Posts for April 2012

The Download: James Howard

(0)

Rhizome is pleased to announce London-based artist James Howard is featured this month on The Download.

Still from www.luckyluckydice.com (2012)

Utilizing spam that lands in his junk email folder and pop up ads, Howard appropriates the deceitful images and text in his collages highlighting the emotional tiggers that trap users. Rhizome members can download www.luckyluckydice.com (2012), a 51MB animated GIF of 1990s internet-style advertisments; a file size too large for dial-up speeds, but now easily viewable in any internet browser once downloaded. Rhizome editor Joanne McNeil interviewed him last year about the images he collects:

Images in online scams and phishing schemes can seem as artificially generated as the text — like botnet generated folk art. But there is a human hand at work. What do you think is the human element that draws people into these schemes?

People are like machines - their brains react to temptation like a computer does. Most people are able to recognise a scam, but if someone pulls the right string, sooner or later all that subconscious stuff inside you is going to lead you down the wrong path. Scams  get people by playing on insecurities, desires, fears, greed, whatever - it's uncontrollable and causes one in a thousand people to make a snap decision and pay up.

What do you consider the visual clues of this kind of kitsch of deception? Any interesting patterns or trends you've spotted over the years of collecting examples?

Squashed grinning businessmen looking into fisheye lenses, sunsets over serene oceans, happy families, sexy nurses- it's an endless and totally recognisable global visual language. There's a gruesome image of someone hooked up to a life support machine that keeps landing in my junk-mail folder these days -it always comes from a new person, with ...

MORE »


Artist Profile: Ed Fornieles

(0)

Could you tell me a little about your "Facebook sitcom" Dorm Daze? How long did the narrative play out on Facebook? 

Dorm Daze was a performance conducted on a self-contained network on Facebook. Participants inhabited profiles scalped from real life American college students, which over three months were developed within a semi-scripted narrative - through interaction with each other and direction from me. 

In general, social networking sites reward engagement with engagement, and those characters that invested most time within the community became the lead roles of the sitcom. The exciting thing for me was watching these local narratives develop, feeding into and accelerating the narrative as a whole. Further, playing out the sitcom over three months gave opportunity to bring in real world events; for example, one character became very involved in the Occupy movement, propagating within our fictitious environment at the same time as these events were kicking off all around the world. In fact series one ended on a cliffhanger when a group that evolved out of the occupy movement blew up Wells Fargo bank and took to the road. 

Important also is that Dorm Daze was a piece in itself, but also a content generating system which has created material I’ve then been able to use in sculptural and installation works, brought together in the show The Hangover (Part II). Beyond these physical environments, the project has also spawned a book and a read only version of Dorm Daze 1, soon to be available for limited time only online. Recently, we’ve also begun talking to a TV network about the potential of turning it into a TV series. The point that this happens, the point that Dorm Daze becomes part of a cultural feedback loop in a very real, tangible way, is the point where ...

MORE »


The Scanner at Saamlung

(0)

Prepared Scanner, a composition in clay (Travess Smalley, 2011)

Untitled (Jo-ey Tang, 2011-2012)

Rhizome asked Travess Smalley and Jo-ey Tang, two artists with digitally-based work in the upcoming group exhibition "The Untouchables" at Saamlung in Hong Kong, to answer the same question(s) via email.

Surface is a theme of this show: is there a particular way you connect the visual elements of your pieces to something non-visual? Considering each piece has a digital and physical aspect, would you expand on the relationship between the two forms? What do you consider your pieces to be made of (e.g., substance, bit, concept, etc.)?  

Travess Smalley: I have always looked for ways to bring the home office into my studio practice. I mean, for most artists the home office holds many of the tools we use on a day-to-day basis -- inkjet printer, scanner, personal computer, even scotch tape and staples. I've always felt that my role as an artist and creator would be somewhat dependent on these tools. I mean, it's always been easier for me to find a mouse than a paintbrush.

Of all the home office devices, the printer/scanner is the most interesting to me. These are the two devices that convert the digital to the physical and back again. They are one of the few ports where the visual can get in and out of the separated digital and physical worlds. The printer and scanner have been my most important tools for the past few years. From my experiences and processes using them for artistic ends, I have come to think of my relationship to them akin to a contemporary printmaker. A home office printmaker perhaps. I've developed an understanding and elaborate choreography of process that attempts to blur the line of these convertors ...

