Posts for July 2008

Call For Videos: Moab Video Project

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Moab Video Project is artist Christy Gast's year-long curatorial project for a TV station in Moab, Utah. MAC 21, a small cable station broadcasting in a single secluded desert community, will air an artist's video every week in 2008. Inserted into normal programming, each selected video will be broadcast once every hour or so for a week.

MAC21 functions as the community information channel, viewed mostly by tourists in motel rooms. Moab Video Project is loosely organized around themes of tourism, nature, and broadcast. Videos should be less than 5 minutes long, and comply with FCC regulations. Submissions are being accepted throughout 2008.

E-mail a link to a project that is online to moabvideoproject[AT]gmail.com or write for a mailing address.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


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"In the black of this long night", 2008, an attempt to organize Google Image Search results according to defacement tactics. A slideshow by Martijn Hendriks.

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Originally posted on VVORK by Rhizome


Who's To Say?

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The Brooklyn Museum is hip to this internet thing. Their current show, "Click!" (note the dot-fun exclamatory spelling!) is the latest in what seems to be a slew of museum shows to pick-up the theme of "crowdsourcing." While this term, coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 Wired Magazine article originally referred to corporate R&D, the principal of a large body of "amateur" volunteers making collective decisions has not only rocketed a number of online ventures to success, it's also become a model for online activism, collective organizing, and art. The Brooklyn Museum's show invokes New Yorker magazine columnist James Surowiecki's ideas about "The Wisdom of Crowds" (essentially that collective knowledge is greater than the sum of its parts) in inviting online audiences to discuss and vote on photographs submitted by respondents to an open call. Curator Shelley Bernstein (whose official title at the museum is not Curator but, of course, Manager of Information Systems) opens a tricky can of worms in asking whether a diverse crowd can be "just as 'wise' at evaluating art as the trained experts?" In a sense it doesn't matter, like curators and critics before them, what they say goes. After the crowd has been sufficiently sourced, the artists get an exhibit at the museum and are displayed according to rank. Incidentally, the assignment for this photo study is to capture the face of Brooklyn, so the layers of sociological reflection are highly recursive, which somehow seems fitting. In her curatorial statement for Phantom Captain: Art and Crowdsourcing, at New York's Apex Art gallery, Aurora Picture Show founding director Andrea Grover argued that "crowdsourcing as a method of artistic production appears to be heir to the throne of 1960s and 70s happenings and participatory art." Fortunately, you don't ...

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The Technology Readings: A Night of Comedy

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Image: John Roberts, From My Son is Gay?, 2008


Part of Rhizome's New Silent Series at the New Museum
Friday, July 11th, 7:30PM
$8 General/ $6 Member
Buy tickets here: http://www.newmuseum.org/events/207

This week, Rhizome's New Silent Series is taking a detour from our regular art - oriented programming to explore another corner of the internet: comedy. For the Technology Readings, a group of New York comedians will perform readings on the joys and pitfalls of a technology-saturated culture. The evening will include:

Anthony Atamanuik
Laura Krafft
Joe Mande
Chelsea Peretti
Amy Poehler
John Roberts

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Prophet Seeking

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The second exhibition of ambitious online gallery Club Internet, "Oracle" explores the spiritual qualities of cyberspace. Travess Smalley, tntet and Damon Zucconi are among the participating artists who tease otherworldly properties out of our disembodied relationship to the products of virtual navigation. Club Internet's unusual design bolsters the exhibition theme: its main page is stripped of all but a small toolbar and magic wand, and the artworks are presented, as much as possible, outside of their original contexts. Clicking the magic wand or refreshing the page will load another artwork, but because this process is random, each path through "Oracle" is different from the last. This navigational opacity and generative randomness imbues the online gallery with the qualities of an oracle, and gives the virtual realm, which we are accustomed to exploring voluntarily, a strange agency over us. The standout artworks from the exhibition follow suit, exposing users to images and processes either predetermined or outside of the scope of their control. Jeff Carey's block series 2, PERL (2008) finds the browser bar automatically descending, in the process panning over a crude mosaic of geometric triangles (the work concludes when the bar reaches the bottom). Another standout, Rafael Rozendaal's The Long Cigarette (2008) uses formal simplicity to great conceptual effect, presenting an animated cigarette, spread over three adjacent YouTube videos, which gradually burns across the length of the separate screens. As with Carey's work, The Long Cigarette transparently plays with the parameters of virtual display, yet somehow still enchants with its elementary magic. - Tyler Coburn

Image: Harm van den Dorpel, Dematerialized Candle, 2008

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Conversations That Never Happened at Telic Arts Exchange

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Tamala Poljak and Anna Oxygen have organized an exhibition at Telic Arts Exchange that incorporates photography, performance, installation, food, and video within various forms of collective consumption -- two nights of dinner theater, a temporary cafe, simultaneous TV dinners.

The point of departure for "Conversations That Never Happened" is a series of 200 photographic portraits that Poljak made in her kitchen while dining individually with her friends and neighbors. As a group, the photographs might remind us of "friend lists" on MySpace and Facebook, where sociality is expressed in serial form (as a grid of pictures or a list of comments and testimonials). Do these grids and lists refer to communities? And if so, how do communities relate to their own representations? Over the next few weeks, many of the people depicted in the portraits will be animated through the exhibition: they will eat dinner at TELIC; they will perform as dancers, writers, actors, magicians, comedians...they will prepare and serve food.

At the opening reception on Saturday, the artists will be serving custom-made pancakes (with shapes made to order!) and fancy drinks; David Scott Stone will do a 3 hour ambient set.

