Bruce Charlesworth at Ars Electronica

[All this week, artist Bruce Charlesworth will be reporting from Ars Electronica.-SD]

3 Sept 2009

For me, events at Ars Electronica 2009 began last night with a presentation at the Lentos Kunstmuseum by multi-disciplinary American artist Tony Conrad. Best known for his 1966 film The Flicker (which I saw in its mind-bending 16mm entirety, back in grad school), Conrad appeared in conversation with Chris Salter and talked about his interest in the margins between picture and sound.

Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria. Photo: Bruce Charlesworth

Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria. Photo: Bruce Charlesworth

Conrad performed his Bowed Film, an instrument made from a length of film spliced into a kind of lasso. This he looped over his head, the long end tethered to the floor, and played with a violin bow. Normally this would be a private experience executed by one person and heard on headphones. Last night Conrad attached pickups to the instrument so that we could hear, too.

Ronnieism, performed by DJ Colette. Photo: Bruce Charlesworth

Ronnieism, performed by DJ Colette. Photo: Bruce Charlesworth

Later in the evening I went to the Grand Cafe zum Rothen Krebsen in Linz to see Ronnieism, performed by Ronnie Deelen. The small crowd was treated to a funhouse fusion of live-controlled music and video, composed on Gameboys and played on an instrument made of fifteen small stuffed toy animals.

Openings today in Linz include the new Ars Electronica Center, the CyberArts Exhibition at OK Offenes Kulturhaus and Human Nature at Brucknerhaus. More about these events tomorrow.

[updated 09.06.09]

Cimatics in Brussels November 2009

Cimatics – Brussels International Festival for Live Audiovisual Art & VJing – invites all artists, creatives and producers to send their submissions for the next Cimatics festival.

Cimatics festival takes place from 20th – 29th November 2009 at various locations in the centre of Brussels.

The 7th festival edition will again bring an extensive overview of what’s currently taking place at the crossroads of media, art, music and technology.

To submit your project fill in the online submission form. For further information, contact us at

via Cimatics


Art-a-Whirl this weekend

Northern Lights and Forecast Public Art at Art-a-Whirl

Friday, May 15, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday, May 16, noon – 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 17, noon – 5:00 pm

Join Northern Lights and Forecast Public Art for the annual Art-a-Whirl event. We will be presenting previews of the Art(ists) on the Verge commissions and umbrella artwork for Forecast’s 2009 auction, along with other special events and programs.

Visit us at the Thorp

Northern Lights and Forecast will be exhibiting in the historic Thorp building and Central Business Center at 1618-1620 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis MN. Map to the Thorp Building. Download a map of the dozens of studios and artist installations at the Thorp [pdf].

Art(ists) On the Verge

Prior to their exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum, July 5 – August 24, Aniccha Arts, Avye Alexandres, Christopher Baker, Kevin Obsatz, Andrea Steudel, and Krista Kelley Walsh will be previewing their work. Come for a sneak peak. Tell them what you think.

Special Events

Friday, May 15 at 9:00 pm on

Andrea Steudel will present her Mobile Shadow Projection Theater, and members of the internationally-acclaimed Minneapolis Art on Wheels will present a special set of projection performances on the side of the Thorp Building. This will be one of the premier events of opening night.

Saturday, May 16, between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm

Members of Aniccha Arts will perform around Mark Fox’s interactive sound sculpture excerpts of their dance Cloud Turn prior to their ticketed performance at the Pillsbury House Theater, June 5-7.

Sunday, May 17, 1:00 pm

Krista Kelley Walsh and friends will be performing webcam action on Northrop Mall at the University of Minnesota, part of her Public Eye Action, which will be streamed live to the Thorp Building.

Be a beta tester

Friday, May 15, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, May 16, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 17, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Northern Lights and recently commmissioned Michael and Abigail Mouw to create a public art iPhone app to be launched by the summer of 2010. Come by and find out more about it, including how you can sign up to be a beta tester.


Art-A-Whirl is one of the largest open studio and gallery tours in the Midwest, with more than 400 participating artists drawing in more than 35,000 visitors to Northeast Minneapolis each year. The Thorp Building and the Central Business Center are in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, and with over 65 artists and several group shows, it is a must for your Art-A-Whirl tour.

Art-A-Whirl is organized by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) and each year it publishes an artist directory which is distributed through out the metro area in the weeks leading up to Art-A-Whirl.


Roppongi Art Night

A large polystyrene structure glowed in the night. The 'tea house' of Yoshiaki Kaihatsu's 'Foam Garden in the Forest'. Photo: WA

“On the rare occasions I venture into Roppongi it always confirms what I think about the place: it’s full of rich people shopping and ayashii foreigners with girl(s) in tow. It’s a place of cold, pristine department stores, contrasted with glaring, depressing ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. Somewhere in this mess you get the Blue Man Group, the Mori building, a large spider sculpture…and Super Deluxe.

