Next week, on October 14th at 6pm, Laurel Ptak of photography blog iheartphotograph will host FREE KEVIN at Art in General. The screening will present films depicting hackers and computer culture from the past 30 years, all sourced from Pirate Bay member pirateturk. For the AIG event, Ptak will show WarGames (1983) and Hackers (1995) from pirateturk's 15.4 GB collection, and the screening will also be an informal ripping party, so attendees are encouraged to bring their USB sticks and laptops to lift material for later viewing. Named for Kevin Mitnick, a hacker arrested in 1995 by the U.S. Government for computer fraud, FREE KEVIN examines the representation of hackers in popular culture and its relation to concerns about security, intellectual property, and technology. A roving, evolving project at its core, FREE KEVIN is realized as a website as well, with a smattering of clips from the films in the collection, and the organizers invite other, parallel FREE KEVIN screenings around the globe. (To arrange a screening in your town, email screening [at] freekevin [dot] info.)
40 minutes, dimensions variable
Creative Time presents Matthew Buckingham’s film Muhheakantuck - Everything has a Name with free screenings aboard a New York Water Taxi, navigating the river from Christopher Street to the film’s endpoint at the Statue of Liberty, and back. The 40-minute-long film features a single continuous shot from a helicopter as it traveled above the Hudson River. The film is accompanied by a narration by the artist meditating on the region’s turbulent history, and asks the question, “What role does social memory play in defining the present moment?” ...
Buckingham’s film explores the social and political impact of the relatively brief but violent period of contact between Dutch colonists and the Lower Hudson River Valley’s indigenous Lenape people. By examining how maps are constructed, how places are named (and thereby owned), and what stories are left silent, the film exposes the consequences of Henry Hudson’s journey. Buckingham's narrative reminds us that “The river that became known as the Hudson was not discovered—it was invented and re-invented.”
The film describes how differences between the languages of the Lenape and colonists were integral to how each group experienced concepts of place, but that for all people, maps and other abstractions of place are like histories: condensed versions that contain only shades of truth.
Passengers will board a NY Water Taxi on Manhattan’s West Side at Pier 45. The screenings will take place in the early evening, when the light is low yet still present, allowing viewers to see the river from the windows of the boat—linking the present with the historical narrative of the film.
The first physical art work that you encounter when entering “Trust: Media City Seoul,” the sixth edition of Korea’s international media arts biennial, is Willem de Rooij’s Bouquet VII, a collaboration with local florist Kim Da Ra. A large-scale spherical gathering of blossoms in various hues of pink stands on a pedestal, resembling a centerpiece at an upscale wedding or a museum benefit party. The floral arrangement seamlessly integrates natural and synthetic flowers, blurring the boundary between the real and the artificial. Innocuous and timeless, this work sets the tone for this year’s Media City, an exhibition that eschews the embrace of new technologies in visual art in favor of a return to more traditional media and a broader definition of the term “media” itself. Bouquet VII also subtly introduces a method utilized by many of the artists in the exhibition: the conflation of fiction and reality.
If our eyes were to be turned into a camera, it would be a rather poor device. More precisely, it would not resemble a single-frame snapshot camera, but a video stream of a mostly blurred visual field with only spots of clarity. Our eyes move rapidly and continuously update the image in the brain, and it has been concluded that the brain, resembling a high-tech processor, cleans up the received input. Paradoxically, one of the functions of photography is to remind us of the impossibility of our eyes to perceive reality as a still image - as the saccadic scanning of our eyes show, there is nothing fixed or stable in nature. Matter is always in flux.
In his artistic practice, Rune Peitersen explores precisely this aspect of the visual apparatus through a research project he started two years ago. This summer, he presented the most recent series of his results in Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam, in a show entitled “Saccadic Sightings: Einstein and Bohr.” In a secluded room, one was able to indulge in the three main elements of the show: a short text on Einstein and Bohr, Observing Uncertainty - an enigmatic large photograph of a hallucinatory scene covered with a map of small printed squares, accompanied by Observer Effect - a series of smaller black photographs with dots of visual clarity representing each of the square from the large photograph.
When Orpheus’ beloved Eurydice dies, he cajoles his way into the underworld with his musical charms and his lyre. Wanting her but not her shade, he cannot forbear looking back to physically see her and so loses her forever. In this modern day Orphean tale, an anonymous narrator also desperately searches for a lost love. Rather than the charms of the lyre, contemporary technological tools, Google Street View and Google Earth, beckon as the pathway for our narrator to regain memories and recapture traces of his lost love. In the film, they are as captivating and enthralling as charming as any lyre in retrieving the other: at first they might seem an open retort to critics of new technology who bemoan the lack of the tangible presence of the other in our interactions on the Internet.
Our narrator remembers that once, with her back turned while facing the Adriatic Sea, a Google Street View car drove by and took a picture of his beloved, who detested being photographed, without her realizing it. Our narrator cherishes this photograph and the entire relationship becomes encapsulated in the screen capture replacing all other experiences and memories. Soon it is not enough. Our narrator cannot imagine that, in a world where everything is recorded, that someone could completely disappear. In daily systematic searches for photographs of the nameless other, Google Street View and Google Earth allow him to move seamlessly through vast detailed three-dimensional space. This extraordinary geographical and social exploration is favored by Google satellite images, user-created 3D renderings of Stonehenge and Machu Picchu and Street View panoramas of favorite vacation spots. As an undifferentiated series of cultural, historical and contemporary symbols float together or follow one another in rapid succession, in a world where Dutch anthropologists discover pre-Socratic fragments on Turkish islands ...
16777216 is a new online work by Richard S. Mitchell, a San Francisco-based artist with a background in video. 16777216 is viewable through the Jancar Jones Gallery's website from August 28th until September 4th, click here to see it. The work consists of over 16.7 million frames, each a color in the RGB color model, displayed at 25 frames per a second. Colors are displayed when the web browser synchronizes with the server, where the colors slowly move from black towards white.
This sculpture generates a three scene narrative with the scene lengths and order controlled by a mechanical randomizing mechanism which is also part of the sculpture. All video and audio switching occurs via mechanical switches.
With this latest work, the Texas-based artist duo breaks new ground in the development of their sophisticated "story-telling machines". Cliff Hanger's narrative is assembled from five separate scene-generating contraptions that output timed segments of a choreographed black and white "movie". The atmosphere of their work is akin to Ansel Adams and Hiroshi Sugimoto photography imbued with early David Lynch film noir.
The creation of these works is a collaborative process between the artists: Shore develops the mechanics and the set-scenes, while Fisher programs the microchips and composes the soundtracks using original compositions, digital audio samples and mechanically operated instruments. The combination of all these elements results in a poetic complexity that is both surreal and cinematic.
Dream Sequence is a two-channel video installation in which a series of dream images from Jenn and Kevin respectively are seen rotating over our sleeping heads.