Posts for July 2010

HANDS 2 HEAVEN INFINITE (2009) - Laura Brothers

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Boolean Nature. Rock. (2008) - Hugo Arcier

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[3d image in 80 cm x 120 cm format.]

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[Previzualisation. Sculpture created using a prototyping technique. Size: 15 cm in diameter.]

In logic and computer programming, a Boolean operator is a type of variable between two states. In computer-generated imagery, Boolean operations enable us to subtract, add or create an intersection between two objects.

In this series I subtract a sphere from a landscape. The latter becomes hollow. It is sterile, it lacks something, the breath of life. It is a morbid image: a Boolean nature.

A sculpture completes the image by representing the missing part.
The sum of the image and the sculpture forms the landscape in its entirety.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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In Search of Reality at the Berlin Biennial

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This disjunct between reality and its illusory other, the world of privileged consumerism, was at the heart of the 6th Berlin Biennial. In the exhibition catalog, curator Kathrin Rhomberg wrote that there is a growing "gap between the world we talk about and the world as it really is." In an effort to close this gap, the Biennial wrestled with contemporary issues and realities far beyond the gallery walls - an all-too-rare impulse in the hermetic field of visual art.

Unfortunately, this Biennial may well have convinced many of its visitors that artists should stick to the studio; too many of the works lacked any nuance in their portrayal of external realities. There was a highly unpleasant video of a horse being knocked off its feet, subtly titled Problems with Relationship. There was Bernard Bazile's inept installation of shouty protest videos from Paris. There was Sebastian Stumpf running into private garages just as the doors closed behind him, Indiana Jones-style.

Yet there were also moments of brilliance along the way. At its best, the Biennial yielded keen insights into the conditions of contemporary capitalism and the relationship between the personal and the political. Without further ado, here are some of the highlights.

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Infinite Judd.com (2010) - Chris Collins

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Death Star YouTube (2010) - Matthew Williamson

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Game Glitch Gifs (2010) - Max Capacity

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[T&C; Surf Designs Glitch]

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[Section Z Glitch]

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[T&C; Surf Designs Glitch]

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[Ninja Gaiden Glitch]

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388 (2010) - Andrey Yazev

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Homebrew Electronics

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Leon and Brian Dewan Playing the Dual Primate Console

Homebrew Electronics is a new series on the Rhizome blog. For these posts, I will be conducting studio visits with artists and inventors who create unique electronic instruments.

Last week, I met with cousins Brian and Leon Dewan of Dewanatron at Leon’s apartment/workshop in New Rochelle, NY. I first encountered their whimsical, one-of-a-kind instruments at a solo exhibition at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn a few years ago. Not only do they produce and exhibit their own instruments, they use them in performances and in recordings as well. They split the labor evenly - Leon builds the circuits for each instrument, and Brian crafts the consoles that contain them at his home in Catskill, NY. Despite their jetlag from a recent trip to Los Angeles (Brian had screened his film strips at the Museum of Jurassic Technology’s theater), the Dewans gave me a thorough walkthrough of their work, patiently explaining how each of their creations functioned.



Dual Primate Console

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The Dewans use the Dual Primate Console quite a bit in their performances; it also made a starring appearance on their album Semi-Automatic. Built for two operators (or “primates”), each side provides four rhythmically independent voices, which can be programmed using a rotary telephone dial.

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Rotary Dial on the Dual Primate Console

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They got the idea to use a rotary telephone dial in this fashion from antique Language Lab Machines, which also integrate telephone dials into their interface. The rows of switches control the voices, and Nixie bulbs lining the top of the instrument indicate the different voices selected by the telephone dial. These bulbs were produced from the 1950s through the 1970s and were a precursor to LED displays.

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Close-up of Nixie bulbs on the Dual Primate Console

The bottom ...

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Memory (2010) - Tabor Robak

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Infinite Stream Loop (from the series Laps) (2010) - Art of Failure (Nicolas Maigret and Nicolas Montgermont)

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LISTEN TO INFINITE STREAM LOOP

Infinite Stream Loop is an audio stream traveling through the world wide web since the 1st of july 2010

The field of research "Laps" focuses on generating sensible representations of Internet by using it as a broadcasting space. The spatial and geographic properties of the Network are highlighted by broadcasting audio streams that travel and reverberate trough the web. Listening to these audio streams by using specific processes* allows to make audible an infinity of transformations that modify the sound as it circulates on the web. These alterations are comparable to a form of erosion caused by the network space - they are a key to allow different mental representations of this digital topography.
*Very low buffers and no error corrections

PROCESS | A sound is sent out over the network and goes through several locations on the web. Captured at the end of a loop by the original transmitter, the sound is played and then resent out with no additional modification through the web.

SOUND MATERIAL | To emphasize the changes caused by the network, the sound used for the startup is deliberately very simple - pure silence.

SPACE | Similar to a physical & resonant space, the Internet network is here used as a broadcasting space where sound gets more elaborated. The audio signal is modified by the inner properties of the network and becomes an acoustic signature of this space.

ERRORS | The audio transmission process used here allows to keep all the distortions of the original material that occurred during the process (artefacts, transmission errors, missing data...).

TOPOLOGY | The geography of the network is in perpetual motion. Web user's actions have a direct impact on the features of this "resonant space" - the sound that one can hear through Laps constantly crystallises the activity of part of the ...

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