nathaniel stern
Since the beginning
Works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States of America

PORTFOLIO (13)
BIO
Nathaniel Stern is an artist and writer, Fulbright grantee and professor, interventionist and public citizen. He has produced and collaborated on projects ranging from ecological, participatory and online interventions, interactive, immersive and mixed reality environments, to prints, sculptures, videos, performances and hybrid forms. His book, Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body as Performance, is due for release in mid-2013, and his ongoing work in industry has helped launch dozens of new businesses, products and ideas. Stern has been featured in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, Guardian UK, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Daily News, BBC’s Today show, Wired, Time, Forbes, Fast Company, Scientific American, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Leonardo Journal of Art, Science and Technology, Rhizome, Furtherfield, Turbulence, and more. According to Chicago’s widely popular Bad at Sports art podcast, Stern has “the most varied and strange bio of maybe anyone ever on the show,” and South Africa’s Live Out Loud magazine calls him a “prolific scholar” as well as artist, whose work is “quite possibly some of the most relevant around.” Dubbed one of the Milwaukee’s “avant-garde” (Journal Sentinel), Stern has been called ”an interesting and prolific fixture” (Artthrob.co.za) behind many “multimedia experiments” (Time.com), “accessible and abstract simultaneously” (Art and Electronic Media web site), someone “with starry, starry eyes” (Wired.com) who “makes an obscene amount of work in an obscene amount of ways” (Bad at Sports). According to Caleb A. Scharf at Scientific American, Stern’s art is “tremendous fun” but also “fascinating” in how it is “investigating the possibilities of human interaction and art.”

New Media, New Modes: On "Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media"


Humorous and surprising, smart and provocative, Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media (MIT Press, 2010) jumps from opposing viewpoints to opposing personalities, from one arts trajectory to another. The entire book is a dialectic exercise: none of its problems or theories are solved or concluded, but are rather complicated through revelations around their origins, arguments and appropriations. Overall, the book adopts the collaborative style and hyperlinked approach of the media and practice it purports to rethink. In other words, it is not just the content of the book that asks us to rethink curating, but the reading itself; by the end, we are forced to digest and internalize the consistently problematized behaviors of the “media formerly known as new.”


Screening Screens


Kate Mondloch’s first book, Screens: Viewing Media Installation Art (University of Minnesota Press), is a welcome study of the cathode ray tubes, liquid crystal and plasma displays, and film, video and data projections that “pervade contemporary life” (xi). The author reminds us that screens are not just “illusionist windows” into other spaces or worlds, but also “physical, material entities [that] beckon, provoke, separate, and seduce” (xii). Most importantly, however, Mondloch’s approach is that of an art historian. She does not merely use art as a case study for media theory, but rather makes the contributions of artists her central focus in this, the first in-depth study of the space between bodies and screens in contemporary art.


Action, Reaction, and Phenomenon


In his book, Parables for the Virtual, Brian Massumi calls for "movement, sensation, and qualities of experience" to be put back into our understandings of embodiment. He says that contemporary society comprehends bodies, and by extension the world, almost exclusively through linguistic and visual apprehension. They are defined by their images, their symbols, what they look like and how we write and talk about them. Massumi wants to instead "engage with continuity," to encourage a processual and active approach to embodied experience. In essence, Massumi proposes that our theories "feel" again. "Act/React", curator George Fifield's "dream exhibition" that opened at the Milwaukee Art Museum last week, picks up on these phenomenologist principles. He and his selected artists invite viewer-participants to physically explore their embodied and continuous relationships to each other, the screen, space, biology, art history and perhaps more.

Fifield is quick to point out that all the works on show are unhindered by traditional interface objects such as the mouse and keyboard. Most of them instead employ computer vision technologies, more commonly known as interactive video. Here, the combined use of digital video cameras and custom computer software allows each artwork to "see," and respond to, bodies, colors and/or motion in the space of the museum. The few works not using cameras in this fashion employ similar technologies towards the same end. While this homogeneity means that the works might at first seem too similar in their interactions, their one-to-one responsiveness, and their lack of other new media-specific explorations -- such as networked art or dynamic appropriation and re-mixing systems -- it also accomplishes something most museum-based "state of the digital art" shows don't. It uses just one avenue of interest by contemporary media artists in order to dig much deeper into what their practice means, and why it's important. "Act/React" encourages an extremely varied and nuanced investigation of our embodied experiences in our own surroundings. As the curator himself notes in the Museum's press release, "If in the last century the crisis of representation was resolved by new ways of seeing, then in the twenty-first century the challenge is for artists to suggest new ways of experiencing...This is contemporary art about contemporary existence." This exhibition, in other words, implores us to look at action and reaction, at our embodied relationships, as critical experience. It is a contemporary investigation of phenomenology.



Discussions (77) Opportunities (2) Events (10) Jobs (3)
JOB

Design Research Institute Director


Deadline:
Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:09

Location:
United States of America

Hello friends at Rhizome!

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is seeking a Design Researcher to develop and run its new Design Research Institute in Peck School of the Arts. It's an amazing opportunity at a great school, with wonderful colleagues, and in a lovely city.

Here's the official letter from the Chair of Visual Art:
https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/sternn/public/UWM_DesignResearchPosition_Letter_2010.pdf

And here's the official position description:
https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/sternn/public/DesignResearchPositionDescription_11_2010.pdf

By all means, contact me or the Chair with any questions you might have. Warmly,

Nathaniel Stern
Assistant Professor + Area Head, Digital Studio Practice
Department of Visual Art, Peck School of the Arts
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
http://nathanielstern.com


DISCUSSION

London Calling


If the short-form op-ed is so problematic that one can't even include throwaway sentences to show they've done their research about exceptions, etc - something more than worhtwhile both for those in the know and those not; if it's such a chore to have to scold intelligent folks with real answers to some of the "silly" questions posed; (I could go on) then perhaps that format shouldn't have a place on Rhizome at all. All caps condescension aside (OBVIOUSLY), I find your pride in sloppy writing and your poltical and historical ignorance of the relationships between these institutions to be detrimental to the discourses you claim to want to provoke even-handed discussion around.

