Posts for 2015

Mapping Landscape Paintings: Joe Hamilton's 'Indirect Flights' on the front page

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Joe Hamilton's Indirect Flights is on the front page of rhizome.org through Sunday, as part of the ongoing online digital painting exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series.

All of the works in "Brushes" are paintings made on the computer and shown primarily online. The exhibition focuses on works that are derived from an artist's bodily gestures, rather than those that are derived from code-based practices. In the case of Indirect Flights, the brushstrokes in the work are actually sampled from high-resolution scans of landscape paintings by notable historical figures like Van Gogh and Arthur Streeton. Thus, the gestures in this case were made long ago on canvas, and only later translated to digital form. 

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Artist Profile: Olivia Erlanger

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 The latest in a series of interviews with artists who have a significant body of work that makes use of or responds to network culture and digital technologies.

 Olivia Erlanger x Ned Siegel x NanoCorp, Suggestion of a House Slipper, The Refusal to get Dressed, Spending a Season Dreaming of Sunlight only to Prefer it Dark (2014)

Language plays a huge part in your work. The titles of works range from being exploratory—The Space Between My Hand and What it Holds (2014)—to almost explanatory (Olivia Erlanger x NanoCorp x Ned Siegel Suggestion of a House Slipper, The Refusal to get Dressed, Spending a Season Dreaming of Sunlight only to Prefer it Dark. Painted Leather Slippers, 2014), and are always poetic (Everything that Rises Sinks into Mud, 2015). How do you come up with these titles? How do you envision their connection to the work?

A title is a guide.

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Jacob Ciocci Paints Outside of the Box

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For his contribution to the ongoing online digital painting exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Jacob Ciocci presents a series of gifs from his New Expressions series. The gifs are viewable on the front page of rhizome.org through Oct 4 and permanently on the online exhibition page. 

The gifs are made by printing material from the internet, gluing, collaging and painting it, scanning the result back into the computer, animating it digitally, and repeating. He has applied this practice to works that are shown onscreen, such as these GIFs, while also creating objects for gallery display, some of which incorporate video projection into the work.

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Announcing: Zachary Kaplan Appointed Rhizome's Executive Director

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Photo: Sheiva Rezvani  

Rhizome is pleased to announce that Zachary Kaplan, formerly our Assistant Director, has been appointed the organization's new Executive Director. 

Zach has spent the last two years at Rhizome contributing to the organization's programs, strategic planning, and development, successfully managing events like Seven on Seven, benefits and campaigns, and external affairs. He is editor of the organization's forthcoming publication The Born-Digital Art Institution, a collection of essays exploring the relationship between art institutions and digital networks. Zach came to Rhizome from the Renaissance Society in Chicago, where he worked in development, and before that from the Education Department at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

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It Doesn't Just Work: DullTech on Kickstarter and Shenzhen

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Earlier this month, the artist and DullTech CEO Constant Dullaart launched a Kickstarter to crowd-source the company's first product. The DullTech media player is a product that promises to simplify the installation of single- and multi-channel video work. The device works by playing and looping the first video file found on a USB-drive on any monitor or television without concern for file format, remote controls, or syncing screens. Considering the artist's previous works, which often focused on the conditions of art viewership within online networks and galleries, the concept for this device is both humorously apt and much-needed to solve the hassles of installation. 

Those who I have spoken with outside of the arts, however, have raised doubts concerning the ethics of the Kickstarter campaign and the product. Dulltech began while the artist was on a 2012 residency in Shenzhen, South China, a region known as "The Silicon Valley of Hardware." At that time, the company and product were a way for the artist to get into to an original equipment manufacturer (O.E.M.) to see the working conditions of Chinese laborers. After artists expressed excitement about the convenience of the product, Dullaart and his colleagues decided to go into actual production with the factory. Though the O.E.M. Dullaart used for this project, the Taiwanese manufacturer RealTek, does not have any reported violations, mentioning Chinese labor often elicits discomfort due to the 2010 suicides at Foxconn's Shenzhen factory and several reports by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and other watchdog organizations concerning working conditions, employee exhaustion, and contract terminations due to work-related illness.

DullTech's Kickstarter video

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Artist Profile: Shawné Michaelain Holloway

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Shawné Michaelain Hollowaysnow white LQQKS by black bitch_latergram (2015)

Self-representation is a recurring theme of internet-based art, one that you approach from a specific perspective: as a queer, black, [self-described] privileged individual. In your Cam-Era work, you perform this identity within the Camgirl business. How did the power dynamics of this environment affect the work you were making at the time?

Power dynamics affected this work not because of the power of the people or the culture inside, but the power of the people and the culture outside looking in. I feel ashamed that I see these spaces as a playground where I get to construct my own fantasies and control my environment. In a lot of ways I am excited about this non-corporal freedom I gain there.

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Between 'Total War' and History Painting: Andrej Ujhazy for 'Brushes'

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For his contribution to the ongoing online exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Andrej Ujhazy presents a large-scale (70MB, 15120x7560 pixel) digital painting created in Adobe Photoshop, presented as a png file that can be viewed or downloaded here.

 

Detail of Andrej Ujhazy, congress of the sarmatian women by the black sea to dissolve the amazonian tribes and withdraw from history, aug1 333 (after Total War: Atilla™).png (2015), Photoshop painting, 15120 × 7560 pixels. 

Andrej Ujhazy undertook this work while playing a video game from the Total War series that features massive armies fighting in grandiose landscapes during the late Roman Empire. Ujhazy set out to make an epic historical painting in the traditional sense, drawing inspiration from the videogame and from the underlying history it represented, but working from a contemporary cultural reference point. The tribe Ujhazy was playing in the game was the Sarmatians, a central Asian people for whom women played an important role in warfare; they were described by Herodotus as the descendants of Amazon mothers. Thus, the painting was partly an intervention into the narrative of the game and into videogame culture as a whole, emphasizing the role played by women in both.

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Flatness: an interview with Shama Khanna

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 Robert M. Ochshorn, Chewing Time (2013)

What were the initial intentions of the Flatness project, and how would you say those first iterations have reshaped your ongoing research, as well as future curatorial projects?

The project began as the theme of a film program I curated for Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2013 entitled "Flatness: cinema after the internet." I'd invited Oliver Laric, Anthea Hamilton and Ed Atkins to curate screenings within the program before I came up with the title, so the idea emerged through thinking about their work, and the other forty videos within the overall program. While Laric, Hamilton and Atkins each occupy very different positions – broadly, Laric's practice engages with the circulation of images throughout history and now on the web, Hamilton's sculptural and video works draw on the convergence of cultural materials within the compressed, hyper-historical space of the screen-based image and Atkins's filmmaking reflects on the thinness of high definition image surface – their work points to a shared language of the screen inherited from cinema and TV and now evolves through the dialogic space of the internet. I was conscious, too, that most of the works weren’t intended to be seen in the cinema - they were made either to be installed in the gallery or viewed on the computer (many of the works appeared in low-resolution so the image looked spectacularly flat!) - so I wanted to draw attention to the particularities of the auditorium setting and its linear format. Once the festival was over it made sense to put all the programs online, not only so a broader audience could engage with them, but also because several works I'd selected had originated there in the first place. Computer researcher Robert M. Ochshorn's commission, Chewing (2013), for instance, where all the frames of John Smiths' Girl Chewing Gum (1976) are played simultaneously in a specially programmed viewer, was only temporarily made into a video for presentation at Oberhausen, otherwise it exists as an interactive player. My intention was that the website could be a place where Ochshorn's sense of invention could be appreciated in the same space as the visual, audio-visual and written commissions. The web has become a site for artistic production and display but the tools programmers have access to, which set the protocols for this medium, mustn’t be overlooked both politically and artistically.

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Jacob Ciocci at Interstate Projects

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Jacob Ciocci, Jacob's Year, 9/11, Unbox Perfect Sleep (2015)

Jacob Ciocci’s new exhibition at Interstate Projects could easily be mistaken as a study of banality and irony. However, as one begins to take in the myriad of symbols, text, and sound throughout the exhibition, one will find Ciocci is more interested in exploring empathy and vulnerability. Though he has been a fixture in net art, experimental animation, and art rock scenes for many years, the exhibition cements Ciocci’s work at the vanguard of dealing with the weight of user generated content within contemporary image-obsessed culture.

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New digital paintings by Petra Cortright

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For her contribution to the ongoing online exhibition "Brushes," presented by Rhizome and the New Museum as part of the First Look series, artist Petra Cortright presents two versions of a Photoshop composition titled all_gold_everything.psd: a GIF that cycles through all of its layers, and a video that uses wipes and dissolves to offer a slowly shifting view of the same imagery.

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