The Never Forgotten House

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This essay will also appear in the next issue of Pool. 

Image of Williamsburg Waterfront by C-Monster, April 30, 2006.

Several weeks ago, I was leaving a party in Park Slope. As I waited to cross the street, I recognized two places across the way and realized I had eaten meals at both. I had brunch with a friend in the cafe at the corner last year. I met another friend for dinner two years earlier at the Thai restaurant at the address next. I remembered two separate phone calls with each friend explaining how to get there from the 7th Ave station. The second call, and the second walk from the stop didn't remind me of the first. It took a third visit to that intersection, and from that vantage point —across the street —to discover the venues were neighbors. Two pleasant but very different conversations came back to me at once.

I had a decade’s worth of weekends in New York City before I finally made the move last year. Chinatown buses from Washington, DC and Boston; cheap flights out of Chicago Midway that left Friday evening and arrived before work on Monday. Sometimes I visited as often as twice a month, for special events or a guy or no reason. With the insouciance of an out-of-towner, I never bothered to follow how a taxi gets from one point to another or which direction the subway train was headed when we got to the stop. Now that the city is my home, I'm constantly uncovering another fragmentary long forgotten memory.

I will never know if some of the places I remember from these early New York trips have been torn down or exist on streets I haven't walked by again yet. I refuse to ...

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Frameworks, Crowdfunding, Cassandra and Undocumented Wind Instruments

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Now that everyone is out of business cards and has had enough time to check in to their locative media apps, I think we can begin to make sense of the social and technological deluge that was the South by Southwest Interactive festival. After being deep in a web development hole for the past few months, what I took away from the conference was a rejuvenation of critical, big-picture questioning, a reminder of just how drastically technology is contouring contemporary society and culture and that, ultimately, it is still in our hands to determine the overall shape of things to come. Although a late arrival and scheduling conflicts prevented me from hearing everyone I'd have liked to have heard (Douglas Rushkoff, Gary Vaynerchuk, among many others), I was able to take in most of the keynote speakers and the panels whose subject had some impact or connection to the arts (which were few). Here is a synopsis of the projects, presentations, and people that resonated with me the most.

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self.detach (2008) - Tim Horntrich and Jens Wunderling

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self.detach is a dynamic object, which adopts a critical position towards the celebration of the ego on the internet by dissolving self-portraying pictures into coloured particles.

--DESCRIPTION FROM THE PROJECT PAGE

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Top 5 - 10

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title_leaving.gif Nicolas Sassoon, Leaving, 2009 (From Computers Club)

 

Ceci Moss is Rhizome's Senior Editor.


 

For my top 5-10, I've decided to pull together my favorite online exhibitions of internet-based art from the past 12 months.

► Computers Club

Each week or so, Computers Club introduce a new work by an artist. Many of the Computer Clubbers have helped to define the current crop of internet-based art influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics, such as Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, and Elna Frederick.

► Internet Archaeology's "Guest Galleries"

Internet Archaeology is a site devoted to the recovery of graphic artifacts found within earlier internet culture. (Think Olia Lialina's A Vernacular Web.) Their Guest Galleries section features original work using images culled from the collection by Tabor Robak, Krist Wood, Jacob Broms Engblom, Daniel Leyva, Emma Balkind, and Nasdaq 5000. My favorite piece so far is Robak's Heaven, which I posted to Rhizome not too long ago.

► JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise"

Run by Bay Area-based artists Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito, JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" series is quite ambitious -- for a full year, they're knocking out a new work, in the form of a solo site, by an artist every two weeks, with an accompanying essay by Denny and Ito.

► NETMARES & NETDREAMS v 2.2

Like software, the curatorial project NETMARES & NETDREAMS signal the progression of their exhibitions through versioning. The exhibition "2.2" went live last summer, and it is loosely based on beach iconography, with a gloss of dark surrealism. A sense of the ominous pervades throughout, from Harm van den Dorpel's dizzying montage of palm trees to Michael Guidetti's loop of a rippling, virtual ocean.

► Club Internet's "Dissociation"

Now closed, Club Internet's fall exhibition "Dissociation" was ...

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The Internet Mapping Project (2009) - Kevin Kelley

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The internet is vast. Bigger than a city, bigger than a country, maybe as big as the universe. It's expanding by the second. No one has seen its borders.

And the internet is intangible, like spirits and angels. The web is an immense ghost land of disembodied places. Who knows if you are even there, there.

Yet everyday we navigate through this ethereal realm for hours on end and return alive. We must have some map in our head.

I've become very curious about the maps people have in their minds when they enter the internet. So I've been asking people to draw me a map of the internet as they see it. That's all. More than 50 people of all ages and levels of expertise have mapped their geography of online.