“So, I was a little cynical about Roppongi Art Night. Would it just be a cheesy corporate occasion? Would it just be ignored by folks heading to night clubs? Indeed, the critics would be quick to point out that the art works haphazardly on display were meaningless, that more thought had gone into how best to achieve a light effect than in creating an interesting art work. The whole thing was simply a series of keitai snap-shot opportunities for youngsters on dates.

“Well, perhaps they would be right. But for me it did not detract from the enormous, positive energy I felt navigating the Mori complex and stumbling upon weird goodies. All the works were exciting, visually arresting (and yes, achieved for the most part by light effects). The overall idea seemed to be to make as strange a playground as possible and to put things in unlikely spots, to do things you didn’t think possible.”

William Andrews via Tokyo Art Beat

Fujiko Nakaya's 'Fog Garden #47662' was just that: the Mori garden was shrouded in a beguiling mist. Photo: WA
Fujiko Nakaya’s “Fog Garden #47662” was just that: the Mori garden was shrouded in a beguiling mist. Photo: WA

There was a matsuri-like atmosphere, with a plethora of stalls and eateries. Photo: WA
There was a matsuri-like atmosphere, with a plethora of stalls and eateries. Photo: WA


Liverpool Biennial seeks “Wonder Curator”

The Liverpool Biennial has a remarkable program of international public art commissions and is looking for a curator for this aspect of their program.

Ai Weiwei, Web of Light, Liverpool Biennial, 2008

The International Curator will work with the Director to design and deliver the International exhibition, directly and through our partners. This involves the research, commissioning, production and delivery of the non-venue based commissions. The curator must have the vision to commission works from the best international artists, build real collaboration with our various partners, and manage project teams to deliver our mission.

Closing date for applications

Not a flash in the pan

Atlanta’s take on Nuit Blanche.

“If you head out to Castleberry Hill the evening of Oct. 24, beware: You may get mobbed. A nomadic band of paparazzi photographers may accost you, detonate flashbulbs in your face, stick microphones at you and then turn suddenly to swarm the next unsuspecting noncelebrity.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be caught in the melee, then you’ve stumbled into “Paparazzi Flash Mob,” a work of guerilla street theater by artist Trey Burns. The piece is one of more than 40 art projects that comprise Le Flash, an evening of light-based public and performance art that aims to engulf Castleberry Hill all Friday night and leave its impression on the neighborhood for days, and perhaps years, to come.”

via Cinque Hicks

Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts

2009 Call for Artists

Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art 2009
Doug Geers & Ali Momeni, Artistic Directors
J. Anthony Allen, Producer
James P Hunglemann, Nightlife Curator

Call for Works

University of Minnesota West Bank Arts Quarter
In partnership with the American Composers Forum

2009 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art
West Bank Arts Quarter, University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus

Minneapolis, MN February 17 – February 22

Call for Artists, Composers, and Presenters

Submission Deadline: 11:59pm PST, October 31, 2008 (postmarked)

The University of Minnesota West Bank Arts Quarter and Collaborative Arts Program (COLA) are proud to present the 2009 Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, February 17-22. The festival will be held on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota (USA) and neighboring Minneapolis performing arts venues, and will feature numerous guest artists to be announced.

Now in its seventh year, the Spark Festival showcases the groundbreaking works of music, art, theater, and dance that feature use of new technologies. Last year’s festival included innovative works by over one hundred international composers and artists, including featured guest artists Paul Demarinis, Graffiti Research Lab, Iancu Dumitrescu, and Richard Devine. Leading scholars and technology specialists also presented lectures and panels relating to new technology and creativity. Audiences for the concerts, installations, and lectures last year totaled approximately 4,000 people and garnered multiple articles and reviews in local and national media.

Spark invites submissions of art, dance, theater, and music works incorporating new media, including electroacoustic concert music, experimental electronica, theatrical and dance works, installations, kinetic sculpture, artbots, video, and other non-traditional genres. Although Spark does not force submissions to adhere to a annual theme, we are especially interested this year to feature wearable and mobile technologies, and events will include the first Spark Fashion Show.

Spark also invites submission of scholarly lectures and panel proposals on topics of Collaborative Arts, Interactivity, Cognition, Compositional and Artistic Process, Social and Ethical Issues in the Arts, Art, Music, Video, Film, Animation, Theater, Dance, Innovative Use of Technology in Education, Scientific Visualization, Virtual Reality, intermedia composition, performance, human-computer interaction, software/hardware development, aesthetics, and history and all topics related to the creation of new media art and music. For Spark 2009, we are particularly interested in lectures about wearable and mobile technologies, but submissions on any of the above topics are welcome. All accepted papers will be published as part of the Spark proceedings. Please see for PDF copies of the Spark 2006, 2007, and 2008 proceedings and program.

