Posts for July 2007

The Communism of Form and the Music Clip

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From this Friday until the beginning of August, Sao Paulo's Galeria Vermelho hosts one of the most riveting exhibitions of the summer. Curated by local critics Fernando Oliva and Marcelo Rezende, 'Communism of Form: Sound + Image + Time ? The Music Clip Strategy' brings together works by 30 Brazilian and international artists that reflect, examine, or evoke the aesthetics of the music clip within contemporary visual culture. The show's organizing principle takes on French critic Nicolas Bourriaud's definition of 'communism of form,' an expression that identifies the current art practices based on an immense library of images, emotional states, and psychological experiences generated by post-Fordist societies that are shared both by the artists and the audience--as the music clip-- that thus engage in a participatory relationship with the pieces. Many artists--such as Forsyth & Pollard (UK), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand), Nuevos Ricos (Mexico), Laibach (Slovenia), and Tetine (Brazil)--developed new works, addressing with different and surprising styles the fundamental elements of the music clip: sound, image, and time. As Oliva and Rezende say, 'the music clip, with its absence of an hierarchy between the old and the new and the technological and the craft, puts in motion all the world's repertoire.' A blog comprising several posts--from film stills to YouTube videos--and a book with various commissioned essays and interviews discussing the theoretical frame of the show complements this project, expanding its original and very opportune features in unexpected ways and furthering the debate around this prominent cultural expression. - Miguel Amado

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echelon: who is watching you?

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echelon: who is watching you?

Opening Friday August 3 from 6pm-10pm
August 3 - September 1, 2007

"One cannot use spies without sagacity and knowledge, one cannot use spies without humanity and justice" - Sun Tzu

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face… was itself a punishable offense."
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 5

US surveillance began centuries ago with the concept of slave passes, which allowed slave-owners to monitor and control the mobility of their "chattel." Yet the slave pass system was sometimes subverted by the rare slaves who could write, such as Frederick Douglass. These literate slaves could create their own passes and might thus gain freedom for themselves and other slaves. Trafficking in passes and "free papers" soon became a burgeoning business, one that the slave system grappled with for nearly two centuries.

From slaves, the history of surveillance next turns to the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted Chinese immigration to the United States. All Chinese laborers were forced to register with the government and subject themselves to being photographed and fingerprinted. A whole apparatus of surveillance was created.

In the 1920s, government surveillance spread to political radicals, especially workers trying to organize union activity. J. Edgar Hoover headed this government surveillance unit which would later become the FBI. As the 20th century advanced, computer technology proved a powerful enhancement to the regime of surveillance. This allowed most devices and databases to be monitored ...

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Raw by Rhizome


NYU Associate Professor Position Announcement

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alex galloway:

FACULTY SEARCH

Position Announcement: Associate Professor

The Department of Media, Culture, and Communication in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University seeks an Associate Professor with demonstrated excellence and accomplishment in research, publication, and teaching in the fields of media, culture and communication.

[Click-through for the complete announcement]

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Originally posted on Rhizome.org Raw by alex galloway


A Rose Heard at Dusk

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A Rose Heard at Dusk is an interactive audiovisual sculpture for Second Life by Adam Nash. Access the sculpture in the gallery below the Opera House, on Big Pond’s Ponderosa Island. You will need the free Second Life software.

Using many of the possibilities unique to the Second Life medium, A Rose Heard At Dusk is a participatory artwork that turns visitors into performers. It was designed specifically for the cavern space under the Opera House on Big Pond Island. The work is designed to be “played” by visitors avatars. Walking, flying and jumping through the space, avatars create a unique audiovisual composition, different every time. Colours and sounds combine to create a spatially immersive musical and visual experience.

The work can be played by single avatars, but it really comes alive when friends play it together. It blends the different meanings of “play”. By playing in the space, visitors are actually playing the space like an audiovisual instrument, creating endless variations of sound and vision. It looks different at different times of day, the light reacting differently with all of the translucent colours. It sounds different from different positions - all sounds are attached to shapes in the space, some sounds stay still while others move, some sounds are triggered by avatar proximity, while some are constantly sounding. Combined with the movements of visitors avatars, this creates an endlessly changing immersive audiovisual experience.

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Originally posted on Networked Music Review by jo


Dancing Architecture

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The English Interactive Artist Ruairi Glynn argues that architecture should not only react to people and the environment, it should interact with these forces. He's devoted himself to the study of 'Interactive Architecture,' and maintains a popular blog by that name which documents his own work and that of others. His most recent project, entitled Performative Ecologies, 'examines the potential of responsive environments to engage in gestural and performative forms of non-verbal communication and conversation [to] enter into a dialog with its inhabitants and surrounding built environment.' In this case, the spaces are inhabited by moving kinetic light sculptures monitored by cameras and computers that can learn to adjust and respond to what they witness, just as the sculptures can respond to viewers. Drawing on the vocabulary of dance, Glynn defies the fixity of traditional architectural design by refusing to 'pre-choreograph' the actions feasible in a given domain and instead craft 'systems able to evolve to changing contexts over [their] lifetime.' The installations stand beautifully on their own, but also forward a profound (and humble) proposition in calling for work able to extend 'beyond the preconceived visions of the original designers.' Videos of Glynn's Performative Ecologies can be found online. - Elizabeth Johnston

