My work Touching Software (House of Cards) will be a part of CYFEST, screening this Thursday at the NY Media Center in Brooklyn, NY. The festival, curated by Victoria Ilyushkina, is an international media art festival organized by Cyland, an art/tech group and lab from St. Petersburg, Russia. After this fall event in NYC, the festival moves to Russia for the winter (date TBA). Read more about the festival here.
Go Rando is part of this year’s Piksel exhibition in Bergen, Norway. Under the theme of “We Take EmoCoin!”, this year’s event:
“…points to the new capital: our emotions. Emotions has become the new coin. Emotions can be measured, monitored and monetized in almost real time. Together with our use of social networks, technology is also investing in bio-sensing the body to collect our bio-data. So, we ourselves with our public online behaviour and our stored bio-signals, visualized and interfaced, create a direct link between emotions and money.”
I could hardly think of a better fit for Go Rando than this! Very happy to be a part of it. It runs from 16-18 Nov, and is directed/curated by Gisle Frøysland and Maite Cajaraville.
Starting tomorrow night, I have a new invited work launching as part of NXS, an experimental publication from Amsterdam that “aims to explore the emotional and sensual side of hardware, software and algorithms that normally have been assessed by their functionality, aesthetics and ethics.” This new issue is #2 under the theme of Synthetic Selves. Each contribution to NXS is created in succession, and typically based on the two most previous. As the last one in the chain before publication, I asked the editors for all previous entries and then wrote software to generate a new text based on the rest. I also created a sound work (a synthetic reading of the text) that will screen as part of the launch events in Amsterdam tomorrow and Berlin next week.
Artists/theorists contributing include: Armen Avanessian, Hannah Barton, Karolien Buurman, Gilles De Brock, Ivan Cheng, Kim de Groot, Ben Grosser, Andrea Karch, Kristýna Kulíková, Geoffrey Lillemon, Geert Lovink, Aaron McLaughlin, Dr. Alberto Micali, Shintaro Miyazaki, Nina Power, Daniel Rourke, Sophia Seawell, Marloes de Valk, Keith J. Varadi. NXS is edited by Monika Gruzite, Juliette Lizotte, and Florian Mecklenburg.
Opening today is processing, an exhibition at GPLcontemporary in Vienna. In the (Google translated) words of curator Magdalena Stöger:
The possibility of speech between man and machine by programming software and the writing of algorithms enables a new way of looking at the generative process in artistic investigation. If the generative was originally described as the delivery of the individual subject and as an uncritical use of program code for the computation of a final work, many artists today deal with the extended scope of action, expressive possibilities, and the performative quality of code. This survey of the code, however, is not limited to its artistic qualities, but often transcends an examination of its social, political and technological meanings, and simultaneously breaks down as a pure tool. This exhibition brings together artistic experiments, questions and definitions that reflect the generative and find an individual contextualization. In the appropriation of a generative process, the artists understand code less as a craft, but as an artistic possibility of expression and an extended space for action. “Processing” therefore shows intimate insights as well as critical societal reflections, and devotes a wide range of ideas and negotiations to the programming artist. In formats such as graphics, generative films, sculptures or robots, various manifestations of the generative are examined and discussed in the exhibition.
My work Computers Watching Movies is part of this group exhibition, which also includes works by Ursula & Michael Endlicher, Mike Huntemann, Martina Menegon, Julian Palacz, Niki Passath, Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, Clemens Tschurtschenthaler, and Martin Zeilinger. It opens as part of Vienna Art Week, and runs through the end of November.
Computers Watching Movies is part of the Accès)s( Festival at Le Bel Ordinaire in Pau France. Under the theme Machine Sensibles (translation: “Sensitive Machines”), the festival focuses on
machines that defy our general understanding of what a machine is or can be by exhibiting works by artists who have specifically designed their machines to be “sensitive.” In the words of curator Christian Delecluse:
“Sensitive” machines are those that trigger an identification process, even a projection process in us. They mirror ourselves. They send us back to our own frailty, to our joys and our pains, our fears and anxieties, to our desire, and (to) the absurd behaviour we adopt at times to bypass our weaknesses. They face us with the beauty and the absurdity of the human condition. Yet is not that sensitivity a potential source of angst? To what point can we allow machines to look like us? A too-human-looking one might claim its rights as a “species”, in some emancipation move, or to overpower its creator. Is this the reason why, beyond a certain threshold of likeness, a humanoid robot will end up making our blood run cold and will in the end be rejected?
Read more at the Accès)s( Festival site. The exhibition is open through 9 December, 2017.
My work will be part of a couple screenings today. The first is a video demonstration of Facebook Demetricator as part of “Are We All Addicts Now?”, an exhibition and event series by Katriona Beales at Furtherfield Gallery in London. The second is a screening of Computers Watching Movies at the Auditing Algorithms Compressed Film Festival at the University of Michigan. Auditing Algorithms is a series of events this week(end) working to “… develop the emerging research community for ‘algorithm auditing’ … a research design that has shown promise in diagnosing the unwanted consequences of algorithmic systems.”
Art storage is big business. Currently worth more than $1 billion USD, secure storage for paintings, sculptures, and other physical artworks facilitates global investment and trade in art as commodity. In fact, many artworks now go straight from sale to storage, never taking up space on the walls or floors of its owner.
