Posts for 2011

Required Reading: The Immediated Now: Network Culture and the Poetics of Reality by Kazys Varnelis


Throughout the 1990s, digital computing and network technologies were largely employed in office work, their cultural implications confined to niche realms for enthusiasts. If that decade’s new media art formed a vital artistic subculture, it was mainly isolated and self-referential, in part due to the artists’ fascination with hacking the medium, in part due to its position as the last in a long line of Greenbergian interrogations of the medium, and in part due to its marginalization by established art institutions. Artists like Vuk Cosic, Jodi, Alexei Shulgin, and Heath Bunting replayed early twentieth century avant-garde strategies while emulating the graphic and programming demos of 1980s hacker culture, before computers left the realm of user groups and became broadly useful in society.[1]

Today, in contrast, digital technology is an unmistakable presence in everyday life and is increasingly inextricable from mainstream social needs and conventions. Network culture is a broad sociocultural shift much like postmodernity, not limited to technological developments or to “new media.”[2] Precisely because maturing digital and networking technologies are inseparable from contemporary culture — even more than the spectacle of the television was from postmodernity — they must be read within a larger context. All art, today, is to one extent or another, networked art.

This investigation can’t be limited to online venues, but it also can’t be limited to “art.” Postmodernism called high and low into question (think of Warhol as the quintessential early postmodern artist, or later Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince) by bringing in products of the culture industry into art, but network culture levels that distinction utterly. Art under network culture dismisses the populist projection of the audience’s desires into art for the incorporation of the audience’s desires into art and the blurring of boundaries ...

Homebrew Electronics: A Studio Visit with Phillip Stearns


An example of one of Phillip Stearns' instruments

I met with artist Phillip Stearns last weekend, who took me around his studio. Phillip is giving a class through Harvestworks beginning Monday titled DIY Synth Building Intensive, and he began by showing me the kind of projects he intends to teach students to build in the workshop.

Phillip explained that he enjoys the opaque process of working with CMOS logic integrated circuits, which he finds to be more physical, user-friendly and transparent than working with Arduino. CMOS allows him to essentially program without a computer. Sounds in the instrument below can be modified by moving the patch cables around the breadboard. Phillip demonstrates:

There is one single oscillator, and the pins control the octaves. In his workshop, Phillip will instruct students on how to build an oscillator. Once one learns this basic step, they can then take the instrument further by making multiple oscillators or by mixing or dividing signals.


Elastic Youth: Interpreting the Scrunchie Video


In case you missed November's Elastic Youth: Interpreting the Scrunchie lecture by David Riley, organized by DIS Magazine, videos of the event are now online. The lecture comprised part of the programming for the exhibition Free.

Originally via DIS Magazine


Debris, Qwerty (2009) - Sarah Frost



Originally via Valentina Tanni

Psychic Circuits: Peter Blasser of Ciat-Lonbarde


Peter B with Deerhorn tapestries

If Don Buchla, mastermind of early modular synthesizers, was the technician behind the lysergically tinted spiritualism of countless ‘60s timbric explorations, Peter Blasser is an audio alchemist: technician, musician, and guru rolled into one. Blasser’s electronics company based in Baltimore, Ciat-Lonbarde, produces small runs on some of the most ingeniously quirky electro-acoustic audio systems on the market.


Sequence of Waves


Martyna Szcz's White Ring

I visited the one-day exhibition “Sequence of Waves” last weekend at St. Cecilia’s Convent in Greenpoint. 40+ artists were included in the show, and it was a culmination of a two-week residency within the space. The building itself – a 19th century convent – is impressive, and it’s always a treat to see how artists respond to the environment. While “Sequence of Waves” was not exclusively a sound art show, many of the invited artists did work with sound.

Photos by Jessica Findley

Titled Lo Siento por Sonido by Victoria Keddie and Jessica Findley, this work was a playable zither instrument whose strings extended over two rooms, and fed through furniture found within the building. (You can listen to a sound sample here.)

Ben Wolf disassembled a boat and used the parts to complete a sculpture within the stairwell, which stretched out over three floors.

G. Lucas Crane piled amps in the basement, which amplified sounds from microphones placed throughout the convent.


HOME / LAND STUDIES #2 (2011) - Nicolas Sassoon


Originally via Computers Club


Kickstarter Projects We ❤


In conjunction with Rhizome's brand new curated page on Kickstarter, we will start featuring select projects from the site on the blog. If you would like to let us know about your fundraising efforts on Kickstarter, shoot us an email at editor(at)

► The Nature of Code Book Project by Daniel Shiffman

Daniel Shiffman is raising funds for the publication of his book, The Nature of Code. Description below:

Can we capture the unpredictable evolutionary and emergent properties of nature in software? Can understanding the mathematical principles behind our physical world world help us to create digital worlds? This book will focus on the programming strategies and techniques behind computer simulations of natural systems. We’ll explore topics ranging from basic mathematics and physics concepts to more advanced simulations of complex systems. Subjects covered will include forces, trigonometry, fractals, cellular automata, self-organization, and genetic algorithms. Examples will be demonstrated using Processing with a focus on object oriented programming.

► Written Image by Martin Fuchs

Created in collaboration with more than 70 media artists and developers from across the world, Written Images is the first of its kind. A 'programmed book', continuously regenerated for the digital printing process, offering each reader a unique experience.

We first announced our project in February 2010. Since then, more than 70 image generating software programs were submitted. A jury singled out the 42 most creative and successful submissions to be included in the book.

With your support we hope to produce the first edition of this unique book and also introduce the "Written Images" print-on-demand service.

► Reference Art Gallery by Conor Backman

Reference Art Gallery is an independent artist run art and music space in downtown Richmond, VA, founded by four VCU undergraduate BFA students in the summer of 2009. We have launched ...


Darkgame (2008-Ongoing) - Eddo Stern


Darkgame head gear

Currently in the prototype stage, Darkgame is a sensory deprivation computer game. The user wears custom made head gear, which triggers sensations. For more information about the project as it progresses, check the site.


Originally via CreativeApplications.Net



Found image for Jibade-Khalil Huffman's project

Curated by Leah Beeferman and Matthew Harvey, Parallelograms is a new online publication. For the project, Beeferman and Harvey invite an artist or collective to creatively respond to an image found online. The featured artist changes from week to week, and so far, they've worked with seven separate artists, including Everything Studio, Stephen Vitiello, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Mary Manning, Will Shapiro, Potential Estate and Duncan Malashock.

Image from Mary Matting's project for Parallelograms

Image from Duncan Malashock's project for Parallelograms