General Web Content

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Gif by Lunk

This is where we put stuff. And stuff.

As we come across web phenomenon like the Cheetah Lady, Rickrolling and Violet Flame meditation videos we must acknowledge that there is something -- call it artistic or uncanny or just plain wha? -- about this output which necessitates a second look. The title of this new series, General Web Content, is clearly tongue-in-cheek, and it is meant to be a self-mocking play on the distinction between the "General" web out there and the "Art" web in here. On a medium as dynamic as the internet, this line is often blurred.
- John Michael Boling and Ceci Moss

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"Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer's voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC's microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos."




Alice in chain - man in the box by SongSmith


Elvis: In The Ghetto [vocals] + Microsoft Songsmith [instruments]


Bone Thugs-N-Harmony 1st of The Month - MS Songsmith


Van Halen - The Microsoft Songsmith Sessions vol. 1

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'ROAD TO RUINED' Remix Album (2009) - Jesse Hulcher

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1. I Just Want To Have Something To Do 12:03 (original release: 2:42) [listen]

2. I Don't Care 6:26 (original release: 1:39) [listen]

3. We're A Happy Family 12:46 (original release: 2:47) [listen]

4. I Wanna Be Sedated 12:14 (original release: 2:30) [listen]

5. Bad Brain 17:14 (original release: 2:25) [listen]

6. Teenage Lobotomy 10:46 (original release: 2:01) [listen]

7. Judy is a Punk 8:20 (original release: 1:33) [listen]

8. Beat on the Brat 10:59 (original release: 2:33) [listen]

9. I Wanted Everything 15:30 (original release: 1:33) [listen]

10. Pinhead 20:13 (original release: 2:46) [listen]

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Minima Moralia (2004) - Brian Joseph Davis

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1. They, The People [listen]

2. This Side of the Pleasure Principle [listen]

3. Johnny-Head-In-The-Air [listen]

4. Every Work of Art Is an Uncommitted Crime [listen]

It's just a bad idea, and it began when I was mentioning to a friend about how funny it is that all those old anti capitalist punk albums with the "PAY NO MORE THAN $3" warnings can now be Ebay-ed for a $100. For some reason, we then both thought of Greil Marcus's book Lipstick Traces. How he made a glib aside about Marxist theorist Theodore Adorno and his exhiled-in-1940s-America memoir, Minima Moralia. With its bleaker-than-black humour and dismantling of modern life, Marcus said it would have made an excellent punk album. Why not take this pop wish and make it come true?

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Get Your Giggle On

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The popularity of the English expression "no laughing matter" might imply that funny things aren't serious and serious things aren't funny. But the organizers of ROFLCon would seriously beg to differ. Put together by a Boston-area brain trust, the conference series explores the history, tactics, and social relevance of internet memes. This weekend in NYC they will present the second iteration of ROFLCon, after a very successful convention at MIT, last year. That version featured classroom panels and backroom parties featuring such internet-famous folks as xkcd, Jay Maynard (a.k.a. The Tron Guy), and Leslie Hall. Saturday's events will still keep you rolling on the floor laughing, while arguably stepping-up the critical discussion. Speakers include the creators of You Suck at Photoshop, Improv Everywhere, Rocketboom, 4Chan, MAKE, YTMND, and all-around internet celebs Bre Pettis and The Obama Girl. While participants like nerdcore DJ MC Frontalot and Ian Spector, creator of the Chuck Norris Fact Generator, are sure to keep the chuckle factor high, there are serious discussions to be had on such topics as Firefox browser plug-ins as artistic media and the cultural impact of the Comic Sans font. No doubt the audience will also offer a star sighting or two. So bone-up on your meme history and get your ROFL on. - Marisa Olson

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100% Fun

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Claude Closky is a French artist living in Paris. He works in a variety of media, including painting, installation, video, and net art, in a signature style that revolves around the concept of conveying information and the connection between ideas and objects. The artist maintains three personal websites and a YouTube channel, each of which is copious in its offerings and yet mysteriously evasive in synthesizing his practice. What one can tell--almost instantly upon looking at his work--is that Closky has a serious sense of humor. He is best-known for his paintings of pie charts and other graphs but has impressed audiences beyond the art world with public installations like his 100% which tallied percentage points, one at a time, in a series of silkscreened flags, or his collaboration with Adidas and Colette, which looked like he'd taken a Sharpie to a blank white slate to convey the brand by making the simplest marks possible. The latter was a poetic gesture of giving back to the visual language of advertising whose vocabulary his work often critiques. He's by no means the first to do so, but whereas many such bodies of work revolve around autobiography or accounts of commodity fetishism, what is unique to Closky's commentary on this lexicon is his sharp analysis of language itself. Whether through an inversion of the relationship between word and image or the hyper-literal illustration of one-liners, this is Closky's most discernible signature and it is best played-out in his use of the list as a medium. By alphabetizing, counting-down, running odds, and exploring exhaustive variations on various categories of categories, he produces the wittiest possible metacommentary on the bond between form and content. And he is certainly not afraid to give viewers myriad examples of the beauty of saying nothing at all. In this interview, Closky discusses his internet art work and his love of both language and numbers games. - Marisa Olson

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There it is (2008) - Billy Rennekamp

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LAUNCH

More work by Billy Rennekamp

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Request (2004) - zefrank

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LAUNCH

More work by zefrank

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Get it? An Interview with Cory Arcangel on Comedy

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Humor has been a prominent but under-analyzed aspect of art in the past century; the comedy impulse is strongest in the history of media appropriation and conceptual art, beginning with Duchamp's poker-faced readymades and continuing through the work of Bruce Conner, Andy Warhol, Dara Birnbaum, Ant Farm, Jeff Koons and many others. Even the very way we talk about art overlaps with laff-lingo: we call certain pieces "one-liners," value work for being "wry" or "witty," and discuss whether or not a viewer "gets it." And of course, one of the first things someone will ask who doesn't "get it" is: "Is this supposed to be a joke?"

Cory Arcangel's work has almost always played on the logic of the joke in its construction: witness his most recent exhibit, "Adult Contemporary" at Team Gallery, which includes work like Self Playing Sony Playstation 1 Bowling (2008), an old bowling game hacked to only throw gutter-balls, and Permanent Vacation (2008 version), two silver iMacs set to email each other and exchange "out of office" messages until they fill up and crash. But the line between comedy and art more or less dissolved in Arcangel's related event at the New Museum's New Silent Series, Continuous Partial Awareness. In this stand-up-style routine, Arcangel performed an hour-long monologue by reading off a huge list of his unused ideas for new artworks, ranging from "give a boring artist's talk entirely through a vocoder" to "have intern watch Lawnmower Man 10,000 times and then make a website about all the plot inconsistencies."

At the very real risk of ruining humor by critiquing it, Cory and I meet recently to discuss the relationship between comedy and art in both his work and that of others. - Ed Halter

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Screenshot (2008) - David Berezin

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Selections from David Berezin's Screen Capture Blog, Screenshot


DID KURT KNOW WHAT A RINGTONE WAS?

More work by David Berezin

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everythingUstand4 (2008) - Jeff Baij

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Selections from Jeff Baij's Screen Capture Blog, everythingUstand4




More work by Jeff Baij

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