Posts for April 2012

Rhizome Commissions: Deadline May 1st (Extended)

(0)

The deadline for Rhizome Commissions has been extended to May 1st.

⇒ Please read all about eligibility, policy and procedures before applying!

Application Deadline: Tuesday May 01, 2012

Approval Voting: Saturday May 05, 2012 - Friday May 25, 2012

Rank Voting: Friday June 01, 2012 - Saturday June 16, 2012

 

LINK »


New Full Length Documentary on the Demoscene

(0)

Moleman 2 – Demoscene – The Art of the Algorithms (2012)

HD, colour, 90′

Moleman 2 is about the demoscene subculture, told by mostly Hungarian sceneres, but it features also some other nationalities.

As an impact of the spreading of computer technology, some new art sections have been born. Some of them just digitized the analogue forms, but some produced whole new artistic forms. In former times, image-, and sound-based arts required not only intellectual but physical skills as well. Nowadays, computer programming allows us to create new-styled artworks using only our intellectual skills. We don’t need our physical skills for that anymore. Computer technics is the fastest developing part of our world, which produces more and more new opportunities for art. Moleman shows you now a digital subculture, where artists don’t use always the latest technology, but their aim is also to bring out the best from 30 year-old computer technics.

The demoscene is a computer art subculture that specializes in producing demos, which are non-interactive audio-visual presentations that run in real-time on a computer. The main goal of a demo is to show off programming, artistic, and musical skills.

The demoscene first appeared during the 8-bit era on computers such as the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, and came to prominence during the rise of the 16/32-bit home computers (the Amiga and the Atari ST). In the early years, demos had a strong connection with software cracking. When a cracked program was started, the cracker or his team would take credit with a graphical introduction called a “crack intro” (shortenedcracktro). Later, the making of intros and standalone demos evolved into a new subculture independent of the software (piracy) scene.

 

LINK »


Robot Literature by Angelo Plessas

(0)

Angelo Plessas, from Untitled Portrait Gallery, 2009

 

Double Faced

For those who Know Best their mirror,

a Conspiracy revolves around.

Silence from behind devours a relic from the past.

Life is usually attached to lengths of magnetic fields.

You might be Emerging as something else.

I might Switch Back. All I wish is that when I start up,

my life will be OkaY

 

Around us

Keep, Art was Stolen By a Masked man in thong.

I thank Obama because he\’s black,

he said We love Colors.

You are feeling suicidal now please stop.

Apocalyptic, I contemplate the Universe around us.

 

elated quilt 

elated quilt establishes despairingly

victorious coma becomes elatedly

thoughtful income clips deprecatively

beautiful sidewalk checks long-windedly

combative pie cracks giddily

crowded haircut buzzes dazzlingly

quaint answer enhances garishly

 

A TYPICAL DAY OF DALI AND GALA

DALI, materialized in a apartment. Many persons in a single body. It was the

sixth game of attention. Behaving scarcely angered, DALI punched a ninja star,

but this certainly didn't encourage DALI deciding what to do in smart way. Out of

nowhere, DALI hoped that DALI's marginal fidelity is to be perpetually positive,

because hatred is born out of fear. Unconsciously DALI emailed GALA, DALI's

neighbor/accomplice 'Free yourself from common sense', said DALI. DALI must

have seen GALA for 20 hours in Tahrir square during the Revolution some of

them were modest diabolical and empirical inspirations. GALA was a nobody.

Many persons outside a single body. Between the line of black and white. GALA

was outgoing more or less... pestering. DALI called GALA 'Somebody has to

listen to me' he said. 'These are the symptoms of the liberal-democratic affluent

society', said DALI.

GALA hypnotized by lazy DALI. 'Why and for whom does philosophy work today

?' , said GALA. GALA ...

MORE »


Photoshopped Sherman

(5)

Images from Cindy Sherman's society portraits series (2008.)

