Posts for June 2009

Steve Color (2007) - Nikolaus Baumgarten

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Steve Color is a multi-platform computer game that allows the user to pursue "act's of vandalism with color to historical sites" including Schloss Neuschwanstein and the St Basils Kathedral.

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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We're reporting from No Soul For Sale this week and yesterday I took a moment to speak to Jim Thomas from L'appartement 22, who have a space directly adjacent to the Rhizome exhibition "The World Is Flat". L'appartement 22 is based out of Rabat, Morocco, but also exist as a nomadic entity, staging outpost projects in multiple locations, such as Gwangju, Brussels, and Bergen. It began as a series of exhibitions within director and founder Abdellah Karroum's apartment and expanded from there, and now they host a residency program in Rabat and a number of other projects, one of which is the online radio station RadioApartment 22. For the duration of the festival, they will stream live ambient audio from the 548 West 22nd Street space as well as interviews with fellow No Soul For Sale participants on RadioApartment 22. I spent a little time noodling around their archives yesterday afternoon, I really enjoyed listening to "Makan, A Place for Live Music and Meeting in Cairo" as well as "Safaan / Touria Hadraoui & Boté percussion". Not all of their content is directly music-related, there is also documentation from previous L'appartement 22 exhibitions such as "No Food for Visitors" as well as interviews with artists who have previously been involved with the organization. Pictured above is the condenser microphone in their booth.

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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Roxana Pérez-Méndez, Caridad, 2009 (Installation at Vox Populi booth at No Soul For Sale)

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Roxana Pérez-Méndez, Caridad, 2009 (Installation at Vox Populi booth at No Soul For Sale)

Roxana Pérez-Méndez is a multi-media performance artist who works closely on the fragility of contemporary identity. Her recent piece, Caridad (April, 2009) is on display this week during No Soul For Sale at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit artist collective and gallery Vox Populi's space on the fourth floor. Caridad is a intricate installation that combines DVD video, a pepper-ghost hologram, and model dingy boat and mechanical fan. - Carolyn Kane

Can you tell me about this work and this strange screen?

A pepper-ghost hologram is a two-way glass mirror that was originally developed in 1860s and used for creating illusions, known as “ghosts,” in theatrical performances. It was also used up by Disney in their production of the Haunted Mansion. The peppers ghost screen acts as both a mirror and reflecting medium, simultaneously producing reality and illusion.

The first aspect of the installation is my performance, a continuous shot of me rowing. This performance was shot on green screen with the background removed in post-production. The image is then played on a DVD and monitor that is reflected onto the pepper screen, at a 45-degree angle. Next, on the other side of the screen there is a model dingy boat, mechanical fan, and blue strips of paper that fly like moving water. This scene is also reflected in the two-way mirror, but from the reverse side. In short, both sides are caught in the center of the same image, sandwiched there, giving the illusion, and producing the reality, of being one.

This triangular structure is also echoed thematically. From a frontal point of view, the pepper screen appears to convey only one image ...

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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Image: Kaffe Matthews, Sonic Bed_Marfa, 2008 (In the Ballroom Marfa space at No Soul For Sale)

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Image: Kaffe Matthews, Sonic Bed_Marfa, 2008 (In the Ballroom Marfa space at No Soul For Sale)

I asked a stranger lying in Sonic Bed_Marfa, a sculpture by artist Kaffe Matthews, to describe the sensation in two words. He said simply, "Sonic Massage." Non-profit arts space Ballroom Marfa is currently showing Sonic Bed_Marfa in their section on the third floor of No Soul For Sale. The piece was originally commissioned for their 2008 exhibition on sound art and public space, "The Marfa Sessions" curated by Regine Basha, Rebecca Gates and Lucy Raven. The work is one in a series of Sound Beds that take their materials and bedding design from their local surroundings. Sound Bed_Marfa is constructed out of wood gathered from around the Marfa area and its bright yellow bedding is inspired by the color used to paint houses in neighboring Ojinaga. The color yellow also figures into the title of the composition "Yellow" by Matthews which effectively encircles the visitor and vibrates the bed through a 12 channel sound system hidden underneath the mattress and in the side panels.

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On Tour

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Image: Sign for Mama internet center

This month I’m traveling through southeastern Europe from Venice to Athens, where I’m looking at art and blogging. Part two of the travelogue is about Zagreb, Croatia. Part one is here.

Zagreb’s center has more street names than streets; the names change every few blocks so meters can be allotted to every worthy Croatian hero. And many names differ from the ones streets bore twenty years ago, since a different history needed to be inscribed in Zagreb’s map after Yugoslavia dissolved and Croatia became independent. “The Renaming Machine,” an exhibition currently on view at Zagreb’s Galerija Miroslav Kraljevic, addresses the obsession with names. Sanja Ivekovic’s contribution is inspired by Zagreb’s Street of the Unknown Heroine—a name that is both unsettling and appropriate when virtually all other streets are named for men—which takes the form of a poster with maps, e-mails, and other supporting documents describing the artist’s attempt to give the same name to a street in Utrecht during her retrospective at Van Abbemuseum.

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Image: Installation at Touch Me festival in Zagreb, December 2008

Just as street names reflect political values, so do the uses of buildings on them. After arriving in Zagreb and settling in the Angelina Jolie room at The Movie Hotel, I met with Tomislav Medak, director of Mama, an organization that was founded in 1999 as a center for internet activists and artists, but in recent years has shifted its attention to urban development, specifically the use of former industrial sites that abound in Zagreb (as they do in many other large, formerly socialist cities). Mama lobbies the municipal government to reserve abandoned factories for public use—whether cultural activities or low-cost housing—rather than handing them to private investors ...

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Reminder

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As part of Rhizome's participation in No Soul For Sale, Anna Lundh will stage a workshop/performance on Saturday June 27th from 2-3pm on the first floor of the 548 West 22nd Street space in Chelsea. Based around her work HEXA_FLEXAGON_F_EVER (2008), the event will walk participants through the process of hexaflexagon construction and present a short history of the hexaflexagons in the form of a corporate seminar. The event is free and open to the public.

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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Image: Videos in Kling & Bang's space at No Soul For Sale

I talked to Hekla Dögg Jónsdóttir of Kling & Bang, an artist-run gallery based in Reykjavik, Iceland, yesterday about their organization and their set up during No Soul For Sale. With three projectors, 5 or so small DVD players, and two flat screens, Kling & Bang packed the audio/visual material into their space. I asked Hekla about this, and she said that they brought 44 DVDs by artists who show and collaborate with Kling & Bang to the festival, and switched them out throughout the day. The problem, of course, is that it was difficult to tell what was what, but with two representatives from Kling & Bang right there, I was able to talk to them about the works. When I was in the booth, they were screening a video by John Bock, titled Skipholt, that he had produced in collaboration with Kling & Bang. There were also a handful of flatworks and sculptures on view. The one pictured below, by Egill Kalevi Karlsson, is constructed entirely of wet clay, and as the water circulates, the fountain slowly falls apart. It also resembles excrement in a playground kind of way, and with a gaudy rotating glass ball as its centerpiece, I couldn't help but chuckle.

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Image: Egill Kalevi Karlsson, Fountain, 2009

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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Local experimental film and video festival Migrating Forms are screening "Half-inch Half-life" in their booth during No Soul For Sale this week. For this film program, the organizers asked their network of friends to submit tapes from their personal VHS collections, which are available for viewing on a television set in the space at specific times.

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Rhizome Commissions Announced!

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Rhizome is pleased to announce the ten emerging artists and collectives that have been awarded grants through the Rhizome Commissions Program. All emblematic of new directions in the field of new media art, the works manifest in a variety of forms from performance, sound to web-based works and touch upon themes from cultural and historic memory, to reality TV, to the possibilities for humanizing participants in mass social networking systems.

Two of the commissions were determined by Rhizome’s membership through an open vote; eight were determined by a jury including Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Design at the Museum of Modern Art; Jason Kottke, blogger, Kottke.org; Henriette Huldisch Independent Curator and co-curator of the 2008 Whitney Biennial; Monica Narula, artist, Raqs Media Collective; and Paul Pieroni, freelance curator, critic and Associate Director of SEVENTEEN.

The Rhizome Commissions Program is supported by the Jerome Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the Rockefeller NYC Cultural Innovation Fund, and Rhizome members.

2010 Rhizome Commissions

Jury Awards:

Toby Heys of Battery Operated and Steve Goodman aka Kode9, Unsound Systems
Unsound Systems will be an hour-long sonic documentary that explores the ways in which sound, infrasound, and ultrasound have been utilized as weapons, as apparatus for psychological manipulation, and as instruments of physiological influence by industrial businesses, civilian police forces, and military organizations around the world.

Heba Amin, Fragmented City
Amin writes “Cairo exudes the clichés of a romanticized Ancient Egypt and, through its tourism industry, is banking on fantasy.” In this multi-faceted project, Amin will research and locate abandoned buildings in Cairo and then populate Google Earth with sketch-up models of these structures to “counteract the skewed understanding of the city’s experience online where only models of ...

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White Glove Tracking (2007) - Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth

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On May 4th, 2007, we asked internet users to help isolate Michael Jackson's white glove in all 10,060 frames of his nationally televised landmark performance of Billy Jean. 72 hours later 125,000 gloves had been located. wgt_data_v1.txt is the culmination of data collected. It is released here for all to download and use as an input into any digital system.

-- FROM THE ARTIST DESCRIPTION

A 2007 Rhizome Commission

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