ART + SCIENCE features photographs by artists who address a genre of photography that lives at the intersection of art and science. This movement is not new, yet its reach is currently building momentum. More than producing aesthetic images derived from scientific data, science-inspired artists find connections that reflect a common purpose – one that integrates the authenticity of science and the communicative power of art. The sci-art movement promotes dialogue and offers a platform in hopes of improving the world in which we live.
Posts tagged art
“Ecological awareness just means being aware that things happen on a bewildering variety of scales all at once, and that what that looks like on one scale is very different on another scale. What looks like a boiling kettle to my human eyes looks very different from an electron’s point of view: suddenly finding that you’ve teleported to a higher orbit isn’t the same as the smooth, chattery-sounding phenomenon we call boiling. And once you become aware of the idea that there are all these extra scales, you begin to notice that some scales are so big or so small (that also includes “long lasting” or “fleeting” too) that all we can mostly do is report and observe—or, if you like, undergo or endure.”
–Timothy Morton,Will All Artists Please Come to a White Courtesy Telephone
The TEFAF Art Market Report, Online Focus 2017 highlighted the importance of decentralised technology within the art market. Pownall’s report includes survey responses from 673 dealers regarding their views on the use of blockchain. She finds that three quarters of auction houses, one third of intermediaries and one fifth of galleries intend to ‘offer blockchain technology within the next five years’. She also finds that almost 20% of galleries, auction houses and intermediaries intend to accept payment in digital currencies in the future. Despite these ambitions, there is an absence of shared research and knowledge and a severe lack of co-ordination about blockchain solutions that would be suitable for the art ecosystem.
“As a double bonus, if everyone stays irrational it might greatly enrich the author, providing future funding for blockchain performance art.” The great art project of our age is to entirely collapse the distinctions between “fraud” and “performance art,” so that one day mortgage-bond traders will be able to say “wait, no, I wasn’t lying about bond prices to increase my bonus, I was performing a metafictional narrative about bond-price negotiations in order to problematize the underlying foundations of bond trading in late capitalism.”
Agua con Gaz, Various Artists, 2015, installation view, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano. Photo by: Ela Bialkowska.
The next step takes the logic further: not only stealing from the rich and giving to the poor (like Robin Hood did), but exploring, building new ecologies, new ecosystems, new universes, new possibilities, new worlds of value. For this purpose the Robin Hood hydra grew a new head: a start-up company Economic Space Agency, Inc. (ECSA). Economic Space Agency builds tools with which we can create economic space — not only to distribute something existing or produced in a pre-existing space, but to reorganize/rebuild the space itself. Two trends are converging and making open source economy possible: the moldability and plasticity of financial technologies and the decentralization and disintermediation provided by distributed ledgers. ECSA’s DNA contains all these things: hard core research (the team has published over 25 books), direct engagement with the power of art to create unforeseen (economical, social, political, financial, incorporeal) processes, financial first-in-the-world inventions (such as a hedge fund as a coop, and asset-backed cryptoequity), experimental hands-on attitude and an intimate lived experience of how the financial and the social co-determine each other.
Part of what makes Morton popular are his attacks on settled ways of thinking. His most frequently cited book, Ecology Without Nature, says we need to scrap the whole concept of “nature”. He argues that a distinctive feature of our world is the presence of ginormous things he calls “hyperobjects” – such as global warming or the internet – that we tend to think of as abstract ideas because we can’t get our heads around them, but that are nevertheless as real as hammers. He believes all beings are interdependent, and speculates that everything in the universe has a kind of consciousness, from algae and boulders to knives and forks. He asserts that human beings are cyborgs of a kind, since we are made up of all sorts of non-human components; he likes to point out that the very stuff that supposedly makes us us – our DNA – contains a significant amount of genetic material from viruses. He says that we’re already ruled by a primitive artificial intelligence: industrial capitalism. At the same time, he believes that there are some “weird experiential chemicals” in consumerism that will help humanity prevent a full-blown ecological crisis. Morton’s theories might sound bizarre, but they are in tune with the most earth-shaking idea to emerge in the 21st century: that we are entering a new phase in the history of the planet – a phase that Morton and many others now call the “Anthropocene”.
nik gaffney (via http://flic.kr/p/Tyq6e1 )
nik gaffney (via http://flic.kr/p/Tyq3ud )
“It shows some of the unreasonable effectiveness and strange inner workings of deep learning systems. The unique characteristics of the human voice are learned and generated as well as hallucinations of a system trying to find images which are not there.”
