I was out in San Jose last week for the 01SJ Biennial and I took a few snapshots of the exhibits for the blog, below. I organized Rhizome's live performance event "Domain," which was part of 01SJ's film program. "Domain" included artists Jeremy Bailey, Petra Cortright, Constant Dullaart, and JODI.
Loops of cassette tape are moved through a transparent mechanical armature to create three dimensional line-drawn scenes of one ship's encounters with variously fantastical, formal, poetic, and personal obstacles. Each sculpture in the series depicts a single event in the ships journey through polar waters, such as One ship struck by lightning, twice, and One ship leaves the South Pole, all directions seem north. The soundtrack on the tape propels the loose narrative, and creates a tumultuous foil for the cool, calm, exterior of each piece. The video documentation cuts between the ambient sound of the gallery and excerpts of the sound heard in headphones attached to each piece.
The theme of Repair for this year’s Ars Electronica festival was apropos, as the festival moved to the Tabakfabrik, a former cigarette factory and sprawling complex of buildings that was churning out cartons of Marlboros as recently as last year. The smell of tobacco was still heavy in the air, and evidence of the factory’s work continued to linger: ear plugs still available in dispensers, pneumatic tube carriers still sitting in baskets, and boxes emblazoned with cigarette logos being used as exhibition design material. The factory, which is a protected historic landmark, is beautiful and perhaps deserved a Golden Nica of its own -- for best representation of the festival theme.