A friend recently recounted an anecdote about teaching Cindy Sherman’s work to her undergraduate students. She was in the middle of her lecture, explaining Sherman’s elaborate, chameleonic process of casting herself in various roles in her photographs, when one student interrupted, insisting that the photograph projected on screen must have been Photoshopped, that it was impossible that the woman in this image was the same person as in the one before. The others nodded in agreement. Faced with this chorus of disbelief, my friend checked her notes: the image on her slide was from the mid-1980s, several years before Photoshop’s commercial release. The process of creating it was, indeed, analog: the photograph was shot on film, and Sherman’s apparent physical mutation in it the result of costuming and skillfully applied makeup rather than digital manipulation. However, the students’ responses raise interesting questions about how we might conceive of her work in the wake of the digital, particularly since her most recent work has, in fact, made use of such software. 

For those of us who first encountered Sherman’s photographs before “Photoshopped” became part of the vernacular, her work carries rather different connotations: it is less about a process of editing or altering the image than one of altering the self through a kind of private performance staged for the camera. Sherman transforms herself, in each image, to the point that she is not only no longer wholly recognizable, but also no longer present as “Cindy Sherman” at all, instead appearing as a litany of characters and stock types. As she noted in an interview with filmmaker John Waters in the catalogue of her current MoMA retrospective, “Before I ever photographed it, I was playing around in costumes and dressing up as characters in my bedroom.” 

It is precisely this aspect of dressing up—of adopting and embodying different types—around which much of the critical reception of her work has revolved over the past decades. Moreover, she has maintained a rigorously private studio practice throughout her career, rarely, if ever, working with assistants: Sherman is not only photographer and model, but also hairdresser, costumer, makeup artist, and prop stylist. She performs in front of the camera, but also behind it, adopting multiple roles and functions over the course of creating each photograph. When presented in serial form, the photographs reveal the meticulousness of her process, with each successive image calling further attention to the laborious transformation involved in creating the one preceding it....

 

READ ON »


Artist Profile: Laure Prouvost

(0)

Before, before, 2011

Works like IT, HEAT, HITOwt and The Artist—among many others—approach storytelling through frenetic, non-linear progressions and cuts.  Narratives seem to emerge spontaneously from what seems to be your immediate environment without much premeditation.  Why is it important for you to develop language this way? What is lost or gained through such fragmented communication?

Anything that is not shown has to be imagined.

So here I am answering these questions, in the middle of the woods on this lovely Sunday afternoon on top of a beautiful big tree, water running beneath me…I shouldn’t drop the computer. Now it’s up to you to imagine how I got up here, the colour of the leaves and the smell in the air.

The condensing of films is a way of relating to our experiences, of the multiple textures we constantly have to deal with and how our brain constantly has to edit for us. The fact that a lot of the footage comes from my immediate surroundings is just me looking at what is around me – then I can start to create a story around, say the bread on the table, or whatever. It is a chance to look at things closely and then differently, to imagine things in another way.

Nothing is normal.

But sometimes it’s completely constructed environments as well, like in, The Artist.

Regarding editing: An image can generate different meanings depending what you see after or before it. This is what triggers associations, connections and eventually narratives and this is the potential in the editing that I love. Spontaneity is also important for me. I need to make mistakes. If things are controlled and pre-determined then often I am not happy with what I am producing.

Problems bring new levels ...

MORE »


Rhizome Seven on Seven: The Live Blog

(0)

12:12 Welcome!  Seven on Seven begins shortly — watch this space for conference liveblogging.  

12:17 A video welcome from Mayor Bloomberg: technology and art are vital to the city's fabric and "best of luck to all of the contributors."

12:19 HTC's Scott Croyle speaks: it's the journey that drives him; the construct of artists and technologists coming up w/ an idea and presenting them today exemplifies that journey. He introduces Lauren Cornell, Executive Director of Rhizome. She presents Rhizome's context as "all contemporary art that engages technology," and a broad conversation between art and tech that has grown since the mid-90s. She juxtaposes that context with a summary of E.A.T.'s 9 evenings in 1966 (performances and music by Rauschenberg, Rainer, Cage), a time when engineers and artists seemed much farther apart.

