From the Samuel Beckett exhibition at the Pompidou in Paris.
For my birthday, Aurora made a drawing of “Ulcharmin,” my WoW avatar (level 57 Orc Hunter). An appropriate gift, since I’m currently working on my essay “The Corporate and the Quotidian in World of Warcraft” for the World of Warcraft seminar we’re having here at UiB later this week
This semester I’m teaching a class called Art, Games, and Narrative. We’re just wrapping up a unit on Fluxus. My students all created Fluxus events and Fluxus kits, many of which were inventive, creative and amusing. I’ve posted a gallery of captioned photos on Flickr documenting many of their projects.
I recently ran across this ambitious and obsessive illustration project: Zak Smith’s Illustrated Gravity’s Rainbow includes an image for every single page of Pynchon’s masterpiece. All the images are available on the site. The whole collection was exhibited at the 2004 Whitney Biennial and is now in the permanent collection of the Walker Museum in Minneapolis.
PiPs did an excellent job with the Implementation display, including a wall of photos and a DVD running on a monitor in the storefront, at the Cube2 Gallery in Providence as part of Provflux 2005. It was a real pleasure to see Implementation among like-minded projects, and I really enjoyed watching people wander up to study the pictures and take home sticker sheets of their own.
Yes you are!
“You Are Beautiful” is a meme-type sticker and installation art project, centered in Chicago but distributed around the world. The most cool thing about this project is how its creators taken a simple idea, a phrase that many people like to hear, and distributed it across multiple media, and then created a well-designed network photo archive of its many manifestations; a kinder, more affirming version of the “Andre Has a Posse/OBEY” idea. I was also pleased and waxed nostalgiac when I saw that most of the installations have occurred in my old neighborhood in Chicago. Spread the words.
Dali on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Last night I was stranded in Amsterdam after the connecting flight from Bergen had mechanical difficulties, resulting in a 2 hour delay, which resulted in me missing the only flight they had scheduled back to NYC, resulting in the loss of a full day. It wouldn't have bothered me much (there are worse places to be stranded) were it not for the fact that this is the second time in as many trips to Europe where KLM/Northwest has stuck me for 24 hours in a different city than the one I was supposed to be in (last time it was an airport hotel in a suburb of Detroit). This time it resulted in me having to cancel three classes, which ticks me off. It was fun notheless to spend a few hours wandering in Amsterdam, which, among other things, is a kind of sticker art paradise.
I got quoted in a September 26th New York Times Arts and Leisure article “Download, Peel and Stick, and All the World's a Gallery” on sticker art, though they didn't take the bait and write a book review of lmplementation.
The Tallinn portion of the ISEA conference was focused on wearable computing. Although I didn’t attend many of the panel sessions on this topic, my general impression from the keynote, from the exhibition, and from the runway of the fashion show at Club Bon Bon in Estonia is that wearable computing has a long way to go. It seems that as a culture, we have not yet worked out how (or if) we want computers to function in our clothing. Another problem with wearable computing is that the majority of current funding for the technology comes from either a) the military-industrial complex or b) the fashion industry. This makes sense, but the sources of funding seem to constrict the imagination of designers in a variety of ways. The military wants wearable computing that will make for better soldiers, that will make for safer military service and better killing machines. The fashion industry is by its nature interested in disposable objects, in making things that serve an aesthetic purpose of limited duration.
After a week of electronic art at ISEA and much travel, it was refreshing to hit the second stop of our three-flight journey from Helsinki back to Bergen at Oslo airport, one of the best-designed airports in which I've had the experience of connecting flights. The airport, designed by Aviaplan, of which Gudmund Stokke is the lead architect, features wide concourses with plenty of area to move around, huge airy spaces (stories high empty space between you and the ceiling), and immense windows that offer views of the runways and the surrounding countryside. The materials used, hardwoods, glass, steel, stone, and elegantly molded concrete, give the airport a sleek, Scandanavian feel. The airport is also filled with works of public art, of both the electronic and conventional variety. My favorite work(s) are the simple but colorful and immense works of textile sculpture throughout the airport. Cords of different colors stretch across hundred-meter spaces, shaping forms from empty space. There are also cleverly “literate” sculptures of bronze embedded in the floor, such as a Henrik Ibsen quote written along the line of a paper clip (one of Norway's most famous inventions). Works of electronic art include an LED “moving painting” of a dancing girl and several very cool audio installations in the form of “sound showers.” The interactor steps into a circle under a shower-shaped device and is treated to a cascade of sound. The three that I experienced included a tropical rainforest, a sort of new-agey whisper narrative, and the sounds of a hot springs-type bath. While the interactor stands listening to these layers of sound, the sound shower is directed only to the circle, so the other passengers in transit walk by unaware.
This looks like an interesting event for anyone interested in artistic uses of mobile media: Spectropolis: Mobile Media, Art and the City, October 1-3, 2004 is a three-day event that highlights the diverse ways artists, technical innovators and activists are using communication technologies to generate new urban experience and public voice. The event explores what is possible when wireless communications (both new and old), mobile devices and media converge in public space.
This post was originally published on Grand Text Auto.
The Times reports that more than 100 works of contemporary art were destroyed in a conflagration at a London warehouse. There's something strange and oddly fascinating about so much postmodern art going up in flames. One thing I find odd is that the thing that makes the story newsworthy is that the art was worth millions of dollars. It's not so much notable that the expressions were destroyed, it's that the expressions were highly valued. Another is that many of these particular expressions were controversial and conceptual art, such as Tracy Emmin's “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995,” a tent into which the artist had stitched the names of dozens of past lovers. One of the works lost, the Chapman Brothers' “Hell,” which took the artists years to complete, featured 5,000 figures depicting skeletons, Nazis, soldiers and deformed humans, portraying the horrors of war. Jake Chapman jokingly suggested that the work may have gone up in value as a result of having burned to death. At the time it was sold to Charles Saatchi, the work was worth about $900,000. Perhaps Champan's comment is appropriate. Although the works themselves are lost and are now economically valueless, maybe their auras will grow as a result of their incineration.
StickerNation won the 2004 SxSW Web Award for Art. The site hosts a bunch of .pdfs of downloadable sticker art, photos of stickers around the world, and sticker art news.
I just ran across Sent, which is being billed as “the first major exhibition of phonecam art in the United States.” The exhibition will include contributions both by amateurs and by invited professional artists and celebs, including Weird Al Yankovic.
This post was originally published on Grand Text Auto.
The Baghdad Snapshot Action is one of the more interesting methods of protesting the War I've run across on the Net. Since February, the group has posted snapshots taken of people living everyday life in Iraq on the Internet as .pdfs and encouraged readers to print them and post them locally. It's a subdued and subtle form of protest, serving to remind people of the human cost of war.
From the site: “We want to show the world the people who will get both liberty and death in one fatal blow if this war begins. We want you to show them in your city. The entire snapshot collection is online as pdfs. Print them out and poster them anywhere and everywhere.”
The site designates this Sunday March 23rd as a postering day. Print a few and hang them where you will.