Posts for 2005

A Gift of the Self

(0)

Tamara Lai's (FR) previous provocations include 'Art-Death,' asking 'How beautiful are we?' and proposing 'To make a portrait of God.' Now, Lai is offering a gift of herself with 'Sacrifice.' Everyone who contributes online work to 'Sacrifice'--classified as either a 'gift of the self' or 'a gift of the other'--before May 31st will receive a signed slice of the artist's virtual body. Gifts so far include portraits of artists as martyrs, meditations on the state of the world, a broken doll on the street, a broken child in a morgue, a paper boat on a wire mesh, two men debating on the choice of the sacrificial lamb--texts, images, animations and interactive works. Lai's own contribution employs explosive pop-up windows and links to sites discussing terrorism and free media. The collected offerings invite contemplation of all aspects of the concept of 'sacrifice;' who is making the sacrifice, what is being sacrificed, and why? A blog, 'BLOG HOST 'pour petits & grands sacrifices / for little & big sacrifices' is 'coming back soon' (I hope it hasn't been sacrificed! ) - Helen Varley Jamieson.

MORE »


Dying for Non-Corporeal Art

(0)

Dragan Zivadinov doesn't have great hopes for his actors' longevity; he's confident that by 2045, the 16 performers in 'One versus One' will have all died and been replaced by robotic models, which will utter digital melodies in place of dialogue. First presented on April 20th, 1995, the performance will be repeated every ten years on the same day until 2045, by which point the cast should have transformed into mechanical ghosts. Zivadinov's own death is scheduled for May 1st, 2045, when he will fly into the geostatic orbit and place the robots at 16 points around the earth, before realising his dream to become 'empty-bodied in the absolute nothing with my instinctive physicality' (the fate of his collaborator, Dunja Zupancic, is not stated). This 50-year action is intended to finally abolish mimetic theatre and establish the rule of non-corporeal art. A founder of the Neue Slovenische Kunst (NSK: New Slovenian Art) experimental art movement, Zivadinov's work comprises a series of 'farewell rituals' exploring faith, death and the end of the world through performance art. This decade's performance takes place on April 20th, 2005 in Moscow, where he has previously staged a performance in zero gravity. - Helen Varley Jamieson

MORE »


Bundle up for Spring!

(0)

Multiple domains causing a headache? Projects, blogs, and e-commerce side jobs running here, there, and everywhere? Why not simplify our online livelihood by administering all your websites through one, single hosting plan? New for spring, through May 9, Broadspire Hosting has arranged a special Bundle Pack for Rhizome members that includes up to five separate accounts for one monthly payment. Each account may take its own domain name and includes an individualized email account and web traffic stats. A total of 500MB storage space is to be divided among the five, however you like, and there's a roomy 10GB limit to monthly transfers. Daily data backups and 24/7 technical support as well! All for a $50.00 setup fee and $29.95 per month, plus the peace of mind of having everything under one roof, not to mention of keeping Rhizome healthy, active and multivalent. - Rhizome.org

MORE »


Interfacing the City

(0)

For the most part, 'ubiquitous computing'--the growing trend of imbedding computers in our everyday surroundings--seems to encourage connecting with things we enjoy or need (or the things marketers think we enjoy and need) and avoiding pretty much anything else. iPods allow us to walk around in our own imaginary music video and GPS navigation systems in cars take you directly from point A to point B on the most direct and efficient route. But this tendency to isolate social experience within the known and familiar is not going unchallenged. Many designers, engineers and artists are creating other uses for the ubiquitous networks of communications devices being built around us--uses that attempt to focus attention outward rather than inward. 'The Interactive City,' one component of next year's ISEA and Zero One festival, will feature projects that expand participants' knowledge and experiences of their surroundings. Set in San Jose, CA--the 'Spirit of Silicon Valley'--organizers are currently looking for submissions for 'urban-scale' works that foster novel relationships between the city and its inhabitants. The deadline for proposals is 22 April. - Ryan Griffis

MORE »


Right (Click) to Die

(0)

'Should digital euthanasia be applied in this case?' asks the gateway page of Eugenio Tisselli's recently-launched 'degenerative' project. Not afraid to push a hot button issue into new territory, the artist is here refering to the mindless text-noise yielded by the logic that he has built into his project: the 'degenerative' page--a field of text featuring such questions as, 'is visual culture a ritual of cannibalism and rebirth?' and 'does everything contain the seed of its own destruction?'--is programmed to atrophy by one character each time a visitor views it. The site offers the option of seeing the current state of the project or reviewing a log that charts the decay yielded by traffic to the site on each day subsequent to its launch. Already, the process has progressed to the point where the excitement is essentially past. Finally, whereas the state of ambiguous mental stasis that makes 'non-digital' euthenasia cases so agonizing provokes hard, human questions, the swift and predictable logic of 'degenerative' seems more to allegorize how digital efficiency saps such questions of their gravity. - Ben Davis

