Posts for 2007

Press Enter to Continue

(0)



When looking at the program of exhibitions, screenings, conferences, and performances at Enter3, the third international festival for art, sciences, and technologies being held in Prague this week, you could be forgiven for thinking that every square inch of the Czech Republic capital is being dedicated to the event. Indeed, it is an impressively massive festival, pouring over with innovative projects. The festival is split into three different portions, the first being the EnterMultimediale that contains the exhibitions and performances and accounts for the bulk of the festival. Many of the projects have a political and/or environmental interest, including Beatriz da Costa's 'PigeonBlog' which uses homing pigeons equipped with miniature air pollution sensing devices to map the air quality levels through the city. Meanwhile, performance artist Stelarc's 'Ear on Arm' project, wherein an extra ear is being constructed on his arm, is in a radical space all its own. Perhaps indicitve of the exhibition, EnterMultimediale's ever-shifting and non-hierarchized website is a great example of rhizomatic design (just refresh a few times if it isn't clear why). The MutaMorphosis portion is a three-day academic conference exploring everything from Extremophiles to Mutaphobia. Lastly, the Kampa Museum will exhibit Point - Line - Universe, a retrospective on Frank J. Malina. As someone who pioneered the exploratory interstices of science and art, as well as founding the Leonardo organization, Malina best exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of the festival.


MORE »


Tag, We're it!

(0)

Peter Plagens started it in this month's Art in America, then Kriston Capps from Grammar.Police picked it up and passed it on to Paddy Johnson of Art Fag City (and Jen Bekman, Jeffry Cudlin, Global Warming Your Cold Heart, Hungry Hyaena, Modern Kicks, and Arthur Whitman), who then passed it on to me (as well as artist Martin Bromirski of http://www.anaba.blogspot.comAnaba, editor of ArtCal Zine Bosko Blagojevic, MTAA, James Wagner and Barry Hoggard of bloggy). 'It' is a series of questions posed to a few art bloggers on the differences between art writing in blog form and other forms of art journalism. And while not all the questions are relevant to Rhizome's blog practice, in the interest of keeping it going, I thought I'd take a stab at answering at least a few of them.

What's the purpose of your blog?

In contrast to some of the other blogs that have responded to these questions, Rhizome, is at its very base, a non-profit organization. Which, in this case, means it has institutional support, members, and staff, all of whom give the organization and--by extension--this blog a strong sense of purpose. Namely, to highlight exhibitions, activities, and artists either directly or in some cases peripherally involved in the field of media art, and to be a sort of 'community amplifier' for both pioneering internet artists and emerging media artists that comprise the Rhizome community. Aside from this, I personally think what most sets Rhizome's blog apart from other contemporary art blogs is that it is located within its own history as an active and international platform for art and debate. It has a built-in audience that has for years both presented and critiqued work in the same platform. So, in ...

MORE »


Oh, Pretty Things...

(0)

I was a bright-eyed 20-year old the first time I encountered the work of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. The year was 2000 and I walking through the Whitney Biennial. The work in question was The History of Glamour, a digital animation by Duncan and Blake that was something of a pseudo-rockumentary exploring the excesses and dangers of celebrity, through the guise of Charles Valentine, a teen singer and her rise to stardom. In hindsight, it is sadly poignant that the couple's tragic demise would embody so many aspects of the salacious celebrity arc that they set out to critique then. While speculation about the reasons behind these events will ensue for years to come, their death this past summer was certainly a great loss for the art world. Blake's New York gallery Kinz, Tillou, and Feigen (KTF) is opening a Memorial Exhibition from November 10th to January 5th. The show will include wall works and a retrospective of 21 animated films, screening throughout each day. Blake's last project before his death was Glitterbest, a collaborative portrait of cultural icon Malcom Mclaren. Incomplete at the time of his passing, documentation of the project will also be shown. - David Michael Perez

MORE »


Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible

(0)



Given that the legacy of the Situationist International so often gets overshadowed by the political events of May 1968, it is easy to forget that Guy Debord's first S.I. was started some 11 years earlier. Fifty years onwards, Debord's critique of advanced capitalism and consumer culture are continually insightful and highly influential to each ensuing generation of artists and activists. Celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the first Situationist International, project space New General Catalog in Brooklyn, NY is presenting The Guy Debord Show, a month-long web program being broadcast to and from the gallery every night at 11:30pm Eastern Central Time. Fittingly, the press release specifically points out that it airs "following Fox News," the hyper-conservative American program. The first broadcast was November 5th and until November 30th each night will feature an hour of the "best Situationist-inspired performance/action." Curated by Trong G. Nguyen, some of the featured artists include Art Hijack 2.0, Fluff Constructivists, Eh-Team, Shit TV, and UFO Factory, to name a few. No doubt a spectacle in its own right, this project promises nightly ideological disruptions and a 50th anniversary gift far more valuable than the traditional gold...

MORE »


Shine On

(0)

santralistanbul03.jpg

There are a few cities in the world whose history is written through its architecture, and Istanbul is a sublime example. Roman hippodromes, Byzantine churches, and spectacular mosques mix with art nouveau and modern structures--conveying a dynamic and layered past and present, both spiritual and civic. Silahtaraga, an Ottoman power station dating from the 20th century, is an awesome example of civic architecture and it has recently, with the oversight of Istanbul's Bilgi University, been turned into a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional space. Home to a massive art space, an energy museum, and a center for culture and education, Santralistanbul has been become host to a number of exhibitions and events, in collaboration with the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art (Cairo), ZINC--ECM de la Friche Belle de Mai (Marseille), NOMAD (Istanbul), and SCCA (Ljubljana), santralistanbul presents Light, Illumination, Electricity an Artists in Residence program that consists of workshops, open studios, and exhibitions. Taking as its subject Light and Electricity, the projects will echo the transformation of the space both architecturally and culturally. The participating artists, architects, scientists, choreographers, and musicians reflect not only the city's storied past but also its continuing relevance as a major center for art and culture.


