Artist Dan Graham (born 1942) has embraced a wide range of media and genres including film, video, performance, installation, architecture (he collaborated with Jeff Wall in 1989 to build Children’s Pavilion), women’s magazines (Figurative—made in 1965 and reproduced in Harper’s Bazaar in 1968), and rock music (where he has collaborated with musicians such as Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth). Graham is well known for his documentary Rock My Religion (1982-84), a fifty-two minute video that explores the religious and spiritual tendencies underlying the American obsession with rock music. In the exhibition catalog for Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty, Diedrich Diederichsen claims that this video is “one of the most important texts on the theory of rock music.” Rock My Religion, as well as many other of these interdisciplinary projects are included in Graham’s current solo show, Dan Graham: Beyond, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
The afternoon of May 30 was clear and sunny, which probably accounted for the low turnout at the New Museum’s panel discussion Networked Equality. Too bad, because the presentations were engaging and generated a lively Q&A; session afterward. More than a month later, the topics raised still seem worth discussion, especially in light of the ongoing conversation about political art and the content of Rhizome’s coverage. The speakers at Networked Equality were researchers, activists, one-time dot-com entrepreneurs and self-described nerds Ethan Zuckerman and Omar Wasow. Zuckerman discussed how the internet’s vaunted potential to increase the flow of ideas across borders of nation, race, and class had been stunted by homophily, the tendency of people to stick to like-minded groups. His project Global Voices is one effort to counter that inclination by aggregating and translating independent media. Wasow, an education specialist, emphasized that access to technology would not narrow the gap between classes, and education was the key to helping disadvantaged segments of the population become participants in a networked economy.
Zuckerman is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where he said his older colleagues—academics who already had established careers when the internet appeared-- greeted networked technologies enthusiastically, predicting earth-shattering change and falling borders. To the contrary, Zuckerman and Wasow’s peers, who helped build the early internet, approached it with a healthy skepticism. This attitude resonates with some pioneering net art works, such as those of Heath Bunting and Daniel Garcia Andujar who reacted sharply to utopian views of networked technologies. BorderXing, Bunting’s project with Kayle Brandon, offered a database with instructions on how to cross borders illegally, but limited access to that database; the project showed literally how political borders were in fact ...
Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White, founders of the Open Music Archive, will present Ghost Trace Stellar at the Star and Shadow Cinema tonight in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Performed at a volunteer built and run cinema and open space, the event is a reanimation and expansion of the concept of Free/Libre and Open Source software models to musical proprietary, authorship and distribution.
The event is formulated around an open invitation to artists, musicians, producers and DJs to perform covers or reinterpretations of the 1920s and 30s out-of-copyright folk, blues, and jazz collated from the Open Music Archive. UK terms of copyright for literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work are set at the life of the author plus 70 years, and at 50 years from the date of recording for sound recordings. Artists have been invited to develop new works from tracks such as 'One Dime Blues' by Blind Lemon Jefferson and 'Ragtime Annie' by Charlie Poole and The North Caroline Ramblers Group. These performances will be recorded and licensed under Creative Commons Share-Alike, to generate a new resource for future use.
The Open Music Archive is an initiative to source and distribute copyright-expired music recordings, it is intended as a platform for the exchange and distribution of media-bound recordings and as a site for the creation of new collaborations. Ghost Trace Stellar is a collaboration with Polytechnic as part of their ongoing media ecologies programme.