Knitoscope Testimonies is the first web based video using "Knitoscope" software, a program that translates digital video into a knitted animation. Knitoscope is a moving image offshoot of microRevolt's freeware knitPro. Knitoscope imports streaming video, lowers the resolution, and then generates a stitch that correspondes with the pixels color. The title "Knitoscope" is based on Edison's early animation technology the kinetoscope, which was a "coin operated peep show machine…watched through a magnifying lens". The "Testimonies" in this piece are from various professionals who work against sweatshop labor.
Video and performance artist Shana Moulton, whose series "Whispering Pines" Brian Droitcour profiled here on Rhizome recently, will speak at EAI tonight at 6:30pm. This is her first artist talk in New York City, and it includes a screening of her newest additions to "Whispering Pines." This should be worth checking out, plus, it's free to the public! More information here.
Nicholas O'Brien has produced another killer interview for Bad At Sports. (We posted his previous one, A Conversation with Jon Rafman a few weeks back.) This time, he speaks with artist Eric Fleischauer about his work and his current exhibition "Post-Cursor" at Chicago's threewalls. Fleischauer is keenly interested in the process of obsolescence in recording technology, and its importance for storage and archives. It seems fitting then, that the entire interview is recorded on videotape.
Kate Mondloch’s first book, Screens: Viewing Media Installation Art (University of Minnesota Press), is a welcome study of the cathode ray tubes, liquid crystal and plasma displays, and film, video and data projections that “pervade contemporary life” (xi). The author reminds us that screens are not just “illusionist windows” into other spaces or worlds, but also “physical, material entities [that] beckon, provoke, separate, and seduce” (xii). Most importantly, however, Mondloch’s approach is that of an art historian. She does not merely use art as a case study for media theory, but rather makes the contributions of artists her central focus in this, the first in-depth study of the space between bodies and screens in contemporary art.
What has happened to “underground” film after the advent of Netflix, file-sharing and the Internet? This veritable, thriving counter-cultural force, building community by way of the distribution of cultural artifacts, has definitely undergone some changes as hard-to-find movies have become easier to locate and view. The transformation of underground film in the face of these factors emblematizes the shift in perspective defining the New York Underground Film Festival (1994-2008), from its offshoot Migrating Forms, programmed by NYUFF veterans Kevin McGarry and Nellie Killian, now in its second year. Migrating Forms shouldn’t be understood as NYUFF with a facelift—such would imply a new identity covering up an old ethos. Rather, if NYUFF combated the poor distribution of alternative cinema with a punk sensibility, Migrating Forms broadened its scope to celebrate works made in the preceding year by artists and filmmakers, somewhat in the vein of an (annual) art world biennial.
Its title, taken from a James Fotopolous film, further evinces the slippery character of pictures shown within McGarry and Killian’s program. Anything on video or film is fair game. The disparate line up includes work of contemporary video artists, anthropologically inclined documentaries, and formalist ruminations by an array of artists and filmmakers. Also shown was a mini retrospective of Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin and the only two, extremely rare films ever produced by Ed Ruscha. The festival brochure touts its ten day massive program, “Across 23 programs, Migrating Forms showcases films and videos by 62 artists living and working in 21 countries—plus 9 special retrospective screenings and special events.”
The conceptual and physical vastness of Migrating Forms’ programming makes it difficult to identify any concerted or intentional leitmotifs. McGarry and Killian composed the festival with no obvious overarching theme other than the charge of presenting new film ...
The prologue from the documentary film, Painters Painting, The New York Art Scene 1940-1970, directed by Emile de Antonio 1972, combined with Wolfson's own footage, that begins with a shot of the sky that pans down through the trees landing directly onto the screen of a Macintosh Classic Computer. As the camera slowly zooms out it is revealed that the computer is sitting on the edge of a busy highway.
Technology is expensive so we try and take care of it; but sometimes things break. Most technology is no longer made to be repaired, as it is cheaper to replace it entirely. This is particularly true of display technology, as once a screen is cracked or broken there is little one can do to fix the damage. Many users desperately seek help online, making videos of their broken television sets or computer monitors in the hopes of a solution. Others give in to the inevitable and take the opportunity to unleash their anger on the broken technology.
I visited ITP’s Spring Show on Monday, the open house for NYU’s graduate interactive technology program. Like years past, the kiosk-like presentation of projects makes the event seem a bit like a science fair, with artists and inventors on hand to answer questions. ITP’s student body is quite diverse - ranging from web entrepreneurs to roboticists to performance artists and more - and this aspect usually guarantees that you’ll come across something interesting. See below for some quick notes from this year’s show.