Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho slowed down to last 24 hours.
Swedish artist Annika Larsson has a way of keeping her subjects in check. The slow, close, eroticized way in which she hovers around the male characters in her videos susses out innuendo, narrative, and meaning from a space absent of dialogue. She'll often stage and shoot a very simple gesture or group activity and wring every drop of suggestion out of it as she can. Her use of the camera--and very frequently her positioning of her viewers before a large-scale, almost cinematic screen--instigates a reflection on the power relationships inherent in looking, showing, camera-wielding, and screen-gazing. The dom/sub shifts revolving around the photographic lens may by now be the stuff of art school mythologies, but Larsson always finds new ways to turn the tables on one's presuppositions about such things; adding to the conversation a discourse on form and perspectivalism--another old-fashioned notion worth reconsidering. Her new 47-minute video, Dolls, on view now at Paris' Cosmic Galerie, takes her signature style to an even more self-reflexive level by once again exploring men in their supposed territory and calling on the viewer to examine the layers of mediation at play in both the male actor's performance of his masculinity and their own deciphering of the scene. Taking place in a white cube-cum-sports court, the action revolves around men interpreting the futurist symbols painted on the walls and floor, which are meant to evoke not only a Fortunato Depero-inspired Peter Saville New Order cover (a pop art relic of paternal inheritance, the Freudians might say), but also the basic visual designs used to teach humanoid robots how to serve their masters. In this case, the five men in Dolls become servants to their master's whims, be it the serving of coffee ...
Chiros, a project by Rhizome-commissioned artist Melanie Crean, goes online today in acknowledgment of World AIDS Day, which was initiated twenty years ago in order to raise awareness about the disease and encourage research and prevention. Chiros pairs interviews with HIV+ women participating in New York-based non-profit programs Iris House, Life Force, Exponents and CAMBA with animations based on scientist Metod Saniga's elliptical model of time. The women were asked to speak about their perception of time, specifically as it has changed since becoming positive. The interviews are both empowering and moving, as many of the women express a need to reclaim time for themselves since their diagnosis. An installation of the project will also go up this week, at Longwood Art Gallery in Bronx, NY.
Yes, sir! We've updated Rhizome's Vimeo and Video pages with new videos from New Silent Series events "Next Level" and "Net Aesthetics 2.0". "Net Aesthetics 2.0," the second in a series, examined the state of contemporary art engaged with the internet. Moderated by curator, critic and Rhizome staff writer Ed Halter, panelists included Petra Cortright, Jennifer and Kevin Mccoy, Tom Moody, Tim Whidden and Damon Zucconi. Ed Halter also moderated the talk on indie gaming "Next Level" with artists and game designers Mark Essen, Jason Rohrer and Greg Costikyan.
Big, big thanks to Rhizome's Social Media intern Jenny Braudaway for getting these videos up.
Net Aesthetics 2.0 1/11 from Rhizome on Vimeo.
Net Aesthetics 2.0 2/11 from Rhizome on Vimeo.
Next Level: New Independent Gaming 1/7 from Rhizome on Vimeo.
Next Level: New Independent Gaming 2/7 from Rhizome on Vimeo.
It's interesting to think of the correlations between religion and reproduction. From illuminated manuscripts to the Guttenberg Bible, sacred texts have pushed reproductive techniques forward. Electronic media have only entrenched the scenario: Televangelism, holy-rolling web rings, and spiritual podcasts might put the script in scripture, but they have also led to what some are seeing as a revival in spiritualism among online consumers, er, believers. In Karlsruhe, Germany, new media place of worship ZKM has mounted an exhibition entitled Medium Religion, which is focused on what happens when religious faith moves "from the private sphere of personal belief out into the public sphere of visual communication." The works they've included--by artists Christoph Büchel, Paul Chan, Wim Delvoye, Valie Export, Omer Fast, Boris Groys, Vitaly Komar, Beryl Korot and Steve Reich, robotlab, and many others--consider the role of images in broadcasting ideology and the structure of mass media's discourse networks. While looking at the link between world views and worldwide transmissions, the show also raises the question of what happens to "minority faiths" and how they weather a ratings or hit-driven communication economy. In addition to the many art projects included, the show features a number of "documentary installations" that provide evidence of spiritual transmissions' popularity, ranging from a roundup of Osama Bin Laden's video messages to episodes of Paul Eugene's Gospel Aerobics. But that raises another question... If the body is a temple, what would god make of the new flesh? - Marisa Olson
Image: Valie Export, Ingrid and Oswald Wiener, Das Unsagbare Sagen, 1992
"PREDRIVE: After Technology" (currently on exhibition at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA November 14-April 2, 2009) features new works by six international artists including Takeshi Murata, Paper Rad, Gretchen Skogerson, Antoine Catala, and Brody Condon. The exhibition was conceived with a very specific group of artists in mind -- artists who placed both the dysfunction and arrogance of ever-changing technologies at the center of their work. In a sense, these artists are working in the shadow of a technological dystopia (and euphoria) that had begun as early as the Industrial Revolution -- as expressed in the vacant, vectored glances mapped out in Edouard Manet's The Balcony (1868-69) or the absolute pleasure of stop-motion animation in Georges Melies' An Up-To-Date Conjuror
Below, I speak with two of the featured artists in the show, Takeshi Murata and Jacob Ciocci (of Paper Rad) -- we cover everything from readymade software aesthetics to the dream of the perfect collector -- someone willing to take the risk of simply buying an idea.- Melissa Ragona
These two screensavers by artists Brian Alfred and Mark Titchner were created in 2006 to accompany an exhibition in Creative Time's ongoing "The 59th Minute" series at New York's Time Square. Appearing on one of the most prominent screens in the square, the NBC Astrovision by Panasonic, "The 59th Minute" is a project, begun in 2000, which brings work by video artists to this singular public space. Both Titchner's Voices you cannot hear (2004) and Alfred's Help Me! (2005) incorporate subliminal messages, and are a commentary on the use of cryptic manipulation in advertising. Given the context and symbolism of Times Square, this was an especially effective move. For Titchner's piece the words "DO IT" appear again and again in the background, whereas in Alfred's piece "HELP ME!" continually scrolls across a static image of a building, mimicking tickertape. Ara Peterson's Energy Fields (2003) also screened alongside these works, but was not produced as a screensaver. Peter Eleey curated the exhibition.
Processing, the open-source programming language and production environment developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas, turned 1.0 yesterday. While it started off as tool for sketching and teaching the fundamentals of programing, Processing has developed into a full-fledged alternative to expensive proprietary software for the creation of everything from data visualizations and interactive installations to music and video. In just 7 years, Processing has grown into one of the primary tools used by contemporary artists working on digital projects, and stands as one of the finest examples of the power of open-source development.
Visit the Processing website to download the 1.0 version and start making things!
Read more about the 1.0 Release on Casey Reas' blog.
Hawkwind fans should take note of an exhibition currently up at Fake Estate, a former utility closet and now a cozy arts space on the fifth floor of the 526 W. 26th Street building in Chelsea. Art collaborative Yemenwed have transformed Fake Estate into a site-specific viewing room, replete with a red oblong sculpture as a centerpiece, for their video Episode 3. Legendary space rock group Hawkwind come to mind primarily because of their use of themes, including that of the Eternal Champion and the multiverse, derived from science fiction writer Michael Moorcock, who worked closely with the band. Similar to Moorcock's perennial figure of the Eternal Champion, who navigates across dimensions of the multiverse and whose identity is at times manifold, Episode 3's main protagonist, Sigrid H. travels through several zones housed within a Metronome-shaped structure, and the characters or objects she encounters in these spaces are an extension of her own identity. It seems fitting that an art group with as many members as Yemenwed (the press release credits 19 separate collaborators) should examine multiple identities. Episode 3 can be viewed online but should really be experienced within Fake Estate's gallery, if only to take in the video's elaborate scenery and the sound design, which are the strongest elements of the work.
Image: Yemenwed, Episode 3 (Stills), 2008