MORE »


Rhizome Benefit: May 9, 2012

(0)

READ ON »


Artist Profile: Antoine Catala

(0)

In a statement for your 2009 exhibition "TV Show" at 179 Canal, you described television as a dying medium, suggesting that the work in the show was a kind of eulogy for TV. Television is a recurring theme in your work, but you’ve used it in various ways, both as a material and as a subject, often taking the most familiar types of programs—the news, for instance—and altering the way we see it. What is it about television that appeals to you? Are you interested in defamiliarizing something we take for granted, forcing the viewer to reconsider its place in everyday life? Is this work reflecting a sense of nostalgia for television’s past? If it’s a dying medium, what do you think has replaced it?

TV is no longer the all-powerful medium it used to be.  It’s dead in the same way radio is dead, whereby it only occupies a peripheral position in our lives. Internet is the new place, because it encompasses words, images, videos, audio, as well as the viewer’s participation.  The internet packs more information; in that sense it’s more HD than TV and that’s what people go for, the better, more fulfilling, more entertaining medium.

I was interested in TV broadcasts initially because I thought it was funny to bring live TV into the museum or the gallery.  In my TV work I encourage the use of any entertaining program.  However, screening an episode of Spongebob (a personal favorite) doesn’t work the same, in an exhibition context, than say the news or any program with live content. That’s because the viewer’s common assumption is that if a video is shown, it must be pre-recorded.  But I am not at all interested in working with ...

MORE »


RECOMMENDED READING: An Essay on the New Aesthetic

(0)

Maps TD via The New Aesthetic

The "New Asthetic" is a term coined by James Bridle, and collected on Tumblr, further shaped by Matt Jones' comments on "sensor-vernacular" and the "robot-readable world." It is an investigation in the ways that imagry for and from machines has become a popular visual culture of its own, even shaping behaviors (as Tom Armitage asks, "How long before, rather than waving, or shaking hands, we greet each other with a calibration pose"?) If that is still confusing, perhaps Bruce Sterling might better explain the "New Aesthetic."

In "An Essay on the New Aesthetic," Sterling begins discussing the SXSW panel on the New Aesthetic, which included Bridle and Rhizome editor Joanne McNeil, in addition to Ben Terrett, Aaron Straup Cope, and Russell Davies. From there he explains, in almost a manifesto of sorts, just where these influences came from and where it is going:

Look at those images objectively. Scarcely one of the real things in there would have made any sense to anyone in 1982, or even in 1992. People of those times would not have known what they were seeing with those New Aesthetic images. It’s the news, and it’s the truth.

Next, the New Aesthetic is culturally agnostic. Most anybody with a net connection ought to be able to see the New Aesthetic transpiring in real time. It is British in origin (more specifically, it’s part and parcel of a region of London seething with creative atelier “tech houses”). However, it exists wherever there is satellite surveillance, locative mapping, smartphone photos, wifi coverage and Photoshop.

The New Aesthetic is comprehensible. It’s easier to perceive than, for instance, the “surrealism” of a fur-covered teacup. Your Mom could get it. It’s funny. It’s pop. It’s transgressive and ...

LINK »


Rhizome Commissions Deadline May 1, 2012

(0)

Aram Bartholl's Dust, Awarded Rhizome Commission in 2011

The deadline is fast approaching for Rhizome's 2012 Commissions cycle! Each year, this program supports emerging artists by providing grants for the creation of significant works of new media art. Projects can be made for the context of the gallery, the public, the web or networked devices. Rhizome Commissions awards generally range from $1,000 to $5,000. Deadline is Sunday, April 15th. Be sure to read over the eligibility, policy and procedures before you begin the application process.

Two of the commissions will be determined by Rhizome's membership through an open vote. The majority will be decided by a jury moderated by Lauren Cornell, executive director of Rhizome.

The jury includes:

  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London
  • Jonathan Lethem, author of The Ecstasy of InfluenceThe Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn
  • Caitlin Jones, executive director of Western Front 

 


 

Application Deadline: Sunday April 15, 2012

Approval Voting: Wednesday April 18, 2012 - Saturday May 12, 2012

Rank Voting: Monday May 14, 2012 - Friday June 01, 2012

 


 

The Rhizome Commissions program is supported, in part, by funds from Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Wieden + Kennedy, the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by generous individuals and Rhizome members.

 

 

 

READ ON »


Art on the Beautiful Island

(3)

Yao Jui-chung, Recover Main-Land China : Action (1996)

As an outsider the Taipei art scene can be difficult to access. The dearth of information in English and the lack of an international profile – compared to other countries in Asia – can make it appear a mysterious black hole. And perhaps that’s precisely the appeal. Amidst the increasing standardization of the global art world, somehow Taiwan missed the brief. As usual it was left out of the loop.  

