If I can’t dance . . .

All promo videos for an exhibition should be this entertaining!

Opening August 11, “The Walker presents the latest phase and first US exhibition of Baby Marx, an ongoing project by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes that looks at the potential for mass entertainment to operate as a radical educational tool.”

At the end of the video, above the subtitle Romance, it appears that Che Guevara is hitting on a school teacher/librarian, who is the only woman who appears in the trailer. I wonder if the exhibition will include female theoreticians and activists?

Tools for (accessing) action

Actions: What You Can Do With the City Canadian Centre for Architecture Actions: What You Can Do With the City presents 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world.

Actions: What You Can Do With the City Canadian Centre for Architecture Actions: What You Can Do With the City presents 99 actions that instigate positive change in contemporary cities around the world.

I didn’t see the exhibition but part of what caught my attention is the symmetry between the web interface and the proposed/enacted actions in the city, which is nevertheless not merely literal. Clicking on the ball identifies 5 actions from #79 Paint Grows Soccer Field to #48 Ping Pong Connects Neighbors.

Football Field 1. Maider López. Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates, 2007. © Maider López

Football Field 1. Maider López. Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates, 2007. © Maider López

You can combine tools as well, so that the coveralls link to 8 actions from #61. Bicycle Plants Wartime Gardens
(Futurefarmers’ Victory Garden project) to #40 Wheels Give Superpowers. But if you add a bench to your toolset, you get Foamy Velour Suits Challenge Authority.

The integration of interface and concept may or may not change the world, but it’s refreshing to see a site that still tries to be an experience for the experience, and the projects are great to browse through. I’m thinking of taking up #41 Guns Seed Vacant Lots this spring.

Plant the Piece is a symbolic seed-bomb production project.

Plant the Piece is a symbolic seed-bomb production project.

Sabrina Raaf, A Light Green Light


March 5, 2010

Media Contact: Doug Ramsey, 858-822-5825, dramsey@ucsd.edu
Gallery Coordinator: Trish Stone, 858-336-6456, tstone@ucsd.edu

Sustainability and Art on Display at UC San Diego’s gallery@calit2

The University of California, San Diego has built a reputation for being one of the “greenest” campuses in the nation, and that reputation extends to an art gallery in the university’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), which is staging a new sustainability-themed art exhibition.

The gallery@calit2 goes green this spring with an exhibition by Chicago-based artist Sabrina Raaf, whose custom-built robotic sculptures and site specific installations include a series of experiments that address issues of sustainable practice, the construction of social spaces, and prototyping for modular green architecture. Curated by Steve Dietz, “A Light Green Light: Toward Sustainability in Practice” opens Friday, April 2, 2010, with a 6 p.m. panel discussion moderated by UC San Diego visual arts professor Jordan Crandall, followed by a reception.

Dietz has selected five of Raaf’s electronic and responsive artworks to be included in this exhibition: Translator II: Grower, Icelandic Rift, Light Green Light, (n)Fold, and Meandering River.

Sabrina Raaf, Translator II Grower

Sabrina Raaf, Translator II Grower

Translator II Grower, a robotic sculpture, measures carbon dioxide levels inside the gallery as they are generated by visitors, and actively draws the measurements in green ink as a field of grass on the gallery walls. Examples of these ink drawings will be on display on the first floor of Atkinson Hall.

Sabrina Raaf, Icelandic Rift

Sabrina Raaf, Icelandic Rift

The Icelandic Rift sculptures are electronically-powered works that include mechanical systems, representing far-future visions of agricultural production and mineral mining in zero-g environments.

Prototypes and concept animations for Light Green Light, a lamp that unfolds into a netted tent for sleeping, and (n)Fold, a flat-fold design for dew harvesting and passive solar cooking, are also on view in the gallery.

Sabrina Raaf, Meandering River

Sabrina Raaf, Meandering River

Meandering River is a sculptural installation made up of thermal screen material that has had its surface milled robotically with meandering river designs. Its installation form is derived from self-organizing and meandering river mathematics. This thermal screen installation is also designed to cascade vertically in order to create a climbing surface for vines and thus support the growth of a vertical garden. A cascading instance of the Meandering River sculpture is hung in the six-story window of the Atkinson Hall stairwell, and a second, river-type instance will be viewed in the hall area on the first floor.

