Posts for August 2008

Walk This Way

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Collaborators Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller make work that combines cinema, sound, pop culture, and the suspension of disbelief. Their sound and video walks and installations of multiple media have gained widespread international attention, in part for their ability to very closely engage individual viewers on a psychological level, and largely thanks to their command of genre conventions designed to illicit an emotional response. On view through September 28th at Edinburgh's Fruitmarket Gallery, in conjunction with the Edinburgh Art Festival, is a major survey of their work, including five pieces made since 1995 and a new project. Each of these works revolve around a viewer being more than a viewer. That is, they entice visitors to the gallery to enter a space, engaging not only with objects and sights (in a highly choreographed manner), but also with sounds and other conditions that create a unique, if sometimes tense, relationship between reality and the sensorium of the participant. While these works often involve heavy equipment (in the case of one installation, even robotics) and people taking technology into their own hands, Miller has said that the experientially-activated pieces are only as interactive as a painting or film. Instead, the duo emphasize the scripted nature of the interactions on which their pieces turn, likening them to physical cinema. If you're in the region, passing through the layers of meaning and perception created by Cardiff and Miller is highly recommended. - Marisa Olson


Image credit: The Killing Machine (2007), Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Materials: Mixed media, sound, pneumatics, robotics


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Links 8.12.08

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PopRally's The Art of Dissent Tuesday August 12 7PM-10PM
Tonight, video collective Paper Tiger TV will speak on a panel at MoMA with editor of Justseeds Josh MacPhee and musician Ted Leo:
"For many artists, politics are an essential component of both their art and their interactions with community and commerce. In this panel, artists and musicians discuss how politics and art mix in their work and working processes."

Aerial music over Beijing
Array Aesthetics (Olympic Edition)

City of Sound and Teeming Void reflect on the recent opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympic Games:
"The opening ceremony is sending the same message, then, as the Games architecture: cultural and technological leapfrog. The Water Cube and the Birds Nest don't simply display China's modernity, they claim a jump into a digital, sustainable, mega-scaled future. The computational aesthetics of multiplicity that mark these structures are, again like the opening ceremony, a powerful cultural narrative: coherence, strength and beauty made of countless tiny pieces. Like the flickering grid of the drummers, the ordered diversity of these structures is important too, in that it's not total uniformity, a simple (modernist) grid. In fact these buildings contain a kind of post-industrial grid, where the uniformity or regularity is not literal or material, but procedural or computational - the computer's ability to resolve complex distributions of force is what enables the 'organic' multiplicity here."

Moving towards the inevitable: Brandon Morse
From Generator.x:
"The stark videos of Brandon Morse present the viewer with exercises in tension, set tableaux in which structures morph and twist under physical constraints. Stripped-down architectural forms that ought to exhibit the rigidity of highrise buildings instead engage in a tug-of-war, the result of a string simulation distributing kinetic force through a network of nodes."

Gerald Edwards III's ...

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Ready and Able Art

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The current exhibition at Seoul's Total Museum of Contemporary Art is a challenging one, not so much because the art is complex (though it's certainly dynamic) but because curator Byeong Sam Jeon's explicit goal is to change people's minds. "thisAbility vs. Disability" is a group show of ten projects by Korean and international artists that explore questions of human functioning and capability by addressing the senses. The show is motivated by a desire to "invite a reappraisal of disability" and assert that what many often call "'disability' is but a difference, not a defect." Invited artists Mika Fukumori; Haru Ji & Graham Wakefield; Jae Min Lee; Mian Sheng Lim (Leon); Haemin Kim; Kichul Kim; Pauline Oliveros, Leaf Miller, Zevin Polzin, & Zane Van Dusen; David Parker; Jin Wan Park & Jae Joong Lee; David Parker and Dmitry Strakovsky have created interactive works that reprogram the typical experience of an artwork, with hands seeing paintings, Braille emitting sound, one's touch generating light, and a harmonic bell that musically interprets the listener's heartbeat. Many Korean artists have been early adopters of new media and have actively pursued a relationship to science and technology in their work, but Jeon worries that many of the major exhibitions devoted to this work "have focused only on aesthetic aspects, or the novelty of the genre itself," rather than addressing bigger social and political issues. His hope, with this exhibition, is that "These artworks can spark revelations that break social prejudice and affirm difference." - Marisa Olson


Image: Haemin Kim, dot . a scene = sin? at the sea _ tactuaL [si:gak] series #2, 2008

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Rhizome Editorial Update

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The significant growth in Rhizome's editorial department, this year, warrants a summary. Both our writers and editorial team has expanded. In the Spring, we hired two new staff writers Ed Halter and Tyler Coburn who contribute regular reviews to Rhizome. An author, critic and curator whose writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Moving Image Source, The Believer and numerous other publications, Halter is a long-time advocate for avant-garde film, video and electronic art. His book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games was published in 2006. He is a founder of Light Industry in Brooklyn, New York. Tyler Coburn is a contributing editor for ArtReview and has worked extensively as a independent critic, for publications such as Tomorrow Unlimited, Artforum, Papermag, NY Arts Magazine and others. Tyler is also an artist, having exhibited recently at MARCH, Gavin Brown's Passerby, Exit Art and Jack the Pelican in New York, The Centre of Attention in London and Galerie Ben Kaufmann in Berlin.

