David Kraftsow is the artist and programmer behind the Featured Online Artwork for Internet Week YooouuuTuuube, which has been making a splash since it first launched just a few months ago. The site allows users to tile YouTube videos frame-by-frame, with options to resize the frames and even display them as a spiral. I recently spoke with David at greater length about his project. - Ceci Moss
How did you come up with the idea for YooouuuTuuube?
I had wanted to create a program that uses YouTube videos as source material for a long time. At first I didn't really have a very specific idea of how I wanted it to work. It wasn't until I finally sat down and started coding little experiments and prototypes--in order to see what could be done from a technical standpoint--that a final project idea started to emerge.
Have you worked on projects like this before?
Yes, a lot of small things. I wrote a lot of prototype programs that read from YouTube and displayed videos in different ways. I had a bunch of video players including one that selected random videos of tornados and one that played a looping fullscreen video of the game MYST. I also created a more complex version that played lots of assorted videos at the same time in a dynamic grid layout with cross-fading sounds.
What are some of your favorite uses of YooouuuTuuube so far?
- The video where someone figured out how to write Japanese characters is pretty rad: http://yooouuutuuube.com/v/?rows=24&cols;=960&id;=GE2wQNfMcjk&startZoom;=1&showVideo;=1
- This Norman McLaren video: http://yooouuutuuube.com/v/?rows=5&cols;=2880&id;=qJwfeG3Mntk
- This "Alice" video which is by an Australian musician named Pogo has been, by far, the ...!--more-->
The PSI_NET project reclaims a psychic drawing method researched, developed and utilised by the US military since 1972 and further developed in the private sphere by an ex-US Army remote viewer since 1989.
Clients/participants are requested to provide details of a remote site, person, object or event which they do not have access to, but about which they would like to gain information.
This 'target' can be located in the past, present or future, can be lost, forgotten, government or otherwise protected, and will be beyond the scope of the internet.
For each request two or more remote viewing drawings will be made at a single sitting. Images of these will be sent electronically to the client.
Hypertext fiction was proclaimed at its inception as the literary genre of the future, but now it already feels like a relic of the past. Ironically, nineteen years after a software company published the first hypertext story, Michael Joyce’s Afternoon, fast internet connections and popular reference sites have made habits of fragmentary, non-linear reading common enough to prepare a wide audience for tackling hypertext fiction (who clicked on the link above before finishing this sentence?), but hardly any artists and writers are making serious attempts at it. Becket Bowes is one exception. His project [sic]ipedia, conceived for and developed during SculptureCenter’s "In Practice” program, takes the form of an evocative description of an arcane curio cabinet, with backstories of the items it contains.
Bowes’ installation in the back of SculptureCenter’s basement was composed of those items—two Ships of Theseus, a Comfortable Chair, a simulation of Alan Turing’s death mask and a model of his bust spinning on a computer monitor, to name a few. [sic]ipedia began as a simple site, with a gray sphere and blank prompt in a stripped-down variation on Wikipedia’s home page. But over the course of the “In Practice” exhibition’s run at SculptureCenter, Bowes gathered his friends—members of the Social Isolate Club, or SIC—inside his installation, to talk out the histories and significance of the objects there. At each meeting, Bowes would take notes in composition books, and then convert the notes into pages on [sic]ipedia. Taken together, [sic]ipedia (the web site) and Social Isolate Club (the installation) suggested parallels between reading hypertext and viewing an installation: both give the viewer a degree of autonomy in ...
David Horvitz’s For 2009, Idea Subscription__ (2009) is an email-based subscription list and tumblr blog of “open source” ideas for art projects, updated on an almost daily basis. Readers are encouraged to, “…realize, change, steal (you can't steal something that is free!), publish, claim as your own, destroy, become influenced by (either because you like them, or because you hate them so much that they give you better ideas), appropriate, spray paint, or anything else with them.” The ideas are all whimsical and offbeat, such as leaving a pile of flour outside one’s door for visitors to step in and photographing the resulting tracks (April 4th) to flying a kite in an area with dense advertising, such as Times Square, in order to serve as a distraction (March 13th). One of the ideas, dating from April 7th, has taken on a life of its own. Horvitz suggests that readers take photographs of their head in a freezer and upload it online using the tag “241543903”. There is now a dedicated site for these images at 241543903.com as well as a flickr group, while a quick flickr search results in at least 80 photographs of people with their heads in a freezer. The emerging popularity of 241543903 is additional proof (as if any is needed) to support Cory Arcangel's statement from the March 2009 issue of Artforum that, "...you can put anything up on the Internet and there will be five people who want it, no matter how weird or obscure the information. The niche exists: someone’s going to find you, period."