Raaf works in experimental sculptural media and designs responsive environments and social spaces. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at the Brandts Art Center (Denmark), Transitio_MX (Mexico City), Sala Parpallo (Spain), MejanLabs (Stockholm), Lawimore Projects (Seattle), the Edith-Russ-Site for Media Art (Germany), Stefan Stux Gallery (NYC), Ars Electronica (Linz), Museum Tinguely (Basel), Espace Landowski (Paris), Artbots 2005 (Dublin), Kunsthaus Graz (Austria), ISEA (Helsinki), the San Jose Museum of Art, and Klein Art Works (Chicago). The artist is the recipient of a Creative Capital Grant in Emerging Fields (2002) and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship (2005 &2001). Reviews of her work have appeared in Art in America, Contemporary, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Leonardo, Washington Post, and New Art Examiner. She received an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999) and is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Steve Dietz is Founder, President, and Artistic Director of Northern Lights.mn. He was the Founding Director of the 01SJ Biennial in 2006 and is currently Artistic Director of its producing organization, ZERO1: the Art and Technology Network. He is the former Curator of New Media at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he founded the New Media Initiatives department in 1996.

“A Light Green Light: Toward Sustainability in Practice”
by Sabrina Raaf
Curated by Steve Dietz
Friday, April 2, 2010 – Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday, April 2, 6 p.m. in Calit2 Theater, Atkinson Hall, UCSD
Panel Discussion with Sabrina Raaf and Steve Dietz
Moderated by Jordan Crandall, Associate Professor, Visual Arts, UCSD
Welcome by Ramesh Rao, Director, UCSD Division, Calit2

Friday, April 2, 7 p.m. in gallery@calit2, Atkinson Hall, UCSD
Opening Reception

Events are FREE and open to the public.
RSVP requested to Trish Stone, Gallery Coordinator, at tstone@ucsd.edu

Projections – inside, internal and in the streets

Paul Pfeiffer, Cross Hall (2008), Wall-recessed mixed media diorama, peephole, live video feed projection. Dimensions variable. Installation view courtesy of Carlier Gebauer. Photo by Bernd Borchardt. Collection of Sammlung Goetz, Munich.

Paul Pfeiffer, "Cross Hall (2008)," Wall-recessed mixed media diorama, peephole, live video feed projection. Dimensions variable. Installation view courtesy of Carlier Gebauer. Photo by Bernd Borchardt. Collection of Sammlung Goetz, Munich.via Switchboard

Looks like a great line up for a panel with a ho-hum title “Confounding Expectations X: Photography in Context The Projected Photograph” at the Vera List Center this Thursday – George Baker, Andrea Geyer, Paul Pfeiffer, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

This panel will explore the multiple ways in which contemporary artists have utilized projection and installation strategies to display still photographic images, creating immersive and cinema-like experiences in museum and gallery environments.”

It’s still faintly amusing to me that a stellar panel like this might coalesce around the medium-specificity of the photographic image, deploying the term “immersive” in relation to cinema without, apparently, a nod to either the communicating projections of, say, Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitiz’s Hole-in-Space or the dynamic environments of, say, Fashionably Late for the Relationship (installation version) by R. Luke Dubois and Lián Amaris.

The Projection Project. Installation view. Curated by Edwin Carels, Mark Kre

The Projection Project. Installation view. Curated by Edwin Carels, Mark Kre

Nevertheless, it is a rich topic. See MHKA’s The Projection Project exhibition with work by Marie José Burki, Marc De Blieck, Thierry De Cordier, Rodney Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Kristina Ianatchkova & Vitto Valentinov, Timothée Ingen-Housz, Yeondoo Jung, André Kruysen,Bertrand Lavier, Bruce Nauman, Stephen & Timothy Quay, Joost Rekveld, Matthew Stokes, Fiona Tan, Krassimir Terziev, Ana Torfs, Paul Van Hoeydonck, Benjamin Verdonck, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thomas Zummer.

