I fabricated a selection of "sculptures" designed by anonymous users of Google SketchUp, a free 3-D modeling program. Designed as a simple and easy-to-use version of CAD software, SketchUp has garnered a growing following of amateur designers who use it to model virtually everything from common household items to fantasy architectural designs. These digital designs can be uploaded to a freely-accessible database to “share” with other SketchUp users in their own projects.
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.
These sculptures are made from 2 over the counter 'Dancing Stands' (the tacky kinetic product display stands you can often see in down market stores) which have been modified to spin at slightly different speeds. When my modified stands are placed next to each other they go in and out of phase slowly.
I had the opportunity to drop by LoVid's (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus) studio at Smack Mellon in DUMBO this week, where they were awarded space for the 2009 cycle of their Artist Studio Program. In their work, LoVid hack and manipulate video in a myriad of ways -- sewing it into quilts, melding it with resin and foam core to make 3D sculptures, integrating live video feeds into the body of other sculptures, altering it in live performance, or weaving the electric wires that transmit video signals into large textiles. Their practice brings the elemental technologies behind video to the fore, while also emphasizing the interactive systems that trigger them. The below photo essay provides a small preview to some of their recent and older works. To see everything they've been up to, be sure to stop by Smack Mellon's Open Studios on Saturday March 20th from 12-6pm, when LoVid will open up their workspace to the public.
The ambient noise of common machines and the unexpected sounds that come from familiar objects have been a part of music for some time, but over the last fifteen years French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot has been joining the two, using instruments and objects to construct complex, apparently self-sufficient systems that play music without any beginnings, endings, or performers. Videodrones (2001) isolates and amplifies the hum that all video signals make when hooked into audio systems. From Here to Ear (1999) now showing at the Barbican in London, is an aviary that resonates when its finches alight on electric guitars. In Harmonichaos, which was on view at Paula Cooper Gallery until this weekend, Boursier-Mougenot affixes the grooves of harmonicas to the mouths of vacuum cleaners, and the staggered grid of thirteen pairs produces an undulating, reedy drone.
The set-up of Harmonichaos could only be the product of a playful mind, even though its appearance deflects suggestions of human involvement. Both the vacuums and harmonicas have an assembly-line sameness, and while they perform according to design, their functions have been diverted away from the needs for clean homes and entertaining song that they were intended to meet. As a viewer and listener, you're made to feel like a confused outsider: a system of switches modulates the intensity of the air flow, as well as the sound emanating from the vacuum cleaners, but it's nearly impossible to identify the source of these fluctuations. False clues are sent by a randomized blinking of bulbs on the vacuums' bodies. As usual, Boursier-Mougenot brings a sense of humor to his work, from the irony of the hokey harmonica becoming eerie when forced to drone (like the accordion in the music of Pauline Oliveros) to the punning title. He finds both harmony and chaos in ...
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.
the infinite sculpture garden without the boundaries torn and ripped into the vacuum of emptiness (2010) - Petra Cortright
[Ed. Note - Image above clipped from Tom Moody's fascinating writeup "Video Games and Contemporary Sculpture."]