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!
POWEr is a performance based on high-voltage electromagnetic perturbations, by Alexandre Burton and Julien Roy. Using an audio-modulated Tesla coil as a live instrument, electrical arcs are generated and transformed in an ongoing, realtime audiovisual process. Electricity is used as a subtle yet intense material, manifested as an instrinsically synesthesic phenomenae.
Last Friday, I popped by Spencer Brownstone Gallery for B.Y.O.B. or Bring Your Own Beamer, a one-night-only exhibition organized by artist Rafaël Rozendaal. Artists were invited to bring their own projector (or "beamer" in European parlance) and project whatever they wish - videos, animated gifs, live streams, etc. Despite some problems with electricity and short-circuiting at the space - apparently 30+ projectors and laptops all running simultaneously tested the gallery's supply - the show was a hit and very fun. My favorite work was the live lobsters in a fish tank in the back room by Hayley Silverman and Charles Broskoski. A clip lamp "projected" the tank onto the wall behind it, so it was a creative interpretation of the show's theme. I think they even named them too - Tootsie? Wootsie? I can't remember. Anyway, here are some shots from last Friday. If you live in Los Angeles, lucky you, they'll be organizing another BYOB this coming week on November 19th at USC Gayle and Ed Roski MFA Gallery, info here.
It could be argued that template-style exploitable memes are the bread-and-butter of image board communities like those found on 4chan. Taking a popular, strange, or funny image and editing it down to the simplest components allows them to be photoshopped into a variety of contexts. It's easy and allows for a wide range of iterations, many of which gesture back to previous memes to construct intricate networks of reference that require elaborate explanations and complex genealogies to decipher. Some of the most popular template memes come from 4chan's Cartoons and Comics board /co/, and usually involve stripping a drawn image to it's most basic outlines so that it can be adapted to various popular cartoon or comic characters. Popular examples include Optimized Gif Dude (2006), Gentlemen (2006), fsjal (2008), and X Everywhere (2010).
[The Original Image]
Handsome Face is a image that first appeared in mid-September of 2010 on /co/ and was quickly made a template by 4chan user Shore Leave !!T2UdrWkLSWB. This original image is taken from a scene from the 2010 animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. The face was generally regarded as "handsome" in a way that seemed comical and overly sincere, as though he were about to say something heartfelt to another character. Soon it was coupled with the text template "X, I . . ." where X is a character, concept, or object that could be humorously paired with the original. An iteration using the Joker might be captioned "Batman, I . . .", or one made to look like Shaggy from the group Insane Clown Posse might be captioned "Magnets, I . . ." in reference to the much-parodied ICP music video Miracles (2009).
The meme points to the complex network of reference that makes up the template format, as well as the call-and-response solicitation that helps to propagate ...
(from the studio alabaster booth)
Printed Matter's annual contemporary art book extravaganza The NY Art Book Fair opened last night, and I dropped by today to take some shots of the festivities for the blog. Easily one of my favorite yearly art events in New York, the fair hosts an overwhelming amount of booths, lectures, screenings, performances, and more by 200+ participating independent publishers, booksellers, zinesters, and artists. The fair is at PS1 in Long Island City, it's free, and it will be open today until 7pm, Saturday from 11am-7pm, and on Sunday from 11am-5pm. Also, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for a round-up of media art and digital culture-related highlights.
(Dispatch did another version of this project at No Soul For Sale at the Tate Modern, which we covered on Rhizome, here.)
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator