Posts for February 2006

Interactive Touchable Fabric: Music by "Casting a Spell"


As great as the potential of advanced touchscreens may be, for music and other media applications, touchscreens aren't much fun to touch. Close your eyes and remove visual feedback, and you're basically running your finger along a piece of plastic. (You'd think we could figure out a way to at least texture it without losing tracking.) Compare that to piano or drums: musical instruments can be played satisfyingly with your eyes closed. Yeah, you can do that to look "deep," but the point is, you're relying on tactile, not visual feedback.

Here's a promising solution: the Hyperfabric project (via the fascinating ramblings at SteamSHIFT). This stuff is strong (it can support body weight), and lets you actually touch, squeeze, grab, and otherwise manipulate a large-scale fabric surface to control computer-generated imagery. It's certainly workable as a musical instrument, if you want to be able to, in their words, "press your face into the hyperfabric to release fairies."

I have no idea how this thing works, though I'm guessing some kind of correlation of pressure with video sensing. It's commercially available, or you can just ponder what giant spiderweb-like surfaces might someday do for music..


Originally posted on by

Bacteria portrait


GFPixel is a "painting" made of genetically transformed bacteria. The organisms are cultivated in about 4000 Petri-dishes that are arranged as a portrait. Like on digital screens part of the bacteria produce the green light - the Green Fluorescent Protein-gene is switched ON and in the other part the GFP-gene is switched OFF.

1-1petr.jpg 5petr.jpg

The works plays with the border between living world and the digital world, the portrait seems to be digital but it lives and dies during the exhibition.

A work by Austrian media artist Gerfried Stocker and molecular biologist Reinhard Nestelbacher. More images (click "Gallerie und Details")

GPF Pixel can be seen at Medialab Madrid until April 2, as part of an exhibition of the most outstanding projects of digital culture which have won prizes in recent years at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.


Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome

DVD of Animated GIF - OptiDisc




"I like the ones on the Internet better."
"That's not the point--the shots on the bottom are just documentation of pieces that can never be experienced on the web, just as net art always flops in the gallery setting."

But seriously, I'm pretty happy with the DVDs I just burned (these flared-out shots notwithstanding), inspired by Paul Slocum's work for the Dallas show. Picked up that Toshiba TV on clearance for 74 bucks. The LED Grid is an HTML piece--a found GIF remixed to blink at different rates. I used a capture program to convert it to a video file, then burned the file to DVD, which is then set for chapter repeat in the player. For the OptiDisc piece, the same capture program played the original GIF 12 times to make the video. I like Paul's idea of burning several animations to one DVD and then having several TVs going at once. Now I know how to do it and don't have to bug my friends so much.


I'm really enjoying Tom's Internet/Non-Internet gif series. I truly wanted to publish his nice LED Grid, but it wasn't very amenable to reblogging, dimension-wise. ~marisa

Originally posted on Tom Moody by tom moody

Rhizome Commissions Program call for proposals


Lauren Cornell:

Please submit, and help us spread the word!

Information on how to submit can be found at the following link:

Thanks and best,


The commissions range from US$900-3,000...

Originally posted on Raw by Lauren Cornell

Interview with Joy Garnett and Lyra Kilston: artists who appropriate news images


Interview: Joy Garnett and Lyra Kilston
New York City, February 3, 2006

Lyra Kilston graduated from the Bard Center for Curatorial Studies with a degree in Criticism. She has written for NYArts magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtLies and the Performa05 Biennial. This interview was conducted for a forthcoming feature on artists who appropriate news images.

Joy Garnett is a New York artist whose work focuses on images of the apocalyptic-sublime and its intersections with media, politics and culture.Her paintings have been exhibited in the US and uinternationally. In 2002 she organized the traveling exhibition Night Vision, about networks, surveillance and media images of war that traveled to White Columns, NY (2002). In 2004 she received a grant from the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation. She is currently co-organizing "Out of the Blue,", an exhibition about weather as a metaphor for creativity. She is the Arts Editor at Cultural Politics, an internationally refereed journal published by Berg, Oxford, UK.



Originally posted on Raw by joy garnett

Net Aesthetics 2.0 Panel


Sal Randolph:

Some interesting things that came up during the panel:

-- Outsider Imagery -- The widespread influence of what one of the
artist's (Michael Bell-Smith) called 'internet folk art' -- animated gifs, avatars, personal blogs, home pages, mashups, game sprites, etc. All of the individual quirky production of gazillions of internet users. If you include webcams in that list, then all of the artists on the panel used some of these elements and aesthetics.

-- Nostalgia -- Caitlin Jones brought up the question of whether most of the work had an aspect of nostalgia for earlier (more utopian?) technological times (sometimes just a few years ago) -- all the artists resisted this idea, saying pretty much that it was just too hard to keep up with the absolute now of the internet, and that using aesthetic elements which were a few years in the past was just a side effect of this. Despite that, once the idea of nostalgia was in the air, it was hard to dismiss.

-- The Sublime -- interestingly the Sublime was somehow connected (during the discussion) with being in a gallery (as opposed to being online -- is that the mundane?) -- And as MTAA mentioned on their blog post ( rhz_field_trip.html ) there was an amazing mashup on the projector for a good long time with the wikipedia entry for the sublime interrupted by manic (and gorgeous) black and white pop-up windows. Sublime indeed. Other candidates for the sublime were Marisa Olson's & Abe Linkoln's universal acid videos (which you can see at ) , Michael Bell-Smith's video Continue (not online, but there's a still at ) and Cory Archangel's classic Super Mario Clouds.

-- Memes -- on the internets, no one can ...


Originally posted on Raw by Sal Randolph

Paging Mark Pauline, another spiritual descendant on the line

(0) Nice interview, fella

(((Well, if robotically splicing dead frogs and live cockroaches doesn't work out for him, this doctoral student's got a sure line in acerbic stand-up comedy.)))


From the intro to the interview: "At the University of California Irvine, 1x Garnet Hertz is ploughing his way through a Visual Studies PhD program, with a particular focus on “the quest for living machines

Originally posted on Beyond the Beyond by Rhizome

move our money charts


an initiative created to make the public more aware about the amount of money going into military & the Pentagon in the US. the campaign used highly simplified & large-format bar, column & pie graphs as well as physical representations like the inflatable structure in order to communicate a small but important amount of information on a very large scale. [, &]


Originally posted on information aesthetics by fofoda

Interview: Joseph Nechvatal on


Joseph Nechvatal
Joseph Nechvatal Interview

Many thanks for the opportunity to interview you for For those not familiar with your background, can you please introduce your academic background?

Sure. I took a BFA at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale first, taking design classes with Buckminster Fuller and making art in a permissive post-minimalist environment. I then went to Cornell University with the idea of getting an MFA, but found the art department there years behind Southern Illinois University, so I left and went to New York and Columbia University where I worked towards an MPhil, studying with Arthur Danto most notably.

In the late 90s I earned a Ph.D. in the philosophy of art and new technology at Roy Ascott's Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) at The University of Wales College. That was a fantastic intellectual experience. My research was focused on the immersive ideals behind virtual reality. Your readers can examine the introduction and download the full thesis as a pdf file if they wish.


Originally posted on - A lean, mean, media machine. by Rhizome

Performing NAFTA with a transport truck and RFID


Exchange by Nancy Nisbet

"The Exchange project is an artistic inquiry that uses cultural resistance to unsettle questionable relationships between international politics, technological surveillance, and identity construction. Specifically this project addresses:

1. The politics of trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

2. Myths of increased national security through technological surveillance of people and commodities

3. Identity construction based on collections of economic and surveillance data.

One outstanding feature of the Exchange project is a cross-border performance that combines Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) surveillance technology, a full-size transport truck, and all of Nisbet’s personal belongings. In this sustained performance, Nisbet’s things will be inventoried, radio frequency tagged and freely traded with individuals encountered during the six month trip that circumnavigates Canada, the United States and Mexico. This project exchanges the studio for the roads, truck stops, border crossings and cities of North America. 'Exchange' creates through the untidy weaving of politics, surveillance technology and identity construction. From the spaces between these coarse threads will emerge resistance, solidarity, vulnerability and moments of human connection."

The exchange project starts in Vancouver on May 1st and proceeds across Canada, stopping in Ottawa on June 6th and in Montreal on June 9th, and with stops all along the periphery of the U.S. beginning in July. More details are available in EXCHANGE 2006: A Performance of Resistance (pdf).


Originally posted on Purse Lip Square Jaw by Anne