Future Sounds

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Kabir Carter Performing "Trap" at the Bronx Museum

On November 15, an unseasonably warm fall Sunday, a small crowd of artists and academics armed with pens, notebooks, and cell phone cameras, gathered on the second floor of the Bronx Museum. The afternoon began with a panel discussion on the topic of radio and Futurism followed by a sound installation presented by the artist Kabir Carter as part of Performa 09. As Sergio Bessa, Director of Programs, pointed out-- perhaps facetiously-- Futurism and the Bronx are temporally linked: Marinetti's Futurist Manifesto and the Grand Concourse are both celebrating their centennial this year.

The panel, featuring literary critics Marjorie Perloff and Richard Sieburth, and poet Charles Bernstein, served as a precursor to Carter's Trap [originally titled Drifts and Traps], locating the sound piece within the historical context of the Futurist movement. The live presentation also served as a more complex complement to Carter's current installation at the BMA.

The panel centered on the opposition of the Russian futurists, portrayed as optimistic idealists by Perloff, and the Italian futurists, a group of dystopian thinkers enamored of fascism presented by Sieburth. Perloff began by reading Velimir Khlebnikov's Radio of the Future, an essay predicting the potential of radio to act as a vast concert hall and to disseminate news to the masses. Sieburth, on the other hand, explored Ezra Pound's role in Italian Futurism, focusing on Canto LXXII, a poem of discordant strife describing the author's fictitious meeting with Marinetti in radio hell. Transitioning neatly to Carter's installation, Bernstein then performed a dramatic reading of sections of Marinetti's manifesto, as well as poems by Russian Futurists and the speaker himself.

After a short break, Carter positioned himself at a table with an array of devices: radio ...

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Interview with Mark Amerika

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Amerika describes himself as a "thoughtographer", an "artist-medium", a "fictional philosopher", a "remixologist", a "network conductor", a wanderer who constantly changes identities and roles in a fragmentary world where time acquires an a-synchronic and non real dimension. By trying to express the complexity and the interest of contemporary digital reality, he delves into different aspects of himself and draws on elements and traits that he transfers to the characters of his works, by using the media, the technological platforms of our time. Developing projects on the net, filming with mobile phones, remixing common moments and figures of today's culture in a VJ-like audiovisual rhythm, Amerika redefines the characteristics of today's culture and opens up the possibilities for new interpretations and thoughts from the audience itself. -- "UNREALTIME" at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens

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Performa '09 Picks

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Performa, New York's super duper mega whirlwind performance biennial, will take over the city for the next month. I thought I'd assemble a list of events that might be of interest to our audience. Before you dive in, I want to mention that one of our 2009 commissions, Brody Condon's Case, is also part of Performa. Case, a six hour performance and installation based on the classic cyberpunk novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, will take place at the New Museum on Sunday November 22nd from 12pm-6pm, so pencil it in!



Brody Condon * Without Sun * The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd Street * Monday, November 2 7:00pm

Condon’s “Without Sun” (2006), is an edited collection of ‘found performances’ - online videos of individuals who recorded themselves while having a psychedelic experience. The 15 minute video will be followed by a performative re-creation featuring the dancer Linda Austin and actor Russell Edge. Utilizing the original video as choreography document and script, the performers simultaneously repeat the gestures of the individuals, the actor mimicking the voices and the dancer matching the body movements. The title connects the references of memory, technology, and travel in Chris Marker’s seminal personal essay film “Sans Soleil” to the dissociation of bodily control and mental function induced by the hallucinogenic experience in the online videos.



Broadside * Radio Broadcast * Saturday, November 7 - Monday, November 9, times vary

BROADSIDE, the collaborative initiative of Alexander Fleming and Alistaire Knox, will broadcast a series of feminist inspired audio performances, including experimental readings, consciousness raising dialogue, presentations and live music. Contributors include Danny Snelson, Strength in Numbers founder Karen Soskin, curator Wendy Vogel, artist Liz Linden, art historian Jen Kennedy, The Center for Urban Pedagogy, Windy and Carl’s Windy Webber, experimental musicians Crown Now, and more ...

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Secret Agency

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Image: Jill Magid, Prologue, 2009
(Courtesy Jill Magid, Courtesy Yvon Lambert Paris, New York)

"The secret itself is much more beautiful than its revelation." Written backward and presented through translucent paper, this text can be deciphered on the obverse of a large framed page of the suppressed novel Becoming Tarden in Jill Magid's solo exhibition at the Yvon Lambert Gallery. On another wall hang seven detailed photographs of banal notebooks with brightly colored tabs and scrawled titles, a white pedestal with a glass case contains a stack of prints neatly wrapped in paper, and a monitor plays a fuzzy live feed from a security camera at the Tate Modern. "Objects to Be Handed Over or Destroyed" documents a project that explores the connections between transparency, secrecy, and, ultimately, power.

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Image: Installation shots of Jill Magid's "Objects to be Handed Over or Destroyed" at Yvon Lambert New York
(Courtesy Jill Magid, Courtesy Yvon Lambert Paris, New York)

In 2005, the Dutch secret service (AIVD) invited Magid to create a work of art for their headquarters with the dual objective of improving the agency's public image as well as fulfilling a Dutch law requiring new buildings to commission art. In response to their offer, Magid posed as an undercover agent and interviewed members of the AIVD with the intention of giving a personal face to the organization without revealing individual identities. The commission resulted in the exhibition "Article 12" in 2008, but the agency refused to allow the public display of seven prints from the letterpress series "18 Spies", and heavily redacted a manuscript for a novel based on her experience.

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Image: Jill Magid, Notebook I Personal Data, 2008
(Courtesy Jill Magid, Courtesy Yvon Lambert Paris, New York)

Consistent with her earlier work, Magid's project attempts to personalize ...

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TV Guide

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Image: Antoine Catala, TV Blobs, 2009

In 1996, when my family got a modem and signed up for AOL, my hours of nightly screen time shifted from television to the computer. After leaving for college, I never had a television set in my home—at least not one that’s good for anything more than playing DVDs—and for me television has become a prop associated with certain locations: the ambient CNN in airports, or the numbing luxury at my parents’ house that allows me to surf an easily navigable set of discrete elements, rather than choosing what to view by picking keywords and clicking metonyms.

Antoine Catala feels roughly the same way about television, as I learned on a visit to his studio this summer, and “TV Show” his upcoming solo exhibition at 179 Canal, a new artist-run space in downtown New York, is about television’s slow demise—a phenomenon felt acutely this year as broadcast signals were converted to digital, befuddling one of television’s biggest audiences, the elderly. Catala’s comic-strip paintings of screen stills, which he dashed off quickly with glances at the television, underscore television’s identity as an industrial product, far slicker than anything one person can make alone and produced using templates. His translucent paintings on working television sets also highlight the conventions for arranging shots, as faces and settings of the broadcast form repetitious patterns around his overlaid additions. TV Blobs manipulate live feeds to make distorted, fluid three-dimensional graphics. Catala treats both the television set’s physical mass and the broadcast stream as readymade sculptural material, positioning both form and content as artifacts of the industrial age in a world that’s moving on to something else. “TV Show” opens tonight at 7:00pm.

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101 Cassette Labels

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A listing of 101 contemporary cassette labels, with images and links.

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Take Care of Yourself (2007) - Sophie Calle

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In this “tour de force of feminine responses…executed in a wild range of media,” Sophie Calle orchestrates a virtual chorus of women’s interpretations and assessments of a breakup letter she received in an email. In photographic portraits, textual analysis, and filmed performances, the show presents a seemingly exhaustive compendium with contributions ranging from a clairvoyant’s response to a scientific study, a children’s fairytale to a Talmudic exegesis, among many others. Examining the conditions and possibilities of human emotions, Take Care of Yourself opens up ideas about love and heartache, gender and intimacy, labor and identity. 107 women (including a parrot) from the realms of anthropology, criminology, philosophy, psychiatry, theater, opera, soap opera and beyond each take on this letter, reading and re-reading it, performing it, transforming it, and pursuing the emotions it contains and elicits.

-- FROM THE PRESS RELEASE FOR THE EXHIBITION OF "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF" AT PAULA COOPER GALLERY

For an interview with Sophie Calle, where she discusses the exhibition of Take Care of Yourself at the French Pavilion in the 2007 Venice Biennale, go here.

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Dispatches from No Soul For Sale

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We're reporting from No Soul For Sale this week and yesterday I took a moment to speak to Jim Thomas from L'appartement 22, who have a space directly adjacent to the Rhizome exhibition "The World Is Flat". L'appartement 22 is based out of Rabat, Morocco, but also exist as a nomadic entity, staging outpost projects in multiple locations, such as Gwangju, Brussels, and Bergen. It began as a series of exhibitions within director and founder Abdellah Karroum's apartment and expanded from there, and now they host a residency program in Rabat and a number of other projects, one of which is the online radio station RadioApartment 22. For the duration of the festival, they will stream live ambient audio from the 548 West 22nd Street space as well as interviews with fellow No Soul For Sale participants on RadioApartment 22. I spent a little time noodling around their archives yesterday afternoon, I really enjoyed listening to "Makan, A Place for Live Music and Meeting in Cairo" as well as "Safaan / Touria Hadraoui & Boté percussion". Not all of their content is directly music-related, there is also documentation from previous L'appartement 22 exhibitions such as "No Food for Visitors" as well as interviews with artists who have previously been involved with the organization. Pictured above is the condenser microphone in their booth.

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Analog to Digital

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When television stations in the U.S. switched to digital broadcasting last Friday, viewers across the country documented the event and uploaded it to YouTube. There is something curiously surreal about these grainy videos of television screens switching to static, taped in people's homes on cell phones and digital cameras, only to be posted on YouTube moments later. The novelty of their circulation itself - a historic transition from analog to digital television captured on digital video and then transmitted online - speaks to the media environment we inhabit with accidental precision.









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Video : The New Wave (1973)

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1973 WGBH Boston Public Television Program

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