Vancouver-ans will be noising it up this week, with the music fest Fake Jazz Festival as well as the two-day symposium Noise Not Noise, organized by Western Front Society's Exhibitions and New Music Department. The activities will cover the changing role of noise, especially in light of digital technologies and general information overflow. (One critical strand is the subject of a recent book, Caleb Kelly's Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction, which covers the historical development of music made with failed or broken electronics, reviewed on Rhizome by Greg J. Smith.) For those who can only attend in spirit, fear not, as the Western Front Society's Executive Director, Caitlin Jones, has curated an online exhibit, NOISEnotNOISE, in conjunction with the festivities, with work by Cory Arcangel, JODI, Guthrie Lonergan, Lee Walton and Aleksandra Domanovic. The show proposes to take on the "noise" of the online environment and the constant generation of data from sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This dynamic surfaces in the cluttered confusion of JODI's My%Desktop (2002-2010) to the schizophrenic pastiche of Aleksandra Domanovic's Biennale (Dictum Ac Factum) (2009). To view the full exhibition, visit NOISEnotNOISE here.
On gaming, gear, and tech sites across the net one can find threads asking users for ratings and approval on their equipment. A simple search for "rate my rig", "rate my setup", "rate my collection", "rate my gear" will return hundreds of these images and videos. From snapshots of elaborate home entertainment centers to short videos displaying one's own modded gear, a sense of pride and showmanship pervades throughout. The threads and video clips speak to the social and performative nature of collection, as well as a competitive consumerist drive, and offer a glimpse into the lives, homes, and obsessions of geeks of all kinds.
Today and tomorrow are the last two days of art collective The Cave's week-long residency at La Mama gallery space in the East Village. The group has been running an series titled "SCULPTURE STORAGE" in which a small stage hosts a series of performances, screenings, workshops and lectures. Not only do the lectures themselves deal with the issue of storage and the archive, the series itself functions as a performance of the act of storage:
"The platform will start out empty, but will accumulate debris from each event as it takes place. The physical wear on the structure and the rubble left from the nine days will act as a living timeline of the events that took place there. Posters surrounding the stage will both advertise and memorialize the events as they unfold during the exhibition."
Events this evening include a lecture on "The Personal Website" by Travess Smalley of Poster Company and a tour of Kool-Aid Man in Second Life given by artist Jon Rafman. The full schedule can be found online at The Cave.
Home of the Brave is a 1986 American concert film featuring the music of Laurie Anderson, who also directed the movie. The film's full on-screen title is Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson. The performances were filmed in Brooklyn during the summer of 1985.
2010, Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari’s Whitney Biennial, is essentially a Whitney Biennial calibrated for the times: small at 55 artists and altogether humble. This humility, and the fact that one needn’t contend with an overwrought curatorial concept, allows viewers a more cogent experience than past, sprawling, thesis-driven Biennials could offer. Several works, rooms and motifs make good impressions. Not many are impressive enough to make an indelible impact—but a few are. Judging by the past couple decades, the task of this biennial of American art seems insurmountable, and there is no urgency to fault this edition for hitting the target and missing the bulls-eye. While the levelness here is exciting as an indicator of a playing field for post-boom artistic production, the devil’s advocate wonders, perhaps unfairly, if there isn’t something ultimately more exciting about a splashy Biennial that fails stupendously.
In the absence of an overarching conceit, why not start with a premise that did precede itself a bit: the third floor as a dedicated space for film and video. Considering the continued expansion of film and video practices throughout the art world, the idea seemed gimmicky at best—easily the curators could fill a floor, but why ghettoize? Then, come February 25, visitors stepping off the elevator and onto floor three were greeted by a tapestry by Pae White, freezing a frame of interlaced wisps of smoke in a vast expanse of fabric. Mercifully this is not a plain LCD screen (as it turns out, the floor showcases a variety of mediums), but as a piece that meditates on materiality, medium and time, it serves as an excellent banner to welcome visitors to the area of the exhibition that is most concentrated on media. The projects therein attending to these matters soar.
Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Grey upset the purpose of portraiture--rather than preserving the memory of its subject in his best light, the painting of the title grew gradually uglier to record Grey's sins, even as he kept the beauty that facilitated his sinning--but left intact art's status as an attribute of rich, leisured living. The arch moral tale is invoked twice in "Virtuoso Illusion: Cross-Dressing and the New Media Avant-Garde," an exhibition currently on view at MIT's List Visual Arts Center. Michelle Handelman's hour-long, four-channel video Dorian, 2009, loosely retells Wilde's novel with club kids standing in for opium eaters. In her ghoulishly lit self-portrait Dorian Grey, Manon appears messily caked in makeup, wearing a baggy gray suit, like the corporate conscience of a hedonist spirit. Both of these works introduce to drag a story about beauty, representation, and pleasure, and the anxieties that attend them. This suggests there's more to "Virtuoso Illusion" than an exercise in gender studies; as exhibition curator Michael Rush writes, "[i]n each major historical advancement of experimental art, cross dressing has been present as a strategy that has expanded the possibilities of the perception-bending intentions of artists (as opposed to merely gender-bending)."
This gallery-installation/internet-art hybrid automatically created sculptures using spam and e-mail to trigger the sculpting process. It consisted of a steel frame surrounding a large block of biodegradable (starch-based) Styrofoam. Attached to the frame is the Eroder: a mobile sprayer that squirted colored water on to the foam.
A portrait of Eliane Radigue, produced by the Austrian IMA (Institute for Media Archeology), which observes Eliane in her workspace, operating the ARP and talking about the process of composing and recording.