"gif. jpg. png. tif. (gjpt)," an exhibition currently on display at HEREart , explores the relationship between standardized digital image formats and visual representation. Curated by Jess Ramsay and featuring work by Jason Huff, Jordan Tate and Adam Tindale, Seyhan Musaoglu, and Giselle Zatonyl, the exhibition demonstrates how fully digital imaging has permeated visual culture. The works in the exhibition approach the pixel as a key structural component of visual representation, manipulating it to expose the formal characteristics of digital media.
For those involved with DIY art publishing, a number of artists, journals, and galleries have pooled together their resources to create a tumblr compiling Printer Resources for Independent Art Publishers. Bookmark it!
Maybe we're crazy but we think there can be a literary that's loved and powerful. We want a magazine that's read by poetry fans, the rock culture, the Hari Krishnas, the Dodgers. We think it can be done, and that's what we're aiming at.
I have this dream where writers are mobbed everywhere they go, like rock stars and actors. A predilection? You never know. People like Patti Smith are subtly forcing their audiences to become literate, introducing them to Rimbaud, Breton, Burroughs and others. Poetry sales are higher than they've been in fifteen years. In Paris ten year old boys clutching well worn copies of Apollonaire's ALCOOLS put their hands over their mouths in amazement before paintings by Renoir and Monet. Bruce Lee movies close in three days. This could happen here.
Let us introduce ourselves. We're not fifty year old patrons of the arts. We're young punks just like you, and just because Kenneth Rexroth's got a name in some crowds doesn't mean a wink's gonna get his rickety old crap in here. He comes through the back door like everyone else.
- Dennis Cooper, 1978. Excerpt the introduction to Little Caesar #1
No Layout is a new online platform for independent art and fashion publishers. While mainstream print publishers are struggling to address online content, making their magazines available through clunky PDF apps like Exactly or posting limited articles to their websites, no one has yet come up with a solution for the relatively niche market of independent art publications and zines. No Layout, started by Daniel Pianetti, provides a fully readable library of this print material. So far, their roster rivals that of a well curated museum bookstore or specialty shop, including gallerist Javier Peres' art mag Daddy, Swiss contemporary art journal der:die:das:, urbanism magazine Monu, small art zines like FPCF, and even historical publications like the avant garde journal 291 from 1915, to name a few of the 100 or so publishers available through the site. I spoke with Pianetti to find out more about the project.
The concept of networked art, or art which relies on exchange and collaboration across great geographical distances, has had a rich history prior to the Internet's first rumblings (and is now, fittingly enough, being archived, reappraised, and 'blogged' all over that same Internet.) Unlike the "one to many" presentational modes of the museum, shop, or gallery, networked art pieces were comparatively intimate "one to one" experiences, absorbed by one recipient at a time. Whether we call the collected efforts of this culture "mail art," "correspondence art," or simply "networking," its history is unlike other 'art historical' narratives, insofar as few people feel qualified to act as a spokesperson for the admittedly varied intentions of other networked artists: there is an almost universal reluctance to promote oneself as the "head" of anything in this culture. Especially on the European continent, where the most radical art collectives (e.g. Surrealism) have splintered into warring factions while under the mismanagement of paranoid leaders, no one is particularly eager to waste their otherwise productive time on internecine squabbling about whom deserves what title. So, in these situations, those who are just the most enthusiastic about their work, and its place in a larger creative milieu, end up becoming "ambassadors" by default.
One such ambassador, Vittore Baroni, is an individual who makes introductory biographical surveys like this one such a daunting task: his work spans every conceivable medium from rubber stamps and "artistamps" [mock-'official' postage stamps] and stickers to novel fashion items, and his tastes run the gamut from sublime atmospheric music to graphics exhibiting an exaggerated 'comic book' sense of humor and horror. Other than a general disregard for the taxonomy of art genres, the defining characteristic of Baroni's artwork is the nurturing of paradox and contradiction (he tells me that "[the term] 'paradoxical' is for me a great compliment, and a very positive adjective.") However, I may be getting ahead of myself here, since Baroni disavows the word "artist" entirely. In an early manifesto for his TRAX 'networking project,' co-founded with Piermario Ciani and Massimo Giacon, Baroni demurs "we are not artists, because art is a word that means everything and nothing," and proceeds to apply this to more clearly defined creative categories: "we are not musicians, but we create sounds. We are not actors, but every once in a while we get on a stage. We are not writers or publishing houses, but we can print our own writings." So what exactly is Baroni - and who are "we"?
(from the studio alabaster booth)
Printed Matter's annual contemporary art book extravaganza The NY Art Book Fair opened last night, and I dropped by today to take some shots of the festivities for the blog. Easily one of my favorite yearly art events in New York, the fair hosts an overwhelming amount of booths, lectures, screenings, performances, and more by 200+ participating independent publishers, booksellers, zinesters, and artists. The fair is at PS1 in Long Island City, it's free, and it will be open today until 7pm, Saturday from 11am-7pm, and on Sunday from 11am-5pm. Also, be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for a round-up of media art and digital culture-related highlights.
(Dispatch did another version of this project at No Soul For Sale at the Tate Modern, which we covered on Rhizome, here.)
Site-specific map plotting the location of FM commercial and pirate radio stations within London. Power lines are drawn in pencil on the back of the map which conduct the electricity from the radio to the front of poster. Placing a metal pushpin onto each station then allows us to listen to the sound broadcast live from that location.
Jordan Crandall is an artist and media theorist whose work deals with the cultural and political dimensions of new technologies. Between 1991 and 1995 he was the editor of Blast, a multimedia magazine that was initially published in a box format. Blast evolved alongside the popularization of the Internet, and much of its work occurred at the intersection of publishing, digital culture, and the production and distribution of art objects. This spring, Crandall spoke with Triple Canopy about the history of Blast, the nature of the magazine as a form, and the days of accessing bulletin board systems via suitcase-size modems.
As a memorial for the ".yu" domain - subject of conflicts during the war, now switched off as of the end of March 2010 - she developed a series of paper sculptures. They consist of several thousand printed A4-sheets. Stacked, they make a picture appear, showing nationalist Ultras in Belgrade’s football stadium.
In 2009 the editorial team at Mute (in association with Autonomedia) published a collection of past magazine content under the title Proud to be Flesh: A Mute Magazine Anthology of Cultural Politics after the Net. It was an exercise in content curation, but not, as they point out, an attempt to assemble a greatest hits album. Rather, it reorganises a body of Mute’s diverse output around a selection of themes that are perhaps more apparent (up to) fifteen years later.
In many respects - through the early newspapers, magazines, websites and recent print-on-demand journals - Mute has long engaged in providing content navigation systems for internet-inspired knowledge and the darker side thereof. And they have been doing so in an era defined by its obsession with charting and re-charting the information landscape. What Proud to be Flesh does, therefore, is offer up yet another entry portal to Mute’s rich and important net-knowledge while, in its very book-i-ness, commenting on the current upheaval in text interface products.
Juried Exhibition: Earth, at 440 Gallery, Brooklyn
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator