I first learned of OurGoods from an advertisement in “Art Work: A National Conversation about Art, Labor, and Politics.” Intrigued by their claim to provide an online infrastructure for artists to obtain goods and services without cash, I wrote to Caroline Woolard, a co-founder of the OurGoods project, to find out more. For those in the New York area, OurGoods will host "Trade School" in a storefront at 139 Norfolk Street in the Lower East Side from January 25th through March 1st.
What is OurGoods?
Caroline: OurGoods is an online barter network for artists, designers, and cultural producers to barter skills, spaces, and objects. Members of OurGoods organize creative projects with "haves" and "needs" and OurGoods matches barter partners, tracks accountability, and helps the business of independent, creative work. The site can be used to find collaborators, see emerging interests, or execute projects without cash. For example, I can help you write a grant if you make my costumes. OurGoods is a new model for valuing creative work. It fosters interdependence and strong working relationships. You will get your independent work done with mutual respect instead of cash.
The World Series Of 'Tubing - Jeff Crouse & Aaron Meyers
Greg J. Smith is a Toronto-based designer with an active interest in the intersection of space and media. He is co-editor of the digital arts publication Vague Terrain and blogs at Serial Consign.
Five 2009 projects that deal with the translation of online
experience into environments, events, artifacts and
► World Series of
'Tubing - Jeff Crouse & Aaron Meyers The everyday action
of "favoriting" online media is expanded into a participatory game
show (video above). A pair of contestants square off by selecting
viral videos from YouTube and this media is "played" in an augmented
reality card game where a live audience determines the victor. (see
Paddy Johnson's adventures
as a contestant)
► What my
friends are doing on Facebook - Lee Walton The ubiquitous
status update is used to inspire an ongoing series of charming short
videos. Banal announcements, everyday routine and the inhabitation of
domestic space make for surprisingly entertaining vignettes. (see
Walton's vimeo channel to
access the entire series and Marisa Olson's writeup from
PoD - Cati Vaucelle, Steve Shada and Marisa Jahn An
architectural testament to the "shut in" tendencies within MMORPG
culture, this project creates a playspace that addresses the needs of
the player and their avatar. A built in toilet, cookware and food
dispensers are hardwired into the World of Warcraft interface
underscoring the dedication/obsession demanded by these types of
online communities. (See the video
documentation of the piece)
Built For 2,000 - Aaron Koblin and Daniel Massey Updating
the 1962 experiment in speech synthesis by John Kelly, Max Mathews and
Carol Lockbaum, this project employs the Amazon
Mechanical Turk webservice to outsource the production of
molecular elements of the song Daisy Bell. The resulting 2,088
voice recordings are reassembled into a strange, bumbling chorus - is
this what the future of labor sounds like? (see Peter Kirn's analysis)
► Are you
human? - Aram Bartholl Riffing on the scrambled
aesthetics of the CAPTCHA
challenge-response test, this project creates real world artifacts out
of online protocol. These text objects are deployed in the gallery, as
identity document business cards and (most interestingly) on the
street amongst the "urban markup" of tagged surfaces.(see photographs
of the sculptural objects in the gallery and out in the wild)
With the help of Amazon's Mechanical Turk, I asked workers to record 30+ seconds of "silence" from an on-board, or on-hand microphone. After collecting results, I normalized the submitted silence to a zero decibel level which high-lights the minor - normally inaudible - discrepancies between each recording/location/worker.
In doing so, Normalized Silence approaches the discourse of anonymity that surrounds network and out-source cultures. Accentuating the normally "silent" voices of anonymous workers within this framework provides a aural gesture of individuality within a realm of digital shadows.
Using the public/commercial space of the online trading community Ebay in conjunction with his online catalogue Allmylifeforsale.com, John Freyer catalogued and sold nearly everything that he owned, from his kitchen cutlery to his personal hygiene products, his Star Wars sheets and finally even the domain name Allmylifeforsale.com itself.
In 2000, Michael Daines, then a 16-year-old high-school student in Calgary, attempted to sell his body under eBay's sculpture category. By treating his body as a sculptural object, this project recalls the work of Eleanor Antin, Chris Burden, Gilbert and George, and other Performance artists who used their bodies as a medium in their work.
Note:The Body of Michael Daines is no longer available online, but you can read a 2002 interview with the artist by Eryk Salvaggio here. For a shorter, informal interview with Daines about the project, also conducted by Salvaggio, go here. The work was briefly mentioned in Artforum in 2001, here.
For this installment of General Web Content, our monthly series featuring cultural developments on the web, we turn to Consumer Reviews. Almost all products sold online provide a customer feedback section, and a few of these have been humorously commandeered. These reviews are ridiculous, hilarious, crass and weird. Enjoy. (Please add your favorites in the comments section!)
Image: Samara Golden, Yes no party, 2009 (Installation at Sculpture Center, Spring 2009)
Samara Golden’s colorful, multifaceted video and sculptural installations have been popping up quite a bit in New York City recently. Earlier this year, the artist’s "Yes no party" was set up within an alcove in the basement of the Sculpture Center in Queens as part of the group exhibition “In Practice Winter '09.” Golden then presented her sculpture "There's more but it's invisible" at Columbia University’s 2009 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, and this piece is now on view at the Project Room at Marvelli Gallery in Chelsea until June 27. I spoke with the artist at the Sculpture Center and then at her studio, where we discussed her interest in combining video and sculpture, her incorporation of images culled from image searches on the web into her installations, and more. - Chloe Gray
You surf the web for images to incorporate into your installations. Can you talk about your surfing methodology?
Sometimes I start by typing in a broad term like “messy room,” and when I find a good picture I take elements out and print them, such as a lamp or a vase that I like. In other cases I use the "messy room” picture to help me figure out what I’m looking for; I like the mirror in the picture, so I search for “unique wall mirror” and see what I can find. It's very fun, like making an immediate wish list for a 2D thrift store.
On another level, I’m interested in what photographers call “gaining access”: the ability to have access to other peoples lives. Using the internet allows me access without interfering. Photographers often have to consider these issues because there is an implied ...