Pruitt-Igoe Falls (2009) - Cyprien Gaillard

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The video 'Pruitt-Igoe Falls' takes its title from Pruitt-Igoe, a large urban housing project built in the 1950s in Saint Louis, United States; quickly facing decay, its demolition by implosion started in 1972, 18 years only after construction, and was the first of this kind on such a scale. Designed by American architect Minoru YAMASKI, also responsible for the World Trade Center twin towers, Pruitt-Igoe has become an emblematic icon often evoked by all sides in public housing policy debate, and its destruction was claimed by Postmodern architectural theorician Charles JENCKS to mark 'the day Modern architecture died'.

Under these auspices, Cyprien GAILLARD's video consists of two static and silent shots, linked through a subtle crossfade plan. The first part captures the demolition, at night, of a building in Sighthill housing estate in Glasgow. A city favoured by the artist, the capital of Scotland has the highest number of high-rise housing projects in the United Kingdom, some built in the middle of ancient cemeteries and many now bound to be demolished as part of a large urban rehabilitation plan. The video starts with the striking and fraught with meaning vision of a concrete monolith rising from tombstones, under a powerful lighting that makes the whole scene look like a cinema set. When the grey block implodes and collapses, a thick cloud of dust rises slowly to the foreground and eventually covers the audience and the lights, plunging the image in the dark, out of which only emerge shadows of tombs and vegetation.

A faint light appears in the center of this nocturnal romantic vision, before intensifying and outshining what remained of the first scene: the second shot is a sight of Niagara Falls when they 'light up' at night, illuminated by spotlights that transform them into a dreamy show ...

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Model Swapping w/ Nicolas Sassoon from Bad at Sports

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Over the past year or so, Nicholas O'Brien has been contributing a series of very original interviews with new media artists to the Chicago-based contemporary art blog Bad at Sports. (I've posted a few of them already to Rhizome, here and here.) For each one, the interviews take place within the medium which the artists works (such as Second Life, video, or tumblr). O'Brien posted another interview this week with Nicolas Sassoon, in which they trade 3D models in between a discussion about architecture, copying/pasting, and site-specificity.

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YEMENWED EPISODE 3 (2008) - YEMENWED

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Gloria Maximo - Director, Painting
Jonathan Turner - Director, Animation
Shawn Maximo - Architectural Design, Sculpture
Kate Rosko - Musical Director, Piano
Joseph Fraioli - Sound Designer
Megha Barnabas - Movement
Jason Farrer - Movement, Sculpture
Busy Gangnes - Movement
Paul Kopkau - Movement, Sculpture
Heather Kosch - Movement, Sculpture
David Santa Maria - Sculpture
Laura Foxman - Writing
Mary Voorhees - Graphic Design
Black Cracker - Vocal Engineer
Peter Zuspan - Audio Installation
Shannon Funchess - Vocals
Nina Mehta - Recorder
Natalie LeBrecht - Vocals
Mick Barr - Guitar
Abby Portner - Drum Machine
Colin Marston - Guitar
Lev Weinstein - Drums

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Turbo Sculpture (english) (2010) - Aleksandra Domanovic

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Storefront for Art and Architecture Archive

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Photos above from the Storefront for Art and Architecture's inaugural show Performance A-Z in 1982

Thanks to iheartphotograph, I just discovered the online archive of downtown non-profit art space the Storefront for Art and Architecture. Founded in 1982, their programming examines the intersections between architecture, design and art. The archive provides press releases from previous exhibitions and scans of printed documents from those shows, as well as photo documentation. Very cool!

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Bell, Book, and Candle (2010) - Michael Guidetti

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Painting the entire gallery a uniform bright green, Guidetti employs an unfixed/in-flux context created by the production environment of chroma-key (green-screen) video compositing technology. Rather than providing a blank neutral space it serves only as a temporary stand-in, demanding to be replaced. The viewer is confronted with this provisional setting in a state of waiting, without a final composite image. Markers for motion tracking and spatial reference placed around the space further enforce the absence of context.

Within the environment an array of equipment actively measures the physical, visual, and acoustic properties of the space. Reminiscent of tools used for ghost hunting, the instruments attempt to describe something non- visible/physical and provide some concreteness to something abstract. A video monitor among the equipment displaying computer generated 3D renderings of the exhibition shown in various perspectives and states, further complicates the ability to reach a complete, relative conception of the space.

