Articles on this Page
- 05/13/13--08:00: _From the Mixed-Up F...
- 05/13/13--13:28: _The Week Ahead: Rhi...
- 05/14/13--08:48: _Performance GIFs 1:...
- 05/15/13--09:00: _The Download: Jonas...
- 05/16/13--10:53: _Jack Goldstein, GIF...
- 05/16/13--11:17: _Performance GIFs 2:...
- 05/17/13--09:27: _Guy Debord Limited ...
- 05/20/13--07:30: _Prosthetic Knowledg...
- 05/20/13--14:15: _The Week Ahead: Bit...
- 05/21/13--11:04: _Jack Goldstein, Gli...
- 05/22/13--09:22: _Performance GIFs 3:...
- 05/23/13--08:41: _Performance GIFs 4:...
- 05/24/13--10:18: _Negative Entropy: J...
- 05/28/13--13:39: _The Week Ahead: Acq...
- 05/29/13--11:15: _Performance GIFs 5:...
- 05/31/13--08:45: _Hito Steyerl's 'How...
- 06/03/13--15:31: _The Week Ahead: Unl...
- 06/04/13--07:26: _We See In Every Dir...
- 06/06/13--06:30: _Performance GIFs 6:...
- 06/10/13--06:39: _Prosthetic Knowledg...
- 05/13/13--08:00: From the Mixed-Up Files: Ten Years Ago Today
- 05/13/13--13:28: The Week Ahead: Rhizome Commissions Edition
- 05/14/13--08:48: Performance GIFs 1: Curator's Introduction
- 05/15/13--09:00: The Download: Jonas Lund
- 05/16/13--10:53: Jack Goldstein, GIF Artist?
- 05/16/13--11:17: Performance GIFs 2: Maja Cule
- 05/17/13--09:27: Guy Debord Limited Edition Action Figure Giveaway
- 05/20/13--07:30: Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Turntables and Records
- 05/20/13--14:15: The Week Ahead: Bitcoin is Burning Edition
- 05/21/13--11:04: Jack Goldstein, Glitch Artist? An Interview with Lorne Lanning
- 05/22/13--09:22: Performance GIFs 3: Legacy Russell
- 05/23/13--08:41: Performance GIFs 4: Jaakko Pallasvuo
- 05/28/13--13:39: The Week Ahead: Acqua Alta Edition
- 05/29/13--11:15: Performance GIFs 5: Creighton Baxter
- 06/03/13--15:31: The Week Ahead: Unlawful Citizens Edition
- 06/04/13--07:26: We See In Every Direction Official Surf Party Video
- 06/06/13--06:30: Performance GIFs 6: Genevieve Belleveau
- 06/10/13--06:39: Prosthetic Knowledge Picks: Other Worlds - Return
From the Rhizome archives, here's a discussion that unfolded ten years ago today on our mailing list, prompted by an article in The New York Times about curator Steve Dietz' dismissal from the Walker Art Center. Rhizome's founder Mark Tribe posted an excerpt, which began:"The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which has been a strong supporter of Internet art, has dismissed the curator for its online art projects... the center's director, Kathy Halbreich, said plans to build a digital-art gallery would be deferred for at least five years... "
Dietz had built up a major program of online commissions at the Walker, and his dismissal was seen as a major blow to net art's institutional acceptance. But in spite of the bad vibrations, Tribe predicted that "in ten years time every major museum (and many of the not-so-major ones) will have a signficant commitment to new media art in some form." At the same time, he suggests that "The walls of the new media ghetto are crumbling. Bring 'em down!"
Alex Galloway characterized the times as the "unglamorous phase of net art;" Pall Thayer responded with the suggestion of hosting net art shows in Kinko's (this was offered up as a joke, although it sounds a lot like Aram Bartholl's Speed Shows). Galloway then invited everyone to see The Matrix (presumably Reloaded, which seems unlikely to have improved anyone's mood).
It looks a busy time out there for those interested in art and technology, with lots to do and see and apply for. Here are our picks for the week; good thing your proposal for the 2013-2014 Rhizome Commissions was finished and submitted weeks ago, right?
Rick Silva, from the series En Plein Air.
If you’re looking for art that isn’t afraid to raise the stakes, check out Still Fighting Ignorance & Intellectual Perfidy – African video-art project. In a text written to accompany an earlier presentation of the project (in Malmo), Yvette Greslé pulls no punches:
Why is it that - in the wake of prolific work by twentieth century scholars, curators, artists, writers and critics - we need to draw attention to the category [of] African video art as if it is something unusual, idiosyncratic and unexpected? Why are we still fighting ignorance and who is committing intellectual perfidy?
We’re very excited for Rick Silva’s solo exhibition En Plein Air, which opens May 18 at TRANSFER Gallery in Brooklyn. The show features digital images and animations that are made on location, updating the tradition of plein air painting for the mobile computing age.
On May 16, Kristin Lucas will launch her new book DOLLAR STORE QUALITY piece of SCRAP as part of Publication Studio’s Residency at Eyebeam.
For those who want to drink from the manguera de incendios, the work of 86 artists will be screened as part of Region 0 – The Latino Video Art Festival of New York on May 16-18 at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center.
May 15: Transart Insitute in Berlin is calling for papers and proposals for their first ever symposium, an examination of the prefix “trans.”
May 15: Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.
May 17: Deadline for Open Call 3, exhibition series in New York open to emerging and mid-career artists.
May 20: Send short animations by email to Squeaky Wheel in Buffalo for their Outdoor Animation Festival.
May 22: Deadline for the position of Medialab Director at the Prado Museum.
Over the next few weeks, Rhizome will present a series of performance GIFs curated by Jesse Darling. Darling's introduction is below; the first work (by Maja Cule) will be on view from Thursday May 16.
2012. The year of the doomsday apocalypse. The world didn’t end, though some of us thought it might, and perhaps we even hoped it would, if only to give us something to look forward to. Žižek, paraphrasing Jameson, famously said that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism—and this was in a speech given at Zucotti Park during Occupy Wall Street, in which we tried, and failed, to imagine the beginning of something else.
But following the natural order of events, as well as what Jameson called “the temporal paradox” (in which history stops but time grinds remorselessly onward in a continuous, cyclical production of “newness”), 2012 came and went and we all kept on doing what we were doing. A perky 25-year-old acronym beat the competition – teeth-grindingly zeitgeisty notables such as YOLO, superstorm and Eurogeddon – to become the Oxford Dictionary’s US Word of the year. You probably know that. What you may not know is that the OUP award went to a verb, rather than a noun: not to the name of a file format, but to the act of making one. To GIF.
To GIF is defined, somewhat redundantly, as “to create a GIF file,” but what would it mean to decouple the verb from its referent? To GIF: to capture a moment on an endless loop.
