Orbit (Near Death Experience) (2008) - Nathan Hauenstein

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Inversion (2005) - Dan Havel and Dean Ruck

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Dan Havel and Dean Ruck, Inversion, 2005 (Source: DesignVerb!)

The project Inversion will transform two Art League houses on the corner of Montrose Boulevard and Willard Street. The Art League offered Havel and Ruck the old studio buildings before they are demolished this spring making way for a new Art League building.

-- FROM ART LEAGUE HOUSTON'S PRESS RELEASE FOR "INVERSION"

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Tunnel (1999) - Thomas Demand

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The film presumably shows a fast-paced tracking shot through the tunnel in which Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash. At first the viewer seems to remember seeing these images in the media. But in reality the set is a true to life, cardboard mock-up of architectural details. Under closer inspection, one also realizes that instead of reproducing reality Thomas Demand creates a perfectly-constructed model world. The cleverly-lit cardboard scenery takes up an incident of recent history and, in doing so, mirrors the illusionary features of what appear to be familiar images. The film literally reflects upon the model of our relationship to images from the mass media. In the process, the construction, representation and repetition of reality create a complex weaving of connections. That the accident used as the theme was the result of a hectic, car chase caused by paparazzi lends the work yet another aspect of the reflection of the media.

-- FROM THE DESCRIPTION ON UBUWEB

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The Space-Time Tunnel (2006) - Wang Du

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Chinese artist Wang Du’s first UK solo exhibition will introduce The Space-Time Tunnel, a large-scale sculptural installation which submerges the visitor into a giddying media flow. Exhibition visitors are invited to journey through a mass of newspapers and magazines combined with more than 66 TV-screens, incessantly broadcasting programmes from global television networks.

-- FROM THE DESCRIPTION FOR EXHIBITION OF "THE SPACE-TIME TUNNEL" AT BALTIC

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Death Row (2006) - Ivan Navarro

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Ivan Navarro, Death Row, 2006 (Source: Designboom)

Death Row (2006), consists of thirteen aluminum doors containing neon light, arranged in such a way that each door creates an optical illusion, giving the effect of multiple corridors through the wall.

-- DESCRIPTION FOR THE CHILEAN PAVILION AT THE 53RD VENICE BIENNALE SITE

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Multiverse (2008) - Leo Villareal

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Cloud Chamber Bowls (1950-1951) - Harry Partch

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The cloud chamber bowls themselves are sections of 12-gallon Pyrex carboys, suspended from a redwood frame on ropes. These difficult-to-find and impossible-to-tune glass gongs are played very carefully by a percussionist who risks the anguish of splintered disaster. The original bowls were found at the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley, and had been used as cloud-chambers to trace the paths of sub-atomic particles.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE HARRY PARTCH INSTRUMENT COLLECTION

Composer Harry Partch demonstrates his Cloud Chamber Bowls in the 1958 documentary Music Studio below:


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microfônico vidros (2009) - Chelpa Ferro

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Review of Prospectives 09

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Image: Joshua Fishburn, Gaming the Network Poetic, 2009 (Photo by Joshua Lawton, Source: flickr)

This past month, Reno hosted the “Prospectives 09” festival, directed by Joseph DeLappe, Associate Professor of Art in the Digital Media area at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). The festival featured the work of 37 international artists and performers who are all current graduate and PhD candidates, working in various modes of digital practice. There were exhibitions, performances, a curated collection of internet art, symposia, video projections at UNR’s planetarium, and even a nocturnal array of illuminated floating pig bladders (a work by Doo-Sung Yoo, whose Pig Bladder Clouds references human-animal hybrids).

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Image: Doo-Sung Yoo, Pig Bladder Clouds, 2009. (Photo courtesy of Joseph DeLappe.)

It would be a fool’s errand to try and propose some overarching principle that would legitimately tie together such a broad expanse of work. Limiting myself to the works on display at the “Prospectives 09” exhibition in UNR’s Sheppard Fine Arts Gallery, it seemed there was a common desire to enlist the spectator as a participant. Open until December 16, 2009, the works included in the show involved a fair amount of “play,” but the artists seemed attuned to the complexities involved with the interaction between machine and participant, thus it’s play inflected with critique.

John Walters’ interactive sculpture Waste Oil Mirror I & II (2008) is stately, beautiful and troubling. Two black rectangles stand against the wall, each seven feet tall, at first glance as minimalist as the monolith from Kubrick’s 2001. Triggered by the body heat in the gallery, a mechanical purring noise starts, and a soft gliding motion comes over the surface of the obelisks. The sculpture then draws up used motor oil from a reservoir at the bottom of the obelisks, cascading a ...

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Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds (2009) - Marisa Jahn and Steve Shada

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Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds at the MIT Museum, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds is an apparatus for cooking a Thanksgiving meal using rocket-triggered lightning. Critical of the American fascination with cutting corners to save time, the notion of a ‘lightning-fast’ dinner to the tradition of erecting a plastic Christmas tree: both present a quick fix to fulfill a social obligation. Thanksgiving Dinner in 5 seconds employs a do-it-yourself amateur aesthetic to recall fragments from American history: Native American totem poles as monuments to kinship, Thanksgiving as an event marking the first meal between indigenous people and European settlers, the wild turkey as a symbol of an American frontier, Ben Franklin’s experiments to harness lightning for ordinary household use, and the controversy over Franklin’s attempts to redirect lightning.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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