Now, for the first time, I’m partnering with The Wrong to offer a new opportunity: secure storage for net art. Previously, net artists had no turnkey options for hiding their art from the public. The Net Art for Storage Pavilion will fill this gap, enabling artists to bypass their audience altogether by creating new works destined for the dark caverns of an infinitely large and secure digital warehouse. Why should only those artists and collectors engaged with physical media reap the rewards of such spaces? Now even those who work with the digital can have their work collected by investors seeking tax-free art transactions and full-service handling, all without the constraints of having to house the work themselves! Who knows how many markets might be opened up for net art when a new crop of art investors glimpse the profit potential for such work when it’s locked up and hidden from the world?
While an index of works in the Net Art for Storage Pavilion will be made available, the public will not get to see, access, or use the works themselves. Instead, the stored works will be sheltered away in an encrypted zip file that is housed on a secure server. Only two humans will safeguard the password for this zip: the curator of this Pavilion and the director of The Wrong. Otherwise, no access will be possible.
To participate, artists should create new work specifically for the Net Art for Storage Pavilion. This work can be submitted by the artists themselves, or by the owner/collector of the work. Each submitted work must be in a digital form that can be compressed, and should be accompanied by 1) the work’s title, 2) a short description of the work (as vague or revealing as the artist prefers), 3) a single representative image, and 4) a brief bio and link to the artist’s online home.
Questions and/or submissions can be directed to the Pavilion’s curator and manager, Ben Grosser, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline is
October 10, 2017 extended to October 15, 2017.
For discussion about the Pavilion, see its Facebook event.
My work Go Rando is part of a international group exhibition at Kunsthaus Langenthal in Switzerland. Titled Raus aus dem digitalen Unbehagen (Escaping the Digital Unease), the exhibition focuses on unease in contemporary digital life:
While we’re using products by Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and find them useful and indispensable, we’ve become aware of the dominance of such big players. Their services form our thoughts and commodify the ideas of friendship and exchange. We do not surf the wild web anymore, but are fed with feeds, receiving more and more of the same, based on algorithmic extrapolations of our preferences. With the social media account we rent services, which we pay with our data and attention. With Edward Snowden’s disclosures awareness on the excessive government-surveillence and their link to private actors has also reached a broader public. Since the beginning of the web, artists have built their own spaces and channels there. They have created artworks that reacted to commodification and restrictions in a critical way. The exhibition presents works from over 30 artists and collectives tackling these topics, raising awareness to the unease, showing its causes or possibilities of an escape from it.
Raus aus dem digitalen Unbehagen is curated by Raffael Dörig, Domenico Quaranta, and Fabio Paris, and is on view from 30 August to 12 November, 2017.
My work You like my like of your like of my status is part of a new exhibition at Peripheral Forms in Portland. The exhibition, titled #homophily and curated by Jah Justice, draws connections between the 1950s sociology term—coined “to describe the tendency of people to form connections with others that are similar to themselves”—and the current state of social media echo chambers driven by advertising, data, likes, and clicks. You can see the exhibition online, running through the 31st of August.
A discussion of my works and an interview with me leads off a new Chinese/English book on US arts trends. The volume, by professor and designer Ming Chen, is titled “Arts Trends USA: An Anthology of EPerformance.” My work is in a chapter called “Applications of New Technology in the Arts,” and consists of an introduction by Chen, photos of many works (Interactive Robotic Painting Machine, Head Swap, Computers Watching Movies, and Flexible Pixels inside and on the back cover), and a Chinese translation of an interview I did with Fer Ares of Roboteknia magazine in Mexico. The book is available from Amazon.cn.
Demetricator Discussed in Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping us Hooked
Continuing with some catch-up, I’ve been meaning to mention that Facebook Demetricator gets a prominent mention along with quotes of mine and screenshots of the work in Adam Alter’s recent book Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. In this New York Times Bestseller, Alter discusses Demetricator as a subtle tool which “dulls the feedback cues that make Facebook addictive.” You can hear Alter talk about Demetricator in this podcast from the University of Pennsylvania, or read about it in reviews of the book at Psychology Today or The Globe and Mail. You can grab a copy at Amazon.
My Interactive Robotic Painting Machine is discussed in a new book by artist and professor Fabio Oliveira Nunes, titled “MENTIRA DE ARTISTA: arte (e tecnologia) que nos engana para repensarmos o mundo.” Roughly translated as “ARTISTS LIE: art (and technology) that deceives us to rethink the world,” the book “…addresses a universe of contemporary works of art that pass for what they are not. Here, artists resort to forms that attempt to mislead the real nature of their propositions by inserting them as part of a context: they can make use of personas (assuming an alternative existence), create fictitious institutions (such as companies), generate ambiguous situations, or embark on other practices that, as a rule, happen outside of the habitual environments of the arts.”
I’m very happy to be a part of this book, and also glad to share that it is available for free online (in addition to print). Fabio Oliveira Nunes is a professor at the Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, UNESP, in Brazil.
My work Go Rando will be part of the Athens Digital Arts Festival in Greece. Under the theme #PostFuture, “ADAF 2017 aims to explore the future of digital culture, merging the digital and physical boundaries and discovering the effects of this futuristic lifestyle in the different aspects of everyday life.” Having been in the festival twice in previous years (with ScareMail and the premiere of You like my like of your like of my status), I’m happy to once again be a part of this event. The festival runs from the 18-21 of May.
Push messages, status and news updates, social bots and hate comments – smartphones and screens are permanently blinking and flashing. Public spaces have always been permeated by announcements, warnings and spectacles. Today, we are experiencing an increase in input pressure – after all, every one of us is a recipient, producer and sender, all rolled into one. Public opinion is characterised by constant information and disinformation. The result: differences between public and private spaces disappear, positions that were thought to be secure vanish, and populists find their way into government.
The Festival runs from 26-30 of April.