On Affectionate Sabotage and Exemplary Suffering: An Audio Guide to Isa Genzken


The artist in her studio, 1982. Image courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin.

Upon visiting Isa Genzken: Retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art, Rhizome's Community Manager Zachary Kaplan was struck by the relevance of the artist's practice to ongoing conversations that we observe and participate in at Rhizome every day, from her use of technological processes and goods to her deployment of globalized glurge and brand identity. We invited Tyler Coburn and Hannah Black, both artists and writers currently participating in the Whitney Independent Study Program, to walk through the exhibition and weigh in on these valences and connections. In particular, we asked them to keep in mind Rhizome's ongoing discussion of postinternet art (artworks in diverse media, particularly collage and assemblage, that can be seen as responses to a ubiquitous network culture). Their conversation worked both within and against this frame.

Below you will find images of works, excerpts from their chat about those works, and highlights from transcription. To download the whole file for while you walk through the exhibition, click here.



"How could a woman do this kind of work?"

Isa Genzken. Rot-gelb-schwarzes Doppelellipsoid 'Zwilling' (Red-Yellow-Black Double Ellipsoid “Twin”), 1982. Lacquered wood, two parts Overall: 9 7/16 x 8 1/16 x 473 1/4″ (24 x 33.5 x 1202.1 cm) Part one: 5 1/8 x 8 1/16 x 236 1/4″ (13 x 20.5 x 600 cm) Part two: 4 5/16 x 5 1/2 x 237″ (11 x 14 x 602 cm). Collection of the artist. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin. © Isa Genzken


Chris Collins on WFMU Too Much Information


The most recent episode of WFMU's Too Much Information is on the topic of pseudonyms with guests like EFF's Jillian YorkCarmela Ciuraru author of Nom de Plume, and Chris Collins, who talks about his epic post for The State, unraveling the mystery of several visually striking work-at-home images found on Craigslist attributed to "Luzy":

Each image I found was more thrilling than the previous one, and I was struck by their breadth and intensity as a body of work. Each one used stock imagery typical to this type of industry: images of sandy beaches, exotic locations, piles of money, and “cyber” looking backdrops. Yet each was constructed in a way that seemed alien to all traditional conventions of design. Imagery was stretched, enlarged and compressed in odd ways, and the text on the images made it clear that English was not the first language of the images’ creator. They exploded with strange color choices. The compositions were unlike anything I’d ever seen. A graphic designer would look at them and call them horrendous. I found them bizarre, perplexing, and beautiful.


Maryanne Amacher's "City-Links" at Ludlow 38



This just in: Lower East Side gallery Ludlow 38 will organize an exhibit of sound artist Maryanne Amacher's City-Links (1967-1981), an early networked sound installation. You can read more about the original project below, show opens on October 20th.

Ludlow 38 is pleased to present the exhibition Maryanne Amacher: City-Links. Between 1967 and 1981 the pioneering sound artist produced 22 City-Links projects in total, connecting distant microphones to installations and performances using dedicated FM-quality analog phone lines. Areas of downtown Buffalo, MIT, Boston Harbor, the Mississippi River, the New York harbor, studios in various locations, and other sites in the USA and abroad were transported, sometimes integrating performers near the microphones (such as John Cage and George Lewis for City-Links #18 performed at The Kitchen in 1979). The exhibition at Ludlow 38 brings together a number of documents, images and sound samples selected and reproduced from the nascent Amacher Archive as a first look at this important series of early telematic art works about which little has been published.

Maryanne Amacher wrote about her City-Links series: In my first sound works I developed the idea of sonic telepresence, introducing the use of telecommunication in sound installations. In the telelink installations "CITY-LINKS" #1-22 (1967- ) the sounds from one or more remote environment (in a city, or in several cities) are transmitted “live” to the exhibition space, as an ongoing sonic environment. I produce the "CITY-LINKS" installations using real-time telelinks to transmit the sound from microphones I place in the selected environments, spatializing these works with many different sonic environments: harbors, steel mills, stone towers, flour mills, factories, silos, airports, rivers, open fields, utility companies, and with musicians "on location." The adventure is in receiving live sonic spaces from more than one location at the same time - the tower, the ocean ...


A Roundup of Online Art Radio


For those long trips you make take this summer - or for those long stretches in front of the computer - I've assembled a massive list of art-related podcasts, online radio stations, and more. I encourage readers to post their recommendations in the comments.


