Posts for October 2008

Rising From the Undead

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Jillian McDonald has noticed a zombie trend. Perhaps you've noticed it, too. Zombie walks, zombie novelty stores, and zombie-themed musical lyrics are popping up everywhere and the zombie film persists as the bone chiller par excellence. McDonald's work often deals with popular tropes and genre conventions, in film, and in this sense horror movies are ripe with opportunity for the analytically-inclined. Last weekend, in a project entitled Zombies in Condoland , the artist invited residents of Toronto (incidentally, the setting for director George Romero's latest film, Diary of a Zombie) to join the ranks of the proverbial undead. Working in collaboration with local arts project Nuit Blanche, McDonald established public film sets around town on which locals were invited to act the part in an effort to address the issue of gentrification. If the connection between scary characters and housing development is less than clear to you, consider a world in which you can run but not hide from the creeping threat of being swallowed-up and reprogrammed by a bland aesthetic of sameness and non-individuality. Sounds fun, right? Well, even if you missed last weekend's party, you can peruse McDonald's web-based instructions on how to look and act undead, scroll through her blog on all things zombiephile, or visit her previous horrifically hilarious projects. - Marisa Olson

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FREE getwell cards email a friend (2006) - Paper Rad

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LAUNCH

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  • Memory Cloud at Trafalgar Square, project supported by ICA London- "For three evenings in October, a new interactive smoky communication will be underway in central London - one that combines a very modern medium with a 5,000-year-old one. In Memory Cloud, visitors can text any message they like to the artists' creation, and that phone message will be made into light-and-air smoke signals and huge in Trafalgar Square. This new exploration of personal expression in public spaces is from Minimaforms, founded in 2002 by brothers Stephen and Theodore Spyropoulos as an experimental architecture and design practice that explores projects that provoke and facilitate new means of communication."
  • Interstitial Zones: Historical Facts, Archaeologies of the Present and Dialectics of Seeing at Argos- "Interstitial Zones offers a critical alternative or opposing space, with the work of fifteen artists that have sought out the crooks and crannies of post-war history that the mass media never reveal. The topics are diverse: The Red Army Faction or RAF, George Bush's inaugural speech, the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, 9/11, Iraq, the extra-legal regime of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, the assault on Salvador Allende, the Gaza conflict, religious suicide attacks and so on. These specific historic events could equally be exchanged for others. The meta-narrative breaking up of the mechanisms of media representation and seeking out intervals make up the starting point of the exhibition. These intervals manifest themselves, for example, in voice-overs detached from the visual presentation, interchanging multiple time spans and the use of black or white monochrome images."
  • manuel vazquez- Photographs from the series "Traces" by Manuel Vazquez on i heart photograph. From the artist's statement: "This project researches the visual traces that are left in public places. In our daily lives we dwell in public spaces, where our journeys are filmed ...
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    The Shape of Things to Come

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    Video: Superstruct: the Final Threat

    "We are living in interesting times," science fiction author Charles Stross observed on his blog last week. "In fact, they're so interesting that it is not currently possible to write near-future SF." The makers of Superstruct, a new project created by the Institute for the Future, would disagree. The IFTF has launched what they're calling "the world's first massively multiplayer forecasting game;" in it, players are asked to imagine themselves ten years from now, then flesh out the details of that near-future world through posts to a wiki, discussion forums, Facebook, Superstruct's own site, and elsewhere. But players won't be creating this collective vision of tomorrow from scratch: the game provides a core set of hot-button issues that need to be addressed in 2019 -- couched as reports from the Global Extinction Awareness System -- which include a growing pandemic, the immanent collapse of the world's food supplies, power struggles over energy sources, and the "diaspora of diasporas" of displaced masses. Using a speculative fiction to ask thousands of users to cobble together potentially useful solutions to very real problems, Superstruct can be seen as an online variant of alternative reality gaming, juiced up with elements of crowdsourcing, prediction markets and the collaborative authorship of expanded universes. The very premise of this new mutation in science fiction writing says a great deal about what we think about our own life now in these interesting times: the future is not so much a brave new world to be explored, but a complex problem to be solved. - Ed Halter

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    THIS WEEKEND -- Two Rhizome Events!