Now it’s 2013, though nothing has changed. Seeping, soul-level post-Fordism and the precarization of the labor market mean that most of us never stop working: socializing bleeds seamlessly into networking, and meanwhile, each tweet and retweet and Like and click and comment all converge in the production of demographic data. You could say there’s a Sisyphean aspect to life in late Capitalism. Energy drinks and Adderall, cuz sleep is for sissies and the stock market and Internet never sleep at all. An animated GIF never stops cycling silently in the ether, even as your tabs are closed and your laptop shut.
Perhaps in the necessarily entrepreneurial spirit of the new cognitariat, much of the Post-Internet art currently being produced and circulated is visually indistinguishable from the aesthetic language of advertising and corporate branding. The idea that art should be a mirror to life is taken to terrifyingly literal conclusion in gleaming surfaces and brushed chrome effects and knowing selfies in which every artist becomes a cover girl, a stock photography catalogue of white people mugging in streetwear. 50 shades of sexy empty, glistering in flat[-screen] virtuality. So far, so familiar.
The animated GIF, meanwhile—whose origins go back to the antediluvian age of dial-up modems and whose natural home is the resolutely non-artistic bottom-feed of Internet image production—rudely interrupts the unbroken sheen of all the slick shit, since to GIF an image is not only to create a loop, but—in very literal terms pertaining to the effects of LZW compression—to apply a verfremdungseffekt, or distancing effect. The shiny mirror finish of HD video is dithered to dust, dots and dashes, and all the smoothing of Photoshop reduced to a crude cartography of color. The v-effekt was one of political playwright Brecht’s theatrical techniques to ensure an audience never get too comfortable: a device to make the abstract immediate and the political relatable. Here, the distancing effect allows the moving image to circulate widely on low-bandwidth connections, bringing it closer to home. To GIF is to reduce a picture to the “poor image” defended by Hito Steyerl; the conditions of its own circulation made visible. “The poor image is no longer about the real thing—the originary original. Instead, it is about its own real conditions of existence: about swarm circulation, digital dispersion, fractured and flexible temporalities… In short: it is about reality.”
The animated GIF is a Brechtian medium not only in the distancing effects of image compression, but also in that the repetition of a single gesture ad infinitum constitutes a sort of gestus—a symbolic moment that is amplified in context to represent a whole paradigm of existence. Brecht believed that art “is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it”—and it is in the attempt to imagine a micromodular, low-cultural political theatre that this series has been curated. I wanted to stop talking about “the work” as though it exists somehow separated from our labor and from our bodies. I wanted to put the body back into the frame, since this is what we learned from OWS and Tahrir: that bodies still signify, no matter how posthuman we might imagine ourselves to be. At a time when social media is a stage and a theater where we're all supposed to play ourselves (each status update a script cue for the spectral self) I wanted to expand the discourse to include artists whose work deals with performance or performativity. Laboring bodies in the spectral ether; from body to bot and back again, and again, and again, and again, and forever and ever, whatever, amen.
JD, LDN 2013
This month The Download features We See In Every Direction (2013) a Web browser for collaborative, synchronized surfing by Swedish artist Jonas Lund. Browsing the Internet is typically an intimate and personal experience for just one person, but in We See, users traverse online information streams in a collective surfing environment. Users can type, click and change URLs in real time together; they can jockey for control of the browser--akin to fighting for the TV remote--or choose to sit back and let their friends take care of the surfing. Like many of Lund’s previous online works, the piece opens up the walled-off spaces of the Internet for shared use.
The Download is Rhizome's ongoing digital art exhibition and collecting program that features new works by great artists for free download.
“The first show I did was with Jack. He showed a new work—the extraordinary film loop The Jump. I watched that film loop every day for three weeks and never got tried of it. I was hypnotized. I can still see it: The endless red and gold gleaming figure, rotating and tum- bling in a non-space, outside of time and place. It was beautiful and miraculous. I still believe that it was one of Jack’s greatest works; he made it long before the video effects that are available today. It was an absolute vision." - Robert Longo in Jack Goldstein and the CalArts Mafia
Animated GIF from extract of YouTube video of Jack Goldstein, The Jump (1978).
The endlessly repeating moving image loop has become an important means of conveying and digesting information in the digital era, thanks to the animated GIF. Perhaps our new familiarity with loop-based viewing allows us to appreciate anew the films of Jack Goldstein, which, like animated GIFs, comprise short cycles of imagery that engage the viewer through repetition, anticipation and expectation. The GIF presents no new information as it loops; it is the same every time, yet we continue to watch with anticipation - not in anticipation of something new, but of the satisfaction of expectations fulfilled.
Animated GIF from extract of YouTube video of Jack Goldstein, Shane (1975).
In revisiting Goldstein’s films through an eye conditioned by the Internet, it is important to note a crucial distinction between his films and the GIF. GIFs aren't formatted to have a beginning or end; they start when we begin watching, and they stop when we've had enough. In contrast, Goldstein's films are not continuous loops lacking a defined start or finish. They begin with a title screen, and end between one and three minutes later with a fade to black. Goldstein‘s decisions regarding duration were made, at least in some cases, with the predicted attention span of the viewer in mind. In Shane, a German Shepherd sits before a black backdrop, repeatedly barking on command as he looks slightly off camera (at, presumably, a hired dog trainer). In a conversation with Morgan Fisher in 1997, Goldstein stated: "In film time there's a definite point when something becomes boring. At around three minutes you begin to twitch in your chair. Shane is three minutes long.” Maybe in 1975, we could have watched GIFs for three minutes; in the fast-paced reality of 2013, it’s probably more like three seconds.
Animated GIF from extract of YouTube video of Jack Goldstein, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1975).
While Goldstein's films do have endings, they also loop back on themselves. Goldstein's 1975 film Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer appropriates MGM's iconic production logo, a lion surrounded by a gold emblem under the words, "Ars Gratia Artis" (Art for Art's Sake). In its original context, the image lasted a few seconds and announced the beginning of a narrative film; here, it repeats over and over again: "The lion of the MGM logo roars in an endless loop and announces in permanent deferral a film that never actually begins." Goldstein’s film is perpetually beginning without being the beginning of anything.
Thus, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer--like many animated GIFs today--pits the moving image loop against linear, narrative cinema. Douglass Crimp, in his catalogue essay for Pictures in 1977, could have been talking about many animated GIFs when he wrote of the piece, "The impression of a completed action…combines with a structure of repetition…so that no action is really brought to a closure; the performance or film stops, but it cannot be said to end."
Jack Goldstein X 10,000 is on view at The Jewish Museum in New York through September 29, 2013.
 Crimp, Douglass "Controlling Pictures" Jack Goldstein x 10,000 Orange County Museum of Art, DelMonico Books, Munich 2012, p. 51.
 Kaiser, Phillip Jack Goldstein x 10,000 Orange County Museum of Art, DelMonico Books, Munich 2012, p. 126
 Crimp, Douglass "Pictures" October, Vol. 8 (Spring, 1979) p. 79
Over the next few weeks, Rhizome will present a series of performance GIFs curated by Jesse Darling, beginning with this work by Maja Cule. Darling's introduction to the series can be found here.
