themes lying beneath Johnson's tactile sequences. - Tyler Coburn

Ezra Johnson, Wrestling ...

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Calls for Urban Screens Melbourne 08 - film & video, multimedia projects and poster presentations

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Deadline for submission (film & video/projects): 31. May 2008

The Urban Screens 08 exhibition is looking for Artists, Urban Poets, Filmmakers and Multimedia and Interaction Designers to submit film and videos or multimedia, interactive or participatory screen based projects. A large diverse urban screens infrastructure is available at Federation Square.

Criteria: Looking for existing and potentially adaptable projects that interrogate screen media as a medium and tackle the festival's key themes of issues of building community and sustainability in relation to water.

Detailed calls and the online forms are available at: http://www.urbanscreens08.net/callforprojects
CONTACT: exhibition(AT)urbanscreens.net

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Originally posted on newmediafix.net by Rhizome