Posts for September 2009

Interview with James Voorhies

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Image: Front of Office of Collective Play, the temporary storefront space that will be used for programming during "Descent to Revolution"

Last Thursday, the new exhibition “Descent to Revolution” organized by Columbus College of Art & Design’s Bureau for Open Culture opened in Columbus, Ohio. Taking place around the city and at a temporary location in a former storefront downtown, “Descent to Revolution” will host residencies by five artist collectives and collaboratives over the course of the next three months. These groups will take up projects that engage and respond to the city of Columbus. The first resident is Portland-based collective Red76, followed by Claire Fontaine, Learning Site, REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, and Tercerunquinto. “Descent to Revolution” curator and the director of exhibitions for the Bureau for Open Culture James Voorhies took a moment to answer a few questions about the show. You can follow the exhibition as it develops through the "Descent to Revolution" blog, here. - Ceci Moss

It seems like the multidisciplinary and fluid nature of the exhibitory framework for "Descent to Revolution" is a natural extension of the Bureau for Open Culture's activities and ethos. I am wondering if you can speak more about the Bureau for Open Culture itself and how the space came into being.

Yes. "Descent to Revolution" is, in a way, a culmination of some of the underlying ideas of what we're doing at the Bureau for Open Culture. The Bureau for Open Culture was created as a way to give shape to the exhibition program I've been operating since 2006. Many of the projects we've organized have taken place outside of the gallery or had components outside of it and often involved participants from diverse disciplines and locations like libraries, non-profit music venues, city-owned sites, empty storefronts and other area universities ...

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Tiny Sketch - Submissions Closed

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The submission phase for Tiny Sketch -- Rhizome and http://www.openprocessing.org"OpenProcessing's 200 character Processing competition -- ended at 11:59 PM on Sunday. In a little over a month we recieved more than 300 submissions! The winner of the contest will be determined by Rhizome's membership through an Open Vote taking place next week (September 21st - September 27th). Check back here or the Tiny Sketch competition page on Monday, September 21st to find out how you can cast your vote.

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Scrollbars (2009) - Andrey Yazev

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untitled scroll #2 (2007) - Chris Collins

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scrollbar (2002) - Jan Robert Leegte

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Going down (2002) - Claude Closky

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The Internet Mapping Project (2009) - Kevin Kelley

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The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It's expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders.

And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there.

Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.

I've become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I've been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That's all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.

-- STATEMENT FROM THE PROJECT SITE

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Speaking in Third Person

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MIT Press recently published Third Person, an essay collection that follows First Person and Second Person in a series exploring how new media has changed the roles of author and audience. Third Person declares its subject to be “vast narratives,” which editors Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin define as cultural products that extend beyond the physical and temporal parameters usually associated with their medium. While most television detective shows devote one episode to one investigation, The Wire, for example, can stretch a case out over a season, and the continuity of characters and settings puts demands on a viewer’s memory that other shows rarely make. If the Harry Potter series of books is considered the authoritative source of that fictional world even after the release of the films, Lucasfilm delegates storytelling duties for Star Wars among books, movies, and animated series, and each addition extends the fictional universe in new directions in time and space. Vast narratives can also be generative frameworks that allow for many reconfigurations of the characters and settings over several instantiations, as in computer role-playing games and their pencil-and-paper counterparts like Dungeons & Dragons.

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Corridor (1970) - Standish Lawder

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Music by Terry Riley. Sound for prologue by Standish Lawder.

Originally from UbuWeb.

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's "Levels of Nothingness" at the Guggenheim

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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Levels of Nothingness (Mock-up), 2009

When artist and curator Hilla Rebay hung Vasily Kandinsky’s paintings at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which she convinced her lover Solomon R. Guggenheim to open in the late 1920s, she created a sensual environment for them with colored walls, faint music, and perfumed air. It was an approximate construction of an inner, spiritual harmony unencumbered by reminders of nature, in keeping with the ideas of Kandinsky’s influential tract “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” While multimedia updates of art from an older period risk becoming mere bells and whistles on a body of work that stands on its own merits, Kandinsky’s intense interest in synaesthesia—and his exhibition history with Guggenheim’s collection—make it seem like he might be sympathetic to opportunities for multiple sensory stimulation afforded by today’s data processing technologies. Perhaps that’s why Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum commissioned an immersive light-and-sound piece from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer to mark the opening of the museum’s major Kandinsky retrospective, the first for the artist in more than twenty years. Levels of Nothingness, which Lozano-Hemmer developed in collaboration with philosopher Brian Massumi, takes its inspiration from Kandinsky’s 1912 essay “Yellow Sound.” The installation generates visuals from phonetic data produced by reading philosophical texts by Kandinsky and others. (At the performance, Isabella Rosselini will kick off the readings, and audience members will be encouraged to continue). Rather than translating one kind of information into another to spell out a neatly servable metaphor—as Lozano-Hemmer did, for example, with Pulse Park, which presented Madison Square Park as a living organism by animating it with lights activated by the heart rates of passers-by—Levels of Nothingness promises to be more meditative and fuzzy, suggesting the connection between thought and ...

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