I first encountered InCUBATE’s work at Creative Time’s exhibition “Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory.” For the run of the show, this Chicago-based artist-run organization set up a temporary soup cafe in collaboration with artist Robin Hewlett and artist group Material Exchange. Visitors were invited to purchase soup, and these funds were then directed toward small grants to support art projects. The soup cafe was an extension of their ongoing project Sunday Soup, which offers monthly meals in their storefront space in order to fundraise money for individual artist’s projects. Sunday Soup is but one example of the alternative economic models put forth by InCUBATE’s varied activities and research. In a shaky economic climate, InCUBATE’s grassroots approach to arts funding propose useful solutions to enduring, and most likely, increasingly pressing obstacles. For our ongoing series dealing with contemporary art and the recession, I decided to interview InCUBATE (Abigail Satinsky, Bryce Dwyer, Roman Petruniak, and Matthew Joynt) about their activities. - Ceci Moss
What is InCUBATE and how did it begin?
InCUBATE stands for the Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday. We are an experimental research institute and artist residency program dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. Acting as curators, researchers and co-producers of artist's projects, our main focus has been to explore ways that artists, both historically and today, have incorporated models of resource allocation, community building, funding structures and forms of exchange as part of their artistic practice.
We originally came together while studying Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Given our desire to provoke a critical recognition of how art practices can better relate to alternative systems of economic and cultural exchange ...
Addressing the American Association of Museums in 1941, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, then curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, put forth a fundamental question: "What is an Art Museum for?" He proposes that the answer is contained in the term "curator," which implies that "the first and most essential function of such a Museum is to take care of ancient or unique works of art which are no longer in their original places or no longer used as originally intended, and are therefore in danger of destruction by neglect or otherwise." Significantly, Coomaraswamy's concept downplays one curatorial activity otherwise taken for granted today: "This care of works of art," he writes, "does not necessarily involve their exhibition" but if an institution does choose to exhibit works, "this is to be done with an educational purpose." Moreover, he adds, "it is unnecessary for Museums to exhibit the works of living artists, which are not in immanent danger of destruction."
Coomaraswamy's antediluvian pronouncements, predating both the development of the modern computer and the institutional embrace of contemporary art, nonetheless provide a way to think about the assumptions underlying the twelve essays in Christiane Paul's collection New Media in the White Cube and Beyond: Curatorial Models for Digital Art, recently published by UC Press. For even if Coomaraswamy's skepticism about the value of exhibiting living artists now strikes us as thoroughly outdated, his general concerns continue to inform the questions posed by Paul and her contributors. For new media, the problem of how to deal with artworks "no longer in their original places or no longer used as originally intended" remains salient -- albeit for technological rather than antiquarian reasons -- and all of Paul's essayists propose some version of what necessary "educational purpose" curators of new media must embrace.
Bicycle Built For 2,000 is comprised of 2,088 voice recordings collected via Amazon's Mechanical Turk web service. Workers were prompted to listen to a short sound clip, then record themselves imitating what they heard.
Nathaniel Stern and Scott Kildall "Wikipedia Art" project, which was deleted by Wikipedia users soon after it went live, was intended as an artistic intervention in the open yet closely regulated space of Wikipedia. Considering the context, it is unsurprising that the project was so short-lived. In the artist's statement, Kildall and Stern claim that the work "MUST BE written about extensively both on- and off-line" and, indeed, it did generate ample debate. Check the Rhizome Discussion board for a conversation related to the function of truth on Wikipedia, as well as the discussion section for the Wikipedia Art entry itself, where users consider the place of an art project of this type within Wikipedia.
Juried Exhibition: Earth, at 440 Gallery, Brooklyn
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator