Trained as an architect, Japan-born, Los Angeles-based artist Yutaka Sone eventually turned to models rather than built structures as the focus of his practice. He creates miniature worlds where urbanist fantasies, manipulated landscapes, and cultural approaches to leisure materialize, but rather than using the cold and perfectly-scaled virtual material of computer rendering software, Sone has taken up a surprising variety of physical media. From his crystal snowflakes to acrylic paintings of ski resorts, each of his works has a tactile, handmade quality. The installation, It seems Like a Snow Leopard Island, is a self-contained environment of glaciers, running water, and tropical plants created on a scale that--consciously or not--reflects the reach of the artist's body. It is the centerpiece of the first UK exhibition of the artist's work, Secret for Snow Leopard: Yutaka Sone, which opens at London's
Latin America's largest exhibition devoted to video work, the 16th International Electronic Art Festival_SESC Videobrasil opens on September 30th and runs through October 30th. Its focus is the juried exhibition, Southern Panoramas, which gathers 66 works by artists from 17 countries with emerging talent from Brazil and neighboring Latin American states represented heavily. The event also features solo exhibitions and screening series of work by other distinguished film and video figures including Peter Greenaway, Marcel Odenbach, Kenneth Anger, and Eder Santos, among others. A new addition to the festival, this year's edition will also feature the announcement of artists selected for an inaugural series of artist residencies sponsored by the Associacao Cultural Videobrasil--the organization behind the festival. Already international in its scope, the residencies stand to further the festival's presence overseas, offering four Brazilian video artists and four from abroad the opportunity to work at institutions in France, The Netherlands, and of course, Brazil during a period spanning from 2008 to 2009.
Brooklyn, New York, gallery Gitana Rosa is the first 'green' gallery in the borough--and among the first anywhere--adopting ecologically sound practices into its business model. Founded in 2006, it prints everything from invitations to price lists on recycled paper and donates 15 percent of every sale to a list of thoroughly-researched environmental organizations, in addition to taking numerous other steps to minimize its burden on the planet. Moving from ecology to geography, it has found a partner with an interconnected focus on the lay of the land in Glowlab. Another neighborhood gallery, Glowlab promotes radical experiments in psychogeography, and Gitana Rosa has invited several of its artists to take over a recently-acquired raw space, installing a series of site-specific installations. Artists producing projects include Montreal-based duo Jason Cantoro and Alice Jarry, Amsterdam's Cathelijn van Goor, and Mark Price of Philadelphia. Opened in conjunction with the Glowlab-hosted Conflux festival, the exhibition, 'Glowlab@Gitana Rosa,' runs through October 14.
Those seeking to motivate a wide public to take ecological threats seriously--let alone change dangerous consumption habits--have historically faced all kinds of resistance, not the least of which is a general disinterest in the bland statistics of scientific data. Even if the facts and figures stack up to a catastrophic outcome, pie charts usually are not enough to channel the average attention span. The renowned New York electronic media atelier Eyebeam, however, is about to enlist designers and artists to come up with more compelling visual arguments to facilitate social change in the face of ecological deterioration. On September 15th, Eyebeam will present a panel at Brooklyn's Luna Lounge, where artists, designers, and creative technologists will discuss strategies for effectively conveying environmental data. Groups attending the event will also be invited to register for Eyebeam's Ecovisualization Challenge, a two-month-long design competition focusing on motivating ecological action through information graphics. Winners will be announced at a forthcoming show at Eyebeam. Part of the 2007 Conflux festival, the event will be followed by Rhizome's own panel on sousveillance.
Putting to rest the misconception that Al Jazeera represents the leading edge of electronic media in the Middle East, three artists who invoke the region in their projects presented work at Amsterdam's Mediamatic Fountadion on September 13th. Mounira Al Solh's video, 'Rawane's Song,' is featured in Lebanon's pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year. At Mediamatic, she screened and discussed that work, as well as two works-in-progress ('A Cat in the Hippodrome' and 'The Sea is a Stereo') that also tackle everything from Lebanese politics to migrating populations. Her presentation was followed by a slide show from Amsterdam-based Paul Keller, who draws on images taken in Dubai, Lebanon, Amman, and Damascus to illustrate his concept of 'collateral knowledge.' Finally, the young Lebanon-born, Paris-based musician and composer Tarek Atoui performed a piece dedicated to people in Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon who have suffered as a result of regional conflicts. As a whole, the evening demonstrated the cultural influence of the region extending well beyond the narrow scope of news headlines.