Check the CRUMB mailing list for an unfolding thread in respond to ICA Director's Ekow Eshun's explanatory comment for the closure of ICA's Live and Media Arts Department, stating that, "New media based arts practice continues to have its place within the arts sector. However it's my consideration that, in the main, the art form lacks the depth and cultural urgency to justify the ICA's continued and significant investment in a Live & Media Arts department." On the list, initial discussion surrounding Eshun's position on new media and live arts practice has launched a larger conversation about the placement of new media art in mainstream art institutions and the problematic encroachment of market and commercial interests within these spaces.
Debate over Ekow Eshun's Termination of the ICA Live and Media Arts Department Continues on CRUMB Mailing List
An exhibition at Philadelphia's Basekamp, entitled "What's Mine Is Yours" speculates loosely about the origin of the eponymous phrase, asking if it a Jewish proverb or a socialist ideal, while also working to answer the bigger question of why on earth artists would want to collaborate -- with each other or their audiences. While the art market encourages single authors, hierarchy, and conceptual or physical territorialism, in "What's Mine Is Yours" curator Sara Reisman has encouraged artists to share their feelings about.... sharing. The results are intriguingly as politically charged as they are mystical. Take, for example, Star Systems, a video work in which Bjorn Kjelltoft and Shana Moulton merged their identities. While Rey Akdogan's list of the pros and cons of collaborating could be read as a manifesto, tongue-in-cheek, or fair warning, the Mercury Twins' nebulous Cloud City invites the public to cluster like instant cloud formations. The show opens today and also includes radio-performance work by Kabir Carter and a real-time public networking project by vydavy sindikat. - Marisa Olson
Image: Bjorn Kjelltoft and Shana Moulton, Broken Meatballs with Infinity, 2007 (Video Still)
In Street With A View, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley take a fresh approach to the age-old practice of street theater. Working in tandem with the Google Street View team and the surrounding community of Sampsonia Way in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they staged a number of playfully silly scenes, ranging from the laboratory of a mad scientist to a seventeenth century sword fight, which now appear in Google Street View. These acts introduce a vibrancy normally omitted from the utilitarian Google Street View feature, while also opening up the possibility of collaboration between artists and the company.
LAPS 2008 from art of failure on Vimeo.
Artist's statement: Laps is an audio and visual installation that uses Internet as an imaginary space where sound echoes, reverberates throughout the Web. Based on transmission errors, the sound material is shaped by the virtual acoustic space of the network. Sound streams broadcasted within the installation structure gradually echoes the activity of the Web in various locations of the globe. Its analysis in these various points is used to progressively draw the contours of an imaginary landscape inside the installation.
While it may not be perfect, De Balie's nascent online archive of tactical media Tactical Media Files is an ambitious start. Dubbed a "living archive", the creators hope that the archive will not only document past projects, but also become a clearinghouse for information related to current and future events. Live for almost 2 weeks now, they're clearly still working out some of the kinks -- the "related videos" section appears to be blank for all the videos, many of the videos seem to be lacking short descriptions, etc. -- but hopefully they will sort these issues out soon. At its current stage, the extensive "texts" section is, perhaps, the strongest aspect of the archive, with essays and writing by Critical Art Ensemble, Alessandro Ludovico, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, and many others. Much of the material on the site was produced for the Amsterdam tactical media festival Next Five Minutes, which occurred annually from 1993-2003.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator