PSI_NET (2007-Ongoing) - Suzanne Treister

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Image: Original Healey Hall, Northumberland, UK, for Jamie

The PSI_NET project reclaims a psychic drawing method researched, developed and utilised by the US military since 1972 and further developed in the private sphere by an ex-US Army remote viewer since 1989.

Clients/participants are requested to provide details of a remote site, person, object or event which they do not have access to, but about which they would like to gain information.

This 'target' can be located in the past, present or future, can be lost, forgotten, government or otherwise protected, and will be beyond the scope of the internet.

For each request two or more remote viewing drawings will be made at a single sitting. Images of these will be sent electronically to the client.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Telemistica (1999) - Christian Jankowski

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With the work Telemistica, Jankowski plunges into the medial world of the Italian local TV. Speaking live on telephone with several TV-fortunetellers he asks questions about his forthcoming artwork. The TV sequences are recorded and are Jankowski's later artwork. Here the mystic not only lays in the private prophecy but gains significance within the work as it prophecies itself.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S PAGE ON KLOSTERFELDE'S SITE

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Interview with Jason Sigal of the Free Music Archive

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This week I interviewed Jason Sigal, Managing Director of the Free Music Archive, a brand new initiative developed by the acclaimed independent freeform New York-based FM and streaming radio station WFMU. Launched last month, the Free Music Archive is a curated archive of high quality legal audio downloads. The FMA pairs WFMU’s longstanding reputation and expertise with a model inspired by Creative Commons and the open source software movement, and presents a useful solution to copyright and regulation quandaries now facing the distribution of music online. - Ceci Moss

What conversations inspired the Free Music Archive?

The idea came from our Station Manager Ken Freedman and Assistant Station Manager Liz Berg, so you'd need to talk to them personally about the run up to the project. But this is the basic idea:

Radio is not enough. WFMU is at the forefront of using new technology to fulfill our mission, but outdated copyright law and the looming possibility of unfairly high royalties make it difficult to provide audio on-demand, to podcast, to archive, even to stream online. A lot of webcasters closed down as a result, because they would be paying more to webcast than to broadcast over FM/AM or what we would call 'terrestrial' radio. We want to support the artists we play. But SoundExchange (the performing rights organization who claims to collect royalties on behalf of all the world's recordings, not just those registered with the RIAA) has a gargantuan list of Unpaid Artists that they can't seem to track down. Glancing through it now...Kraftwerk's on here, the Afghan Whigs, X-Ray Spex, Ted Nugent...SoundExchange has a very difficult task at hand, and it's a valiant one, but if they can't find these artists, they're NEVER gonna be able to ...

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On Air: "Broadcast" at Pratt Manhattan Gallery

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The date is February 9, 1972, and Chris Burden arrives at Channel 3 Cablevision’s studio in Irvine, California, for an interview with Phyllis Lutjeans. The TV station had approached Burden in January and asked him to do a piece for the channel, yet they censored several of his proposals, so he eventually agreed to an interview during which they would discuss the reasons for the station’s refusal of his ideas. Burden brings his own video crew so that he can have a copy of the interview. He requests that the interview be broadcast live, and during the course of the interview Lutjeans asks Burden to discuss a few pieces that he has thought of doing. The artist responds by demonstrating a TV hijack: he takes Lutjeans hostage, holding a knife to her throat and threatening her life if the station stops transmission, while verbally abusing her with threats. At the end of the recording, Burden destroys the station’s tape of the show by dousing it with acetone. He then offers an “irate” station manager his taped version of the show, which includes footage of the show and the destruction of the station’s tape, but the manager refuses. Burden explains in an interview, “T.V. Hijack was ultimately about who is in control over what's presented through the media.” This aggressive act against the restrictive and one-to-many structure of television is what curator Irene Hofmann cites as her original inspiration for the exhibition "Broadcast," now on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery. The show presents a selection of works, dating from the 1960s to the present, that interrupt broadcasting systems in order to examine or challenge the structure, influence, and power of mainstream television and radio.

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Call for Applications: free103point9's 2009/2010 AIRtime Fellowships

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Apply for an AIRtime fellowship from free103point9! Fellows receive funding, resources and equipment to produce transmission-based artworks. Deadline is July 1, 2009. Read more below:

The AIRtime program provides artists (individuals and/or collectives) with valuable assistance with which to concentrate on new transmission works and conduct research about the genre using free103point9's resource library and equipment holdings. AIRtime Fellowships are awarded to approximately three artists each year. Fellows present their work in conjunction with WGXC, in Greene and Columbia Counties, and our city-based programs at the Ontological Theater at St. Mark's Church in Manhattan. Fellows receive an honorarium, and technical and administrative support from free103point9 staff. Participating artists are encouraged to archive recordings and other digital media with the free103point9 Transmission Art Archive project.

free103point9 defines “Transmission Arts” as a conceptual umbrella that unites a community of artists and audiences interested in transmission ideas and tools. This genre encompasses a diversity of practices and media working with the idea of transmission or the physical properties of the electromagnetic spectrum. Transmission art is generally a participatory live-art or time-based art, and often manifests as radio art, video art, light sculpture, installation, and performance.

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Required Reading

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Image: Boris Groys, Medium Religion [Medium Religion], 2006.
video lecture (color, sound), 25 min., loop. courtesy Boris Groys.

