Evil Interiors (2003) - Palle Torsson

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Evil Interiors is a series of sixteen digital prints that depict the sets of some of the key scenes in film history: the home of the old man in Clockwork Orange, the hotel corridor in Shining, the empty warehouse in Reservoir Dogs, the motel room in Psycho, Hannibal Lecter's cage in The Silence of the Lambs. Using the editor in Unreal Tournament 2003, Torsson worked painstakingly on the architecture and on texture of the various parts of the furnishings to make these polygonal reconstructions totally believable.

"These images point at the psychological dimensions of violence, at least those that are imprinted in collective memory. As we live in a society where violence is accepted and ritualized our own consciousness is full of images of violence which can be triggered by a digital architectural space. Violence is not actually depicted here, but it certainly exists in the eye and mind of the beholder," Torsson explains.

-- FROM AN ESSAY ON "EVIL INTERIORS" BY DOMENICO QUARANTA IN "GAMESCENES: ART IN THE AGE OF VIDEOGAMES"

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Covert Channels

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A small but international group show organized by Mireille Bourgeois and Anais Lellouche, "They Told You So" takes its inspiration from the Situationists’ concept of détournement, reusing existing media to convey an opposing or alternate viewpoint. Here sound installation and video are the primary forms utilized. Purporting to address and ensnare the viewer, and using deliberate miscommunication to examine rhetoric and technologies that are oriented towards control, the works achieve varying degrees of success.

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HTML, The Movie -or- The Resolution Will Not Be Televised (2009) - Jesse Hulcher and 'Pony Eyelashes'

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A Trip to Governors Island

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Mark Wallinger, Ferry, 2009 (Photo by Andrew Russeth from 16 Miles of String)

To get to “PLOT 09: This World & Nearer Ones,” situated within the architecture and verdant landscape of Governors Island, you make your way to the southern tip of Manhattan, board a ferry decorated with signs that read “SHEEP” and “GOATS” (Mark Wallinger's cheeky contribution to the exhibition), and cross the mere half-mile stretch of water known as Buttermilk Channel. The journey is long and elaborate enough to make you feel like you have embarked on an exciting, uncertain adventure. The island is decorated with a pastiche of architectural styles that indicate its rich history; Victorian houses mingle amongst an abandoned movie theater, an 18th-century fortress, an Episcopalian Chapel, a castle, and stern, seemingly haunted brick abandoned military and coast guard housing. PLOT09 is Creative Time's new public art quadrennial, and for its inaugural exhibition curator Mark Beasley invited nineteen international artists to respond to their surroundings. In an environment decidedly marked by its 400-year history, several of the strongest works in the show used this history as a point of departure.

Adam Chodzko's video installation Echo tells an imagined story about the children of the military personnel who once occupied Governors Island. According to the film, the children often gathered in the basement of the Officer's Club, directly below the ballroom in which the film is screened, to play an invented game where participants attempted to shed their material possessions through trade. In opposition to a capitalist logic, objects of high value were swapped for ephemera. The fictional trades made in the film recall the seeming improbability of unequal transactions made in history, like the initial trade of Governors Island by Native Americans to Dutch settler Wouter van Twiller for two axe heads ...

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Between Spaces

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"Beam Me Up" is the ultimate call for oblivion.

From Star Trek's transporter room to the tractor beams of our most fervent UFO nightmares, the very notion of "beaming"—of dematerializing only to reappear somewhere else, somewhere potentially unknown—represents a complete relinquishment of control, as well as a pure acknowledgment of the subjective, relativistic nature of human reality. After all, if you can spontaneously "beam out" of danger, or "beam in" to the frightful recesses of an alien craft, what is there to be said about the here and now? Or the me? To beam is to temporarily cease to exist in space and time, to blink into suspension, and, invariably, to invert the accepted order.

Besides being its namesake, "Beam Me Up" is a very apt starting point for Xcult.org's ongoing global exhibition about space, recently curated by Sarah Cook of CRUMB, the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss. "Beam Me Up" takes place online, an alternative space which, perhaps incidentally, is probably the international human headquarters for the entire "beam me up" sentiment—that fervent, and often delusional, reach toward dreams of conspiracy, government mind control, and alien visitation ("I want to believe!").

