Posts for June 2008

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"Der Zermesser";, 2007 (Video) and

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Wavesynth 2.0, 2007 by Leo Peschta.

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Originally posted on VVORK by Rhizome


Less Lossy, More Glossy

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What is one to do with all the world's magnetic tape, now doomed for dustbins and landfills as digital files push out the slinky black tendrils that preceded them in the family tree of recording media? Audio cassettes, VHS tapes, and those ancient vinyl records that came before them were the medium of choice for entire epochs of cultural production and, as such, have stored not only many of the world's most important creative moments, but also a large percentage of German artist Gregor Hildebrandt's personal nostalgia-fodder. Interestingly, it is preservationists and conservators who persist in using these materials to store works, and Hildebrandt's own practice certainly crosses similar territory by serving as a sort of memory repository. The artist uses old tapes to create portraits, sculptures, and other installations. His "magnetic tape on photocopy" pieces (such as Als würde ein Engel kommen (Cure), 2007) force a juxtaposition between two forms known for rendering low-fidelity or "lossy" copies, while creating a rupture, like a trickle of black blood, down the otherwise seamless faces of perished movie starlets and forgotten supermodels. For Schallplattensäule (2007), he built a tall stack of compression-molded vinyl records, a totem whose invisible icons are indistinguishable from the matter on which their aural likeness are encoded. Many of his works consist of cassette tapes, uncoiled and stretched out across canvas, with letters or shapes often cut out into negative space images seemingly volunteering for battle in a duel against "ancient" photography for the prize of best black and white image format. In Kassettenschallplatte (2003) Hildebrandt made the bold move of melting a cassette into the form of a vinyl record, and the result is a gloppy, rust-colored monument to the failure of media to cross-breed. Check out more of his work ...

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xandxx

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xandxx

10 netartworks I was interested in around 10 years ago and 10 from the last few years.

Note - This is not a "best of" list. It is just some works that I think about for time to time. I've added a MTAA work in the netart_x section only because it was done with Eryk Salvaggio and his website from that time (one38.org), like so many works from that time, is gone. Seeing as I've left off a good many netartworks that I like, I may (or may not) change the list from time to time. I think of xandxx as an netartwork. I hope to live long enough to add a netart_xxx section in 2018 on the longest day of the year.

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Nice list from Mike/MTAA compiling recent and decade-old netart projects.

Originally posted on MTAA Reference Resource by M.River


Stargazing

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One of the recent Public Art Fund projects to infiltrate the streets of New York City, James Yamada's Our Starry Night comprises a freestanding aluminum structure rigged with 1,900 colored LED lights. Installed in the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street and flanked on three sides by Central Park, The Plaza Hotel, and Apple Store's transparent, cuboid exterior, Yamada's work is out-of-place enough to feel strangely at home. The 12-foot sculpture bears resemblance to a psychedelic flower with a cut in its center, through which visitors can pass. Metal detectors embedded within the work's casing activate the arrays of LED lights on its exterior, producing light patterns and levels of luminosity that correspond to the amount of metal on each visitor. But while visitors active the artwork -- and thereby affirm its "public" nature -- the light patterns are only visible to viewers standing on the exterior of the piece. It thus falls upon these detached observers to monitor a given visitor's occupation of the passageway and draw inferences from the intensity and variety of the accompanying light patterns. In a beautiful and deceptively benign way, Yamada's work forces visitors into partial positions of engagement, in which interactivity and observation carry undertones of surveillance and control. - Tyler Coburn

Image: James Yamada, Our Starry Night, 2008 (Photo by Seong Kwon, courtesy of the Public Art Fund.)

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Four Thousand and Seven Horizons (2007) by Lizzie Hughes

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Four Thousand and Seven Horizons (2007) by Lizzie Hughes

From the artist's statement: 4,007 photographic images (one for each ten Kilometers of the earth's circumference) were sourced from photo sharing websites. The images, largely holiday snaps, were cropped to exclude any geographical, architectural or other reference points and the resulting images re-scaled (so that the horizon ran directly through the center of the frame) before being ordered on a time-line according to color. With the images being sourced from unknown locations across the globe, the work aims to document an imaginary line, which ultimately describes the curvature of the earth.

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What's in a System?

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The word "systems" is often used to describe the work of Jeanne van Heeswijki, and now the Netherlands-based artist has released a book by that title. In the ongoing interest of exploring the relationship between human and non-human systems, van Heeswijk's projects are worth a closer look. Often working site-specifically, on the basis of residencies, her modus operandi is to enter a community and invite its inhabitants to speak for themselves. This tactic has played-out in a number of ways ranging from inviting other artists to occupy her studio to inviting local schoolchildren to comment publicly on their harsh living environment. She describes this work as making "cultural models for public spaces," begging the question of what defines both these models and these spaces. A few of her projects have been "controversial," if only because these cultural models seems to call for sites of contestation, debate, and reconciliation. It's clear that the notion of an easy route does not compute in Heeswijk's approach to her practice, and -- usually working in collaboration with others -- she often eschews personal credit for the scenarios she concocts in order to place the emphasis on the intended beneficiaries of these designed encounters. But this lack of glory-seeking shouldn't be confused with a laissez-faire attitude. In truth, she belongs to a new generation of artists working to retool the relationship between art, activism, and public participation. It is the vocabulary of social codes and game-playing that regulates the artist's work and brings it into conversation with other network culture-based performances. Like many activist tomes, Heeswijk's new book functions much like a cookbook offering recipes for the assembly of such models. It is also partly a monograph on her previous work, which one can imagine does not lend itself to traditional ...