MORE »


The Personal is (an index of the) Political

(0)

In the US, voters in national elections get a little sticker that reads 'I voted.' But the daily acts that many of us might consider political or civic-minded are often only noted in the imaginary resumes of our social consciences. How would your attempts to make the world a better place hold up to your ideals if someone were to map them out for you each week? Now you may be able to find out. 'Pindices,' a new web project by UK-based sociologist Andrew Barry and artist/designer Lucy Kimbell, creates visualizations of data input from users identifying their civic and political activities. On the site, each user can create their own 'pindex,' or index of personal political activity, which reflects the amount and type of reported activity through changing button-like badges. Behavior is characterized as either more political and inventive--raising new issues in novel ways--or civic--addressing existing concerns through established tactics. The website, in tandem with a sited gallery installation, will be active from March to August 2005 as part of the ZKM (Karlsruhe) exhibition, 'Making Things Public,' after which the data will be archived and analyzed for publication. - Ryan Griffis

MORE »


You Were in Kansas

(0)

Distinguished by having recently made its way East to the Rhizome ArtBase, the Smoky Hill River Outpost, created as a part of the 2002 Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina, Kansas, stands out even three years later and 1400 miles away. Commissioned in the context of the Festival's 'Artists in Action' section, the Outpost has read its Foucault: 30 ft. high and 120 ft. in pentagonal diameter, the multi-faceted structure engaged themes of surveillance and interactivity, among others. The SHRO, a construction exhibited near Salina's dopel-Statue of Liberty, was produced by successful collaboration of local students and West-coast artist Aaron Gach, also known for his work with (or perhaps, as) the Center for Tactical Magic. In addition to a crafts fair, the Artists in Action group that year also featured terra cotta porcelain tiles, a yellow balloon stuck under a bridge, a photo-op with a Lava Lamp, and the so-called Prairie Poets. If the images are to be believed, critical reconnaissance forts are fun for the entire family. - Sara Greenberger

MORE »


Pop Ups Are The New Wave

(0)

Life, for Jean-Luc Godard's 'children of Marx and coca-cola,' was an extended meditation on politics, pop culture and the vicissitudes of dating. Peter Horvath adapts the concerns of this generation and the filmic style in which they were rendered in his new work of net cinema 'Tenderly Yours.' Here, the story of Josephine--a contemporary French woman who 'detests money/ thinks herself a marxist/ and thinks she is too old for her age'--unfolds in two simultaneous Quicktime videos. The central window illustrates her brief encounter with a like-minded young man while the smaller, peripheral frame provides ambient and intimate asides in the form of colorful abstractions and pixilated close-ups. Nodding both to the early writings found in the journal Cahiers du Cinema and Lev Manovich's more recent Soft Cinema, 'Tenderly Yours' exploits net conventions to emulate the spontaneous, fragmented and naturalistic mode of new wave filmmaking. The question is whether the quandaries of the children of Marx and coca-cola are relevant to the kids these days, or if perhaps the generation to which Josephine belongs should claim new lineage. - Lauren Cornell

MORE »


What a Tangled Web

(0)

While viewers of net art are used to layered reading and articles enhanced by visual and interactive components, Vectors, a new online journal published by The USC Annenberg Center for Communication in Los Angeles, is one of the first to introduce complex interactions into academic writing. While each of the eight projects presented in the inaugural issue of Vectors has a unique look and approach to the subject of Evidence, all are linked--graphically and conceptually--through numerous thematic threads. These threads are explored in the 'Vector Space,' an interactive section of the journal where viewers can draw lines on the screen to illuminate where the various contributions intersect. There are numerous ways to enter into, explore, and visualize Vector's and although those who would rather download a text may be disappointed, those enthusiastic about expanding forms and of academic discourse will find Vectors a winding and welcome addition. - Jody Zellen

MORE »


Common Places

(0)

The Dutch cahier Open, from the publishers NAi, describes itself simply as a publication about art and the public domain. The conciseness of the description defies the enormity of the political, economic, technological, and legal threads of the public domain discussion. In this format, adopted within the last year, Open represents a laudable effort to creatively address the question of 'public space' in the context of intensifying pressures of control and stadardization. Each issue works off of a chosen theme and balances the theoretical discussion with documentation of web-based art projects, installations and other assorted images. The most recent issue, Open 7: (No)Memory, is a reflection on the condition of collective memory in contemporary culture as it relates to and is transmitted by new methods of digital archiving, the creation of alternative sites of compiling and storing information and the implications of ownership in the context of theses new and old formats. For example, media theorist Geert Lovink's interview with Tjebbe van Tijen regarding his Ars Memoria System, provides an account of an individual labor to gather and organize information within idiosyncratic methods and a vigorous effort to reclaim material and information for public use. Unique in its stated focus, Open provides a new resource for those inventively trying to rearticulate the commons in the digital world. - David Senior

MORE »