segunda-feira, janeiro 27, 2014


Action of artistic telepresence will be held between three centers of Arts and New Technologies: Medialab-Prado (Madrid), Arteleku (Donostia) and Matrabal (Montreal), that will result in a collective and teleshared work between the artists located in the centers and will allow the interaction of the audience.
It is a multidisciplinary work, developed in the context of an interactive installation, that proposes a telematic trip through cyberspace, with sensored and robotic elements, and the creation of visuals, sounds, music and performance.

For more information on this project and the overall concept and working guidelines go to:

sábado, janeiro 25, 2014

thoughts on a performance that involved a #drone

The Living Drones

Joshua Rutter performs on an empty space in a duel between man and a machine triggered by man (I and II). In this seemingly harmless duet both objects relate to one another in the same space and time, how does one survives the other?
The answer remains, in all its layers and meanings, unclear…

The intrinsically connected presence of failure and randomness connected with man powered machines, [here] established the condition of human movement and action, making the set-up work as a place of a battle, which can be directly connected to the art making process and that in this man-powered-solo empowered the object with blood on his veins and impossible to switch off by a slight touch on a screen.

Whilst repeatedly trying to negotiate humanity with technological devices both transform into one, balancing the space between them on a ‘keep the distance’ basis and, by defining that as a conversational mode, the implicit relative position is one that raises awareness for an unclear or undefined political statement – said by the author himself – that, in fact, can be also further brought into a more deep discussion of where do we place ourselves in this era of multiplied surveillance where, silently, machines are programmed to access and monitor also ‘non-connected’ computers (NSA)...

Either it is by triggering a semi-self-controlled device or setting-off an indestructible electronic alarm Joshua Rutter frames this performance in a non-technological/political issue but rather on a human integrity duality where the curiosity and individuality remain in a tense correlation that spreads and multiplies through embodied connectedness: man-machine-man; think of it as a triangle.

The answer might not be answered by giving clear political statements, but the questions arise when facing this intersection between playgrounds, battle of field and art creation itself. By defining a point as a result of this intersection the possibilities of analyzing relative positions of the body towards, both ‘manned’ and ‘unmanned’, moving objects could make the project take-off on investigating further the already present tension. A tension that instead of asking about survival asks more about position, whether it is physical, social and/or political.


terça-feira, janeiro 14, 2014

On the systemic change of cultural memory and digital art conservation

The digital revolution has called into question the very preservation and survival of cultural memory. However, until now there has been almost no reflection on the far-reaching consequences of this systemic change on cultural memory. But we may ask: what fundamental underlying values can a society have which merely disposes of an event-oriented short-term memory? For digital media art this means that the faster technology develops, the shorter the half-life of the artwork becomes. In dealing with digital artworks today, we have to expect major preservation threats to set in already within ten years of their creation. One approach to this problem of digital preservation is to investigate the relation of the material to the conceptual substance of the work. Here it seems that the desperate pragmatism of repairing and stockpiling of obsolete technologies will quickly run dry. A second approach accepts the transience of the artwork as irrevocable, taking for granted the work's short-term nature as linked to a performative practice understood to be inherent to the time-based arts.

Bernhard Serexhe

domingo, janeiro 05, 2014

pictorial blindness

Mr. Neville: ...the sound of you was in the drawing, you were playing the spinet;
Mrs. Talmann: I thought, Mr. Neville that we had discussed the pictorial equivalence of noise without conclusion...

For Barthes, the screen becomes the all-encompassing concept which covers the functioning of even non-visual representation (literature), although he does make an appeal to a particular visual model of linear perspective. At any rate, his concept encompasses all types of representational apparatuses I have discussed: painting, film, television, radar and computer display. In each of these, reality is cut by the rectangle of a screen: "a pure cut-out segment with clearly defined
edges, irreversible and incorruptible; everything that surrounds it is banished into nothingness, remains unnamed, while everything that it admits within its field is promoted into essence, into light, into view." This act of cutting reality into a sign and nothingness simultaneously doubles the viewing subject who now exists in two spaces: the familiar physical space of his/her real body and the virtual space of an image within the screen. This split comes to the surface with VR, but it already exists with painting and other dioptric arts.
What is the price the subject pays for the mastery of the world, focused and unified by the screen?
The Draughtsman's Contrast, a 1981 film by Peter Greenway, concerns an architectural draftsman hired to produce a set of drawings of a country house. The draughtsman employs a simple drawing tool consisting of a square grid. Throughout the film, we repeatedly see the draughtsman's face through the grid which looks like the prison bars. It is as if the subject who attempts to catch the world, to immobilize it, to fix it within the representational apparatus (here, perspectival drawing), is trapped by this apparatus himself. The subject is imprisoned.
I take this image as a metaphor for what appears to be a general tendency of the Western screen-based representational apparatus. In this tradition, the body must be fixed in space if the viewer is to see the image at all.

in Lev Manovich - The Language of New Media (The Screen and The Body)

Mrs. Talmann: Mr Neville I have grown to believe that a really intelligent man makes an indifferent painter. For painting requires a certain blindness, a partial refusal to be aware of all the options. An intelligent man will know more about what he's drawing than he will see... And in the space between knowing and seeing he will become constrained, unable to pursue an idea strongly...

Visiting (the memory of) Jan Fabre

Curated by Germano Celant

Per-for-mance means a person
who per-for-ates himself and his environment
- New York, 20 February 1982

As we enter the Gallery #4 at the MAXXI Museum in Rome we enter an open space full of tables that are the main exhibition support for the retrospective of Jan Fabre's work within the span of 37 years.
37 years of materials, video, drawings, paintings, recordings, statements, actions performed or just drafted as ideas of what to be performed. There's a sense of cleanliness in the set-up of a work that is many times taken to the limits, exploring physicality, raw materials, body fluids... everything but clean.
As we walk through the gallery we don't have the sense of the duration of his works, we do get the feeling of a constant urgency on finding answers for the state of art, its relation with the body and consequently the direct impact of and on economy; or at least the way this Flemish artist feels about it. Art is in between a the ritualistic act of sacrifice and the result of a contradictory self-indulged inertia that triggers an action.
The self-reflection on his work is present throughout the whole exhibition as a written voice that hangs printed up in the large and tall white walls of the Gallery... these notes work as a mirror of all the objects that are evenly distributed along the tables and on the walls at eye level.

I like performing actions privately in front of the camera.
I get enjoyment and pleasure from doing the most extreme and idiotic things with my body. (am I a voyeur of myself?)

-Antwerp, 8 November 1979

I think it's night
I'm losing the awareness of time.
and can't sleep,
but there's nothing wrong.
I'm starting to draw more and more out of boredom.
I've even drawn on a rug on the floor next to my bed.
I think it's early morning.
The notion of art as cultivated boredom is starting to take hold.
My concentration is enhanced.
I'm covering my clothes with drawings, a mixture of war camouflage and chameleon motifs.
I'm covering my body with drawings of nonexistent organs.
I look like a Flemish aboriginal.

- Leiden, 21 January 1981 (Noted down in the Bic Art Room, copied afterwards)

Performance art has a high economic value (priceless) but no economic power at all.
It stands apart from all the rules of the art market.
No gallery-owner and/or collector can buy or sell it.
Is there anything finer than to know that no one can own you?
Which is why performance art is a important medium.
It questions the essence of art.
And confronts the artist with his own physical and mental limits.
So that he rises the most essential questions about himself and his activities.

- New York, 4 February 1982

The performance;
Should be a noble sacrifice.
(Cut me open and give away my innards.)

- Antwerp, 5 April 1983

I have tried to put myself in the place
Of the artist-visionary
Antonin Artaud
To postpone the judgment of god.
I was too nervous, but believed that
all beauty is clumsy
And religious.

- Rome, 2009

quinta-feira, janeiro 02, 2014

Where the Internet goes...

But while the Internet's global capability to connect anyone with anything has affected every nook and cranny of modern life - with politics, education, espionage, war, civil liberties, entertainment, sex, science, finance and manufacturing all transformed - it's growth increasingly presents paradoxes.