Artist Profile: Tabor Robak


Tabor Robak is a 2011 Rhizome Commissions winner for his proposal, Tunnels.

Screenshot from Carbon (2010.) Interactive Virtual Enviroment (download.)


There are pieces available on the web that are no longer on your own website, something that is fairly common with artists whose maintenance of an online presence is part of their work. Having developed your work in the public sphere do you hope that the pages and links with your own work are maintained? Would you be bothered (or would you prefer) if some of them fade away?

Yes, I think it is great that some of my work that I am not currently linking to via my website is still available for the dedicated viewer to find somewhere out on the web.  I will frequently remove a link to a piece that I am tired of only to find that I feel differently 6 months later and put the link back up. 

Many pieces on your site, such as Mansion, Explosions and Tidepool each isolate certain 'special effects' from various media (video games, action films and the psychedelic respectively to these three works) and push them to their logical, almost transcendental extreme.  Do you see these works as an expression of the failure of the original media to live up to their promises of transcendence and ultimate entertainment? 

I don’t see it as failure, just a buffer.  I truly believe in the transformative potential of technology but I am also trying to be a realist.  As eagerly as I await the singularity I also think it is ridiculous to hope for a techno-god to save us. There are 2 feelings I frequently find that reflected in my work that express this attitude.  One is a complete, hopeful, teary-eyed love of the glittering special effects and commercial aesthetics ...


Artist Profile: Jacob Ciocci


AM I EVIL?? (2011)

Back in November you posted a compilation of highlights from 'Armin Only' to your blog. It reminded me of a recent documentary about Anselm Kiefer's 'installation' in an abandoned French silk factory entitled Grass Will Grow Over Your Cities where his now clearly much less limited resources allowed him to expand his practice to an architectural scale and create what reviewers were calling a 'gesamtkunstwerk' ('complete artwork' more or less). With unlimited resources, time, space, and manpower what would be your 'complete artwork' piece at this point in time? Would that sort of thing interest you?

I think there are always constrictions and limitations on any and every project--even projects executed by the most wealthy performers with the most insane budgets, when resources may seem "unlimited". Lil Wayne still has to deal with TV executives who bleep out his curse words on TV. U really think Tyler from Odd Future can do whatever he wants?? Everyone is "just doing their job"--sadly there is no Dr. Evil/Andy Warhol with the ability to manipulate everything absolutely--no one is in charge/we are all in charge, in our own way. What makes things compelling is the complexity involved in all the compromises. If you can show some of that chaos/complexity to your audience in a way that they can understand, perhaps you are getting somewhere  . . . I like to imagine all the people involved in that Armin performance with their various agendas struggling together to make this crazy important thing, all these different people expressing and negotiating with one another's desires . . . but it's not a "Complete Artwork", not sure there ever has or ever will be one . . . doesn't everything just feel like a work in progress?? The first and only gesamtkunstwerk will be ...