Posts for August 2012

The Web That Can't Wait

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Moyra Davey, from the exhibition Spleen. Indolence. Torpor. Ill-humour, (Murray Guy


One of my earliest memories is getting hit in the face by a book. I was two; we had just moved to Dubai, and were staying with another family for the first few weeks. While we were playing, their younger son threw his book at me. It cut open the thin skin below my right eye, just above the line now demarcated by insomnia’s purplish bruisings. I remember only fragmented flashes. The green Small World Library hardback with Goofy on its cover, the tears, and the blood—so much blood that the book retained a rusty stain on the spine. 

The scar has since stretched and faded to a gathered curve, barely discernible to the touch and perceptible only if you know where to look. As I grew, I accrued many other scars, each with its own story, but this one remained special: my own facial bookmark. Like a tribal mark or that left arm vaccine scar that quietly signifies which global sphere you’re from, I had been struck by the weight of a book

And read I did, as if to fill up this hole that the book had gouged in my face—compulsively and voraciously, and at every snatched moment I could. Yet Dubai’s public library system was anaemic at best, and its bookstores, with their politely aligned new titles, antiseptic. Summer visits to India became all the more rarified as a result. Here, finally, pavements were hedged with booksellers, and inside, up rickety staircases and under the eye of equally rickety old men, were shelves heaving with books. These bookstores smelled like the ones I had read about: all heady with the intoxicating lignin of tomes gone to seed, mixed in with that slightly musty dampness unique to monsoon season.

Even in this bibliophilic paradise, however, lurked a sense of spoilage, insistently asserting itself like the background static of an AC. No matter how greedily I read and reread, I could never hope to possibly open—let alone own—even a fraction of the books I saw. And that’s to say nothing of all the books I had never even heard of, but was still painfully aware were out there. 

Later on, college would highlight in relief just how much I hadn’t read. Each semester I took far more courses than I could legitimately handle, and reading became consumptive instead of submersive. It became good enough to quickly read each text just once; a slower savouring could come later. On visits home, I would fill my suitcase with that semester’s texts in hopes of rereading them—properly, this time—but they always remained in accusative stacks on the floor, neglected in favour of my childhood favorites. As much as I wanted to build a library and surround myself with books, NYC storage concerns colluded with a sense of self-exhorted acceleration to shift my primary reading format from books, to PDFs, to Twitter and tabbed browsing.

Here, again, was that same urgency transposed from page to screen. Do you know the feeling? That sharp, almost adrenal jolt when you open just one more tab and all the favicons disappear to give you a segmented line of characters? You can’t increase your screen resolution much more, but keep the pages open, just on the off chance that you might actually read them. Perhaps you quickly scan in order to close a tab, yet find yourself clicking on “History” just moments later, just in case you missed something. Perhaps you feel guilty about not giving each piece the undivided attention you once lavished upon your books, but often, just knowing the dust jacket-like gist seems to be enough. You consider developing an Instapaper habit, but don’t trust that you will ever train yourself to go back, sit down, and read them at leisure. Because should you manage the impossible, and find time to actually read them after the fact, won’t it be too late? Won’t the conversation have moved on?

This kind of pearl clutching over time poverty and the whirling hyperkineticism of the Web is nothing new. A few decades into the Internet, the browser has become cemented as the new battleground. At face, debates about the experience of reading online rest on a collective nostalgia for the book as an aesthetic object. What’s really at stake is the practice of reading itself: when, where, and on whose platform...

 

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The Eternal Internet Brotherhood

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Recently, Angelo Plessas assembled artists, writers, and curators working with technology in an event called The Eternal Internet Brotherhood. I asked him the following questions over email about the event, which concluded on August 23rd:

What was the inspiration for the Eternal Internet Brotherhood?

I was always inspired by various alternative and autonomous communities getting together to push the limits of creativity. In our days the internet is a place where new realities are taking form and I believe is not only "embodied" through our screens anymore. The Eternal Internet Brotherhood is an experiment of how these realities continue to extend after/beyond the limits of the web, a shelter from the visual provincialism of technology within which we now live.  The interface we use for this spiritual and creative journey is the mystical island of Anafi in Greece, the place which ancient god Apollo "teleported" as a shelter for the Argonauts.

 

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Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Other Worlds

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Scene from 'Trip'

A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the web, around the theme of 'Other Worlds', a collection of independent / student games that veer away from convention, either produced as 'experiences' in another environment, aesthetic exercises that the paths of commercial gaming did not tread.

Proteus




Indie video game with Zen-like experience, with ambient audio music and 3D Atari-cartridge-like visuals. An island is randomly generated for exploration, with no goal orientated action. (PK)

Zenith



Free game by Arcane Kids that celebrates ' ... speed, movement, and Twitter ...', acrobatic skating in a polygon world.
(PK)


Trip 




Abstract game environment made of gradient polygons - zen-like experience similar to Proteus (see above) where there are no objectives. Could be considered as a big virtual sculpture / gallery. (PK)
 
Perspective 

 




Experimental video game combines a first-person 3D environment to navigate a character in a 2D platformer.

