Posts for October 2008

Glimpses of Unease: Olga Chernysheva

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Image: Olga Chernysheva, Moscow Area, 2008 (Silver-gelatin fiber print)

Moscow artist Olga Chernysheva seeks out moments of awkwardness and discomfort that arise when reality falls short of the imagination. Whether working with oils or watercolors, analog photography or digital video, Chernysheva uses a plain, unaffected style, deliberately constructing her compositions to be as inconspicuous as she is when fixing her voyeuristic gaze. Tonight at 7:00 p.m. she will present a screening of video works at the Museum of Modern Art. Rhizome Curatorial Fellow Brian Droitcour met with Chernysheva in her Moscow studio.

There's a park in the north of Moscow called VVTs, or All-Russia Exhibition Center, but Muscovites persist in referring to it by its old name, VDNKh, the Exhibition of the People's Economic Achievements. Neither name is a good fit. The old one sounds clumsy and communist. The new one seems too ambitious, since most commercial fairs prefer newer, centrally located facilities to VDNKh's whimsical and ill-equipped pavilions, which were built in the 1930s to showcase products of the Soviet republics or economic sectors whose names they still bear. Today most of them are improvised stores, with plastic banners stretched over marble and gilded facades to advertise the inexpensive goods for sale inside, such as furniture, seeds, radio parts, and honey. As a metaphor for the collision between a Soviet "bright future" and the present's imperfections, VDNKH seems almost too pat to exist. But this juxtaposition is alive in the experience of the thousands of shoppers and strollers who congregate there every day.

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Image: Olga Chernysheva, Panorama, 2006 (Oil on canvas)

Olga Chernysheva usually looks for material in her neighborhood, and at the VDNKh, just a few kilometers north along a major Moscow thoroughfare, which has provided her with inspiration on many occasions ...

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Loop (2007) - Zoro Feigl

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  • Deliver at BAM Wednesday 7pm- Migrating Forms presents the film Deliver at BAM. "In this all-female video remake of Deliverance, a cast of experimental filmmakers/academics (Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich, Jacqueline Goss, Meredith Root and Montgomery) play mirages of themselves -- urban artists looking to unplug in the unspoiled wilderness."
  • Performing machines at Eyebeam Tues., Oct. 21, 6 - 8.30PM- "A public critique and discussion of instrumental hacks (i.e., customized technologies made into musical instruments), in conjunction with Eyebeam's Untethered exhibition."
  • ISEA 2009 CALL FOR Artworks and Art Projects, Papers, Workshops, Open Spaces and more - ACROSS EIGHT SUB-THEMES- "Abstracts for papers and descriptors of artworks / projects, panels and workshops etc. are sought for ISEA 2009 that will illuminate both the near and long term Future of Digital Media Culture. Deadline November 17, 2008"
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    ADULT. Film

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    DECAMPMENT from ADULT. on Vimeo

    In 1998, artist-musicians Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus began to apply a blatant pop sensibility and dystopic social commentary to the techno music typical of their native Detroit under the monikers PLASMA Co. and Le Car, before settling most enduringly on ADULT. With songs like "Skinlike" and "Hand to Phone," they set the stage for the short-lived Electroclash movement earlier in this decade, and maintained a safe distance when it suddenly imploded. Most recently, the band has developed an interdisciplinary project titled Decampment which includes original video, editioned recordings and photography, as well as live performance. Last week at New York's Anthology Film Archives, the duo screened what was essentially a 40-minute music video for the latest release, a limited editioned trilogy of seven-inch vinyl singles with original artwork, on their record label Ersatz. Miller and Kuperus appeared alongside the projection, flanked by banks of synthesizers, to play their original electronic score. The video was a genre exercise in Horror, involving a squadron of Vanessa Beecroft femme-bots who engage in obtuse, seemingly Masonic rituals, only to sacrifice one of their own. As accompaniment, the band alternated shrill tones with throbbing basslines and crisp percussion. The final sequence was a frenzy of blood, fire, and black leather handbags with Kuperus chanting in her signature monotone, "We are the ones!" ADULT. perform with their film once again in Los Angeles on November 18 at the Silent Movie Theater. - Nick Hallett

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    Gas Zappin'

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    The often-hilarious artist Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung's newest game is no laughing matter. Ok, actually it is... but it's still what many in the gaming world now call a "serious game," in that it addresses the important issue of global warming. The piece lets viewers step inside of an animated world marked by the same crazy, satirical visual style for which he's gathered attention in previous works like Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People and Residential Erection. These projects manage to comment on the absurdity of aestheticizing politics while doing just that, appropriating and remixing material scoured from the web to comment on the relationship between media spectacles and political spectacles. His game, Gas Zappers, similarly recycles pop imagery to cut through the haze of information surrounding the impacts of pollution. The narrative of the game criticizes quick-fix attempts and suggests real strategies for cutting down on carbon emissions. The project manages to be entertaining and educational, at the same time--a balance which is its own art. The game can be played online and is also on view at the Berkeley Art Museum from October 22 through February 8. - Marisa Olson

    Image: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung, Gas Zappers, 2008 (Still)

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    NTSC-YA (2008) - Jona Bechtolt

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  • Untitled: Speculations on the Expanded Field of Writing- Experimental writing conference at REDCAT in Los Angeles this weekend. A series of panels will explore "writing which, in some manner, exceeds the printed page."
  • THE NEW MILLENNIUM PAPER AIRPLANE CONTEST- Artist Klara Hobza and the Public Art Fund are staging a paper airplane contest on November 1st in the Great Hall at the New York Hall of Science. Notable and winning designs will be compiled in a book to be published next year.
  • Pulsewave - 10.25.08 - THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE BLIP FESTIVAL at the Tank- New York Chiptune musicians Anamanaguchi, Glomag, Nullsleep, and Bit Shifter will play cover songs by Weezer, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, and the Misfits for this Halloween-themed party organized by Pulsewave.
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    Web is Dead. (1997) - Absurd.org

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    A play in two acts.


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    World of Goo

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    Designed in the 18th century, the Parc de Bruxelles, located in the center of Brussels, allegedly contains a hidden symbol in its layout, visible only from the air: a Masonic compass, signified by a circle atop a triangle. For GEO GOO (Info Park), currently on view at iMAL with elements online, Internet art trailblazers JODI have created a series of their own arcane symbols by employing 21st century geographic technology, leveraging Google Maps' innate functions in the service of graphic expression. Manipulating a variety of default icons, some of JODI's animations use maps of the Parc de Bruxelles itself: one places a crowd of tiny green explorers on the Parc, hiking the Masonic compass; another iteration generates new symbols on the Parc's layout each time it loads -- including euros, yen, houses, touristy cameras and red crosses -- obliquely evoking semi-random political significance when layered atop the center of the EU. Other examples utilize global maps, pushing the limits of Google's service to create jittering compositions, while some avoid the land altogether to enable exercises in a more pure abstraction. GEO GOO harkens back to a 2007 work by JODI, GEO GEO, in which they traced words and whole sentences onto the maps of various cities (chosen for having lent their names to fonts). Both projects continue the Dutch-Belgian duo's intricate and obsessive drive to derange the Internet from inside out, taking advantage of innate quirks and loopholes in available systems in the service of a punked-out creative jujitsu. - Ed Halter

    Image: JODI, GEO GOO (Info Park), 2008

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    Loop (2007) - Julien Levesque

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