Artist Aram Bartholl's roaming exhibition series SPEED SHOW descended upon New York last Wednesday. The concept is simple: rent all the computers at an internet cafe for an evening and show a bunch of online work. So far, it's been organized in Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, and now here! See some shots from the show below, all photos by Aram Bartholl.
Over the weekend I popped by Audio Visual Arts (AVA), a sound and media art space located a few blocks away from the New Museum, in the East Village.
Founded by Justin Luke two years ago, the storefront space hosts a range of exhibitions and events, the majority of which relate to the experience of sound and listening. Artists and musicians alike have organized projects at the gallery, from a listening party for Glasser (Cameron Mesirow) to a sound installation by composer Alan Licht to an exhibition of paintings by the legendary guitarist John Fahey to an immersive stroboscopic light and sound installation by Nicedisc (Jeff Pash and Nick Phillips), to name a few. Justin and his brother have a recording studio in the basement of the building, and when the storefront above opened up, Justin decided to move in and start the gallery. AVA also doubles as his apartment, which is located in the back, and this aspect frees him up to be creative and take with risks with the programming, as the shows are not necessarily tied to profit like a regular gallery.
Antoine Catala’s solo show "Topologies" just opened at AVA, and it features a single luminous, magnificently mind-bending sculpture titled HDDH. On display until November 4th, the work is comprised of two HD flat screen televisions connected by what the artist terms "a magic tube." The tube is seamlessly affixed to the surface of the screen, dramatically warping the continuous flow of images emanating from the television set. The audio signal from the TVs is projected both inside and outside the gallery, thunderously filling up the space. Catala uses broadcast television as the basic material for his hallucinatory sculptures, which heighten the artificiality and absurdity of television programming. HDDH seems like a natural evolution from ...!--more-->
A new gallery for video art, Vidéoclubparis offers a single, hybrid space with two parallel modes of screening. The first is a monthly, online exhibition of a dozen young artists, centered around a variety of themes (from ‘soundtrack’ to ‘bathing suit’, among many others); presented with basic information about the pieces and their creators. The second part is a live screening-event organized for each opening, in unlikely, semi-private places ranging from a sauna to a Bollywood video store. By seeking out unique locations for screenings, the event challenges the idea of the formal white cube - an aspect that is emphasized by the parallel screenings on the web. “The aim is to create bipolar screenings, we’re trying to do the high jump between watching videos online and taking people to a place completely unexpected,” said Stéphanie Cottin, co-founder of the organization, “the two work well together, because the extravagance of the events balances out the conventionalism of the online curation.”
"Time doesn't exist when you're... just chilling!" Topping an administrative page on the site of curatorial collective Jstchillin, this slogan rephrases a familiar bit of folk phenomenology: Time flies when you're having fun! But in denying time's existence, rather making its perceived acceleration a metaphor for losing yourself in the moment, the slogan suggests a swap of the trinity of past-present-future for something else -- a sense of time that (until the end of this essay, at least) I will call "chill time." Jstchillin is concerned with the internet, and my description of chill time will be, too. It entails an awareness of parallel threads of messages, ordered by clock-time sequence and subjective assignments of importance (cf. Facebook's feed settings: "Top News" and "Most Recent"), and the knowledge that these messages will wait until you find them (in your e-mail, in your RSS aggregator, etc.) but might be irrelevant when you do if you wait too long. Chill time is simultaneity of the recent past and lagging present, the sum of attempts to track some threads into the past and push others toward the future. Awareness of physical surroundings tends to be fuzzy as you sift through old layers of digital sediment and deposit new ones. Jstchillin founders Caitlyn Denny and Parker Ito describe it like this: "[T]o chill is to live in a constant state of multiplicities, a flow of existence between web and physicality."
Jstchillin encompasses a number of initiatives, including the gallery show "Avatar 4D," but its flagship project is "Serial Chillers in Paradise," an online exhibition that has featured a different artist every other week since October 2009. Chill time, I think, is the central theme of "Serial Chillers," one that many commissioned artists have approached through conventional associations with chilling. Video games were the subject of an illustrated short story/film treatment by Jon Rafman, and Jonathan Vingiano's browser add-on Space Chillers was a game. Ida Lehtonen's contribution folded soothing ocean sounds into a video of exercises that computer laborers can do to stay limber during breaks, while Eilis Mcdonald's sent you scrolling through bits of pat, New-Agey advice and then to a page with equivalent visuals; both artists drew on packaged relaxation. Zach Schipko and Tucker Bennett's feature-length movie Why Are You Weird?, parceled into YouTube uploads, is a story of art-school students who spend almost all of their onscreen time at parties or hanging out in their dorm rooms, rehashing crits.
Humorous and surprising, smart and provocative, Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media (MIT Press, 2010) jumps from opposing viewpoints to opposing personalities, from one arts trajectory to another. The entire book is a dialectic exercise: none of its problems or theories are solved or concluded, but are rather complicated through revelations around their origins, arguments and appropriations. Overall, the book adopts the collaborative style and hyperlinked approach of the media and practice it purports to rethink. In other words, it is not just the content of the book that asks us to rethink curating, but the reading itself; by the end, we are forced to digest and internalize the consistently problematized behaviors of the “media formerly known as new.”