MORE »


Rhizome Needs You!

(0)

This week, Rhizome begins our 2007 Community Campaign. We need to raise $30,000 by midnight, December 31st. We're calling upon the artists, critics, curators, scholars, scientists, and general digital culture fans in our network to achieve this goal. Now is the time to become a member (it's only $25!), renew your membership, or make a generous donation. Rhizome serves an emerging field and we rely, to no small extent, on our community for support. Your contribution will seed the development of our web-based programs, such as commissions, discussion, and digital art preservation, all of which aim to increase the visibility and vibrancy of this growing field. Helping us will help make new media art history. Please support us today!

MORE »


Carpooling with Doom

(0)



Looking at incidents such as the American TV network NBC's current 'Green Week' and Al Gore's recent Nobel Peace Prize win, the issue of climate change seems to be receiving unprecedented attention and long overdue legitimization. However, instead of Al Gore, post-apocalypse historians may well focus on the 1956 predications of geophysicist Marion King Hubbert as the true prophecy of this civilization's end. Widely dismissed at the time, it was he who predicted that the world's oil reserves would peak and then quickly decline in the early 21st century. While the timeline changes daily, few argue that global oil's peak is impending if not already past. Despite this grim assessment, one need only look at the 1973 oil crisis to see that even minor technological innovations drastically change our destiny. The Canadian Centre for Architecture's (CCA) new exhibition 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas, which focuses on how architecture and urbanism responded to that new (though brief) reality of finite resources could not be more timely. The exhibition and accompanying publication cover a broad range of materials, from architectural projects for sustainable housing to the original solar panels Jimmy Carter installed on the White House roof--later inauspiciously removed by Ronald Reagan.



MORE »


User-Generated Anthropology

(0)

stranger.jpg

The longest-running documentary film festival in the US, the Margaret Mead Video and Film Festival opens this Friday in New York City. As its namesake evokes, this fest highlights anthropological, sociological, and political films, casting a wide net to present films that critically engage a broad range of global cultures and themes. A number of screenings and discussions are closely aligned with new media art concerns and threads. The panel The Machine is Us/ing Us: User Generated Content, moderated by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University tackles Web 2.0 from an anthropological perspective with the participation of the head of YouTube's film department as well as key administrators from other user-driven sites. The screening of Rani Singh's The Old, Weird America: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music presented by Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archive looks at the remarkable contributions of American avant-garde filmmaker and musicologist Harry Smith (many of his Early Abstraction films can be previewed on YouTube) and Eyebeam co-presents the premier of Jaqueline Goss's new work Stranger Comes to Town which appropriates animation from the Department of Homeland Security, World of Warcraft, and Google Earth. Often caught up in the insular art world, events such as the Margaret Mead Video and Film Festival not only exposes us to new trends in documentary film, but also allows us to view issues so central to new media art in much broader cultural contexts.

MORE »


Again and Again and Again

(1)

slburden.jpg

If you've ever looked for performance videos by Bruce Nauman on YouTube you know that they've all been taken down due to copyright infringement. What has taken their place, however, are copious 'versions' of Nauman's performances, enacted and filmed by fans and followers. This is emblematic of recent interest in the idea of 'reenactment,' and in particular the restaging of key performance art works from the 1960s and 70s. In both 2005 and 2007, the performance art biennial PERFORMA's programs have included more than one of these takes on the 'classics.' In 2005 Marina Abramovic restaged Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Valie Export, and others in her series 'Seven Easy Pieces,' and DJ Spooky reinterpreted Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman's 'TV Cello.' This year, 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, Alan Kaprow's historically monumental event, is being restaged, and internet artists Eva & Franco Mattes (a.k.a. 010010110101101.org) will reenact three performances from the seventies with their avatars in Second Life. They have already restaged Chris Burden's 'Shoot,' Vito Acconci's 'Seedbed,' Valie Export's 'Tapp und Tastkino,' and the ongoing Joseph Beuys work, '7000 Oaks.' Is performance becoming more like theater, with scripts and scores to be followed by different artists in different contexts, with complex authorial attribution? And why is there such a strong impulse to reenact the past? Is this homage or simplistic repetition? Perhaps these reperformances are a viable and creative means to preserve an art form that has no material presence, and like oral histories, they can be passed down through generations of artists--giving us a rare glimpse of what came before.


MORE »


FUTURHYTHMACHINE

(0)

tenori-on.JPG

Even as digital technology has unearthed a new sonic universe of possibility for musicians, one could argue that the means and interfaces into that universe have lacked a certain old world charm. When most of us spend more than fifty percent of our lives at a computer, watching a musician stare at a laptop on stage isn't exactly thrilling. By creating a new digital musical instrument, artist Toshio Iwai has set out to change that. More interestingly, he may have actually succeeded. Manufactured by Yamaha, the TENORI-ON appears to be an organic and ergonomic fusion or sound, sight, and machinery. A handheld screen of a 16x16 grid of LED switches "any of which can be activated in a number of ways to create an evolving musical soundscape." The score mode, one of six possible modes, is essentially an X/Y axis divided by note pitch and time. The website features quicktime demo's that are as visually exciting as they are sonically, including an interview/ performance with the avant-garde's hardest working man, Jim O'Rourke (who apparently speaks Japanese). While I hate to sound like a commercial, the Tenori-On seems to be a breakthrough and makes me wish I were a spoiled rich kid at Christmas time.

MORE »