Summer in the City

(0)


Designer/researcher Greg J. Smith has curated an online exhibition that surveys twelve of the most influential mapping-related new media projects of the last ten years. "City of Nodes" is the 21st show presented by CONT3XT.NET, who use social bookmarking site del.icio.us as a platform for their TAGallery. The sites Smith selected actually skim the longstanding relationship between tagging and urban studies, with a focus on cartography and locative media. In his curatorial introduction (in this case, a "tag description"), Smith synthesizes Lewis Mumford's late-1930s conception of the city as "a nexus of social, creative, and economic collaboration," in contrast to William J. Mitchell's '90s era take on cities as including "not only asphalt and concrete, but bandwidth, code, and connectivity." This is the filter through which the twelve selected projects are viewed. They include the seminal Amsterdam Realtime (2002) project by Esther Polak and Jeroen Kee (the Waag Society) in which GPS devices worn by volunteers create a comparative portrait of the personal occupation of the city; iSee (2005), the Institute for Applied Autonomy's web-based program for locating CCTV cameras throughout a city and planning your travel route accordingly; and One Block Radius, Dave Mandl and Christina Ray's (a.k.a. Glowlab's) psychogeographic documentary of the immediate neighborhood surrounding what was then the future site of the new New Museum building. Given that so many of the selected projects are about tracing a collective experience, the folksonomic curatorial platform seems a perfect one on which to contemplate the work, with guest-curators' tags suggesting an interpretation before inviting viewers to travel off on their own. - Marisa Olson


Image: David Rokeby, Seen, 2002

Link »

MORE »


Interview with Aleksandra Domanovic

(0)

Aleksandra Domanovic is a Berlin-based artist who works primarily on the internet. Much of her art contrasts and recontextualizes content derived online, such as found videos and Google Maps, in an effort to establish a dialogue between these different materials. I interviewed her via email. - Ceci Moss

You were born in Serbia, grew up in Slovenia and now reside in Berlin. Has this transnationalism inflected your work? How so?

I was born in Serbia, but in a Slovakian minority in Vojvodina. Hmm, I can't say how this expresses in my work...most of the artists I know are global nomads. I have a blurred sense of nationality and have no real feeling of belonging anywhere, which may explain my obsession with maps. I also lived in Vienna for six years and spend some time in Tokyo before moving to Berlin, and for now I still enjoy not having a permanent residence.

As a blogger for VVORK, you obviously spend a lot of time surfing the web. How does this daily routine influence your practice as an artist?

I became an artist through and with VVORK. Studying graphic design, but always making video on the side, I joined VVORK about one week after it was founded by Oliver, Georg and Christoph. Surfing the web extensively, seeing so much good work and discovering it for myself, motivated me.

You completed two projects which paired online mapping and video: Srbija Do Tokia and Tesla. Could you explain the concept behind these two works?

There are 3 pages: Srbija Do Tokia, Tesla and Holivud, all written as they are pronounced in Serbian language, which is the grammatically correct way of writing foreign words in Serbia. All reflect Serbian nationalism and the recent independence of Kosovo. The day after the declaration, there were videos ...

MORE »


Time to TRIP Out

(0)


Despite their long lineages, the fields of locative media and psychogeography have only recently entered the art world. Every year there are increasingly more festivals and exhibitions devoted to the work of a growing number of artists who identify with these terms, but there has yet to be a substantial enough response on the part of art critics, academic journals, and others whose engagement is needed to help flesh-out the art historical trajectory and even genre conventions associated with locative media. Now a Manchester-based program called "Territories Reimagined International Practices" (conveniently abbreviated "TRIP") seeks to bring together artists, academics, and arts professionals under the umbrella of a three-day event (June 19-21) designed to present the best work in the field and generate more discourse around it. The gathering will feature a full-fledged conference, along with citywide performances, exhibitions, and interventions. Interestingly, the organizers have made precise efforts to wrestle differences between the few existing narratives currently swirling around this work, such as the seemingly contradictory aimlessness of the "psychogeographic drift" and the tightly-honed artist intervention. Like many subsets of new media art, those with a stake in this field have the double-edged challenge of speaking to the pronounced, shared qualities of its practitioners and also their diversity, which is indicative of a thriving field. Visit their blog for more details on the evolving program and use it to start your own psychogeographic bibliography. - Marisa Olson