Untitled (for William Tager) (2006) - Dave Dyment


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A radio for every available frequency in a given space, all tuned to their lowest possible volume.


Commitment Radio (2006) - Dave Chiu and Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino





Commitment Radio examines radio presets and what it means to make a choice. Instead of using unmarked generic buttons, presets on Commitment Radio create permanent marks. Over time, Commitment Radio will become personalized with your changing musical tastes, political leanings, locations, and age.

The functioning physical prototype of Commitment Radio allows you to scan for stations by moving a dial along the tuning strip. To listen to a station, however, you must push the dial into the radio, leaving an indelible mark.

Over time, Commitment Radio will become personalized with your changing musical tastes, political leanings, locations, and age. Because the radio has a finite amount of space, Commitment Radio encourages deliberateness in your choices and actions.



The FM Ferry Experiment (2007) - neuroTransmitter (Angel Nevarez & Valerie Tevere)



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The FM Ferry Experiment, a project conceived and programmed by neuroTransmitter, was an eight-day mobile radio project held on the Staten Island Ferry during the Fall of 2007. With the collaboration of the New York City Department of Transportation and the FM signal of WSIA-FM, this project transformed the S.i. Ferry into a floating radio station, continually traveling between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, and transmitting out to the NYC region.

Through the media of radio and live broadcast performance we were interested in spatially and sonically activating the space in and around the Staten Island Ferry, considering it's architecture, mode of transport, use of public space, and the geographical contours of the ferry's immediate environment as it moved through Upper New York Bay.

Live sound performances, experimental sound works, interviews, and lectures took place on the ferry and transmitted (along with pre-recorded programming) to New York City listeners via WSIA-FM. Each program ran approximately 25 minutes - the time it takes the ferry to complete the commute from shore to shore.



Shared Frequencies (2007) - Kabir Carter


Shared Frequencies is a portable sound installation and performance environment that relies on multiplex radio communications events as its primary performance material. An array of radio scanners is paired with a set of analog synthesizer modules, and assembled on a set of small, modest folding tables. The scanners pick up a wide variety of speech, encoded data streams, and noise that are converted into (more) synthetic sound. The results of these electroacoustic interactions are projected into the air, and the sounds heard are physically modified by the shape and volume of the installation's site.



Public Supply I (1966) - Max Neuhaus



Public Supply I, WBAI, New York, 1966

For "Public Supply I," Max Neuhaus confined his role as musician to that of a "catalyst for sound-producing activities," using the largest existing network, the telephone network, which had about 500 million subscribers at the time. Using technology he had constructed himself, he was able to mix calls coming in to ten telephones in the studios of the WBAI radio station in New York in different ways, and then broadcast this melange of listeners' sounds and noises. Once the listeners who called in had switched their radios on, he played with the feedback this produced and bundled sounds from introverted and extroverted callers together.

"I realized I could open a large door into the radio studio with the telephone; if I installed telephone lines in the studio, anybody could sonically walk in from any telephone. At that time there were no live call-in shows. […] Although I was not able to articulate it in 1966, now, after having worked with this idea for a long time and talked about it and thought about it, it seems that what these works are really about is proposing to reinstate a kind of music which we have forgotten about and which is perhaps the original impulse for music in man: not making a musical product to be listened to, but forming a dialogue, a dialogue without language, a sound dialogue."



Dispatches from No Soul For Sale



We're reporting from No Soul For Sale this week and yesterday I took a moment to speak to Jim Thomas from L'appartement 22, who have a space directly adjacent to the Rhizome exhibition "The World Is Flat". L'appartement 22 is based out of Rabat, Morocco, but also exist as a nomadic entity, staging outpost projects in multiple locations, such as Gwangju, Brussels, and Bergen. It began as a series of exhibitions within director and founder Abdellah Karroum's apartment and expanded from there, and now they host a residency program in Rabat and a number of other projects, one of which is the online radio station RadioApartment 22. For the duration of the festival, they will stream live ambient audio from the 548 West 22nd Street space as well as interviews with fellow No Soul For Sale participants on RadioApartment 22. I spent a little time noodling around their archives yesterday afternoon, I really enjoyed listening to "Makan, A Place for Live Music and Meeting in Cairo" as well as "Safaan / Touria Hadraoui & Boté percussion". Not all of their content is directly music-related, there is also documentation from previous L'appartement 22 exhibitions such as "No Food for Visitors" as well as interviews with artists who have previously been involved with the organization. Pictured above is the condenser microphone in their booth.