May 29, 2007
Douglas Davis

Douglas Davis is primary known for his pioneering video works from the late 60′s through to the 80′s which entailed live, collaborative performances combining newly invented video equipment and satellite broadcasts. The following is an overview of some of Douglas Davis art work.

The Last Nine Minutes (video extract below) was a live performance for international satellite telecast created for Documenta 6

This performance, presented for German TV’s first live satellite transmission marking the opening of the Documenta VI in Kassel on 24 June 1977, is a continuation of Douglas Davis’ works on telecommunication. His exhortations of the viewers to establish contact with him via the TV screen are made all the more pointed by the physical distance between two continents.

My first discovery of Davis was via his later (and too few) net.art works, particularly The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (image below), where he transfered ideas he had already been thinking about for almost two decades.

The Worlds first Collaborative Sentence

The World’s First Collaborative Sentence,without a doubt Davis’ most known net.art work:

commissioned in 1994 by the Lehman College Art Gallery, was purchased early in 1995 by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene M. Schwartz, then donated to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which now maintains its ever-evolving content.

Metabody a later net.art work from Davis is the worlds first collaborative visions of the beautiful, an attempt to form a collection of images which define the beautiful as interpreted by visitors to the website who upload images of what they think is beautiful.

Davis seems to be interested in weblogs these days (see his profile on blogger.com and his list of weblogs) but not sure whether these are art works in progress or research towards something. This is an interesting Interview of Davis for those who want to know more about his early work.

Posted by: Garrett @ 6:13 pm
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May 27, 2007
Snd:arc-

The event I was curating with Paul Adams Snd:arc- as part of the Open Ear collective is now documented online on our website. As part of the evenings performances I performed a work entitled RE:soundings (video below). Every sound produced during the performance was captured and manipulated live from radio signals. Both location and surrounding architecture dictated reception of signals, their quality and use. The version here is a recording of a view of the stage performance. See an alternative view of the performance here.

Live improvisation by Paul Adams, Andy Birtwistle, Garrett Lynch and Matt Wright (video below in two parts).

More videos of the nights performances and experimental films can be seen here.

Posted by: Garrett @ 6:02 pm
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May 24, 2007
net scam -> net art

Carving For Cash

I stumbled across the concept of scam-baiting a few months ago, I think on somebodies weblog, can’t remember which one so if this is you let me know and I will reference you here, and I found the whole idea very appealing, of course because it winds up those who send spam in the first place but also because it creates the opportunity to fabricate an event or type of online performance as art, documented through the traces / paper trails (not necessarily literally) / relics it leaves behind. Conceptual art did this a lot to highlight the importance of idea and process in art and move the emphasis away from a finished art object / commodity.

419eater seems to have the best traces / paper trails / relics of some of the more interesting scam-baits on the topic of art itself. Now these are not for those who hate reading online and require more than the 15 seconds or so that users often give to online works but are well worth the time required. Two of the ones I have managed to completely read through include Carving for Cash (image above) where the scam-baiter, Derek Trotter, Roy Slater and finally Rodney Trotter (Characters from one of Englands most famous comedies, Only Fools and Horses, about notorious shady dealers the Trotters) convince a Nigerian scammer to commission a sculpture and post it to England in order to compete for an art scholarship and
The Incredible Shrinking Artwork (image below) a similar scam-bait for a sculpture where all goes wrong due to the temperature and humidity fluctuations between Europe and West Africa.

The Incredible Shrinking Artwork

A complete list of scam-baits can be found here on the 419eater website.

Posted by: Garrett @ 11:18 pm
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May 23, 2007
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

Things have been a bit slow over the last few weeks as I’ve been tied up with marking (end of year) and organising the Snd:arc- event with Paul Adams. Now that summer is approaching I’m managing to get some time to push my research forward through a paper I’ve written (more about that at a later date) and some works I will be finalising soon.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program…

In tune with my absence and a reference for the work I was busy making for Snd:arc- I thought I would start back with Daniel Sauter’s work, We interrupt your regularly scheduled program… (image above, video below – the video below is a SMIL video if you can’t see it try it on Daniel Sauters website here) which has inspired me to think about broadcast networks and how they can be used as source material for other net works in performances or installations.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program… is an installation which explores the nature of television:

with its numerous channels, its ubiquity and its perpetual flow.

The installation consists of:

A television is placed facing the wall, its flickering glow reflecting off the wall and its sound echoing in the space. Its broadcast signal is simultaneously sent to a computer, where customized software processes the broadcast in real time by collapsing every frame of the television image into a one pixel-wide slice. These slices are horizontally arranged in sequence and projected back onto the wall next to the television set, showing an abstracted history of the broadcast signal.

Cinematic cuts are transformed into clear vertical sections. Zooms become visualized as curves. Commercials and music videos are seen as vibrant vertical patterns and hectic splashes of color, while News programs are calming studies of horizontal smears.

Visitors are encouraged to switch channels with the remote control and explore the relationship between the broadcast, its sound and the projection.

In disconnecting the sound with the expected visuals and replacing it with an abstracted projection, the work oscillates the visitor�s focus. Where the sound emitting from the television points to its sometimes triviality, the projection exposes the seductive nature of its images. This juxtaposition reveals the nature of television, at once both mesmerizing and banal.

Below are screen captures from the software used in the installation.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program… screen captures

Posted by: Garrett @ 11:02 pm
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May 16, 2007
Sinister

Sinister

Sinister (Sinister Social Network) is an online collaborative service project between Cassandra Rand, Georgia N. Underwood and Annina Rüst. It is:

a service based on research into software designed to identify and analyse suspicious behaviour through communication patterns rather than the content of conversations (data-surveillance). Visually, Sinister appears as a friendly social networking environment, but it suggests that social networking also fosters conspiracy. Online chat bots and automatised scoundrels (artificially intelligent characters) infiltrate chat networks and discuss seemingly common-place topics such as gardening, but occasionally include criminal harmful comments. You can telephone the bots and insert your own messages into their conversations also, using voice recognition software which looks for con-spirative content. The software then maps and interprets these online conversations, comparing diagrams to a database to determine the possible unfriendly uses people might have for the online social network.

Originally seen at Turbulance.

Posted by: Garrett @ 4:14 pm
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