Jane Samuels, "3.15pm, School House. Torches off. Cold, bright, quiet." (From the Abandoned Buildings Project), 2007

Link »

MORE »


Fictional Genealogies

(0)


A new show collaboratively presented by ZKM, in Karlsruhe, and tank.tv, Tank Magazine's online film and video gallery, works to question a dubious tendency in the art world. The citation of an artist's nationality is a common tactic in both the historicization of their work and in its branding. (Think of the "Young British Artist" meme as an example par excellence.) Art exhibitions are posited as prime perpetuators of these citations and the organizers of "Vetrautes Terrain" argue that this act can have several negative ramifications. Taking the example of "German Art," they argue that the identity markings invested by national political borders are not always the identities artists would choose to adopt and given the diversity of peoples to be found in any nation, this fact alone does not determine the nature of an artist's work--and does not homogenously overdetermine all artists of single nations in the same way. In fact, these blanket categorizations often undermine an artist's ability to work against the grain in expressing dissent. This cookie cutter designation also shrugs-off the important work of producing the real art criticism that engages and activates the questions raised by artists in their work. "Vertrautes Terrain: Contemporary Art in/about Germany" includes over 70 German and international artists directly or more subtly addressing the question of who or what the ever-evolving country of Germany is. - Marisa Olson


Õzlem Sulak, Deutsches Auswandererhaus, 2008

Link »

MORE »


From Alpha to Omega

(0)


Artists are often credited with inventing new languages, but of course the building blocks of these code hacks, if you will, are the letters of the alphabet. A new online exhibition entitled "Abecedarium:NYC" takes the Modern English alphabet as its starting point. Curated by Susan Agliata and Lynne Sachs and appropriately hosted by the New York Public Library, that longstanding database of the alphanumeric, the show invited artists to imagine readings of the city of New York and its boroughs, based on their interpretation of a word beginning with their assigned letter. The twenty-six final pieces construct overlapping narratives about the city and its denizens, as portrayed in interactive maps, videos, and audio works. Each entry takes a different approach as to the genre of story told, ranging from noirish mysteries to nonfiction historiographies to humorous character studies. Start with your favorite letter and see if you're able to resist the other twenty-five. - Marisa Olson


Link »

MORE »


Net-Work

(0)


What is new media without networks? Better yet...What are networks? Academics and technologists are fond of saying that "we now live in a network culture," meaning in part that whether they are manifested online or offline, our social relationships, the objects we make, and our worldviews are inherently informed by the conditions of life in the era of the internet. New media art would then certainly fall under this gestalt, as it not only comes out of this era, often explicitly addressing it, but it is also a social movement or art community influenced by the merger of computer networks and social networks. This is the precise point of entry for an exhibition entitled "New Media - New Networks," at the Galzenica Gallery in Velika Gorica (formerly Zagreb), which bills itself as "the first retrospective dedicated to the new media art and culture in Croatia." Unlike most gallery exhibitions, the curators aspired to keep the presentation of art works to a minimum. Instead, the show is truly a context for the production of timelines, the writing of important timelines, and the nurturing of relationships revolving around the history of networks in this region. Thus, included in the checklist are defunct Bulletin Board Systems, DIY zines, documentation of art festivals, and even the archives of a university department's research efforts. The result of this unique initiative is a heretofore unseen picture of art initiatives and collaboration in an area often painted as "off the grid" of the contemporary art world, but obviously deeply engaged in contemporary practice. As a starting point for those outside Hrvatska, visit the gallery's timeline and link collection. - Marisa Olson


Link »

MORE »


Free time this weekend?

(0)

Why not fill it with 1 or more of 3 Rhizome-related activities?

1) Attend Blank Spots on a Map: State Secrecy and the Limits of the Visible, Trevor Paglen's talk at the New Museum tonight at 7:30pm

2) Buy tickets for the Rhizome Benefit.

