Posts for March 2009

Derek Jarman's Films at X and on UbuWeb

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Image: Derek Jarman, Imagining October, 1984 (Installation shot at X)

A survey of Derek Jarman's early films opened earlier this month at the Dia space on West 22nd, comprising a significant portion of programming by X, the new initiative that will activate the space with exhibitions and conversations over the next year. Spanning a massive 3 floors, the show is easily one of the most elaborate installations of moving image work I've ever seen. Although Jarman’s works were originally filmed on Super 8, and, as such, not intended to be transferred to video and then blown up, the installation, with films projected large on video in multiple, open screening spaces, brought new meaning to the original works. I should note my visit to Dia came after a rather disheartening afternoon at the Armory Show, where the pitiful few booths actually screening video choose to exhibit the works in a corner, or in one case, in a corner near the floor.

In his recent discussion with Dara Birnbaum in this month's Artforum, Cory Arcangel asks, "Is there even such a thing as a bastardized medium today?" in reference to increased methods of distribution within the larger cultural realm. (Find an online excerpt from the interview here.) One could suggest that the intimacy of super 8 is compromised in the Jarman show, and, in that, it represents a "bastardization" of the medium. But the theatrical, immersive installation still invites a contemplative engagement with the work, especially the small room and sound system built for Imagining October (1984). I would argue that the installation adds another level to Jarman's films, and in an age of "bastardized mediums" we should consider how these translations can expand a work's reception, not diminish them.

While we're on the topic ...

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Tactical Transactions

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Image: UBERMORGEN, Superenhanced Generator (Logo), 2009

If you're not already familiar with UBERMORGEN.COM, now would be a good time to get acquainted. The duo formed by Hans Bernhard and Lizvlx came onto the tactical media scene in the days of Toywar. When the Bernhard-founded group etoy was taken-on by e-commerce retailer etoys.com, the artists successfully brought the company down, thus providing a keystone moment in the perpetual headbutt between artists and corporations and launching the press release as the tactical media artist's weapon par excellence. In the spirit of many a corporate breakup, the participants in Toywar went on to funnel their win into the launch of new brands and creative identities. Notable among them are the Yes Men and UBERMORGEN. Taking as their name a German word that refers to the perpetual hope of a better tomorrow, the focus of UBERMORGEN's projects has been centered largely around legal issues related to copyright and surveillance. These works include [V]ote-Auction (2000), in which they attempted to auction-off a US Presidential vote to the highest bidder, and the Rhizome-commissioned project Google Will Eat Itself (GWEI) (2006), and "autocannibalistic model" in which revenue from auto-placed Google ads was used to buy Google stock, with a business plan to turn ownership of Google over to its users. In collaboration with Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, Lizvlx and Bernhard recently took on Amazon.com in a duel that pitted their "robot-perversion technology" against the company's proprietary book preview software. According to the artists, their copyright-busting book-downloading tool was eventually sold to Amazon for an "undisclosed sum," but the story of the face-off (entitled Amazon Noir, 2006) floats among the ranks of other tactical media mythologies--not unlike some of the projects by their frequent collaborators 0100101110101101.org--demonstrating that ...

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New Me, music video for Jamie Lidell (2006) - Aleksandra Domanovic

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Manifestation (2009) - Murdim

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Totem 3 meters high - nine 19" lcd screens - nine Blu-ray disc players


Manifestation is a 20 minutes photography of the paris manifestation, the 29 of january 2009.It's a moving picture where you can see at the same time thousands of people all together and one one by one as they come closer. It's shot with ten hdv cameras then stitched together and broadcast on a totem made with 9 lcd screens.

-- FROM ARTBASE ENTRY

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Closing Tomorrow, Catch It Today

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Video: Paul Sharits, Shutter Interface, 1975 (Installation at Greene Naftali, 2009)

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Image: Paul Sharits, Shutter Interface, 1975 (Installation at Greene Naftali, 2009)

A restoration of Paul Sharits' 1975 installation Shutter Interface, now on view at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York, will close this weekend, so get over to Chelsea while you can. Rarely screened during Sharits' lifetime, this project was recovered in a collaborative effort by Anthology Film Archives and Greene Naftali. A noted example of "expanded cinema," four 16mm films loop onto four separate screens, accompanied by four soundtracks played simultaneously. The resulting color and sound feed in and out, to a deliriously pulsating effect. A collection of Sharits' drawings and diagrams are on display in the second room, providing an overview of Sharits' research and interests.

