Posts for 2009

The Live! Show


Produced by the Artists' Television Network, the Live! Show ran in 1979 and from 1982-1983 on Manhattan’s Cable channel J. A weekly program overseen by Jaime Davidovich, the Live! Show was a variety show, featuring performances and videos by a host of New York downtown artists. Below you will find the second episode, which aired on December 28, 1979, with appearances by Jaime Davidovich, Carole Ann Klonarides, John Sanborn, Kit Fitzgerald, Lucio Pozzi, Tomiyo Sasaki, Stuart Sherman, The Social Climbers, and Youth in Asia. A playlist of other episodes may be found here.


TV Party


TV Party, hosted by Glenn O'Brien, ran from 1978 to 1982 on public access cable TV in New York City. A documentary about the show came out a few years ago, which renewed interest in the show and cemented its legacy. Below is an excerpt from the larger essay "THE TV PARTY STORY", where O'Brien reflects on the concept behind TV Party.

TV Party wasn't based on the Johnny Carson type talk show as much as it was based on Hugh Hefner's shows. Hef's Playboy's Penthouse premiered in 1960 and Playboy After Dark appeared in 1969. The format of both shows was a sophisticated cocktail party, not a desk and sofa set up. It was a fantasy of being at a super-hip, super exclusive jet set party. Hef wore a tux and there were always vixens aplenty on set as well as groovy guests like Sara Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Lenny Bruce.

I loved the concept, compared to the stiff format of the Tonight Show. TV Party was Playboy Penthouse twenty years later and with no money. But TV Party was meant to be much more than a regular old talk show. It was meant to be art and it was also meant to be a political party. That's why you see all of those pictures of Lenin and Engels and Marx and Stalin and Mao hanging on the walls. We were doing "socialist realist TV."

"TV Party is the show that's a cocktail party but which could also be a political party." That was the slogan. My idea was that socialism meant going out every night, and that social action started with socializing. I think we were trying to inject a sort of tribal element into things. That's what happens ...


Public Access Art TV Show Day



Today, I will be posting videos from various art-related public access TV shows in the United States from the past 30 years or so. The shows profiled in these posts were selected because they share a similar fun, lively and subversive spirit. Public access television has been an important forum for artistic experimentation, allowing artists to respond to television's conventions within the medium itself. The videos shown here comprise part of that story.

This grouping is not an exhaustive survey, so readers, if there are shows that you would like to share, please post links or videos in the comments section.


ФОМУШКА (2009) - Micol Assaёl



Images of ФОМУШКА courtesy of SECESSION

Based on a passionate fascination with scientific theories and physical principles such as electrostatics, gravitation and wind power, Micol Assaёl amplifies natural or physical phenomena in many of her installations. Her minimal arrangements play with the spectrum of sensory perceptions and allow unusual experiences, that in some cases involve unpleasant and disconcerting aspects.

The industrial fans confront visitors in a cyclical rhythm with a powerful current of air and motor noise, while the centrally positioned work ФОМУШКА charges nearby human bodies with static electricity. The form and function of the machine, developed by Assaёl in close cooperation with Moscow's Elektroenergeticevsky Institute, go back to a Russian test facility for simulating lightning discharges. One of the tangible effects of ФОМУШКА is that it literally causes your hair to stand on end and that you get small electric shocks when you touch other people or objects.

Her installation provokes the psychological tension of an unspecified threat, created by the interplay of invisible elementary forces and effects acting directly on the body. In this way Assaёl refers to the potential horrors of technologies; at the same time she forges an aesthetic link to industrial apparatuses and the mysterious power of immaterial energy.



Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds (2009) - Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada


Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds at the MIT Museum, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds is an apparatus for cooking a Thanksgiving meal using rocket-triggered lightning. Critical of the American fascination with cutting corners to save time, the notion of a ‘lightning-fast’ dinner to the tradition of erecting a plastic Christmas tree: both present a quick fix to fulfill a social obligation. Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds employs a do-it-yourself amateur aesthetic to recall fragments from American history: Native American totem poles as monuments to kinship, Thanksgiving as an event marking the first meal between indigenous people and European settlers, the wild turkey as a symbol of an American frontier, Ben Franklin’s experiments to harness lightning for ordinary household use, and the controversy over Franklin’s attempts to redirect lightning.