3) For our members all over the world: view and vote on Rhizome Commissions. Every year, our community selects two of our seven commissions. Cast your votes today!

MORE »


Call Me!

(0)


Touting the theme of "Impakt yourspace," the latest edition of Utrecht's Impakt Festival takes on the impact of Web 2.0 through its typically tightly-organized set of panels and curated programs of film, video, new media and performance. The central event, "Hybrid Playground," presents variations by Dutch artists on the melding of social networks and physical spaces. Here, attendees will experience KKEP's ParaPlay project, a democratic iTunes happening, and Bliin, which enables mobile phone users to post media to shared geographic maps; NetNiet.org's Gifted, a real-time phone-enabled social judgment system; and Alchemyst's open-source Roomware, which detects phone users and links their identity to networked personal profiles. Other internet-aware events include tech-inflected animations by painter Federico Solmi and "Self-Confession vs. Exploitation" a program of film and video diaries ranging from Joyce Wieland's 8mm work of the 1960s to modern-day web-based autobiographies. In perhaps the most self-referential move of all, Impakt will convene a panel on "The Future of Festivals" with organizers from Migrating Forms, Submarineand tank.tv, exploring what the role of live media events should be in the light of our increasingly online social world. - Ed Halter

Image Credit: NetNiet.org, Gifted, 2008

Link »

MORE »


Curvilinear Historiographs

(0)


Norwegian-Serbian artists Synne Bull and Dragan Miletic (a.k.a. BULL.MILETIC) exemplify the modern fantasy of the nomadic artist, taking up shifting residences around the globe in conjunction with various residencies and exhibitions. This experience of constantly re-situating oneself in relationship to a new political geography plays out beautifully in their video works which are concerned with exploring "the relationship between physical and mental space.... to examine their immediate surroundings (architecture, objects, landscape, urbanity) as containers of emotions, memories, and political decisions." Their current solo installation in the salon of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, is entitled Unfinished: Scars of the Past/ Face of the Future and in it the couple creates a romantic tension--a sort of "love rhombus"--between the eyes of the viewer, those of the artists, the perspective of the camera, and the visage of the space itself. Because they are interested in what gets visually and ideologically framed-out of the histories of city spaces, the artists tried to construct a sense of objectivity in developing a method that doesn't require them to peer through a lens in order to capture on film what they see as the tension between Belgrade's past and future, as manifest in the tension between monumental architecture and new improvised developments. This method is one which captures a 360-degree panorama, feeding each sliced point-of-view into a streaming loop, thus effecting a psychological and visual sense of continuity that places the construct of history on a more fluid continuum while likening both video-making and video-viewing to the process of "mental mapping." The piece will be on view through May 12th. - Marisa Olson

Image credit: Bull.Miletic, Unfinished: Scars of the Past/ Face of the Future, video installation detail, 2007

Link »

MORE »


Before the Bonus Round

(0)


The Olympics are not simply a matter of fun and games. They are a multi-national media spectacle that--as we've seen in recent protests--can arouse and galvanize political action. The event's organizers pitch it as a zone outside of politics, but of course issues of national identity, human rights, autonomy, economic might, and foreign policy all coalesce around the Olympics. While much of the current attention to these matters is directed at Beijing, groups in Montreal and London are already forming to address the impact that the arrival of the famous torch (ceremoniously relayed in a model invented by the Nazis to promote a strong image of the Third Reich around the 1936 Berlin games) will have upon local communities. The London art space, E:vent, is among the first to chime-in with an exhibition addressing these issues. Their show, "Sound Proof" (open April 19-May 11), features six artists "using sound materials, drawings, and annotations [to create] audio and visual maps that preserve observations of transformation." These site-specific works focus on the Lower Lea Valley, below London, which will be virtually reinvented for London 2012. In a way, they will function as aural time capsules--records or "proof" of a space and culture if not doomed for demolition, then certainly slated for overhaul. The valuable question raised by the show is that of preservation--what is deemed worthy of saving (memories, relics, cultural practices) and what is the responsible, effective way to do so. This form of ethnographic programming takes "game art" to another level. - Marisa Olson

Link »

MORE »