-- EXCERPT FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR "BELL, BOOK, AND CANDLE" AT JANCAR JONES GALLERY

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Code Crossings: A Review of Form+Code: In Design, Art, and Architecture

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Form+Code: In Design, Art, and Architecture is an ambitious new text that investigates the creative exploration of software across numerous disciplines. A collaborative venture between artists Casey Reas, Chandler McWilliams and the graphic design studio LUST, the book presents both a succinct history of computational design and an indexed guidebook of strategies and approaches. Form+Code fundamentally differs from more traditional, tutorial-based books on creative coding by delving into precise contextualizations of the origins of various tangents within software art. The scope of these nuanced discussions is both sweeping and extensive. For example, within the space of six pages, the authors examine the computer as a drawing instrument starting with Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad proto-CAD workflow (1963), then turn to advances within various proprietary applications, which opens up into a discussion about digital representation and fabrication. Form+Code is full of these compact histories, and each is tastefully illustrated with related contemporary projects and (sometimes surprising) precedents and predecessors. Op-artist Bridget Riley’s Polarity (1964) sits in a spread beside Martin Wattenberg’s music visualization The Shape of Song (2001), highlighting the similarities in the graphic language of luminaries from two distinct generations.

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Cloudscapes (2010) - Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects

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In one of the largest halls of the Architecture Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition space, Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects created an artificial 800sqm cloud. A spiraling cantilevered ramp allows the visitors of the installation to experience the ethereal cloudscape from below, within, and above.

The cloud is created through climate engineering. Creating the cloud is based on a stabile temperature and humidity stratification in the space in 3 layers: below the cloud 18 - 24°C, 60\% humidity, in the cloud 26 - 32°C at 100\% humidity and above the cloud with 32 - 38°C at around 50\%.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM VERNISSAGETV

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Required Reading

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Ive's designs for the iPod and the iPhone are network culture's icons, much as the Model T Ford or the Boeing 707 were icons of their time. Just as the earlier machines produced mobility, so do ours: mobile, networked technology allows most members of developed societies to compress space in a way reserved until recently for the media, government, and élite. In so doing opened it opens up a new phenomenological space.

Mobile technologies allow us to disconnect from the world around us so that we may instead connect with individuals at a distance or, alternatively, with software agents residing either in our mobile devices or in the networked cloud (as data speeds rise, the difference between local and remote applications and data is becoming unclear). Although sometimes this disconnect with our surroundings is a matter of lament, more frequently it is a deliberate choice, a way to fill something we lack in space that surrounds us. If sometimes we use such technologies to augment immediate space-looking up the address of a destination on a map, calling a friend to triangulate a meeting place while in route-more often we employ them to distance ourselves-reading and writing e-mail, updating a social media site, immersing ourselves in a soundtrack of our own choosing with portable music players.

Introduced in October 2001, the iPod was a runaway success worldwide. That it succeeded even though it was released just a month after the 9/11 attacks to a generally depressed consumer mood and a dismal economy points to its significance. By allowing individuals to paint the world with an emotional soundscape, it allows them to subject it to their control, making it familiar through the recognizable sounds it reproduces. Technology, it seems, could overcome alienation.

Just as financialization is a mutation in ...

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Performance, All Over the Map: On Chris Salter's "Entangled"

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Chris Salter's Entangled is a massive undertaking and a book long overdue. In this ambitious project, Salter sets out to provide a historical overview of the intersections between technology and artistic performance in order to demonstrate the profound entanglement in the historical trajectories of both sets of practices and developments. Entangled seeks to address how technological developments have altered our making and perception of artistic performance and the socio-political, cultural and economic contexts of such developments (p. xiii). Furthermore, Salter understands the histories of new media arts, theater, and other stage-based artforms as divided in a tension between the technophilic and technophobic, and his investigation is an attempt to fill this gap.

Peter Sellars describes, in his Foreword to the book, Salter's approach as radically inclusive. Indeed, Salter sets out to frame an impressively diverse range of practices as performance. Those practices include, but are not limited to, theatre, opera, scenography, architecture, video art, installations, environments, sonic arts, robotics, media arts, live and body art, expressions of popular culture such as music gigs, and more. Entangled consists of eight chapters, each focusing on a different form. This distinction is not designed to separate disciplinary trajectories though; instead, it challenges disciplinary boundaries through its fluid narrative that consistently foregrounds intersections, crossovers and common histories.

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