Posts for March 2008

Out of Office AutoReply

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Things aren't always as they appear in automated communication. Cory Arcangel humorously showed us this when he posted instructions for rapidly saving $500 by adding a "Sent by my iPhone" signature to one's GMail account. A similar effect is achieved in Permanent Vacation, wherein two computers enter a logjam of endlessly bouncing auto-replies announcing that each user is away. Viewers watch as the self-generated feedback loop leads to the piling-up of messages in the respective computers' inboxes. The actual message is, in fact, never seen, but a "ding" is heard each time the index of repeated subject lines becomes longer. The work is actually a four-part series that has been showing throughout Europe since last Fall, most recently at Salzburg's Ropac Gallery. Each time it's been exhibited, the computers and their attached monitors or projectors change slightly. Originally, used computers were purchased online and the original owners' names were the names on the inboxes. In the last incarnation, brand new Macs were purchased and placed atop shiny new IKEA tables--perhaps the most convincing "workstation" of the four. Asked whether this evolution in materials was a comment on media change, the master of using defunct hardware replied, "remember, new computers become old computers very very quick, so in the end, they will all look similar." The joy of Permanent Vacation lies partly in its subtle tugging at fears about the "ghost in the machine" or artificial intelligence--the idea that these computers are somehow complicit in this tete-�-tete. Nonetheless, it also implies a kind of human glitch or failure on the part of two subjects to successfully communicate. In science fiction terms, Arcangel has created what might be called a "stasis field"--a space and time characterized by an almost blissful lack of progress. (This would be ...

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Marius Watz: ElectroPlastiques [Akron, OH]

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Marius Watz: ElectroPlastiques :: Until April 23, 2008 :: Emily Davis Gallery, Folk Hall, Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, The University of Akron, Ohio.

Watz uses the computer to generate work which he describes as "a particular brand of visual hedonism, marked by colorful organic shapes and a 'more is more' attitude." Most of his works deal with drawing machines implemented in software, live visuals for music or large-scale projections. The exhibition will showcase a variety of Watz's generative work, including large scale projections of ElectroPlastiques #1 and #2, five rapid prototypes, large format printouts, and his Universal Digest Machine, which received an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica -- the world's leading media arts festival in Linz, Austria.


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Originally posted on networked_performance by jo


Harm van den Dorpel and Damon Zucconi on their work

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From Right to Left: Damon Zucconi, Untitled (SONY), and Harm van den Dorpel, Reconfigurations (Ostrich), 2008


This week, I Heart Photograph published an interview with artist Harm van den Dorpel which, however brief, offers insight into his process. In response to the first (of two) questions, van den Dorpel describes the series from which his image above is excerpted: "this work is part of my project 'semantics'. it is a series of manipulated found images. after applying one action or manipulation i put them back online. in computer programming 'semantics' is opposed to 'syntax'. when i look at media i am always struck by the (stupidity of) visual conventions and expectations; these are these syntactic rules. purposely i generate a syntax error in the visual language of the photos. after the images are processed on a lower layer, they become mine, and carry completely other meaning or emotions. " Also check out this interview from NY Arts Magazine with van den Dorpel and Damon Zucconi, a dynamic artist who shares some of van den Dorpel's concerns. Zucconi's varied and fast-growing body of work includes browser-based projects such as Sometimes Red, Sometimes Blue, video such as Untitled (SONY) as well as inter-disciplinary installations and expanded performances, all of which interrupt the marketing campaigns of everything from ideas to TV shows and, in so doing, interrogate the production and circulation of visual information. The format of their conversation: a straight transcription from gchat allows them to vacillate between casual conversation and more thoughtful reflections on their work -- all interesting and valuable to read. -- Lauren Cornell

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The Ghost of Machines Pask

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Gordon Pask (1928-1996) was a British renaissance man. The eminent scientist was an artist, engineer, and cultural organizer around whom a sphere of creative growth swirled and who was a key figure in the development of cybernetics, "the study of systems of communication, control mechanisms and feedback." The current exhibition at Vienna, Austria's Atelier Färbergasse (March 25-April 4), entitled "Pask Present," explores the ongoing influence of this luminary figure upon the fields of art and design. In some ways, the works selected are a touchstone for the growing field of contemporary robotics--ranging from simple and functional to outlandishly dramatic. But true to the field of cybernetics, each work offers commentary ranging from subtle to explicit on the relationship of consciousness to machines. Curators Richard Brown, Stephen Gage, and Ranulph Glanville offer "dancing robots which interpret viewers' expressions to decide on the most amusing routine, 'singing' sculptures which change the noises they produce depending on other sounds in the area around them and giant metal tentacles growing in electrified liquid." Participating artists include ArtStation, Richard Brown, Rob Davis & Usman Haque, Paula Friar, Gage & Leung, Ranulph Glanville, Ruairi Glynn, Omar Khan, Roman Kirschner, Harry Parr, Richard Roberts, and Rion Willard. "Pask Present" follows in the the footsteps of last year's "Maverick Machines" exhibit at the University of Edinburgh. It coincides with the 19th EMSCR Conference (European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research at the University of Vienna), where many of the artists are giving presentations, and it's a shame that it's up for such a short duration. Nevertheless, the organizers have posted a fair amount of documentation online and they have also published a catalogue, which can be ordered through the site. - Marisa Olson