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Image of a work by Berlin-based art group Aids-3D

Originally posted on ***/* by Rhizome


Leonor Hirsch Award

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An international competition for electro-acoustic music and video

The Leonor Hirsch Award is a new competition open to living artists of all ages and nationalities which aims to promote the creation of avant-garde culture through music and image. Submissions will be mixed media works of electro-acoustic music with a visual component in video. The Award is administered by the Bunge y Born Foundation. A complete list of rules and requirements can be found at www.fundacionbyb.org/ingles/

The award will be a single, non-divisible prize of $10,000. The winner will be selected from three finalists, whose works will all be performed at a closing concert. The costs of transportation to the city of Buenos Aires will be covered for the performing finalists.

The three finalist works will be announced on September 22, 2008.
Deadline: July 15, 2008 (postmark date)
NOTE: Extended deadline! The previous deadline was July 1.
Participation is free of charge. The composers entering must only cover the relevant postage costs.
The final winner will be announced on October 22 at a ceremony held before the final Leonor Hirsch Award Concert, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The members of the Jury of the Leonor Hirsch Award are Gerald Bennett, Francisco Kropfl, and Nina Colosi.

For further details about the submission rules and registration form, please consult
http://www.fundacionbyb.org/ingles/

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


Go Ahead, Touch Her

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The music video for Mariah Carey's recent single, "Touch My Body," begins like many classic pornos: Unwitting nerd rings doorbell, half-naked bombshell babe answers the door, contracted labor assignment is soon interrupted by a romantic interlude with a thumping soundtrack...The song is Carey's foray into reaching out to the the geek set, and includes references to software upgrades, laser tag, and of course...YouTube! The video has over sixteen-million hits on the video-sharing site and, naturally, all of this makes the piece very attractive to an artist like Oliver Laric, who has a keen interest in digital culture and pop remixes. The artist's newest piece is an edit of Carey's video, with everything (the "compunerd," the house, etc) but the singer masked out in green to encourage chroma-keyed remixes by online viewers. Ironically, Carey's lyrics speak not only to a mainstream paranoia about surveillance and privacy intrusions, but moreover drops hints about sharing footage online. She sings, "If there's a camera up in here then it's gonna leave with me when I do. If there's a camera up in here then I best not catch this flick on YouTube." Naturally, this is exactly what Laric is hoping will happen--and no doubt Carey herself. Fame is nothing if not a self-production and Laric's taken this to heart in leaving the title of the video the same and modifying his YouTube video tags to attract more viewers. His real hope is not that the piece will become an artworld cause célèbre but that the larger public of YouTube surfers will adopt the piece and post remixes of their own. The key point made by removing the superfluous imagery from the video's 5,000 frames is that, with her "come ...

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Bidding and the Beat

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Sex and teletext, e-commerce and elektronische tanzmusik collide in The Sound of eBay, the latest internet intervention (and a 2008 Rhizome Commission) from Ubermorgen.com, which generates unique low-fi electro tunes from individual users' eBay data. Visit the project's site, generously decorated with 8-bit teletext porn, and enter your (or anyone's) eBay moniker and an email; a specially-tailored mp3 arrives in your inbox in a matter of hours. According to Ubermorgen.com's own account, an invisible army of bots scours the World's Largest Online Marketplace (tm) to scrape data and bring it back to be transformed into music. How a given user's actual data corresponds to the structure and content of each tune is not evident to the listener, but relates to the eBay-Generator application's own idiosyncratic system of producing and processing hashsums from user-to-user transactions: more frequent eBay bidders may receive denser compositions, and two different songs created from the same username can differ. In the future, the creators of eBay-Generator plan to release the application under a GNU Public License. The Sound of eBay concludes a trilogy of works by Ubermorgen.com--otherwise known as the artists Lizvix and Hans Bernhard--including GWEI (Google Will Eat Itself), an economic ourouboros that generates money off Google text ads then uses the income to buy Google stock, and Amazon Noir, which exploited Amazon's "search inside" function to create pirated versions of full books. Unlike these latter acts of digital ju-jitsu, the parasitic Sound of eBay has a relatively benign relationship to its host organism. Celebrating with only partial irony the auction giant's peer-to-peer distributed capitalism, the Sound of eBay offers a way to shake one's booty to the hidden rhythms of electronic commerce. - Ed Halter


Ubermorgen.com, the Sound of Ebay "Visuals" (Screengrab ...

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