Tools@Hand (2008) - Micah Schippa

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[Hand woven, computer assisted cloth approx. 24'' square.]

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Electric Dress (1956) - Atsuko Tanaka

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(reconstruction, 1986)
Enamel paint on light bulbs, electric cords, and control console

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Atsuko Tanaka in 1957, wearing her Electric Dress (Source: Wikipedia)

Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1932, Tanaka was a member of the Gutai Art Association, the major experimental postwar Japanese art movement founded by a group of young artists in Ashiya in 1954. She was best known for sculptural installations made from non-art materials, such as Electric Dress (1956), a wearable sculpture made of flickering light bulbs painted red, blue, green, and yellow. When originally worn, the sculpture both made the body the center of artistic activity and masked it in a mass of light and color.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM MOMA/P.S.1'S INSIDE/OUT BLOG

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A Studio Visit with LoVid

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I had the opportunity to drop by LoVid's (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) studio at Smack Mellon in DUMBO this week, where they were awarded space for the 2009 cycle of their Artist Studio Program. In their work, LoVid hack and manipulate video in a myriad of ways -- sewing it into quilts, melding it with resin and foam core to make 3D sculptures, integrating live video feeds into the body of other sculptures, altering it in live performance, or weaving the electric wires that transmit video signals into large textiles. Their practice brings the elemental technologies behind video to the fore, while also emphasizing the interactive systems that trigger them. The below photo essay provides a small preview to some of their recent and older works. To see everything they've been up to, be sure to stop by Smack Mellon's Open Studios on Saturday March 20th from 12-6pm, when LoVid will open up their workspace to the public.

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You Are What You Buy (2007) - Michele Pred

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Michele Pred Explains You Are What You Buy

I chose to create an embroidered version of a barcode to represent how technology has become interwoven, fused with our lives and our identity- to represent how we have become one and the same with technology.

Through new technology cell phones are now capable of scanning and decoding barcodes. However, these barcodes are a little different than the ones you see scanned at the grocery store: they are called 2D barcodes and are composed of black and white squares that encode the URLs to any website of creator's choice. In other words, these Data Matrix format barcodes are a physical hyperlink. Through my research I have learned how to create and program 2D barcodes with embedded text messages. I have also discovered that these barcodes can be reproduced in a variety of materials and are still capable of being scanned/read with a mobile phone.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Social Vibration (2009) - Dana Gordon

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A garment that bridges between our life in the real physical world and our web 2.0 increasing social activity. The hoodie can recognise other hoodies from same or related “social network”. In case a member of the same online community is present in the same physical space (around 10 meters), the hoodie activates a subtle vibration, announcing this presence to the wearer in a discreet manner.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Archisuits (2005-2006) - Sarah Ross

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Archisuit consists of an edition of four leisure jogging suits made for specific architectural structures in Los Angeles. The suits include the negative space of the structures and allow a wearer to fit into, or onto, structures designed to deny them.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Homeland Security (Blanket) (2008) - Jerilea Zempel

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I was going to write an artist statement about how I wanted to turn an oversized, macho, gas-guzzling vehicle into a technological ghost by shrouding it in a white, fuzzy cover, reminiscent of women's handwork from another time, another place.

What happened when I re-entered the US from Canada made me re-examine what my lowly art project could mean in a larger political sphere. And it gave me an idea for a title.

My worn-out passport set off the first alarm with the US Border Patrol. US citizen who have traveled to the places I've been over the past 9 years (Africa, Australia, Mexico, Central and South America, Turkey and Europe) need to be looked at more carefully.

A half hour at the computer gave the agent cause to put me into another suspicious category that merited a full car search. After going through my computer, digital camera, cell phone, business cads, suitcase, reading materials, boxes of yarn and crochet tools, she returned with my sketchbook in hand. I was taken to a room and told to sit on a bench with handcuffs at both ends.

"Just what were you doing in Canada? We think you're engaged in some kind of copyright infringement." The accusation was based on drawings of cars like this. After a lively discussion, my university faculty status and positive ID persuaded her to call of the dogs. Then she welcomed me back to the US.

-- THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Note: Zempel was also interviewed on the Colbert Report about this incident and project.

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Stephanie Syjuco's "Copystand: an autonomous manufacturing zone" on VernissageTV

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In this video from VernissageTV, San Francisco-based artist Stephanie Syjuco discusses her project for Frieze this year Copystand: an autonomous manufacturing zone, where Syjuco facilitated a workshop producing copies, handmade by artists, of 3D work on sale during the fair by other artists. In the clip, she terms the process "object karaoke" - suggesting that the artists involved contribute their own voice to their duplications. In a way, it seems like a sculpture-based version of Copyshop, B'L'ing or Werkplaats Typografie's copy station at the NY Art Book Fair. Maybe the time has come for someone to bring all of these bootleggers together in a group show?

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Electronic Popables (2009) - Jie Qi

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Electronic Popables is an interactive pop-up book that sparkles, sings, and moves. The book integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics and the result is a book that looks and functions much like an ordinary pop-up with the added element of dynamic interactivity.

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Interview with Ele Carpenter

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Image: Open Source Embroidery Window Display at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art
(Photo credit: Travis Meinolf)

The exhibition “Open Source Embroidery” opens tonight at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco and it will be on view until January 24, 2010. The show is part of an ongoing project, initiated by Ele Carpenter in 2005, which examines how both embroidery and code can be used as tools in participatory, open source production and distribution models. “Open Source Embroidery” brings together artists, crafters, and programmers to explore this topic in the form of workshops and exhibitions. I spoke to curator Ele Carpenter further about the evolution and multiple realizations of the Open Source Embroidery project. - Ceci Moss

How did your larger research into socially engaged art and new media art evolve into Open Source Embroidery?

Socially engaged art and new media art practices share the language and concepts of social networks, participation and collaboration but they also have distinct histories and operate within very different social spheres. In the world of media arts people have been excited about the potential of the internet to be used to connect communities of interest for a long time. But new media didn’t invent participation; people who work with social networks on the ground already knew how much time and genuine involvement is needed to facilitate meaningful interaction. New media seems to have pulled ‘participation’ into the culture of ‘cool’ technology. But the most radical impact is the politicized culture of digital media testing the legal and ethical frameworks of production and distribution.

I was looking for a way to make tangible some of these ideas: to make visible older forms of collaborative production such as patchwork, and newer collaborative projects such as open source software. I wanted to ...

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