Not officially recognised as a country – after it was abandoned by its allies and booted out of the UN in 1971, as the body instead came to recognise the Communist People’s Republic of China – Taiwanese life seems characterised by diplomatic and cultural isolation. I remember living in Taiwan during the SARS epidemic of 2003 when, as Taiwan is blocked from attaining membership of the World Health Organization (WHO), the island was refused medical expertise and information. Eventually the U.N. body sent over an expert, only he became infected with the disease and had to leave. The front page of the newspaper showed a photograph of him walking back to the airplane, dressed in strange protective clothing, looking like a displaced astronaut. Once again Taiwan was left to its own devices.

I’ve heard it said that the uncertainty of Taiwan’s future leads to a kind of nihilism. I first encountered this dark vision when I watched Tsai Ming-liang’s feature film The Hole(1998) shortly before I moved to Taiwan in 2000.  The film is set in Taipei in the final days of 1999. A strange virus has spread throughout the city causing its infected persons to writhe on the ground in cockroach-like movements. An evacuation order is ignored by the residents of an apartment building who decide to wait out the storm. One of the residents answers a knock at his door to encounter a plumber who has come to check the pipes. The resident leaves to open his small grocery store and upon returning home discovers that the plumber has drilled a hole through his concrete floor. The man begins voyeuristically using the hole to observe his woman neighbour who lives below, but eventually the hole becomes the only means of human interaction the two neighbours have. The film is bleak and claustrophobic, mostly set at night in the city where it seems to never stop raining. But the darkness is broken by occasional jolts into wild and colourful musical scenes, hopelessly nostalgic and desperate in their overexuberance...

 

READ ON »


Rhizome Seven on Seven: Tickets still available at Artist/Student/Developer Rate!

(0)

Thanks to increased support from our sponsors we are opening up more student/artist/developer Seven on Seven tickets

Presented by HTC, the Rhizome Seven on Seven conference pairs seven leading artists with seven game-changing technologists in teams of two, and challenges them to develop something new—be it an application, social media, artwork, product, or whatever they imagine—over the course of a single day.

Technologists participating in this year's conference represent some of the most influential technologists working today; they are: Jeremy Ashkenas, Blaine Cook, Michael Herf, Marissa Mayer, Aaron Swartz, Khoi Vinh and Anthony Volodkin. The artists participating in Seven on Seven are similarly impactful and working in a range of mediums from dance, to film, to installation to web-based projects; they are: Aram Bartholl, Xavier Cha, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Naeem Mohaiemen Jon Rafman, Taryn Simon and Stephanie Syjuco.

Seven on Seven will take place Saturday, April 14th from noon-6pm at the New Museum.

Learn more about the participants on the Seven on Seven website or purchase your tickets now.


 


MORE »


Post-Trolling: A Conversation with Art404

(0)

Motorola Droid XL, 2011

Art404 is comprised of Manuel Palou and Moises Sanabria.

This interview was conducted over multiple online chat sessions beginning in March 2012 through April 2012.


 

louisdoulas: Let’s start with Art Not Found or Art404. Could you tell me a little more about its connotations?

artnotfound: Art404 is a pun for artnotfound, a motto that gives us a certain level of transparency. We don't want to get hung up on making art and exclude anybody from our work.

louisdoulas: So the absence implies a kind of non-context for framing production?

artnotfound: Well the internet functions in a non-context anyway. We want to create content and value more than we want to create art.

louisdoulas: Right, without the prerequisite motivations of making an artwork per se, just ‘pure’ creative production.

artnotfound: It's relentless creative production and discussion. That’s the future of content.

louisdoulas: So then there’s this awareness of the potential insularities or exclusiveness of the art world, or at least a hesitation to participate within this context? Perhaps which is why you're attracted to the internet in the first place, as it levels out all content.

artnotfound: Yes definitely. By opening up the discussion to everyone it democratizes content. And if successful, any further discussion of that content gives it social value.

louisdoulas: Cultural Capital

artnotfound: Art404 likes this.

louisdoulas: I'm interested in these notions of 'opening up discussion', surrounding content, in this case specifically your work; what does this mean for you?

artnotfound: It means our mothers can engage with our work as much as a gallerist can. The internet is allowing people to take part in things they never would have before, opening up the possibilities for a much larger discussion. When both ends of the spectrum: high ...

MORE »