Posts for March 2008

Unexpected Translations

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Gareth Long's interdisciplinary practice explores the nature of various forms of contemporary communication by subjecting the narratives conveyed through material objects, such as video and books, to unexpected and often highly erroneous transliterations. As with the work of the artist's conceptual forebearers, like Pierre Hughye and Pierre Bismuth, the interpolation of one medium with those of another does more than simply expose their respective limits: it draws each into unfamiliar light, under which many of our habituated ways of navigating the world are suddenly put into relief. With Don Quixote (2006), Long ran the George Guidall-narrated audiobook version of Cervantes' novel through speech recognition software, in attempt to faithfully reproduce the original text. Yet even while the artist exactingly trained the software to respond to the accent and intonation of Guidall's voice, errors arose - especially considering that Guidall often assumes different voices for the characters of the story. Long bound the resulting text in the novel's actual softcover, as if in faithful reproduction to the original: a most appropriate homage to Quixote's confusion of fiction and fact. It's hard to dazzle us (2006) is the artist's latest exploration of lenticular printing, a process in which up to thirty video frames can be embedded in a single, printed image. A viewer can see a given print's full succession of images only by moving around it - terms of engagement strangely appropriate for Long's depiction of the 1986 explosion of Challenger Flight 51 L. By taking an event that many remember on highly personal terms and enabling a viewer's mobile participation - and, on a more unsettling level, ability to play forward or play back the sequence, through their movement - Long pinpoints the intersection of subjective and collective memory, and the continual need to ...

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One Avatar's Trash is Another's Treasure

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The world is full of junk. Why should Second Life be any exception? In fact, something about the technological impetus to always create new, more advanced gizmos and realities makes this online virtual space a perfect site for the consideration of trash. The New York-based German art collective eteam are doing that now, in their project Second Life Dumpster. The duo's work often revolves around land-use issues and other socio-spatial interventions, and in this case they purchased 4096 square meters of space in SL to start a plein-air dumpster. The artists visit freebee sites throughout the virtual world and bring the detritus back to their space, and also encourage other users to drop their garbage at the site. Snippets of chat sessions with other avatars posted to the Second Life Dumpster blog reveal the humorous social challenges of keeping such an operation running. The project received a 2008 Rhizome Commission and their original proposal was to carve out a new type of behavior on Second Life. The site's owners, Linden Labs, say that exploring the world (including crafting one's persona and visage), creating objects, and selling those objects are the primaries forms of activity there, but eteam wanted to ask what happens after self-actualization and the ultimate disposal or withering of the ephemera exchanged in this process. After all, virtual junk is still junk, and its weighty presence online is but a mere token of the refuse our high tech lifestyles generate in "first life." If you're in the real world city of Brooklyn, this weekend, you can visit Smack Mellon to see the artists' physical rebuilding of decaying Second Life objects. Otherwise, check them out online or even consider joining the cadre of dumpster divers now hanging out at Fearzom. - Marisa Olson

Image: eteam, Second ...

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Classic: Videos by Skot and Tina Frank

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aka (audio by General Magic) from Tina Frank on Vimeo.

We have posted about the Vienna scene and the Austrian Abstracts here on previous occasions, but the video work that was central to that movement has generally not been available for viewing online. Therefore, it's with great pleasure we see that Tina Frank has posted some early videos to Vimeo. Let's hope other artists follow her initiative, it would be nice to have an online archive of these early experiments somewhere.

Shown above is the video AKA by Skot, produced for Gasbook 4. Skot was the name used by Tina Frank and Mathias Gmachl for a number of collaborations from 1996 to 2000. Gmachl is also one of the founders of farmersmanual, a collective that was central to the Vienna scene. "Aka" means "red" in Japanese, and the video was made with Image/ine software from Steim, one of the very first softwares to support realtime processing of video on a regular computer.

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Generator.x posted two videos today by skot (Tina Frank and Mathias Gmachl) and Tina Frank. Frank was amongst a Vienna-based group of artists who experimented with code-based tools in the 1990s. Visit Generator.x for more information about the work produced by this circle.

Originally posted on Generator.x: Generative strategies in art & design by marius watz


Feed Lack Loop

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On Thursday March 6th at 11am SLT the Ars Virtua Artist in Residency program presents Feed Lack Loop with Micheál O'Connell.

Feed Lack Loop arose out of experiments with the idea of Feedback. Using a live performer and an Avatar in the Online World Second Life, Micheál O'Connell inquires whether the concept of interactivity, so lauded in contemporary culture, is about Empowerment or possibly leads to its opposite: Control. Also the liveliness, or lack of it, in virtual space is brought into question. The event will be situated in two spaces simultaneously, Ars Virtua Gallery in Second Life and as a live projection and performance at Lighthouse. Other relevant pieces by the same artist may be incorporated or displayed...

1) Event on this Thursday 6th March:
http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/whatson/digiville.htm
2) Come either in Real Life or as Second Life avatar. Virtual Location:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Seventh%20Eye/108/60/50

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


March 13: FEEDBACK exhibition opens at Eyebeam

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Eyebeam
March 13 - April 19, 2008
Opening: Thursday, March 13, 6-8PM.
Closing Reception: April 19, 3PM.
Free 540 W. 21st St.

What does it mean to think "green"?

