Posts for July 2008

Un-Dead-Link, physical death of a computer game


Japanese media art unit Exonemo's latest work focuses on the differences between two worlds - the real, physical and our increasingly information-based, virtual. Citations of doubt in the real world itself among the two artists (Sembo Kensuke and Yae Akaiwa) led to an identification and consideration of a gap between the two worlds, namely one of "death." For the duo, "death" in the real world has no relation to a death in the proposed imaginary world of information. Un-Dead-Link (exhibited at Plug-In, Basel till August 24) works to connect the different realities and blur such a boundary by relying on a pre-programmed software with electronic goods Exonemo bought in Basel. "We modified the game Half-Life2 by using Garry's mod. The game is connected to the piano while all electrical goods are connected by midi/dmx (protocol) with custom devices." With that, the audience can see, feel and hear the effects of a symbolic death in a computer game in an actual physical environment, bridging the gap. The gallery has two contrasting spaces- the ground floor is bright and open while the basement floor is dark and closed; reflecting the two worlds in the space. -- Vicente Gutierrez, Neural.


Originally posted on Networked Music Review by jo

Conflux Festival 2008


SEPT 11-14.

Conflux is the annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography, the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice. At Conflux, visual and sound artists, writers, urban adventurers and the public gather for four days to explore their urban environment.

People from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures come together at the festival to re-imagine the city as a playground, a space for positive change and an opportunity for civic engagement. The Village Voice describes Conflux as a "network of maverick artists and unorthodox urban investigators...making fresh, if underground, contributions to pedestrian life in New York City, and upping the ante on today's fight for the soul of high-density metropolises."

From architects to skateboarders, Conflux participants have an enthusiasm for the city that's contagious. Over the course of the long weekend the sidewalks are literally transformed into a mobile laboratory for creative action. With tools ranging from traditional paper maps to high-tech mobile devices, artists present walking tours, public installations and interactive performance, as well as bike and subway expeditions, workshops, a lecture series, a film program and live music performances at night.

Conflux is produced by Glowlab, an independent, Brooklyn-based production and publishing studio with a gallery in Williamsburg and a web-based magazine at



Originally posted on Announcements by Rhizome

Fun Is Back


Those three words are the declaration of Manuel Buerger, a young German artist whose practice encompasses graphic design, fine art, theory, and music. Buerger did his graduate studies in Media Art under the direction of pioneering internet artist Olia Lialina and this reveals itself best in the humor Buerger directs at his projects that are often just as goofy as they are subtly, intelligently deconstructive of media culture and its conventions. His Master's thesis was an artist book-cum-manifesto on the cultural and economic imperative towards newness, with the figure of a UFO used to navigate the philosophy of novelty. Buerger followed this project with an A5 fanzine that was, in fact, a critical examination of the role of individuality in the Microsoft software platform. Designed in MS Word, I doc. you will! both celebrates and critiques the rigidity and dominance of this environment, pointing to the strict adherence to publishing protocols written into Word, despite the seeming emphasis on personalization within tools and templates. Predicated on a reading of Deleuze's theories on societies of control, Buerger argues, "The last 25 years have rapidly changed the means of computer aided self-portrayal. 'Individualization' is the product of this development--consumption stresses our uniqueness." That said, a number of Buerger's projects end up focusing on consumer culture, or the fine line between that culture and its production. While net-based experiments like his Nostril Karaoke leave us a bit speechless, his Designerz is a clever, gif-based trope-popping of the archetypal designer-holding-poster portrait, reflected in the style of a permanent zoom into a hall of mirrors. The artist is currently at work on a MIDI-album called "10/10," in which "the idea is to take ten ultra-cool midi-instruments (10 of 128) and dedicate a song to each instrument," and he's an active ...


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"Untitled", 2006, incinerated laptop by Maria del Carmen Montoya.


Originally posted on VVORK by Rhizome

Community Builders


Currently on display at Baltimore's Contemporary Museum, "Cottage Industry" foregrounds the entrepreneurial and communitarian ethos of six artists/organizations, including Andrea Zittel and Christine Hill. The exhibition positions these practices, many taking the form of real- or pseudo-business and cultural ventures, in an extensive history of relational projects: from Beuys' "social sculpture" to Matta-Clark's "Food" restaurant/cooperative. Several of the participants interpolate conceptual production with community organization, including Lisa Anne Auerbach, whose project, The Tract House, makes available to museum visitors and online users a series of "manifestos, diatribes, stories, [and] rants" written by friends and acquaintances of the artist, as well as visitors to her website. Auerbach thus overlaps two meanings of "tract" (an area of land and a loosely distributed, often socially- or politically-conscious text), as if to suggest her open document pool to be a foundation for a new architecture of social exchange. The City Reliquary will also contribute something from its dusty coffers. First established as a window display in 2000, the City Reliquary has become a much-loved spot in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, displaying the eccentric accumulations of local collectors, old New York ephemera, and organizing events like the annual Bicycle Fetish Day (which is pretty much what its title suggests). For the exhibition, a mini-City Reliquary will be set up in the gallery in the form of a shadowbox containing special finds from their collection. In addition to exhibiting past works by participants, Contemporary Museum has helped a handful of them realize site-specific projects throughout Baltimore, including the sixth "regional prototype garden" of Fritz Haeg's Edible Estates, an ongoing project to replace "the domestic front lawn with a highly productive edible landscape." While the exhibition will conclude on August 24th, Haeg's garden will continue indefinitely -- one of many excellent examples the exhibition ...




