Posts for July 2011

Quinn Norton - Privacy, Ephemerality, and Self


Journalist Quinn Norton explores ideas relating to privacy, secrecy, and self in an age where nothing is ever forgotten.



Search Beyond Text



Google Fellow/software engineer Amit Singhal writes about the challenges inherent to searching for images in an essay for Google's Think Quarterly corporate webzine:

At Google, when we talk about organizing the world’s information, we don’t mean only text; images and videos contain a wealth of information. In the early days, this type of content simply didn’t exist online. Now, through efforts like Google Earth and Street View, we can provide something incredibly valuable: images of your physical world.

However, in many ways, getting visual information online is the easy part. What’s hard is understanding that information. Unlike text, we cannot simply read an image or video. We have to look inside them, dig out the pixels and translate them into something meaningful. For a long time, we considered this a pipe dream, but by combining search methodology and technological breakthroughs in computer vision, today we can match pictures at a visual level. Search for ‘Mount Rushmore’ on Google and our algorithms will analyze many factors, such as the shape and texture that produces a good image of Mount Rushmore, then return those images to you in striking full-color. 




Mark Leckey at the Serpentine Gallery (19 May – 26 June 2011)


The difficulty in making work now is that there’s this model of how a distributed kind of collective work could be made (i.e., through the Internet), but it can’t be made in a gallery. The nature, or structure, of the gallery doesn’t allow for that; it needs certain kinds of forms, certain objects. There’s this term I like, “stigmergy”: an ant goes out, lays a path of pheromones; the other ants follow that path, and then that path gets built up until it becomes a pathway. They use this term in open source to describe a programming language that has being continually added to and amended so that the original code has been lost or forgotten, but you’re left with a structure that everyone can use. As an idea of making art, that seems really interesting—something made with the benefits of technology. At the same time, that idea is a long way from the art being made now, and a long way from Benjamin’s idea of art’s aura. The aura is still there; it still surrounds artworks, massively. The trouble is that more you start to distribute art or disperse it, the more mutable art becomes, until finally, it dissipates into just “LOLCats” or something. - Mark Leckey in an interview with Mark Fisher (Kaleidoscope, Summer 2011)

Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London
(19 May – 26 June 2011)



Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999.) Installation view



Previously: Brian Droitcour's interview with Leckey for Rhizome (2009)



The Future and Modernity's White


When conjuring up a reason why white is the dominant shade of Modernity one might think of the soon to be retired space shuttle Atlantis or the seminal architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (also known as Le Corbusier). Depending on your preference of medium you can view it as an additive or subtractive color, but the question remains: why is the color white linked to "hi-tech" gadgets, architecture, and visions of the future?

John Powers, a Brooklyn-based sculptor recently ruminated on this question and discovered it has an intriguing and complicated history and relationship with technology. Powers maps the trends of the color against various historical events, revealing along the way that Jacob Riis' 1890 flash photographs of lower Manhattan's tenements and Platex bra construction played surprisingly important roles. According to Powers' research, Modern white's psychological associations and aesthetic perceptions are driven by a mix of technological advancements in electric lights, the garment industry, and space travel.

Original Edison light bulb; Weissenhofsiedlung (1927) via Star Wars Modern

Seamstress Jane Butchin, Delma Domegy, Inspector Mary Todd, and others at ILC Plant (1967); Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alen Bean (1969) via Star Wars Modern

John Powers' ten-part essay titled White Walls:



Making Word: Ryan Trecartin as Poet


All images: Screen captures from KCorea-INC.K

Is Ryan Trecartin a video artist? A “video-installation” artist? Reviewing “Any Ever,” the exhibition now on view at MoMA PS1, Roberta Smith grasped for precedent, naming Paul McCarthy, Matthew Barney and Pipilotti Rist. But, she admitted, the comparisons fell short. To find another artist who engages a plurality of art forms with simultaneous, equal intensity—all while rethinking what art is and how it touches its audience—you’d have to go back to Wagner. Video is an outcome of his process, but watching is not the only or best way to understand it. Trecartin says he starts each work by writing a script. Language—the primal, biological system of symbols—is the model and vehicle for art and commerce and every other manifestation of social activity. And the forms of all the aspects of Trecartin’s work—the camerawork, the editing, the music, the makeup, and the costumes, as well as Lizzie Fitch’s sets for the videos and “sets” for their viewing in “Any Ever”—are prefigured in the way he works with words.

To study Trecartin’s language, I read the script for K-CoreaINC.K (Section A), which is freely available thanks to ubuweb’s “Publishing the Unpublishable” series. Like any script, it starts with dramatis personae: Argentinian Korea, Hungary Korea, French Adaptation Korea, and so on. The litany of locales recalls the lyrics of a club hit (“Brazil, Morocco, London to Ibiza”: so sings J-Lo in “On the Floor”) or the “Paris, Milan, Moscow, Tokyo” you see on the front of designer boutiques. But only remotely. Countries aren’t named to evoke the exotic, but because geographic names, unlike human names, are tied to place and awkward in reuse. Slapped together, they don’t merge nicely. One plus one is two ones and the ozone emitted by their collision. Combos like these are a favorite device of Trecartin’s. So is the willful disregard for parts of speech. A character’s “first name” can be a noun or an adjective or one of each. Grammatical difference meets geographical difference as both are jettisoned. No setting is indicated—the list of characters is enough to locate the action in an unanchored imaginary.



