Mapping Landscape Paintings: Joe Hamilton's 'Indirect Flights' on the front page


Joe Hamilton's Indirect Flights is on the front page of through Sunday, as part of the ongoing online digital painting exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series.

All of the works in "Brushes" are paintings made on the computer and shown primarily online. The exhibition focuses on works that are derived from an artist's bodily gestures, rather than those that are derived from code-based practices. In the case of Indirect Flights, the brushstrokes in the work are actually sampled from high-resolution scans of landscape paintings by notable historical figures like Van Gogh and Arthur Streeton. Thus, the gestures in this case were made long ago on canvas, and only later translated to digital form. 


Live Action Role Painting


There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.

— Mark Rothko

This chat took place on Facebook between Jaakko Pallasvuo and Sofia Leiby on February 7th, 2015. It appears here in edited form.


Art Focused and Distracted: Three new media exhibitions curated by Joshua Decter


Image of äda 'web page produced for the exhibition "Screen," 1996.

In 1996, curator, critic, and educator Joshua Decter colorfully defined "media cultures" as "a euphemism for how we reproduce ourselves, as a society, into a spectacular—i.e., ocular and aural—organism whose viscera has become technology itself."

Throughout his career, Decter has paid special attention to media cultures and their relationship with the public sphere, developing a curatorial practice that has long been distinguished by its openness to adjacent new media and net art practices. Beyond spectacle, his use of websites, apps, and other technological apparatuses sheds fresh light on artists and artworks generally considered to be decidedly analog.

I invited Decter to walk me through three curatorial projects, all ambitious group shows, that exemplify his career in digital and AFK spaces. In each, the artwork is mediated—either by conceit, didactic, or display—so as to variously diffuse and emphasize the image, addressing the nature of art and its publics under the condition of networked technologies. 


Artist Profile: Michael Manning


Animated GIF via

LH: For as long as I've been familiar with your work—starting on in 2010—you've been incredibly prolific. Back then, you were creating and sharing abstract animated GIFs. I remember you would post hundreds of variations on a single shape. I see that kind of preoccupation, or obsession, come up again and again in your work, with the Phone Arts series, the Microsoft Store Paintings, and most recently, the Sheryl Crow Pandora Paintings. These expansive projects create a sense of repetition, ultimately a smooth rhythm, which appears to be so continuous as to not have a beginning or an end. Can you describe the process for coming up with these projects? How do you distinguish the individual pieces?

MM: I don't like to take any single piece too seriously, I want to work on something without the pressure of it being perfect. I think people discount producing a lot of work because they connect it to feed culture like it's more important to produce massive amounts of content for tumblr or instagram or w/e but that's not really what I'm trying to do. I think it's more interesting to like shit out a bunch of work in a natural way whether it's through a rhythm that you just stumble upon or if you see a jpeg on dump and you're like "loloolllollll pssssssh what in the even fuck ommmmmg" so you have to like rework it 50 times because you're obsessed with it, and then step back after you make this massive body of work and say to yourself "what is all that about dude?", than if you try and distill an idea into one perfect piece you've over thought to death. When you try and make a piece fit a preconceived concept it feels like graphic design, you have the message and the content you're just trying to solve how to effectively communicate that through the work and I don't want to work like that.


You are Like A Sexy Sphinx: Lindsay Lawson on loving spam



The Smiling Rock, via eBay.

The Rhizome backend, and others like it across the web, act as sanctuaries of a sort for a dying language: the halting, intermittently sensical, koanic lingua franca of the multinational spammer and their programmed counterpart, the spambot. Today, spammers face enemies on multiple fronts: Facebook-API'd commenting apparatuses, Google algorithms, Hotmail junk-mail filters, and Twitter culls of orange-backed eggs. It has been driven to the margins, visible only to those who seek it out (or happen to be a webmaster, like yours truly). What will be lost when it's pushed out of cyberspace altogether?