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Good Morning Mongoloids

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LX 2.0 is a new on line gallery, hosted by Lisbon's Galeria Lisboa 20 and directed by Portuguese curator Luis Silva. Lx 2.0 series of commissions to artists that have been making a name within the international new media art scene is already marking the field. After being inaugurated with Santiago Ortiz's 'NeuroZappingFolks,' the LX 2.0 program now hosts rising stars Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, who present 'Morning of the Mongoloids.' The piece embraces the aesthetics consistently pursued by YHCHI members Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge, as distinguished by Flash-based animations comprised solely of text written in black on a white background, sometimes accompanied by voiceovers and jazz music. In this work, the duo narrates--both in Portuguese and English--the experience of a Western white man who, after a night of partying, wakes up in an unknown place, only to realize that he's in Seoul, Korea, speaking Korean, and has become Korean. Via this narrative, the artists portray the prejudices prevailing within the West regarding Eastern people. Revealing the biased visions of both populations towards each other, they thus examine the cultural conflict existing between these regions that is escalating due to the migratory fluxes from Eastern countries to Europe and the US. As with their previous work, 'Morning of the Mongoloids' addresses this heavy topic with a humorously light, yet ironic approach. - Miguel Amado

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The Paper Cup Telephone Network

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Paper Cup Telephone Network

The Paper Cup Telephone Network is a collaborative work by the technology art group Simpel; Matthew Biederman, Aleksander Erkalovic, Adam Hyde and Lotte Meijer. The device is an exploration of the children’s toy / game of making a telephone from paper cups to communicate across short distances. Here the device is in fact an interface to the internet:

where your voice is streamed to all the cups on the network carrying it blocks or even miles or a continent away…The paper cup is an effective vehicle for simple communications but there is no scope for augmented information. How do we know where the person on the other end is from? Are they close, a block away, on the other side of the world? To determine this we must participate with the network of speakers. The technology provides no additional information but is instead a ‘dumb’ receptacle. No caller ID, no address book, no traceroute. Instead you have to rely on the other people in the network for assistance and information. The more people on the �line� at once, the more interpersonal communication needs to be regulated by those using it at that time. Just like all of networked society, whether mailing lists, chat rooms, P2P, Wiki, or the web itself, its users will govern the system.

For similar(ish) work see Thinktank.

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Originally posted on Network Research by Rhizome


Sonification of You

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Interactivity has become ambient. Individual people are no longer isolated resulting from the scaling up of networks and the scaling down of the apparatus for transmission and reception. Various communication devices always carried are continuously emitting and receiving information. This continuous data flow is both invisible and often, by the majority of people, unknown. Today's hand-held devices that can be seen as extensions of the human body allow ubiquitous, inescapable network interconnectivity.

The Sonification of You aims to make this data flow 'visible' to those people carrying the active devices. Our equipment will passively scan the various radio spectrum frequencies used by mobile phone devices, Bluetooth, WiFi networks, and others used by mobile devices, within a given space. The data information then represented by assigned audio sounds that will indicate activity, distance, and strength of signals.

Drawing on methods for monitoring large computer networks, the result is to create a background 'sound' for a room that is representational of the people, and their devices, present. The invisible become audible and therefore visible. Allowing individuals to become aware of their constant connectivity.

Martin John Callanan
Honorary Research Assistant
The Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art.

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Originally posted on Networked Music Review by helen


Live soldering performance: Loud Objects

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Last week I went to Monkeytown [...] One of the acts was Loud Objects, a performance project that features live soldering of pre-programmed sound generating chips. Working on an overhead so that the audience could enjoy the action, the performers soldered connections between the various chips, creating a semi-controlled soundscape of scrapes and glitches. [....]

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Originally posted on Processing Blogs by Rhizome


Interview with Adriana Salazar

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[....] What fascinates you in the absurd and the useless?

The fact that it is precisely through the absurd and the useless that we can really get to understand what us humans are like: we can perform coherent and beautiful actions that still have no purpose. The purpose of our actions, or even better, their ends, somehow always escapes our comprehension, and yet we keep moving and doing things. It is fascinating then to see, as in a distorted mirror in front of us, what we do, but without our presence: just the action repeating itself over and over.

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Porristas

What is your relationship with the machines you create? Do you see them as mere objects for galleries or do you develop a more personal relationship with them?

There is something I really like about them: Their design is always the result of very simple mechanical or physical processes, and it is conceived by the mind of an amateur: There is no engineering or high-tech involved. The result is therefore a very personal interpretation of a movement, so it turns to be more an expressive device than a robot or an automatic appliance.

On the other hand there are a couple of pieces that work very well with galleries, but not because they look good in them or because they are commercial. Both the smoking machine (Mademoiselle) and the careless machines (the ones that start making a toast, and end up drunk and unsynchronized) invert the social roles of the actors in an exhibition opening: When the guests drink and smoke while looking at the art pieces, these two art pieces drink and smoke while looking back at their beholders.

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Maquina desempolvadora and La desaparicion de las necesidades

How do you develop them? On your own? or do you collaborate with ...

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Originally posted on we make money not art by Rhizome