Categories
News

Future Learning Spaces: Conference Proceedings

The Sky Is Falling (A Day in the Life) was featured as part of the Future Learning Spaces conference at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland in November. The conference proceedings have recently been published and are available as a free download from Aalto Press.

Categories
Digital Media

low_resolution_wormhole

low_resolution_wormhole
Laser print on paper
11×8.5″
Edition of 5
2012

Exhibited at:
“PAPERWORKS” invitational exhibition, FICTILIS, Oakland, CA.
“COLLISION20” juried exhibition, Boston Cyberarts Gallery, Boston, MA.

Categories
News

Book Review of “Net Works” in Visual Communication Quarterly

A review of Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design has been written by Karie Hollerback for the April-June 2013 issue of Visual Communication Quarterly.

I contributed to Chapter 1: Formalism and Conceptual Art, where I discuss my work Color Field Paintings (Browser).

Categories
Photography

Ghosts

Ghosts
Pigment ink prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag
30×40″ each
Edition of 5
2011

Found images of ghosts with descriptive text provided by the photographer (or someone with knowledge of the photo). In an attempt to remove image noise, the photographs were repeatedly blurred by a Gaussian function until their most basic elements were left, revealing the visual essences of the ghosts.

“I found it interesting to not only further abstract what were, in most cases, already very vague images of apparitions, orbs, and lights, but to combine those abstracted images with the text as supplied by the photographer (or someone with knowledge of the photo). In a way, the text is both a necessary element to provide a context to these formless fields of color, and also an interesting gauge of how we look at and contextualize the unknown (the text from one photo reads: “This was taken at Barnsley Gardens in Georgia last April 2007. There was nothing in this room to cause this orb/ectoplasm to be in this photo. This is incredible and probably the single most amazing ghost pic I’ve ever seen, let alone taken.”)…”

Categories
News

Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design

Net Works: Case Studies in Web Art and Design is now available from Routledge Press.

I contributed to Chapter 1: Formalism and Conceptual Art, where I discuss my work Color Field Paintings (Browser).

From Routledge:

Net Works offers an inside look into the process of successfully developing thoughtful, innovative digital media. In many practice-based art texts and classrooms, technology is divorced from the socio-political concerns of those using it. Although there are many resources for media theorists, practice-based students sometimes find it difficult to engage with a text that fails to relate theoretical concerns to the act of creating. Net Works strives to fill that gap.

Using websites as case studies, each chapter introduces a different style of web project–from formalist play to social activism to data visualization–and then includes the artists’ or entrepreneurs’ reflections on the particular challenges and outcomes of developing that web project. Scholarly introductions to each section apply a theoretical frame for the projects. A companion website offers further resources for hands-on learning.

Combining practical skills for web authoring with critical perspectives on the web, Net Works is ideal for courses in new media design, art, communication, critical studies, media and technology, or popular digital/internet culture.

Categories
Miscellany

Mallwalker Jerseys

Mallwalker Jerseys
Custom embroidered and heat pressed Adidias jerseys
2010

Categories
Digital Media

The Sky Is Falling (A Day in the Life…)

The Sky Is Falling (A Day in the Life…)
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion / 12:00am to 11:59pm, Heartfire 11, 3E433
Digital video, 24 two-minute segments
2010

Exhibited at:
“post_space” solo exhibition, Conant Gallery, Groton, MA.
“Future Learning Spaces,” DOEL, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.
The Wrong – Digital Art Biennale: Homeostasis Lab, São Paulo, Brazil.
“Beep Bop Boop” juried exhibition, FATVillage Projects, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
“Anthropocene” juried exhibition, Fuse Factory, Pearl Conard Art Gallery, Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH.

This work consists of captured Sony PlayStation3 video from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, edited to reflect the seamless passing of game time and “real” time. One minute of “real” time equals approximately 30 minutes of game time. The resulting 24 two-minute videos record the passing of one game day.

References to playable characters, AI characters, and accompanying sound effects have been edited from the video in an effort to focus on the notion of a virtual space with the possibility of non-virtual habitation, defined in part by the passing of game time during the observers “real” time. The health meter, magic meter, stamina meter, weapon and magic selections and the game compass have been unedited as a digital referent in the hyperreal environment of the game engine.