Hanging from the 8th floor of the South side of The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street (Click to view artwork)
Maja Cule, May 2013
In May 1930, The Trump Building was the tallest building in the world. In the ninth episode of the Season 4 of The Apprentice, Donald Trump claimed he only paid $1 million for it.
The window depicted in Cule's work is located on the eighth floor, which is currently under construction. It looks out over Isamu Noguchi's Sunken Garden, a series of black boulders of varying sizes that Noguchi collected from the bottom of the Uji River in Kyoto, and Jean Dubuffet's sculpture Group of Four Trees, commissioned by David Rockefeller(then chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank) in 1969 for the One Chase Manhattan Plaza building. Designed in 1961 by Gordon Bunshaft, One Chase Manhattan Plaza is the 200th tallest building in the world with 60 floors and sealed windows.
3D-printed Guy Debord action figures (2012). Produced by McKenzie Wark, design by Peer Hansen, with technical assistance by Rachel L.
The figure is part of a limited edition run of 200 made by Wark, who was inspired to delve into maker culture because of Debord's own investment in craft as evidenced in the twelve handcrafted issues of Internationale Situationniste. (You can read more about this in Brendan Byrne's recent interview with Wark on Rhizome). It's important to note that you can also make your own Debord figure based on Wark's 3D model, which will be released under a Creative Commons license.
The questions, which were supplied by Verso, are after the jump. They are not to be taken lightly...
The prize will go to first person with all correct answers to the quiz below. Two runners up will receive a complimentary copy of the book. The competition is open to UK residents only; entrants must email [enquiries AT verso.co.uk]. Please put SPECTACLE COMPETITION in the subject line or your entry may not be counted.
1.The Critique of Everyday Life is a seminal book that opened up a whole line of critical thinking about the small, everyday situations outside of the factory walls and beyond the official political sphere. Who wrote it, and in what year was it first published?
2. McKenzie Wark calls the experience of the everyday in our time the disintegrating spectacle. He is adding a fourth kind of spectacle to the three described by Guy Debord. Writing in the 60s, Debord thought both sides of the cold war were just variants of spectacle. Later, he thought that states such as France and Italy had combined elements of both into a third kind. What were the names Debord gave to these three variants?
3. The Surrealist leader André Breton wrote a poem, published after World War II, dedicated to the famous utopian writer Charles Fourier. Breton’s poem starts out with the narrator noticing a flower placed beneath his statue. During the Occupation, the Germans melted it down to use the copper for munitions. On which Paris street was that statue?
4. Debord’s comrade Raoul Vaneigem was rather more influenced by Surrealism, and via Surrealism by Charles Fourier, than some other Situationists. He even edited a paperback edition of Fourier’s ‘queer theory’ manuscript, The New Amorous World. What was the name of the Fourier-inspired utopia Vaneigem wrote about in 2005?
5. The great art historian T. J. Clark, who was briefly a member of the Situationist International, once recalled a demonstration in London which found him on the steps of the National Gallery in London. He and his friend debated there which painting within they would feel obliged to consign to the flames should the people ever storm through those illustrious portals. The masterpiece that Clark would have chosen was painted by whom?
6. The Situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti pulled off a stunning prank in Italy, by publishing The Real Report on the Last Chance to Save Capitalism in Italy. Purporting to be from some insider to ruling circles or someone cognizant of ruling opinion, it argued that there was no harm in admitting Communists into government, as the Communists were not a revolutionary party, but were already acting in the interests of power in keeping workers in line. Under what name was the Real Report issued?
7. Next to Guy Debord, René Viénet is the best known Situationist film maker. His détourned films have a lightness and charm all of their own. His film Can Dialectics Break Bricks? uses a martial arts film as its raw material, and by gently moving a few minutes of film around and dubbing the actor’s voices into French, Viénet turns it into a critique of the Stalinization of the left during ’68. Who directed the film on which Can Dialectics Break Bricks? is based?
8. Debord’s ‘70s films Society of the Spectacle and Refutation of All Judgments were a quantum leap forward in complexity over his earlier cinema work, in part due to the resources of his new patron, Gerard Lebovici. Who was the film editor with whom Debord worked on these films, and who was the other famous French director with whom she worked?
9. Besides being Guy Debord’s second wife, Alice Becker-Ho wrote some very interesting books on the influence of Romani language on the ‘jargon’ of the dangerous classes, and as an important source for words not only in French but in other European languages. According to her glossary of jargon, what is the meaning of the word ‘baron’?
10. Besides his many accomplishments in the arts of writing, editing, cinema, and revolution, Guy Debord was also a game designer. On the writings of which military theorist did he claim to have based The Game of War?
11. Who was the member of the Situationist International who thought the SI should attempt détournements of porn and comics? Who praised Latin American militants for taking over an electronic BBS system? Who advocated fake issues of well-known periodicals? Who thought any militant thinker should be as capable of making a film as writing an article?
12. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale had the holograph manuscript of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle on display for a while. Did that manuscript and other items from Debord’s papers end up being sold by Alice Becker-Ho to the Beinecke, or somewhere else?
A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the Web, taking a brief look at creative and sometimes poetic plays with the familiar audio technology of vinyl records.
Art of Failure, Flat Earth Society
Sound art project from Art of Failure places geophysically-proportioned grooves onto a vinyl record:
From the artists' website:
Flat Earth Society proposes a transposition of the earth elevation at the scale of a microgroove record. This engraving of elevation’s data on the surface of the disk generates in consequence a subtle image of the earth. When played on a turntable, the chain of elevation data crossed by the needle can be heard.
Interactive sound installation developed by Jesse Lucas, Erwan & Raguenes Yro / Avoka lets participants create music by marking sequences on a paper disk with a pen, which is then read by the machine--a sort-of Oramics Machine in turntable form:
From the Avoka website:
DYSKOGRAF is a graphic disk reader. Each disc is created by visitors to the installation by way of felt tip pens provided for their use. The mechanism then reads the disk, translating the drawing into a musical sequence.
The installation is above all a tool, which allows the creation of musical sequences in an intuitive way. The notion of a loop, closely linked to electronic music, is represented here by the cycle of the disk. The disk passes indefinitely in front of a camera fixed onto an arm. This substitution for the needle converts the drawing into sound by way of a specific application program (software). Through this system, the sequential ordering of music is learnt in a playful way, at the same time creating a unique object, souvenir of the musical composition.
Yuri Suzuki, The Sound Of The Earth
From the artist's website:
The Sound of the Earth is a content of Yuri Suzuki`s spherical record project, the grooves representing the outlines of the geographic land mass.
Each country on the disc is engraved with a different sound, as the needle passes over it plays field recordings collected by Yuri Suzuki from around the world over the course of four years; traditional folk music, national anthems, popular music and spoken word broadcasts.
An aural journey around the world in 30 minutes.
Suzuki's website includes a full audio recording of the piece.