An Immaterial Survey of Our Peers is a group show currently on display at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Curated by Web collective JOGGING, the exhibit brings together the work of a group of artists whose art is primarily displayed and distributed via the Web. Given the immaterial quality of much of the work, the show does not physically take place within the gallery space itself. Instead, the artwork has been collected and arranged over photos of the empty gallery space using digital compositing techniques. These photos are then displayed as documentation of the exhibit on the show website, and projected onto the walls of the gallery space for the show's duration. Artists on display include AIDS-3D, Kari Altmann, Jon Rafman, Travess Smalley, Ben Schumacher, and Hermonie Only, among many others. The show is currently on display both online and at the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Women's Audio Archive began as a series of recordings, taped by Lewandowska after leaving her home country in 1984, grown out of an interest in language as a site of cultural displacement. These recordings document public events, seminars, talks, conferences, and private conversations as valuable records of a particular time in discourse, beginning around 1983 until 1990. Lewandowska denotes this period of time as one dominated by academics and artists close to October magazine and by feminist gatherings, including the participating of Judy Chicago, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Yvonne Rainer, Jo Spences, Nancy Spero, Jane Weinstock, etc. In a variety of settings and institutions, as well as in private, the recordings also document talks by artists and academics such as Benjamin Buchloh, Victor Burgin, John Cage, Allan Kaprow, Tom Lawson, Les Levine, Peter Wollen, etc.
The act of sound recording began as a way to address the possibilities, as an artist and in everyday life, within a new, unfamiliar environment - through observation in gathering knowledge and participation in developing relationships. Having been educated and raised in a totalitarian state and under a Communist regime, the artist maintains a sensitivity to the power of representation, to the original and manipulation of images, thereby influencing her perception of how history is constructed, who keeps the documents, and who has access to public broadcast. Moreover, the emphasis on sound, away from the image, is a conscious decision by the artist to undermine the primacy of visuality.
In establishing the Women's Audio Archive, Lewandowska seeks to create a collection and a site that would act as a meeting point where the recording conversations would participate in developing a history of women in the media-visual tradition that by its ephemeral nature can easily be forgotten. The Archive, with its attention to sound ...
Ceci Moss is Rhizome's Senior Editor.
For my top 5-10, I've decided to pull together my favorite online exhibitions of internet-based art from the past 12 months.
Each week or so, Computers Club introduce a new work by an artist. Many of the Computer Clubbers have helped to define the current crop of internet-based art influenced by Larry Cuba and Tron-style computer graphics, such as Laura Brothers, Nicholas Sassoon, and Elna Frederick.
Internet Archaeology is a site devoted to the recovery of graphic artifacts found within earlier internet culture. (Think Olia Lialina's A Vernacular Web.) Their Guest Galleries section features original work using images culled from the collection by Tabor Robak, Krist Wood, Jacob Broms Engblom, Daniel Leyva, Emma Balkind, and Nasdaq 5000. My favorite piece so far is Robak's Heaven, which I posted to Rhizome not too long ago.
Run by Bay Area-based artists Caitlin Denny and Parker Ito, JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" series is quite ambitious -- for a full year, they're knocking out a new work, in the form of a solo site, by an artist every two weeks, with an accompanying essay by Denny and Ito.
Like software, the curatorial project NETMARES & NETDREAMS signal the progression of their exhibitions through versioning. The exhibition "2.2" went live last summer, and it is loosely based on beach iconography, with a gloss of dark surrealism. A sense of the ominous pervades throughout, from Harm van den Dorpel's dizzying montage of palm trees to Michael Guidetti's loop of a rippling, virtual ocean.
Now closed, Club Internet's fall exhibition "Dissociation" was ...
Zhang Wei earned a MA Creative Curating course at Goldsmiths, London. She is Founding Member and Director of Vitamin Creative Space in Guangzhou, and the shop in Beijing. She has realized a number of long-term projects and exhibitions in close collaborations with artists, as part of the research of Vitamin Creative Space. Her daily practice focuses on the shaping of different spaces - Vitamin Creative Space, the shop, Vitamin Blog, and the communities that form around Vitamin and the shop. Curating each of these different spaces, which each require different approaches and can generate different energies, challenges and opens new possibilities of making space in contemporary art and culture. Through the negotiations of independence in the Chinese context in particular, Zhang Wei's practice involves a continuous re-examination of the meaning of public space.
The links below are from our blog. I found them interesting in that they survey practices involving the daily living environment. I found that these individuals open up the complexity of our reality, while also providing some clue as to how to encounter that reality.
Caitlin Jones is the Executive Director of the Western Front Society in Vancouver, BC. Prior to this appointment she had a combined curatorial and conservation position at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and was the Director of Programming at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in New York. A key member of the Variable Media Network, Caitlin has also been responsible for developing important tools and policy for the preservation of electronic and ephemeral artworks. She has been a contributor to Rhizome and her other writings have appeared in a wide range of exhibition catalogues, periodicals and other international publications.
► The Real Thing« curated by VVORK
VVORK taking it to the next level.
► Donk -- Music World.
Never thought I would be so into something that Vice Magazine was responsible for, but this documentary is fantastic. Thanks Michael Bell-Smith for telling me about it.
► Digital Folklore Reader
(full disclosure, I worked as an editor on this book)
Smart, original and has unicorns on the cover.
Edited by Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied
Designed by Manuel Buerger
Texts and projects by: Cory Arcangel, Julia Böger, Manuel Buerger, Helene Dams, Dragan Espenschied, Jörg Frohnmayer, Mark Grimm, Christopher Heller, Yunchul Kim, Dennis Knopf, Stefan Krappitz, Florian Kröner, Tobias Leingruber, Olia Lialina, Leo Merz, Bernadette Neuroth, o+ro, johannes p osterhoff, Isabel Pettinato, Michael Ruß, Theo Seemann, Alexander Schlegel, Bert Schutzbach, Siegfried Zielinsky