Hatch and Afterthought

New documentation! During my 6-month residency at Eyebeam, I worked on about 6 different projects. Two of them: Hatch and After Thought are now documented on my site.

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Hatch is the first of a series of acrylic plexiglass installations. This one depicts a mass of sperm (up to 200!) which swarm around a doorway. This was cut with the Eyebeam’s lasercutter, can be site-specific in its installation, and is cheap to ship.

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After Thought is the most experimental of my individual works. Here, I use a Neurosky Mindset to test people while they look at flashcards of charged imagery. I monitor their responses in a subjective application of science, noting their responses on an indicator sheet (below). After their test, I feed their results back into video generation software that I wrote which makes a custom video (5 minutes) that reflects their emotional state of mind.

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Another artist that I am close friends with, Luther Thie, uses the same headset for the Acclair project in compelling but conceptually different repurposing of the brain to computer interface (BCI).

Gandhi Released

Last Tuesday, Second Front was invited by Joe DeLappe to enact a performance in Second Life around the Gandhi Release Party and subsequent hootenanny.

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Gandhi has been imprisoned for a year, mirroring his historical imprisonment.

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Several of us congregated at the gates to the prison, from left to right is Bibbe Oh (aka Bibbe Hansen), Great Escape (aka Scott Kildall) and Liz Solo. The full Second Front ensemble was there including Tran Spire (aka Doug Jarvis), Gazira Babeli, Fau Ferdinand (aka Yael Gilks) and Man Michinaga (aka Patrick Lichty).

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We began the break-out with jackhammers and drills, but the jail ceilings were constructed out of a digital composite that resisted our tools. Ever resourceful, we upgraded to bulldozers and then to dynamite.

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KA-BOOM! The door popped open and out came Gandhi. Free at last, free at last!

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Our special surprise, for Gandhi was Cicciolina (played by Patrick Lichty) popping out of cake. Happy Release, Gandhi!

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After a year being cooped up in prison, I’m sure that Gandhi appreciated the lap dances from Second Front (Bibbe’s thong pictured here)




Flo McGarrell

Flo McGarrell was a friend of mine who died in the earthquake in Haiti. A fellow alum of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he was the director of Fosaj (Fondation Sant D’A Jakmel), an art school in Haiti where he passionately worked to build a community engaged with a contemporary art practice. Much more than I could do justice, this NPR story describes the school and his amazing contributions to the people around him.

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WikiWars Reportback

I just returned from Bangalore, India as part of the WikiWars Conference (see previous post). Organized by Nishant Shah and Geert Lovnik as part 1 of CPOV: Critical Point of View (as opposed to Wikipedia’s NPOV), the conference featured speakers from 27 different countries.

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Nathaniel Stern and I presented Wikipedia Art: Citation as Performative Act in the final session of the 2-day conference, where we performed the presentation, based on the impetus behind the Wikipedia Art project, performative citations and used examples from The Miracle on 34th Street and The Digital Dark Age.

Part 2 will be in Amsterdam in March and the result will be a free book featuring a compendium of writings from the two events, which will be distributed to universities and libraries worldwide — a unification of academia and open culture philosophy.

This was one of the best conferences I’ve been to: well-organized with thoughtful presentations, plenty of time for in-depth discussions and a warm group of people, which resulted in some new friendships.

I was particularly impressed with Stuart Gieger’s discussion of bots in Wikipedia culture as well as Mark Graham’s analysis of uneven geographies in Wikipedia.

Stay tuned for the Amsterdam session and you can follow the CPOV blog here.

I have many more photos from the India trip on my Facebook page.

Wikipedia Art goes to Bangalore

I am flying to Bangalore (Bengaluru) tonight. Here, I will be presenting an academic paper at WikiWars Conference with my colleague and close friend, Nathaniel Stern.

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Looking at what we call “performative citations”, we will be focusing on the infamous Wikipiedia Art project and introducing a contemporary application of the performative utterance — as applied to Wikipedia.

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This will be the first of a two-part gathering to put together material for the Critical Point of View (CPOV) Reader. The second will be in Amsterdam in March. I’m excited.

See this show: Oil by Edward Burtynksy

Burtynsky’s work is a powerful indictment of capitalism’s effects on our planet. With striking compositions of mass production, strip-mining and congested highways, taken from a aerial point-of-view, his photographs are both disgusting and aesthetically beautiful.edward-burtynsky-oil

In his TED talk here, he speaks about the tension between the depressing content and the sheet beauty of his work, directing the viewer away from a didactic dialogue about human effect on the planet and instead infiltrating our artistic sensibilities with environmental issues.

The show runs through November 28.
At Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery
537 West 24th Street, New York

Astronauts without a home

As part of the Postgravity Art: Synaptiens event which invites hour-long interventions into a 50-hour performance cycle, I will be enacting a two-person performance: Space Age Love.

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Here, Victoria Scott and myself will be floating in space — in Second Life space — and communicating via chat, while our cameras point at one another and our astronaut avatars perform acrobatics. The two viewpoints will be projected onto the Synaptiens structures at Eyebeam. This is happening today (Nov 12 2009) along with performances at 2:30 by Jamie O’Shea and 4:30 by Rashaad Newsome.

I call this an auto-biographical performance as the two of us are floating between San Francisco and New York, working out opportunities, desires and finances to find a home. The chat will be entirely improvised, discussing these issues in live space at Eyebeam.