Wojciech Bruszewski, Gramofon
Record Player with four arms.
The best results: Pablo Casals - plays the cello in a ‘quartet’.
More about the artist and his works here.
Katie Paterson, Langjökull, Snæfellsjökull, Solheimajökull
A fantastic piece from a few years ago by Katie Paterson comprising sound recordings of glaciers pressed into records made of ice:
Sound recordings from three glaciers in Iceland, pressed into three records, cast, and frozen with the meltwater from each of these glaciers, and played on three turntables until they completely melt. The records were played once and now exist as three digital films. The turntables begin playing together, and for the first ten minutes as the needles trace their way around, the sounds from each glacier merge in and out with the sounds the ice itself creates. The needle catches on the last loop, and the records play for nearly two hours, until completely melted.
An audio excerpt can be heard at Katie's website.
Here are highlights of this week's events and deadlines, culled from Rhizome Announce.
Andrew Healy, Augmented Reality Lower Receiver
May 24: Opening of GLITCH and Run Computer Run, a festival featuring screenings, seminars, and exhibitions; lots of good people are participating. One exhibition in the lineup, titled 'Economics + The Immaterial,' asks the question, "How do we give value to immaterial goods?" Here at Rhizome, we don't believe there is such a thing as an "immaterial good." Even when Lyotard used the words "Les Immatériaux" as the title for his famous 1985 exhibition, he used the plural form, in an attempt to imply that electronic and digital entities still had some material characteristics.
But even though the exhibition uses "Immaterial" in the singular with a definitive article in front of it, several of the artists included in it have contributed works that emphasize the materiality of the digital. These include Andrew Healy's work based on 3D-printable assault rifle components (digital files that can be used to shoot you) and a project titled Hello Bitcoin by Geraldine Juarez:
I got hold of 9 miniBitcoins (0.00927616 mBTC) and burnt them - successfully contracting the overall Bitcoin supply. New Bitcoin maximum: 20999999.99022384
May 23: SFMOMA will host a discussion with artist Lynn Hershman Leeson about her Web project Agent Ruby, a chat bot that harvested knowledge from found online sources. Ruby was also the basis of Teknolust, a science-fiction film directed by Leeson and starring Tilda Swinton. This project has crazy relevance to artists interested in character-based performance after the Internet, people. Also participating: Amelia Jones (McGill University), Henry Lowood (Stanford University Libraries), Moira Roth (Mills College). [Listing]
May 22: Deadline for nominations or submissions for The Anational Anthropocene Schlingensie
Transmediatic Critical Artivism Metawards, which is named for the late German artist and offers prizes like "The Isaac Asimov Cybertelling Award, a silicon spider statuette for works that question narrativity in any way." Donations accepted via Bitcoin. (Is this real?) [Listing]
May 25: Applications are due for Canada's 1st Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. [Listing]
31 May: Chair, Design Studies, MacEwan University
22 May: Deadline for the position of Medialab Director at the Prado Museum.
Lorne Lanning worked for Jack Goldstein in the mid-1980s at a time when the artist began to create highly detailed paintings of technological and scientific imagery that foregrounded the visual artefacts of computer vision. In this interview, Lanning discusses the thinking and the process behind this body of work, which is represented in several works (completed after Lanning's tenure with Goldstein) in the exhibition Jack Goldstein x 10,000, on view through September 29, 2013 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Lanning also explains how his work with visual effects for Goldstein led him, via the aerospace industry, to a successful career as creator of the OddWorld video game series.
Jack Goldstein, Untitled, 1988, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Vanmoerkerke Collection, Ostend. © Estate of Jack Goldstein.
MC: How did you begin working with Jack Goldstein?
I met Jack--he was teaching at School of Visual Arts--I believe it was ‘85. I started working with him in maybe late ‘85 or early ‘86…
I was an illustration student at School of Visual Arts--I had seen his paintings at the Whitney Biennial, and at various museums, and I was just blown away. I showed him my work and I was making all these comments, you know, "I aim to improve this way and that way," and he goes, "You paint just fine, you just have no ideas." And that's Jack in a nutshell.
He said, “You know why don't you work for me, you paint great, and I got a couple of lofts over in Brooklyn.” At the time Ashley Bickerton was just leaving and getting his own success... It was quiet, and I think at the time Jack was going through a down period in his own life. He had ridden the wave of [his early success], and he was very resentful at the time of the art world. I think it was making him pretty bitter, and making him more boisterous, and at the same time he was having some addiction problems.
MC: What sort of work was he making at the time?
When I came in, it was at the very end of his lightning sort of period. The last real piece of that body of work was the cover of Art in America, I think it was a missile launch, something like that. Jack always believed in working straight from photos, he was after actual events that couldn't be recorded with the human eye. That's something he referred to as “the spectacular instant.” There was a cover of Art in America, I believe it was 1985 or so, and that was the last painting that I saw being done at the studio that was of that era.
He said to me, " I can't be the lightning guy for the rest of my life." He was always brutally honest not only with himself but with everyone else as well. He said, "I need to escalate this work into a place where paintings don't feel like they're being made by man. I want them to feel as though they are being output by computer. But I want them to have the artefacts of technology embedded in them." Perfect constructions made imperfectly.
He was looking towards what the computer was doing to imagery, whether it was radar telescopes or ... images that were coming out of particle collision. He would subscribe to Scientific American, he would subscribe to different science journals, and he was looking for that new extension of the human eye that was only brought to us through new technologies. He wanted to re-present those on canvases as though they really came out of a computer. Like, came off an assembly line rather than having the human hand anywhere visible.
And then, of course, he had a profound set of reasons behind that approach... The ideas swarmed around works by authors like Paul Virilio, the French philosopher and political critic. He was very into what was happening in the intellectual French scene at the time.
The approach to the work was trying to escape from... what he called "Cro-Magnon man paintings." [laughs] Which is the UGHHH! UNNGGHHH! gestural, splat. Whether it was Schnabel's work or David Salle's work, he was very anti the directions they were heading. And he really believed that our society was living in a matrix-like illusion, and that it was being fabricated by a powerful shadowy elite that was basically providing most of our stimulus input through media.
He had an interesting way of looking at the world, and he wanted his work to kind of punch through that.
MC: Could you talk through the process behind one painting that you worked on during that period?
You know it's funny, because he never titled the paintings. So I can't speak to a name [laughs].
There was a show at John Weber, [at a time when] Jack was starting to be recognized as the sort of grandfather of the Neo Geo. This is what was going on in his own psychology, but I think he was losing hope. So he was really going for it, pushing the paintings into an unexpected direction.
He wanted to get this imagery that almost had a more pixelated effect, that it was carrying the artefacts of the computer’s processing of vision. I believe one of the first ones that we started working on like this was an AIDS virus. Now it would never be said in the title, because he never titled them. His previous works were largely hand-airbrushed, very tight, many mixtures of colors to get a photographic effect. And the older black-and-whites of the streaked missiles over Dresden--there's a number of World War II photographs that he had altered very slightly--if you look at those, there was still a relatively crude level of airbrushing. As he got more sophisticated, the amount of pre-mixing of colors was much more substantial and the images were taking a more photographic approach. So that's where you'd come to the lightning pieces that were at the Whitney Biennial back in . They really started to take that photographic quality, and that was largely due to the pre-mixing of all the paints that would then be used through the airbrush.
