Moving the Museum Online

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Museum viewing pod. Courtesy Adobe Museum of Digital Media.

Recently, Adobe Systems Incorporated released a new product. Not an update to its existing suite, which include tools of the online trade such as Photoshop, Acrobat Reader and Flash, or some new software to fulfill ever-evolving creative needs. Instead, it is an online destination for viewing digital art entitled the Adobe Museum of Digital Media (AMDM).

After waiting for the museum to load, you are greeted by a tour guide with a peculiar accent, whose likeness resembles a cross between a jellyfish and an eyeball. The museum has one current exhibit, a specially-commissioned piece by internationally acclaimed artist Tony Oursler, who is best known for his disconcerting projection installation works. As the museum has just launched, there is a limited amount to see: plans for the “building”, a chat with the curator, Tom Eccles, more chatter from the jellyfish-eyeball, the commissioned artwork by Oursler, and a comments section.

Before getting into the details of the museum itself, it is worth interrogating why it is considered by its creators to be a museum at all. The press release states the mission of the museum to be “...an interactive venue to present and preserve groundbreaking digital media works, inspire creative ideas and experimentation, and provide a forum for expert commentary on how digital media influences culture and society”. The mission is sound, but except for the word “preserve” there is little in it that specifically invokes the mantle of “museum”. As the AMDM is an obvious marketing exercise which promotes the use of digital tools (that Adobe happens to create), it’s a short leap of logic to conclude that “museum” was simply decided on as a word with greater impact than “gallery” or “showcase”.

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Any Colour You Like (2010) - Dev Harlan

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Originally via TRIANGULATION BLOG

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Delta Force End Credits (2006) - Eric Yahnker

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Psychic Circuits: Peter Blasser of Ciat-Lonbarde

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Peter B with Deerhorn tapestries

If Don Buchla, mastermind of early modular synthesizers, was the technician behind the lysergically tinted spiritualism of countless ‘60s timbric explorations, Peter Blasser is an audio alchemist: technician, musician, and guru rolled into one. Blasser’s electronics company based in Baltimore, Ciat-Lonbarde, produces small runs on some of the most ingeniously quirky electro-acoustic audio systems on the market.

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Sequence of Waves

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Martyna Szcz's White Ring

I visited the one-day exhibition “Sequence of Waves” last weekend at St. Cecilia’s Convent in Greenpoint. 40+ artists were included in the show, and it was a culmination of a two-week residency within the space. The building itself – a 19th century convent – is impressive, and it’s always a treat to see how artists respond to the environment. While “Sequence of Waves” was not exclusively a sound art show, many of the invited artists did work with sound.


Photos by Jessica Findley

Titled Lo Siento por Sonido by Victoria Keddie and Jessica Findley, this work was a playable zither instrument whose strings extended over two rooms, and fed through furniture found within the building. (You can listen to a sound sample here.)

Ben Wolf disassembled a boat and used the parts to complete a sculpture within the stairwell, which stretched out over three floors.

G. Lucas Crane piled amps in the basement, which amplified sounds from microphones placed throughout the convent.

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Infinite Column TV (2011) - Lance Wakeling

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VHS (2005) - David Herbert

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Foam, plexiglas, latex paint 2 x 4 x 8 feet

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Originally via pietmondriaan

3D Model with Fingerprints (2009) - Nathan Hess

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Originally via VVORK

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#hi11 Times

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Today we'll be turning the blog over to the many people involved with #hi11, a New Year's Eve happening produced by Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. For the event, the organizers took over three floors of a house in Los Angeles, transforming it into an interactive, multimedia environment. (The full list of names of everyone behind #hi11 is available here on the 2240hill site.) The house was equipped with video capture throughout, which allowed live video feeds between the rooms and a broadcast online. One of the rooms was covered over entirely in green screen fabric, so video captured therein could be augmented. Inspired by the organizational design of IKEA, the rooms in the house were assigned a letter and a number, for example, B2, C4, etc. The rooms themselves operated much like sets, and in many cases, IKEA furniture was used, mostly beds and couches for lounging. The house was illuminated by black lights, red lights, projections (some of the dump.fm chat room), and videos from the other rooms, giving the space an overwhelming feeling akin to Trecartin's delirious videos. An impressive amount of work went into #hi11. To name a few of my personal favorite details: the chandelier constructed out of Brita water filters, the herbal sexual enhancement pills freely distributed at the bar, the professional Diva wearing a headset connected to the PA on the dance floor, who would break out into song while walking around the party, the one water cooler (out of 4) in DIS Magazine's "refresh_forum" room which contained solely vodka (quite a surprise!), a small room off the dance floor which was intended as a secret Nine Inch Nails sex chamber, where participants could wear headphones (with flashlights attached to the top) blasting the band on repeat while ...

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Collections Department

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Alan Vega, Untitled, 1981-2010
(from Circuit Lausanne's collection on Collectionof)

Collectionof went live today, a new online platform that allows artists and art spaces to exhibit special objects that speak to their creative production. Perusing Collectionof, many of these "special objects" are not keepsakes or personal items, which one might assume from the site's title, but artworks and editions, like Alan Vega's crosses or an infinity room designed by Tauba Auerbach and Hannes Hetta. (Both very cool items, I might add.) There are a few exceptions, like Scott Ponik's section which includes some of his idiosyncratic book finds such as The Making of Kubrick's 2001 and Vicious Circles and Infinity: An Anthology of Paradoxes. Judging from the stellar list of participants so far, which range from Istanbul-based independent art space Marquise Dance Hall to Miami's Bas Fisher International to artist Cory Arcangel and musician C. Spencer Yeh, it will interesting to see how Collectionof develops.

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