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Sunset Solitaire (2005) - Joe McKay

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"In this performance/video I've written a program on my computer that lets me mix the sunset live. I have three gradient fields that I can constantly change with specially devised hardware. I then project from my computer onto a garage in a field behind my studio. I did this a few times - each time I went back to the studio and messed with the software, and each time I got a little better at the game. On my last attempt I videotaped the session, mixing for both an audience and the camera. The result is a 35 minute tape that takes us from a point when there is too much ambient light for the illusion to really work, to almost complete darkness. "

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S WEBSITE

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Triptych: Motion Stillness Resistance (2005) - Peter Horvath

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Triptych: Motion Stillness Resistance is a generative, video-based triptych that explores three dynamics: motion, stillness and resistance. Each panel of Triptych focuses on one dynamic and uses these as visual metaphors for universal emotive and cognitive states taken from and reflecting my personal experiences. In Triptych three separate video streams run simultaneously in three panels. These videos are randomly chosen from a central database of stored footage associated with each individual panel. Self-structuring and generative, each time Triptych is viewed the outcome is unique. There is no audio component to this work.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Multiple Views

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Artist Dan Graham (born 1942) has embraced a wide range of media and genres including film, video, performance, installation, architecture (he collaborated with Jeff Wall in 1989 to build Children’s Pavilion), women’s magazines (Figurative—made in 1965 and reproduced in Harper’s Bazaar in 1968), and rock music (where he has collaborated with musicians such as Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth). Graham is well known for his documentary Rock My Religion (1982-84), a fifty-two minute video that explores the religious and spiritual tendencies underlying the American obsession with rock music. In the exhibition catalog for Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty, Diedrich Diederichsen claims that this video is “one of the most important texts on the theory of rock music.” Rock My Religion, as well as many other of these interdisciplinary projects are included in Graham’s current solo show, Dan Graham: Beyond, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

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Looking Back

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Image: Lisa Oppenheim, The Sun is Always Setting Somewhere Else, 2006 (Still, 35mm slide projection)

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Image: Lisa Oppenheim, Yule Log, 2008 (Still, 16mm film)

Lisa Oppenheim is interested in how the present viewer sees media of the past, and to study this she takes materials from archives and transforms them with editing effects that distill her interpretation of how an image’s meaning changes over time. For a show at tank.tv, on view through July 21, Oppenheim has revealed her sources and processes in texts accompanying five of her moving-image works. E-M-P-I-R-E reconstructs Andy Warhol’s eight-hour film of the same title using a single 100-foot roll of 16mm color film. “Unlike Warhol’s endurance test of extended filmic boredom, this version uses the language of structuralist ‘flicker’ films of the late 60’s and 70’s,” Brian O’Connell writes in an essay excerpted on tank.tv. He goes on to inform us that the rhythm of the flickering Empire State Buildings spells out “E-M-P-I-R-E” in Morse code—a system as obsolete as 16mm film. Explanations like these never hurt, but Oppenheim’s work is stronger when the transformation of an image over time is a compelling sight in itself. The two channels in Story, Study, Print (2005) juxtapose children’s posters used in predominantly African-American schools in the 1970s with a disconnected sequence of still and moving images; here, chance and obscurity force viewers to form their own associative links rather than relying on a statement to decode meaning. In Yule Log, 2008, a soothing image of a fireplace at Christmastime deteriorates through several repetitions, each one a 16mm copy of the last, while The Sun Is Always Setting Somewhere Else (2006) is a slide show where each frame shows a hand holding snapshots of a sunset ...

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Call for Participants

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The international live media festival Netmage, hosted in Bologna, Italy each year, is seeking participants for their live media floor. Netmage seeks projects that employ electronic, electroacoustic, analogue and cinematic means to produce visuals and sound. These projects will be performed in a single event space, on single or multiple screens, for a duration of about 20 minutes each. To read the call or to apply, visit the Netmage 10 site.

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