The big fracture was that he said "I want to get away from any soft edges. I want to get away from blends that happen naturally. I want to get away from the traditional types of camera lens effects, and I want to start getting into more of these digital artefacts.” Now he had a multitude of reasons; you could listen to Jack all night and record a novel just from hearing him talk about why, and why it was changing the way we live in the world, and why this was important, why these were important subjects that we should be studying.
So he wanted less trace of the human hand. We were still airbrushing but we would try and replicate more of the computer artefacts with paint. So we started stenciling and projecting on larger canvases--it was almost a paint-by-numbers approach--and then we were pre-mixing all the way up, the way some of the old advertising illustrators did. Marvin Mattelson used to do this--he was one of the highest paid illustrators of his day--but he would pre-mix all of his paints before painting. And we started doing this with Jack; another assistant was brought on, his name was Barney. I forget his last name, but he was really a chemist in mixing paints.
Jack wanted the frames to feel deeper. He was extending the stretcher bars to, at times, over 18 inches thick. He was always infatuated with the monolith in 2001, just this ominous black void of information. He always loved the precision of that, and he wanted that coming through in these new paintings. So we were spending a fair amount of time making sure the stretcher bars were as perfect as possible before the canvas got put on. We were doing putty, any little dents that were in the wood, we were trying to fix them before the canvas was stretched over. So that edge just felt perfectly creased. And of course the thicker the stretcher bars were getting, the more type of support infrastructure needed to be built around them so they wouldn't bend.
We were going with the highest, finest grade linen that we could get, and airgunning on massive amounts of gesso, to try and get that just so thick. And then we were polishing it back down sot hat it was becoming closer to glass on canvas, sanding them down with car sanders... trying to get rid of any trace of the actual canvas underneath the paint.
We were starting to get into various types of standardizations, various kinds of color fracturing through compression. I said, “Jack, if you're really looking for this assembly line-like output, why don't we start all the paintings in black for this next show.”
We would start with black. We would tape off all the black, and then the first color would come on. After this very elaborate stenciling, we would airgun in the color, and then project the next color, and trace its outline. So we were building from the darkness up to the highlights, step by step. At each stage, we're wet sanding, and we're re-masking. Less and less of the painting was visible the more you were completing it. It was kind of like wrapping a present, and by the time the painting was done there would just be a few holes of visibility left on the canvas, and those would be the brightest points.
[When all the layers were complete], we would call it Christmas, because we would actually pull back this masking, and literally there would be like fifteen pounds of masking on one eight- to ten-foot canvas. We would pull back all that masking, and voilà, there was the image.
Jack Goldstein, Untitled, 1988, acrylic on canvas. S.L. Simpson Collection, Toronto. © Estate of Jack Goldstein. Photo: Frank Tancredi.
From there, we would clean up pencil work, and sand down rough edges, and clearcoat. He started getting into treating the sides differently; he wanted the image to not just be a surface represented in a box, he wanted the image to feel as though it was a volumetric slice, kind of like an MRI would do. He started using metallics, wrapping them around the sides, breaking them in certain points as though it was like a film gauge or a measurement element from a microscope or a telescope. Just adding these artefacts of the machines that would bring about these images.
These paintings got to the point where there was just no real trace of the human hand. There was no trace of a soft brushing anywhere. There were no colors that had gradation. It was all solids. So if we went from black through dark purple through blue up to fluorescent yellow, that transition might be 52 colors, all segmented, zero blending, all hard lines. And it would start to read like a topographical map.
MC: What was your relationship like?
He was having some addiction problems at the time, and his work was starting to come back up... Jack was known to, like, throw collectors out of his studio. He could be very difficult at times. He was the artist's artist's artist.
We had to get him away from New York. We had to get him away from the drugs. He wanted to, but he was dealing with some tough stuff at the time. This led to his setting up a studio in upstate New York. I was so excited personally by what was happening with his work that I decided to forego going to school, and I went up to upstate New York with him, and was running that studio.
Part of it was helping Jack to detox. I was only 20, 21 years old, so it was a very difficult period. Emotionally, it was an incredibly difficult period, but great things were happening with his work.
At the time, he was not selling all of his previous work, at a price range from maybe $12 to $17,000. You know, income was flowing, but you know Jack never cared about money.
There was a dealer --Rebecca Donaldson--she was a huge fan of Jack's and an amazing lady who I never had anything but tremendous respect for. She was a huge fan of Jack's, and he started showing these paintings in some group shows. I don't recall where, but they started to get a lot of attention. With Rebecca, who I think was his guiding compass of rationality and logic and social acclimation, and myself--just being a kid who largely had come from the street, and loved art, and had a bit of street smarts about things… I would say, "Jack, you cant piss that guy off too much, you know? We're kind of depending on it - you actually are a business, whether you realize it or not."
He was so passionate about that work, and we believed in him so much, that whatever we had to do [laughs]... We would try and A, keep him off the phone, and B, patch up relationships, and make sure galleries got their work on time, and everything was going smoothly. It really started happening, and he started to clean up, and it went to the point where his works... Rebecca was starting to get into the $40 to $50,000 range on the larger pieces. There was a resurgence of interest in his work.
I had helped Jack detox, and drugs was a big concern, because people didn't want to be supporting artists that had drug problems. I believed in him enough to basically forego my plans and really invest all my time and energy and even money I was earning back into Jack's work. Some other people were doing the same, and really helping him. But we had moved to upstate New York, into the Catskills, and it's kind of isolated up there. So we had really a co-dependency with one another. He went back onto the drugs after we had gotten him off, and it was very difficult. He went back onto it, but he wasn't being honest with me. He was hiding it.
And as a 21-year old who was still trying to find his own place in life, I was so shattered by that, that I left. And that was kind of the end of it.
My father was a reformed alcoholic. My parents were divorced. If I wanted to see my father on the weekends from about age 10 onward, I went to AA meetings with him. And [the things I heard there were] some of the most valuable insights I ever encountered in my life.
When Jack went back onto drugs, and I found out, I felt that we couldn't have a trusting relationship. For myself, I felt like I just had to move on and go. I probably could've done it better, but being an inexperienced kid, I didn’t quite know how else to handle it. I just left a note, and on a certain day I left. It broke my heart, but I didn't know what else to do.
Part of it with Jack was, he was abused as a child. He held a lot of animosity against family. He just wasn't willing to work through--not necessarily healing his relationships, but just healing himself. Sometimes we hear artists really hold onto their wounds and their pain and their bitterness, as badges of strength, and I think Jack really embraced that.
MC: What influence did all this have on your career as a video game designer?
Jack really opened my mind to what was going on in the world. I started reading a lot of Semiotexte-type publications--Ernest Becker, Escape from Evil; Paul Virilio, Pure War and Speed and Politics; various interviews. What Jack brought to me was kind of a big wake-up. If you want to know what's going on, if you want to have an opinion, you need to be educated. You need to read this. You need to read that. And he started really turning me on to a whole other world of critical thinking and investigative journalism, and international intrigue and politics.
Jack would ask me, what do you care about? Not, what's going to make you some money so you can't be homeless, but what do you care about? How does that infuse into your work?
There was a day when the painting in the gallery was the forefront of modern media. If you wanted to see something new and cool, you went to the museum or you went to the gallery, and you would see this big controversial stuff and the newspapers would write about it...so that really was the center at that time.
I was feeling that you just weren't going to change the world anymore through paintings. That day was over, because the media landscape and the technological landscape we now lived in. I said to myself, what did Kubrick do? He could have been making paintings, but instead he's doing 2001, and hundreds of millions of people are seeing it, and they're spending two hours each with it.
With that kind of audience, you could have effected deeper change, and that deeper change was not happening in the art scene any longer. And so I went to Hollywood, and I was interested in the computer-generated stuff.
I went to CalArts, and I wanted to understand visual effects. Because in many ways, Jack's paintings were about visual effects, and their impact on the viewer. I wanted to take the ideas that Jack had opened up to me, and I wanted to re-embody that in a way that wasn't just regurgitating junk food to the audience, but that had some nutritious value. Particularly for youth, to give them something that might give them a little gas in that dark moment, or help them step off the ledge.
While I was in school, the computer graphics industry in Hollywood went bust, but I had learned just enough to get a job in aerospace. I get a call from TRW Aerospace--they build satellites and weapons and car parts and all kind of things. I get a call from the division called the visualization lab. It was the very early days of this; Reagan's in office, and they're working on visualizing the Star Wars weapons programs.
I got this call and I was like, “Can I do this? Can I go work for this? I totally don’t believe in this stuff!” But I decided to go and get insight, rather than just having an opinion. I've just come from the art world making Goldstein paintings the year before, now I’m sitting in the lab with guys with computers and we're visualizing Star Wars weapon systems.
Jack would have loved the medium of computer graphics. [When we worked together, he had seen] the beginnings of it, and he just thought it was so cool.
Computer graphics was my medium, but there was no market. So the only place you could learn the craft of it was in aerospace. So I went and I'm working to visualize these really hi-tech weapons systems... By this point, I'm looking at the industry of war and the industry of media kind of as one and the same.
My time in aerospace allowed me to interact with real war simulators, high end, that people at the time barely knew existed. I was quickly able to figure out that in a very few years... what was happening in the military was very soon going to be happening in video games that were in people's homes. I started shaping stories for this medium, and started learning about video games.
Pre-alpha footage of the new Oddworld video game as of September 30, 2012.
Goldstein's looped films were previously discussed on Rhizome in this post by Loney Abrams.
Still frame from the music video for Love You Down by INOJ.
Social Sculpture: In Remembrance of Poise and a Choreography of Loving You Down makes parallel the histories of social sculpture and the gendered and ritualized cultural practices found in dancehalls or nightclubs. The artist is in her studio, positioned on a chair, dressed in disco shorts and a snug-fitting shirt, indistinguishable from the white background striped in shadow behind her. Oscillating between a cross-legged, poised position that projects the stereotypical poses of flirtation, femininity and nightlife "peacocking," and a collapse that suggests a body exhausted by—or disinterested in—the scene around her, the artist shifts between "visible" and "invisible," "public" and "private," "on-" and "off-stage." Not quite loved, nor ignored, this female body—sculptural in its own right—remains stuck on loop, hoping to be recognized, as INOJ's 1997 hit "Let Me Love You Down" envelops her.
Click here to view artwork.
Still frame from Conan O'Brien Finger Wave (reaction GIF).
I asked Jake to mimic a bunch of reaction gifs I found online. This one turned out the best. I like functional gifs that can be injected into conversations and gossip blog comment sections. This is a gesture you can copy+paste into interactions that require sass. You can forget about this gif's brief foray into art territory. No glitch. No new media.
I've often asked Jake to be in my work because he is a tragic beauty. I've never met him IRL. I like sending people directions and seeing how they execute them. It's never what I think it will be, which is the reason to do it. I don't want to have control over images. I want to have transatlantic sporadic virtual working relationships.
He looks focused and slightly concerned. His accessories are sassy but he doesn't exude sass. The gesture is not backed up by the corresponding emotion. There is a distance between who you are and who you want to be. The GIF exists in the space between those things.
Click here to view work.
Jan Robert Leegte’s title leaves little to be explained. From sunrise to sunset in 12 minutes, and from a fixed angle, we see the famous Jetty rendered in blocky pale yellow over equally clunky, rich blue water, below slow-moving Tetris-shaped clouds. With digital facility, Smithson’s piece has been taken from its Utah site and injected into the non-site of Minecraft. Gone are the inconsistent pinks, reds, and purples of numerous Jetty photographs. They’ve been replaced with the bright color blocks of a Minecraft world.
Minecraft—in which users are encouraged to “build anything they can imagine”—provides an ideal support for Leegte’s Jetty. The game has an inherent romanticism, evidenced by its creation of an open, natural world, in which players wander, survive, marvel, and build. (Nicholas O’Brien’s video game The Wanderer (2012), may have most rigorously explored the implications of digital romanticism.) Visually, Minecraft doesn’t disguise its particulate texture, foregrounding instead the raw pixelated material of synthesized images. The sun and moon emerge as squares from a flat horizon. The jetty itself has a too-perfect straight line and a clunky curvature, reminiscent of the balance of rough texture and precision in Smithson’s Jetty.
That Jetty is—by design—subject to the chaos of nature and decay. It was a place where, as Smithson wrote, “No ideas, no concepts, no systems, no structures, no abstractions could hold themselves together in the actuality of that evidence.” Leegte’s jetty, though, isn’t subject to that kind of change. The monitor could break or the lights could go out, but the Minecraft jetty won’t sink under water or crumble apart. It exists in an algorithmic landscape, which embraces variability within the limitations of a database. Further, it doesn’t exist in Minecraft’s networked open world. It can’t be visited or interacted with by Minecrafters. With online interactivity fast becoming a euphemism for data-mining, Leegte’s works emphasize the purely spectatorial. Leegte’s recent Portrait of a Web Server (2013) also replaces interaction with watching: it is a website that consists simply of auto-scrolling code.
Still frame from Phil Solomon, EMPIRE (2008-2012).