Watch a hundred year old tree breathe.
Thank the tree in your mind for showing us
how to grow and stay.


From the 100 Acorns Blog by Yoko Ono

Description of blog project below:

"It's been 44 years since my book of conceptual instructions, GRAPEFRUIT was first published in 1964.

On 15 June 1968, John Lennon & I planted two acorns for peace at Coventry Cathedral. It was the first of our many Peace 'Events'.

In the summer of 1996, I picked up from where I left off, and wrote 100 ACORNS.

Starting on the 40th anniversary of the Acorn Peace Event on 15 June 2008, I will publish here an 'Acorn' every day for 100 days.

After each day of sharing the instructions, you should feel free to question, discuss, and/or report what your mind tells you.

I'm just planting the seeds.

Have fun.
Love, yoko
June 2008"

Originally posted on 100 Acorns by Rhizome

6. Jill Magid


Jill Magid is a visual artist working in a variety of media including literature, video, sculpture, photography and performance. Magid currently teaches Sculpture at The Cooper Union in New York.


Interview with artist Jill Magid conducted during the 2008 Tokion Creativity Now conference.

Originally posted on Tokion Magazine Presents Creativity Now by Rhizome

Usman Haque’s Man Made Aurora Borealis


A standout at the recent GLOW festival in Santa Monica was Usman Haque's mind blowing art installation called Primal Source. Looking like the northern lights or a supernova on the beach, Primal Source was made up of a huge water spray screen with a rear projected light patterns. The changing display was controlled by crowd reaction and ambient noise. Microphones spread around the outside of the display picked up the cheers and shouts of the crowd which were then translated into the patterns and colors on the water screen. Check out the video below.

NOTCOT at GLOW: Usman Haque's Primal Source from Jean Aw on Vimeo.

[via Notcot]


Originally posted on PSFK by Dan Gould

Manifesta Diary, Part 1: Rovereto and Fortezza


By Laura McLean-Ferris

'It's happening', announces the invitation to Manifesta 7. This is a cheerful fact not to be taken for granted after a four year absence -- Manifesta 6, the 2006 edition, was to be held in the divided city of Nicosia in Cyprus, but was cancelled after the divisions between the Turkish and Greek halves of the island proved too wide to be bridged by an art exhibition. Known for reinvention, Manifesta this year spans 130km and four mountain towns of Italy's stunning South Tyrol: Rovereto, Trento, Bolzano/Bozen and Fortezza/Franzenfeste.

View from the train / Ricardo Jacinto, Labyrithitis, 2007, in the courtyard of the Manifattura Tabacchi in Rovereto

Three curatorial teams take a town each: Adam Budak (Rovereto), Anselm Franke and Hilde Peleg (Trento), and the Raqs Media Collective (Bolzano/Bozen), with the teams collaborating on an exhibition in the fortress at Fortezza. This structure, it would seem, allows for a deeper level of engagement with the area, taking in several types of sites and histories rather than focusing on one or two. It also seems to circumvent the dubious artworld 'swamping' that biennales tend to inspire, where we all sweep into town for a few days, then promptly disappear.



Originally posted on Featured Blog Posts - by Rhizome

Your Computer is a Painting


Jeremy Bailey is a video and performance artist whose work is often confidently self-depricating in offering hilarious parodies of new media vocabularies. In his Video Terraform Dance Party (2008), Bailey plays an enthusiastic nerd channeling Bob Ross as he dons a forehead-mounted VR controller to demonstrate a new modeling software that will allow him to bop his head around and "plan the ideal landscape." As he narrates, his bespectacled eyes rise and fall at the horizon of a CGI world (outlined by vague computer icons and a $100 sign) and his movements trigger topographic changes in the blobby green island growing before him. The piece trades on two themes common in Bailey's work: the infomercial and a kind of ridiculously subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) implosion of metaphors about the use of the body in video-based performance art. The artist translates these well-worn themes into his performance of the anything-goes chaos of dot-com era product demos in SOS (2008), a video that cheerleads a brand new operating system (with a "bold new interface!") of the same name. Designed by Bailey, SOS bids farewell to the world's most popular software platforms and says hello to artist-created masterpieces--inspiring viewers to wonder which is truly "better." In describing the unusual look of the interface, Bailey's deadpan character says, "We're artists, so we thought, let's do it visually." So the "canvas" usurps the "desktop" and "your computer is a painting and your files and folders have been replaced by shapes and colors" which fit into three categories: rectangles show you things, circles analyze things, and triangles edit things. (Clearly this is much more intuitive than Windows!) When Bailey finally manages to get the program to open a file, we see a clip of the artist carrying out what can only ...