Posts Tagged ‘Conceptual Art’

Hot Internet Art: “The Official History of Net.art” (Vuc Cosic)

Friday, January 8th, 2010

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Check out The Official History of Net.art by Net.artist Vuc Cosic – it’s HOT. In Volume I: History of Art for Airports, Cosic presents us with a list of certain pivotal points in the ‘history’ (or ‘canon’) of art. The list begins conventionally with the Lascaux Caves, the Venus de Milo, Paul Cezanne, Kazimir Malevich, Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol (moving economically from Clement Greenberg’s modernist narrative to twentieth-century postmodernity). Then Cosic’s history of art takes an alternative route, dropping in on the Lumiere Brothers (who produced the worlds first moving-images), Star Trek (a science-fiction TV show whose politics verge on communist) and King Kong (a ‘classic’ Hollywood picture).

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Venus de Milo

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Marcel Duchamp

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By shifting mid-canon from classic pre-1960s sculptures, painters and conceptual artists to classical Hollywood movies and television, Cosic suggests that the so-called “fine art” of the second half of the twentieth-century is cinema (a highly contentious statement, which I would agree with). Next in Cosic’s canon is haiku (an ancient Japanese form of poetry) which, at first, seems highly unusual. However, the structure of haiku poetry (which involves juxtaposition, or cutting, of two images together) inspired Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of cinematic montage (Eisenstein was one of the first theorists to treat cinema as an art-form and features in later volumes of Cosic’s Official History). Furthermore (for better or worse) haiku has had a major impact on internet poetry (the 5-7-5 form popularized in the West could even be considered an internet meme). Cosic’s history lesson ends with Jodi, Alexei Shulgin and Heath Bunting (three of his Net.art collaborators) indicating that the future of art is the internet.

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Art for Airports (Kasimir Malevich - Black Square)

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haiku

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This canonical gag is only one layer of the work, however. Each artwork is then rendered in the style of an airport sign. By making works to be shown in a public space (like an airport) as everyday objects (signs rather than ‘fine art’) Cosic turns Duchamp and Warhol inside out. Arguably, Duchamp’s most famous works are the ‘readymades’ in which he takes everyday objects (a toilet, a bottle rack, a snow shovel) and puts them in art galleries (OMG – SO HOT!). Andy Warhol, on the other hand, took everyday objects (like the Brillo Box) and remade them giant sized, turning the gallery into a dysfunctional supermarket (also HOT). In these works Duchamp and Warhol place the everyday in a classical gallery setting. In Cosic’s work, on the other hand, classical masterpieces are placed in an everyday setting (highlighting the insitutional structure of lived space). Duchamp and Warhol say that “Everyday objects can be art.” Cosic reverses this by saying that “Art is the everyday.” All three then say together “Art is nothing more than a sign” (the mantra of the twentieth century art would become: “How can we get back to the real?”). All three queer the iconic nature of the art canon (it’s “looking like” something) pointing toward its relation to language (here I am also thinking of Rene Magritte’s This is Not a Pipe and Joseph Kosuth’s One and Three Chairs).

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Jodi.org

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Cosic’s work goes further than this, however. An airport sign, whose primary function is to be understood by people of all languages, is not generally thought of as “aesthetic” (particularly in the way ‘fine arts’ are) – it is designed to represent conceptual information (the toilet is here, the food is there). By reverting classical works of art to simple signifiers, Rosic makes it obvious that the content of these works does not lie in their material object (which can be brought and sold) but in the ideas, concepts and notions which pass through the various objects. When Cosic transforms Duchamp’s Nude Descending Staircase or Malevich’s Black Square into a simplified ideogram the implication is clear: although the visual image (medium, colour, line) changes, the concepts and ideas persist (this is particularly relevant when considering the effect search engines have on our relation to viewing art). In a sense, Cosic’s Art for Airports reinterprets the entire history of Western art as conceptual, rather than perceptual (in opposition to Andre Bazin’s defense of mimesis). Art, for Cosic, is a history of ideas, rather than a history of material goods. Art, then, is nothing more than philosophy and, as Gilles Deleuze writes, philosophy is nothing more than the creation of concepts. SO HOT!

In the second volume Classics of Net.art we are given a series of short introductions to Jodi, Bunting, Shulgin and Cosic. The section on Cosic (probably written by Cosic himself) reads “One of the world’s most celebrated net.artists, Vuk Cosic, has dedicated much of his life’s work to global communication, international understanding, and world peace. This motivation is reflected in imagery that flows throughout his art, and in his numerous contributions of works of art for humanitarian purposes.” Pretty lame, right? Fuck you – it’s HOT. I also highly recommend checking out Volume III: A History of Moving Images, Volume IV: A History of Art for the Blind and Volume V: Compressed History of Film.

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HOTLINKS

No Mans Land: Vuc Cosic Artist’s Website

The Official Hisory of Net.art Volume I: History of Art for Airports

The Official History of Net.art Volume II: Classics of Net.art

More HOT Web Art

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Hot Digital Art: “Erased Duchamp” (Mark Roth, 2006)

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

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First, Leonardo DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa. Then Marcel Duchamp drew a mustache on a postcard reproduction of DaVinci’s most well known work and called it art (totally HOT). Now, Mark Roth has digitally removed the mustache from a JPG of Duchamp’s work so it looks like DaVinci’s Mona Lisa again! Conceptual art at its best. So simple. So HOT.

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09_Leonardo Da Vinci Mona Lisa

Leonardo da Vinci - Mona Lisa (c. 1503–1506)

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Marcel Duchamp - L.H.O.O.Q.

Marcel Duchamp - L.H.O.O.Q. (1919)

erased_duchamp-mona-lisa-dekooning

Mark Roth - Erased Duchamp (2006)

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The title Erased Duchamp also cleverly draws on (pun intended) Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning, in which Rauschenberg literally rubbed out a de Kooning drawing (how HOT is that?). Now, if you’re going to fuck with L.H.O.O.Q. you better get it right, cause this is like the Holy Grail of 20th century post-modern art. By erasing the mustache Roth does not “add” something, as Duchamp did. On the other hand, by removing the mustache he doesn’t really “subtract” anything either, as Rauschenberg did. By removing the mustache Roth both adds and subtracts simultaneously. His addition is a subtraction (by adding to Duchamp’s work he removes it entirely, leaving us with the Mona Lisa again). However, his subtraction is also an addition (by subtracting Duchamp, he adds Rauschenberg). Roth’s Erased Duchamp is HOT!

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Robert Rauschenberg Erased DeKooning

Robert Rauschenberg - Erased de Kooning (1953)

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HOTLINKS

Mark Roth Artist Blog: Tinsquo

More HOT Digital Painting

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Hot Internet Art: “FORM ART” (Alexei Shulgin, 1997)

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

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HOT interactive Net.art by Alexei Shulgin (an associate of Vuc Cosic). This work features an array of forms and buttons, all of which lead to more forms and buttons (one highlight for me was the excellent Gomputer Game). Click on any of the screencaps below to enter the world of FORM ART.

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Form (Index)

Form Art [Index]

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Form (Tank)

Form Art [Tank]

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Form (Gomputer Game)

Form Art [Gomputer Game]

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HOTLINKS

Alexei Shulgin Artist’s Website: Easylife.org

FORM ART Entrance

FORM ART: Gomputer Game

More HOT Web Art

More HOT Computer Game Art

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Hot Internet Art: “Updates From An Automated Beacon” (Thompson and Craighead, 2005)

Friday, January 29th, 2010

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An Automated Beacon by Thomson and Craighead is HOT! Rather than confuse you by trying to explain it myself, I thought it would be easier to simply quote Thompson and Craighead, who have already said it so elegantly; “At 00.00hrs on January 1st 2005 an automated beacon began broadcasting on the web… The beacon continuously relays selected live web searches as they are being made around the world, presenting them back in series and at regular intervals. The beacon has been instigated to act as a silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time.”  (read full document) Before continuing to read this short reflection on An Automated Beacon, I would suggest you visit the site and have a look first.

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..Automated Beacon (Thomson and Craighead)

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When I first read about the idea I was captivated. Excitedly I clicked the link, but when I arrived at the site I was unimpressed. On first viewing the design seemed flat and uninteresting. I wanted more. It seemed like another brilliant idea had gone to waste. However, as I started to watch the search phrases flicking past on the small gray bar these trivial thoughts floated away. After watching for just a minute or two I noticed patterns emerge – and these patterns seemed to reflect something of the world we lived in. Keywords related to pornography, for instance, are HOT. Taking a small sample (of about 100 search words) I found that 1 in 10 were porn related (the kinds of phrases I defined as pornographic were “teen gang bang,” “milf naked” and “youporn,” for instance, but not “sensual massage,” or “how to masturbate”).

As another experiment I tried keeping a record of the keywords. However, because the search phrases flick by so quickly (visit the automated beacon to see what I mean) it is impossible to keep an accurate record of every search item (unless I recorded myself saying them outloud, and then transcribed them later – actually, I may do this at some point). So, I would simply look at the beacon and write down the first thing that came up and when I was done writing it down I would look back at the beacon and write down the first thing that came up (and so on). This generated the following (semi) random list (spelling mistakes included):