“#SOLARPUNK is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?” The aesthetics of solarpunk merge the practical with the beautiful, the well-designed with the green and wild, the bright and colorful with the earthy and solid. Solarpunk can be utopian, just optimistic, or concerned with the struggles en route to a better world — but never dystopian. As our world roils with calamity, we need solutions, not warnings. Solutions to live comfortably without fossil fuels, to equitably manage scarcity and share abundance, to be kinder to each other and to the planet we share.
“Over time, even the repairs will be destroyed,” Sussman stated. “They will be walked on and scuffed, and eventually overwritten with something else. Such is the transient nature of everything in the universe. All the more reason to value the time we have.”
Some species of moths and bees have evolved to land on mammalian eyelids (including humans) and drink our tears. In times of relentless human tragedy and environmental catastrophe, are we creating the perfect conditions for these tear-drinking insects to flourish? What do these insects want from our tears anyways?
The Chelsea thrived because it stuck to Philip Hubert’s original vision: to house and nurture New York’s creative community — and do so while still being affordable and open to all. It is unlikely that the Chelsea will house the next wave of American creativity (the hotel was closed in 2011, and the new owners are converting it into a pricey boutique hotel. Many of the rooms, including Bob Dylan’s, have since been destroyed.) Yet while New York city’s greatest art colony is all but dead, its structure and ethos continue to enrich American culture — albeit in a different way, and on an entirely different coast.
Yet despite the lucrative returns of Y Combinator and other startup accelerators sprouting up around the USA (like TechStars, 500 Startups, AngelPad and SeedCamp) no ambitious community-building projects exist for American arts like they do for American tech. While most talented tech gurus can find a startup accelerator to join (and fund them), aspiring artists are told to get a bedroom in Brooklyn or move to Iowa for an MFA — both of which cost upwards of $40,000 a year and don’t come with a patron.
Summing up the net worth of the Chelsea’s most famous residents […] the Chelsea Hotel was responsible for more than 2.1 billion dollars of value creation while it was open. That estimate is only going off of the net worth of the artists themselves — not all of the downstream albums or paintings or ticket sales they contributed to (i.e. a single painting by Pollock fetched $200M and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey took in more than $190M at the box office. A single room of de Kooning paintings was estimated to be worth as much as $4B.) The funny thing? Despite their obsession with wealth, most startup accelerators don’t even come close to matching the economic impact of the Chelsea Hotel — much less its cultural impact.
For centuries, artists, authors and alchemists have gazed into the void and extracted new ways of seeing and thinking about our place in the universe. Second Home members super/collider invited two experts in dark matter — Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Marek Kukula and curator Melanie Vandenbrouck — to our Spitalfields campus to discuss the most notable visual examples of darkness in art, science and literature.
James Tylor. Hidden in the shadows 2016, Scratched Daguerreotype, 4x5inches. From the series Karta (The Island of the Dead)
Stevie Wishart was FoAM’s “composer in transience” at the Brussels studio for most of 2015. Her residency emerged as a natural consequence of a long involvement with FoAM spanning several years and numerous projects, including most recently Wheel & Time(less), Candlemas Concerto, FutureFest, Smoke & Vapour, and Inner Garden. When I had the opportunity to talk with her in the spring of 2015 she was deeply immersed in a large composition that would be performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in May. Our discussions therefore gravitated around the particular challenges and musical innovations she was imminently preoccupied with at the time — which made for some fascinating comparisons and contrasts between these and the very different contexts and approaches entailed in working on a musical project at FoAM.
time-based media art installations do not truly exist until they are installed and, thus, these works must be exhibited — or “exercised” — with a certain degree of regularity. This is a concept first championed in the conservation field over a decade ago, by Pip Laurenson of Tate. Lovers, by Japanese media artist Teiji Furuhashi (1960–1995), is an excellent example of this. What follows is the story of how our team rescued this important example of early-1990s Japanese media art from a crumbling foundation of obsolete technologies (MS-DOS and LaserDisc, for starters) and ensured that it will live on so that generations long into the future are able to discover and enjoy it.
Brussels is a city for those who have patience, time and imagination. It is for those who question the increasingly frenetic pace of urban life and work. It is for those who appreciate understatement and refuse homogenising labels and manufactured “hip” concepts. Perhaps, however, what keeps Brussels attractive is its latent sense of expectancy, the promise of a perpetual becoming which is never fulfilled.