I contributed a talk “Into the Streets,” which attempted to construct a discernible trajectory from the kind of gallery-based work that Chrissie Illes presented in her mesmerizing 2001 exhibition, Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964-1977, to contemporary practice, such as Wodiczko’s CECUCT project and the kind of work I am interested in at Northern Lights as well as the 01SJ Biennial.

And hopefully, Pfeiffer will at least mention his The Saints project, which remains an animating experience for me and taught me that even in a large-scale, public context, spectacular size is not everything. The visual element of The Saints was physically minor, even though critical to the overall experience.

AOV alum

Christopher Baker, Hello World! at Franklin Arts in Artcetera

Christopher Baker, Hello World! at Franklin Arts in Artcetera

via Artcetera

Chris was a recipient of one of the first round of Art(ists) On the Verge grants.




Good work…”

“Anyway, I had my metaphorical books open until I moved over to the Artists on the Verge exhibition. It changed the channel in my head, and I felt like someone had nudged me gently awake. All of the artwork necessitated involvement of people in some way (way to go new wave of contemporary art! I like you more than the movements 5 years ago!) which got me thinking about how we, museum people, have sometimes layered the audience experience on top of the artwork. To help inspire or explain if it was more difficult to get at. Why this exhibition seemed so effortless in that respect, was because the viewer was primary to the artwork itself. Of course I felt like I had been woken up! The artwork wanted me to. It needed me to.”

via I am almost always on time

Opening reception Art(ists) On the Verge, Weisman Art Museum

Opening reception

Tomorrow night, Thursday, July 9, from 8-10 pm, there will be an opening reception for Art(ists) On the Verge at the Weisman Art Museum.


Opening Night Performances

8:30 pm Krista Kelley Walsh, Public Eye Action, Northrop Mall and Weisman Art Museum
9:00 pm Aniccha Arts will perform an excerpt of Cloud Turn, Weisman Art Museum
9:30 triquetera, an allegorical exercise. Andrea Steudel and David Steinman with sounds by John Keston present an original outdoor video performance on the facade of the Weisman Art Museum

Art(ists) On the Verge

Artists on the Verge 2008-2009 at the Weisman Art Museum features works or documentation of works made by the inaugural group of Art(ists) on the Verge fellows. Installations of all six commissions are included. Artists are Aniccha Arts (Pramila Vasudevan, Director), Avye Alexandres, Christopher Baker, Kevin Obstatz, Andrea Steudel, and Krista Kelley Walsh.

Art(ists) on the Verge (AOV) is a new Northern Lights fellowship program that supports Minnesota-based, emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection of art and technology, with a focus on practices that are social, virtual and/or participatory. The program is sponsored by the Jerome Foundation.

In September 2008 a jury consisting of Liz Armstrong (The Minneapolis Institute of Art), Steve Dietz (Northern Lights), Ben Heywood (Soap Factory), Ana Serrano (Canadian Film Center Media Lab), and Anu Vikram (Headlands Residency Program) selected 6 artists for AOV fellowships. This exhibition represents the culmination of the fellowship year.


Avye Alexandres

Once, 2009
interactive environment

Once is a mixed media, immersive installation designed to function as memory might. Placing the viewer on the edge of an ambiguous, changing and ephemeral space, the work raises questions about the placement, origins, and malleability of our memories. It also highlights the difficulty we have controlling our surroundings and recollections.

Aniccha Arts

Cloud Turn, 2009

For the Weisman Art Museum, Pramila Vasudevan, founder and director of Annicha Arts presents documentation of the interactive dance performance Cloud Turn presented at Pillsbury House Theater in early June 2009.

Cloud Turn is a part of Aniccha Arts’s larger multi-media endeavor The Weather Vein Project. Created in a time of publicly acknowledged climate crisis, the work investigates the human desire and need for weather modification. The Weather Vein Project is based on a series of workshops with students and the general public throughout the Twin Cities as well as an online discussion site exploring the arising concern about global water scarcity.

