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In the comments to an earlier post, a couple of people have been nice enough to help me with the ongoing issue of how to present work on the web. Sally (if I can paraphrase her) thinks a piece I posted earlier
should be shown cropped and sharpened, so that it reads more as a web-friendly graphic,
while Chris (if I can paraphrase him) was interested in what more documentation told him about the actual physical object. (The example below is the back of a different but similarly made piece.) "I like the simple use of materials- paper the colors found near a photocopier of any medium-sized office, and the linen tape, the bit of puckering. And what do you know?- it's a painting: a wooden stretcher and staples."
I'm actually not as intrigued as Sally by the grey zone between documentation of work and making some new, cyber-active form of it (again, paraphrasing)--in fact, I think the grey zone is a pain in the ass. You can choose to make things that demonstrably work best on the web (animated .GIFs, for example, or Chris's HTML drawings) but documenting physical work is basically a mundane, practical problem. Of course, new work ideas can be spun off from the process of documentation (and I like Sally's redo quite a bit), but I do value the physical work (too) and if the goal is to use the Web to make an end run around the gallery system, we really can't have the Web changing the meaning, or reading, of the objects on us.
Here's some straight-up re-reBlogging from yesterday. This is work by Gebhard Sengmuller (umlaut over the u, but it screws up my RSS feed), from Austria, as described on the we make money not art site. I wrote about an earlier Sengmuller project here. The image at the bottom I find incredibly compelling, even with (or maybe including) the glare.
VSSTV (Very Slow Scan Television) uses broadcasts from the historic public domain TV system --available anytime over freely accessible frequencies-- and regular bubble wrap to construct an analogous system in which the packing material works as the aperture mask.
A plotter-like device fills a sheet of bubble wrap with pigments in the 3 primary CRT colors (red, blue, green), turning them into pixels on the VSSTV "screen." Observed from a distance, the cluster of pixels/bubbles will merge into the transmitted image.
A patient observer can witness the extremely slow transformation of the "blank" bubble wrap into an image over the course of 10 hours.
These are details of much larger works from the site depthCORE, which I came cross reBlogging. Later I'll post artist names and some critical thoughts; I just want to get them up. I wish I had a reBlog feed back to my own page, so I could keep a record here of what I'm finding while moonlighting. Suffice it to say, I'm the low tech guy and these are high tech: I'm actually opposed to what looks like obedience to one particular high-end program to make work (no idea which one). But the part of me that likes Moebius and Tron (and Tanguy, and Charles Sheeler) finds these pretty tasty. (Obviously they owe more allegiance to the gaming world and club graphics than the latter two names.) From the depthCORE mission statement:
depthCORE is an international digital art group, focusing on three dimensional and abstract art. Our members come from a wide demographic, united in their love for their art. We have a strong focus on collaborative works, as well as individual pieces. We are a non-profitable group.For the polar opposite of this work, see the next post.
depthCORE was established in March of 2002 by ekud and altermind. Noticing an extreme lack of focus on 3D and abstract in the existing art groups within our community, they decided to form their own. Thus, depthCORE was born.
UPDATE: The top image is primitive robo facility by adesignprimitive; the bottom is Drone by shapero. Both are details.
Whether to see Collateral was a tough call: in the plus column, ultra-visual director Michael Mann, and in the minus, the pretty boy with elevator shoes. James Wolcott's prominently-placed blog recommendation tipped the scales, and the movie ultimately delivered with its delirious, film-length night ride through the back streets, office districts, and low-rent apartment parking lots of Los Angeles. It's palpably gorgeous filmmaking, constantly veering between highly subjective close-ups and unusual architectural angles. The plot [spoiler] is almost identical to Phone Booth's: a remorseless sociopath helps an everyday Joe get in touch with his inner feelings. A lot of it plays like a cop buddy film: the dialogue is sharp and funny but the story is the kind of thing that only happens in a Hollywood screenwriter's too-clever imagination. One funny subplot (OK, in a sick way) involves undercover detective Mark Ruffalo, who reprises the Scatman Crothers story line in The Shining. And, OK, the elevator shoes guy is serviceable (as opposed to his usual out and out bad) as a graying, brush-cut psycho.
I have a lot of older work that got documented with a polaroid or not at all; using the digital camera means some of it is seeing the light of day. This was a piece from '96, one of the last of a series where I was taping legal pad sheets together and painting big dumb molecules on them. The doodles on the pad are pretty murky but trust me, you don't want to see them up close. I thought I was being funny channeling my inner high school student but the drawings are straight-up cringe-inducing. I paint the molecules on the computer now; I don't miss the carpal tunnel from painting them with real paint but the drips were fun to do. The only reason I'm pulling this out now is I reached a point with the computer-painting where I want to see more real world grit, and this older work is all about grit.
I'd been telling a NY musician friend about Chrome, a punk era band from San Francisco whose work is, I think, aging pretty well. Their super-dense acid guitar sound, layered with feedback and phase shifting effects, floating on top of metronomic or insistent beats, looked back to krautrock and anticipated both grunge and My Bloody Valentine. I played these tracks fom the late '70s/early '80s for my friend recently and he commented that they "don't sound dated at all--it could be a Williamsburg band." Check'em out:
"Innervacume" [.mp3 removed]--this is the most "punk" or post-punk track.
"3rd from the Sun" [.mp3 removed]--almost heavy metal, or proto-Soundgarden.
"Nova Feedback" [.mp3 removed]--the earliest and I think best of the three. Blues psychedelia--almost Hendrix-y a la "1983." No vocals is a big plus.
Posting will be light here for a few days while I learn to navigate the relentless bombardment of incoming data streams over at Eyebeam reBlog, where I am reBlogger of the Moment, starting today. The way it works is, they have umpteen blog-type sites coming in via RSS feeds, and I sift through new posts and present a daily selection of links. Thanks to Sally McKay for my quizzical head shot.