Perspective is an experimental platformer. The player avatar moves in a 2D space that transforms when the player changes perspective in 3D space. The player needs to use this mechanic navigate the 2D avatar to a goal in order to progress from level to level. 

Currently unreleased, when available should be free for all. (PK)

Fotonica 



First-person one-button run-and-jump game with fantastic minimal wireframe graphics - by Santa Ragione:

A first person game about jumping, sense of speed and discovery. The key is timing, the goal is exploring and traveling flawlessly through the environment. The setting is an abstract - mainly duotone - outlined world, with a look referring to the geometrical abstractions from the 50s and the 3D low-poly gaming era. (PK)

 

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Demiurge in the Cupboard by Bradley Benedetti

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Bradley Benedetti, Demiurge in the Cupboard, Circusology of Native Leadership Piece 1, 2012

 Orca Tears Turquoise( Wish'd We'd Ha'd) 

 "How can I retry when I was a watermarked birth? I was a global write, universally speaking. My only choice is to image search. rch, sea. Can you smell the past? It is yours. Commercial help gonna fix this Etc.?"

VAPOR STORIE

“Nostalgic For captivity…Scent of an orca's tears. Anti-virus wishing wells

 If you haven't had your first familiar encounter

please refer to the catalog.

now that I’ve slowed down your 3 dimensional momentarium

I can let you in on something.”

 

“Toyota arctic

sea u kiosk museum efficiency baby

free 

if you take your TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME . I’ll wait for

youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu 

breeze and ufo- take your time

we were supposed to grow old together"

 

MySPHINX

 

Trademark Applesdottir

Sanrio Erikkson

Nintendo Cloud

Ancient Purell

Sarcophagus St.Chateau

Libra von Katzengiest

Pegasus Bromwell

Oreo Mitsubishi

Astrology DeCordova

 

“I just, I just, I just toed this rope, you know , I just tied this

rope three times, well 6 really because I said it and then did it, but I

mean I tied it while saying it, well hahah you know what I mean,

anyway, the point is it WORKED

This dimension is feeling stuffy

I’m tired of living moment to moment, GET ME OUT OF HERE

I feel really 3 dimensional, I’m looking for something more, I felt

nervous not knowing what came next

In the 4th dimension I get to see it all, people from the past, the

future, really its the continuous present ever flowing around me and

you into one big ball of energy.

5th dimensional living felt too complex, the text was fifth dimensional

5 feels really dark velvety, red, very red ...

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Jonas Lund's Paintshop

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Psyche River by Jonas Lund

Since the launch of Jonas Lund's Paintshop project at the end of June, three paintings have been sold and over 2,000 have been completed. The Paintshop allows users to collaborate on paintings and complete, or sign, whenever they consider a work to be finished. Once signed, paintings are on sale in an edition of one. Prices are determined by the trademarked Paintshop Rank algorithm, calculated daily.

Lund explained the algorithm's inner workings via email:

The Paintshop Rank™ is calculating the price by analyzing a set of criteria, such as Artfacts ranking and Google Ranking of the author, the quality ranking in relation to the amount of views, the amount of Facebook likes and Tweets. The underlying assumption is that two general things matter for the price, the reputation of the artist and the popularity of the painting itself.

Shrimp Guarding Fertilized Egg by Fox

The project is somewhat reminiscent of Aaron Koblin's Sheep Market. Where that project crowdsourced its drawings via Amazon's Mechanical Turk and used a flat-rate payment, The Paintshop hosts a collaborative form of interactivity to create works with apparently arbitrary authorships. Collaborators who choose to complete and sign a work, though, will recieve the algorithmically determined value of any sold work, minus production costs and gallery comission.

CLOOOOOWN by Systaime

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Thank You to Our Sponsors

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We would like to take a brief moment to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out!

Featured Advertisers

  • Brooklyn Museum- GO is a community-curated open studio project. Artists across Brooklyn will open their studio doors, so that you can decide who will be featured in a group show at the Brooklyn Museum. Voter Registration Deadline: September 9, 2012
  • School of Visual Arts – The NYC art and design school is offering continuing education courses to meet the diverse educational needs of the city’s professional art and design community.
  • Vilcek Foundation - Now accepting submissions for dARTboard, a digital art space that invites foreign-born artists living permanently in the United States and specializing in new media art forms to submit their work for exhibition. Submission Deadline: October 22nd 

Network Sponsors

  • Art Systems – Professional art gallery, antiques and collections management software

If you are interested in advertising on Rhizome, please get in touch with Nectar Ads, the Art Ad Network.

 

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Rhizome Digest: Best of Rhizome August

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The Universal Texture

Essays

Interface Aesthetics: An Introduction

Interviews

#etinterbro

Artist Profiles

Fiction

Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Other Worlds

Series

Michele Abeles

More

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