Posts for April 2010

Required Reading

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Jane and Louise Wilson, Sealander (2006), production still

In a work such as Martha Rosler’s 1993 video How Do We Know What Home Looks Like?, the decayed and contested architecture of Modernism appears both outdated and up-for-grabs: a fading Utopian inheritance that barely hangs on to its (then routinely disparaged) potential for collective aspiration. Rosler’s intimate exploration of Le Cobusier’s Unité d’Habitation at Firminy-Vert, in south-central France, showed a dilapidated building that had been in part redecorated by its tenants (as per conservative clichés about the impersonality of high-rise living) with aspirantly bourgeois wallpapers and private souvenirs, but still retained a sense of embattled technological community, typified by the radio station installed on its roof. It was, however, among artists who referred, directly or obliquely, to the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Bloc that the theme of ruin flourished in the 1990s and beyond. Tacita Dean’s film Sound Mirrors (1999) broods over the remains of British prewar acoustic early-warning technology that seemed to presage the silos and satellite dishes of the Cold War, while later Berlin-based films such as Fernsehturm (Television Tower, 2001) and Palast (Palace, 2004) more readily reflect on the ageing or half-demolished architecture of the East. That strand of explicitly Ballardian ruin lust has continued, too, in certain works by Jane and Louise Wilson - notably, their treatment of Victor Pasmore’s Apollo Pavilion in the postwar town of Peterlee, UK, in A Free and Anonymous Monument (2003), and their own return to the Atlantic Wall in Sealander (2006) - and in the ambitious project of the Center for Land Use Interpretation to document (among many other types of landscape) the defunct sites and artefacts left behind by the US nuclear weapons and space programmes in the second ...

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Rapture Heap v2.0 - Back 2 Reality (2010) - Eilis McDonald

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Eilis McDonald's Rapture Heap is a multi-phased project that centres around the occupation of one of Dublin's many empty retail spaces. The first installment of the project saw McDonald curate an exhibition that highlighted the artists that influence her and brought to Ireland some of today's most prominent internet based artists (http://www.raptureheap.com/v1). "Back to Reality" is the second installment of the series. Here McDonald delivers a body of work that is a result of her 6 month residency in the retail space. Commissioned under the Per Cent for Art Scheme for Dublin City Council’s Liberty Corner, the residency period afforded the artist time and space to explore the wealth of diverse activity in the surrounding area - from the various cultural institutions, such as the LAB and DanceHouse, to the Buddhist Centre, €2 shops, financial institutions, beauty salons and 24-hour internet cafés. With this particular urban spectrum serving as her backdrop, McDonald searches for the sublime and ethereal by seeking out the spiritual and subliminal. McDonald recontextualises the discarded artefacts of the local domesticity found in charity shops and fuses them with video assemblages that include a transient public contacted through advertising and classifieds in the CityAds Weekly newspaper. "Back to Reality"; the research phase of the Rapture Heap project brings together a number of varied strands of interests and motivations. The projects future online presence provides access to a broad national and international public and an opportunity to relate to a wider demographic, while the installation provides a visceral, immersive physical environment. "Back to Reality" presents a story-thus-far in preparation for the 3rd installment of the Rapture Heap Project.

-- FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR RAPTURE HEAP 2.0: BACK 2 REALITY

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Yes No Party (2009) - Samara Golden

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Live video installation constructed out of altered found objects, lazer prints from ebay and blogs, mirrors, wood, and foamcore. This piece includes a video camera that broadcasts live images to a monitor at its base. A viewer observing the sculpture is captured by the video camera, and then is able to see an altered version of themselves (via a video mixer) on the monitor.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S WEBSITE

[For more on Golden's work, read "Interview with Samara Golden" by Chloe Gray]

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Touch Not My Anointed (2008) - Double Happiness

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Triple Canopy: The Medium Is Tedium on Rhizome's Vimeo

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If you weren't able to attend February's New Silent Series event, Triple Canopy: The Medium Is Tedium, the videos are now available online via Rhizome's Vimeo account. Check it out!

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for putting these clips up.



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Still born (2010) - Rosa Menkman

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Music by Extraboy.

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Required Reading

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Euphonia Speaking Machine

Media archaeology is an approach to media studies that has emerged over the last two decades. It borrows from Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, and Friedrich Kittler, but also diverges from all of these theorists to form a unique set of tools and practices. Media archaeology is not a school of thought or a specific technique, but is as an emerging attitude and cluster of tactics in contemporary media theory that is characterized by a desire to uncover and circulate repressed or neglected media approaches and technologies. Its handful of proponents -- including Siegfried Zielinski, Wolfgang Ernst, Thomas Elsaesser, and Erkki Huhtamo -- are primarily interested in mobilizing histories and devices that have been sidelined during the construction of totalizing histories of popular forms of communication, including the histories of film, television, and new media. The lost traces of media technologies are deemed important topics to be excavated and studied; "dead" media technologies and idiosyncratic developments reveal important themes, structures, and links in the history of communication that would normally be occluded by more obvious narratives. This includes tracing irregular developments and unconventional genealogies of present-day communication technologies, believing that the most interesting developments often happen in the neglected margins of histories or artifacts.

In 2007, Jussi Parikka published Digital Contagions: A Media Archaeology of Computer Viruses (Peter Lang Publishing, New York). In Digital Contagions, Parikka provides an insightful articulation of media archaeology as a research methodology, which he implements to construct a clear cultural history of computer viruses. Parikka inverts the assumption that computer viruses -- which are semi-autonomous and self-replicating pieces of computer code -- are contrary to contemporary digital culture, instead arguing that computer viruses define the social and material landscape of computer mediated communication. Although computer viruses are often considered as a disease and breakdown within the ecology ...

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TV Medley

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Still from "The Tenth Planet" Fan Restoration

Doctor Who? Cops? House Music? Yes - all of these seemingly disparate things will come together under the same roof in a screening organized by artist Paul Slocum at Light Industry in Brooklyn on Tuesday, April 6th at 7:30pm. The program will begin with a fan restoration of a lost episode of Doctor Who, "The Tenth Planet," followed by a premiere of Slocum's new work Cops with House Music, which sets an episode of Cops to a house mix. While "The Tenth Planet" exists as a strange artifact of fan culture, where Doctor Who buffs re-enact the script through a montage of captured television footage and stills from the show, Cops with House Music is a reflection on two genres emergent from the late 80s -- reality TV and house music -- which continue to prevail in popular culture today.

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The Society of the Spectacle (Now in 3D) (2009) - Pascual Sisto

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Psychedelic Death Vomit (Slight Return) 3D (2010) - Yoshi Sodeoka

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