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DASH  April 2006

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Subject:

Quick Review: Hacking the Timeline - LA Pioneers Show

From:

Cynthia Beth Rubin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Digital Arts Histories <[log in to unmask]>, Cynthia Beth Rubin <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 6 Apr 2006 09:55:16 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi All

Last week I had the pleasure of viewing the exhibition in LA "Hacking  
the Timeline". For those of you who happen to be in LA in this week,  
and have not had the opportunity to see this exhibition, I recommend it.

This exhibition addresses the key issues surrounding the new  
aesthetic that came with the digital age.  I entered the exhibition  
by the second part, where large prints by Victor Acevedo face off  
those by Michael Wright. Wright's large, brash, pixely images work  
best in a series, giving the viewer the opportunity to understand how  
the direct language of his portraits is personalized through the  
computer.  Acevedo's updated versions of his earlier works show more  
complex juxtapositions of geometry and photography, with personal  
references integrated into the compositions.

In them main gallery, we are treated to a 1985 video by Dave  
Curlender, dating from the days when digital video was more about the  
of crafting of movement from fragments of lovely visuals than the  
current trends of clever editing.

David Em's series of eight smaller prints dating from 1985 - 2005,  
serve as a mini-retrospective of his significant contribution to  
developing the aesthetic of digital art.  Annelese Varaldiev  
juxtaposes intriguing prints from 2006 to 1993. Tony Longson's  large  
plexiglass 1994 works stand the test of time, as the dancing patterns  
of white marks recall the computer screen of their origin.

Mixed media works by Kate Johnson (paper mache sculpture, "medical"  
skeleton, plates, ipod, DVD player, monitors, etc.), Loren Denker &  
Michael Masucci (video, welded steel, plexi, rocks, mannequin) and  
Nina Rota (inflatable plastic, headphones, and LCD monitor) take the  
computer and the computer monitor into the role of being one more  
element in assemblage.  The interplay of analog and digital is  
interesting, but a bit distracting in this show, where the work is  
surrounded by such strong digital work.

Kate Johnson's related recent animation, playing on a two videos on a  
single screen, held this viewer's attention longer than the mixed  
media installation.  Inventive juxtapositions, sequential,  
simultaneous, or both, are part of the aesthetic arising from the  
possibilities of digital editing (yes, we could this with analog  
editing, but at $150 an hour few artists lingered long enough to  
experiment).  Animations by Robert Lowden and the team of Denis Brun  
and Michael Masucci , reinforce the power of time based digital.

"Hacking the Timeline"  closes on this Saturday, April 8, with a  
panel discussion at 2pm on John Dorr and the legacy of EZTV.  The  
exhibition, curated by Michael Masussi of EZTV, demonstrates that the  
digital art produced in the early to mid 1980s merits a second look.   
The lesson of his efforts is well taken, and artists and curators  
elsewhere should be inspired to organize similar shows.

Cynthia Beth Rubin
[log in to unmask]


> 18th STREET CENTER Presents:
> *HTTL:// Hacking the Timeline / EZTV, Digilantism and the LA  
> Digital Arts Movement
> Exhibition of Digital Art in Print, Video and Installation
> *Victor Acevedo, Rebecca Allen, Denis Brun, Dave Curlender, Michael  
> Dare, Loren Denker David Em, Kit Galloway, Kate Johnson, Tony  
> Longson, Robert Lowden, Michael Masucci, Sherrie Rabinowitz, Nina  
> Rota, Carolyn Stockbridge, Anneliese Varaldiev,* *Michael Wright
>
> February 4 - April 8, 2006
>
>
> 18th Street Arts Center*
> *1639 18th St., Santa Monica, CA 90404 Phone 310.453.3711
> Email, <_mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Web sites, <_http://www.eztvmedia.com/httl.html_>; <_http://www. 
> 18thstreet.org_>
> Hours: Monday -Friday, 10am - 5pm
> Please direct e-mail inquiries about the exhibition to the  
> gallery¶s address (above); NOT the DASH list!
> To view formatted version of this announcement online:
> <_http://artscenecal.com/Announcements/0106/18thStreet0106.html_>
>
>
> Panel Discussion: Saturday, April 8th
> 2pm John Dorr and the Legacy of EZTV
> Moderated by Strawn Bovee with Nina Rota and S.A. Griffin
>
> For extended artist bios, more images and full artists¶ and  
> curator¶s statement
> see: Web sites, <_http://www.eztvmedia.com/httl.html_> or <_http:// 
> www.18thstreet.org_>
>
> Hacking the Timeline is funded by a grant from the James Irvine  
> Foundation.
>
>
>
> It has been said that the widespread adoption of personal computers  
> is the most significant single cultural advancement since the  
> invention of the printing press, allowing not only for the  
> personalization of production, but also for the development of  
> distribution channels which cross borders, cultures and time zones.  
> At the present time podcasting, Īblogs, text messaging, mobile  
> devices and interactive websites introduce audiences to artists  
> whom they would have never been offered through the traditional  
> gallery or museum community. Based on the accomplishments of the  
> last half-century, the last quarter century has seen more  
> widespread adoption of ideas, methods and possibilities,  
> spearheaded by small clusters of artists around the world from  
> Croatia to Germany to Japan to the U.K. Moreover, numerous major  
> technical, design and production innovations were originated in  
> California. Los Angeles has been a central hub in the history of  
> the desktop digital art movement.
>
>
> By time the 1980s and 90s came about, artist-run spaces such as  
> EZTV and Electronic Cafe International (ECI) served as the meeting  
> grounds for artists, engineers and intellectuals who dared to see  
> the computer as a primary artmaking tool of the 21st century. These  
> spaces combined experimentation and exhibition of a wide range of  
> media work, from wall art to video projection to live performances  
> utilizing media tools. Today, writers, architects, musicians,  
> painters, photographers, filmmakers and even sculptors have all  
> gravitated to this notion, one not so widely accepted or obvious 25  
> years ago yet now taken as a given. Today digital art is  
> ubiquitous, but its roots are still, all too often, invisible.
>
>
> This exhibition focuses on some of these key individuals involved  
> in the creation, advocacy and exhibition of seminal digital art  
> exhibitions over the last 25 years in Los Angeles. Many of these  
> shows included artists who were among the very first to publicly  
> articulate a unique digital and desktop aesthetic. They have served  
> as activists who have spearheaded a dialogue between mainstream and  
> experimental artmakers and who brought journalists and scholars  
> alike into an awareness of the emergence of an international  
> digital culture. From David Em¶s pioneering experimental artworks  
> created at historical places such as Xerox PARC and JPL to EZTV¶s  
> development of a desktop video and microcinema tradition to ECI¶s  
> experiments in telecommunication arts to the work of the  
> Digilantes, a term coined by artist/educator Michael Wright, who  
> along with Victor Acevedo staged many guerilla style exhibitions  
> and became a local force for Los Angeles digital art. Their concept  
> of Digilantism, which they not only apply to themselves but also to  
> the efforts of places such as EZTV and other artists/activists  
> worldwide, best describes an art movement as genuine as Futurism,  
> the Arts & Crafts Movement or Hip-Hop.
>
> Michael Masucci, 2006
>
> -----------------------------------------
>
>

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