Interview with InCUBATE

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InCUBATE storefront (Photo by Bryce Dwyer)

I first encountered InCUBATE’s work at Creative Time’s exhibition “Convergence Center at Park Avenue Armory.” For the run of the show, this Chicago-based artist-run organization set up a temporary soup cafe in collaboration with artist Robin Hewlett and artist group Material Exchange. Visitors were invited to purchase soup, and these funds were then directed toward small grants to support art projects. The soup cafe was an extension of their ongoing project Sunday Soup, which offers monthly meals in their storefront space in order to fundraise money for individual artist’s projects. Sunday Soup is but one example of the alternative economic models put forth by InCUBATE’s varied activities and research. In a shaky economic climate, InCUBATE’s grassroots approach to arts funding propose useful solutions to enduring, and most likely, increasingly pressing obstacles. For our ongoing series dealing with contemporary art and the recession, I decided to interview InCUBATE (Abigail Satinsky, Bryce Dwyer, Roman Petruniak, and Matthew Joynt) about their activities. - Ceci Moss

What is InCUBATE and how did it begin?

InCUBATE stands for the Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday. We are an experimental research institute and artist residency program dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. Acting as curators, researchers and co-producers of artist's projects, our main focus has been to explore ways that artists, both historically and today, have incorporated models of resource allocation, community building, funding structures and forms of exchange as part of their artistic practice.

We originally came together while studying Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Given our desire to provoke a critical recognition of how art practices can better relate to alternative systems of economic and cultural exchange ...

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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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Media Studies

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This is the first installment of a monthly column by Rhizome's Contributing Editor Marisa Olson. "Media Studies" will explore timely issues within the broader field of technology. Each post will pay specific attention to the relationship between these subjects and artistic practice. For this column, Marisa provides a reading list on the topic of "Experimental Geography". In recent years, access to geographical tools and data collection has expanded rapidly, allowing many artists to rethink their relationship to the earth and geographical study. This column provides a summation of publications relevant to these developments.

Please join us tomorrow for a panel, organized by Marisa, on "Experimental Geography". Beginning at 3pm in the New Museum's theater, Creative Time curator Nato Thompson, who curated an exhibition of the same title for Independent Curators International, will lead a discussion with artists Lize Mogel and Damon Rich. - Ceci Moss

The following is an initial list of readings that might be of interest to anyone researching experimental geography. It includes key theoretical texts on the nature of space, texts on locative media, and works on radical cartography. Many of them cross over into game theory, cyberfeminism, relations between real and virtual spaces, surveillance, tactical media, psychogeography, situationism, sound art, networked cultures, site-specific installation art, and other related sub-themes. It's tempting to sort these into temporal or topical categories, but to do so might be to inappropriately compartmentalize an ongoing discourse that moves in new directions every day.

This is only a starting point. Please feel free to add texts in the comments. Links to related syllabi would also be a great resource!

Janet Abrams and Peter Hall (eds), Else/Where: Mapping -- New Cartographies of Networks and Territories, Univ Minnesota Design Institute, 2006

Saul Albert, "Locative Literacy," Mute, July 12, 2004

Marc Augé, Non-Places ...

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Manifestation (2009) - Murdim

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Totem 3 meters high - nine 19" lcd screens - nine Blu-ray disc players


Manifestation is a 20 minutes photography of the paris manifestation, the 29 of january 2009.It's a moving picture where you can see at the same time thousands of people all together and one one by one as they come closer. It's shot with ten hdv cameras then stitched together and broadcast on a totem made with 9 lcd screens.

-- FROM ARTBASE ENTRY

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Required Reading

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Image: Boris Groys, Medium Religion [Medium Religion], 2006.
video lecture (color, sound), 25 min., loop. courtesy Boris Groys.

The general consensus of the contemporary mass media is that the return of religion has emerged as the most important factor in global politics and culture today. Now, those who currently refer to a revival of religion clearly do not mean anything like the second coming of the Messiah or the appearance of new gods and prophets. What they are referring to rather is that religious attitudes have moved from culturally marginal zones into the mainstream. If this is the case, and statistics would seem to corroborate the claim, the question then arises as to what may have caused religious attitudes to become mainstream.

The survival and dissemination of opinions on the global information market is regulated by a law formulated by Charles Darwin, namely, the survival of the fittest. Those opinions that best adapt to the conditions under which they are disseminated will, as a matter of course, have the best odds of becoming mainstream. Today’s opinions market, however, is clearly characterized by reproduction, repetition, and tautology. The widespread understanding of contemporary civilization holds that, over the course of the modern age, theology has been replaced by philosophy, an orientation toward the past by an orientation toward the future, traditional teachings by subjective evidence, fidelity to origins by innovation, and so on. In fact, however, the modern age has not been the age in which the sacred has been abolished but rather the age of its dissemination in profane space, its democratization, its globalization. Ritual, repetition, and reproduction were hitherto matters of religion; they were practiced in isolated, sacred places. In the modern age, ritual, repetition, and reproduction have become the fate of the entire world, of the entire culture ...