Jana Euler at Real Fine Arts


Identity Forming Processes Overpainted (2012)


The German Brussels-based Jana Euler presents four new paintings developed over the last year in her eponymous, first American solo show at Real Fine Arts’ storefront. These new works strike a more personal, and immersive chord than her previous solo at Dependance, "Form Follows Information Exchange." The Dependance solo presented ecosystems of a common self caught in postmodern standards of emotion, figuring in as vignettes — press conferences, mating animals, sculpted bodies with screen posteriors, and office workers discussing themselves into bobble heads. While Euler's latest solo orients from this critical form, it coalesces as the maze that is female post-adolescence, paraphrased in space with sophisticated timing.

Incised onto the surface of a female figure, cramped into a question mark, nine eyes form a path across "The Body of the Exhibition." The stream of eyes rounding up the body are reminiscent of a jelly-bean path left to reflect on what was, amalgamated with the apparition of vinyl department store footprints directing us to a next weigh station. The body's primitivist-esque contorted limbs are apportioned by two lines standing in for the exhibition's two half-transparent screens, which bisect the space into four quadrants. Orienting the four paintings to be viewed in an individual progression, the two half-transparent walls manifest as a literal screen memory, bringing into physical fruition the kind of layers that conjoin between the liminal internal time zones etched into our psychic and corporeal selves. Wandering between the three paintings with the press release/facsimile of "The Body of the Exhibition" in hand is to be absorbed into a psychodrama, directed by the skeins of social and biological expectation.

Social Expectations Overpainted (2012)

The trio begins eyes closed with social expectations, winding into instincts, and ending on the open eyed identity forming ...


The End of History… and the Return of History Painting


Gamaliel Rodriguez - Gamaliel Rodriguez, The alternate identity (from the series ‘Issues’), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 86 x 96 cm. Courtesy Espacio Minimo, Madrid

Today’s information and mass media society have brought about a diffused ‘aestheticization’ where artists are mixing political and war images with those proceeding from adds, commercial cinema and entertainment. Be it by hiding images behind layers, making them transparent or pixilated, applying faded colors and thick paint, there is a slowing down of the experience of viewing an image through a hand made, physical rendering. But, besides this ‘slowness’ and physicality that we traditionally associate with painting, the painting medium is also paradoxically going through an ‘acceleration’ process through its newfound relationship with iPhones, scanners, Photoshop, Facebook, satellites, digital cameras, and 3-D programs.
- The Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem (MMKA) description of exhibition The End of History…and The Return of History Painting.

via Bruce Sterling.


Untitled (Standards) (2009) - Michael Guidetti


Watercolor on canvas with animated digital projection; Approx 3 hour loop [VIDEO]


Art Tape: Live With / Think About (2011) - Michael Bell-Smith


Originally via VVORK


Images from Jonathan Zawada's exhibit "Over Time" at PRISM


Why the Earth is Green, 2010

The exhibition focuses on large-scale landscape paintings whose topographies are derived from graph data. Zawada collected and compared a variety of data series that extrapolate information over time, such as “Marijuana usage among year 12 students vs. CD and Vinyl record sales between 1975 and 2000” or “Value of land per square meter in Second Life vs. Value of land per square foot in Dubai between 2007 and 2009.” The data is then manipulated through a 3D fractal program and the resulting environment becomes a virtual abstraction that mimics a mountainous landscape.

Painted on linen, the landscapes are a response to the “virtual” reality of digital experiences that are highlighted by the intrinsic flatness and surreal color palate. Invoking the robotics hypothesis of the “Uncanny Valley,” the works take on an android quality, a sense of reality but not quite, registering with the viewer as both familiar and dissimilar. This theme carries through to his drawings, juxtaposing the hyper-real with the conceptually abstract and underlining the temporality of human experience.


Flight 77, 2010

Earth Movers, 2010

Very Hot Nights, 2010

Land Sale, 2010