Leegte’s Jetty has something in common with other instances of experimental machinima. In particular, it recalls Phil Solomon’s EMPIRE (2008-2012), a remake of Andy Warhol’s eponymous film over the course of a day in Grand Theft Auto IV. Both have translated aesthetic icons into gamic environments, which they bring to a resting algorithmic heart rate: with no user input, the feedback loop’s resonant frequency emerges. This approach is different from Peggy Ahwesh’s She Puppet (2001), which deploys footage of Tomb Raider played actively against itself, with Lara Croft brought endlessly to her death. Leegte and Solomon, in contrast, rely on the game’s potential as much as they withdraw from gameplay. Digital worlds like Minecraft are programmed with negative entropy, maintaining order through rules that allow for possibilities of “free play” without descending into uncontrolled chaos. Negative entropy keeps interactivity running smoothly. Denied interaction, we are faced with an image of pure possibility and pure limitation.
In their original incarnations, Empire and Spiral Jetty both relied on dynamics of change, from 8 hours to eternity. These works will not transform that much. The apparatus that creates the possibility for the work also assigns its limits. Without interaction, we see both: the open, algorithmic world at the edge of its functions. If Smithson’s Jetty was a place where nothing could hold together, Leegte’s reveals that the greatest illusion of these digital images is that they could appear cohesive at all. Even the synchronic, homogenous regime of code still contains a seed of entropy. Even without constant change, the image remains always potential. Remake of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in Minecraft resides between the limits and potentialities of the synthesized image.
Et in Minecraft Ego.
Jon Rafman at Palazzo Peckham, Venice Biennale
This week, I am in Venice for the opening of the Biennale and its satellite program. If you are also here, please join us on Thursday 5/30 at 4 PM for Definition I: Low-Res, a conversation between Hito Steyerl and Oliver Laric, moderated by Yours Truly.
If you aren't in Venice (or if you are!), we will also be hosting a massive "surf party" for people to try out Jonas Lund's collaborative Web browser, We See In Every Direction. Click here for more info.
Without further ado, here are the week's events and deadlines, culled from Rhizome Announce.
Annie Dorsen, Kyle McDonald, Boris Meister, Elaine Reichek, Sebastian Schmieg, Mungo Thomson, Clement Valla, and Siebren Versteeg. Curated by A. E. Benenson
Thursday, May 30, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
529 West 20th Street
Friday, June 7th, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
17 Kingsland Road London E2 8AA
Gallery Fellow at Samek Art Gallery Bucknell University. Deadline May 31.
Image from Jessica Borusky, The Posture Grid! (2013)
Ring Around Rogue Bottom
Creighton Baxter, 2013
Ring Around Rogue Bottom is a queer and lonely joke actuated through a crooked game of ring-toss. The performance is a spectral type of child's play; obsessivelly rummaging through a language of trauma that employs humor, endurance and repetition. It is a no-top-needed type of situation.
Ring Around Rogue Bottom was performed within the post-performance installation of Jessica Borusky's seven-hour durational work The Posture Grid! Baxter thinks of her engagement with Borusky's performance detritus as a fragmentary moment of an evolving dialogue between the two artists; exploring points of collaboration and critical engagement with each other's artistic practices surrounding themes of sexual trauma/survival, body fascism and queer histories within the United States. Baxter and Borusky comprise one half of the creative collective The Highest Closet, with artists Sarah Hill and Hayley Morgenstern.
Hito Steyerl, How Not To Be Seen. A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File , 2013. HD video file, single screen, 14min.
How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File is the title of Hito Steyerl's new work, included in the Venice Biennale exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico. (It is installed at the far back corner of the Giardino delle Vergini behind the Arsenale; to reach it, Steyerl joked, one must swim two canals and climb a wall).
The video is partly inspired by the photo calibration targets in the California desert, which look like giant pixels in the ground. As described by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, these targets were used in the age of analog aerial photography to test the resolution of airborne cameras, like a kind of optometrist's chart for the ancestors of drones.
Partly shot on location at one of these disused targets, How Not to be Seen begins as an instructional video informing viewers how to remain invisible in an age of image proliferation. Various possible strategies are outlined. One suggestion is to camouflage oneself (to demonstrate, Steyerl smears green paint on her face and is chroma-keyed into invisibility). Another suggested tactic is to be smaller than the size of a pixel. For this demonstration, several people appear on camera wearing pixel-like boxes on their heads. Wearing a box on one's head may seem unpleasant, but in Steyerl's video it seems quite fun, imbued with some of the techno-human spirit of Bauhaus theater costumes.
After these tactics are outlined, the film crew making this educational video also disappears. In their absence, happy low-resolution pixels take over the production. Digital rendering ghosts dance in the desert landscape as The Three Degrees' "When Will I See You Again" plays on the soundtrack. Silliness ensues.
Steyerl's video picks up certain threads from her well-known text "In Defense of the Poor Image." That text celebrates low-resolution images for being widely used, socially useful and non-authoritative. Her new work outlines reasons that have more to do with the way in which they allow their subjects to remain less visible, or more ambiguously figured. In conversation with Steyerl and Oliver Laric yesterday at Palazzo Peckham, I asked Steyerl about this desire to disappear. She pointed out that it is a highly ambivalent concept. It is something to be desired, that gives relief from the constant imaging that we are all subject to. But it is also something to be feared, evoking the spectre of mass political abduction. In fact, Steyerl's video makes explicit reference to this dark side of disappearance, suggesting that those who are disappeared in the digital age end up as 3D ghosts in the background of architectural renderings. Such renderings are often generated by those who wield political power; it seems apt that they would be haunted by such ghosts.
Laric's work Versions (2013) also ends with disappearance; its final words are "hybridize, or disappear." In this context, it seems at first that disappearance is undesirable, a kind of threat. Like all of Laric's texts, the phrase is a quote, in this case from Chinese-Canadian poet Fred Wah's definition of the word "citizen" (for Wah, citizen is a verb). It begins, "citizen, vb. as in to citizen, -zening, -zened, -zens. To mix, to cross, to cast, to struggle..."it ends, "to strip, to separate, to reclaim, to constitute, to hybridize or disappear." For both Wah and Laric, this is a false binary: to hybridize is another kind of disappearance, and not necessarily an undesirable one.
One possible response to a world in which images of ourselves proliferate is to occupy the low-resolution spaces, as Steyerl proposes. In Versions, Laric proposes a different strategy: setting one's image free to circulate, giving rise to hybrid versions and losing its sense of authenticity.
A similar was previously explored by Steyerl in her work Lovely Andrea, 2003. The back-story of this work is that Steyerl, at some point in her past, posed for a Japanese BDSM photography shoot, earning something like $100 in the process. Years later, she returned to Japan to try and find the photograph, speculating that it must have been published somewhere. Within 36 hours, she had found it, somewhat to her chagrin.
Laric spent some time in Japan as well. He was working as a designer, but it turned out that his boss was heavily involved in the BDSM scene, and quickly put Laric to work as a photographer for his bondage sessions. In a strange synchronicity, it turns out that this bondage master was the same man who acted as Steyerl's tour guide in Lovely Andrea.
