2 Shows 4 U

Two online exhibitions from ongoing curatorial initiatives Why + Wherefore and Club Internet opened within the last week. See below for a quick summary of each, plus a few highlights.

Image: "Sound" Logo

"Sound" Curated by Bozidar Brazda (part of the 7 x 7 series) for Why + Wherefore

For the first installment of 7 x 7, Why + Wherefore (Summer Guthery, Lumi Tan, and Nicholas Weist) invited 7 organizations to produce an exhibition composed of 7 items around a theme. Rhizome was one contributor, and staff writer Brian Droitcour put together an exhibition of 7 vertical works that exceeded the browser frame. (Other guests included Sundays, iheartphotograph, Triple Canopy, The Highlights, VVORK, and Humble Arts Foundation.) Continuing with the 7 guests, 7 items format is the second round of 7 x 7, where individual curators were asked to contribute an exhibition. So far, João Ribas, Kate McNamara, Josh Kline and Mark Beasley have chimed in with exhibitions ranging from items made in Photoshop to men modeling the durability of their outerwear in advertisements from 1969. The second (the first was VVORK's) sound-specific theme in the 7 x 7 series went live this week, curated by artist Bozidar Brazda. Simply titled "Sound," the show's logo (above) resembles a CAPTCHA, and the works operate in a similar fashion, being both comprehensible and somewhat obscured. Ryan Foerster's Untitled (2009) assembles roughly 15 separate clips of (what I presume) is the Ramones counting off, "1,2,3,4" before launching into a song. The song is omitted, thus the listener is simply left with the lead up. Rich Alrdich's (The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts (2009) is an acapella version of the Bee Gees' 1967 song and on first listen, it sounds like a late night, drunken recording of a group of friends. But the eerie precision of the singers makes one wonder if it is an outtake of the Bee Gees themselves. Two tracks by artist and musician Marina Rosenfeld, a strange Adult-gone-GarageBand tune by Anna Parkina, and other works by Marlous Borm, Anthony Burdin, Amy Granat & Amir Mogharabi, Una Szeeman & Bohdan Stehlik round out Why + Wherefore's second venture into audio.

Video: Ola Vasiljeva, Joan Miró, 2009

"Dissociation" Curated by Harm van den Dorpel for Club Internet

Club Internet has finetuned the cryptic since its inception, and its new show "Dissociation" follows this precedence. For example, I was left puzzled after viewing Ola Vasiljeva's Joan Miró (2009). The work is a YouTube video of 1980s dancers in colorful sweaters dancing to an instrumental version of Notorious B.I.G.'s Hypnotize, while random speech bubbles such as "We are the Dance of people and birds against a blue sky!", "We are the Words of the poet!" and "We are Letters and numbers attracted by a spark!" flash above. My first inclination was that this was a video discovered on YouTube, complete with soundtrack, and the artist added video annotations as a final touch. Then I went to the original YouTube page for the clip, where the description read, "Choreography inspired by the artworks of Joan Miró." This last bit of information launched the video into the nth zone of weird hilarity for me. Joan Miró could be read as either a tongue-in-cheek artist's project or a random YouTube jewel, it's hard to tell. The clip illuminates the playful confusion and mysteriousness central to Club Internet's overall project, where the exhibitions are meant to be accidentally stumbled upon, like an unusual website or video. Another work, Harm van den Dorpel's Ethereal Others (2009), pulls together hundreds of small images of zombie-like users peering into their webcams as they try to make out their "reflection" in the diamond of his 2008 work Ethereal Self. It's a bit creepy, but also incredible. Check the site for more works by Samuel Beckett, Charles Broskoski, Ida Ekblad, Thomas Galloway, JODI, Tobias Madison, Ilia Ovechkin, Christopher Pappas, Hayley Silverman, and Damon Zucconi.