Liquid Crystal Palace: Jeremy Blake and his new peers

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Jeremy Blake, Liquid Villa, 1999 Digital C-print 29 x 84 inches Edition of 3 + 1AP

Rhizome Editor and Curator Michael Connor, in his prior capacity as an independent curator, co-organized Liquid Crystal Palaceopening on March 1. Because of its relevance to the Rhizome community, we felt it was worth publishing Michael's writing about the show. Rhizome.org will also present Blake's Liquid Villa as a front page exhibition on March 6 from 3pm to 5pm EST, courtesy Kinz Fine Art and Honor Fraser Gallery.

Jeremy Blake's work seemed to be everywhere in the early 2000s. At the time, I was aware that he was successful in a commercial context, and that he didn't really see himself as a new media artist. (Blake always described himself as a painter.) Both of these things annoyed me about him, because I liked new media art, and I took some perverse pride in its lack of market recognition. It was therefore somewhat annoying that I liked the work. It seemed unsettling and druggy and dangerous, and it felt funny and good in my brain.

Since Blake's tragic death, I've rarely seen the work anywhere, and it sometimes pops into my head. So last year, I decided to look at it again, or as much as I could get my hands on. I was living near LA, and I brought my 2-month old daughter to the highly accommodating Honor Fraser Gallery to go through a stack of DVDs. This time around, Blake suddenly seemed closely connected with a number of other artists working today. The connections that emerged in this new viewing began a thought process that culminated in the exhibition Liquid Crystal Villa, opening tomorrow at Honor Fraser and co-curated with Nate Hitchcock.

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The Chambers Pavilion at The Wrong - New Digital Art Biennale

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Chambers Pavillion at The Wrong—New Digital Art Biennale.

The Wrong—New Digital Art Biennaleaccessible only from November 1 through December 31, brings together 30 online "pavilions" showing curated artworks. Each pavilion is introduced by an informational web page on thewrong.org which includes an external link to the pavilion itself; pavilions often take the form of an artist- or curator-designed page through which one can access multiple artworks. For Chambers Pavilion, curator Sara Ludy invited eleven artists to create original, online "sound rooms" which can be accessed from a blueprint-like layout (pictured above). Select works from the pavillion are featured below.

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Artist Profile: Sara Ludy

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A selection from Sara Ludy's series Projection Monitor

Much of your work seems concerned with the psychological and political dimensions of interior domestic spaces whether from second life or craigslist apartment listings. What sort of spaces do you enjoy working in? Or what would be your ideal space to work in?

I enjoy the spaces of everyday life whether they be real or virtual. These include landscapes and domestic spaces. Every new space is ideal, because it has its own logic and its own story.

Projection Monitor frequently includes images of translated, scanned and often distorted plants and natural landscapes. Has your explorations in digital environments and contexts changed your perception of physical nature ('in reality')?

I make comparisons between physical and virtual nature all the time. I have the same syndrome as when you've played a video game non-stop for days and the game effects the way you perceive your surroundings. For the past year I've been documenting Second Life nearly every day, so it's only natural for there to be a virtual spillover into reality. The practice of photographing a virtual world has directly informed the way in which I photograph real life spaces to the point where I generally gravitate towards spaces that could exist in Second Life. I've been very much involved in the process of documentation for the past year. For the past 2 months I've been looking back at this documentation and creating series based on the Projection Monitor and real life photographs I have taken. I recently released a series called 'Plant Classification' on Computers Club that contains various plants and landscapes found in Second Life.

Tremblexy uses projections to create sound environments and the second life recordings include internet radios left on in the background - a ...

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Review: WALLPAPERS by Sara Ludy and Nicolas Sassoon

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Nicolas Sassoon and Sara Ludy have a deep collective interest in pixelated virtual architecture and are both members of the online art collective Computers Club. Sassoon has an extensive collection of architectural animated gifs on his own site and considers them representatives of an ideal, only achievable in virtual space. Ludy, with a background in interior design, creates videos of catalog-like architecture melting together in saw-toothed fades. Their latest collaboration, WALLPAPERS, reframes their interest in physical space. Up for only one day at 319 Scholes and curated by Lindsay Howard and Katie Miller, Sassoon and Ludy’s installation transforms the location into immersive wall-sized animated gifs.

Their attention to detail and layout of the space coalesced to create a mesmerizing field. Spanning two large walls of the front room, Sassoon’s snowfield drifted upwards surrounded by darkness revealing different patterns of movement at varying distances. This added contrast to Ludy’s well cropped hybrid violet animation that rendered a mixing slow motion waterfall of abstracted texture landing somewhere between moss, leaves, and stone. Pausing for a moment, the landscape revealed itself. Ludy’s image projected onto the doorway connecting to the second room synced perfectly with the existing perpendicular lines of the architecture. Snow was falling up as the viewers walked into a temple entrance cast out of a forgotten 8-bit videogame nightscape.

The technical setup was acutely tuned to the relationship between the images, viewers, and projectors.  Two laptops cropped out of the floor resembling viewing stations for the scene. This intentional placement informed the tremendous scale shift between screen and wall. Viewers walking through the space playfully interrupted projectors beaming their images from floor level below the laptops. Staring closely at an image on one of the laptops made it possible to see the pixelations. Walking close to the wall, however, revealed a serendipitous match between the pixilated screen of the projectors resolution limits and the pixels of the animated gifs themselves. WALLPAPERS effectively wraps the viewers into architecture.

 

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Sara Ludy at bubblebyte.org

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part of Sara Ludy, Transience (2011) image essay (originally released on Art Fag City)

Transience, originally released on Art Fag City, is an image essay containing rental-listing photos from Craigslist. The photos were found in April 2011. The 13 sets presented are taken from various locations as Guam, Mankato, Kenai, Quad Cities, Fairbanks, Thailand, Singapore, Cebu, Vancouver, The Virgin Islands, Huntington, Cape Cod, and Treasure Coast. The similarity between so many displaced different locations arise questions about visual globalization of our domestic settings and ways of living. The work 116, 74, 23 is a field recording from Second Life. The title of this recording comes from the specific location in 'Prefab Houses by GALLAND HOMES' where the audio was recorded. The recording is taken from the conversation between two women discussing their avatar appearances while they hang out in a pre-fabricated house. The music in the background, barely perceivable comes from the internet radio station martiniinthemorning.com and accompany their conversations. Tiles is a selection of 10 found animated gifs used for online real estate listings. Each gif is repeated as a tiled background, creating a graphical visual pattern. The last work, Transitions, is a selection of 9 amateur You-tube videos that show residential and commercial spaces.
Both Tiles and Transitions show random found locations, connected and not to their original spaces. The found images, reverted in a visual manner are able to confuse the spectator and loose its geographical affiliation arising questions of differentiation and cultural identity through the digital representation of the domestic space.

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