The footage was captured using the Haupauge HD PVR, and edited on a MacBook Pro using Final Cut Pro. The 24 html pages were built in Adobe Dreamweaver, and use javascript to call a specific page (and the embedded video) based upon the users local time (ex: If someone is viewing the page at 3:40pm local time, video15, containing footage from 3:00 to 3:59pm game time, will be played). An additional piece of javascript tells the browser to refresh itself every two minutes, to ensure that subsequent videos will load appropriately.

Made possible by the “Terminal: Internet Based Artwork” grant, Austin Peay State University.

Categories
Digital Media

The Ghost of Vannevar Bush Hacked My Server

The Ghost of Vannevar Bush Hacked My Server
Browser window
2009

Included in:
Rhizome Curated ArtBase (New Museum, New York).

Exhibited at:
“Zeroes + Ones: The Digital Era” exhibition, Climate Gallery, Long Island City, NY.
“Appropriation Art 2” juried exhibition, Zagreb AKC Medika, Zagreb, Croatia.
“Sight.Sound [Interaction] 5” invitational exhibition, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD.
“Binaries” juried exhibition, Idea Lab, Athens, GA.
“PixelPops!2013” juried exhibition, Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery, New Orleans, LA
The Wrong – Digital Art Biennale: Homeostasis Lab, (São Paulo, Brazil).

Vannevar Bush was an engineer and science administrator best known for his role in the development of the atomic bomb and the memex, an adjustable microfilmviewer which laid the foundation for the structure of the Internet. He believed in technological innovation as the path to economic and geopolitical security, but at the height of the Cold War his feelings shifted when he saw that technology lead away from understanding and toward destruction. He died in 1974.

On October 28, 2009 an image appeared to flash on a web server. Comprised of 0s and 1s (binary code — the elemental language of computers), the image closely resembled that of Vannevar Bush. The code from that page was copied and pasted into a blank page, effectively “capturing” this ghost of Vannevar Bush. He appears at random, having hacked my server he now haunts it for all of eternity…


Click here to see what Vannevar has done.

Categories
Digital Media

Color Field Paintings (Browser)

Color Field Paintings (Browser)
Browser windows
2009

Included in:
Rhizome Curated ArtBase (New Museum, New York).

Exhibited at:
“HTML Color Codes” curated exhibition, Rhizome at the New Museum, New York, NY.
“Zeros + Ones: The Digital Era” exhibition, Climate Gallery, Long Island City, NY (Featured Artist Selection).
Arteria “Internet Livre” invitational exhibition, SESC Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.
“PixelPops!2013” juried exhibition, Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery, New Orleans, LA.
The Wrong – Digital Art Biennale: Homeostasis Lab, São Paulo, Brazil.

Website visitor generates a series of browser windows, each with a randomly assigned color based upon parameters established for each piece.

Click here to generate the Color Field Paintings.

From Carolyn Kane, Rhizome Curatorial Fellow:

“Color Field Painting (‘Where,’ after Morris Louis) consists of a series of vertical browser windows that appear consecutively across the screen from left to right. Each browser is set to 800 pixels high, 100 pixels wide, making each window a broad stripe of color. Each stripe is filled with a different color. JavaScript is set to randomly determine which color will be loaded, but the set of possible colors is determined by the artist. The piece plays on the codification of online color in the context of art history. Morris Louis’ painting “Where” (1960), also consists of a series of multicolored bands that run vertically on the composition, and all of Demers’ color are digitally sampled from this palette. However, where Louis’s composition consists of hand-painted lines, and fluid and continuous brush strokes that gently converge at the bottom, Demers’s color bars are all formed according to the same rectangular dimensions and orientation. They are also animated in time; after all of the bars have appeared, they disappear after ten seconds, making his appropriation of the original a commentary on the grid-like structure of HTML code, and the ephemeral character of internet art.”

Categories
Miscellany

Bataille’s Nature of Surplus

It is difficult to proscribe the intent of moralizing when one reads Bataille.

In what becomes, at first glance, an investigation of notions of excess, a constantly doubling and re-doubling of nature, of economies, of states-of-being to degrees which demand recognition, Bataille proposes the “accursed share,” that thing which exists as “surplus,” and illustrates how this excess has traditionally been spent – on luxuries and war.

What if, asks Bataille, this surplus could be spent on other things? This is, after all, how nature deals with its overabundance of excess energy – in the form of larger and more leafs, the tiger who finds himself at the “summit” of the “field of slaughter,” the sun.

Yet this is not, in fact, what Bataille really seeks. “I insist on the fact that there is generally no growth but only a luxurious squandering of energy in every form!”

We waste, but it is because waste, the squandering of the excess, is the natural – and only – state of universal being. Thought not always constant, it always is.

And here our attempts to moralize our positions within this system become not only obtuse, but confused. If this is the state of things, the natural process by which life exists, how can squandering – any squandering – be wrong?

Of course, warranting war (at the least) under such rhetoric becomes a dangerous exercise. If we use the idea of war as a point where our accursed share turns from a natural position to an unnatural one (if even those are the right words to use), then we open the door for investigating our own complicity in other forms of unnatural (so to say) expenditure.

Bataille is clear about this possibility when he talks of “burdensome forms of life.” Yet we still teeter on the line. “Eating, Death and Sexual Reproduction” are “The Three Luxuries of Nature.” It isn’t until we hit the wall of “Extension Through Labor and Technology, and the Luxury of Man” that the excess takes a turn for the worst.

It is at the beginning of industrialization that Bataille sees our hands grow busier. For the first time in history we not only used the excess energy that was ours due to the position of the earth relative to the sun, but we began to produce an excess. At this point it was only inevitable that not only could we not use what we had to begin with, and that it was our lot to devise ways of using that excess, but that those ways would in their turn produced even more. An exponentially increasing function became multiplied boundlessly.

What options are left for a people who are no longer concerned with “develop[ing] the productive forces,” and seek only to “spend their products sumptuously”?

As much as incorporating the evidence of world war would further illustrate the point, it almost seems an act in regression. A better point of entry might well be the current state of “productive forces” within the United States.

We have (and I doubt this is refutable) become the penultimate (dare I say, a macabre harmfully out-of-control incarnation of the tiger?) spenders of our excess to the point, as Bataille states, of no longer concerning ourselves with production. There is a delicate balance here which needs to be addressed.

Much as The Marshall Plan sought to ameliorate the post-War European problematic of importation without exportation (or any sort of trade, really), the United States is becoming dangerously close to finding itself in a similar situation. We are no longer producers – we are, quite simply, consumers.

Where does this conundrum fit within the rhetoric of Bataille?

That our accursed share, our excess energy must still be spent, is clear. But what happens when we no longer use that excess toward consumption of luxury? What happens when we no longer use that excess toward Marshall-esque global endeavors (would not the AIDS pandemic in Africa be the most reasonable place to start, with a potlatch-like donation of drugs?)?

Only two possibilities (so it seems, as always) exist: war (which, as we have seen, is still viewed by many as the most viable use of the excess), or the use of our excess toward the further consumption and spending of the excess of others.

Just as the age of industrialization marked the beginning of an increased period of excess (or, the production of an excess which had to be dealt with – an excess of excess), we have managed to find a way to even further our levels of excess while at the same time loose viable alternatives to naturally spending it, while at the same time adding to the excess (via production) of the other nations of the world, while at the same time coming closer to the possibility of war as the only outlet, while at the same time actualizing the end of this society.

As stated earlier, it is difficult to keep oneself from moralizing the situation. So much of the idea of the accursed share comes from “the circulation of energy at this point in the universe,” so much of it seems our natural lot. That it is our hands which have engaged our hands further points to a self-created position – our lot is our fault.

But at a point, and this is a point which has yet to be reached, moralizing (and with it, acceptance and blame) must be reduced to the same terms which the tiger seems to understand. This is what it is, and it is where we go from here that matters most.