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    Yes, it's true! Two great Rhizome events this weekend. Please join us.


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    Image: Mark Essen, Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist, 2008


    Next Level: New Independent Gaming
    Friday, October 10th, 7:30pm
    the New Museum, New York, NY
    $6 Members/$8 General Public

    Bringing together prominent game designers, artists and critics, Next Level takes a look at the recent rise of indie gaming: a vibrant new culture of individually made and self-distributed video games that blur the line between digital art and creative entertainment.

    Featuring artist and game designers Mark Essen, Jason Rohrer and Greg Costikyan. Moderated by Rhizome staff writer Ed Halter, an author, critic, and curator whose book From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games was published in 2006.

    Part of Rhizome's New Silent Series at the New Museum.

    [ BUY TICKETS HERE ]




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    Image: Lee Walton, Watching TV, from the "Remote Instructions" series, 2008


    Rhizome Commissions '08
    Saturday, October 11th, 3:00pm
    the New Museum, New York, NY
    $6 Members/$8 General Public

    The last in a three-part series that features presentations by artists awarded grants through Rhizome's Commissions Program. Founded in 2001 to support artists working with technology, the Rhizome Commissions Program has awarded fifty-four commissions to date. Projects realized through the Program represent some of the most forward-thinking and innovative works of media and Internet-based art.

    In this evening's program, the artists will discuss their commissioned projects and larger bodies of work. This event features Will Pappenheimer, John Craig Freeman, Annie Abrahams, Nadia Anderson and Fritz Donnelly, Lee Walton, Marek Walczak, and Martin Wattenberg.

    Part of Rhizome's New Silent Series at the New Museum.

    [ BUY TICKETS HERE ]

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    Art-Up Your Computering

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    The awesome New York arts organization Artists Space has come up with three new ways to spice up your computering, no matter where you live. If we had to make a list of the main things we do on our computers everyday, wouldn't typing, watching YouTube videos, and staring at our desktop be high on the index? Now Artists Space--under the savvy influence of curator Joseph Del Pesco--has initiated three ways to art-up those acts. The first, "TypeCast", is a series highlighting one artist-designed font per month, available as a free download. This month, you can find Mungo Thomson's Negative Space, which he describes as "a graphic scaffolding for the sake of alpha-numeric meaning." It's cool and it will totally impress your employer. Following "TypeCast" is "YouTube Commentary Project," which addresses a major problem with the video-sharing site. There just isn't enough commentary and recursion there! (sic!) Nonetheless, inviting smart international artists to verbalize their reactions atop the video of their choice sounds like a can't-lose idea. Stay tuned to Artists Space's YouTube channel for more of these videos, which premiered with a work by Cesare Pietroiusti. And finally, if you're a fan of the element of surprise, then "Artists Space Daily" is for you. It's "a free software program that downloads an artist 'postcard' from the internet and places it on the desktop of your computer, once per day." While this brings art into viewers' lives that they neither have to pay for nor live with for more than 24 hours, the project brings attention to international emerging artists you just may want to see again. It's all fun, it's all free, and it's all for the love of contemporary art, so get with the program and ...