Dance/Theater Submissions

Dance/Theater works will be accepted in two categories:

1. Staged works: A number of theatrical and dance works incorporating new technologies will be programmed at Spark 2009. Submissions must be short works (up to fifteen minutes; excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable). We especially encourage submission of works that have minimal set and lighting requirements, so that they may be integrated into programs with music and video works. At least one Spark performance will happen in a dance theater with video projection and an Internet 2 connection, but most will happen on “concert” stages. Please include performance venue and technical requirements with submissions.

2. Guerilla-style works: Spark is very interested in alternative performances that take place outside traditional venues, especially work that could engage passers-by on the University of Minnesota campus or outside other performance venues. Among the many possibilities, we are particularly interested in wearable and mobile technologies, as well as live-video works to be projected onto buildings in the West Bank Arts Quarter.

NOTE that if any dance/theater piece has a wearable/mobile technology component that could also be part of the Spark Fashion Show, we encourage applicants to submit it in both categories and mention in their submission that this is being done.

Visual Art Works

Submissions will be accepted in four categories:

1. Wearable Technology/Intelligent Fashion: Spark is very interested this year to showcase computerization of clothing and related wearable and mobile art/instruments. We will hold our first-ever Spark Fashion Show, which will combine a runway-type presentation of works with a session of short talks giving more details on the technologies and designs.

2. Installations and gallery works: A number of installation and gallery exhibitions will be mounted in various spaces on the UMN campus, including the Weisman Art Museum, the Regis Center for Art, and possibly at performance venues. Please include technical and space requirements with submission. Installations may be physical objects, video and/or sound projections, or combinations thereof. Artists will likely be required to provide at least some, and possibly all, of the necessary technology to mount installations.

3. Video: Experimental video works will be screened at multiple Spark events. Although there is no strict limit of duration, pieces of twelve minutes or less are encouraged. Please submit on DVD (NTSC) or DVD data disk in mpg, mov, or avi file format. Videos featuring digital music compositions (two-channel or Dolby 5.1) are welcome, but should be submitted as music videos and will be judged separately from non-music-centric works.

4. Guerilla-style works: See #2 in Dance/Theater, above.

Music Submissions

Music submissions will be accepted in seven categories:

1. Concert Hall works: Interactive works for acoustic instruments and electroacoustics (performance forces are available, TBA) and electroacoustic works with and without performers. Performance venues will accommodate 2-8 channel works and works with video. Although there is no strict limit of duration, pieces of fifteen minutes or less are strongly encouraged. This year, Spark encourages submissions of works for electronics with one of the following solo instruments: trumpet, tenor (voice), percussion (marimba especially), or violin. Additionally, the Renegade Ensemble, a local ensemble consisting of 2 percussion, 2 piano, clarinet (Bb, bass, etc), mezzo-soprano, cello and flute will perform several works. Other instruments and ensembles are possible. And, as always, bringing one’s own performer(s) is highly encouraged.

Note: Although some “tape music” will be programmed, Spark generally favors works with live performers or other visual component. Some accepted “tape” works may be choreographed. Please indicate if you do not wish to be considered for this.

2. Pub/Club works (aka Spark Nightlife): Experimental electronic performances in a “club-style” venue. Performers of various styles will be considered, including those influenced by IDM, hip-hop, glitch, jazz, etc. Selected performers will be given sets of 15-45 minutes. Performance venue will accommodate stereo sound and video. Please note that this venue is literally a pub–It will be a loud place. If your work requires a quiet atmosphere, please submit under the Concert Hall or Ambient Room category.

3. Ambient Room works (aka Nightlife/Ambient): Experimental electronic performances in a coffeehouse or club lounge venue. Works of any aesthetic approach are welcome, but ought to be “quiet” music. Please note that this venue will be a public establishment, not a concert hall, and thus listeners may converse during performances.

4. Installations: [See “Art Works” above]

5. Music with video [See “Art Works” above for general parameters, but also note that this year we ask submitters to specify whether the work is a video piece or a music video piece and these will be judged by separate juries.] Music with Video may also be submitted in either the Nightlife category or Nightlife/Ambient category.

6. Special Submission Category: “Homemade” instruments showcase. We encourage submission of proposals for short (15 minute) talk/performances to explain and demonstrate custom-made instruments. These presentations will happen in lieu of one or more daytime concerts. If the instrument is an item of clothing or otherwise mobile, please consider submitting under the Spark Fashion category (above).