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Media Studies

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This is the first installment of a monthly column by Rhizome's Contributing Editor Marisa Olson. "Media Studies" will explore timely issues within the broader field of technology. Each post will pay specific attention to the relationship between these subjects and artistic practice. For this column, Marisa provides a reading list on the topic of "Experimental Geography". In recent years, access to geographical tools and data collection has expanded rapidly, allowing many artists to rethink their relationship to the earth and geographical study. This column provides a summation of publications relevant to these developments.

Please join us tomorrow for a panel, organized by Marisa, on "Experimental Geography". Beginning at 3pm in the New Museum's theater, Creative Time curator Nato Thompson, who curated an exhibition of the same title for Independent Curators International, will lead a discussion with artists Lize Mogel and Damon Rich. - Ceci Moss

The following is an initial list of readings that might be of interest to anyone researching experimental geography. It includes key theoretical texts on the nature of space, texts on locative media, and works on radical cartography. Many of them cross over into game theory, cyberfeminism, relations between real and virtual spaces, surveillance, tactical media, psychogeography, situationism, sound art, networked cultures, site-specific installation art, and other related sub-themes. It's tempting to sort these into temporal or topical categories, but to do so might be to inappropriately compartmentalize an ongoing discourse that moves in new directions every day.

This is only a starting point. Please feel free to add texts in the comments. Links to related syllabi would also be a great resource!

Janet Abrams and Peter Hall (eds), Else/Where: Mapping -- New Cartographies of Networks and Territories, Univ Minnesota Design Institute, 2006

Saul Albert, "Locative Literacy," Mute, July 12, 2004

Marc Augé, Non-Places ...

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Solitude (2009) - Bailey Salisbury

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HEXA_FLEXAGON_F_EVER (2008) - Anna Lundh

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Image: HEXA_FLEXAGON_F_EVER Myspace page (Screengrab)

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Image: Installation with information station, 3 computers,
display of hexaflexagons, Anthology/Manual, reading area

The hexaflexagon is a strip of paper, that has been folded into a hexagon. This two dimensional shape can then be turned inside out, flexed, so that a number of faces that were previously hidden will appear. In theory, it can have an infinite number of faces, although in reality, the thickness of the paper sets the limit. It was discovered 1939 by a British fellowship student at Princeton, who started to fold the strips he had just trimmed off his American "letter-size" sheets to fit his A4 binder. It had a revival in the late 50s, when it first became popular among magic buffs in New York, and after an article in Scientific American, it became something of a craze.

To investigate which connections that can be made between the ideas and the people associated with the hexaflexagon, I use the digital network Myspace as my tool. A some-what old fashioned and analog phenomenon is applied to something very contemporary and digital. Right now, HEXA_FLEXAGON_F_EVER is trying to become friends with Alan Turing, Lewis Carroll and Katherine Hayles. It’s an exponentially growing mapping, where more dimensions will uncover, for an unforeseeable future.

-- EXCERPT FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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General Web Content

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General Web Content is an ongoing series that spotlights developments on the internet which bear on aesthetic and/or cultural concerns. In this edition, we turn to eBay blogs. The authors here assemble eBay listings in their posts according to an overarching idea, theme or sensibility. If you have an eBay blog you would like to share, please post links in the comments section.

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Sentimental Value

About Sentimental Value:
I’ve always had a love for vintage objects and a curiosity about their former lives. Sentimental Value collects some of the more noteworthy stories about clothing and accessories I’ve discovered while digging through Ebay.


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Reference Library

About Reference Library:
Most of these posts originate as my disappointments on eBay. You can sort by the REF labels or search for something specific.


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Hanne's Fashion Blog

About Hanne's Fashion Blog:
Welcome to Hanne's Fashion Blog! Hanne's Fashion Blog is an Ebay Blog, filtering the greatest stuff from Ebay for you. The best fashion website during a recession!

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Rhizome Celebrates Ada Lovelace Day

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Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day honoring women's contributions to technology. Named for Ada Lovelace, who invented one of the first computer programs for the Analytical Engine in the mid-19th century, the event asks bloggers to post entries featuring admirable women in technology in an effort to raise awareness of female forerunners in an often male-dominated sector. We'll be posting about some of the women that we look up to, both within the field of technology as well those working at the intersection between art and technology.

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