Tools of the Trade is an ongoing feature on Rhizome. Here, we invite artists to discuss the nuts and bolts behind their projects. Justin Downs worked with David Byrne in the design and fabrication of his Playing the Building installation for Creative Time (on view until August 24th). Below, Justin discusses how the work was created. Justin is an independent fabricator and a recent graduate from NYU's ITP program. His website can be found here.
Chris Ashley's HTML drawings are tightly-executed formal expressions that demonstrate the beautiful things that can be made with code. Drawing on simple elements such as 90-degree angles, shadows, and gradients, Ashley writes strings of code that appear to viewers as solid images. In fact, the often maze-like circuits that snake around in these images might read as optical illusions or even futile labyrinths if one tries to see each piece's components as anything other than part of a cohesive whole. While they initially read as very formal and perhaps even rigid, seeing the HTML drawings in relation to Ashley's paintings and watercolor drawings allows viewers to realize the sense of play that can emerge from rule-based work. In fact, Ashley very precisely pushes the envelope in what might be considered coloring between the lines. The artist posts these images to his blog and has managed to overcome the frequent challenge of translating digital works into the physical realm and shows his drawings on paper and glass in galleries. At the moment, his work can be seen at San Francisco's David Cunningham Projects. - Marisa Olson
Image: Chris Ashley, La Passeggiata, 20080809, HTML, 350 x 390 pixels
Vague Terrain 10: Digital Dub
New issue of Vague Terrain!
"Vague Terrain 10: Digital Dub features a variety of multimedia projects that explore the intersection of digital culture and all things dub. This body of work contains contributions from Aguno, DubRocket, Eduardo Navas, Jonah K, NAW, Ohrwert, Segue, The Straggler and interviews with DJ Spooky and Kevin Martin (aka The Bug) conducted by Eduardo Navas and Corina MacDonald"
Piratbyrån (The Bureau of Piracy): Please Join the Party / Manifesta 7, Bolzano/Bozen
"Piratbyrån ("The Piracy Bureau") is a Swedish organization established to support people opposed to current ideas about intellectual property -- by freely sharing information and culture...In this video, I followed Piratbyrån's invitation to enter and explore the bus, parked in the disused Alumix aluminium factory in Bolzano/Bozen. July 27, 2008."
Eric Archer -- Drone Commanders, Sound Cameras & Circuit Bent Tabla Machines
Dataisnature provide an overview of Eric Archer's modified devices.
Mark Boulos - All That Is Solid Melts Into Air
Interview with artist Mark Boulos from Docking Station at theStedelijk Museum. They recently presented Boulos' two screen video installation All That Is Solid Melts Into Air (2008).
NETMARES & NETDREAMS v 2.0, an online exhibit that launched on August 8, feels like the brooding step-sibling of Harm van den Dorpel's Club Internet. Whereas Club Internet does its best to simulate a gallery's clean white box, NETMARES & NETDREAMS projects its content into an alternating background of white or black, set beneath a ghostly, reverberating browser frame with links delineated via a somnolent parade of sibilants: z Z z Z z Z z. Each page presents a single work by one artist; the total curatorial effect is one of dark confusions, subterranean logic, and primal unease. Mark Brown's video Requiem for a Bogus Journey image-echoes Bill and Ted into a demonic wormhole, Damon Zucconi's Shining flickers a human figure in and out of its low-res existence, Kari Altmann's Soft 404 dissolves the error-message code into a blurring field, and Nathan Hauenstein's eldritch Pillars floats creepy icon totem poles through an expanse of galactic space. The show includes other work by James Whipple, Martijn Hendriks, Ryan Trecartin, Yannick Antoine, Harm van den Dorpel and others. The project's 1.0 iteration consisted of group blogs (one dreams, one 'mares), with respective channels on flickr and vimeo, initiated by Altmann and Brown with many other participants. The dream/nightmare continues next week, when a Netdreams 3.0 will coalesce in the waking world at Current Gallery in Baltimore on August 22. - Ed HalterImage: John Holland, uralone, 2008
Wordless Music: 800 Years of Minimalism - The Spiritual Transcendent
Free concert tonight at the Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park Bandshell. World premiere of Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail (2008) for 200 Electric Guitars (Outdoor Version) followed by Manuel Göttsching's E2-E4 with visuals from the Joshua Light Show. Begins at 7PM.
Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to flood Trafalgar Square, November 2008
Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's interactive installation 'Underscan' will be exhibited at Trafalgar Square, London from November 14th to 23rd.
From It's Nice That:
"I was shown this website a few weeks ago and was captured by the low-tech loveliness of animated gifs. Set up by a couple of American Graphic Designers in Portland SweetGifs is a feast for your eyes!"
Cory Arcangel's Internet Portfolio Website and Portal
Cory Arcangel just launched his redesigned site. Way to iWeb!
Since the first time I saw Planningtorock (alias Janine Rostron) perform her arch, musical exhumation of vaudeville and glam, I've craved an opportunity to get a closer look at the singer's collection of masks, helmets, futuro-medieval costuming and props -- like the fake bone she periodically nibbles during "I Wanna Bite Ya." Such performance ephemera rarely enters the realm of public exhibition, though can be as aesthetically significant as anything specifically conceived for the white cube. All of which makes "Sonic Voices, Rocking Hard," opening August 30th at Netherlands Media Art Institute, a particularly welcome affair. Co-curated by multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Bruys, the show comprises works by a group of practitioners, including Jonas Ohlsson and Heidi Happy, who also straddle the boundary of music and image-making. Beyond Planningtorock's contribution -- a prop and video installation -- Guy Bar Amotz will display sculptural mash-ups of speakers and keyboards, Annika Ström will show The Missed Concert (2005), a series of interviews with "fans" explaining their absence from a recent performance, and Norweigian artist Kim Hiorthøy will exhibit some of his exquisite, graphite drawings, building upon past works that found DJs, break-dancers and downright fanciful figures mingling in quintessentially Scandinavian settings. On the musical end of the spectrum, "Sonic Voices, Rocking Hard" boasts listening posts throughout the gallery space; Björk, CocoRosie and The Knife will contribute music videos; and a handful of the participants will perform during the Uitmarkt cultural weekend (including the bewitching Ms. Rostron). - Tyler Coburn
Image: Heidi Happy, du da, ich da (Music Video), 2007
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator