Archive for July, 2011
Mark Denardo gif by Alex Bond, aka Enso; shrunk and couched by D_MAGIK; optimized
The Michael Manning-organized exhibition-on-a-stick (as in USB) that includes (included?) some work of mine was written about on:
ARTINFO's Kyle Chayka writes:
The exhibition is a species of "Dead Drop," a genre of digital art exhibition (or publication, or seeding) originally conceived by Aram Bartholl that involves loading up a USB with art and leaving it up to the viewer to decide what to do with it: exhibition-goers are free to download the contents of the USB, delete or alter them, or upload their own work. Once it has "dropped" in public, all bets are off. The strategy brings a needed physical dimension and an imposed scarcity to work that is difficult to pin down to a particular source or venue. In the case of "Street Show: The Things Between Us," Eyebeam is not so much the exhibition's venue as merely the location of the "drop."
The über-public, democratic nature of Manning's "Street Show" puts it in the standard open discourse of Internet art, but its artificial scarcity provides an interesting element of danger and chance of loss to the viewing experience, feelings not normally applicable to safely viewing from an Internet browser.
Let's forget for the moment that all the content was immediately scooped up and "put back on the net" and consider the idea of artificial scarcity. Usually in new-media-friendly discussions "scarcity" is a word aimed at those backward art galleries* that try to create markets by selling unique objects. Here the scarcity was self-imposed, ironically (although not stated in the exhibition prospectus, I think we can assume this), in reaction to Rhizome.org's recent effort to sell GIFs at the Armory art fair with some possibly poorly considered words ("we're taking it offline so the collector can have it locally"). Let's give Rhizome's director Lauren Cornell the benefit of a doubt and note that these words (which would seem to contradict the open source goals of many artists working with software) weren't officially published but were uttered when a roving reporter aimed a video camera at her at the Armory table. The maker of the GIF in question has since clarified that she takes work on and offline as part of her practice but no explanation has been given about the implication that it was done for the collector's benefit or convenience (which would be kind of gnarly).
*Three years ago, in a panel on the "Future of the Internet," Cornell [14:05 on the video] talked about the art world as a system "based on an economics of scarcity" and suggested alternate ways that artists could make money (e.g., moving more to the musical band model--she didn't elaborate). "Taking the work offline so the collector can have it locally" was not on the agenda at that time.
Sammy is actually the better computer artist but lacks the budget to mount a show of iPads.
hat tips frankhats, GucciSoFlosy
long version of Sammy's gif
"Tres Amingos" [12 MB .mp3]
A couple of the riffs from "Three Sequencers" were dismantled and reassembled for a 5 minute latin acid house jam.
fastest in and out of body experience on record
lolumad made the black and white version of this and I cropped it for non-moire dumping
The digital file based artworks in the Street Show, which were perversely kept offline and made available only on a USB stick stuck in some bricks on 21st Street in NY*, were quickly downloaded by a group of old school code phreaks calling themselves 0-Day Art. That organization is making the files available as a Torrent.
Their revolutionary rhetoric, minus the mid '90s-style green ASCII letters on black screen:
| 0-DAY (pronounced as zero day) - refers to any | | copy of work that has been released the same day | | as the original, or sometimes even before. It is | | considered a mark of skill among warez distro | | groups to crack and distribute a program on the | | same day of its commercial release. | |____________________________________________________| "We're going to take it offline for the collector, so they can just have it locally." - Lauren Cornell, Executive Director Rhizome.org . . : WE WILL GET THAT ART BACK ONLINE BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY : . .
*but not too inconveniently located near an art & technology not-for-profit.
More on the Street Show.
photo by Aram Bartholl
A while back we were talking about the somewhat aesthetically problematic business strategy of "taking a GIF offline so the collector could have it locally."
Now comes the Street Show, where the collector (i) doesn't pay, (ii) receives no certificate of authenticity, (iii) has the option to hoard or recycle the collected work, (iv) has to jockey with others on the street with USB-equipped gear and ultimately (v) obtains an electronic file that is unique only because the artist serendipitously decided to do a "one-off"--an even worse business model!
Here is the statement for the show, organized by Michael Manning:
Street Show: The Things Between Us is an exhibition of new work from 22 different artists distributed solely through a USB Dead Drop installed at 540 W. 21st St. (@Eyebeam Center for Art + Technology) in New York City. Dead Drops (started by Aram Bartholl) are USB flash drives installed in public locations (buildings, train stations, museums etc) around the world to create an anonymous offline peer-to-peer file-sharing network. For The Things Between Us each artist was asked to make a piece based on the idea of TRANSFER (whatever that meant to them) that would be unique and only available through the Dead Drop.
The Street Show exhibition format is an experiment in the absurd pursuit of creating scarcity in the distribution of digital media. Visitors to the Dead Drop are free to take a file, delete a file, take all the files and so on ad infinitum, the future distribution of the work is uncertain once installed. It places the power of "ownership" of unique files in the hands of its audience and through this, hopes to reveal something about the culture and consumption of digital media. The work presented on the drive may end up online, be deleted, remixed, vandalized, or perhaps even trolled, its fate is in the hands of those who seek it.
In the spirit of free art & technology, the initiation of Dead Drops and other similar projects (Speed Show / BYOB) this exhibition format is completely free to reuse and remix by any and all. A full listing of Dead Drop locations can be found HERE.
A. Bill Miller (.html)
Ace Isaac Kieffer (.jpg)
Adam Cruces (.mov)
Agathe De Tremontels (.jpg)
Amalia Ullman (.zip)
Austin Cregg (.jpg)
Bea Fremderman (.mp3)
Camilla Padgitt-Coles (.png)
Chris Shier (.html)
Duncan Alexander (.png)
Jennifer Chan (.mov)
Jeremiah Johnson (.html)
Matthew Williamson (.pdf)
Maxwell Paparella (.pdf)
Michael Manning (.html)
Nicholas O'Brien (.pdf)
Nicolas Sassoon (.mov)
Paul Flannery (.gif)
Tom Moody (.gif)
While this blog agrees that creating scarcity for a filetype meant to circulate is absurd, there are reasons for collecting, preserving, and yes, paying for digital-based expression. Successful models for this do exist but artists should be free to flout convention when it suits them.
Update: Was asked a question about the USB stick and here is the answer:
Q. is the USB stick read-only somehow?
A. No, it's completely two way. A random malicious person could remove all the files and/or fill the stick with his/her own files. In the case of this show, net art savvy types got to the stick and made copies of everything before anything too bizarre happened.
i think this started as a brandon blommaert GIF but some, eh, liberties were taken with it
Spam sucks, and make no mistake about it, but sometimes it's amusingly absurdist. These were some late-arriving comments to my AFC guest post last summer on a Heather Rowe exhibition:
Three years ago a modest piece of "blog art" called Loads of Loads collected some then-newish Ajax l***ing GIFs.
[Edited to reduce unwanted search requests]