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)
DISCUSSION

Second Lifers?


Hey everybody:

I'm working on a proposal for the new Turbulence / Ars Virtua / Arts
Interactive commission, and am pretty excited about the whole concept:
http://transition.turbulence.org/comp_07/guidelines.htm

I've got a basic idea of what I'd like to do (still very flexible and
in brain-stormy stages), but need someone fluent in Second Life who'd
like to either collaborate, work for cash, or at least give me a
little advice. Any takers? Please mail me off list.

Thanks in advance,

nathaniel
http://nathanielstern.com

DISCUSSION

Compressionism @ Editions | Artists' Book Fair


Some of my handmade Compressionist prints - iterative etchings,
engravings, aquatints, etc, which use plates that were inspired by
details from my scanner performances - will be at the Editions |
Artists' Books Fair in NYC, next week. A small box set from this
series will be featured @ the David Krut table, alongside William
Kentridge, Penny Siopis, and Colbert Mashile - good company! Please
check it out if you can, November 2nd - 5th, The Tunnel, New York,
261 Eleventh Avenue.

http://www.eabfair.com/

http://compressionism.net/

nathaniel
http://nathanielstern.com

DISCUSSION

The Upgrade! Johannesburg presents our first Panel Discussion: Collecting Digits


Sorry, that one got away from me before I finished.

Friday October 6, 2006 @ 3pm:
Panel Discussion: Collecting Digits
WSOA Digital Arts. Map: http://digitalarts.wits.ac.za/artworks/
contact/map.htm

The Upgrade! Johannesburg presents our first Panel Discussion:
Collecting Digits

This panel and discussion on the possibilities and problems with
collecting new media art will include presentations by:

* Warren Siebrits - founder of one of Johannesburg's most
prestigious contemporary and modern commercial art galleries
* Franci Cronje - curator of several collections & competitions,
including Sasol New Signatures
* Nathaniel Stern - digital and interactive artist, in several
public & private collections
* Clive Kellner - Director of the Johannesburg Art Museum

http://warrensiebrits.co.za/
http://nathanielstern.com/blog/franci-cronje/
http://nathanielstern.com/
http://www.joburg.org.za/2004/sep/sep10_jag.stm

About Upgrade! Johannesburg
About once per month a group of new media students, artists and
curators gather in Johannesburg, South Africa. At each meeting one or
two artists present work - theirs, or a favorite's - in order to
foster critique, dialogue and collaboration in our growing digital
arts scene. The Upgrade! Joburg grew out of Professor Christo
Doherty's (WSOA Digital Arts; Map ) regular Friday 'Digital Soirees'
at Wits School of the Arts, and artist Nathaniel Stern's atjoburg
initiative, both founded between 2002/3 and still ongoing. They
wanted to invite a larger, participative audience into their space,
and be plugged into a more diverse and international network. Our
first official Upgrade! featured Daniel Hirschmann, a South African
Wits alumnus who alsostudied at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications
Program, and went on to help shape the Physical Computing studio at
Fabrica. At number two, Stern presented MTAA's brilliant work
remotely (with their permission), rather fitting given their initial
involvement in the first NYC Upgrades....

http://atjoburg.net/upgrade/index.html

nathaniel
http://nathanielstern.com

DISCUSSION

the Upgrade! Johannesburg presents our first Panel Discussion: Collecting Digits


the Upgrade! Johannesburg presents our first Panel Discussion:
Collecting Digits

This panel and discussion on the possibilities and problems with
collecting new media art will include presentations by:

* Warren Siebrits - founder of one of Johannesburg's most
prestigious contemporary and modern commercial art galleries
* Franci Cronje - curator of several collections & competitions,
including Sasol New Signatures
* Nathaniel Stern - digital and interactive artist, in several
public & private collections
* Clive Kellner - Director of the Johannesburg Art Museum

http://warrensiebrits.co.za/
http://nathanielstern.com/blog/franci-cronje/
http://nathanielstern.com/
http://www.joburg.org.za/2004/sep/sep10_jag.stm

nathaniel
http://nathanielstern.com

DISCUSSION

The Upgrade! Johannesburg and WSOA Digital Arts present: Andre SC


The Upgrade! Johannesburg and WSOA Digital Arts present: Andre SC
TECHNOGRAFFI: Drawing the pixel curtain

In /*technoGraffi* - drawing the pixel curtain/, Andre SC will show
and discuss some of his recent