Electronic Popables is an interactive pop-up book that sparkles, sings, and moves. The book integrates traditional pop-up mechanisms with thin, flexible, paper-based electronics and the result is a book that looks and functions much like an ordinary pop-up with the added element of dynamic interactivity.
While combing through the tables and displays set up by artists, book publishers, periodicals, small press bookstores, non profit arts organizations, collectives and presses who participated in the NY Art Book Fair over the weekend, I could not help but recall this past summer's No Soul For Sale festival. Both events succeeded in fostering a feel good environment, while also serving as an inspiring reminder of the number of independent, DIY initiatives out there.
I managed to take some photos yesterday, below. Even if I had camped out in P.S.1 for the entire fair, I would not have been able to see everything. Perhaps the subheader for this post should be "Incomplete Highlights" or "Some Stuff I Saw." As always, if readers want to share information or link to projects I missed, please do so in the comments section.
The following is an excerpt of an ongoing correspondence between Seth Price and Boško Blagojević.
ASDF, the joint collaboration between Mylinh Trieu Nguyen and David Horvitz, announced a new project yesterday, S.A.S.E.. Adopting the format of the self-addressed stamped envelope, where the receiving party sends an empty envelope to the sender in order to obtain a reply, potential viewers of the ten email-based exhibitions must send an email request to ASDF to receive the show in their inbox. Each exhibition contains a statement, a works list, and a selection of images. Many of the exhibitions read much like art projects, such as Michael Mandiberg's "FDIC Insured" in which the artist assembles the corporate logos for banks recently closed by the recession, found from images searches and the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Image searches figure into Jess Wilcox's "Discovery of Orange" as well, a show that loosely collects images referring to the color in an effort to illustrate its artificial manufacturing. The results fluctuate from Vincent Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night to a photograph of construction cones to the Nickelodeon logo. ASDF are offering 11" x 17" prints of the email exhibitions as well, but only through - you guessed it - a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Endnode is a networked sculpture in the form of a large tree. Printers nested within the sculpture's plywood branches produce hardcopy of email communication that fall to the ground like leaves or apples; the branching of the Internet is literally and figuratively brought into physical space. As the leaves/apples/email fall to the ground, they become end nodes in the worldwide information flow.
Murmur Study is an installation that examines the rise of micro-messaging technologies such as Twitter and Facebook’s status update. One might describe these messages as a kind of digital small talk. But unlike water-cooler conversations, these fleeting thoughts are accumulated, archived and digitally-indexed by corporations. While the future of these archives remains to be seen, the sheer volume of publicly accessible personal — often emotional — expression should give us pause.
This installation consists of 30 thermal printers that continuously monitor Twitter for new messages containing variations on common emotional utterances. Messages containing hundreds of variations on words such as argh, meh, grrrr, oooo, ewww, and hmph, are printed as an endless waterfall of text accumulating in tangled piles below.
The printed thermal receipt paper is then reused in future projects and exhibitions or recycled.
From its beginnings ten years ago, e-flux has been an unconventional media model, one that aggregates and distributes announcements for contemporary art exhibitions and events for a fee and uses its profits to fund artist-directed projects. Last November e-flux introduced an online journal with essays by artists and critics. The advertisement-free publication filled a position similar to that of ads in magazines—an appendage that subscribers to the e-flux brand may or may not find useful. To increase the journal’s autonomy from the announcement service—and also to get it off the internet, which is not a favorable environment for long and complex theoretical essays—e-flux announced its plans for a “print-on-demand” feature in February (noted on Rhizome). To get the word out about this new service, e-flux put excerpts of essays from its fourth issue in the summer issues of Parkett, Artforum, Bidoun, Cabinet, Texte Zur Kunst, Afterall, Flash Art, and Frieze. Besides addressing the obstacles an online journal faces in specialized art media, where print still holds a privileged position, the use of editorial as advertising in e-flux’s summer campaign anticipates the shift that will accompany the launch of their print on-demand service this fall, when the journal’s readers can also become its publishers.
Edward A. Shanken’s new book Art and Electronic Media (Themes & Movements), published by Phaidon Press, presents a rich and comprehensive overview of the history of electronic media art practices in the twentieth century, focusing mostly on work produced in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The book balances the historical and the contemporary, the analytic and the particular, with style and critical rigor.
The text is organized thematically in order to cover major topics in the field: Motion, Duration, Illumination; Coded Form and Electronic Production; Charged Environments; Networks, Surveillance, Culture Jamming; Bodies, Surrogates, Emergent Systems; Simulations and Simulacra; and Exhibitions, Institutions, Communities, Collaborations. Given the extensive breath, in historical accounts and details, this organization system presents the reader with a convenient way to access a historical period, artist, or practice of their particular interest. Each theme reappears three times throughout the book, in each of the three main sections: Survey, Works, and Documents (a division that is consistent with previous volumes published in this Phaidon series).
Quality research into the history of electronic media art production, exhibition, and conception is consistent throughout. The section on "Networks," for instance, includes an insightful contextualization of new internet-based art with pre-network art, such as Hans Haache’s 1969 News, an installation that involves a series of Teletype machines set to receive and print local, national, and international news in real time. Shanken’s placement of current genres in these historical frameworks not only enhances our appreciation of the newer practices but also develops an understanding of the historical origins of net, systems, or environmental art.
Over 200 colorful images accompany the text, many of them projects that have not been exhibited widely. One example is the photograph of Christa Sommere and Laurent Mignonneau’s A-Volve (1994-95 ...!--more-->
Last week, I met with artist Gareth Long at his Brooklyn apartment for a studio visit. I first became aware of his work through another artist Tyler Coburn, who wrote about him for Rhizome. After training in video for many years, Long turned to sculpture as a means to push video's formal qualities, illuminating the porousness of the category in relation to other mediums. His renderings of video into alternate forms, such as lenticular prints or digitally fabricated sculptures, often succumb to the faulty interpretations and limitations found in the slippage between languages. His book-based works pick up on this topic, functioning as artifacts of mistranslation.
In people, memory is the capacity to retain an impression of past experiences. In technology, memory refers to the parts of a digital computer that retain data for some interval of time. Computers now have the ability to save a lifetime of photographs, videos, audio and communications, changing the way that we reference personal memory. With this change, computers can archive and index memories in a way that we have never been able to do before. Computers have become machines for remembering. Using the most primitive form of digital storage, I have recorded all of the emails stored on my computer into thousands of punched cards. Each card contains fragments of communication layered one on top of another to form an analog representation of my collected digital communications. In the same way that information is stored on the computer, I have created indexes to reference the information. Each index is created by manually sifting through the information, word by word, creating unique directories of my personal communications.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator