Club Internet opened a new online exhibition today, which runs until August 19th. Titled "Contact," the show is curated by artist Damon Zucconi. Included are works by Christopher Byler, Garrett Davis & Kieran Gillen, Aleksandra Domanovic, Harm van den Dorpel, Marcel Duchamp, Nathan Hauenstein, Martijn Hendriks, Jeremy Hughes & Ken Seeno, KUO I-Chen, Hugh Pocock, Jordan Rhoat, Ken Seeno, Alexandr Skarlinski, and James Whipple. (Rhizome will soon post a longer review of the show, but for now, check the link below.)
The Brooklyn Museum is hip to this internet thing. Their current show, "Click!" (note the dot-fun exclamatory spelling!) is the latest in what seems to be a slew of museum shows to pick-up the theme of "crowdsourcing." While this term, coined by Jeff Howe in a 2006 Wired Magazine article originally referred to corporate R&D, the principal of a large body of "amateur" volunteers making collective decisions has not only rocketed a number of online ventures to success, it's also become a model for online activism, collective organizing, and art. The Brooklyn Museum's show invokes New Yorker magazine columnist James Surowiecki's ideas about "The Wisdom of Crowds" (essentially that collective knowledge is greater than the sum of its parts) in inviting online audiences to discuss and vote on photographs submitted by respondents to an open call. Curator Shelley Bernstein (whose official title at the museum is not Curator but, of course, Manager of Information Systems) opens a tricky can of worms in asking whether a diverse crowd can be "just as 'wise' at evaluating art as the trained experts?" In a sense it doesn't matter, like curators and critics before them, what they say goes. After the crowd has been sufficiently sourced, the artists get an exhibit at the museum and are displayed according to rank. Incidentally, the assignment for this photo study is to capture the face of Brooklyn, so the layers of sociological reflection are highly recursive, which somehow seems fitting. In her curatorial statement for Phantom Captain: Art and Crowdsourcing, at New York's Apex Art gallery, Aurora Picture Show founding director Andrea Grover argued that "crowdsourcing as a method of artistic production appears to be heir to the throne of 1960s and 70s happenings and participatory art." Fortunately, you don't ...
Steve Lambert's Add Art project (a 2008 Rhizome Commission co-developed with the artist's colleagues in the Eyebeam R&D lab) offers home-delivery art exhibitions in the form of your Firefox browser window. Internet users who download Lambert's free open source plug-in will see an aesthetic overhaul in the sites they visit, as advertisements are replaced by visual art created or curated by a different guest, every two weeks. The project is a perfect outgrowth of Lambert's involvement with the Anti-Advertising Agency, who work to co-opt "the tools and structures used by the advertising and public relations industries" to call into question "the purpose and effects of advertising in public space." These efforts have manifested in forms ranging from bus shelter ads and stickers to ideologically-bent think tanks and objects of propaganda. With a keen awareness of the impact of advertising on public space, the move to the internet--where so many of us dwell and encounter a daily barrage of ads--is a thoughtful one. Rather than offering yet another software tool for blocking-out advertisements, Add Art fills this space with something more intriguing, and the biweekly exhibits that have thus far been presented successfully generate discourse about value, aesthetics, and the contextual frameworks within which we receive information about the world. The current show (imagine each ad box in your browser window as a gallery) is a rather humorous and almost absurdly literal take on the context of adding art to your field of vision by replacing ads with it. Charles Broskoski essentially blacks-out the ad boxes on sites with his contribution, which is a collection of digital reproductions of famous black monochromatic paintings, cropped, resized to the proper specs, and optimized for the net--meaning that these paintings by the likes of Rauchenberg, Kelly, Malevich, Marden, Reinhardt ...