“The infinity puzzles are a new type of jigsaw puzzle inspired by topological spaces that continuously tile. Because of that, they have no fixed shape, no starting point, and no edges. They can be assembled in thousands of different ways.”
I think what is most interesting about the relation between art and information is the reciprocal relation between art as rarity and information as ubiquity. It turns out that ubiquity can be a kind of distributed provenance, of which the artwork itself is the derivative. The artwork is then ideally a portfolio of different kinds of simulated value, the mixture of which can be a long-term hedge against the risks of various kinds of simulated value falling—such as the revealing of the name of a hidden artist, or the decline of the intellectual discourse on which the work depended, or the artist falling into banality and overproduction. Since art became a special kind of financial instrument rather than a special kind of manufactured article, it no longer needs to have a special means for its making, or even perhaps special makers. Indeed, curators now rival artists for influence the way DJs rival musicians. Both are a kind of portfolio manager of the qualitative. The next step after the dematerialization of the artwork may be the dematerialization of the art worker, whose place could be taken by new kinds of algorithmic functions. These would still have to produce the range of simulations that might anchor the artwork as a derivative of their various kinds of sign value.
Yang Yongliang. Crashed airplane, 2008.
TEMPO POLVEROSO. Frederik Vercruysse.
From the very beginning, since Archillect was made to find images by following a certain relational structure, I had to trust that Archillect would have a certain character in what she found and shared, which would create an almost personal profile. This is the reason I wanted to present Archillect as a person rather than a random bot. As people perceived Archillect as a character, a personality, they also contributed to the project through the ways they interacted with the project as a result of this perception. This was important to me.
Terra0 is an ongoing art project whose goal is to set up an alternative economic unit on the Ethereum Blockchain, while exploring the relationship between art and capital by functioning as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The idea behind the project is to create a situation in which a forest creates capital by selling licenses for the logging of its trees through automated processes, smart contracts and blockchain technology. Terra0 reflects on ownership, personhood and autonomy. According to the project’s initiators, blockchain technology and smart contracts enable non-human actors to administer capital and therefore to claim the right to property for the first time. “Property is discussed now as something which is not separable from a natural or legal entity. Terra0 begins in this legal grey area, originating in the technological change brought about with the invention of blockchain technology and smart contracts,” adds Hampshire.
Zudem zeigte sich die Staatsanwaltschaft plötzlich wunderbar kunstverständig und sagte, das «übergeordnete Interesse an einer öffentlichen Debatte und die Fragen, die der ‹Random Darknet Shopper› aufwirft, den Besitz des Ecstasy gerechtfertigt». Die deutsche Kuratorin Inke Arns schrieb auf Facebook: «Der Schweizer Staatsanwalt scheint ein guter Kunstkritiker zu sein.» Und Marina Galperina, die Chefredaktorin des New Yorker Online-Magazins Hopes&Fears twitterte: «Schweizer Staatsanwalt: Es ist ok, online MDMA zu kaufen! (so lange man ein Bot in einem Kunstprojekt ist.)»
Simon Farid is a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. In practice, this means that the artist is ‘squatting’ identities that have been constructed by other people for surveillance, marketing or institutional purposes and then discarded. Farid notoriously ‘inhabited’ the identity of an undercover police officer and the one of a politician who moonlighted as a web marketing guru. The first identity was the one discarded by Mark Kennedy, an undercover Metropolitan Police officer who spent almost 8 years pretending to be an environmental activist called Mark Stone. To settle into the life of what the UK calls a “domestic extremist,” Stone traveled under a fake passport and used a driving licence and bank cards bearing his borrowed name. But once Kennedy’s cover was blown however, Stone was nothing but an empty shell. That’s when Farid steps in. The artist reactivated Stone’s email address, started collecting library and store cards, opened a bank account and amassed a number of other identity articles under the name of Mark Stone. By doing so, Farid effectively ‘occupied’ the identity that the police officer had abandoned.
