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What cracked me up is the way [neocon apologist Victor Davis] Hanson uses the spike in oil prices to prove we meant well: "What did these rare Americans not fight for? Oil, for one thing. The price skyrocketed after they went in."link not meant to endorse every excess of the Nerd's unPC writing, but his frankness is refreshing.
Now that's real underclassman-level logic: if we didn't manage to grab Iraq's oil fields, then we must never have wanted to.
Applying that to the Hitler example, Vic's take on the Eastern Front would be, "What was Operation Barbarossa not designed to do? Conquer Russia, for one thing. By 1945, Germany had actually lost massive chunks of territory, so clearly a land-grab was the last thing on Hitler's mind."
David Szafranski, installation view from a recent show in Montmartre, Paris, with Trish Nickell.
Click on image for larger view. Szafranki's allover, iterative ideas and feeling for pattern excel, and he also knows his way around the materiality of painting--how to use surface accidents proactively, etc. The work is confident but unpretentious, employing glue, spraypaint, and the flocking-like substance normally used to denote grass on architectural models (the dark parts of these).
Rhizome.org 2007-2008 Commissions* Considered as XYZ Art
"once a process (i like to say algorithm) Y is set up, you can mess about trying to figure out what X you can put in to get what Z, and then what's the best Z, and then what X will give it to you..." (Paul B. Davis on the XYZ tendency in computercentric art). That tendency crosses over from the digital/new media realm (Rhizome) to by-the-numbers conceptual art in the gallery world (VVork). Common features are a distinct grammar of subject-verb-object and a noble or socially useful goal. It is especially prevalent in tech art, which tends to mimic the scientific method's successful means of getting results. Once the "experiment" is performed, voila, Art.
1.) AddArt Member Selection
by Steve Lambert with Evan Harper
AddArt is a Firefox extension (Y) which replaces advertising images on web pages (X) with art images from a curated database (Z).
by Ubermorgen.com (Alessandro Ludovico and Paolo Cirio)
Ebay-Generator (Y) will generate songs (Z) based on the public data mined from Ebay sellers and buyers (X). Users' rating, sold objects, times and frequency of transactions and other data will be automatically transformed into a structured text, which a supercollider-application will use to generate music and lyrics.
3.) ShiftSpace - An OpenSource Layer Above Any Website
by Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv
While the Internet's design is widely understood to be open and distributed, control over how users interact online has given us largely centralized and closed systems. ShiftSpace is an Open Source platform (Y) that attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public space on the web. By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace user can invoke a new meta layer (Z) above any web page (X) to browse and create additional interpretations, contextualizations and interventions using various authoring tools.
4.) The Wrench
by Knifeandfork (Sue Huang and Brian House)
The Wrench will recast Primo Levi's The Monkey's Wrench (X) into a mobile phone text-message exchange between participants and an artificially-intelligent agent (Z). Taking place over the course of a week, the dialogue is not pre-determined; it employs Knifeandfork's nonlinear narrative software engine (Y). The system is intended to present a convincingly human agent within a realtime plot progression. The AI will have specific, dynamic narrative goals for each interaction, designed to intertwine the lives of the character and participant through the ubiquitous yet restrictive communication channel of text-messaging.
5.) zHarmony Member Selection
by conglomco.org (Tyler Jacobsen & Kim Schnaubert)
zHarmony is an addition (Y) to Rhizome that will combine the Compatibility Matching System of online relationship services like eHarmony with Rhizome's existing database of artists (X). zHarmony will produce a unique artist profiling system that can automatically match artists with like-minded collaborators (or groups of collaborators) based on multiple points of compatibility (Z).
Borderline XYZ projects:
by Jack Stockholm
Eavesdropping is a networked audio system (Y) designed for guerilla performance (Z) to raise awareness of our ambient communication in public spaces (X). This project highlights the intentionality and exhibitionism of bringing our private actions into the public sphere.
