A Visit to Audio Visual Arts (AVA)



Over the weekend I popped by Audio Visual Arts (AVA), a sound and media art space located a few blocks away from the New Museum, in the East Village.


Founded by Justin Luke two years ago, the storefront space hosts a range of exhibitions and events, the majority of which relate to the experience of sound and listening. Artists and musicians alike have organized projects at the gallery, from a listening party for Glasser (Cameron Mesirow) to a sound installation by composer Alan Licht to an exhibition of paintings by the legendary guitarist John Fahey to an immersive stroboscopic light and sound installation by Nicedisc (Jeff Pash and Nick Phillips), to name a few. Justin and his brother have a recording studio in the basement of the building, and when the storefront above opened up, Justin decided to move in and start the gallery. AVA also doubles as his apartment, which is located in the back, and this aspect frees him up to be creative and take with risks with the programming, as the shows are not necessarily tied to profit like a regular gallery.



Antoine Catala’s solo show "Topologies" just opened at AVA, and it features a single luminous, magnificently mind-bending sculpture titled HDDH. On display until November 4th, the work is comprised of two HD flat screen televisions connected by what the artist terms "a magic tube." The tube is seamlessly affixed to the surface of the screen, dramatically warping the continuous flow of images emanating from the television set. The audio signal from the TVs is projected both inside and outside the gallery, thunderously filling up the space. Catala uses broadcast television as the basic material for his hallucinatory sculptures, which heighten the artificiality and absurdity of television programming. HDDH seems like a natural evolution from ...


Chapter 1, the Discovery (2009) - Félix Luque Sánchez



Chapter I: The Discovery is an impenetrable, geometric object and a series of videos restaging the moment of its discovery, as if it were a scene from a sci-fi movie, where the hero is suddenly confronted with an alien, slightly chilling figure.

The videos are broadcast in the first room. Images show the dodecahedron in places which are fictitious and devoid of any human trace. No matter the context, the alien entity reproduces the same light and sound animation, expressing a state of waiting by emitting a signal of presence. The sculpture itself waits for visitors in the second room. As the viewer gets closer, the machine detects the movement and "tries" to engage in communication made entirely of light and sound code. If the sculpture is surrounded on all its vertical faces, it will respond by releasing its maximum energy.

Chapter I: The Discovery questions the viewer's perception about the truthfulness of what is shown, right from the visioning of videos with synthetic images and ending up in an encounter with an interactive object which co-opts information flows, sound and light transmission.



Brion Gysin Dream Machine App



The New Museum's "Brion Gysin: Dream Machine" show is now closed, but a Dream Machine app produced in conjunction with the exhibition, which replicates the flicker effect of Gysin's renown kinetic light sculpture, lives on. Download it here for free.


A Report from Repair: Ars Electronica 2010


The theme of Repair for this year’s Ars Electronica festival was apropos, as the festival moved to the Tabakfabrik, a former cigarette factory and sprawling complex of buildings that was churning out cartons of Marlboros as recently as last year. The smell of tobacco was still heavy in the air, and evidence of the factory’s work continued to linger: ear plugs still available in dispensers, pneumatic tube carriers still sitting in baskets, and boxes emblazoned with cigarette logos being used as exhibition design material. The factory, which is a protected historic landmark, is beautiful and perhaps deserved a Golden Nica of its own -- for best representation of the festival theme.


Untitled (Never Gonna Be Alone) (2008) - Clive Murphy



One ship encounters a series of notable exceptions (2006) - Joe Winter


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Audiocassette tape, acrylic, electronics, sound. Installation of five sculptures, each 44" x 44" x 36".

Loops of cassette tape are moved through a transparent mechanical armature to create three dimensional line-drawn scenes of one ship's encounters with variously fantastical, formal, poetic, and personal obstacles. Each sculpture in the series depicts a single event in the ships journey through polar waters, such as One ship struck by lightning, twice, and One ship leaves the South Pole, all directions seem north. The soundtrack on the tape propels the loose narrative, and creates a tumultuous foil for the cool, calm, exterior of each piece. The video documentation cuts between the ambient sound of the gallery and excerpts of the sound heard in headphones attached to each piece.



Pictures from 01SJ


I was out in San Jose last week for the 01SJ Biennial and I took a few snapshots of the exhibits for the blog, below. I organized Rhizome's live performance event "Domain," which was part of 01SJ's film program. "Domain" included artists Jeremy Bailey, Petra Cortright, Constant Dullaart, and JODI.


JODI - Domain Performance


Constant Dullaart - Domain Performance


Petra Cortright - Domain Performance


Jeremy Bailey - Domain Performance



Garnet Hertz - OutRun (2010)


H. Dio Mendoza and Pilar Agüero-Esparza - El Shop (2010)



Eyebeam Roadshow (2010)


Natalie Jeremijenko - xAirport (2010)


Annette Mees and Ken Eklund - ZOROP (2010)



Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark - Empire Drive-in (2010)


Save Manhattan 02 (2009) - Mounir Fatmi




Cloudscapes (2010) - Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects


In one of the largest halls of the Architecture Biennale’s Arsenale exhibition space, Transsolar and Tetsuo Kondo Architects created an artificial 800sqm cloud. A spiraling cantilevered ramp allows the visitors of the installation to experience the ethereal cloudscape from below, within, and above.

The cloud is created through climate engineering. Creating the cloud is based on a stabile temperature and humidity stratification in the space in 3 layers: below the cloud 18 - 24°C, 60\% humidity, in the cloud 26 - 32°C at 100\% humidity and above the cloud with 32 - 38°C at around 50\%.



A Report from Trust: Media City Seoul 2010


The first physical art work that you encounter when entering “Trust: Media City Seoul,” the sixth edition of Korea’s international media arts biennial, is Willem de Rooij’s Bouquet VII, a collaboration with local florist Kim Da Ra. A large-scale spherical gathering of blossoms in various hues of pink stands on a pedestal, resembling a centerpiece at an upscale wedding or a museum benefit party. The floral arrangement seamlessly integrates natural and synthetic flowers, blurring the boundary between the real and the artificial. Innocuous and timeless, this work sets the tone for this year’s Media City, an exhibition that eschews the embrace of new technologies in visual art in favor of a return to more traditional media and a broader definition of the term “media” itself. Bouquet VII also subtly introduces a method utilized by many of the artists in the exhibition: the conflation of fiction and reality.