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  • Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008: Myths and Potentials of Media Architecture and Urban Screens- "The MEDIA FACADES FESTIVAL BERLIN 2008 is an innovative project, engaging a wide range of stakeholders with distinctive interests in the public space. Through round tables, a workshop, panel sessions, lectures, urban screenings on media facades and an architecture exhibition the event will promote a multi-disciplinary action research approach to technology, architecture and media art in modern cities." Media Facades Festival Berlin kicks off October 16th.
  • The Game by Geoff Manaugh on BLDGBLOG- "This summer I was commissioned by the recently opened Liverpool Biennial International 08 - the theme of which is MADE UP - to write an essay about the idea of "made-up" cities. That essay, called "The Game," was just published in the Biennial's gigantic, 300-page catalog alongside stories and essays by Haruki Murakami, Bruno Latour, Jonathan Allen, Rana Dasgupta, Brian Hatton, and many others. "The Game" explores the idea that we might not actually know what it means to be urban, using a remark by Ole Bouman as a jumping-off point. In an essay of his own called "Desperate Decadence," published in Volume magazine #6, Bouman writes: "We have come to take for granted that those locations with large congregations of architecture must be cities.""
  • Marc Lepson, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, M.Y. Art Prospects, New York City- "For this exhibition, Marc Lepson creates another simultaneously comforting and disquieting space, filling the gallery walls with digital images enlarged from low-resolution files taken by a cell phone camera. With this super handy tool, the artist's viewpoints travel from New York Times front pages to public spaces traversing spheres both domestic and global from former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to a sea turtle in a Brooklyn aquarium, from mounted policemen in Gaza to the ...
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    Home on the ZEE[RANGE]

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    Running through the end of December, "ZEE[RANGE]," at Pittsburgh's Wood Street Galleries, furthers Kurt Hentschlager's inquiry into the facets and limits of multi-sensory perception. The Austrian artist describes the exhibition's central work, ZEE (2008), as a "mind-scape" composed of artificial fog, stroboscopic light and adaptive surround sound. These elements conspire to efface the traditional contours of the exhibition space, replacing them with "a psychedelic architecture of pure light." An accompanying piece, RANGE (2008), makes its world premiere in this exhibition. Building upon Hentschlager's past work with 3D video game software, such as KARMA / cell (2006), RANGE presents a collection of virtual characters, contained in a small space, dividing from and agglutinating into a larger mass. Taken together, Hentschlager's latest works recall FEED (2005-6), a multi-tiered performance, created for the Theater Biennial Venice, first featuring a projection of suspended, virtual characters, followed by "a composition for artificial fog, pulse- and stroboscopic light." These seemingly unrelated modes of production thus work together, staging a condition of unreality characteristic of contemporary life and then immersing the audience in an affective simulation of this condition. But if Hentschlager's uniform, virtual mass betrays a nihilistic take on society, the subsequent dissolution of the audience into a phenomenal field may also suggest other forms of self- and collective constitution to still be possible. - Tyler Coburn

    Kurt Hentschlager, ZEE, 2008

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    Enduring Freedom (2008) - Ramsay Stirling

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    More work by Ramsay Stirling

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    Interview with Aaron Levy

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    This week I spoke with Aaron Levy, Executive Director and a Senior Curator of the Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary non-profit art space Slought Foundation, about his participation in the U.S. Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, 11th International Architecture Exhibition. Working in a team with William Menking and Andrew Strum, the exhibition, titled "Into the Open: Positioning Practice," investigates contemporary socially-engaged architectural practice in the United States. Sixteen practitioners were selected for the exhibition, including The Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), Design Corps, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Gans Studio, The Heidelberg Project, International Center for Urban Ecology, Jonathan Kirschenfeld Associates,Project Row Houses, Rebar, Rural Studio, Spatial Information Design Lab/Laura Kurgan, Studio 804, Smith and Others, The Edible Schoolyard/Yale Sustainable Food Project, and Estudio Teddy Cruz. Levy, along with William Menking and Andrew Strum, will discuss the exhibition at Columbia University on October 13th and downtown at Studio-X on October 14th. - Ceci Moss

    Ceci Moss: The title for the U.S. Pavilion is "Into the Open: Positioning Practice." Considering the wide range of approaches represented in this exhibition, I'm wondering if you can discuss why you selected this title, and how it speaks to the premise of community involvement through architectural practice.

    Aaron Levy: What should our place be in this world, and how should architects help shape our sense of place? These are two of the questions that our exhibition gestures towards, through a new American taxonomy of conflict and urgency that takes visitors through some of the richest and the poorest neighborhoods of North America. The sixteen practices we have selected embody an expanded definition of architectural responsibility, whereby architects and designers become activists, developers, facilitators of a more inclusive urban policy, and producers of unique urban research. The exhibition ...

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