7. Guerilla-style works/performances: See #2 in Dance/Theater, above.


Technical papers, lecture/demonstrations, panels, and workshop submissions that deal with topics relating to creating arts and music with new technology are encouraged, including discussions of ideas and technology related to works submitted for performance at Spark 2009, as well as topics of Collaborative Arts, Interactivity, Aesthetics, History, Cognition, Compositional and Artistic Process, Innovative Use of Technology in Education, Social and Ethical Issues in the Arts, Art, Music, Video, Film, Animation, Theater, Dance, Scientific Visualization, Virtual Reality, Intermedia Composition, Performance, Human- Computer interaction, Software/Hardware Development. For Spark 2009, we are particularly interested in papers discussing custom-made instruments and wearable/mobile creations; but submissions on other topics are welcome. All accepted authors must attend to present their lectures.

Submissions should consist of a 1-2 page abstract with bibliography. Where appropriate, camera-ready papers will be due on December 10, 2008.

Submission Requirements

Applicants are invited to submit one work per category in up to three categories for consideration. All applicants must complete an online submission form on the Spark Festival website and include their submission number(s) with any physical media sent via postal mail. Applicants are strongly encouraged to post submission materials to their own websites or other online media resources (e.g. YouTube, FreeSound…) and submit a URL with the online form, rather than sending via post (Spark does not accept submissions as email attachments). This will greatly help the Spark juries view submissions and make decisions in the most timely fashion. The submissions website is at The online submission system will be opened on Thursday, Oct. 9.

Music submissions for multichannel (more than stereo) speaker configuration should be submitted as a stereo mix.

Regarding music and other performance works: Performing resources will be drawn from the University of Minnesota and Twin Cities area musicians. However, Spark has only a small budget for this purpose, and availability of musicians will be taken into consideration when selecting works. Therefore applicants are encouraged to bring their own performers when possible. More information about available performers will be posted on when known.

Composers and artists whose works are selected for inclusion are strongly encouraged to attend the festival. Scholars whose papers, talks, demonstrations, or panels are accepted will be required to attend Spark to deliver their presentation.

Spark is also looking for works that fit into the “Twin Cities Showcase Concerts” that happen as the introduction to the festival. To be considered for these events, please indicate in the comments section of the online application that you are a Twin Cities artist interested in this category.

Please note that Spark requires documentation of work in order for it to be selected. Spark does not program works from proposals or descriptions of works in-progress, without exception. (For a complete music work that has not yet been premiered, a MIDI realization is acceptable.) Also note that, regretfully, Spark does not have financial resources to fund selected artists.

Technical Details

Selected works will be announced by November 30, and travel and accommodations information will be posted on by the same date. If an artist requires notification information sooner (for funding applications, for instance), s/he should email to inquire about possible early notification.

Submission deadline is 11:59pm (PST), October 31 2008 (postmarked)
All submissions for Spark 2009 must be initiated via the online submissions procedure on the Spark 2009 website at More details about Spark 2009 will posted there soon. Questions can be directed to the Spark hosts at

Materials not posted online can be mailed to:
American Composers Forum
c/o Spark Festival
332 Minnesota Street
Suite E-145
St. Paul, MN. 55101

Spark 2009 has been made possible by generous support from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts and the American Composers Forum.

LA Freewaves: Hollywould

“Along Hollywood Boulevard this weekend, amid the restaurants, theaters, clothing stores and clubs, you can add in one giant, virtual screening room. The upscale Lotería Grill will project on a wall a faux documentary about life in Mexico after a utopian revolution. Kayden’s Creations, a tattoo parlor-gallery, will present a live painting video. More in the mood for sex in the city? Erotic supplier Bizzy B has given over its flat screen to a piece about gender.

“Such experimental works as these make up the 11th biennial Freewaves festival of film, video and new media, opening today. Though the five-day event, dubbed “Hollywould,” involves more than a hundred works from around the world, the loose unifying theme plays off the confusion between Hollywood, the industry, and Hollywood, the ZIP Code.”

Freewaves festival turns Hollywood Boulevard into a giant screening room, Los Angeles Times

Next time you’re in London

Check out Drift 08, a new annual art exhibition in public space in London.

Drift, London

According to co-organizer Carline Jones

“‘We found that by putting art in unusual places, the general public were more likely to come and have a look – they weren’t as threatened as they can be by the White Cube Gallery space,’ says Illuminate’s co-founder Caroline Jones. ‘Then we went one step further and thought: Why not take the artwork straight out there to the public?'”

The six artists featured in Drift 08 include Craig Walsh, whose Incursion 37:20:15.71” N – 121: 53:09.51” W I commissioned for the San Jose City Hall as part of the 2nd 01SJ Biennial. His hour-long, 12-channel projection on the interior of the Richard Meier-designed city hall was transfixing, and if the other work at Drift is of a similar quality – and I’m sure it is – it will be well worth the trip.

It’s also interesting to note how the ambitions of the 2012 Olympiics may be at work in the culture scene in the UK:

“Drift 08 has been organised with the Corporation of London and British Waterways and there are plans to double it in scale each year, eventually moving up the Lea Valley towards the Olympics site in time for 2012.”