Image: Paula Friar, Feedback Vessels, 2008

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Watching the Watchers

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The third in a series of roundtable discussions at the New School co-organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics and Index for the Disappeared, "Agency + Surveillance" assesses the rhetoric of watching in a post-9/11 environment, partly by examining how a handful of engineers, artists, and activists have responded, in their own work, to the increasing state of national security. By inverting the top-down power structure conventionally associated with the act of surveillance, these practitioners are engaging in "sousveillance": a method of "watching the watchers," whereby visual and other data, habitually obscured from public knowledge, finally becomes apparent. Panelist Jenny Marketou's series Flying Spy Potatoes (2003-2004), for example, consists of digital recordings made in New York City public spaces declared to be high-risk targets for terrorist attacks, including Grand Central Station and the World Financial Center. The artist mounted a wireless camera and radio receiver on a helium balloon -- an innocent enough prop to make her infiltration a success. Urban pedestrians are provided with an interface for mapping and avoiding closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in iSee, a web-based application from the Institute for Applied Autonomy and member/panelist Tad Hirsch. Since its inception in 2001, the application has evolved to provide maps of several cities, a handheld counterpart, and other functions, such as the ability to correlate crime statistics with surveillance camera locations. These projects draw few, if any, boundaries between aesthetic, conceptual and pragmatic agendas, as if to suggest that a phenomenon like surveillance, which affects every aspect of our everyday lives, requires comparably broad-reaching counter-methods. "Agency + Surveillance" takes place on Monday, March 31st at 6:30 pm in Arnhold Hall. - Tyler Coburn

Image: Jenny Marketou, Flying Spy Potatoes (video still), 2003

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Genomic Science and Digital Art Challenge

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A challenge to digital artists to explore the complex ethical and societal issues emerging from genomic research and new genomic technologies.

The Art Exhibit Subcommittee of the 2008 GE3LS International Symposium is staging a digital art contest in conjunction with the Symposium being held in Calgary April 28-30. Further information on the Symposium can be found at http://www.genomecanada.ca/ge3ls2008/index.asp?l=e

We welcome submissions of original digital works of art that address the ethical, legal, and social themes related to the human genome, biology in the 21st century, or genetics in society. For the purposes of this contest digital art is defined as art that is created in a digital form. It can be drawn using a computer, created from a source such as a digital photograph, or be entirely computer generated. We will not accept digitized images of oil, acrylic or mixed media paintings.

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Announcements by Rhizome


blowin out

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Originally posted on Loshadka by billy


THEEND/THEBEGINNING (2008) by Chris Coy

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Ignivomous posted a new guest artist project to their site for Spring 2008. "THEEND/THEBEGINNING" by Chris Coy is a credit roll, complete with an elevator music-style soundtrack, comprised of image captures of actor Kevin Bacon's credit line from every film in which he appeared. Bacon famously claimed that he has worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone related to them, and this assertion became the grounds for a trivia game entitled "the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," in which participants attempt to connect any actor to appear on screen in history to Kevin Bacon with as few links as possible. The game popularized the myth that Kevin Bacon is a nexus for all Hollywood. By assembling Bacon's credit lines into one place, Coy's piece can be interpreted as a credit roll for all films ever made, giving the title "THEEND/THEBEGINNING" greater significance.

For those of you considering bookmarking the project, Coy provided a list of tags in lieu of an artist's statement. See below:

nastynets, endcredits, socialnetworking, screencaps, archive, collecting, collage, kevinbacon, 6degrees, surfing, myspace, cinema_on_the_web, scrollbarFormalism, deathofnetart?, birthofnetart, vuk_y2k_cosic, IamSo_xcited4spirit_surfers:), theColorGreyAsAnIdea, transitionaryPeriods, LoVid, hyperlinkz, starring, ignivomous, seecoy, c.coy, THEEND, THEBEGINNING, loop=true

- Ceci Moss

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Videos of Rhizome's New Silent Series Now Online

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Video documentation of the New Silent Series, Rhizome's continuing monthly program at the New Museum, is now available online. Click through to Rhizome's new Vimeo channel to view multimedia performances by Paper Rad, Ben Coonley, and Wizardzz from Continuing Education for Dead Adults as well as a number of presentations from Nextcity: the Art of the Possible by J. Meejin Yoon, Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design), Christian Nold and Adam Greenfield.

A special thank you to Rhizome's Editorial Fellow Dennis Knopf for overseeing production.


Continuing Education for Dead Adults from Rhizome on Vimeo.


Nextcity: The Art of the Possible 1/5 (Adam Greenfield) from Rhizome on Vimeo.

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The Surrogates - Eva and Franco Mattes at OTO

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On April 11, form 7pm to 10pm, Over The Opening is please to present a new video performance work by Eva and Franco Mattes (0100101110101101.org)

surrogate - substitute, proxy, replacement; deputy, representative, stand-in, standby, stopgap, relief, pinch-hitter, understudy.

Eva and Franco Mattes continue their investigations into power, authorship and identity with "The Surrogates" a new performance based video project. Combining elements of theater, video, surveillance, and social interaction, "The Surrogates" transforms OTO into an experimental social space questioning the distinction between the viewer and the viewed....

More info at http://www.tinjail.com/over_the_opening

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Recent Discuss Posts by M. River