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 Download: >get >put - an exhibition download

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Screen shot of >get >put – an exhibition download (2012)

This month, The Download presents >get >put – an exhibition download (2012) an installation of digital compositions produced by Alexandra Gorczynski, A. Bill Miller, Benjamin Farahmand, Giselle Zatonyl, Derek Frech, and Travess Smalley in tandem with their physical pieces for the exhibition >get >put at little berlin in Philadelphia, PA

>get >put is an exploration of the interplay between the physical, social and digital spaces of networked culture. Installed as a series of digital compositions anchored in spatiotemporal objects, the work focuses around the fundamental shared behaviors of ‘downloading’ and ‘uploading’ that support our networked world. The exhibition exists in two parts – as digital compositions installed in HTML for this download, and as physical pieces produced for the exhibition’s installation.

The Download gives a first look to great art for Rhizome members. Start your own digital art collection by becoming a member today.

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The Scanner at Saamlung

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Prepared Scanner, a composition in clay (Travess Smalley, 2011)

Untitled (Jo-ey Tang, 2011-2012)

Rhizome asked Travess Smalley and Jo-ey Tang, two artists with digitally-based work in the upcoming group exhibition "The Untouchables" at Saamlung in Hong Kong, to answer the same question(s) via email.

Surface is a theme of this show: is there a particular way you connect the visual elements of your pieces to something non-visual? Considering each piece has a digital and physical aspect, would you expand on the relationship between the two forms? What do you consider your pieces to be made of (e.g., substance, bit, concept, etc.)?  

Travess Smalley: I have always looked for ways to bring the home office into my studio practice. I mean, for most artists the home office holds many of the tools we use on a day-to-day basis -- inkjet printer, scanner, personal computer, even scotch tape and staples. I've always felt that my role as an artist and creator would be somewhat dependent on these tools. I mean, it's always been easier for me to find a mouse than a paintbrush.

Of all the home office devices, the printer/scanner is the most interesting to me. These are the two devices that convert the digital to the physical and back again. They are one of the few ports where the visual can get in and out of the separated digital and physical worlds. The printer and scanner have been my most important tools for the past few years. From my experiences and processes using them for artistic ends, I have come to think of my relationship to them akin to a contemporary printmaker. A home office printmaker perhaps. I've developed an understanding and elaborate choreography of process that attempts to blur the line of these convertors ...

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Last day of the Rhizome Summer Fundraiser

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Francoise Gamma, Ysatsce dna ecaep evol (2011)

Today is the last day of our week-long Summer Fundraiser!

As you know, this campaign is geared specifically towards our Preservation Initiative, which has become a major priority for Rhizome in recent years. We initiated this campaign because preservation not a matter of feasibility--we can make this happen--but the scale of our effort does depend on funding. We are actively seeking funding from foundations, government agencies to support this effort, and support from the Rhizome community through this fundraiser plays a very important role.

An exciting part of being involved in art engaged with the Internet and new technology is that the field is moving so quickly, expanding, changing, and co-extensively, in need of criticism and resources to support it. The inherent risk is that the materials that compose these media-based works will obsolesce rapidly, in a way that painting, photography, and sculpture do not. Help us keep the history of this field in tact for artists, scholars and publics in years to come.

Please donate today. This is your last chance to receive limited-edition desktop wallpaper from artists Fracoise Gamma or Travess Smalley.

To all our members and supporters: thanks for all you've given to Rhizome! It's going to be a great summer on the Rhizome website thanks to you!

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