Our anxiety about sleep underscores some uncomfortable realities about the present. How is it that an essential biological function has had to fight so hard to be recognized as, well, essential? When we look back on our lives, the third we spend recharging registers as an opportunity cost, something to be overcome. But what if the on/off binary that we understand consciousness through was the wrong lens to use on sleep? Can we reject the awake/asleep binary, and plot sleeping and dreaming on an expanded spectrum of consciousness? Sleep isn’t death–it’s something else entirely. The future of sleep won’t be its absence, it will be a new class of people leveraging its creative potential. Slowave is the response to this realization
*When you wanna be “anti-surveillance” in the most spectacular, hey-look-at-me, Dutch performance-artist kinda way
L1026314 (via http://flic.kr/p/G6K7zh )
“A poster bearing the image of a Pakistani girl whose parents, lawyers say, were killed in a drone strike, lies in a field at an undisclosed location in the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. A group of artists in Pakistan are hoping to generate “empathy” among US drone operators by placing giant posters of children in the country’s troubled tribal regions”
“Is it a social club? Is it an entertainment? Is it a secret society? Is it a pyramid scheme, a Ponzi scheme, a cult? Is it a game?” he said. “If you believe it is a game, then it is a game with very high stakes.”
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/vbikK8 )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/w8azdt )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/w8aydx )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/vb9wz3 )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/w8auKv )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/vbiauZ )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/vb9pvo )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/w8amXB )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/w7w47Y )
stillness (via http://flic.kr/p/vQESev )
In spite of the political, economic, and ecological crisis of the last few years, the new social forms and categories that have emerged have failed to constitute themselves politically, and it’s hard to fathom what form change could take. In the absence of a collective horizon, the new (second) Industrial Revolution might not lead to the future but to the past, to a Victorian phantasmagoria of sorts, supplemented by consumer gadgetry and semiotic fetishism. A place akin to the Zone in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, a sentient environment able to materialize all your dreams—but with a twist.
Nakamoto (The Proof). Scan de passeport, fichier numérique .jpg, 2506 x 3430 px, 2014
“Nakamoto est le créateur du Bitcoin, système de paiement révolutionnaire permettant d’effectuer des transactions en ligne de manière anonyme et infalsifiable. Cette monnaie virtuelle est largement employée sur les darknets, réseaux garantissant l’anonymat à la réputation sulfureuse, notamment du fait des activités cybercriminelles qu’ils facilitent (commerce de stupéfiants, faux-papiers, etc.). Dès son premier message public et jusqu’à sa disparition le 12 décembre 2010, Nakamoto a tout mis en œuvre afin de préserver son identité. Non localisable de par ses adresses IP toujours différentes, ses messages sont publiés à des heures aléatoires et écrits dans un Anglais ne permettant pas de déterminer sa nationalité. Ayant créé les premiers bitcoins, on lui prête une fortune estimée à plusieurs centaines de millions d’Euros. L’importance de sa création et le mystère parfaitement maîtrisé autour de sa personne ont aujourd’hui fait de lui un véritable mythe contemporain, alimentant un nombre toujours croissant de rumeurs et de fantasmes.”
DIRIMART Gallery, Istanbul, 2011 Foto: Atelier Kogler
Pierre Schmidt(aka drømsjel), 1978, 2014, image posted with permission of the artist.
lola dupre - paper monsters / angels from the studio floor
What does it mean for a society, when there are robots which act autonomously? Who is liable, when a robot breaks the law on its own initiative? These were some of the main questions the work Random Darknet Shopper posed. Global questions, which will now be negotiated locally. On the morning of January 12, the day after the three-month exhibition was closed, the public prosecutor’s office of St. Gallen seized and sealed our work. It seems, the purpose of the confiscation is to impede an endangerment of third parties through the drugs exhibited by destroying them. This is what we know at present. We believe that the confiscation is an unjustified intervention into freedom of art. We’d also like to thank Kunst Halle St. Gallen for their ongoing support and the wonderful collaboration. Furthermore, we are convinced, that it is an objective of art to shed light on the fringes of society and to pose fundamental contemporary questions.
The Random Darknet Shopper is an automated online shopping bot which we provide with a budget of $100 in Bitcoins per week. Once a week the bot goes on shopping spree in the deep web where it randomly choses and purchases one item and has it mailed to us. The items are shown in the exhibition «The Darknet. From Memes to Onionland» at Kunst Halle St. Gallen. Each new object ads to a landscape of traded goods from the Darknet.
“Knipoog in het Frietmuseum van Brussel dat dit weekend deze gesigneerde foto ontvangt. Clin d'œil au Musée de la frite à Bruxelles qui recevra cette photo dédicacée ce week-end.”
The art field is a space of wild contradiction and phenomenal exploitation. It is a place of power mongering, speculation, financial engineering, and massive and crooked manipulation. But it is also a site of commonality, movement, energy, and desire. In its best iterations it is a terrific cosmopolitan arena populated by mobile shock workers, itinerant salesmen of self, tech whiz kids, budget tricksters, supersonic translators, PhD interns, and other digital vagrants and day laborers. It’s hard-wired, thin-skinned, plastic-fantastic. A potential commonplace where competition is ruthless and solidarity remains the only foreign expression. Peopled with charming scumbags, bully-kings, almost-beauty-queens. It’s HDMI, CMYK, LGBT. Pretentious, flirtatious, mesmerizing. This mess is kept afloat by the sheer dynamism of loads and loads of hardworking women. A hive of affective labor under close scrutiny and controlled by capital, woven tightly into its multiple contradictions.
aether - Nicholas Alan Cope & Dustin Edward Arnold
qaul.net implements a redundant, open communication principle, in which wireless-enabled computers and mobile devices can directly form a spontaneous network. Text messaging, file sharing and voice calls are possible independent of internet and cellular networks. Qaul.net can spread like a virus, and an Open Source Community can modify it freely. In a time of communication blackouts in places like Egypt, Burma, and Tibet, and given the large power outages often caused by natural disasters, qaul.net has taken on the challenge of critically examining existing communication pathways while simultaneously exploring new horizons.
Lola Dupré - Aubrey Beardsley, paper collage on panel 8.2 x 11.6 inches
“The function of the artist is to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: to show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows.”
–William S. Burroughs
Jenny Odell - Satellite Landscapes (Transportation Landscape, Waste Landscape, Manufacturing Landscape, and Power Landscape)
Laurent SEGRETIER | Photography
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Art Hack Day expose le grand bluff technologique
Alberta artist, Peter von Tiesenhausen, has effectively stopped oil corporations from putting a pipeline through his 800 acre property by covering it with artwork and copyrighting the top six inches of his land as an artwork. Realizing that mining companies can legitimately lay claim to any land underneath private property to a depth of six inches, van Tiesenhausen contacted a lawyer who drew up an intellectual property/copyright claim that said that if the oil company disturbed the top six inches in any way, it would be a copyright violation.
So here’s what I would say to my taxi driver if the meter weren’t running: The revolution begins at the kitchen table. The desires of the artist and the chef are not so different: to nourish humans and perhaps hold up the mirror to those who consume our products. Change the world. There will always be a new black. But that is because black is eternal. It’s what fashion wants to be. Let’s reduce “the new” to fashion. Let’s call black “culture.” Black is never the old black. It just can’t be. Black is always the black. In this sense, food is always the black. Art is always the black. What is cooking? What is the avant-garde?
Adam Niklewicz - THE ROUND TABLE, 2010
A forest has been planted in Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114.
Weird is a wayward word: though it describes a set of singular effects that link the cultural fringe with peculiar personal experiences, it remains an elusive and marginal term. The similar notion of the uncanny is, on the other hand, basically an establishment term, a well-established literary effect with a sophisticated psychoanalytic pedigree. Weirdness, we might say then, is the uncanny’s low-brow doppelganger, a demotic country cousin that races hot-rods, wears mis-matched socks, and inhabits the strange borderlands between this world and the beyond.
we’ve always said that games are more like cathedrals than they are like movies. It’s a narrative environment, an environment that immerses you in a story, in a time. It’s a time machine. It’s made over hundreds of years.
Schellingcoins are designed to address external, quantitative phenomena. Opinions regarding cultural works are personal and qualitative, and spontaneous reactions to cultural works are even more so. This is different from the commonly expressed quantitative values that the SchellingCoin proposal requires. To adapt SchellingCoins to cultural criticism we must adopt the methods of collective intelligence and the digital humanities and use some tricks to turn personal opinion into cultural appraisal.
nastya ptichek - emoji-nation
For Graeber, bullshit jobs carry with them a moral imperative: “If you’re not busy all the time doing something, anything — doesn’t really matter what it is — you’re a bad person.” But the flipside of that logic seems to be: if you actually like doing x activity, if it is valuable, meaningful, and carries intrinsic rewards for you, it is wrong for you to expect to be paid (well) for it; you should give it freely, even (especially) if by doing so you are allowing others to profit. In other words, we’ll make a living from you doing what you love (for free), but we’ll keep you in check by making sure you have to make a living doing what you hate.