DISCUSSION

London Calling


Yes, it's been said many times already; but how can you leave out Furtherfield? Their program directly fills some of the voids you're speaking of, and it's not like there is any lack of information about them anywhere - other than Rhizome, that is (and I'm not just talking about this article). Ridiculous.

EVENT

Giverny of the Midwest: Nathaniel Stern @ GALLERY AOP, Johannesburg


Dates:
Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:30 - Sat Aug 13, 2011

Location:
Braamfonein Werf (Milpark), South Africa

Opening talk by Jeremy Wafer, 30 July 14h00
Artist talks, 4 - 5 August, Joburg and Pretoria
Artist walkabout at AOP, 4 August 18h00
Saturday 30 July - Saturday 13 August 2011
_
For Nathaniel Stern's ongoing series of performative prints, he straps a desktop scanner, laptop and custom-made battery pack to his body, and performs images into existence. He might scan in straight, long lines across tables, tie the scanner around his neck and swing over flowers, do pogo-like gestures over bricks, or just follow the wind over water lilies in a pond. The dynamism between his body, technology and the landscape is transformed into beautiful and quirky renderings, which are then produced as archival art objects.
_
Giverny of the Midwest is a panoramic installation of nearly 100 such prints, rendering water, lilies, leaves and other organic forms into lush and rippling images. The source materials were scanned during a week-long camping trip next to a lily pond in South Bend, Indiana, and edited together over the course of nearly 2 years. The piece explicitly cites Monet’s large-scale painting and installation, Water Lilies (1914-1926), at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is similarly an immersive triptych of over 250 square feet (totaling 2 x 12 meters), and follows the patterns of light and color in Monet’s panorama. But Giverny of the Midwest's three large panels move between proximity and distance, and are broken down into differently-sized and -shaped prints on watercolor paper, each evenly spaced apart. The tensions between flow and geometry, life and modularity, place it in further dialogue with other trajectories of modern and contemporary art, and simultaneously activate the possibilities of working across digital and traditional forms.
_
Also part of the exhibition: The Giverny Series, 8 individual prints (edition 10, 2011) and In the fold, an artist book (forthcoming) - both produced using imagery from the aforementioned "art camping trip" in South Bend, Indiana.
_
http://nathanielstern.com/2011/giverny-of-the-midwest/
http://nathanielstern.com/2011/the-giverny-series/
http://nathanielstern.com/2011/in-the-fold/
****
Artist presentations
_
At both artist talks, Nathaniel will talk about his trajectory of thinking and making, which centers around curiosity, generosity and dialogue. He’ll present his work as a series of questions that often lead to interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and the combination of new and traditional media. The walkabout will see an open discussion about Giverny of the Midwest more specifically - the prints, the process, and the in-betweens.
_
Artist talk: Thursday 4 August, 12h30
Digital Convent,  University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
Co-hosted by Wits Digital Arts and the Division of Visual Arts
details: tegan.bristow@wits.ac.za
_
Artist walkabout: Thursday 4 August, 18h00
GALLERY AOP
44 Stanley Avenue, Braamfontein Werf (Milpark), Johannesburg
details: info@artonpaper.co.za
_
Artist talk: Friday 5 August, 9h00
Sunnyside Campus, University of South Africa (UNISA), Pretoria
Hosted by the Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology
details: colleen.alborough@gmail.com
***
GALLERY AOP
44 Stanley Avenue, Braamfontein Werf, Johannesburg
T +27 (0)11 726 2234 F +27 (0)86 510 0970
info@artonpaper.co.za | www.artonpaper.co.za
Gallery hours: Tuesday - Friday 10h00-17h00, Saturday 10h00-15h00
_
Nathaniel Stern
nathaniel.stern@gmail.com
http://nathanielstern.com


EVENT

Wikipedia Art Remix


Dates:
Thu Aug 19, 2010 00:00 - Mon Aug 16, 2010

August 19th @ Benrimon Contemporary, part of Younger Than Moses: Idle Worship
514 West 24th Street on the 2nd floor
An evening of performances & screenings by Ryan V. Brennan, the Wikipedia Art Project, Genevieve White, Adam & Ron
Beginning 6:00 PM (come a little early for a Wikipedia Art Remix treat!)

For Sean Fletcher and Isabel Reichert’s Wikipedia Art Remix, two actors perform a scene appropriated from Edward Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”. The dialogue between the iconic characters George and Martha incorporates highlights from the “Articles for Deletion” page of Wikipedia Art, an intervention by Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern on Wikipedia, so the couple’s argument becomes one about whether or not art can exist on Wikipedia.

See a video art version of this upcoming performance piece.
http://www.life-art.org/wiki.php

Sean Fletcher and Isabel Reichert have collaborated together on conceptually based performance works, interventions, writings, installations, videos, photography, and prints since meeting each other in 1994. Their work is about power and vulnerability; how it relates to relationship dynamics, society, and politics. Fletcher and Reichert use collaboration as a tool to integrate the negotiation for power into works of art. http://www.life-art.org

Scott Kildall is an independent artist, who intervenes with objects and actions into various concepts of space. Nathaniel Stern is an artist, teacher, writer and provocateur, who works with interactive, participatory, networked and traditional forms.
http://kildall.com/
http://nathanielstern.com/