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  • Youporn
  • 2010 grammey awards
  • annoying phone calls
  • google search
  • heart attack symptoms
  • moms get frisky
  • days of our lives
  • milfs in thongs
  • best online stock trade
  • california cheap bankruptcy
  • coat zippers
  • how old is ryan edwards?
  • Porntube lella
  • part time job search engines
  • massachusetts tax refunds
  • aerospace jobs
  • pictures of brittney spears
  • facebook
  • job posting canada
  • capsule hotels
  • beverly hills bright smile
  • craigslist
  • iron man 2
  • banking debt mortgage loans
  • oren knight
  • formula 1 history
  • future verzion phones
  • used truck sales
  • algebra problem solver
  • hilton head beach and tennis
  • st louis car show
  • all inclusive vacation packages
  • thompson airsoft gun
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    4 of these search phrases I would classify as porn (porntube, mums get frisky, milfs in thongs and porntube lella). This is relatively consistent with the 1/10 ratio predicted above (particularly since the list is open at either end). Given this data we might also see that 1/2 of the searches related to porn are for naked images of hot mums (milf stands for “mum I’d like to fuck”). This raises a number of interesting questions. Also interesting is the ratio of search phrases which can be directly linked to the economic recession (either through loss of job, house or money). I would include “california cheap bankruptcy,” “part time job search engines,” “banking debt mortgage loans” as directly linked, and “job posting canada,” “aerospace jobs” and “best online stock trade” as indirectly linked to the recession. That gives us 6 out of 33 search phrases, meaning that about 1/7 searches are connected to jobs, homes and money. At this point I realised that the minimal, unadorned design of the site was HOT. Because the webpage is so functional the focus is placed entirely on the search terms. All the viewer needs to do is watch, the rest will unfold in time (that is, it draws on Bergsonian duration).

    This layer of An Animated Beacon speaks to an ideological perspective on the world, and for critical theorists it could provide a HOT source of data to analyse. For the psychoanalyst, for instance, the question of why mothers are currently popular in pornography is interesting, particularly from a post-Freudian point of view. In this way An Automated Beacon provides a unique source of data for critical theorists (a reversal of the classical theory/practice power dynamic). Often ideological critique requires us to wait in order to have data to analyse. For instance, in the years following 911 a number of extremely popular Hollywood films seemed to offer direct ideological meditations on this event. However, in order to analyse the resulting data (ie. what dominant ideas about 911 are being propagated at the mainstream level) the critical theorist needs to wait for the films to emerge from culture.

    I am not arguing that this process is flawed because of the delay, but simply that it is different from An Automated Beacon, in the sense that the beacon is closer to what we might call realtime. It gives critical theorists a random data generator for analysing the state of contemporary Western consciousness and language. As Julian Stallabrass writes, “Thomson and Craighead have recently launched a ‘beacon’ that captures text typed into search engines, forming an impromptu poetry, for online display and radio broadcast. Beacon uses only one found element; but it raises the question: how complex can such work become?”

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    HOTLINKS

    An Automated Beacon

    Thomson and Craighead Artist’s Wesbsite

    An Automated Beacon Exhibited

    Julian Stallabrass: Reasons to Hate Thomson and Craighead

    More HOT Web Art

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    HOT Performance Art: “The End of White Guilt” (Jabari, 2009)

    Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

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    This digital video by the performance artist Jabari is SO HOT! If William Pope L. had a love child with Richard Prior then this is the kind of art he’d make. HOT.

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    HOT LINKS

    Jabari Artist’s Channel on YouTube

    More HOT Experimental Video

    More HOT Performance Art

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    HOT Digital Video: “Womanizer” (Dick Whyte & Tao Wells, 2010)

    Monday, April 19th, 2010

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    HOT reinterpretation of Britney Spear’s Womanizer by Dick Whyte and Tao Wells, featuring Laura Shepard and Robyn E. Kenealy. Pop art HOTNESS!

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    HOTLINKS

    Dick Whyte Artist Blog

    Tao Wells Artist Blog

    More HOT Experimental Video

    More HOT Sound Art

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    HOT Animated GIF: “Miley Cyrus – Image Disorder” (Dick Whyte, 2010)

    Sunday, May 30th, 2010

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    HOT animated GIF by Dick Whyte. These are unedited screencaps from Girl Games, one of the leading online gaming sites for young girls. As they write on their frontpage, “Welcome To Girl Games, the best place to play games made just for girls! Girl Games has only the most fun puzzle, cooking, action, sport, decorating and dressup games online!” Check below for the links if you don’t believe us. SO HOT!?

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    HOTLINKS

    Dick Whyte Artist Blog

    More HOT Animated GIFs

    More HOT Computer Game Art

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    HOT Video Art: “Pixsells” (Simon Pericich, 2010)

    Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

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    HOT glitchy video art by Australian artist Simon Pericich: “In 2009 a third of all websites on the Internet were of a porn content. Porn is basically responsible for every advance in communication technologies through its constant demand and the creative freedoms allowed by its revenue. Today 89$ is spent on porn every second- that works out at around $28 billion every year.” (read more)

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    HOTLINKS

    Simon Pericich Artist Website

    Simon Pericich YouTube Channel

    More HOT Video Art

    More HOT Glitch Art

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