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AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR FREE (the Sticker) (2009) - Evan Roth

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Facebook Retracts Modification to Terms of Use

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The New York Times announced this morning that Facebook would revert back to its previous terms of service. The decision comes in response to enormous outcry and protest about the modification, which would allow the site to retain and use one's content even after an account has been deleted. This is an unprecedented move, and it invites serious questions regarding one's ownership over material distributed on social networking platforms. (For a thorough comparison between Facebook's new terms of service and that of other social networking sites, go here.) While the decision by Facebook may come as a relief, the company still plans to eventually revise the terms again, which would "...reflect 'a new aproach' and would be 'a substantial revision from where we are now.'" Uh, vague! And creepy. While the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims that Facebook users would somehow be involved in the revision process, he did not outline what this change might look like, nor the company's motive behind these changes.

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Rose Art Museum Controversy Link Roundup

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The College Art Association publicly denounced Brandeis University's decision to close the Rose Art Museum last night, in a letter broadcast to the Art&Education mailing list. The email is only one instance of the enormous surge of protest to come out against Brandeis since they made the announcement on Monday. See below for a mammoth link roundup.

Get Involved:

Save the Rose Art Museum Facebook Group

Online Petition to Save the Rose Art Museum

Interviews with the Rose Art Museum's Director Michael Rush:

Q&A with Rose Art Museum director Michael Rush [January 28, 2009/ Modern Art Notes]

A Talk With: Michael Rush [January 28, 2009/ Looking Around - Time.com]

Interview with Brandeis University's President Jehuda Reinharz:

Brandeis President Defends Art Museum Sale [January 28, 2009/ All Things Considered, NPR]

The Boston Globe has been closely following the situation:

Brandeis to sell school's art collection (Geoff Edgers) [January 26, 2009]

Ailing Brandeis will shut museum, sell treasured art (Geoff Edgers) [January 27, 2009]

Museum backers seek halt to selloff (Geoff Edgers) [January 28, 2009]

Hawk this gem? Unconscionable (Sebastian Smee) [January 28, 2009]

Brandeis may keep art, says president, Reaffirms need to close museum (Geoff Edgers) [January 29, 2009]

Students rally for Brandeis museum (Lisa Kocian) [January 30, 2009]

More:

Shuttering the Rose Art Museum: An open letter to Brandeis from an alum. [January 27, 2009/ c-monster.net]

PROTESTS, RUMORS SWIRL IN ROSE CLOSING [January 27, 2009/ Artnet]

Outcry Over a Plan to Sell Museum's Holdings [January 27, 2009/ New York Times]

Update: Brandeis to close Rose, sell art [January 27, 2009/ The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research]

Brandeis to Sell All of Its Art [January 27, 2009/ Inside Higher Education]

"A junkie pawning his wedding ring" [January 28, 2009/Ed Winkleman]

Outcry ...

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Obama's Agenda for Technology and the Arts

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Now that Obama's administration has entered the White House, his team has ambitious (and encouraging) plans for the fields of technology and art. An agenda for technology proposes net neutrality, transparency in governance, and the appointment, for the first time ever, of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO). This document also pledges to support diversification in media ownership and to oust ideology from scientific research. The arts will also receive a boost -- according to the Art Newspaper, he intends to introduce an "Artist Corps" which would place young artists in schools and communities in need, health care for artists, and increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

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e-flux's Journal #1

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Writing in 1964, philosopher Herbert Marcuse in his seminal text One-Dimensional Man describes the complacency of individuals within advanced industrial societies as a result of an identification with the conditions imposed, where the seduction of consumerism yields a one-dimensional thinking.

Fast forward to 2008, and Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man is still with us. The new issue of e-flux's online publication Journal takes up this topic by asking, "When political power begins to look less like a tank and more like your best friend, where do you look to locate the sources of its authority, and how do you articulate new, flexible modes of resistance?" Perhaps the most interesting ruminations in Journal come from Eastern European case studies, such as design firm Metahaven's discussion of the implications of branding nation states which begins with a description of a consulting visit with the Estonian government and in the interview with curator and art historian Inke Arns where she goes over the practice of "subversive affirmation," a mimetic exaggeration which denounces an activity by performing it to its ultimate limit, within Eastern European conceptual art practice.

Link »

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