Wickerham & Lomax, BOY'Dega: Encore in the AFTALYFE (Season 2) (2014).
JG: DUOX started as a collaboration between the two of you, and collaboration seems completely central to your practice even though you're now working under the name Wickerham & Lomax. You've worked closely with DIS Magazine and other high-profile sponsors, and even the feel of your new work seems deliberately corporate and commercial. What is the shape and direction of this collaboration? Where did DUOX end, and how does Wickerham & Lomax extend?
Lomax: I think aside from using the language of surface which is one of our subjects—appearances, mirrors, screens, reflections, storefronts, sheen—we employ the language of accessibility, and that gets foregrounded explicitly in corporate and commercial imagery which isn't really an idea we investigate but an aesthetic we employ. I think the corporate and commercial for us is really a mask, not an interest.
Still frame from Fred Parke, Faces, University of Utah, 1974.
On June 19 of this past year Miley Cyrus released a video for "We Can't Stop," the lead single for her fourth studio alum Bangers (2013). Directed by Diane Martel, the video was the first step in a massive rebranding effort by the young singer, who has transformed herself from a Disney teen starlet into a bad-girl human Tumblr. The video largely consists of the young star partying with friends, intercut with a number of visual non-sequiturs that resemble scrolling through the popular microblogging platform. The video, album, and subsequent MTV video music awards performance have sparked a number of interesting debates online and in popular press concerning sexuality, race, and appropriation. Watching the video for the first time, I was shocked, though not at the twerking or the tongue or the dancing bears. "Did you see that?" I yelled as I paused the video. "I think that was the CGI face from Fred Parke's 1974 University of Utah dissertation research." And it was.
Note from Alan Turing to Robin Gandy, March 1954.
Born in London in 1949, Andrew Hodges attended Cambridge University from 1967 to 1971, where he trained as a mathematician. While there, he encountered the work of Alan Turing for the first time, learning of his significant contributions to the history of mathematical logic—though not of his homosexuality.
In Part Four of our ongoing genealogy of queer computing (Part One, Part Two, Part Three), we introduce a second generation of queer scholars who made important contributions to the field of computer science, and from whom we may trace a direct connection back to those familiar foundational figures.
On June 20, 2009 at 4pm at The Hampstead Quaker Meeting House in London, a memorial service was held for Professor Peter Landin. In attendance were his family and the friends whose lives he had touched over the last 78 years. It was a collision of worlds, a sudden mixing of two communities that Landin had kept separate his entire life. Landin's friend and colleague Olivier Danvy likened the event to the memorial for the French mathematical logician Jean van Heijenoort, author of From Frege to Gödel (1967). In the early part of his life, van Heijenoort had been the personal secretary and bodyguard of Leon Trotsky, the famous Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army. Van Heijenoort left service only two months before Trotsky's murder in Mexico City by Stalinist assassins, but was a devout Trotskyist until his death, publishing extensively on his relationship with the revolutionary figure and editing a volume of Trotsky's correspondence before his own death in 1986. In attendance at van Heijenoort's funeral, Danvy recalls, were two disparate groups of people: on one side the logicians, and on the other the Trotskyists, each one incapable of communicating their own sense of importance of the man to the other.
Peter Landin had also led something of a double life. He was a foundational figure in computer science, and a pioneer of programming language design based on mathematical logic and the Lambda calculus. He was ...
I am very concerned with problematizing the class and gender dynamics of this history in particular, especially since I am using the term "queer" here in a slippery way, applying it to a group of men who may better fit its historically pejorative definition more than its contemporary transgressive one. I'd love to chat more online and in person. I'll contact you through twitter and perhaps we can get a coffee.
Honestly I just found it more interesting to talk about what the show might mean instead of whether or not it was good. People are going to see the show regardless, and I'd rather they read a piece that puts the show in a context they hadn't thought of then go in with the idea that the show is good or bad because they read it on a website. Is it the responsibility of a site like Rhizome to publish reviews that take a clear stance on the quality or validity of shows such as this? Maybe. But honestly I find that kind of work dull, particularly when it devolves into snark and shade that does more to boost the ego of the reviewer than it does to inform its readers. In fact I would argue that it is precisely those kinds of reviews that are uncritical, or at least, critically shallow.
Part of the reason I reviewed the show as I did is that I was not particularly interested in the pieces as artworks - and how they might fit into a longer art historical tradition - but more what they might be saying about art, technology, and culture. Whether or not the pieces are good is entirely beside the point for me. And, not to contradict Brian, but what the artist's intentions were when creating that piece, or whether or not he did it for the reasons I gave in my review, is also not personally of interest. And while I said in the first paragraph of my review that even though the show was "about" failure the show itself was not a failure, that does not mean that many of the pieces were not critical or intellectual failures, particularly in their failure to provoke any consideration from the viewer beyond "I see what you did there."
But when I went to the show having to actually consider the pieces beyond their immediate punchline and forced myself away from the kind of knee-jerk eat-our-own criticism that is so easy with so much of this kind of work - and so prevalent in this community - I found something that I thought was worth writing about, and that (hopefully) wasn't the same kind of critique that everyone has given Cory for years. For me the review wasn't about if the show was good or bad, it was about what it meant both for the new media art community and within the broader context of art, technology, and culture.
So while this may be a question of defaults it doesn't seem to be reflecting on technologically specific defaults, just culturally specific defaults and readily available forms.