Archive for April, 2012
Tweets in Space (2012, 52MB, 2:27 min)
Scott Kildall and Nathaniel Stern of Wikipedia Art return with another
project both odd, lyrical and utopian.
“Tweets in Space” will beam Twitter discussions from participants worldwide
towards GJ667Cc: a planet 22 light years away that apparently might support
Anyone can take part, simply by adding #tweetsinspace to their tweets during
two performance times in September, when Stern and Kildall will be doing live
projections at the International Symposium on Electronic Art in New Mexico,
and boldly tweeting where none have tweeted before.
“This differs from every past alien transmission in that it is not only
a public performance, but also performs a public: it is a real-time
conversation between hopeful peers sending their thoughts to everywhere
Our soon-to-be alien friends will receive unmediated thoughts and responses
about politics, philosophy, pop culture, dinner, dancing cats and everything
By engaging the millions of voices in the Twitterverse and dispatching them
into the larger Universe, “Tweets in Space” activates a potent discussion
about communication and life that traverses beyond our borders or understanding.
It promises more than could ever be delivered.”
This is their fundraising video – please consider making a donation to make the
project happen and also publicise and share it on lists, facebook, twitter, etc.
Phillips & Rowley – latent heat (2004, 7.7MB, 3:25)
Phillips & Rowley – personal effort (2004, 2.1MB, 1:41)
Lovely, engaging work from this talented duo, originally
from Dublin and Memphis respectively. These two pieces
showcase some earlier work, but their later work is equally
enchanting. I’m particularly fond of their installation work,
but we’ll save that for another day.
Tribute to Reggie (excerpt) (2007, 52MB, 2:51 min.)
Vintage Yes Men from 2007, posing as representatives of Exxon-Mobil
and the National Petroleum Council in Calgary, Alberta, to deliver a keynote
speech presenting a new product – Vivoleum, a new fuel made from the
deceased bodies of human climate-change casualties.
‘Tribute to Reggie” was a promo video for the event.
Larissa Sansour: A Space Exodus ( Clip) (2009, 7MB, 1:15 min)
Tarzan and Arab: Colourful Journey (Trailer) (2010, 11MB, 1:38 min)
Here are two clips from videos featured in the excellent Subversion show,
featuring artists from the Arabic speaking world, currently on (to 5th June) at
It is carefully, elegantly and thoughtfully curated by Omar Kholeif, who writes:
“Like many of the artists I was looking at, I felt that collectively
curators and writers associated with the politically unstable Arab world were
being asked to step up and perform to an identity that the world wanted us to play.
With Subversion my aim was to do just the opposite. I worked with artists who
referenced this very language but who wanted to dissent, poke fun, critique
and re-define themselves as artists of the imagination, and not of any specific
social or political condition.”
It has to be said that this bending of the stick is eminently successful – none
of the works included has any taint of tokenism, they are rich with a poetry,
humour and humanity that cuts entirely across any notional cultural divide.
Where they do focus upon political subject matter (and one should not form the
impression that this is a show with, in any sense whatsoever, its political teeth pulled)
what delights is the richness and the playfulness with which this is done.
Larrisa Sansour’s “A Space Exodus” is both gentle and devastating.
Gentle, the Sansour persona (and we’ll have another piece of hers next week)
presented in the work, with the rather stylish space suit, the wistful smile and wave
towards the far away earth, having planted the Palestinian flag on the moon:
–“That’s one small step for Palestinians, one giant leap for mankind”.
Devastating when one sets this gentleness by the side of what we know of the Apartheid
wall, the illegal settlements, punishment demolition of Palestinian homes &c.
(Anyone who doubts the piece’s political impact should take a look at the vile racism
of some of the comments on the YouTube posting of this clip
- “Send all the Palestinians to the moon” &c.)
The other piece featured here is from the Gazan twins Ahmed and Mohamed Abu Nasser,
known professionally as “Tarzan and Arab”.
Although (in a disarming interview in which they come across a bit like a smiley
and un-terminally-corroded-by-snotty-cynicism younger version of the Chapmans)
they assert the piece is in some sense about internecine Palestinian conflict,
to me it reads more like a balletic paean of love to the cinema, to the
moving image (including perhaps the video game too – what do you think?).
Until last year Tarzan and Arab had never been to a cinema and have largely
been unable to attend screenings of their own works abroad.
In fact their first works, also shown at Cornerhouse, were old style film posters
for non-existent movies, all given titles from the names of Israeli military
operations: Defensive Shield, Cast Lead &c.(as, indeed, their film has too).
There is a great deal more to this show, which covers diverse geographical slices
of the Arabic speaking world and where therefore the interaction between life
and art has a different tempo and character to the works by the Palestinian
artists discussed here.
And it’s all great – I don’t have space here to properly do the whole thing justice.
In particular, though, I do want to mention Akram Zaatari’s two luminously beautiful
films set in the milieu of gay life in Beirut – though again to outline them thus,
in one line, in terms of “topic”, is to oversimplify – we must distinguish between
ostensible topics and the dense, lyric and dazzling poetry which they engender.
