The Dark Ages

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Image: Ben Jones, N.D.A. Mush Robos [Bottom] and N.D.A Drawing Large [Top], 2009

Responding to the unease and restlessness of late 1970s Britain, The Fall wrote a song in 1979 declaring the emergence of a "2nd Dark Age." For the two-minute duration of the song, Mark E. Smith rails against the omnipresent political and social inertia of the time, and the lyrics take specific aim at the short sightedness and staleness of hippie politics and spiritualism, which were so ineffective in the face of rising conservatism: "And the commune crapheads sit and whine, While the commons near my birthplace is now a police college"

Fast forward thirty years, and Ben Jones, in his latest exhibition at Deitch, announces another Dark Age, the "New Dark Age." Building off his solo show "Celebrate the New Dark Age" at AMP in Athens, Greece this past Fall, the galleries at Deitch could equally pass as a playground, meditation chamber or rec room. The pervasive feeling that Jones is merely replicating the same stock themes and imagery as if by rote, however, depletes the exhibition of the organic sense of leisure or contemplation often associated with these spaces. In the main room, a gigantic neon Transformer salutes the visitor, Gumby meditates in the center of three televisions, a video projection of the mesmerizing focal point of Space Wars loops incessantly in a far corner, and, in the front room, ladders reminiscent of Chutes and Ladders abound, clownishly oversized neon versions scale the walls or incessantly repeat in eye-popping wallpaper. The ambiance feels much like a commercial window display comprised of motifs from Jones's 1980s childhood.

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Image: Ben Jones, N.D.A Octagon Video, 2009

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Image: Ben Jones, N.D.A. Robot Sculpture, 2008

Indeed, if there is anything "dark" about ...

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Electronics in the World of Tomorrow (1968) - Erkki Kurenniemi

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Via UbuWeb

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Electronic Linguistic (1977) - Gary Hill

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Via UbuWeb

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Takeshi Murata Screening and Talk Tonight at EAI

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Takeshi Murata, Escape Spirit VideoSlime, 2007 (Installation view, Ratio 3 - San Francisco)

Tonight at 6:30pm, artist Takeshi Murata will screen a selection of his recent works and upcoming projects at Electronic Arts Intermix. This will be followed by a discussion with EAI's Josh Kline. Murata has developed his own unique method of processing digital glitches and errors to produce his vivid abstract videos and animations. An innovator in the field of digital video, the event this evening will be his first artist's talk in New York City. Not to be missed!

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Discuss Winter (2008) - Mark Brown

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Discuss Winter from Mark Brown on Vimeo.

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As If Pulled By A Magnet (2008) - Alexandr Skarlinski

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((wave (2002) - Maria Dumlao

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color video with sound, 20 minute loop for continuous projection

Mostly recorded from the source of the image, the sound in this piece is often the sound of air as it is violently disturbed either by nature or by jet and airplanes slicing through the firmament, which share a similar sound frequency as the waves. There is uncertainty when sound is “real” sound or if it is added and mixed: as in the fading in and fading out of each sound, the blending of sounds, the sudden volume cuts, the loops, and the silence. There is not much manipulation in the image of ((wave other than setting the camera upside down and the occasional delay and the desaturation of color. By the simple act of turning the camera, there is a further sense of disorientation and dislocation with the image, similar to the effects of the manipulation of sound.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Bucking the Pseudonym

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Image: Rick Silva, Antlers Wifi, 2009

Calgary-based Brazilian-American artist Rick Silva is a man of at least as many talents as identities. Perhaps this can be chalked-up to the fact that he studied under and often collaborates with pseudonymous hypertext pioneer Mark Amerika. But last week he unveiled a collaboration with himself in which he's finally ready to disclose that he is the artist previously known as Abe Linkoln. Antlers Wifi merges the stylistic affinities with which both names have been associated. Linkoln anticipated the "pro-surfer" net art movement with Screenfull.net, his first collaborative work with Jimpunk, the motto of which was "we crash your browser with content." He's continued to push this aesthetic over the last five years while helping to establish "blog art" as a genre, and Triptych.tv (with Jimpunk and Mr. Tamale) is evidence of his ongoing interest in web-based group remix blogs. But Antlers Wifi is a step in a solo direction, bringing a copy/paste aesthetic to original animations. If Linkoln is the product of Amerika, then Silva is the product of Stan Brakhage, with whom the artist also studied. He refers to the site's multi-layered digital collages as "poems about light and nature" and indeed they have all the flickery appeal of Brakhage's performatively-composed films. The project is an interesting move on the heels of Silva's high-def Rough Mix, which playfully compared the practices of scratching images as a filmmaker and scratching records as a DJ. It also conveyed a deep interest in nature appropriate to someone who came of age in the mountains of Colorado. The videos posted at Antlers Wifi build upon each other while leaning on the time-based format of the blog. Now in its second week, Silva anticipates archiving his posts on a ...

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Subterranean House (Oonce Oonce) (2007) - Michael Bell-Smith

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New Museum Announces Artists in "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus"

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Image: Ryan Trecartin, not yet titled, 2007 (3-channel video and installation)

For a little over a year now, our affiliate, the New Museum, has been busy organizing the exhibition "The Generational: Younger Than Jesus." With periodization used as the default lens through which to understand art history, the exhibition raises the idea of generations in art as a question and a problem. The first edition looks at artists born after 1976 to coincide with the demographic that is popularly labeled Generation Y. Each installment of this ongoing triennial exhibition will approach the subject differently. The curators Massimiliano Gioni, Laura Hoptman, and Rhizome's own Lauren Cornell called on over 150 professionals in the field, artists, teachers, critics, curators, bloggers, to recommend artists--material which became the core research for the exhibition. The New Museum announced the list of artists last night, and it's worth noting that quite a few of them have been featured here on Rhizome in the past, such as Mark Essen, Cory Arcangel, AIDS-3D, Guthrie Lonergan, Ida Ekblad, Shilpa Gupta and Ryan Trecartin.

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