She recounts a conversation w/ a technologist this year who was excited about not creating a product and an artist who wanted "to create a hot start-up."  Presentations to follow on what these teams came up w/in a day.  Lauren ends by thanking the people, corporations, and organizations involved in making Seven on Seven happen, and introducing Douglas Rushkoff, the keynote speaker.  

12:27 Douglas: an artsier Apple = an Apple less open for artistic intervention. Anyway, he's happy to play around w/ the HTC phone he received. He recalls joining the geeks (those who tended to turn sharp corners while walking in straight lines) in 1976 as an artsy theater guy to try programming, but "using computer science to solve mathematical problems" wasn't enough of a motivation to really get him hooked or to understand programming's scope. Being in California in the late 70s introduced him to the artier, psychedelic, hard-core math/computer science folks in ...

MORE »


Artist Profile: Hannah Sawtell

(0)

Hannah Sawtell, Swap Meet (Ijen Mix) Optic, 2012

The images that you show most often have digital origins, whether combined and assembled into one image, transformed into the surface of a physical object, or edited into sequence as moving image. What is the importance of using digital images (and sound, in the case of your films) as opposed to their analog predecessors? Are your sources always culled from the Internet? If so, do you gather them systematically? How do you refine the selection?

The images, textures and surfaces I reconstruct or redeploy are sourced from the ‘contemporary global arcade’. When my work considers the internet, it is to think of it as at once a tool that presents access to a commons, and also a globalised shop, the ‘autocracy of choice machine’... images/sites are bought by multinations, searches made first fall on what the engines have as priority, the majors are all linked, many of the interesting images disappear as websites go down, and there's matters of copyright and how the virtual is policed, etc… with all this in mind and the fact that as I say this, it's outdated, I follow streams to find the right tone for the work. Talking formally, the different pixel or image qualities give a porous or dense cadence to the video or collage. It’s the same with the sound in the videos. It is edited, leaving the glitches at the edge to force the screen to represent the materiality of digital production or cut and paste editing. I use what I have access to...ideas of access are obviously a moot point with regard to global social economics and therefore the possible agency of the collaborator, actor or author.

The industry and economy of objects seem to figure into ...

MORE »


Remote Control

(3)

Simon Denny, Those who don't change will be switched off, (2012)

A TV set burns fiercely. These are the last days of the British analog television broadcast.

I kid you not, the United Kingdom limps sorely behind on digital conversion. Luxembourg was first to the finish line, followed by most of Europe, the States, North Africa, Japan. The UK, a chain-smoking marathon runner, who might or might not have gout, has decided — to hell with the lot of you — to race dressed as Chewbacca.

As we drag ourselves sodden and bronchial through those final steps, a slow clap from the ICA gallery greets us. The exhibition 'Remote Control' (April 3, 2012 - 10 June 10, 2012) marks the end of the analog signal by uniting works that take TV and break it apart.

Artist David Hall set television ablaze in 1971. His TV Interruptions were broadcast during normal BBC scheduling in Scotland. No announcement, nor explanation. A tap in the top right-hand corner filled the screen up with water as if it were a cross-section of a sink, a man filmed out at the audience from inside the set, a television burned to cinders in an open field. Each short film held its own during broadcast with a cool irony. Yet the creation and destruction of illusions simultaneously undermined the tyranny of any box masquerading as a window into reality. Hall pioneered art in television and continues to work with the medium and concept. With it, and in opposition to it, for the artists in 'Remote Control' hold their enemy close.

            Still from David Hall, TV Interruptions (Tap piece) (1971)

Commercial broadcasting is the adversary in Television Delivers People (1973) by Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman. A six and a half minute credit roll tells us merrily that we are the end product of TV, delivered through broadcast to be consumed by advertisers. The medium itself emerges banal, or shrill; the mechanisms of corporate control form the malevolent baseline. Screened in the ICA alongside these works by Hall and Serra as well as Gerry Schum, are further exposés on television advertising from TVTV, misogyny from Joan Braderman, and violence from Marcel Odenbach. Sixteen CRT televisions line up neatly to show us how artists rankled with the system over the decades past. 

It doesn't sound very radical does it? The wit of the interruptions has already been dampened by their removal from the broadcast context. They confront an engaged, expectant audience, not their passive target. Can we understand quite how difficult it must have been to infiltrate the mainstay of the British broadcasting industry, the BBC, when there is such a multitude of platforms available today? Should an institution that holds the contemporary at its core not be addressing the hidden power lines of the mass media that immerse us now?

 

READ ON »


Artist Profile: Jordan Tate

(0)

Study for New Work #151 (2012), Jordan Tate

In New Work #90 you capture the animated dotted selection lines common in Photoshop and present them as an animated image themselves. This feels like your bringing part of the interface used to make digital images into the final piece. Do you think the visuals of operating systems and software have made an aesthetic impact on digital works at large?

Absolutely, yes. I think this relates to a broader discussion of process-based or self-reflexive works that are indicative of a new modernist inquiry into technology as a medium. In many ways, this is a specific contextualization of many theories of the New Aesthetic but tied to role of process in understanding our relationships with these media, their implications, and functions.

Since 2009 you’ve framed your work as ongoing research concerning the “visual and conceptual process of image comprehension.” You’ve also done some experiments trying to produce animated GIFs as lenticular prints - taking the digital GIF into physical space. Have those experiments been successful and has that process changed your understanding of digital image processing?

They have been very successful, as well as some other processes intended to translate screen-based works to physical prints. I am currently working with Atelier Boba in Paris on a few other processes that address in some fashion the interaction with viewer and object. Our current project is an attempt to create UV triggered inkjet prints that shift over the course of small periods of time (3 weeks – 6 months) in response to their environments.

I am also in the production phase of a manual that details the experiments and process of the lenticular printing, the UV triggered inkjet, and the other various processes I am working on - that will be open-source and available soon.

Historical ...

MORE »


The Impermanent Book

(3)

A few months ago Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections and Freedom, was quoted by The Telegraph from his Cartagena’s Hay Festival presentation:

“Maybe nobody will care about printed books 50 years from now, but I do. When I read a book, I’m handling a specific object in a specific time and place. The fact that when I take the book off the shelf it still says the same thing - that’s reassuring… and he goes on … Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.” 

His speech raised heated discussions in newspaper columns and on the internet. The focus was mainly on defending technology and e-books as a viable and improved evolution, and on how he was being retrograde.  What was missing from the discourse was the fact that technology has also violently altered printed books in a way from which there is no return. We are so disconnected from the means of production that nobody seems to be aware that books are produced very differently then they were 100 years ago. Digital files are exchanged between writers, publishers and printers all over the world.

In the context of the Piracy Project, which we initiated in London in 2010, we discovered cases, which not only took control over the object, but over the content. Inspired by Daniel Alarcon's article in Granta magazine, “Life Among Pirates”, we traveled to Peru and discovered, for instance, a pirated version of Jaime Bayly’s novel No se lo digas a nadie with two extra chapters added. This physical object may look obviously pirated to a trained eye but could easily pass as the original if you were not looking for differences. The extra chapters are good, good enough to pass undetected by readers. 

right: No se lo digas a nadie by Jaime Bayly; left pirated copy with two extra chapters added by an anonymous writer. Bought in Lima Peru, The Piracy Collection

These books are sold in small markets, bookshops or by street vendors at traffic crossings. We had to buy several books and to compare page by page until we found a book with extra content. Asking the vendors for help didn’t work. They were quite offended with the insinuation that they carried modified books. Buyers don’t want to read a book by an anonymous author when they are buying Mario Vargas Llosa.  

Friends in Peru seemed extremely surprised to see an altered book. The same type of trust that Franzen had applied to printed books was broken. What have they been reading? According to popular literary theory, when reading a book we become joint authors by virtue of subjectively interpreting and shifting the context through our own personal sets of experience. In this sense, it might be very difficult to realize, in discussion with others, whether or not the book you just read has been altered. And then what happens when that seed of distrust is planted in your head? 

 

READ ON »