It's Getting Hot in Here

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Image: Claudia X. Valdes, Revelation 2213, (2009) interactive networked video installation

Claudia Valdes refers to her work as "a rehearsal for the end of the world." The New Mexico-based artist employs photography, performance, video, interactive installations, and painting to address the subject of nuclear weapons. In her first solo exhibition, up now at Seattle's Lawrimore Project, she dials-in on the specific period of our nuclear history that followed 2001 (i.e. 9/11 and the ongoing war in Iraq), to trace the evolution of the bomb in the popular imagination and the rhetoric of holocaust and apocalypse in the present. Entitled "Ten Million Degrees," the exhibition includes many formal variations in different media, all of which initiate a tension between documentary, archive, and performance. By recreating nuclear test blasts in Turner-like watercolors and processing snapshots and video clips to channel radiation and frenzied vibrations, the artist stands between past and present in gauging the temperature of viewers' historical understanding. In fact, in her video installation, Revelation 2213 (2009), Valdes inserts viewers into public domain footage of nuclear tests through real-time chroma keying of gallery-goers' images. The artist performs her own escape fantasy in Minutes to Midnight, a ten-minute video that distends Super 8 footage of her public performances at New Mexico's Trinity Test Site. In the spirit of the science fiction genre her work recalls, Valdes traces the fears and dreams associated with technological evolution in the performance, which was repeated over a two-year period, thus sliding between historical event and historiography. These and other works are on view through March 14. Readers with a special interest in nuclear themes might also visit Joy Garnett's Bomb Project, which includes digitized historical records, images, and documentation of other artists' projects, including Michael Light's re-photographing project, 100 Suns ...

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Tony Oursler's "Cell Phones Diagrams Cigarettes Searches and Scratch Cards" from VernissageTV

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See below for installation footage of Tony Oursler's new show "Cell Phones Diagrams Cigarettes Searches and Scratch Cards" at Metro Pictures from VernissageTV, which opened last week. The show examines themes of addiction and consumerism in an increasingly interconnected culture.

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Call for Submissions: OHPen Surface - The Art of the Overhead festival 2009

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The Art of the Overhead is a small arts festival devoted to the overhead projector which will take place from May 15 to June 5th at Stapelbäddsparken, in a former Shipbuilding slipway featuring 3000m2 of largely underground areas in Malmö, Sweden. This year's theme is "OHpen Surface", which is elaborated by the festival's organizers Linda Hilfling and Kristoffer Gansing here:

With this call for contributions for The Art of the Overhead 2009 - we encourage artists and other media practitioners to depart from the Overhead projector as a standardized technology which has the potential for re-activation by way of its near outdated character. This entails reflection-as-projection, deploying the Overhead projector in the double sense of projection described by Siegfried Zielinski: as both casting out images representing the world and as a shaping movement, a production or rather a visionary projecting of reality as delimited by how we see it through the image. To work in one media, criticizing another, or reflecting across a whole domain of media culture through a particular and well-known technological institution is a kind of non-digitalisable cultural practice that The Art of the Overhead is all about, and through the OHPen Surface we call for works that engage in this dynamic.

They are currently seeking submissions in three categories: Transparencies, Installation, and Performance. Deadline for submissions is March 30, 2009. For more, visit the link below. </p.

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Organizing the Unpredictable

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The 2008 works by British artist Tim Knowles and Swiss duo Pe Lang + Zimoun that are teamed up in Unpredictable Forms of Sound and Motion, curated by Steve Sacks at bitforms gallery, leave a bit less to chance than the title implies. The technology-driven pieces in the show take ideas originating in 60s and 70s land art, musical minimalism, and performance art, and situates them within constraints reminiscent of a scientific experiment. The result is that the works emerge as concrete entities, rather than as transient, site-specific or dematerialized experiences.