Today, pioneering artist and devoted internet user John Michael Boling will begin as Associate Editor at Rhizome. Co-owner of
gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com, and founding member of the (now defunct) surf club nastynets.com, Boling will develop new content, features and formats for the blog, in collaboration with the staff and invited artists.

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LAUNCH

"Due to the fact that i didn't have to write a proposal and to enumerate advanced technologies i would be using to make this piece I was completely free to make what i think is meaningful and beautiful. The pressure to be up to date with technology appears insane to me. It doesn't bring any more beauty or pleasure. Instead it creates things that are hard to understand and impossible to handle. So nobody can actually experience them beyond reading the artist's concept."

-Excerpt from must read interview about GRAVITY.

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Google Street view van by Joe McKay (2008)

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This Google "steet view" van image by Joe McKay is created entirely from reflections of the van in store windows in San Francisco.

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No Media

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Sigmund Freud had an interesting take on nightmares. He argued that not only were all dreams exercises in wish fulfillment, but that even nightmares showed us our desires....in reverse. Such a principle can be applied to looking at any number of creative gestures that approach meaning through forms and concepts presented in reverse or even in absentia. Through this lens, we might see artist Tino Sehgal's work as teaching us a lot about media by virtue of his employing what looks like no medium. The Wattis Institute at the California College of the Arts (CCA) is now entering its second year of continuously presenting Sehgal's situational projects. In each, there is no physical object at which to gaze, but rather a human actor, instructed to enact an interpretation (of a newspaper headline, a press release about a concurrent show, etc), to sing, or to initiate an interaction with a gallery visitor. The Wattis's two-year presentation of Sehgal's work--simultaneous with other shows, thus directly contextualizing it in relation to institutional and spectatorial conventions--is a rare demonstration of commitment to studying a complicated and visionary artist's singular work. In this, it is apparent that the artist's relationship to media is a very specific one. He wants the experiences he creates to be seen as objects that can be bought and sold (albeit without printed receipts, instructions, photos, or other documentation), but their lack of physicality is at least partly a response to the earth's dwindling resources, and his primary medium is thus conversation--whether it's an initial one in the gallery or the oral narrative that perpetuates and historicizes his practice outside of the gallery. The translations and exchanges he programs are thus given a material weight by virtue of their ability to influence ...

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Links 8.13.08

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Photography as a Weapon
Errol Morris interviews Hany Farid, a Dartmouth professor and an expert on digital photography, and Charles Johnson, of Little Green Footballs, about photography and deception:
"As almost everyone knows by now, various major daily newspaper published, on July 10, a photograph of four Iranian missiles streaking heavenward; then Little Green Footballs (significantly, a blog and not a daily newspaper) provided evidence that the photograph had been faked. Later, many of those same papers published a Whitman's sampler of retractions and apologies. For me it raised a series of questions about images.[1] Do they provide illustration of a text or an idea of evidence of some underlying reality or both? And if they are evidence, don't we have to know that the evidence is reliable that it can be trusted?"

Artangel - Roger Hiorns
Artangel commissions a new work by artist Roger Hiorns:
"British artist Roger Hiorns makes works with detergent, disinfectant, perfume, fire and copper sulphate crystals. He uses these materials to effect surprising, physical and aesthetic transformations on found objects.
In SEIZURE - Hiorns' most ambitious large-scale work to date - he precipitates an unexpected sculptural form within the fabric of a late-modernist social housing estate near London Bridge."

Diary of the Spectacle: Zhang Yimou and Cai Guo-Qiang's Olympic opening ceremony
More coverage/discussion of the Olympic opening ceremony. From Lee Ambrozy at ArtReview.

Borders 2.0: Future, Tense
In this contribution to Mute magazine - Culture and politics after the net, Bryan Finoki (of the excellent Subtopia: A Field Guide to Military Urbanism) and writer/critic Angela Mitropoulos "present an incursion, in text and image, into the contemporary borderlands."

EAI SUMMER VIDEO SCREENING--CLEAN CUT
Free screening tonight at Electronic Arts Intermix beginning at 6:30PM. Artists include: Cory Arcangel, Michael Bell-Smith, Takeshi Murata, Karthik ...

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The Artist and the Computer

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1976 documentary about Lillian Schwartz's work with computers.
via YouTube user crystalsculpture3

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Smoke Screen by Michael Bell-Smith (2007)

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Smoke Screen can be seen from dusk until 2am at Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA as a part of Lumen Eclipse's August showcase.

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