Eyebeam's expansive new exhibition, FEEDBACK, surveys artists, designers, architects and engineers on the topic of sustainability, and presents their responses- 19 projects varying from public art projects and industrial design to DIY energy solutions and software tools-to inspire discussion and action on this pervasive (and increasingly commodified) subject.

As the culmination of Eyebeam's Beyond Light Bulbs programming series, the show highlights the concerns, interests and work of Eyebeam's Sustainability Research Group, with work by individuals, collectives, students, local community groups and the Eco-Vis Challenge winners. Free, artist-run workshops are integral to the exhibition's design and are scheduled Saturdays throughout the show's duration.
The exhibition's title, FEEDBACK, refers to the self-correcting mechanisms by which systems-in this case, ecological- respond to the influence they exert on their environments...

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Originally posted on Eyebeam News by bexta


Rhizome Announces Luis Silva as Curatorial Fellow

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Rhizome is pleased to announce that Luis Silva has started working with us as Curatorial Fellow. In this position, Silva will oversee and develop the ArtBase as well as conduct research, forge international partnerships and organize projects and events. Silva studied Social Sciences and has a post-graduate degree in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from Universidade de Lisboa (Lisbon University). He has curated several new media projects, namely Online - Portuguese Netart 1997-2004, Source Code, Sound Visions, and I tag you tag me: a folksonomy of internet art. In 2006 he created the Lisbon node of the Upgrade!, an international network of gatherings concerning art, technology and culture and is currently curating LX 2.0, Lisboa 20 Arte Contemporanea's net art program. Silva has published various reviews and texts addressing the issues of art and technology. Silva has also developed his activity producing contemporary art shows since 2003, mainly of Portuguese contemporary artists.

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Where From Here?

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Clever internet sourcing may be a common practice for a younger generation of artists, but rarely is it deployed with as much sinister aplomb as in the work of Cliff Evans. In Evans' skilled hands, a veritable parade of pixilated characters - from trade show women to stormtroopers, politicians to smiling couples - are reconstituted as the spokes, gears and pistons of ubiquitous, twenty-first century war machines: at once eerily futuristic and all too reminiscent of recent neoconservative empire-building initiatives. The resulting look of these photomontage animations is "excessive, flat, quasi-random, and circuitous," Evans describes: "all qualities inherent within the environment of the web." In Road to Mount Weather (2006), a three-channel installation spanning a 32-foot wide screen, fragmentary image groupings produce an unexpected narrative, increasingly assembling into secret military sites, underground testing facilities and others domains of the political id. Complicating what could otherwise be the somewhat conventional propagation of conspiratorial lore is Evans' self-conscious conception of his own authorial role. The artist alternately labels himself "a co-conspirator with the powers presented" and "a paranoid heretic attempting to subvert the powers of control," a bifurcated position he believes to be inevitable to a creative process reliant upon the appropriation of countless photographs - and, implicitly, lives - from the internet's vast reserves. In a way, Evans-as-author performs an overly dramatic version of our own complicity, as virtual navigators and political subjects, with the powers that be; but in lieu of fatalism, he offers animations too epic and interpretatively open to not suggest that there are more than a few routes into the future. - Tyler Coburn

Image: Cliff Evans, Road to Mount Weather (Image Stills), 2006

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Keyboard drawn from memory (quickly, from a to z) (2008) by Guthrie Lonergan

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"Keyboard drawn from memory (quickly, from a to z)" is a new drawing by artist Guthrie Lonergan. Whimsical and humorous, the exercise illuminates how easy it is to forget the exact details of the familiar technologies we use everyday. Remembering the placement of letters on a keyboard is not as simple as it may seem- try replicating Lonergan's project yourself!

Originally posted on GUTHRIE LONERGAN 2 by Rhizome


Something In the Air

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Seeping into San Francisco, next week, is an exhibit that rounds up an assortment of activist artists who will address changes in air quality. Southern Exposure, long-known for presenting important socially-engaged work, will host the exhibition, entitled "Vapor," from March 14-May 3. The show has a strong orientation towards architecture and design solutions for environmental issues and features work by Amy Balkin, Futurefarmers, Natalie Jeremijenko, The Living, Eric Paulos, and Preemptive Media. The curatorial description shows promise of works that "react to the sources of climate change through the use of technologies--sensors, databases, and communications equipment--that are only recently accessible outside a lab." The show's title is intended to not only address the air, but also new more fluid modes of practice and research that extend beyond physical institutions. The organizers hope "Vapor" will suggest "new ways of modeling, testing and finding solutions to the problems of air quality and greenhouse gas emissions" and they've scheduled a variety of programs and workshops at which the public can learn how to get involved. - Marisa Olson

Image Credit: Eric Paulos, Participatory Urbanism

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NMR Commission: “Voices from the Paradise Network” by John Hudak

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hudak_300.jpg

Voices from the Paradise Network by John Hudak, with Flash programming by erational.org [Needs Flash Player and speakers on]

John writes: My mother-in-law passed away recently, reminding me of a technique that a parapsychologist named Dr. Konstantin Raudive (1906-1974) used to record what he purported to be voices of deceased spirits. With the amount of information moving around on the internet these days, and the passing of my mother-in-law, who I thought would want to get in touch (if possible), I thought I'd give Raudive's technique a try within the digital realm.

Voices from the Paradise Network is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.

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Originally posted on Networked Music Review by jo