Also Khaled Hafez’s wonderful short “On Presidents and Superheroes”
(yet another political context, that of a staggeringly prescient augury of a victorious
but still contested Egyptian revolution) but I simply am going to just mention it as I
hope to write something a little bit more extended about it when I post a clip here (soon!).
If you possibly can, do yourself a big favour and go and see this show; give
yourself plenty of time, there’s a lot to see and some of the moving image work
is quite lengthy (and hats off to Omar Kholeif for achieving installations of
works that are appropriate, thought provoking and, somewhat banally but importantly at my age, comfortable.)
If you’re travelling from out of town (and I urge you so to do, dear reader, I urge you)
you can also catch the tremendous Roger Ballen show at the Manchester Art gallery,
which is a whole other story.
I’ll be returning to Subversion both here and in a somewhat more extended piece
of writing for MIRAJ next year.
Again (I Wish I Was A Fool For You): 9:23-9:26 pm (2012, 70MB, 2:27 min)
Again (I Wish I Was A Fool For You): 10:08-10:10 pm (2012, 64MB, 2:33 min)
I love (and increasingly so) Curt Cloninger’s work.
The wonderful series of gif/flash/loop/glitch/kitchen sink audio visual poems on his site, his forays into
datamoshing and his series of live performative/endurance pieces
which, sprouting like green shoots from a rather austere central
European branch manage to be filled with light and nuance and a
-how shall I put it -… a joy which is earned, which is not trivial,
and to which we are invited and which arises out of a heightened sense
of ourselves and of others as embodied beings and of our necessary interconnections…
Here’s Curt’s account of a recent piece, a collaboration with his wife Julie,
for which we post two pieces of documentation. (I don’t know whether Curt sees
them as simply that. I think they are quite lovely in themselves – certainly the video
piece derived from Curt and Annie Abraham’s telematic collab Double Blind,
featured here previously certainly has artistic legs of its own and perhaps should
be taken as something of a precedent.)
Anyway, over to you Curt:
“A 3 Hour performance by Curt and Julie Cloninger. Julie is pre-recorded
on video singing for ten minutes along with Curt playing Rhodes piano.
Her video and audio are then projected and looped in the performance space
while Curt sings and plays guitar live. Both are blindfolded.
A duet across time. The repeated excerpt is from the Richard and
Linda Thompson song “For Shame of Doing Wrong.
Performed at the Black Mountain College campus during the 2012 reHappening festival“.
Man With a Movie Camera (Trailer) (1929-2007, 6MB, 2:17 min.)
“Man With a Movie Camera is a participatory video shot by people around the world
who are invited to record video according to the original script of Vertov’s Man With
A Movie Camera and submit it to a website which will archive, sequence and deliver
it. When the work streams your contribution becomes part of a worldwide montage,
in Vertov’s terms the ‘decoding of life as it is’.
Project by Perry Bard.
I Don’t Know That Would You Like to Search the Web for it? (2012, 96MB, 38 secs)
Image White/Red (2012, 12MB, 35 sec loop)
Another DVblog favourite today, I’m glad to say.
Morrisa Maltz, returning to the world of art from her foray
into commerce (but that so elegant and sharply done), presents
us with two new vids, mysterious and lovely both; one that
feel ecstatic and the other with, perhaps, a darker note, I think.
Anyway, partly because I think it’s enlightening and partly because, dammit,
I can, I reproduce below an edited verison of an exchange
Morrisa and I had about these.
…think I’m moving in a bit of a different direction…I’m working
on a few pieces that are much shorter and meant to loop- sorts of images
that function more as paintings and could possibly fit in sculptures
or present themselves framed on a wall… I’m not sure if those would
work for DVblog, but I’m attaching two pieces that function in that way,
one that is similar to old pieces a bit and one that is entirely meant
to loop and function as more of an “image” than a video……..
I’m really trying to get back in the groove after all the Mofone excitement
so no worries if you don’t like these pieces and don’t want to write
about them or want to write something not so great about them…
I think they’re both great & I’d love to do a post about them.
For me change is a sign of life. Nothing depresses me more than the all
too frequent art school advice to find a “thing” and to keep doing it.
Imagine Picasso with this philosophy…
Anyway – although they are different you have very distinctive fingerprints
I think that change is extremely important for an artist , and it’s …
unfortunate that artists quite often get pegged into one way of making
things and continue to work in that vein- that seems to contradict
the whole idea of an artist for me…
We’ve followed Eddie Whelan’s work from the very beginning and enjoyed it all the
More than enjoyed, actually. Been impressed and moved by the care, thought and skill
with which he approaches everything and particularly by his forging of a very personal,
nuanced and beautiful language from the practice of data-moshing.
He has recently turned his talents to the making of music videos -
and the constraints of the form, both in terms of time and the unity demanded
by serving a soundtrack make for small jewells of lyric visual poetry.
I gather he also plays on this one, and they,Grass Giraffes, have an EP forthcoming in May.
I’ll certainly be investing in a copy.
Melter2 (2003, 8MB, 30 sec.)
Undermining the traditional notion of televisual viewing by creating a passive,
sculptural work of technicolour beauty.
Clip from Melter 02 by Takeshi Murata.