Relationship Amplifier (2008) - Max Lawrence



Max Lawrence's installations incorporate a device he refers to as a "relationship amplifier", based on the electronic principle of a Darlington Pair (in electrical science, a set of two transistors that amplify weak signals into stronger and sharper signals for both audio and microprocessing). Lawrence theorizes: "The relationship amplifier is based on the principle that a pair of people can amplify each other's strengths, weakness, and in some cases, create a net result much greater - as if created out of nothing - then the product of the pair by themselves."



Magnetic Movie (2007) - Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)


Since 1999 UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt have worked with digital animation to transcend the constraints of time, scale and natural forces; they explore the world beyond human experience, questioning our very existence.

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, set to recordings of space scientists excitedly describing their visualization techniques. Magnetic Movie delves into Earth's inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent 'whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons. Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?



Vote for Rhizome on Facebook


Chase Community Giving on Facebook is awarding grants to non-profit organizations. Please, if you have a Facebook account and 25 seconds to spare--vote for us at the link below. (Note that Rhizome is listed under our legal name 'Rhizome Communications, Inc.')

To vote, go here:

The deadline for voting is next Friday Dec. 11, 2009, so vote now! This could potentially mean tremendous support for our programs in 2010! Thank you for your time.

Rhizome staff


Miami Picks


Pae White, The Oceanfront, 2009

Miami art fair season is in full force. Projects falling into the art and technology category are somewhat slim this year, but here are a few things to check out:

► Open-air theater for Art Video by Pae White

Art Basel Miami Beach premiers the Oceanfront this year, a new space on the beach that will serve as the platform for Art Video, Art Film, Art Perform, and Art Basel Conversation. West Coast artist Pae White was commissioned by Creative Time and ABMB to design the space. She produced an ambitious interactive cityscape of large color blocks made from scaffolding and printed fabric. Comfy seating and spaces for eating add to the communal atmosphere of the installation.

► The Watcher and the Watched: Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich

On Saturday, December 5th from 7 - 8:30pm, curator Meredith Johnson presents video works by Jill Magid and Kon Trubkovich that explore issues of surveillance and control. Magid’s show "Authority to Remove" is currently on view at the Tate Modern.

► SCOPE Film Program

This year the SCOPE art fair commissioned a handful of curators to select a single work to screen at the SCOPE theater. Below are the four remaining screenings:

Friday, December 4 | 11am-7pm
Kate Macnamara (curator)
Edgar Arceneaux, An Arrangement without Tormentors, 2004

Saturday, December 5 | 11am-7pm
David Hunt (curator)
Robert Boyd, Conspiracy Theory, 2008

Sunday, December 6 | 11am-6pm
Benjamin Godsill (curator)
Kon Trubkovich, Double Entrance/Double Exit, 2009

► Art Basel Conversations: The Future of the Museum: The Portable Museum

A panel considers future models for exhibition-making, with artists Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Pedro Reyes, Peter Saville and Katerina Seda. Moderated by Hans Ulrich Obrist. Speakers available for informal discussion after the panel. 10-11 a.m.

Jenny Jaskey is Rhizome's Curatorial Fellow


The Wrap-Up


Image Courtesy of La Superette

If you live in the New York area, there are a few temporary markets for artist-made gifts and multiples popping up this month. Check below for some pointers.

❄ La Superette ❄

Now 11 years old, La Superette has become the go-to spot for inexpensive DIY accessories and projects by independent artists and designers. Shop for hacked clothes, crafty housewares, and handmade accessories amid temporary art installations and live music. Go here for the full list of participating artists and a performance schedule, admission is free.

❄ Don't flee the art market! ❄

From December 11th through the 23rd, Postmasters Gallery will give their space over to "bright young artists" to sell their work. The press release promises "perfect gifts" like a treasure map, a coyote tail, a breast mountain, a set of wooden blocks, and a paper lion coming out of a paper captain's beard. Not exactly the commemorative plates Grandma wanted, but at least you'll make it a holiday to remember.

❄ Eyebeam's Holiday Hackshop ❄

If you want to make hack-tastic gifts yourself, attend one of Eyebeam's Holiday Hackshop workshops on December 12th from 1-6pm. Brighten your bike, make a Sno Globe, create an interactive DJ Station, or laser cut your own ornaments.

❄ The Degenerate Craft Fair ❄

From the description, the Degenerate Craft Fair sounds like a smaller and punker version of the Renegade Craft Fair. The DCF is in its first year, and it will jump locations from Bushwick to Williamsburg to Chelsea over the next three weeks, might be worth checking out?