Star Trek Non Places


"…non places are the real measure of our time; one that could be quantified – with the aid of a few conversions between area, volume and distance – by totalling all the air, rail and motorway routes, the mobile cabins called ‘means of transport’ aircraft, trains and road vehicles, the airports and railway stations, hotel chains, leisure parks, large retail outlets, and finally the complex skein of cable and wireless networks that mobilize extraterrestrial space for the purposes of a communication so peculiar it often puts the individual in contact only with another image of himself." - Marc Augé, Non Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity

Images via Space Trek, a tumblr devoted to "the quiet despair of the Starship Enterprise." (via Boing Boing)




Tonight at the New Museum: PAD.MA, and the Possible: presented by Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran


PAD.MA, and the Possible: presented by Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran

Presented as part of a residency with Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran, organized in conjunction with the 2012 Generational.

Three years ago, CAMP co-initiated the online footage archive PAD.MA. This was a specific proposal for how video material could exist and be “thrown forth” beyond the limits of the filmmaking economy, and past YouTube. Now containing several hundred hours of densely annotated, transcribed, and open-access footage, PAD.MA poses many questions for digital archiving, film, and online video. It also seeds a set of possibilities and practices around footage, distribution, screening, referencing, and writing through video. Implications for the contexts of art, documentary, and theory will be the subject of this presentation.

Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran in Residence

Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran work individually and collectively with other artists, programmers, filmmakers, and theoreticians to investigate the implications of technology in the context of economic and material globalization. Anand and Sukumaran, together with Sanjay Bhangar founded CAMP in 2007 as a space “in which ideas and energies gather, and become interests and forms.” CAMP has also co-initiated PAD.MA, a deeply searchable online archive of annotated video material, primarily footage, and incomplete films. During their residency, Anand and Sukumaran will introduce their practices through a series of public programs and conduct research that will inform their contributions to the “The Generational,” the second New Museum Triennial, opening in February 2012.

$6 Members, $8 General Public

Thu, Jul 28, 2011
7:00 PM

New Museum Theater 



Thank You to Our July Sponsors!


We would like to take a break from our daily posting to thank our sponsors for the month of July. These are the people and places that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out.

  • Artwrit is an independent quarterly and monthly publication committed to  excellence in art writing. Artwrit’s July issue features a review of The Women in Our Life exhibition at Cheim & Read gallery, interview with sculptor Nick van Woert, a criticism of MTA during Bushwick Open Studios, and much more.

  • Dia Art Foundation is presenting a retrospective of minimalist artist Blinky Palermo at its Dia:Beacon location, at 3 Beekman Street in Beacon, New York, and CCS Bard. The exhibition runs through October 31, 2011.

FLA Gallery

  • The Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery was established in 2008 by contemporary artist Fernando Luis Alvarez to promote the advancement of the arts through economic, cultural, and philanthropic ventures. Since moving to Stamford in 2009, the gallery has been instrumental in the transformation of the community from a commuter-dominated financial and industrial hub to a thriving downtown haven for the Arts. It has become essential to the very fabric of the community through programs such as involving local at-risk youth and establishing Sprouting Spaces, a project that turns commercial vacancies into active artist studios.


    The recent Be(come) A Collector show was dedicated to encouraging new collectors to get in on emerging artists.  Here, the public was introduced to the Colombian Seven, a collective of some of Colombia’s best new artists whom the Gallery has brought together after an intensive review and creative analysis process. The show also served as a preview and introduction to the upcoming “Young Latin Masters: JJ Bedoya and the Colombian Seven” September 9th exhibition.

  • NADA Hudson is a site-specific art exhibition hosted by the ...


Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music at London Science Museum


Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music, opens tomorrow at the London Science Museum.


The Oramics machine is a device of great importance to the development of British electronic music,” says Mick Grierson, Director of the Daphne Oram Collection at Goldsmiths. “It’s a great shame that Daphne’s contribution has never been fully recognised, but now that we have the machine at the Science Museum, it’s clear for all to see that she knew exactly how music was going to be made in the future, and created the machine to do it.”

Rare archive footage and an interactive version of The Oramics Machine feature in the exhibition. Sound and Music and Goldsmith’s have also created an iPhone app that recreates the sound of The Oramics Machine.

Oramics To Electronica enters its second phase on October 10, when it will be showcasing a wide array of electronic music and sound reproduction equipment with help from employees of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Electronic Music Studio (EMS), who produced the first commercial British synthesizer, the VCS3 (rocked by everyone from Brian Eno to Life On Earth composer Edward Williams). In October and November, a programme of “Electronica, Radiophonics and Oramics associated events, workshops and performances” will run alongside the exhibition; details to follow. -  FACT magazine



Simon Denny, 3-D Vessel 2 (2011)



3-D Vessel 2, (2011.) Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin. (Based in Berlin.)

Simon Denny explores how material is encountered in an age in which technological overproduction and media overkill are yesteryear’s assumed norm. For based in Berlin, Denny will present a project developed in Aachen, which focuses on a German production company’s input in shaping the appear- ance of a global media exemplar. The artist will present a sculptural illustration of material surrounding a “scripted journey” and the spaces that provide these. The presentation spotlights the Aachen-based chrome-finishing factory responsible for fitting out the fantasy cruise liner boats of an internationally dominant U.S. entertainment company. The exhibition features a video made by the factory of their products alongside a 3D walk through their equally scripted factory premises in Aachen, shot by Denny on the new 3D Panasonic HDC-SDT750, the supposed first 3D home video camera. In doing so, Denny applies the industry’s latest gimmicky must to the production process that gives its material relics their seductive sheen.