You may have read about free103point9 here, before. At Rhizome, we maintain a high esteem for this pioneering organization serving the field of "transmission arts," and we've fortunately been able to collaborate with them on projects in the past. In many ways, our missions overlap, as our organizations grew out of a desire to support emergent and often immaterial practices. Free103point9's founders situate their vision of the field in an evolutionary framework, looking at how broadcasting and transmission grew out of shared trajectories with net art, video art, mail art, and other creative forms of distributed communication. The organization frequently teams up with other institutions to take this message on the road and increase exposure for the work of transmission artists. Their newest collaborative project is both a show and a recording, co-presented by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, in their Radio Web program (RWM). This curatorial initiative "is a radio-phonic project from the MACBA's website that explores the possibilities of the internet and radio as spaces of synthesis and exhibition." This self-reflexive approach to presentation is also inherent in the free103point9 show, entitled "Radio Action III," which takes up "radio" as both its theme and its delivery vehicle. Fifteen artists collaborate to present five-minute tracks inspired by this important device, and a bit of surfing of the artists' profiles on free103point9 will assure you of their diversity, ranging from site-specific sound manipulation to interventionist broadcasts. The recordings are the newest CD to be released in free103point9's Dispatch series and the album will premiere at an event at the New Museum of Contemporary Art on August 7th. Meanwhile, it will be streaming online at RWM from June 18 - August 30. Be sure to tune-in. - Marisa Olson
Have you ever noticed that sometimes spam emails contain the most interesting images? In an effort to encrypt their messages, thus bypassing inbox filters, many spammers will convert their text to an image format, and the pixellated camouflage of these images is very often very beautiful. This junk mail camo finds its origin in what artist Elizabeth Duffy calls "analog mail." She and the team at Purgatory Pie Press sifted through their mail to collect envelopes containing security patterns, images of which they've subsequently published in a hand-made book called Enclosure Exposure: Data Protection Patterning. The piece is the newest in PPP's "InstaBook" subscription series of DIY, folded, single-sheet books. There's something about the automation, the serialization, and the repetition of these patterns and even this book itself that make the project intriguing. The patterns are an institutionalized veil between what is and isn't meant to be seen, and like visually-encrypted spam messages, the banality of their simple, mostly monochromatic, repeated lines and overlapping patterns adds up to something much more formally interesting. - Marisa Olson
Last week, we said we'd re-post notes from the Futures of the Internet discussion at NYU. In lieu of notes, we are pleased to share full-length video documentation of the panel that was just sent to us. Art was a relatively small part of the larger discussion, but some speculations on its future were made.
Last week, the Internet Society hosted a panel entitled Futures of the Internet, with academic and consultant Clay Shirky, whose recent book Here Comes Everybody looks at collaboration online; Columbia University law professor Tim Wu, co-founder of the Berkman Center at Harvard and Oxford law professor Jonathan Zittrain, also the author of the aptly titled book the Future of the Internet-- and How to Stop It, and Rhizome's own Lauren Cornell. As the designated art advocate, Cornell speculated on the future of online art. Notes from this talk will be posted here later this week but for now, we suggest you read the summary over on Art Fag City.
Danish site Netfilmmakers.dk provides what it terms "a non-commercial projectionspace for netfilm, net art video and net art," structured around a series of online curated mini-exhibits of just three works each. The latest and 13th edition is "To Kill at Dusk With Foam," featuring videos by Jana Eske, Andreas Kurtsson and Abhishek Hazra. In Eske's Apfelschnappen, a camera poised at the bottom of a tank of water records various individuals bobbing for a green apple, Kurtsson's Debris narrates the witnessing of a crime within a dream over images of depopulated exurban architecture, and Hazra's nicely inscrutable Nasal Sceptre portrays a pixelated rotating teapot covered with inscriptions of what may be bizarre online lingo ("RLAIAADKTEATCOR: rotate left arm in an anticlockwise direction keeping the elbow as the centre of rotation" -- one left out of Marisa Olson's recent Netacronyms?) The accompanying essay's attempt to tie these three works together under the themes from the Mahabharata and the anthropological concept of liminality constitute theoretical lily-gilding, but the site's micro-curated format nevertheless bears the satisfying succinctness of a video haiku. - Ed Halter
Image: Andreas Kurtsson, Debris, 2008
This week, I Heart Photograph published an interview with artist Harm van den Dorpel which, however brief, offers insight into his process. In response to the first (of two) questions, van den Dorpel describes the series from which his image above is excerpted: "this work is part of my project 'semantics'. it is a series of manipulated found images. after applying one action or manipulation i put them back online. in computer programming 'semantics' is opposed to 'syntax'. when i look at media i am always struck by the (stupidity of) visual conventions and expectations; these are these syntactic rules. purposely i generate a syntax error in the visual language of the photos. after the images are processed on a lower layer, they become mine, and carry completely other meaning or emotions. " Also check out this interview from NY Arts Magazine with van den Dorpel and Damon Zucconi, a dynamic artist who shares some of van den Dorpel's concerns. Zucconi's varied and fast-growing body of work includes browser-based projects such as Sometimes Red, Sometimes Blue, video such as Untitled (SONY) as well as inter-disciplinary installations and expanded performances, all of which interrupt the marketing campaigns of everything from ideas to TV shows and, in so doing, interrogate the production and circulation of visual information. The format of their conversation: a straight transcription from gchat allows them to vacillate between casual conversation and more thoughtful reflections on their work -- all interesting and valuable to read. -- Lauren Cornell
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator