Present Tension

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Probing the uncertain grounds between information, misinformation and disinformation, the artworks collected for Hamburger Eyes' exhibit Psymulation: Reenactments of the Present posit a society haunted by the wartime logic of both PsyOps and BlackOps, in which fact and fiction have become increasingly indistinguishable, and power exerts itself through a thick fog of unknowing. The show explores such themes through a cluster of photos, videos, physical artifacts and audio works, at once menacing and absurd, including an interview about psychic spy techniques with a real-life retired US Army Major and, at the show's opening, a live performance of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" on tuba (referencing the use of that same song in Guantanamo interrogations). Elsewhere in the exhibit, Kent Lambert's masterful remixed-video series-- consisting of Security Anthem (2003), Hymn of Reckoning (2006), and the recent Sunset Coda (2006)-- provides a pitch-perfect nightmare fugue on our age of terrors (complete with a vocal solo by John Ashcroft), while Brendan Threadgill's Partially Reconstructed Fragment (SKU# 3059778) (2007) drags into the gallery a refinished but otherwise unrepaired fragment of an automobile-- allegedly detritus from a car bomb, but under the glowering menace of what the curators call the "conspiratorial imagination and sci-fi feedback" of our uncertain era, who can really know for sure? - Ed Halter

Image: Brendan Threadgill, Partially Reconstructed Fragment (SKU# 3059778), 2007

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Media Art in the Age of Transgenics, Cloning and Genomics with Régine Debatty

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This Friday March 14th at 7:30pm, Régine DeBatty of We Make Money Not Art will moderate a panel at the New Museum entitled Media Art in the Age of Transgenics, Cloning and Genomics. The latest installment in Rhizome's monthly New Silent Series, the panel will look at what is known, in short, as 'bio-art' or, in a more elaborate form, art that responds to the increasingly powerful role that biology has come to play in our lives. Artists who will present and be in conversation with DeBatty are Caitlin Berrigan, Brandon Ballengee, Kathy High and Adam Zaretsky. As a teaser to this panel -- and also as a bit of context for the uninitiated -- we conducted a one-question interview with Debatty (see here for interview-format inspiration) on why she has honed in on this art form.


RHIZOME: Régine, you are covering so many practices that are at the intersection of art and technology, but bio-art seems to have been a preoccupation lately. What is that draws you to this field and what do you hope to bring out in this talk?


RD: What makes me particularly attracted to biotechnology is that although it is already pervading our lives (think of what awaits you on the shelves of the supermarket) we can still pretend that it's not there, that it's science-fiction. The brash headlines of magazines (our entrance gate to the labs) cultivate the confusion. Every week, scientists seem to come up with a new breed of 'fearless' mice, rice with human genes in it, super-carrots that will make your bones invincible and skimmed milk directly from the cow. The researchers who are interviewed on TV look like well-mannered guys in a pristine white coats but the reality of their work is far messier than that ...

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Rhizome News Video: Replicant at Virgil de Voldere Gallery

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Rhizome News: Replicant, Virgil de Voldere Gallery from Rhizome on Vimeo.



"Replicant", on view at Virgil de Voldere Gallery in New York from January 10-February 13th, brings together four artists- Ian Burns, Shane Hope, Gilles Rotzetter, and Scott Wolniak- whose work playfully imagines the course of creative expression within a post-apocalyptic future. In this video, the gallery's Director and Founder Virgil de Voldere discusses the concept behind the show and reviews the works included.

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