Eno Henze - Stammheimzellen
In the popular imagination, artists tend to exist either at the pinnacle of fame and luxury or in the depths of penury and obscurity — rarely in the middle, where most of the rest of us toil and dream. They are subject to admiration, envy, resentment and contempt, but it is odd how seldom their efforts are understood as work. Yes, it’s taken for granted that creating is hard, but also that it’s somehow fundamentally unserious. Schoolchildren may be encouraged (at least rhetorically) to pursue their passions and cultivate their talents, but as they grow up, they are warned away from artistic careers. This attitude, always an annoyance, is becoming a danger to the health of creativity itself. It may seem strange to say so, since we live at a time of cultural abundance and flowering amateurism, when the tools of creativity seem to be available to anyone with a laptop. But the elevation of the amateur over the professional trivializes artistic accomplishment and helps to undermine the alre
Science has also provided the world with images of sublime beauty: stroboscopically frozen motion, exotic organisms, distant galaxies and outer planets, fluorescing neural circuitry, and a luminous planet Earth rising above the moon’s horizon into the blackness of space. Like great works of art, these are not just pretty pictures but prods to contemplation, which deepen our understanding of what it means to be human and of our place in nature. And contrary to the widespread canard that technology has created a dystopia of deprivation and violence, every global measure of human flourishing is on the rise. The numbers show that after millennia of near-universal poverty, a steadily growing proportion of humanity is surviving the first year of life, going to school, voting in democracies, living in peace, communicating on cell phones, enjoying small luxuries, and surviving to old age. The Green Revolution in agronomy alone saved a billion people from starvation. And if you want examples of true moral greatness, go to Wikipedia and look up the entries for “smallpox” and “rinderpest” (cattle plague). The definitions are in the past tense, indicating that human ingenuity has eradicated two of the cruelest causes of suffering in the history of our kind.
Looking through the works, you see artists sifting through enormous accumulations of images and texts. They do it in various ways—hunting, grabbing, compiling, publishing. They enact a kind of performance with the data, between the web and the printed page, negotiating vast piles of existing material. Almost all of the artists here use the search engine, in one form or another, for navigation and discovery.
Women are seated with a book at a table, filmed in austere black and white against a black background. They have chosen what to read and how to dress. When the camera begins recording, they introduce themselves, and begin reading. Under the table, outside of the subject’s control, an unseen assistant distracts them with a vibrator. The subjects stop reading when they’re too distracted or fatigued to continue, at which point they restate their name, and what they’ve just read. The pieces vary in length based on the response time of the subjects.
Untitled - Robert Hardgrave
Photography does not lend itself to defamiliarization easily, thus making it the unlikeliest of all art forms. As it happens, the challenge plays out on both sides of the process, for photographers and viewers. What happened to be in front of a camera lens can be found depicted in the resulting photograph. However, given the process itself and its myriad of choices, the photograph is little more than a manipulated two-dimensional representation of what previously existed in four dimensions (three spatial, one – often forgotten – time).
The images were rampantly blurred, grainy, scratched, and often just muddled shades of gray. The compositions were negligible, if they could be called compositions at all. Moriyama’s pictorial choices seemed to have been made completely at random, and the reproductions often included the sprocket holes at the negatives’ edges, like a film gone completely off its track. With thirty-five years’ hindsight, it’s easy to see the book as the spiritual godfather of the garage-band aesthetic that dominated commercial design in the eighties and nineties, typified by Raygun magazine and 4AD Records. The visual aesthetic of punk owes Moriyama a debt, as does every art school naïf who has ever taken it upon himself to boil his negatives; piss in the developer tray; mangle, staple, and tear at his prints; or otherwise molest the mechanics of the medium to achieve what by now are fairly standard results.
dutch_female_specimen-J.jpg (via http://www.shopminc.com/M2/room_work/Dutch_female_spec_J.html)
Dada was an attempt to return ‘through the innermost alchemy of the word’ to a more magical, playful reality through overturning of all the conventions associated with civilized adult society- drawing on African, Nordic and Sanskrit traditions, the Cabaret Voltaire was a riot of nonsense, play, colour, and noise- a giant, noisy incantation against all the ills of the world. Dada was ‘the heart of words’. It was a fight. It was a magical battle.