For the last ten years, the Seoul International Media Art Biennale has been among the most accurate and important touchstones for activity in the field of new media art. This year's biennale (open September 12-November 5) seeks not only to act as the kind of hotness barometer than many such shows function as, but also as a convergence site for the so-called traditional media and new media communities, asking how the two can work together in the future--or, indeed, looking at how they already overlap. Operating under the subtitle "Turn and Widen," the exhibition and associated symposium is organized into sub-themes on Light, Time, and Communication and features dozens of international artists. If you're not in Korea, consider visiting their artist pages from the comfort of your computer. - Marisa Olson
Slow Motion Car Crash
This sculpture is a machine that advances two full sized automobiles slowly into one another over a period of 6 days, simulating a head on automobile collision. Each car moves about three feet into the other. The movement is so slow as to be invisible.
The work is accompanied by an interview with the artist, which you can read here.
The artist statements written by Berlin-based American artists AIDS-3D read as simultaneously post-apocalyptic and utopian. They are primarily concerned with the unfulfilled promises of emergent technologies and the ways in which our daily lives revolve around these media. Alienation, self-preservation, reproduction (sexual and otherwise), and the construction of lifestyles are common themes in their work, which takes the form of performances, sculptures, and installations frequently employing lasers, electroluminescent cable, and relics from a recent past promoting the heights to which novelties of various origin will change the world. On September 20th, the duo will open the show "Digital Awakening" at Athens, Greece-based K44 Gallery, in which they will elaborate two radically different future scenarios, one in which Earth suffers "a disastrous energy crisis leading to war, famine and the breakdown of the global capitalist system" and an another where "humanity lives in a techno-utopia, where communication tools and futuristic technology fueled by alternative energy have allowed us to fully transcend into a scientifically maintained balance." Considering the potential impact of current directions in the field of energy production, these fictional accounts may not be the work of utter fantasy. - Marisa Olson
Long devoted to contemporary technology art in its many forms, Williamsburg Brooklyn's half-decade-old Vertexlist Gallery promises much more in the future: the exhibitor recently announced a "new 5-year plan of growth and development," now under the auspices of gallery director Charles Beronio, who takes over the reigns from founder Marcin Ramocki. To kick off its next phase, Vertexlist is hosting the exhibit "New Blood," which promises to "probe" the "the empty, vacant, and vacuous nature" of contemporary existence, featuring an array of work by Double Happiness, Lance Wakeling, Jeanne Verdoux, Sergio De La Torre, Sujin Lee and Sasha Dela. The event launches with on September 13th with "Given to Want," a live performance by the funny, fantastic and sometimes frightening artist Nao Bustamante. - Ed Halter
In it's 29th year as the one of the most important media arts festivals in the world, Ars Electronica 2008 focused on trying to make sense of the economic and social realities of a "knowledge-based" society, where limits of intellectual property and aging copyright laws are beginning to lose relevance in an increased international atmosphere of open systems, sharing information across networks, and collective artistic action and utility. This year's theme was "A New Cultural Economy", a vision of the present and future that imagined cultural and artistic exchange and remixing as a key indicator of the success of current and future generations. Through this 6 day festival, events ranged from conferences, exhibitions, performances, to student exhibitions such as a wide range of projects from the University of Tokyo entitled "Towards a New Horizon of Hybrid Art."
Juried Exhibition: Earth, at 440 Gallery, Brooklyn
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator