August 29, 2008
The Accidental Artist

Alan Sondheim’s exhibition, The Accidental Artist (images above and below), in Second Life’s Odyssey contemporary art space (webpage here) is running until December and is well worth a look. Focusing on ideas of the avatar as much of Sondheim’s work has done recently the exhibition catalogue says:

The human figure’s place in art gets turned inside out here in this world of unfolded and refolded geometries. What remains of the body in the domain of the virtual? What survives the transition? Could this still be called a body? Where are we going in this crossing over into bits, why are we going there/nowhere and what does it say about the nature of human desire? At what point does a beautiful accident become a tragic mistake? Is there truly such a thing as a mistake?

Posted by: Garrett @ 8:40 pm
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August 25, 2008
YouTube as Subject

Rhizome News just posted an interesting item on different series of works by artists about YouTube. Cory Archangel’s Blue Tube (video below) is probably the first of these works about YouTube employing a play on words and layering of video with YouTube’s logo. This work no longer has quite the original intended effect (the blue slightly missing the logo when embedded on sites) however now begins to take on a different meaning on YouTube itself as it’s title attracts other ‘blue’ related videos and users seeking these stumble across it only to be frustrated and confused by its meaning.

constantdullaart’s (who’s site actually claims the artists name is Constant Dullaart – I kid you not) series of works on the artists site (video of youtube dvd bounce below) or on YouTube here plays with the users familiarity of YouTube’s interface and their anticipation and expectation of seeing a video by simply animating the play arrow in a number of different ways.

Ben Coonley’s series of works (image of opening ceremonies top and video of acetylsalicylic acid (Bufferinâ„¢) below) as response to Constant Dullaart uses the YouTube spinning circles in different ways but with much the same effect.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:35 pm
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August 21, 2008
My Structure

My Structure

You see, networks are everywhere and they are not necessarily all computer related.

My Structure (images above) by Caleb Coppock is a series of drawings / paintings for an installation which maps the mole patterns from the artists body (see photo below left and map below right).

Posted by: Garrett @ 8:30 am
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August 20, 2008
Wind in new media

This interesting work popped up on the Microsound announce mailing list a few weeks ago and made me think of another work which has striking similarities in aim and use of technology.

Wind (image above, video below) by Damian Stewart is a work which employs the wind (it’s effect of movement on vegetation) to generate music in real time.

Through digital transformation, a visual phenomenon becomes an audio phenomenon. Through an emphasis on process, the viewer’s attention is drawn away from the artwork as a representation of some phenomenon, and toward an experience of the phenomenon itself. The artwork serves purely to facilitate this movement, to shift the viewer’s perception away from their understanding of the artwork itself, and toward their own experience of the phenomena that the artwork is supposed to be ‘about.’

The work has been created with openFrameworks and Pure Data.

Éventée (image above, video below) by Mathieu Blasquez is a generative video installation where the opacity of the video and the strength of the wind (produced by a wind generator) is produced by the sound of the wind in the video. This in effect links your senses, almost as if you were squinting your eyes against the wind, creating a unique interpretation of an immersive experience. Unlike Wind above where sound is produced by sight (movement and computer vision) here user sight is controlled by sound.

For related work see Lightweeds by Simon Heijdens (posted about here).

Sourced from Microsound announce mailing list.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:23 pm
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August 5, 2008

Heart Donor Diagram

Heart-Donor (diagram above, images below) by Laura Beloff, Erich Berger and Elina Mitrunen (see here for previous wearable art) is a wearable art with similar aims to some connected wearables I have posted about before.

The concept for Heart-Donor was developed as an idea about one’s social network within “hybrid space”*. The hybrid space is a space, which we –humans- inhabit in increasing measures via various devices like mobile phones and pdas used in our everyday lives. The work takes its point of departure by rejecting the (common) concept about differentiation of virtual (digital) and physical (“real”) layers of the world. This work is specifically constructed for the hybrid space. The work attempts to make this fairly new concept of space we live in, visible and materially concrete, in contrast to common unnoticeability influenced by the ordinariness of mass-produced devices.

Heart Donor

Here’s how the work functions:

One can collect 30 recordings of heartbeats of friends and family -or other ideas for personal networks- into the HDvest. These heartbeats will be stored into 30 small lamps embedded into the front of the HDvest. The blinking heartbeats function as personal mementos of close people and friends. The heartbeats are combined with another concept relating to the technological world. The default color of a recorded heartbeat is green, but it changes to blink in red-color when the person (whose heartbeat is stored into the HDvest) goes online (with Skype). The “owner” of the HDvest can follow his/her selected social network of people shifting their presence between the physical and the virtual layers of the world wherever he/she and the people in the network may geographically be. The HDvest and its wearer exist continuously in the hybrid space.

An interesting work but problematic on a few points for me. It seems that such a work, designed to share a sense of presence with those you are close to, should be an intimate device (Rachel Murphy’s jewellery is still the most successful at this) and the Heart-Donor vest is not discreet enough to allow that.

Posted by: Garrett @ 11:24 am
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