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.
GreenScreen (extrActor) (2005) is a greenscreen made of hydroponically grown grass which allows the viewers to insert themselves into virtual video backgrounds, which they can choose via remote control.
Chapter I: The Discovery is an impenetrable, geometric object and a series of videos restaging the moment of its discovery, as if it were a scene from a sci-fi movie, where the hero is suddenly confronted with an alien, slightly chilling figure.
The videos are broadcast in the first room. Images show the dodecahedron in places which are fictitious and devoid of any human trace. No matter the context, the alien entity reproduces the same light and sound animation, expressing a state of waiting by emitting a signal of presence. The sculpture itself waits for visitors in the second room. As the viewer gets closer, the machine detects the movement and "tries" to engage in communication made entirely of light and sound code. If the sculpture is surrounded on all its vertical faces, it will respond by releasing its maximum energy.
Chapter I: The Discovery questions the viewer's perception about the truthfulness of what is shown, right from the visioning of videos with synthetic images and ending up in an encounter with an interactive object which co-opts information flows, sound and light transmission.
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.
An electronic oscillator is connected to an open circuit, in a way that when the user touches 2 metal bars he/she himself/herself becomes the electrical resistance therefore being able to vary the frequency of sound.
The old modified TVs react to this sound as an oscilloscope having all kinds of different patterns and reactions.
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.
Montreal's art and science organization the Daniel Langlois Foundation announced a new collection of online materials for Canadian artist David Rokeby's work Very Nervous System (1983-), an interactive sound installation that reacts to the movement of visitors. The work has developed over the years, and has exhibited in many contexts. This particular collection of documentation is interesting because they bring in the audience's response to the work, through a series of interviews. You can read more about the project and their approach in the excerpt below from the "Introduction to the Collection" by Caitlin Jones and Lizzie Muller.
This is the second documentary collection that we have created for artworks by David Rokeby. In 2007 we produced a collection for the artwork Giver of Names (1991-), through which we developed a documentary approach to media art that captures the relationship between the artist’s intentions and the audience’s experience or, as we have described it, “between real and ideal” (1). The aim of this strategy is to acknowledge the fundamental importance of audience experience to the existence of media artworks and to create a place for the audience within the documentary record.
We believe this approach offers a productive way to reconcile how media artworks exist in the world and how they are represented in an archival context. In recent publications, we have begun to refer to the product of this approach as an “Indeterminate Archive”: a collection of materials that provides multiple perspectives of the work, as well as multiple layers of information, held together with—but not secondary to—the idea of the artist's intent (2). This indeterminate archive, we have argued, captures the mutability and contingency of the artwork’s existence, creating a more, not less ...
"Art and social media" -- this topic is all anyone wants to talk about these days. The discussion extends from the staid -- the National Endowment for the Arts released a report titled "Audience 2.0: How Technology Influences Arts Participation" -- to more spicy ruminations on what "social media art" offers as a new category, as in the artist An Xiao’s recent three-part series for Hyperallergic.
On the one hand, this faddish obsession with "social media" is understandable. The Facebook Corp. has begun to wrap its fingers around every other aspect of life, so it is clearly logical to ask what effects social media might have on art-making. But at the same time, I find the chatter somehow sad, as if visual art’s power to inspire passion among a larger audience is so attenuated that it has to throw itself on whatever trendy thing is out there, to win some reflected glory for itself.
So, the question for me is this: Is there any more interesting way to think about the topic than the loose and impressionistic manner that it is currently framed? Maybe it’s worth noting that, of all the buzzwords of the present-day lexicon, "social media" is perhaps the only one that is more vaguely defined than "art." Let’s begin, then, by clarifying terms to see if we can get to a more interesting place.