Five Videos: Angelo Plessas' Materialization

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Since the early days of the web, some of us have tried to re-contextualize materiality in the vast territory that is the internet landscape. But nowdays, it does not sound irrational to point out that online artifacts, like webpages, gifs, bots, software, or applications have material properties. Digital "objects" are physical because they are embedded either in "physical" and tangible containers such bits and bytes in local hard drives somewhere in middle America, or they take up server space in the cloud of virtual sandboxes during their journey of uploading or downloading.

Tim Berners-Lee envisioned the semantic web as the “‘intelligent agents’ people have touted for ages will finally materialize." In other words, the visionary founder of the World Wide Web was saying that the semantic web will enable users to find, share, and combine information more easily. Our machines are the intelligent agents. Since then, we all became hospitable to these "intelligent agents" using them to search for online content. Each one of us is linked with images, with associated stories, which are building a mental scape responding to our emotions.

The selection of these videos are an amalgam of these notions, offering a metaphorical and poetic view on materialization and existence either by their aesthetics, their creative process, or their conceptual meaning. Watching them in this sequence, the departure point is nature as physical reality continuing more spiritually with more metaphysical notions of life.


"The Solar Film" (excerpt) by Saul + Elaine Bass



An excerpt from the short movie created by the famous designer and his wife. A thoughtful and beautiful film about the sun and its meaning for the future. Although a film about energy and technology can be didactic or mundane, the directors did not use enviromental cliches and propaganda. Instead they used fascinating images which conveyed positive messages and thinking...

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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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Robot Literature by Angelo Plessas

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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 ...

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Artist Profile: Angelo Plessas

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Monument to Internet Hookups, performance sculpture (2009) at the 2nd Athens Biennale, Splendid Isolation (in collaboration with the Athens Pride) - video documentation


Some of your work exists offline as performances, but the majority of your works are unique websites that present and interactive experience for the viewer. Do you have a preference for exhibiting work online or offline, and have you ever had a title in mind for a work and then had to change it after finding out the domain was owned by someone else?

My priority is to create works that exist online. Having my work online automatically reaches a far greater audience in great speed, creating a powerful social and open condition but I am very much interested in the online-offline interplay. Since the late 90's - when I started creating online, I felt a strong energy and curiosity for the spatial physical outcome of my works. Now we live in the post-internet era and I feel this divided line of the online and offline conditions is almost diminished. This is why extending my pieces beyond the boundaries of a computer screen and present them in physical forms it's a very normal act for me. I am interested in creating an inter-experiential process, a meta-perception of these works but keeping at the same time their internet entity. Regarding exhibiting them in contemporary art spaces I feel are important in terms of historicity but also allows for a moment of sharing the work together with other people in a live space and audience getting a different feedback. The titles of these pieces are their unique domain url's and are registered in the most popular extension which is dotcom. I usually register complex phrases and rarely used, taken from something I read or something I invented like ...

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It’s Only Humanist

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Frank Eickhoff, Application To The Entscheidungsproblem, 2010

A headless statue of winged Nike, black pixels swarming above her stumped neck. A collage of ancient, sand-colored busts and patterns drawn with a Sharpie. A Michelangelo’s Pieta coated in blue-streaked purple sludge. These are some of images you will find on Sterling Crispin’s Tumblr, “Greek New Media Shit.”  As I write this, the most recent post is a looped animation by Jennifer Chan. Two Hellenistic statues remain static in the foreground as a violet blob belches out a browser frame. Flat green letters brand it “recipe art.” Chan, apparently, thinks mixing classical references with internet imagery is formulaic. The opinion is somewhat sympathetic to Crispin, who told me in an email that his blog “started as a criticism of a cliché that I identified and has started self-perpetuating.” But Crispin added that since he started the Tumblr he has become more curious about the reasons behind the formula’s appeal. No recipe passes through so many hands without being good.

To me it tastes like a desire to locate man’s place in a world that he perceives primarily with the aid of machines. The art of the Greeks has been used in the past as a touchstone for artists who measure their own vision against an anthropocentric one. “Greek art had a purely human conception of beauty,” Apollinaire wrote in an essay about a 1912 exhibition of Cubist painting. “It took man as the measure of perfection. The art of the new painters takes the infinite universe as its ideal, and it is to the fourth dimension alone that we owe this new measure of perfection […].” The modernists never determined what the “fourth dimension” was, besides a plane of activity beyond human perception. Today the internet—and the spatial and perceptual relations it has engendered—make a familiar substitute for it. “Greek new media shit” puts representations of the visible and the invisible in the same frame.

 

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ObjectRelatedTheory.com (2011) - Angelo Plessas

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screenshot from interactive site ObjectRelatedTheory.com

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