Posts for 2005

Why Art Needs a Hole in the Head

(0)

Since 2000, the online journal Drunken Boat has been describing wayward contours through an intermedia landscape at least as strange as the one evoked by the 'Bateau ivre' of French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Issue #7 is dedicated to the neurological condition 'aphasia' and those whom it afflicts and inspires. It is the Drunken Boat's editors' contention that aphasia, a result of the brain's inability to match sensory input and linguistic expression, has the potential to realign the way we think about creativity. There is an ensemble of approaches to the subject, sometimes tangential, at times personal and head-on, from poets, essayists, film-makers, sound artists, and an opera singer. Sound files, text works, images and videos abound. Digital artist Christina McPhee's Aphasia + Parrhesia figures a link between neural nets and the internet via the cyborg body and the metaphor of access to/denial of speech. Drunken Boat's excursus into the murky terrain of brain disorder eschews pathos and 'idiot savant' triumphalism alike. Instead, it opens up the sealed circuit of silence and fear to a rich and skewed speech at the borders of the possible. - Marina Vishmidt

MORE »


Calling All Net Artists!

(0)

Are you an artist looking for fine financial fertilizer this growing season? Time is running out to apply for a 2005-2006 Rhizome.org Net Art Commission. Construct a web-based proposal explaining your project and submit it to Rhizome by March 23 (that's next Wednesday!). Winners will be selected by May 1 by a jury of new media experts (Rachel Greene, Francis Hwang, Eduardo Kac, Melinda Rackham, and Jemima Rellie), as well as by the Rhizome.org community through a democratic, online voting system. Visit Rhizome.org to learn more about how to assemble a proposal, submit it, and view the recently completed 2004-2005 commissions! - Rhizome.org

MORE »


Relatively Remote

(0)

Once upon a time, it took 5 weeks to travel from New Zealand to Europe; today, our remoteness has a different quality. On Saturday, March 19th, New Zealand artists are invited to ponder the impact of geographical isolation in the wired world at re:mote, a one-day experimental festival exploring remoteness and technology. Organized by r a d i o q u a l i a and ((ethermap, re:mote features artists and commentators from London, Newcastle, Helsinki, Rotterdam and Sydney presenting via live video stream, alongside presenters from around New Zealand and keynote speaker Tetsuo Kogawa (Tokyo). Participants will analyse how digital technologies can augment collaborations across geographical and cultural distances, and ask questions like 'Is remote a relative concept?' As New Zealanders have a lived understanding of remoteness, it's appropriate that we host this event--the first in a series that is planned to travel around the world. - Helen Varley Jamieson.

MORE »


Bound in Buffalo

(0)

Media-studies graduate student Chris Barr eschews his Palm Pilot every Thursday in March and April this year in favor of appointments made over his website by YOU; or, rather, mostly by people who are familiar with Mr. Barr and his Buffalo environs. Users are invited to 'Schedule Something,' and many people have taken the man up on his offer. Having completed two Thursdays thus far, Chris seems to be living the life of an average college student: hanging at the bar, engaging ladies in beer-drinking photo ops, painting a woman's toenails, Blockbuster rentals, drinking games, perusing students' iPods at the lunch hour (yes, as predictable as one might expect), and bumming smokes. If you are lucky enough to have your birthday fall on one of these days, join the others by ordering yourself a tribute. Tune in March 24, when Perry Garvin has Chris Barr apply glue to his lips in their local café. - Sara Greenberger

MORE »


To All the Players

(0)

Some say that we are living in the golden age of gaming. Rhizome.org's 2005 commissions--all seven of which were produced within the last year--prove the rumors to be true. Each work pushes the boundaries of gaming by creatively developing a unique virtual world that holds an insightful relationship to the real one. Several works modify archetypal gaming models. Carlo Zanni's Average Shoveler adapts the graphical landscape of Leisure Suit Larry (1987) to the East Village (2005) and replaces its libidinous anti-hero with a hipster who shovels hopelessly amidst a barrage of newsbytes falling--in the guise of snowflakes--onto the ground. Reminiscent of America's Army in its vivid, 3D war-scape, Media Blackout by c-level member Michael Wilson enlists players in the 'psychological operations of our time' through tactical conflict with religious fundamentalism, military aggression and corporate interest. Other works provide training grounds for real-life situations--such as Warren Sack's Agonistics: A Language Game, which visualizes the actions that comprise a democratic discussion with avatars propelled by comments posted onto a public, online forum. The full array of commissions, also including work by Jason van Anden, Paul Catanese, Luis Hernandez Galvan and Kabir Carter, is accessible on the Rhizome site. Get addicted today! - Lauren Cornell

MORE »


Who? What? Where? When? And Why?

