"A guy at work emailed me a picture of him and his wife, but over the wife's face is a picture of mine! Is that cute or creepy?" So begins the song "Cute or Creepy?" by Japanese artist Takuji Kogo. Under the auspices of Candy Factory (the name of the gallery Kogo operated from 1998 to 2000 and the body through which he still mounts online projects), Cute or Creepy is also the title of Kojo's new collaborative project for this year's Kitakyushu Biennial 07--exploring the potentially cute and creepy terrain of surveillance and appropriation. Collaboration is the core of Kojo's practice and Candy Factory's flexible iterations allow him to easily work with an international group of artists. For this project, Kojo collaborates with Jon Miller, Sean Snyder, Hiroyuki Hanada, and Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, among others, creating a series of websites and songs reflecting *Candy Factory's aesthetic of animated photographs, overlaid text, and computer-generated audio. Fitting within this general framework, the personal style each participating artist brings to the formula resonates loudly, explicitly recognizing and celebrating influence and collaboration in the artistic process. Nothing creepy about that.
Whether it's building forts, playing with blocks, or remodeling Barbie's Dream House, even as children, the architectural impulse to create an ideal space for our self looms large. Nowhere in the digital realm is there such a literal translation of this impulse than in Second Life, and recognizing the growing use of this space as an experimental architectural playground is the 1st Annual Architecture and Design Competition in Second Life. The public voted on the four finalists, who were selected by a panel at this year's Ars Electronica, (the theme of which was GOOD BYE PRIVACY), and the people's favorite was Tanja Meyle's Living Cloud. Avoiding anything that mimicked real life structures, the finalists all responded to their virtual environment, reassessing what good design means in a virtual space. In some cases walls were constructed from sound and Second Life detritus, but for Meyle's entry she truly examined her spatial needs within this multi-user context. Ironically, hers is a semi-transparent cloud that constantly travels with her avatar--an extension of her virtual self. In a space where one doesn't really go to be alone, Living Cloud nonetheless provides its owner with both privacy and mobility.
Haven't we all wondered what it would be like to live someone else's life? To wear their clothes, live in their apartment, drive their car--basically to see if someone else lives a life better than our own? This curiosity has an outlet in the latest project by WOOLOO, an artist-run organization based in Berlin that offers exhibition opportunities and practical tools for artists and curators. This week, as part of PERFORMA07, they have organized Life Exchange, a week-long performance which gives spectators the chance to swap lives with a stranger--more particularly, one of the ten artists commissioned by WOOLOO for the project. Curated by the legendary performance artist and curator Martha Wilson (Founding Director of Franklin Furnace), spectators are invited into the Chelsea, NY apartment of writer Nancy Weber, and after a series of steps anyone who wants can emerge with different clothes, different documents, and different apartment keys. At a time when issues of privacy and identity are constantly being debated in the public forum, Life Exchange requires an almost inconceivable level of trust. But on the lighter side, Life Exchange offers both the narcissist and the voyeur the opportunity to snoop, covet, or criticize the life of another.
From October 25-27, St. Augustine Trinidad is host to the 6th annual Animae Caribe: Animation and New Media Festival--part of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. The screening 'African Animation Panorama,' consists of short films ranging from early cartoons such as Egyptian artist Frenkel's Mish-Mish, to the work of contemporary South African production house Black Heart Gang--and much in between. A showcase of student films and other juried submissions will also be screened over the three-day festival. But what separates this festival from others of its ilk (aside from its geographic locale) is its bent towards the pedagogical. Numerous instructional workshops will take place alongside the screenings, in addition a 'Business Day' which focuses on animation as a career and gives practical tips for those who would seek one. Perhaps most notable is the 'Mobile Caravan,' which brings both festival highlights and workshops to community centers in rural areas throughout the islands. Taking their audience into vital consideration, the Caribbean Animation Festival not only entertains, but also addresses the needs of its community.
Yael Kanarek's latest show, 'Warm Fields,' at New York City's Bitforms Gallery extends her well-known internet work World of Awe into a gallery space. The World of Awe is a long-running work that follows the movement of a traveler in the land of 'Sunset/Sunrise.' The texts and languages so vital to the virtual sphere are physically articulated through a series of sculptures that reflect the varied landscape that Awe's traveler inhabits. In the piece 'Sunset/Sunrise' hundreds of delicately cut words, spelling out the title in English, Hebrew, and Arabic are pinned to the wall, creating the illusion of multiple spatial and temporal dimensions. The amorphic and web-like 'Travelog 765.34/3: Cut Sunset/Sunrise' makes physical the textual and networked nature of the traveler's journal. While so many artists struggle to make the jump from web to gallery, Kanarek's installation seems an organic and logical physical extension of her internet practice, and just like her weary traveler, Kanarek's work seamlessly moves through multiple spaces.
Job Title: Exhibitions Curator
Position Type: Full-time contract, 35 hours/week
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Years Experience: 3+
The Western Front Society seeks an outstanding, highly motivated arts professional to step into the role of Exhibitions Curator.