7.) VF, Virta-Flaneurazine-SL, Proposal for Clinical Study Member Selection
by Will Pappenheimer and John Freeman
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL is a potent programmable "mood changing" drug (Y) for Second Life (SL). A member of the "Wanderment" family of psychotropic drugs; when ingested it automatically causes the bearer (X) to aimlessly roam the distant lands of SL for up to a full day. As the prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing digephemera and moving in circuitous paths (Z). Many users report the experience allows them to see SL freed from its limitations as a fast growing grid of investment properties.
Non XYZ projects:
by Melanie Crean with Chris Sugrue and Paul Geluso
Phrenology will investigate the perception of space, whether real, virtual or imagined, though writings created by incarcerated women in a workshop the artist will teach at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. The piece will consist of a series of 360 degree photographic panoramas that interconnect through text included in the environments. Viewers will be able to move through the different environments to read the women's writing in a form of spatial poem, accompanied by an experimental sound track based on the text. [a possible (Y) might be the traditional interpretative function of the artist but that doesn't count as an "algorithm"--the use of prison texts is a typical (X)]
by Rafael Rozendaal
JelloTime.com will be a website with a single flash animation. You will see a green plate with a red Jello dessert. When you touch the jelly with your mouse, it "wobbles." It will shake and make a strange sound, the more you pull it, the more it will shake. I really want to emulate the feeling of jelly, something between solid and liquid. A feeling that is very familiar in real life that might seem strange on a computer screen. [not XYZ. more like just (X)]
10.) Remote Instructions
by Lee Walton
Remote Instructions is a web-central project that will utilize both the communication capabilities of the web and spectatorship of its users. From a central hub, Lee Walton will collaborate with strangers globally via the web and orchestrate a series of video performances that will take place in real cities, neighborhoods, villages and towns around the world. A Remote Instructions website will be created to host video projects and promote networking among collaborators. [too complicated to be XYZ. sounds like a lot of work, and the only person with the big picture view will be the artist]
11.) Second Life Dumpster
In Second Life each avatar has a trash folder. Items that get deleted end up in that folder by default. The trash folder has to get emptied as often as possible, otherwise the avatars performance might diminish. But, where do deleted things end up? What are those things? Second Life Dumpster will explore these questions by starting and maintaining a public dumpster in Second Life for the duration of one year. [this is not XYZ because it is open-ended and asks questions without knowing what the answers are. it is the second of two commissions involving Second Life, the "Active Worlds of the '00s"]
Update, 2011: The Rhizome link has been changed to http://rhizome.org/editorial/2007/jun/15/rhizome-2007-08-commissions-announcement/. Please note these are elsewhere called the 2008-2009 Commissions.
"Eden Replica" [mp3 removed]
Extended and remixed version of a song posted earlier. Added a new theme and gave it an "a cappella" ending.
"Hoedown" [28 MB .mp4]
Flashback: published several years ago in preReview, the website that reviews movies before they come out. According to recent Lethem interviews, this project is still in the works:
A "loose adaptation" of the Jonathan Lethem novel, written and directed by Ed Norton and set in the '50s rather than the present day. (No, not the Ed Norton that works in the sewers and is Ralph Kramden's best friend.) Norton also stars, as Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette's who tries to find his boss's killer. You think I'm kidding about Norton adapting this, but, no, I got all this info off of his personal website. Fans of the novel--stop crying, right now. Blow your nose and look on the bright side. What were some of the cooler things in the book? (1) The comedy of having a big pottymouth lug from Brooklyn entering a post-counterculture Upper East Side Zendo that may or may not be a criminal front, sitting crosslegged on a mat with the Roshi's exquisite disciples, and trying not to swear. (2) The incongruity of a '90s story with many characters and scenes apparently stuck in a weird '40s timewarp. (3) The quasi-generational tension between two brothers, one a Sopranos-style crook and the other a hippie Zen master crook (spoiler, sorry). (4) Smart, funny references to recent pop culture (Mad magazine's Don Martin, Prince) mediated through the main character's ongoing, inner-monologuic obsession with his own very of-the-moment disease. Well, by having it set in the '50s, all that stuff goes away, and/or makes no sense! Isn't that great? Don't you love it that rich Hollywood actors have the ability to destroy interesting books with their vanity projects? I sure do. prereviewer - Tom Moody, 03/09/04