A full scale (80"x141") copy in oil of Ilya Repin's Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks to Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire, 1880-1891 is fabricated by a made-to-order painting workshop and mailed to the United States for the exhibition Rotation X, 2009. Cossacks, a painting made notorious as a textbook example of kitsch in Clement Greenberg's 1939 essay Avant-Garde and Kitsch, is currently displayed at The State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg and has putatively been seen by only a fraction of those who have read Greenberg's criticism.
(Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins, Source: Christopher Grimes Gallery)
In works such as Untitled (white), Short considers the concepts of authorship and reproduction. He begins by photocopying a blank piece of colored construction paper onto a blank piece of standard copy paper—a method that results in seemingly random black-and-white patterns printed on the copy paper. He then copies that copy, repeating the process multiple times and continuing the random patterning process. Once the artist selects a final permutation, the abstract image is then photographed, formatted as a slide, and projected onto a primed canvas. In the final stage, Short painstakingly recreates this image, taking care to remain true to the particular patterns and shapes generated by the machine. In Short’s process, the painter and the photocopier undergo a role reversal: the copier creates the abstraction and the painter reproduces the copy. By removing the emotive quality of the artist and leaving the authorship to a machine, Short reinvents traditional painterly practice.
The prologue from the documentary film, Painters Painting, The New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio 1972, combined with Wolfson's own footage, that begins with a shot of the sky that pans down through the trees landing directly onto the screen of a Macintosh Classic Computer. As the camera slowly zooms out it is revealed that the computer is sitting on the edge of a busy highway.
In the summer of 2009, I wrote an article here at Rhizome about the burgeoning activities of media artists creating new works or updating versions of their older interactive screen-based projects for Apple's iPhone and iTouch mobile devices. As the article made its way throughout the blogosphere, comments surfaced ranging from criticism of the "closed world of Apple's App Store and iPhone devices" to a championing of the availability of inexpensive multi-touch technology now available to artists who had been waiting for a platform that could adequately display and allow for the type of interaction their projects demanded. A year after the article came out, the draw of these devices and their potentially expansive audience has become even more irresistible to artists enough so that several more "apps" have surfaced. The following article catalogs several new iPhone works which have emerged over the past year, works that are pioneering the next generation of portable media art.