The Western Front is one of Canada’s pioneering artist-run centres and produces and presents works in five programs: Exhibitions, Performance Art, New Music, Media Arts, and FRONT Magazine. The Western Front was founded in 1973 by a small group of interdisciplinary artists, and has developed into an exemplary multi-disciplinary environment for experimental art practice and research. With a staff of ten plus interns and volunteers, the Society collectively produces over fifty events a year.
The Exhibitions Program has a mandate to present contemporary visual art by local, national and international artists. Intentionally open, this mandate has historically focused on artwork that is conceptual, media-based or otherwise ephemeral in nature. Currently the program promotes experimentation with conceptual models and contexts for visual art that have allowed the program to expand beyond gallery exhibitions to include artist books and posters, cross-disciplinary works, site-specific and Internet projects, and commissions.
The Exhibitions Curator reports to the Executive Director, and is responsible for:
• Developing and communicating a dynamic vision for the Exhibitions Program
• Curating exhibitions and all associated programming
• Editing publications
• Writing grants and seeking opportunities for additional funding or support
• Supervising one part-time staff member, contract workers, as well as volunteers
• Exemplary knowledge and understanding of contemporary art practices
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Proven financial management experience
• Strong organizational skills
• Ability to provide direction and work with a diverse staff
• High capacity to meet deadlines and work under pressure
• Knowledge of a broad range of issues related to the arts
• A clear understanding of the philosophy and history of the Canadian artist-run centre movement
• Knowledge of the principle funding agencies and prior grant writing experience
• Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
• Experience installing a variety of art exhibitions
• Mac OS, Microsoft Office, electronic mail and Filemaker Pro, an asset
A competitive benefits package is available after the three months probation period is complete. After eight months of employment, four weeks paid vacation may be taken during the period when programs are recessed. An additional ten days paid holiday time may be taken during the December/January holiday period.
A part-time Exhibitions Assistant supports this position. Provisions are also made within the program budget for research-based travel.
HOW TO APPLY
The Western Front Society is committed to the principles of Employment Equity and encourages applications from Aboriginal persons, members of a visible minority group or persons with a disability.
Applications containing a cover letter, curriculum vitae, three references, and writing samples, must be received by 4:00 p.m. on December 14, 2009.
Please send applications by email only to:
Exhibitions Curator Hiring Committee
Western Front Society
303 East 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1S1
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
Therefore, not a distraction at all. I think it's a good barometer of where many of the artists (that I see in Chicago, Brussels, San Fran, and elsewhere) are pointing their vector of effort. To me, this shows me what is being "seen as important", when only 40 years ago, media art was still in a mode of challenging the galley and the object itself. This is a major shift...
While I agree with you Patrick that artists are directing efforts towards marketability, I certainly don't see it as a major shift. I think many Internet Artists who are gearing a part of their practice towards the institution/gallery setting, still create work that disrupts and challenges that system. And, I'm sorry, maybe my perspective as the one time programing director for a chelsea gallery that played a role in bringing some first generation net artists into the commercial sphere, but I just don't see this as a problem. I certainly see it as a trend to follow with interest, but don't see it as a whole hearted conversion to 'art world traditionalism.'
First off. Yes. the ongoing snark/sarcasm/animosity between tom, tim and mriver is super/totally/unbelievably "boring."
Secondly. And this is somewhat off topic on this particular string, but I think this entire net.art 1.0 v. net.art 2.0 conversation is, while not exactly boring, maybe a red herring. To be very simplistic about it, I don't really perceive much theoretical distance between the work of 'the old guard' and the work of the current "3rd generation" net artists. I think both were/are responding to the web as it existed at the time. In the late 1990s people wrote their own html, they 'view(ed) source,' and things were for the most part text based. And the art of the time responded accordingly, creating work about language, translation and disrupting the emerging systems that the general public was so quick to accept unconditionally.
Now, the web has obviously evolved into the web 2.0 (and all that comes with it). You don't need to code to be an internet artist because no one really needs to code to use the web anymore. You just need a myspace or facebook page, access to youtube or flickr, or a blogger address and you are 'actively' participating in the web (obviously a lot of people have written about the deeper implications of this type of migration - notably Olia in her Vernacular Web 2) http://www.contemporary-home-computing.org/vernacular-web-2/). So if internet artists are now making work that is a collection of links, a series of other people's youtube videos? Fantastic. As far as I can tell most of this work is doing so as a means to question the ease with which we are living our most intimate moments online.
The web is a different place, and so obviously the art that comes out of it is going to be different. But I think, at its very core, it is the same. Internet Art responds to the web, its development, and how we use it, regardless of whether it was made by MTAA or Guthrie Lonergan. Like I said, very simplistic, and not a fully formed argument at this point, but I think looking at why this work is so different is far less interesting than exploring its shared characteristics.
ps. This is just an aside. All the muttering about the 'newer generation' of Internet artists having more gallery success is also a bit of a distraction. I guarantee that Vuk, Olia, Thomson and Craighead alone have sold/exhibited more work in the past three years than all of the newer generation put together.