Video artist Pipilotti Rist's large scale multimedia installation Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters) opened last night at MoMA. The space is designed to immerse and overwhelm the visitor -- a sensation captured by the work's title Pour Your Body Out. Twenty-five foot high projections surround an immense circular couch -- in an interview in one of the videos below MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach likens the perspective to the experience of looking up while laying at the bottom of a pool. Rist is also interviewed, and she discusses how she staged the project.
"Assembly Instructions" is a visual thought map, comprised of over 120 small framed black and white xeroxed collages, by Brooklyn-based artist Alexandre Singh. Each collage represents an idea, which the artist connects to other collages via a network of dotted lines. The city of San Francisco is the originating point for the series, and the visitor can follow Singh's train of thought related to this subject by following the intricate and tangential maze of images, which spread throughout the gallery. In a sense, this project is almost a tactile answer to the visual sequence of ideas encountered on sites such as FFFFOUND!, while also drawing on the older practice of free association. The exhibition is up at Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco until the end of November.
LAPS 2008 from art of failure on Vimeo.
Artist's statement: Laps is an audio and visual installation that uses Internet as an imaginary space where sound echoes, reverberates throughout the Web. Based on transmission errors, the sound material is shaped by the virtual acoustic space of the network. Sound streams broadcasted within the installation structure gradually echoes the activity of the Web in various locations of the globe. Its analysis in these various points is used to progressively draw the contours of an imaginary landscape inside the installation.
3d installation and 3d game in university library Amsterdam, 2005.
Artist's statement: By collecting information and killing bookworms in the game, the player can cause events in "real life"
Le Corbusier wrote When the Cathedrals were White: A Journey to the Country of Timid People after his first trip to the United States in 1935. Whether the tome's resoundingly sour tone reflects the architect's failure to secure commissions or his anxiety, as Koolhaas later theorized, at finding in Manhattan the half-brother of "La Ville Radieuse" remains unclear. In any case, Le Corbusier's critique of the puritanical cleanliness he sees as a "national virtue" has provided important insight into the underbelly of the American architecture and "the psychosexual charge of the white wall," a locus of repressed desires given preeminent form in the white cube. Justin Beal's current project at New York's Bortolami smartly delineates these related histories within a broader libidinal economy, inclusive of "design, politics, advertising, language and aesthetics." Five rectangular sculptures, fronted with glass and sided with untreated aluminum, sit as low pedestals or hang flush with the walls, explicitly mimicking the proportions of corporate office windows. Backed with opaque sheets, the glass doesn't offer a view onto any subject, but rather remains flat and affectless, in keeping with the impassive radiance of the surrounding walls. In Beal's previous sculptures, fruit functioned as surrogates for human bodies, their gradual decay offering counterpoints to the Platonic precepts underpinning the sculptures' source architectures. "The mold, the drips, the flies," Beal once wrote, "illustrate the inevitable impossibility of containing a human organism within a structure made of glass and steel and sheetrock." At Bortolami, Beal presents a further degree of removal, introducing glory hole-shaped cuts in the glass, stuffed with dirty cotton rags, and sex toy-like objects, in steel, with what look like plaster casts of oranges on either end. The sheer banality the white cube presently connotes all but hides the way ...
electronically controlled electric discharge (50.000 V) plug, cable, socket
New York artist Sylvan Lionni once characterized himself as a "child of Mondrian and the video arcade," a description that could ring true for many in the current generation of painters intent upon collapsing the abstract/representational divide in a Pop context. Lionni's particular strategy entails the artist producing renderings of mass-produced objects like lottery tickets, stripped of all but their geometric undergarments. These immaculate paintings reveal their conceptual angle in their very making: layer upon layer of acrylic lend their products a thick, hard-edged polish, while also divesting them of authorial marks. This labor-intensive performance of post-industrial manufacture not only draws attention to contemporary conditions of production and consumption, but also illuminates the threshold Lionni's referents cross, when remade as functionless art-objects. As strong as these conceptual foundations may be, "Before the Flood," Lionni's current exhibition at New York's Freight & Volume fails to match past bodies of work. The solar panel is the source of his new paintings, which the artist variably hangs, props against walls and, in the most humorous installation, tilts towards the ceiling, on aluminum bracing, as if they absorb light in the same fashion as their sources (Sun Ra, 2008). Yet the press release is a disservice to their formal elegance, which excerpts Glenn Dixon's muddy "Daylight Saving Time," including the author's claim that "In the wake of the industrial revolution, the production and consumption of energy were driven apart - largely owing to the offense given by production to the eye, ear, or nose." Lionni's referents carry enough resonance to stand without such theoretical girding. - Tyler Coburn
Image: Sylvan Lionni, Sun Ra, 2008
Running through the end of December, "ZEE[RANGE]," at Pittsburgh's Wood Street Galleries, furthers Kurt Hentschlager's inquiry into the facets and limits of multi-sensory perception. The Austrian artist describes the exhibition's central work, ZEE (2008), as a "mind-scape" composed of artificial fog, stroboscopic light and adaptive surround sound. These elements conspire to efface the traditional contours of the exhibition space, replacing them with "a psychedelic architecture of pure light." An accompanying piece, RANGE (2008), makes its world premiere in this exhibition. Building upon Hentschlager's past work with 3D video game software, such as KARMA / cell (2006), RANGE presents a collection of virtual characters, contained in a small space, dividing from and agglutinating into a larger mass. Taken together, Hentschlager's latest works recall FEED (2005-6), a multi-tiered performance, created for the Theater Biennial Venice, first featuring a projection of suspended, virtual characters, followed by "a composition for artificial fog, pulse- and stroboscopic light." These seemingly unrelated modes of production thus work together, staging a condition of unreality characteristic of contemporary life and then immersing the audience in an affective simulation of this condition. But if Hentschlager's uniform, virtual mass betrays a nihilistic take on society, the subsequent dissolution of the audience into a phenomenal field may also suggest other forms of self- and collective constitution to still be possible. - Tyler Coburn
Kurt Hentschlager, ZEE, 2008
Caleb Larsen's solo exhibition at Philadelphia's Esther Klein Gallery presents a series of conjectures, testing our assumptions, estimations, and in some cases naiveté with regard to digital information. His installation, Monument, constantly scans 4,500 English-language news feeds and drops yellow BBs on the floor each time it finds a report of a person dying. Over time, the tiny balls will pile-up and form a sort of monochromatic monument to the unknown dead. In a sense, it visually cashes-in on the death craze that often seems to grip the media. Many of his other pieces draw on appropriation and literary adaptation. Who's Life Is It Anyway? asks what it would mean to pilfer other people's Twitter pages for autobiographical lines of one's own (and here, the "auto-" seems tongue-in-cheek, if not ironic). In other works, Larsen has taken on the not-so-small feat of converting both Shakespeare's entire oeuvre and the Epic of Gilgamesh into new forms. In the former case, he's translated all of the text into a visual field of colored squares, while the latter is returned to orality when a computer is ordered to read the ancient epic aloud. Larsen's stated interest is one of using logic-based systems to explore the differences between digital and physical spaces. At times, the results are poetic and, at other times, he seems to be leading us to the discordant conclusion that the proposed affinities do not compute. - Marisa Olson
Image: Caleb Larsen, Monument (Detail), 2006