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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  July 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING July 2012

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Subject:

Re: Collecting New Media Performance & "choreographic objects"

From:

Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Johannes Birringer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 22:32:57 +0100

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text/plain

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dear all



conversation seemed to stop, but i hope it was just the summer heat (or summer cold) and not the subject matter,

I was anticipating that some of you here might respond to the questions we raised, regarding unstable digital

performative objects, and Esther, I believe, formulated a question à propos, which I would be much

interested in hearing response to:



In regard to performative works, it was suggested:

>>

These art forms are limitless reproducible, or one time performances documented on video or as instructions, and/or technically unstable. So how to think about collecting and selling?

 

In his view (if I remember correctly) there are two options: either create an artificial scarcity trough an edition or certificate on a video-tape (or set of instructions), or create a physical object that derivatives from the work itself. In the latter case again there are two strategies: the object could represents the work and its artistic qualities, but not posses artistic or esthetic qualities in itself.  This way the collectable object functions more or less as a share in the project/work, or in the artistic activities of the artist.



The other option is to create an object that in its own realization and existence contains qualities that are a mirror of the qualities of the work itself, or somehow physically, conceptually or aesthetically contain the qualities of the work..

>>



any views?



Estela then mentioned a "data visualisation piece" by Aaron Koblin, "Flight Patterns,"   -- I think I saw this piece at the 2010 "DECODE: Design Sensations" exhibit at the V&A in London. I remember enjoying it and staying with it for a while, as I did with another work by Ryoji Ikeda.  Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to a data visualization piece by Michael takeo Magruder, titled "Data Plex (economy)."  This work intends to  reflect upon the unpredictability of the global market and the capitalist institutions of which it is comprised; the artwork is created from a single live market feed of the most-cited international stock market index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), compiled from the share prices of thirty of the largest and most widely-owned public companies in the USA.....With these fluctuating data, it creates an eery skyline or cityscape....  [http://www.takeo.org/nspace/ns031/]



I saw this on a laptop at King's College.  Other works that I found terribly interesting made it into large scale installations (e.g. "Listening Post" by Rubin/Hansen) which were given lengthy and/or prominent exhibitions sites such as at the Science Museum in London, and elsewhere. 



In the latter case, I would think it might have been commissioned, and then purchased by some institution, and thus does not quite respond to the criteria Esther enlists, as it is already prominently featured, but hardly limitlessly reproducible or sellable in versions or with still images, as Koblin's piece is. I also presume that the work has to be live/online to work, and thus the online aspect is a feature of its search engine/data processing aesthetic?  



Therefore, if such online quality is necessary, the advertisement for Koblin in the (s)edition site makes little sense, or am I misunderstanding it? ::



>>



VIDEO –

Full HD 1080p, 56 secs

STILL –

High-resolution image (PNG), 1920x1080px



http://www.seditionart.com/aaron_koblin/flight_patterns

- - -



...  s[edition]'s promo and trailer are hilarious:  



Watermark will not appear on purchased artwork

www.seditionart.com



Digital limited edition art by the world's leading contemporary artists.

ENJOY ART
EVERYWHERE  [e.g. on your little cell phone]

Experience a whole new world of art and collecting  [.e.g on your little cell phone]

“virtual art for affordable prices” 

>>





So where does this leave work that is rather more complex, three-dimensional, performative and hybrid (in material mixed media exhibition/installation forms)?



One of the most interesting art installations i saw this year was exhibited, to my utter surprise, in a commercial gallery in Houston that generally caters to buyers and collectors of painting and sculpture. (McClain Gallery: http://www.mcclaingallery.com/).  The work, "Reel to Reel,"  by two younger Texas artists, Jeff Shore & Jon Fisher, filled the entire gallery space and was a marvel.  It exceeds much of what i have always admired in kinetic art and also made me think further about the current digital era or its extensions of kinetic art, and I would consider "Reel to Reel" a kind of " kinetic generative art," of a constructivist complexity that one might is going to make it hard to sell to a private collector, but perhaps it might be of interest to museums, I am not sure. I'd hope so  (greetings to Fischli/Weiss).



As Shore and Fisher have installed all of their beautifully crafted  and carefully assembled and wired mechanics and sculptural sounding objects in the space, so we are invited to "activate" the work's  "cycle", by pushing a button, and then the cycle starts. The kinetic objects come alive  (many of them have tiny cameras inside the sculptures), generating the sound and the larger video we see projected on one end of the space; so the sound sculptures and "records" (several vinyls are constructed into the wall-appended contraptions, and every now and then, suddenly, one of the needles/styluses starts playing on the records at variable speeds...) so to speak generate or "make" the video as we hear and watch the mechanics and small robots machines that move things around to create the "landscapes" and "rooms" and windows of the video images. I watched the sculptural-robotic activities more so than the video, or I alternated, in the short cycle (well, i watched the cycle about 5 times to take it all in). 



The objects often are very small and  tiny, the captured live circuit images are enlarged,  and the 4 LP records on one wall are rotating when the software controller switches to them and they run at low speed very very slow, and all four (different) musics create dark rumbling sound while on the other wall there are two small string (piano) instruments with mechanical hammers that sound the strings, and then there is a kinetic contraption that wiggles a small triangular shaped object inside of which there is a tiny painted landscape while the top is a small plexiglass and on top of the plexiglass is a small tiny amount of sand, and a small tiny lamp, and the minicamera that looks at the "stage set" sees the shadows of the sand rolling overhead on the little glass (the triangular box is robotically operated to wiggle in three different planes which makes the sand shift), -- now what the mini camera transmits to the screen is the "landscape (black and white) but this cielo, this SKY is created by the reals material in real time, namely the sand floating and the camera sees this as clouds, it is just extraordinary and breathtaking; there was also a rotating drum standing upright in the corner, a big drum  like an oil drum, textured on top of its surface with grass or green blotches and when the software switches it on (the cycle of the installation always runs 12 minutes and then shuts down; as i said the audience presses a small red button to activate it) - so there are three minicameras sideways along the drum looking at its rotating surface, and what this means on the screen is that the camera seems to appear to create an overhead (airplane) view of a landscape that "rolls" into view and flies by, again, a most ingenious illusion effect with real mechanics and conrtrolled by the various actuators...... (all cables and wires neatly pasted to the wall open and exposed and the sculptures made of finest simple pine wood and silver screws and bolts and the tiny mother circuitboards and little motors, all there for us to see, exposed).  And for the curious, well, yes you can follow the wires and pursue their quirky path until they lead to a corner, where the computers sit and you can ponder the computational [and robotic engineering] set up behind the Pythagorean curtain, politely drawn. An acousmatomechanicacomputrational wonde-rcabinet. 





How to "store" and collect this work?

I remember here in these pages commenting on Yoko Ono's CUT PIECE, here on the list in 2010, when we discussed Nam June Paik. I had seen the video (on a small monitor) of Ono's Cut Piece performance at a show on fashion [AWARE, Royal Academy of Arts London],  and tried to make sense of my reactions and whether such a piece of performance can be sustained in this way/context, and of course it could. But it is probably not reproducible or re-performable except by the artist herself? Unless you see it as an instruction like Ono's other instruction pieces/writings.   How is it therefore collectible?  as video tape of original performances (there may have been more than one). Back then I mulled over the "score" for such performance art; in the current discussion, I would ask how is such work digitally curated or collected, shifted to other platforms, etc?



with or without watermark? 



with regards

Johannes Birringer

dap-lab

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