(0)

Judging solely from 'How Scandinavian of Me,' to be quintessentially Scandinavian is to be a blond-haired guy who goes all over the world barefoot and standing on piles of Danish wood chips. Apparently, Scandinavians constantly dress in t-shirts and pajama pants, too. Artist Lars Vilhelmsen has been photographed in the tourist snapshot style in front of some important non-Scandinavian sights including Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam and sights in Malaysia, Berlin, and Iran. The web-photo album has aesthetic antecedents in British artist Gillian Wearing's photographs as well as the tradition of lawn gnome snatch-and-snap. In addition to a whirlwind horizontally scrolling tour around various locales, are individual HSOM 'edition's.' Notable is 'Doing the Flamingo - Environmental Entity," where the artist lost the wood chips and gained what appears to be a warehouse full of dancing flamingos. Another, 'Paris,' portends the end of this party: in the only photograph not featuring the artist or the title of the project or both, there is a wonderful picture of a hard-frosted cake in the hands of a Parisian baker. - Sara Greenberger

MORE »


Painting by Ones And Zeros

(0)

'Daria,' a project by Brian Lee Yung Rowe, is something like what you would get if the evil computer Skynet from the Terminator movies mated with Bob Ross. Daria is a new category in relation to media creation: the 'art(ist)'; both creation and creator, 'she' is a fully-operating artistic personality--complete with her own style that varies based on her moods, and her own personal needs (what would any 'artistic personality' be without arm-twisting demands for sponsorship?). Daria's website keeps a catalogue of her works, and visitors can commision new art pieces from her, imputing the title of the work they want and waiting as she culls material from the internet and pieces it together before their eyes. The results are psychedelic landscapes captioned with often nonsensical bits of text. While Daria's portfolio to date doesn't exactly give the human artistic community any reason to fear a Skynet-style coup anytime soon, the complex web of programming resources that go into making up Daria's intelligence is enough to give an exciting new twist to the idea of 'painting by numbers!' - Ben Davis

MORE »


Pod Pals

(0)

From the busy, lonely halls of post-Valentine's Day winter comes a project about 'two people in two places living together while apart.' 'IN Network' is a collaboration between bi-coastal conceptual sweethearts Michael Mandiberg (New York) and Julia Steinmetz (Los Angeles). Presently unable to live in the same city, they opt to occupy the same routines, which they synchronize and electronically relay to each other through sets of camera phones and microphones. Powered by a phone promotion that allows for unlimited airtime between clients who are 'in network,' Mandiberg and Steinmetz are in touch 24/7. During the month of March, Turbulence.org will host webcasts, podcasts (audio broadcasts distributed to hardware via software subscription), and a moblog (blog of mobile phone photography) to transmit to an online audience the constant correspondence that describes their fused existence: 'driving to/from work, eating dinner, giving lectures to students, going for walks, having cocktails, reading books in silence, falling asleep and waking up.' This sharing of lives, though consisting of the mediatized and mundane, is less entrenched in data and detritus than it is in the lives of, and new possibilities for being, people. - Kevin McGarry

MORE »


Balancing the Fair and Balanced

(0)

While many may agree that the internet has 'abolished both space and time,' as McLuhan predicted, not too many would venture that it has done the same to political ideology. A recent Pew Center study suggests that many in the US are now getting information from sources, especially on the web, that are specifically tailored to political and lifestyle niches, rather than from forms of journalism that value things like 'objectivity.' As the methods by which information is produced and consumed rapidly change, more than a few artists are visualizing critical responses to the shifting infoscape. 'Balance Bar,' an in-progress project by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Daggett, encourages users to 'balance the one-sided and isolated worldview' they find in media outlets. The project, a browser extension, allows individuals to append notes to any online content, all of which can be viewed and further commented on by anyone else browsing with an active 'Balance Bar.' Although the Beta version of 'Balance Bar' will only work in Internet Explorer (PC), a Mozilla extension is in the works. So, get to work archiving those sources to argue with opposing news sites and blogs, and let the balancing begin! - Ryan Griffis

MORE »


Mimesis of the Non-Mimetic

(0)

Kinetoh is an Italy-based group that produces generative artworks. These authors, following traditions of European Neo-Constructivism, Neo-Plasticism and Lyric Abstraction, make series of software that produce high-resolution images reminiscent of Modernist forms. Kinetoh dismantles the models of the last avant-garde by creating the simulacrum of such from software programs capable of imitating, nearly perfectly, those materials that belong to classic art, like pencil, charcoal, and watercolor. These images stand as the mimesis of art that is inherently non-mimetic. Or, also, the virtual reconstruction of the end of high Modernity. Instead of targeting a movement well-established and recognizable, like Abstract Expressionism or Conceptualism, Kinetoh's strategy is to examine the second line and not so well-explored spaces in Modern Art. Just because of this, they maintain subversive potential (finally, Vermeer became famous in late 19th century, after the discovery photography). There's the possibility that without photography we wouldn't be able to see importance of Vermeer's work. Similarly, we anticipate perhaps Kinetoh will open new spaces in art through their technologies. - Manik

MORE »