Elena Levi
Since 2009
Works in Brooklyn United States of America

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Brooklyn is Watching Best of Year One Festival: The Final Five

Fri Aug 07, 2009 00:00 - Tue Aug 04, 2009


Press Contact: Jay Van Buren

"Brooklyn is Watching Best of Year 1: The Final Five"
at Jack The Pelican Presents

Exhibition: Brooklyn Is Watching, Best of Year 1: The Final Five
Artists: Dancoyote Antonelli, Bryn Oh, Nebulosus Severine, Selavy Oh and Glyph Graves
Opening: Friday, August 7, 7-9pm Eastern
Panel discussion: August 15, 6pm
Lecture: August 16, 6pm
Blog: BrooklynIsWatching.com
Dates: August 7¬-23, 2009
Address: 487 Driggs Avenue at N. 9th, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
SL Location: East of Odyssey

Virtual art comes to Brooklyn. Inside the gallery are five monitors, each featuring a virtual copy of the real space occupied by a different virtual artwork. These are “The Final Five,” created for this context by the nominated and elected best of the hundreds of virtual artists who have exhibited in year 1 of Brooklyn is Watching.

The Artists are: Dancoyote Antonelli, Glyph Graves, Bryn Oh, Selavy Oh, and Nebulosus Severine —a diverse bunch, representing very different points of view of what it means to make virtual art. Visitors to this exhibition will have a chance to interact with the works and to vote for the best of the best.

Is virtual art for real? What is the nature of the medium? How do you talk about it? What are its conceptual and social-critical opportunities and limits? These are just some of the questions that Brooklyn Is Watching has been actively asking for the last year and a half.

Brooklyn is Watching is a mixed-reality project created by artist Jay Van Buren, and fleshed out by a rotating crew of collaborators. The stage is based in Second Life. Artists place artworks there to be seen by visitors to the Real Life venue Jack the Pelican Presents gallery—and to have their works discussed by international critics, curators and artists (including Tyler Coburn of Rhizome, and Barbara London of MoMA) in a weekly podcast and blog at BrooklynIsWatching.com. The project has been widely discussed and written up in such publications as the New York Times Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail.

Nomination and initial voting, open to the public, narrowed the field to the “30 best”. From there selection to the Final Five was done by an expert panel that included SL art heavyweights: AM Radio, Amy Freelunch, AngryBeth Shortbread, Bettina Tizzy and Sage Duncan.

The artists have employed a variety of strategies for making virtual art that relates to the virtual version of the real life space:

Nebulosus Severine envelopes the virtual gallery in a luminous fortress-of-solitude-like structure — that is a meditation on the nature of the self.

DanCoyote Antonelli (aka DC Spensley) explodes the metaphor of the virtual gallery by using the building blocks of that illusion as raw material for a dynamic, rhythmic, abstract sculpture stretching up into the sky.

Selavy Oh exploits the intrinsically flexible nature of virtual space by creating an interactive maze of nested, shifting Jack the Pelicans in which she has curated a show within a show featuring artists not selected by the judges.

Bryn Oh has turned the gallery into a ruin of glowing technological fragments infested with digital flora, inviting the viewer into her own idiosyncratic fantasy narrative.

Glyph Graves uses the gallery to show how art is a reflection of its physical and social environment by creating a work that changes based on the number of people viewing it.

In addition to the exhibit of the final five works, the opening night will feature a mixed reality installation by filmmakers Bianca Ahmadi and Juan Rubio. Jack the Pelican Presents will also host a panel discussion and lecture on the topic of digital and virtual art. The panel discussion will be held on August 15th at 6:00 PM and features Lori Landay, Stacey Fox and Pavig Lok. The lecture by Jerry Paffendorf will be on August 16th at 6:00 PM.

For more information, please contact Jay van Buren at jay@early-adopter.com or 785-220-2344 and visit our blog at Brooklyniswatching.com.

Jack the Pelican Presents is a trendsetting Williamsburg gallery specializing in contemporary art.

Second Life® is the most popular online virtual world. Peak concurrent users just topped 88,000 and over 700,000 people regularly log in. Over 120 million real dollars changed hands inside Second Life® in the first quarter of 2009, some of it spent on virtual art.


Popcha! BIW’s premier sponsor provides hosting for the website, the original build of the BIW space, and the scripting for the project’s avatar, Monet Destiny.
Popcha! is a boutique media technology agency focused on making virtual worlds work for its clients. As one of Second Life’s ® first Gold Solution Providers, Popcha! has been been singled out as a highly qualified provider who has demonstrated a high level of client satisfaction and has developed successful projects on behalf of businesses, governments, educational institutions, and other business organizations in Second Life.

The University of Kansas Department of Visual Art is providing the SL sim for the 30 Best Show and the main Brooklyn Is Watching space is now being hosted on the department’s Impermanence research sim.
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, The University of Kansas is a member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is a Research 1 University. The Department of Visual Art is comprised of 30 full time professors who teach painting, sculpture, printmaking, new media, ceramics, textiles, metals and art education, and has impressive studio space.

Odyssey is providing the SIM for the Final Five show.
Odyssey is a simulator in the virtual world of Second Life® (SL) dedicated to contemporary art and performance. Providing services for artists and arts organizations, the aim is to experiment and work on art in a virtual 3D context and to explore the specific conditions under which art in a virtual world takes place. Odyssey artists and performers explore and experiment with this medium as a tool for art production and art environment. It is less a matter of importing existing art forms - they are interested in pushing the SL medium in new directions and exploring its full potential in a professional manner and to develop new forms out of the context of art history and in a critical view on the SL medium.

Tekserve provided us with the computer that visitors use at the gallery.
Tekserve is a privately held company with over 200 employees, operating in New York City and serving clients worldwide. Tekserve was founded in 1987 by David Lerner and Dick Demenus to provide service for customers needing Apple computer repairs at reasonable prices. Having met that need, they were encouraged to expand the business to offer Macintosh sales and consulting services as well.

VOOS is providing seating for the gallery.
VOOS is a condensed capsule of locally grown design produce, always fresh, packed with energy and creativity. We are located in a 1,500sf space at the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. We are not a showroom, a store, a gallery or a venue. We are all the above and also a design hub, a center for events, openings and parties to launch new creations and new ideas.

Brooklyn Brewery is our exclusive beer sponsor.
Brooklyn Brewery is the first successful commercial brewery in New York City since Schaefer and Rheingold closed their doors in 1976. Today, The Brooklyn Brewery is among America’s top 40 breweries, and Brooklyn Lager is among the top draft beers in New York City.

Brooklyn is Watching Collaborators Past and Present: Stacey Fox, Beth Harris, Boris Kizelshteyn, Norene Leddy, Jenna Spevack, Amy Wilson, Steven Zucker

Special thanks to Dekka Raymaker for his help creating the virtual Jack the Pelican Presents, and to Penumbra Carter and Sage Duncan for their work on Machinima for the Exhibition. Thanks to Catherine Garnier for installation design and video editing.

Brooklyn is Watching 2009 Interns: Kristen Galvin, Elena Lauren Levis, Nicole Sansone, Walter Scott.