-- STATEMENT FROM THE PROJECT SITE

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FOR 2009, IDEA SUBSCRIPTION__ (2009) - David Horvitz

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David Horvitz’s For 2009, Idea Subscription__ (2009) is an email-based subscription list and tumblr blog of “open source” ideas for art projects, updated on an almost daily basis. Readers are encouraged to, “…realize, change, steal (you can't steal something that is free!), publish, claim as your own, destroy, become influenced by (either because you like them, or because you hate them so much that they give you better ideas), appropriate, spray paint, or anything else with them.” The ideas are all whimsical and offbeat, such as leaving a pile of flour outside one’s door for visitors to step in and photographing the resulting tracks (April 4th) to flying a kite in an area with dense advertising, such as Times Square, in order to serve as a distraction (March 13th). One of the ideas, dating from April 7th, has taken on a life of its own. Horvitz suggests that readers take photographs of their head in a freezer and upload it online using the tag “241543903”. There is now a dedicated site for these images at 241543903.com as well as a flickr group, while a quick flickr search results in at least 80 photographs of people with their heads in a freezer. The emerging popularity of 241543903 is additional proof (as if any is needed) to support Cory Arcangel's statement from the March 2009 issue of Artforum that, "...you can put anything up on the Internet and there will be five people who want it, no matter how weird or obscure the information. The niche exists: someone’s going to find you, period."

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user hubs

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user hugotsantos

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Image: 241543903 from flickr user .y.a.r.a.

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Tagalicious

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The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens, Greece, has committed itself to curating a number of recent exhibitions of internet art. Their current show, "Tag Ties and Affective Spies," features contributions from both net vets and emerging surfers, including Christophe Bruno, Gregory Chatonsky, Paolo Cirio, JODI, Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, Les Liens Invisibles, Personal Cinema and The Erasers, Ramsay Stirling, and Wayne Clements. The online exhibition takes an antagonistic approach to Web 2.0, citing a constant balance "between order and chaos, democracy and adhocracy." Curator Daphne Dragona raises the question of whether the social web is a preexisting platform on which people connect, or whether it is indeed constructed in the act of uploading, tagging, and disclosing previously private information about ourselves on sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook. Dragona asks whether we are truly connecting and interacting, or merely broadcasting. While her curatorial statement doesn't address the issue directly, the show's title hints at the level of self-surveillance in play on these sites. Accordingly, many of the selected works take a critical, if not DIY, approach to the internet. The collective Les Liens Invisibles tends to create works that make an ironic mash-up of the often divergent mantras of tactical media, culture jamming, surrealism, and situationism. In their Subvertr, they encourage Flickr users to "subverTag" their posted images, creating an intentional disassociation between an image's content and its interpretion, with the aim of "breaking the strict rules of significance that characterize the mainstream collective imaginary..." JODI's work, Del.icio.us/ winning information (2008) exploits the limited stylistic parameters of the social bookmarking site. Using ASCII and Unicode page titles to form visual marks, a cryptic tag vocabulary, and a recursive taxonomy, their fun-to-follow site critiques the broader content of the web ...

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Turn On, Tune In, Zoom Out

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DREAMCAPTCHA #006 from blackmoth on Vimeo.
Video: Dreamcaptcha #006, 2008

Kari Altmann is a Baltimore-based artist who initiated the collaborative project Netmares and Netdreams. She agreed to do an interview ahead of the project's residency on Sunday March 15th at Capricious Space in Brooklyn as part of the program In Real Life. - Brian Droitcour

Netmares and Netdreams is going to be featured "in real life" at Capricious Space in Brooklyn. How is this going to be different from the first incarnation of Version 3.0, at Current Gallery in Baltimore? What were some of the challenges you encountered when displaying an online project in physical space?

The opportunity to do version 3.0 of the show arose very suddenly. Current gave us just two weeks to put everything together. But I knew that if we didn't accept that challenge, we might never do the show at all. It wasn't ideal, but it was also perfect luck, because it needed to happen in a space like Current while we had some momentum. We just said yes and pushed through the limitations, which is how we do a lot of things.

Some netdreamers were confronted with the question of how to present things offline for the first time, and they needed to experiment with the options. We didn't have computers for the show, which I was okay with, but we also had zero budget and very limited gear. We wanted to make it the most “real” show we could without all the resources. A lot of things ended up as prints or videos. We debated over whether or not certain pieces still functioned in the way they were presented. If someone didn’t answer an email or send their piece in time, it would affect the way everything ...

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average photographs study (2008) - kitschpatrol

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Every day, flickr deems 500 photographs from its database "interesting." Each frame of this video represents the average of one day's 500 interesting photographs. In series, the video frames document each day's average interestingness between July 1, 2004 and July 1, 2007. This video is a study for a larger-scale, interactive representation of similar data.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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