Posts for January 2009

Clouds of Clouds (2008) - Miguel Leal and Luis Sarmento

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LAUNCH

From the artist's statement:

Clouds of clouds is a random generator of cloud images. Each new cloud is unique and indexed to a particular time (GMT) on a particular day. Its clouds were made on similar dates and at similar times, not necessarily the same year, and are linked to the original web pages.

The basis of the archives are all images indexed with the tags "cloud" or "clouds" on Flickr.

These are not clouds in the atmospheric meaning of the word, but instead entities with which they share a complexity that can be confused with instability, unpredictability and irreducibility. That this is based on a relatively simple visualisation arrangement is another way of indicating that this complexity depends less on what we see on the surface than on the networks of relationships established from it.

Via Ethan Ham's blog

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Synchromy No. 4: Escape (1938) - Mary Ellen Bute

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Get Your Giggle On

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The popularity of the English expression "no laughing matter" might imply that funny things aren't serious and serious things aren't funny. But the organizers of ROFLCon would seriously beg to differ. Put together by a Boston-area brain trust, the conference series explores the history, tactics, and social relevance of internet memes. This weekend in NYC they will present the second iteration of ROFLCon, after a very successful convention at MIT, last year. That version featured classroom panels and backroom parties featuring such internet-famous folks as xkcd, Jay Maynard (a.k.a. The Tron Guy), and Leslie Hall. Saturday's events will still keep you rolling on the floor laughing, while arguably stepping-up the critical discussion. Speakers include the creators of You Suck at Photoshop, Improv Everywhere, Rocketboom, 4Chan, MAKE, YTMND, and all-around internet celebs Bre Pettis and The Obama Girl. While participants like nerdcore DJ MC Frontalot and Ian Spector, creator of the Chuck Norris Fact Generator, are sure to keep the chuckle factor high, there are serious discussions to be had on such topics as Firefox browser plug-ins as artistic media and the cultural impact of the Comic Sans font. No doubt the audience will also offer a star sighting or two. So bone-up on your meme history and get your ROFL on. - Marisa Olson

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OffOn (1967) - Scott Bartlett

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Making of OffOn (1980) - Scott Bartlett


Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog

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Use Your Illusion

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Damon Zucconi, Towards Equillibrium, 2007

Damon Zucconi is a New York-based artist active in the "pro surfer" scene, having participated in both Supercentral and Nasty Nets, but his solo work is more clean-style than his dirt-style counterparts and might more easily be compared to Berlin-based artists AIDS-3D. All are part of a younger generation of artists who came of age with new media and have arrived at a particular fulcrum with respect to both celebrating the utopianism of technology and critiquing its dystopian failures. Next week, Zucconi's first solo show will open at Prato, Italy's Project Gentili gallery. Entitled "Presented as the Problem," the show is organized around the principles of diagnoses and prescriptions and draws on the distinction between treating symptoms versus underlying problems. The artist's approach is thus a rather tactical one, looking for the root impetus for cultural artifacts while also observing the cycles of recursion that swirl around the repetition of pop objects and scenarios. The show includes sculpture, video, and prints that seek to augment "classical dialectics of seeing and believing with eight meditations on contemporary visual culture." According to the gallery, "Each of the works finds temporary equilibrium between the poles of mystification and demystification--image as illusion and illusion as material fact." These works include the mysteriously titled / \ \ / which is a square mirror hung like a diamond with a Blade Runner: Final Cut poster wrapped around it from the back like an origami throwing star, and the eponymous centerpiece, "Presents Itself as the Problem," which is a novelty persistence of vision alarm clock whose digital readout displays only the message "I Want To Believe." X-Files viewers will appreciate this famous message of hope. Zucconi will also show a new video animation, Untitled (SONY, Lateral) which flips the axis on his earlier ...

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"Persuasive Games: The Proceduralist Style" on Gamasutra

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Persuasive Games: The Proceduralist Style by Ian Bogost

Ian Bogost describes what he sees as "proceduralist style" in the "art games" of Jason Rohrer, Jonathan Blow, and Rod Humble in his article "Persuasive Games: The Proceduralist Style" on Gamasutra. Bogost defines the "proceduralist" genre, typified by the work of these particular designers, by their contemplative mode, minimalist design, and conceptually driven structure. In the conclusion, Bogost emphasizes that these characteristics emerged in response to the direction of more mainstream games. What follows is a short excerpt from that section, which I found particularly interesting, but the article is worth reading in its entirety. The comments are worth checking out as well, as readers not only parse Bogost's argument but also grapple with the stigma surrounding art criticism (which appears to be more pronounced within this context).

In artgames of the sort in question, the procedural rhetoric does not argue a position, but rather characterizes an idea. These games say something about how an experience of the world works, how it feels to experience or to be subjected to some sort of situation: marriage, mortality, regret, confusion, whatever.

As a style, proceduralism takes a stand contrary to conventional wisdom in game design. At a time when video games focus on the realistic simulation of experiences, proceduralism offers metaphorical treatments of ideas.

At a time when video games focus on player gratification, proceduralism invites player introspection. At a time when video games focus on facilitating user creativity, proceduralism lays bare the subjective truth of an individual creator.

Whether or not the style has a stable future in its own right, it issues a specific challenge to our conception of our medium from within. And that if nothing else is most certainly a feature of art.

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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Join us Friday January 30th for Naeem Mohaiemen's Young Man Was No Longer A... at the New Museum. In this talk, Mohaiemen will discuss his ongoing investigation of failed revolutionary movements from the 1970s. Mohaiemen will tie his subject matter to the present through personal anecdote and historical commentary. Young Man Was No Longer A... is partially funded by Rhizome's Commissions Program. This event is part of Rhizome's ongoing New Silent Series at the New Museum.

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Telescopic Text (2008) - Joe Davis

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Downloading Pixels (2009) - Scott Blake

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From the artist's statement:

This net art piece captures the flow of downloading images onto your computer. This animation will look different depending on what web browser you are using. If you are using Firefox try viewing this in Explorer or on an iPhone. Internet connection speed and computer processing power will also determine the final the outcome. Experiment with the different settings and unusual patterns will emerge.

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Gaze (2009) - Pascual Sisto

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