October 24, 2009
After the Net (2.0) / Transiting the Net

On Thursday night I managed to get down to Plymouth to see the After The Net (2.0) exhibition and attend the lecture by Professor Roy Ascott entitled Transiting the Net.

The exhibition itself was compact but well presented. Tantalum Memorial, which I posted about in a previous post, by Graham Harwood, Richard Wright and Matsuko Yokokoji was impressive to see however the most interesting and yet simple work there for me was Hello process! (image top) by Aymeric Mansoux & Marloes de Valk (GOTO10). This process based work could be described as an automated Sol LeWitt machine, trialling combinations of typographic (Ascii) elements over and over again to create visually (and to an extent aurally) minimal work. The resulting print outs filled the whole wall of one of the gallery rooms.

In scale Ascott’s Blackboard Notes, a reproduction of a teaching blackboard from 1967 (seen here), towered above everything else and tied in well with what he presented in the lecture, an overview of his career and his constant attempt to define his practice with regard to emerging technology and the ideas/concerns they entail. A limited edition of Blackboard Notes (1000) were also given to visitors and well liking diagrammatic work as much as I do, which in this instance is about networks, that’s going to be framed and put on my wall.

Below are some slide highlights from Professor Ascott’s lecture. The first shows some of his early chance driven wood work and the second a game based work I’d never seen. The third is an image of some of his students at Ealing School of Art in the early sixties (Ascott is up there with artists such as Paul Klee as having revolutionised art teaching in the 20th century). The last image is where he finished, a diagram or mapping of his current ideas/practice and how he is trying to define it.

Posted by: Garrett @ 2:03 pm
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October 19, 2009
Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus

The Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus (image above, video below) by Julius von Bismarck and Benjamin Maus is a networked installation consisting of a drawing machine illustrating a never-ending story. The installation queries the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office using words from a story as the search parameters. Patented drawings retrieved from the database are rendered to illustrate the story in a unique fashion which constantly varies as a result of the search results and their combination.

Seven million patents — linked by over 22 million references — form the vocabulary. By using references to earlier patents, it is possible to find paths between arbitrary patents. They form a kind of subtext. New visual connections and narrative layers emerge through the interweaving of the story with the depiction of technical developments.

Posted by: Garrett @ 10:18 am
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October 18, 2009
The Telepresence Frame

The Telepresence Frame (image above) by Revital Cohen is a object which digitizes and visualizes bodily functions in order to create an abstracted form of telepresence.


Human Black Box records and stores this information, keeping a record of your very last moments…Allowing loved ones to be constantly aware of your physical state.

Similar work includes Address and Rachel Murphy’s interactive and connected jewelery.

Originally seen in Design and the Elastic Mind.

Posted by: Garrett @ 8:30 pm
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October 13, 2009
Tantalum Memorial

Tantalum Memorial (image above of Tantalum Memorial – Residue) by Graham Harwood, Richard Wright and Matsuko Yokokoji is a series of telephony-based installations created as a memorial to the casaulties of the ‘coltan wars’ in the Congo. Built of electromagnetic ‘Strowger’ telephone switches, the basis of the first automatic telephone exchange invented in 1888 and referring to the metal tantalum, an essential component of mobile phones, in it’s title, the installation:

serves not only as a memorial, but functions also as a center of a social telephone network that is used by Congolese immigrants living in the UK. The network ‘Telephone Trottoire’ builds on the traditional Congolese communication practice of passing around news and gossip from pedestrian to pedestrian on the street to avoid state censorship. In cooperation with a London based radio program it calls Congolese listeners and plays messages, which can be commented and forwarded. The project, which classifies as a mean of communication between tradition and modernity, can note so far about 1.800 users.

The precisely poised movements and sounds of the switches create a sculptural presence for this otherwise intangible network of circulating conversations. In “Tantalum Memorial”, Harwood, Wright, and Yokoji weave together the ambiguities of globalisation, transnational migration and our addiction to constant communication.

Quotes above are taken from the projects page and the Transmediale website.

Below is an interview with Graham Harwood explaining the work in detail.

Related posts include: Art by Telephone, The Phantasy Phone, Colour by Numbers, SimpleTEXT and Theory of Telephony in new media.

Originally seen on VVork.

Posted by: Garrett @ 12:51 pm
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