The general consensus of the contemporary mass media is that the return of religion has emerged as the most important factor in global politics and culture today. Now, those who currently refer to a revival of religion clearly do not mean anything like the second coming of the Messiah or the appearance of new gods and prophets. What they are referring to rather is that religious attitudes have moved from culturally marginal zones into the mainstream. If this is the case, and statistics would seem to corroborate the claim, the question then arises as to what may have caused religious attitudes to become mainstream.

The survival and dissemination of opinions on the global information market is regulated by a law formulated by Charles Darwin, namely, the survival of the fittest. Those opinions that best adapt to the conditions under which they are disseminated will, as a matter of course, have the best odds of becoming mainstream. Today’s opinions market, however, is clearly characterized by reproduction, repetition, and tautology. The widespread understanding of contemporary civilization holds that, over the course of the modern age, theology has been replaced by philosophy, an orientation toward the past by an orientation toward the future, traditional teachings by subjective evidence, fidelity to origins by innovation, and so on. In fact, however, the modern age has not been the age in which the sacred has been abolished but rather the age of its dissemination in profane space, its democratization, its globalization. Ritual, repetition, and reproduction were hitherto matters of religion; they were practiced in isolated, sacred places. In the modern age, ritual, repetition, and reproduction have become the fate of the entire world, of the entire culture ...

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Performed Listening (Boomerang) (2009) - Marisa Olson

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Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking, Ticking, Ticking, Ticking, Ticking......

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Image: Graham Dolphin, The Possibilites Are Endless, 2008

Time. It's an old topic. From cave paintings to code paintings, the recording of time is among the most basic and persistent of subject matters seen in art, and it has very often propelled new tools for keeping itself measured. Oddly enough, despite time's catalyzing role in the innovation of techniques and technologies, time-based media has all too often been left out of exhibitions surveying creative explorations of time. But the current exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts, entitled "Timecode," takes the pulse of temporality from a more electronically enlightened perspective. The show does include works employing painting and sculpture, but puts them in conversation with works such as Thomson & Craighead's "narrative clock," Horizon (2009), in which webcams around the world convey a perpetual horizon, and Tatsuo Miyajima's large-scale LED timepiece, Counter Void S-1 (2003). Situated next to classic performance works by the likes of Douglas Gordon and On Kawara, and of course the eponymous multi-channel film by Mike Figgis, the show holds a lens to the myriad ways in which time endures as an organizing principle for our lives and our creativity. - Marisa Olson

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Out-of-Body

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When the independent curator, publisher, writer and art dealer Willoughby Sharp died this past December at the age of 72, the art world lost an iconic figure. Active internationally in the art world since the early 60s, Sharp's name is most often associated with his role as the publisher and co-founder (with Liza Bear) of Avalanche magazine (1970-1976) and for his curation of the seminal art exhibition Earth Art (1969). Avalanche has become something of a cult classic in the art world. Consisting mostly of idiosyncratic editorials by Sharp and Bear and interviews with figures such as Joseph Beuys, Yvonne Rainer, Bruce Nauman, Lawrence Weiner and Vito Acconci, Avalanche helped define the art of an era while also redefining the role of the art magazine. The editors viewed Avalanche as an open space for artists and art, and this vision dictated the overall direction of the magazine. Sharp's seminal Earth Art, held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1969, was the first major exhibition of land-based sculptural work, and it included artists such as Walter de Maria, Robert Smithson, Hans Haacke, Robert Morris, Richard Long and Dennis Oppenheim (among others). It has also become somewhat mythologized as the exhibition where the young Gordon Matta-Clark, who lived in Ithaca, was hired by Sharp as an assistant and, thus, met the vanguard of the international art scene for the first time.

However, it should be noted that Sharp, himself, was also a performance artist, video artist, satellite artist and computer artist. In fact, his work at the nexus of art and technology is one of the most passionate chapters in his career, but has largely gone unnoticed. The art historian Frank Popper (who met and befriended Sharp in 1968) has offered one of the few accounts of this work in his book From Technological to Virtual Art. According to Popper, the introduction of television to American culture in the late 1940's had a tremendous effect on Sharp. "Almost instantly after DuMont television sets began to dominate living rooms and lives in 1948, television took control of Sharp, and he was transformed from just watching "Uncle Miltie" to being him," writes Popper.

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Kill Your Television

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Today, the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Center for New Media, and Long Now Foundation will host what author Bruce Sterling calls a "Dead Media hootenanny." The Funeral for Analog TV will be a full day of revelry, capped-off by the kind of pseudo-event perhaps not seen by the Bay Area since Ant Farm's Media Burn. Attendees of the festive wake are encouraged to bring their analog TV sets to pile on an electronic heap which will simulate a snow crash at the end of the night. Though the US Congress recently extended the deadline by which all broadcasting television signals must legally be converted to digital HD, Sterling says the event is moving ahead as originally scheduled "because we prefer to bury a fresh corpse rather than wait for the walking dead to fall over." As the organizer of the Dead Media Project, Sterling knows a thing or two about the carcasses left behind as a result of technological upgrades. He joins a lineup of people that includes media historian Paul Saffo, artist collective Neighborhood Public Radio, and sound artist Author & Punisher in marking this rite of obsolescence. The organizers point out that it's only fitting that the funeral service be held in the Bay Area, given that the system for broadcasting and receiving TV signals was invented there. But if you can't make it to the West Coast to hear the eulogy, fear not. The event's penultimate "scattering of the ashes" will be an online rebroadcasting of the program. - Marisa Olson

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