Although the aspiration to be invisible and the aspiration to hybridize through image proliferation seem to be opposites, they are closely linked, and both appear in Steyerl's work. In the context of the Venice Biennale, which explores the theme of human knowledge and its limits, this discussion brings up fundamental questions about how much of our knowledge is derived through representations of the world, through images and data, and the limits of such knowledge.
During our conversation, Steyerl proposed a model for thinking about this, suggesting that the image world is a kind of three dimensional shape that is always shifting, always in flux. The images are all on the surface, and there is no interior, no depths that harbor fundamental truths. Perhaps "lo-res" can be seen as one way of occupying this hi-res image world. Or perhaps it is not as hi-res as we think.
Pinar & Viola, Scandal Acqua - 2013 Surface Collection.
Today, multiple news outlets report that opposition to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan grows amidst harsh government responses to peaceful protests. Meanwhile, the man who shared previously classified information about the corruption of Middle Eastern despots, thereby helping spark the Arab Spring, goes on trial today in the United States.
Here are several of the week's listings, culled from Rhizome Announce.
June 5: CONFABULATION: Symposium on 3D in the Classroom addresses the importance of digital 3D literacy in education.
June 6 & 7: We Are Museums. This 2-day conference focuses on the integration of the museum into people's daily lives and the use of digital tools to help museums become more connected and accessible.
June 7: Alexandra Reill: Quoting Walter Benjamin @upgrade!zagreb is a series of real-time performances and a print compilation demonstrating the relevance of theorist Walter Benjamin's work to contemporary media technologies.
June 8: Opening of Glitch Moment/ums, an exhibition featuring seven artists who subvert our ordinary relationship with technology by hacking the hardware of familiar devices to disrupt their software and digital artifacts. Featuring Alma Alloro, Melissa Barron, Nick Briz, Benjamin Gaulon, José Irion Neto, Antonio Roberts and Ant Scott.
June 6: Open Call: Park in Progress / City Sonic International Sound Art Festival. A one-week residency application open for European artists looking to realize inter- or multidisciplinary work with a sound dimension.
June 10: Call for Participation: Touch.My.Print ISSUE02. A project exploring the concept of photography as data rather than image; Participants download a photograph to use as data input for the creation of new works.
June 10. Call for Submissions: Public Assembly: An Alternative Summer Show. In response to the extinction of Cooper Union's tuition-free education, students, graduates, and alumni of any institution are invited to submit work relating to the theme 'Free as Air and Water'.
June 10: Call for Submissions: Video Works - The AC Institute. Any subject or theme is welcome; videos will be featured for two or three week exhibition periods as solo exhibitions.
June 7: Deadline to apply for the position of ADJUNCT PROFESSOR - CONCEPTS IN GAMING, HUNTER COLLEGE, CUNY
For those of you who were unable to join us for the We See In Every Direction Official Surf Party last week, here is a video from the artist, Jonas Lund, that captures some of the highlights of what happens when dozens of people try to share a single browser window. Cursors circulate like flies, the URL window becomes a turf war and a good time is had by all.
Even if the official event is over, the party doesn't have to stop—you can still collaboratively surf the Web with strangers by installing We See, available on The Download. If you're hungry to learn more about the event you can also check out some tweets with the hashtag #WeSee or peep the Facebook event page where some discussion took place.
Now we are vomiting Vines. Suffocating gardens of earthly delight incite immersive, daily make believe. Do you trim your Vine or let it grow wild? Is it adornment or is it a weed? Sign-on in #selfieaffirmation of the you we now incessantly see. When you are watching me you are consuming desire, pink paste fills your feed. In the absence of product, what do you need? Your urgency is currency, eat and release, eat and release. Perpetually purging, this need to feed, this need to feed the feed.
Eat the unfold @gorgeoustaps
Click here to view work.
A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the Web, returning to the theme of "Other Worlds" (previously explored in a post from August 2012), which takes a brief look at independent creative games that challenge conventions of the form and bridge the divide between art and gaming.
Animated GIF extract of Void One by Luis Hernandez.
After the original Other Worlds post was published, the theme became part of an art and gaming convergence festival called Vector, conceived by Skot Deeming. We managed to find many more examples, and below are a couple of pieces from that exhibition. There are also some brand new examples included--it is a creative field which is growing in prominence, as evidenced by the forthcoming establishment of the LA Game Space, which brings a Bauhaus-inspired approach to creative computing.
This game experience by Luis Hernandez takes the participant on a journey through different unrelated spaces: you could be roaming a familiar video game level or science-fiction landscape, or find yourself in a Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau-esque room... or in another kind of place entirely.
Here is a video I put together, briefly touring the first few levels (apologies for the lack of sound):
Alan Kwan's interactive game world is a trip into the artist’s subconscious. Scattered around the world are "memory cubes" which, when approached, display recordings of moments of the artist’s real life, recorded using a video camera mounted to his glasses. Watch the video below:
Kwan describes the work as follows:
Bad Trip is an immersive interactive system that enables people to navigate my mind using a game controller.
Since November 2011, every moments of my life has been logged by a video camera that mounts on my eyeglasses, producing an expanding database of digitalized visual memories. Using a custom virtual reality software, I design a virtual mindscape where people could navigate and experience my memories and dreams. The mindscape grows continually as fresh memories and dreams come in.
The artist is interviewed about the work at Gamescenes, which you can read here.
Memory of a Broken Dimension
Forthcoming independent game which smartly employs glitch aesthetics as part of its game world and narrative, by xra AKA Ezra Hanson-White:
If you would like to try out the game yourself, an early build can be found via a tweet from the developer here. The full version is forthcoming.
FRACT OSC, by Phosfiend Systems, is a first person puzzle platformer with a musical focus. As you complete the puzzle, you develop a virtual synth studio.
FRACT is a musical exploration game. Explore an abstract, broken-down world built on sound, rebuild its forgotten machinery and create your own sounds and music within the world. It draws inspiration from Myst, Tron, electronic music, and most importantly, synthesizers.
A quick look at some of the things we have planned for FRACT OSC - a first person adventure game inspired by synthesizers (no kidding!). We’re building some really interesting tools that combine exploration, puzzles and musical creation - and we’re really excited to share them with everyone!
Paradis Perdus (Lost Paradises)
High Definition low polygon game world to explore, only your path destroys the landscape:
Paradises Perdus is about not belonging. You are in a world that is beautiful and green, but the moment you enter it, you start infecting everything; the world starts decaying, until it eventually ceases to exist. You are the bad guy; you kill everything you touch. You can choose to exit the world, and then it will heal itself, but then you don’t get to enjoy it, of course.
More information, with links to download the alpha for PC, Mac, and Linux, can be found here.
EXO by Tabor Robak
Part first-person game, part demo-scene presentation, part "experience," all Sci-Fi, all worthy of 35 minutes of your time. EXO is available for free for PC and Mac. Here is a silent preview, embedded below:
If you don’t want to download the game, there is also a 35-minute video to guide you through the experience here.
You can get hold of this gorgeous piece of work here.