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New Museum Announces Artists in "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus"

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Image: Ryan Trecartin, not yet titled, 2007 (3-channel video and installation)

For a little over a year now, our affiliate, the New Museum, has been busy organizing the exhibition "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus." With periodization used as the default lens through which to understand art history, the exhibition raises the idea of generations in art as a question and a problem. The first edition looks at artists born after 1976 to coincide with the demographic that is popularly labeled Generation Y. Each installment of this ongoing triennial exhibition will approach the subject differently. The curators Massimiliano Gioni, Laura Hoptman, and Rhizome's own Lauren Cornell called on over 150 professionals in the field, artists, teachers, critics, curators, bloggers, to recommend artists--material which became the core research for the exhibition. The New Museum announced the list of artists last night, and it's worth noting that quite a few of them have been featured here on Rhizome in the past, such as Mark Essen, Cory Arcangel, AIDS-3D, Guthrie Lonergan, Ida Ekblad, Shilpa Gupta and Ryan Trecartin.

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Beacon (2009) - Chris O'Shea and Cinimod Studio

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Beacon at Lightwave 2009 from Cinimod Studio & Chris O'Shea on Vimeo.

From the artist's statement:

Beacon is a kinetic light installation with a mind of its own. An array of emergency beacon lights interacts with visitors, tracking their movement through the space, creating an immersive and playful experience.

The installation exploits a transfer of technologies from existing industrial products. The beacon lights have had their internal parts replaced with custom hardware, enabling the rotation of the reflector and lamp brightness to be individually controlled. Thermal imaging cameras have been adapted to track the participants' movement through the space.

Beacon is orchestrated in real-time by a bespoke control system, which uses tracking information from the cameras to coordinate an interactive and highly responsive behaviour.

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Highlights from 2008

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In lieu of a "Best of" we've decided to pull together projects, events and developments within the field of art and technology that we felt were noteworthy. Like all year-end reviews, it would be impossible for this list to be entirely exhaustive, however we do hope that it is, at the very least, indicative of some of the most compelling directions and ideas in circulation over the past 12 months. Rhizome staff John Michael Boling and Ceci Moss assembled this list, with input from Caitlin Jones.


  • Heavy Light Screening Organized by Takeshi Murata at Deitch Projects August 23rd
    I (Ceci) viewed this screening at Deitch, but the same program was also organized at the Mattress Factory as part of the exhibition PREDRIVE: After Technology. While curated by Murata independently of the PREDRIVE show, the program serendipitously hits on some of the same themes. It featured new work by Yoshi Sodeoka, Ben Jones, Devin Flynn, Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker, Eric Fensler, Ara Peterson and Dave Fischer, Melissa Brown and Siebren Versteeg, Billy Grant and Takeshi Murata. The videos were followed by live performances by Nate Boyce and Robert Beatty. Murata also screened a number of films on 16mm by experimental animator Adam Beckett, whose work has had little public exposure.

    See "From Bell Labs to Best Buy: Takeshi Murata and Jacob Ciocci in Conversation with PREDRIVE: After Technology Curator Melissa Ragona" on Rhizome
  • Snow Canon (1981) from crystalsculpture

  • Javier Morales's crystalsculpture: 2 /3 /4 YouTube accounts.
    Morales brings together a diverse selection of bootleg art videos, vintage commercials, and other video oddities all culled from his extensive VHS and Laserdisc collection. After watching his uploaded videos, be sure to check out his YouTube favorites on each account.
  • Club Internet, Netmares/Netdreams, Why + Wherefore
    In a recent essay for ...
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    FILE 09 Open Call

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    Art and technology festival FILE, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is seeking projects for this year's fest, which will occur from July 27 to August 31, 2009. Categories include media art, installation, game art, sound art, and a symposium. For the application and more information, visit FILE 2009.

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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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    Forever (2008) - Universal Everything

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    Forever, commissioned by London's Victoria & Albert Museum and on view until February 1st, is a generative artwork which produces an unrepeatable sequence of animations and audio. Universal Everything also created video podcasts of the work's output, which are available on iTunes. The display, a video wall, intentionally stands in stark contrast to the museum's more traditional architecture. The team claim that the installation will tour and that the work will be modified according to the parameters of each location.


    Forever at the Victoria & Albert Museum from Universal Everything on Vimeo.

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