School Day

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Image: Mike Rosenthal, The Traveling Sound Museum, 2009

The spring show of ITP, New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, which was open to the public last Sunday and Monday, was a like science fair, with students eager to show the results of their projects, and also like a job fair, with middle-aged men in suits prowling for fresh-faced innovators. There’s an atmosphere of authentic creative exploration surrounding the projects displayed, but more often than not the starting point is a vaguely corporate-sounding buzzword: Sustainability! Wearable technologies! Arduino! Connecting to nature was a particularly hot topic, with variations on it ranging from urban botany—like the iPhone app Twigster that helps users identify species of plant life they encounter in parks—to the New-Age crunch of Root Boots, bark-covered footwear that encourages the wearer to stand still and contemplate nature by providing pleasant, low-frequency vibrations when at rest and making scary uprooting sounds when lifted. Voice from the Past also followed the trend of adapting technology to slow the pace of life down; the program lets callers leave a voice message and designate a time in the near or distant future when the recipient will be notified of it. The inverse of that was the whimsical Traveling Sound Museum, with sounds of events like the 1293 sacking of Jaisalmer by the emperor Ala-ud-din Khilji and the 1835 arrival of European explorers in Galapagos in mason jars displayed on an antique wooden cart. (The creator cagily batted away questions about what the burlap in the jars was hiding, and where they “really” came from.) Other projects let computers and audience share the credit for art-making. The “cobots” ShadowBot and SoundBot moved in response to environmental light or noise, respectively, to create messy, Spirogram-like doodles. With the heavy crowds at the ...

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Cinema Redux (2004) - Brendan Dawes

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This explores the idea of distilling a whole film down to one single image. Using eight of my favourite films from eight of my most admired directors including Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and John Boorman, each film is processed through a Java program written with the processing environment . This small piece of software samples a movie every second and generates an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time. It does this for the entire film, with each row representing one minute of film time.

The end result is a kind of unique fingerprint for that film. A sort of movie DNA showing the colour hues as well as the rhythm of the editing process.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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ALL MY GUI (2009) - Marc Kremers

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Structural Film (2007) - Cory Arcangel

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A remake of Nam Jun Paik's Zen for Film using the dust and scratches produced by iMovie's "Aged Film" filter exported into a QuickTime movie and then transferred to 16mm film.

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SelfControl (2009) - Steve Lambert

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Is email a distraction? SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time. For example, you could block access to your email, facebook, and twitter for 90 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web. Once started, it can not be undone by the application or by restarting the computer - you must wait for the timer to run out.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Grace Murray Hopper on 60 Minutes (1982)

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Required Reading

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My work has always started with my regular drawing practice and I still sit with pencil and paper everyday and improvise. There are more ideas in my 10 years of accumulated drawing cards than I can hope to implement in code and sometimes it is enough just to have the idea without struggling to realize it in code. My interest lately is to explore how the screen can be understood in ways other than seeing it as a picture window or a TV for animations. The new cabinets re-contextualize the screen and place it next to other physical materials or take advantage of it’s light emitting qualities to speak about visual art issues.

As screens get thinner, lighter, more flexible and of course higher resolution there will be many more things possible to do with them. I very much look forward to that. I feel like we are just at the doorstep of what technology and art can do together.

Originally posted to Rhizome's Discussion section by Domenico Quaranta

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Software Teach-in

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Although most of us use software on a daily basis, its operation still remains obscured to a large majority. In Golan Levin's introduction to the 3-day conference Art and Code hosted this weekend at Carnegie Mellon University, he describes distressingly low levels of software literacy, and the need to further educate the public about these tools. This impulse underpins the many "How-To" workshops, panels, and discussions scheduled over the next few days, which will devote specific attention to tools useful for artistic production, such as Max/MSP, Processing, openFrameworks and VVVV. While heavy on the tutorials, Art and Code will round out the calendar with an exhibition of generative artwork by Casey Reas and Marius Watz as well as nightly screenings of visual music pioneer Oskar Fischinger's films.

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ArtBase Update

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Image: Christian Marc Schmidt, Marketscape, 2008

Rhizome's ArtBase has been fortunate to receive some great submissions in the last few months. Cody Trepte sent Cody on Cage on Joyce, a text generator based on a series of poems by John Cage where "JAMES JOYCE" is spelled vertically through rows of horizontal text that are as difficult to read as Finnegans Wake. Cage wanted to create a form of writing free of intention, and Trepte uses software to take that idea to its logical conclusion. Tomasz Konart submitted August, the most recent in a calendar of twelve interactive animations that use faint, obscured, or distorted photographs to evoke a feeling of loss and reflection. Roch Forowicz, a Polish artist who explores issues of surveillance, contributed documentation of his installation Panopticon, two rows of eighteen CCTV cameras submerged. As viewers pass down the central aisle, they are observed from all directions, like in the eponymous eighteenth-century prison design. Marketscape by Brooklyn-based artist Christian Marc Schmidt is data visualization of the S&P 500 stock index. It's sure to provide suspenseful viewing for months to come.

Keep checking the ArtBase for more updates or subscribe via RSS, and artists should remember that we're always accepting submissions.

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screensaver (2008) - Mark Essen

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Download PC Only Screensaver HERE. Unzip it, then right click install

More work by Mark Essen

Via Ed Halter

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