The following interviews were sourced from netpioneers 1.0, a research initiative active from 2007 to 2009 that was devoted to early net-based art, organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Media.Art.Research. in Linz, Austria. All the interviews were conducted by Dr. Dieter Daniels.
There's still time to place your bid in Rhizome's silent auction. All proceeds will go towards Rhizome's programs - commissions, exhibitions, publications, events, resources and more. Mark Essen's multi-player PC game Jetpack Basketball [above] is for sale, along with other original works by Kerstin Bratsch, Paul Chan, Brody Condon, Mark Essen, Amy Granat, Steven Lambert, Julie Mehretu, Emily Roysdon, Michael Smith, AIDS-3D, and Eteam.
In the summer of 2009, I wrote an article here at Rhizome about the burgeoning activities of media artists creating new works or updating versions of their older interactive screen-based projects for Apple's iPhone and iTouch mobile devices. As the article made its way throughout the blogosphere, comments surfaced ranging from criticism of the "closed world of Apple's App Store and iPhone devices" to a championing of the availability of inexpensive multi-touch technology now available to artists who had been waiting for a platform that could adequately display and allow for the type of interaction their projects demanded. A year after the article came out, the draw of these devices and their potentially expansive audience has become even more irresistible to artists enough so that several more "apps" have surfaced. The following article catalogs several new iPhone works which have emerged over the past year, works that are pioneering the next generation of portable media art.
Thanks to everyone who came to Rhizome's Benefit last night. The DJ set by Kingdomm and the live performances by Loud Objects and Teengirl Fantasy were a hit, we sold some art in support of our programs, and we had a great time. Here are some photos of the event - thank you again!
The normative logic of digital technologies and consumer electronics is that they "just work." The fields of human computer interaction and usability studies are intended to make technology functional for even the most lay of users. This can be seen clearly in the way in which new technologies are advertised and in the shift away from machines intended to be "tinkered" with toward black box technologies that maximize interface. The most recent campaign for Apple's new iPad states that "it's magical," and that "you already know how to use it," and Microsoft goes so far as to imply that Windows 7 was designed by everyday users to be "easier." Nonetheless, for most users dysfunction and breakdown are a large part of their everyday experience of technology.
In Broken Sets (eBay), Penelope Umbrico has collected a virtual archive of technological failure in images of broken LCD TV sets being sold on eBay for spare parts. Each image bears a unique pattern formed by cracks and other anomalies that fracture the images they display into a pixelization that resembles landscapes or test patterns. Many of the pieces, displayed as photo prints, vaguely resemble "digital interference" works by Sean Dack or Borna Sammak's HD video collage, but taken as a whole they suggest a larger aesthetics of breakdown that is as much a critique of our idealized vision of these technologies as functionally useful objects as it is beautiful.
Technology is expensive so we try and take care of it; but sometimes things break. Most technology is no longer made to be repaired, as it is cheaper to replace it entirely. This is particularly true of display technology, as once a screen is cracked or broken there is little one can do to fix the damage. Many users desperately seek help online, making videos of their broken television sets or computer monitors in the hopes of a solution. Others give in to the inevitable and take the opportunity to unleash their anger on the broken technology.
The prologue from the documentary film, Painters Painting, The New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio 1972, combined with Wolfson's own footage, that begins with a shot of the sky that pans down through the trees landing directly onto the screen of a Macintosh Classic Computer. As the camera slowly zooms out it is revealed that the computer is sitting on the edge of a busy highway.
On June 1st media theorist Matthew Fuller will interview Graham Harwood and Jean Demars at SPACE in London for the Coal Fired Computers project by Harwood and Yokokoji (YoHa) that recently premiered at the AV Festival in New Castle, UK. For Harwood, every media used has a series of power relations that comprise its media ecology. The thread that seems to bind his oeuvre is exposing these power structures. (For more, read an interview with Harwood by Michael Connor, published last year to Rhizome.) Continuing with his examinations into the conditions of the marginalized and working class, Coal Fired Computers speculates about the "global fuel reliance, the price of a computer measured against the lives of 318,000 miners with choked up lungs." The work consists of a bank of computers powered by a coal-fired boiler.
[Installation at the AV Festival, Source: Jon & Alison]
By placing the boiler and computer side-by-side, Coal Fired Computers brings to the fore the “invisible” work force needed to supply the fuel and raw materials necessary for this technology to function, as well as the environmental impact of these energy sources. Laborers from countries like China, Vietnam and India toil in coal mining fields to enable the production of energy to run technology - outsourcing the health and environmental risks of this method to elsewhere.
See below for a video of Graham Harwood discussing Coal Fired Computers: