Third Annual Migrating Forms Festival

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Migrating Forms returns this week with its third annual festival, running Friday, May 20th through Sunday, May 29th at Anthology Film Archives in New York. Nellie Killian and Kevin McGarry have selected new work by more than 48 artists representing a broad spectrum of contemporary film and video practices, retrospective screenings, and special guest curated programs. Here are a few highlights to look forward to:


Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8:30 PM
Popular Unrest (60 min., Canada/UK/USA 2010) dir. Melanie Gilligan

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM
Group Program 1
The Yellow Bank (30 min., USA/China, 2010) dir. J.P. Sniadecki
Tokyo-Ebisu (5 min., Japan, 2010) dir. Tomonari Nishikawa
Track One (2 min., Taiwan/USA, 2011) dir. eteam
In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails (14 min., USA/Brazil, 2010) dir. Fern Silva

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 8:30 PM
Holidays in the Sun: Cynthia Maughan (70 min.) dir. Cynthia Maughan

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM
Group Program 4
The Writer in Residence (3 min., UK, 2010) dir. Stephen Sutcliffe
Art Tape: Live With / Think About (3 min., USA, 2011) dir. Michael Bell-Smith
I, Popeye (6 min., USA, 2010) dir. Takeshi Murata
Your Life/Your Language (7 min., USA, 2010) dir. Jacob Ciocci
The Galactic Pot Healer (9 min., USA, 2010) dir. Shana Moulton
The Artist (10 min., UK, 2010) dir. Laure Prouvost
Versions (9 min., Germany, 2011) dir. Oliver Laric

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 9:15 PM
The Art of the Supercut (40 min., video)
Re-edit master and pop culture parser Rich Juzwiak (fourfour.typepad.com, VH1) presents a program of his influences and favorites. Followed by a screening of Curt Hanks epic Star Wars: Chewbacca Supercut

Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:30 PM
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Terminal Convention Takes Flight

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Exterior of the Cork International Airport (Credit: Mike Hannon Media)

What is an airport? There are few buildings as strictly controlled, commercially exploited and emotionally embedded in the contemporary word. Junctions of humanity, they are sites of equal boredom and threat. Airports are dynamic spaces, with flows of people and capital yet they are as susceptible to the effects of socio-economic and political changes as they are to extreme weather changes. Filled with ubiquitous surveillance, continual identification and suspicion, what happens when they loose this function and just become buildings again?

Terminal Convention was a contemporary exhibition and symposium housed in the decommissioned terminal building of Cork International Airport in the Republic of Ireland. The old terminal stands in the shadow of its new, bright, open and airy, off-the-shelf 21st century airport successor, and the decommissioned terminal has remained a virtually untouched unknown wonderland for international artists to transform.

What is striking about this particular airport ex-terminal is its friendly persona, at times more akin to a bizarre extended living room than an airport, with its fireplaces and fish tanks in the baggage reclaim area. Striped of its function and control, the space is deadened and immobile without the continuous hums and flows of international travel. The description ‘decommissioned’ implies something more than simply the staff moving out and locking the door – the building has been stripped of all its symbolic authority. The new freedom to roam, unchecked, through the once tightly controlled spaces provides a small thrill, the ‘no entry’ signs remain in place, but are now rendered obsolete.

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Video Vortex #6: Beyond YouTube

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The sixth Video Vortex conference was held in Amsterdam at Trouw, a building that used to house the printing presses where the eponymous newspaper was created. These days, Trouw is a restaurant and club and occasional conference venue. The venue’s former purpose reinforced the passing of the torch from old news media to the online media being discussed, alongside other relevant topics, at Video Vortex. Michael Strangelove, the first speaker of the day, referred to the “holocaust of capitalism” and how online video enables a subversion of the notion of culture as private property. As newspapers struggle to redefine themselves in this online era - the New York Times’ new paywall being a prime example - the war of ownership over content resonated not only throughout the conference sessions but even in the venue’s inkstained floors.

The initial speakers of the day, Michael Strangelove and Andrew Clay, made salient points about the notion of “compulsory visibility” (Foucault, via Strangelove) online, the “douchebag effect” induced by online video platforms (Strangelove), and the communities and revenue streams which develop around online smash hits such as Annoying Orange (Clay). Talk of douchebag effects and inane chattering fruit was unfortunately juxtaposed with the gravity of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, unfolding at the very same time. All morning, YouTube quickly populated with shocking videos of the damage, and it seemed immediately inappropriate to ponder how many millions Annoying Orange makes.

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NY Art Book Fair 2010

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A Young Kim, We Listen to Bach Transfixed Because This Is Listening to A Human Mind, 2010
(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.

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Booth for Swiss independent publisher Nieves Books

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"You Are Her" a mini-exhibit of 1990s riot grrrl zines, organized by San Francisco's Goteblüd

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Brooklyn-based Cinders Gallery's booth

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Artist Sto Pit's Facebook at the Cinders Gallery booth

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Editions by Trevor Paglen and Starlee Kine at The Thing Quarterly's booth

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The third iteration of Dispatch's "RE: 1975-76 New York Art Yearbook" at the Dispatch booth
(Dispatch did another version of this project at No Soul For Sale at the Tate Modern, which we covered on Rhizome, here.)

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Promotional prints for Laura Owen's book Fruits and Nuts at independent LA boutique Ooga Booga's booth

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e-flux drew a thematic table of contents (of sorts) to all the essays published in their journal on the walls of their project space

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Really gorgeous paper editions by Tauba Auerbach, at the Printed Matter booth

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Another one of Tauba Auerbach's editions

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Issues of Dutch magazine Open, which covers art and the public domain.

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The art ...

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Different Strokes: A Report from Abandon Normal Devices 2010

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The latest edition of Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival has jumped across the Northwest UK from Liverpool, where it debuted last year to Manchester. In its second major urban manifestation, after a small rural retreat in the Peak District, the festival followed its previous format and presented exhibitions, performances, cinema screening, talks and workshops across cultural venues in the city. Seeking to agitate, AND’s theme of questioning normality in various forms was represented in Manchester with a focus on identity.

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Code Eroded: At GLI.TC/H

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In the inverted world of glitch art, functionality is just a sterile enclosure of creative space and degradation an agent of renewal.

Such was the spirit in the air at GLI.TC/H, a five-day conference in Chicago organized by Nick Briz, Evan Meaney, Rosa Menkman and Jon Satrom that included workshops, lectures, performances, installations and screenings. Intuitively, most people involved with new media know what glitch art is - it’s art that tweaks technology and causes either hardware or software to sputter, fail, misfire or otherwise wig out. Narrowing in on a more precise definition can be perilous, though. Purists would insist on a distinction between art that uses actual malfunctions and art that imitates malfunctions, but the organizers of GLI.TC/H took a catholic approach to their programming.

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All Over the Map: Conflux 2010

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The 7th edition of the annual New York psychogeographic festival Conflux kicks off on Friday and will run through the weekend. This year's program is eclectic, expansive and diverse - ranging from cinema accessible by scanning dispersed qcode stickers on web-enabled camera phones (Barcode Cinema by Kristin Lucas and Lee Montgomery) to a panel on public space art and Foursquare with Foursquare Founder Dennis Crowley to a bike ride exploring the geology of Manhattan to hidden transducer speakers throughout the East Village. If you want to explore how artists and technologists are currently integrating public space into their work, look no further than Conflux. See the full schedule here.

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A Report from Repair: Ars Electronica 2010

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The theme of Repair for this year’s Ars Electronica festival was apropos, as the festival moved to the Tabakfabrik, a former cigarette factory and sprawling complex of buildings that was churning out cartons of Marlboros as recently as last year. The smell of tobacco was still heavy in the air, and evidence of the factory’s work continued to linger: ear plugs still available in dispensers, pneumatic tube carriers still sitting in baskets, and boxes emblazoned with cigarette logos being used as exhibition design material. The factory, which is a protected historic landmark, is beautiful and perhaps deserved a Golden Nica of its own -- for best representation of the festival theme.

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Call for Applications

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Netmage 11, an international live media festival which takes place in January 2011 in Bologna, Italy, is seeking applications for their live media floor. The main section of their program, the live media floor is a platform for "generating and/or mixing images and sound of every type and format." Download the application here. Deadline is September 20, 2010.

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The Kick Off

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Internationally renowned OFFF festival convenes in Paris, France, from today until the 26th at La Grande Halle De La Villette. Born from art collective/art agency Inofffensive, the festival stakes its claim as being the “vanguard of the avant-garde” for digital culture, with a simple mission - to earn “some money by doing commercial works and then spending it on crazy, commercially suicidal art projects.” In keeping this ethos, speakers/performers range: from French artist Patrick Jean, to street art bloggers Wooster Collective to former New York Times art director Steven Heller.

Befittingly, in its tenth year of inception, OFFF looks to reflect on the zeitgeist of nostalgia. Titling this year’s show “Nostalgia for a Past Future”, the festival hits upon a key problem for any designer that John Berger lays out in Ways of Seeing: the promise of the future sold by capitalizing on the longing for the past. Yet, heightened by the speed with which trend cycles move (and even more so with the speed of digital culture), for OFFF this issue is circumvented when we forgo trying to recreate narratives of the past and approach nostalgia as a tool for communication.

So, what can we expect?

In the Processing Pixels workshop, Daniel Shiffman looks to transform the treatment of pixels by reconfiguring the relationship between the coded information and its pixelated representation.


Patrick Jean will give a talk about his work in the Openroom. Inspired by the aesthetic of late 80s/early 90s video games, Jean has made a name for himself across the Internet with the video “PIXELS”.


Bleep Labs have come to the fore with its Thingamaboop instrument. Playful from inception, Thingmaboop, embedded with Arduino programming capabilities, is modulated by movement, light sensing LEDs, and is amenable to most synthesizers. In addition to a demonstration ...

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