Aniccha Arts / Mark Fox

Weather Oracle, 2009
interactive sound sculpture

This interactive sculpture is a part of Annicha Arts’s, The Weather Vein Project. Designed to be shown in the entryway to the performance of the interactive dance performance, Cloud Turn, the sculpture responds sonically to the audience.

Annicha Arts

wecanchangetheweather.org, 2009

The web log accessible on this computer explores and documents our weather memories in an age of increasing warmth. Developed by Pramila Vasudevan, founder and director of Aniccha Arts, primary contributors are Shalini Gupta, Cecilia Martinez, and Mark Seeley with workshop contributors Piotr Szyhalski from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Ian Rhodes and Martha Johnson from Highland Park Junior High School.

Christopher Baker

Murmur Study, 2009
Thermal printers, paper, Twitter

Murmur Study is an installation that examines the rise of micro-messaging technologies such as Twitter and Facebook’s status update, which have become a kind of digital small talk or contemporary coffee klatsch. But unlike water-cooler conversations, these fleeting thoughts are accumulated, archived and digitally indexed by corporations. While the future of these archives remains to be seen, the sheer volume of publicly accessible personal—often emotional—expression might give us pause.

This installation consists of 30 thermal printers that continuously monitor Twitter for new messages containing variations on common emotional utterances. Messages containing hundreds of variations on expressions(?) such as argh, meh, grrrr, oooo, ewww, and hmph, are printed as an endless waterfall of text accumulating in tangled piles below.

Murmur Study is an ongoing collaboration with Márton András Juhász and the Kitchen Budapest. Baker, a former research scientist, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Time and Interactivity program and currently has a residency fellowship at The Kitchen in Budapest.

Christopher Baker

HPVS (Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome), 2009
cell phones

HPVS (Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome) is a kinetic sculpture that considers the subtle, often-subconscious ways that mobile communication technologies shape our senses. The title references the recently discovered Human Phantom Vibration Syndrome—a syndrome wherein mobile phone users become hyper-attentive to their mobile devices, often experiencing phantom ringing sensations even in the absence of incoming calls or messages. This work carefully orchestrates the vibrations of over 500 mobile phones to produce a familiar yet quietly disturbing cacophony.

Kevin Obsatz

The Gate to the Enclosure, 2009
four-screen video installation

The Gate to the Enclosure is a four-screen video installation that challenges the practice of restricting televisual communication to “keyhole” or “vignette” dynamics, in which the author of the work is both safely hidden behind his/her framing choices, and in complete, unilateral control of the experience of the viewer. For this installation, the artist built a four-camera video apparatus that captures a 360-degree field of vision. He then experimented with it in various environments, both as a static observer and as a form that can be manipulated in three-dimensional space.

In The Gate to the Enclosure the dynamics of the relationship between cameraperson, apparatus and filmed “subject” are very different than those at play in the traditional act of filming with a single camera. The keyhole effect is shattered as notions of inside and outside the field of view are blurred. As a result, the viewers become observer and observed, subject and object, positioned on the same side of the lens, a part of the same landscape.

Andrea Steudel

Mobile Shadow Projection Theater, 2009

Andrea Steudel, collaborating with different artists, such as Angela Olson of the Open Eye Figure Theater, Jetpack Puppeteer Karen Haselman and for a performance at the Weisman, David Steinman with John Keston, created a portable projection system tailored for shadow puppetry. She then deployed it ubiquitously in the public sphere in performances of varying formality. This looping DVD shows video documentation of her urban performances over the course of the fellowship.

Krista Kelley Walsh

Public Eye Action, 2009
computer, graphite on paper

Public Eye Action is a series of site-specific visual events created for public webcams. The events initiated by the artist and undertaken before the cameras humorously hijack these “eyes in the sky” to expose their persistent presence in our daily lives. For the Weisman installation Kelley Walsh has installed a computer monitor linked to a webcam positioned on the University’s Northrop Mall and will work with the community to stage actions there. In addition, Kelley Walsh has installed 5 drawings she created from selected images captured from web cameras.

Public/Private in “Pay Attention”