Over the next three weeks:
July 9 - TV Dinner Night
July 12 - Dinner Theater Night #1
July 13 - Dinner Theater Night #2
July 19 - Mystery Picnic Cafe & Closing Performances

Participating artists and performers include: The All Girl Comb Choir, Mecca Vazie Andrews, Jackson Baugh, Lindsay Beamish, Big Swell (Sam Cooper), Christina Billotte, Katie Byron, Cathy de la Cruz, David P Earle, Steve Gregoropoulos, John Hogan, Horse Thieves (Alex Maslansky & Brie Turner O'Banion), Laura Lazarus, Eric Lindley, Claire Mckeown, Sarah Paul Ocampo, Anna Oxygen, Paloma Parfrey, Tamala Poljak, Katie Shook, Becky Stark, David Scott Stone, Tara Tavi, Christopher Wonder.

For the most up to date details, see http ...

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Originally posted on TELICARTSEXCHANGE by Sean Dockray


Art(ists) On the Verge: New media grants from Northern Lights

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...Steve Dietz, who was once curator of New Media at the Walker, has founded a new organization called Northern Lights. They've just announced a new fellowship and mentorship commissions called Art(ists) On the Verge for artists working in New Media:

A total of six commissions will be awarded. Three of the six commissions are outright fellowships for the production of new work and a joint exhibition in the spring/summer of 2009 at a site to be determined. The other three commissions are part of a 9-month, experimental Art(ists) On the Verge for the development, production and exhibition of new work. The Mentorship program begins in September 2008 with an intensive 3-day "Boot-Up" Camp, September 19-21, co-presented with MCAD. Over the ensuing 9 months, artists will have bi-weekly individual and group mentoring sessions and critical workshops by visiting curators and artists on multiple occasions followed by a joint exhibition in the spring/summer of 2009 at a venue to be determined.

There are informational meetings about the commissions in July and August for those interested. In addition to the fellowship program, Northern Lights has also been one of the partners in The UnConvention, and Steve has been working behind the scenes for a while to give the program shape. The idea of having a twin-cities Rhizome, Creative Time, or EyeBeam is exciting.

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Originally posted on New Media Initiatives Blog by Rhizome


New Media and Museums in Eastern Europe

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New media art is no stranger to eastern Europe and the Balkans; from the early net.art of Vuc Cosic to the collective work of Apsolutno, these regions were the proving ground for many groundbreaking experiments in media, politics, and art. So the upcoming international symposium on (New) Media Art in Museums this October in Croatia signals that the region's consideration of media art has come full circle from unknown outsiders and agitators to curated collectibles (not too dissimilar to the path traced in other regions or for other "avant-gardes"). The intersection of cultural institutions like museums with new media art continues to confound both artists and curators alike. No standard institutional model has arisen for the collecting of such work, for how to frame it in the overall programs of the museum, nor how to preserve the work. And since the world of digital culture extends so far beyond the art world, artists themselves still struggle with how (or whether) to engage with the museum or with alternative venues and partners. The aim of this symposium is ambitious and broad, "...to consider [the] status of (new)media art in museum collections, conditions of keeping, protection, modes of exhibiting and all the changes that (new) media art introduces into the everyday practice of contemporary museums." Given the region's strong history in the field of new media art and the potential for fresh perspectives from this part of the world and current cultural environment, the symposium could prove very informative if not transformative.

On the topic of how new media art relates to museums, and for those who cannot travel to Croatia, recent MIT graduate student Karen Verschooren submitted a highly intelligent thesis on the topic of Situating Internet Art in the Traditional Institution for Contemporary Art.

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Originally posted on DMAX by Richard Rinehart


Getting to Your Safe Space

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British artist Larisa Blazic has a background in architecture and an official graduate degree in hypermedia. For the last decade, she's been pursuing mergers of the two, using site-specific, interactive installations as a means of exploring space as a carrier of meaning. Her projects often employ audio and explore creative surveillance technologies to think-through and beyond the traditional ways in which so-called public art interventions communicate to the general public. In conjunction with the 2008 London Festival of Architecture (from July 14-20), she'll create an installation at the Novas Contemporary Urban Centre called In This Place of Safety. Blazic's argument is that we no longer rely solely on the basic needs of food, shelter, and emotional validation to feel safe, but that there is now a new environment for safety which can be observed in the structure of our surroundings. The project "uses a building as a projection screen to explore intersections between temporary video interventions, architecture, and art." In this case, the video will screen images of deserted public playgrounds overlaid with audio recordings of children discussing and defining personal safety. By activating the hot button issue of safety within this particular public format, Blazic hopes to initiate a correspondence between the content of the video and the context of the large, staid Southwark building facade onto which the images are cast. - Marisa Olson


Image: Larisa Blazic, In This Place of Safety (Video Still), 2008

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Making Inroads: Art in General's Only Connect at Bloomberg Headquarters

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Bloomberg Tower, the headquarters of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's global business news and information corporation, Bloomberg LP, is a sleek, glass and curved steel skyscraper in midtown Manhattan which forgoes cubicles and executive offices for an ostensibly non-hierarchical and sans-wall flow of physical and digital information. As an allegory for globalized information dispersion, this opening-up of interior space reflects the much-discussed contradictions of globalization, itself. Since the building's completion in 2005, the downtown art nonprofit, Art in General, has partnered with Bloomberg LP to produce five contemporary art exhibitions that reflect on this space as well as the model of business practice that it nurtures. The current iteration of the partnership, entitled ONLY CONNECT, features work by artists Larry Bamburg, Tom Kotik, Heather Rowe, Mafalda Santos and Patrick Tuttofuoco that, according to curator Cecilia Alemani, "infiltrate" Bloomberg Tower and offer alternative "systems of communication and exchange that rely on basic materials, fragile geometries or simple, sometimes even natural forms." Given the overwhelming environment of the office building itself, I had to ask what kind of critique could productively challenge or transcend the complex ideas embedded in its surroundings.

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