Posts for April 2010

freedom from fear and worry .com (2010) - Rafaël Rozendaal






Call for Applications



Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts just announced the open call for their arts writers program. The deadline is June 7, 2010, info below.

The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program supports individual writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through grants ranging from 3,000 to 50,000 USD.

Writers who meet the program’s eligibility requirements are invited to apply in the following categories:

• Articles
• Blogs
• Books
• New and Alternative Media
• Short-Form Writing


Hello Process! (2008) - Marloes de Valk and Aymeric Mansoux





hello process! shows a machine doing what it does best, deleting, copying and moving blocks of data. The installation consists solely of a computer and a printer. The computer functions as it usually does, as a black box theatre of processes. The only output comes through the printer, giving us clues about the activity inside, while in the background, the raw noise of the machine creates a sound scape, a sonification of this theatre of naive computation.

A file of 128 blocks is created. In this file, each block can be occupied by a small piece of code. Every piece of code has its own strategy. Some try to conquer as many blocks as possible, others simply target one specific piece of code or an unsuspecting neighbour. When the process is set in motion, all blocks are executed one after the other. This results in a battle between the file’s inhabitants. After forty iterations, a fresh file is created with a new combination of code.

Each piece of code has a special ID. This ID is sent to the printer every time the block is loaded in which the code is residing. Each printed line represents the result of one battle cycle. 128 small graphical representations of code are printed. This process repeats 40 times, creating a map of abstract patterns depicting the changes that took place. There is some duality in this theatre of naive and nonproductive computation. We like to think of processes as actors in a machine theatre, playing with anthropomorphism and metaphors to trigger the imagination. Each piece of code has a descriptive name such as copycat, eraserhead, destroyer, or swapmaster, and displays behaviour to match. But at the same time these programs are just mechanical low level operations, totally inhuman. In the end the ...


Yahoo Search Loop (2008) - Kim Asendorf



Enter the first keyword to start an endless search loop with Yahoo.


Required Reading



This loss of trust in humanoid media is accompanied by a new silence in the dialogue between master and servant. The language that is directed at the servant becomes terse. The previously still cultivated courtly official style gives way to short commands. The example of these commands reveals what has becomes apparent: communication has become machine language. William Thackeray even brags about this in 1850: “We never speak a word to the servant who waits on us for twenty years.” After its high point in the eighteenth century, communications between lords and servants seem to have come to a standstill. “In the Victorian household, there is an impression of increased silence.” What causes this silence? Something bisects the old human-human interface. The transition from listening to dumb waiter hints at the cause: the nineteenth century is a time in which the most varied services are transferred to technical media, which in their telematic, indirect, oblique communicative abilities replace the personal conversation with a depersonalized understanding. In this gradual but nonetheless comprehensive process of transferal may lie a reason why the corporation AskJeeves ultimately decided to abandon the imagery of the servant.

But why are these functional characteristics of various facets of domestic service relevant? Within those facets of the servant that elevate him or her to be the center of information gathering and dissemination is hidden a comparison with the service portfolio of a search engine. Thereby one may demonstrate how thoroughly the knowledge of search engines as well as domestics can be assessed. On the other hand, the implicit juxtaposition of servant and search engine susses out Jeeves, forcing one to pursue the question of the plausibility of the metaphor. The privileged knowledge of domestics feeds not only off their activity as messengers but also off their roles as ...


Interview with David Toop


David Toop is the author of several landmark books about music, including Rap Attack (1984), Ocean of Sound (1995), and Haunted Weather (2004). He is also a musician, with a discography spanning nearly four decades. His first record - a collaboration with the sound sculptor Max Eastley titled New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments -- was released in 1975 on Brian Eno's Obscure label.

In Toop's previous books Ocean of Sound and Haunted Weather, he explored sound in all its ephemeral, enigmatic, amorphous connotations. His new book Sinister Resonance, out next month on Continuum, takes those explorations a step further, drawing a dense web of connections between sound and visual art. Toop begins the book with the concept that “sound is a haunting, a ghost, a presence whose location in space is ambiguous and whose existence in time is transitory.” To explore sound’s intangibility and mystery, Toop wanders through a bewildering array of references from fiction, myth, painting, and architecture, allowing him to approach sound in oblique and unexpected ways.


Unknown Continents (2010) - Anders Bojen & Kristoffer Ørum


Unknown Continents from Kristoffer Ørum on Vimeo.

Computer generated landscapes in films and computer games increasingly influence the way we imagine alternatives to our present day lives. In collaboration with Ardor3D, who have worked with among others NASA, the artists have developed a real-time 3D programme. Continents emerge on one globe after another in an infinite series of alternative worlds. Each potentially inhabitable world is a unique computer generated model and exists only while it is observed.


Originally via VVORK


Performing Participation


MTAA, Automatic for the People ( ) Voting Kiosk, 2008 (Photo: M.River)

In the fall of 2008, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art invited several artists to create a new work for the exhibition "Art of Participation: 1950 to Now." One such invitation was extended to MTAA, a Brooklyn-based duo comprised of Mike Sarff and Tim Whidden, alternately known as M.River & T.Whid Art Associates. In response, MTAA constructed a poll-based project entitled Automatic for the People ( ), which asked the audience to vote upon the parameters for a theatrical performance executed at the conclusion of the exhibition (the title’s empty parentheses refer to an undetermined subtitle). Technically, the voting consisted of ten different electronic ballots addressing such creative and procedural elements as duration, space, and props, with each being accessible for one week at a museum kiosk and remotely online. All ten ballots contained ten options, and the most popular selections were incorporated into the live finale. During the summer of 2009, I enlisted MTAA in an email-based interview regarding the practical consequences and conceptual implications associated with producing their participatory poll and performance for SFMOMA.

Automatic for the People ( ) Performance
(Photo: Aimee Friberg; Courtesy of SFMOMA. )

DAVID DUNCAN: Let’s begin with the project’s finale. Can you give an overview of the performance— the staging, players and performers, costumes, and actions?

MIKE SARFF and TIM WHIDDEN: We began with the idea that the live work should come together as a unified whole; we felt that a series of unconnected actions would feel untrue to the vote process. We also wanted the audience to participate in the performance. To achieve this, we established three boundaries— installation, duration and action. For the installation we had a location outside the museum’s freight elevator that was selected by vote. The performance’s duration (the same length as the REM album Automatic for the People) was also selected by vote. The action involved two teams competing to create the best robot costume—again, an element determined by vote. Lastly, we included interruptions to the robot costume building competition. These we called interludes and digressions—they were essentially acts between acts that helped to pace the performance. The goal was to make it all seem solid even if an audience member did not know anything about the whole of the AFTP: ( ) voting process.

DAVID DUNCAN: Beyond the audience’s participation, did MTAA conceive AFTP: ( ) in cooperation with the SFMOMA staff?

MIKE SARFF: Yes, it was conceived for this space and institution. It would be good to note here that although the vote kiosk installation and ...


Trash Pile (2008) - Noah Fischer





The object that we call “monitor” is at once ubiquitous, obsolete, and in the end, perhaps a non-object because we gaze into its pixilated illusion, never directly at its shape and mass. Today the beige boxes adorn sidewalk trash piles because their cathode ray tubes have recently given way to the solid-state flatscreen. In a backwards alchemical shift, they have morphed from object of desire into “e-waste.” In this sense, they now monitor the speed of consumption.



General Web Content


For today's General Web Content I have assembled a collection of images that repurpose traditional models of data visualization for humorous/bizarre/illuminating effect. This meme has been around for several years now, first coming into mainstream awareness with the emergence of the overwhelmingly brilliant website "rap represented in mathematical charts and graphs," and continues to be a persistent mechanism for creative expression across the web. (Especially in forums such as b3ta, 4chan, and Something Awful.) The intent of this collection is not to present a best of, but merely to convey a broad overview of the meme. Enjoy.