Thursday, October 16
Image from Tanktv - Ken Jacobs / Little Stabs at Happiness / 1958-63
Discovered these recently:
Friday, September 26
New York artist, Tara Donovan, is amongst the 2008 recipients of the MacArthur "genius" grant. This has to be the most utopian award I've ever heard of: it's open to practitioners in any field, has no application forms, an entirely anonymous nomination process, a thoroughly confidential selection process, no obligations, and half a million dollars paid in regular installments over five years.
Saturday, September 20
Sunday, August 31
Friday, August 22
Wednesday, August 20
Friday, July 11
Talented graphic designer and artist Nell May will be evolving the Window identity, and focusing on promotion material and a possible publication.
Continuing on from showing and curating and spaces like Happy and rm103, Mythily Meher will be organising exhibitions, kicking out more great writing like this, and be general dynamic duo with current curator Ash Kilmartin.
And finally Anna Parlane will be coming on board a little later in January, coming off her Postgraduate Study in Museums and Cultural Heritage to produce shows with slightly more recent objects de arte.
Congrats to these three and thanks to all who applied. We had some great applications and, as always, are really open to ideas, writing, and general contributions from other outside the curation team.
Saturday, June 21
Readers of window.org.nz will have noticed a large hiatus in posting. We're undergoing a transition as we phase out an On Site and Online curator (myself) and bring on a new team. We'll be conducting interviews on Monday to narrow the list down. Thanks to all who applied.
For those interested, I'll be focusing more on a couple projects. The Ribbon is a band consisting of myself and Campbell Birch, with keyboards, guitar, vocals, laptop, and various instruments, hovering somewhere in the grey space between dance and pop. Werkhaus, my interactive work for clients like HP, Coke, Karen Walker, and Toyota always keeps me busy. And finally we've just launched a new portfolio site for my wife, Werkhaus partner in crime and illustrator Kimberlee Munn.
Wednesday, May 21
Stumbled upon Crystalpunk today, a loose organisation and series of workshops under the socialfiction.org banner. In their words, the site "Socialfiction.org is a long-term research project that seeks to develop speculative knowledge that subverts ordinary ways to employ, experience and measure space, time and language.
The day to day reality of socialfiction.org is filled with projects. For most of them we encourage participation by persons known and unknown. Some of our projects are like whales, most are like plankton: the small ones feed the large ones."
Among the standouts, a Virtual raindrop installation by Tao Sambolec, a poem on e.coli bacteria, and the masks of Marcel Janco. General areas of continued interest seem to include the patterns and profundity of Go, Chinese calligraphy, bioengineering, and soft hardware. Where else could you find titles such as, "Quilts, Dreams and a Haunting by Cellular Automata".
Monday, May 19
Wayne Clements writes to let us know his wiki project, evolved as part of Window's online programme last year, continues with logo_wiki.
"logo_wiki identifies military, corporate, and governmental editors of Wikipedia ('the Free Encyclopedia'). It does this by tracing back the editor's IP address. logo_wiki shows recently edited 'diffs' pages (with changes highlighted) and shows who the shadowy editor is. logo_wiki does this by replacing the Wikipedia logo with the editor's logo. Military, corporate and governmental users are responsible for many thousands of unacknowledged alterations to Wikipedia pages. logo_wiki reveals this process occurring in real time."
Tuesday, May 13
Window is seeking new curators to run its University of Auckland exhibition space. Window has been operating for over six years as an Auckland-based, University supported art project exhibiting parallel programmes of contemporary art in the physical gallery space, and virtual art online. Window prizes an emergent focus and provides a well-regarded platform for the work of young artists and curators educated at the University of Auckland both during and following their study. As a correlative, Window aims to increase the visibility of net.art and digital projects initiated by New Zealand practitioners through its Online programme and Archive. The right applicants will be able to take advantage of an open structure to gain valuable practical experience, develop their own career and build on the strength of the current programme.
Full details available in the PDF (Adobe Acrobat format, 42K)
Friday, May 9
Pioneering Second life performer, sculptor, and general cause of mayhem, Gazira Babelli will be staging a work at Window in the first week of June. One of the earliest artists working in this virtual space, Babelli has consistently pushed the limits of art in SL - from the grotesque distortions caused by hitting terminal velocity in COME.TO.HEAVEN. to the world-crashing, lag inducing cyber terrorism of Grey Goo.
Notable European contemporary arts/new media blog We Make Money Not Art recently featured a review of Babellis show at the Fabio Paris gallery in Brescia, Italy, as well as the iMAL in Brussels. The Window exhibition, entitled "Olym Pong" features a new work designed and coded specifically for the show, and will be interacted with by SL performance group, "Second Front", as well as available On Site, giving visitors to the opening a chance to engage with it.
Via the Art Newspaper, "One of the central works in the exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (until 12 May), Victimless Leather, a small jacket made up of embryonic stem cells taken from mice, has died. The artists, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, say the work which was fed nutrients by tube, expanded too quickly and clogged its own incubation system just five weeks after the show opened."
Catts and Zurr, based at an Arts and Science collaborative lab in Western Australia, designed the work as a prototype mixing living and manufactured elements, intending to provoke "a more responsible attitude towards our environment". It succeeded in doing just that, forcing curator Paola Antonelli to euthanise the jacket, halting growth permanently.
For more information, see the Victimless Leather entry at the Design and the Elastic Mind site.
Tuesday, April 29
Lebanese architecture firm Atelier Hapsitus joins the dozens of high profile, high flying proposals currently underway in the UAE and Dubai, with it's fantastical Cloud building. And while the architects state (perhaps half seriously) that the project "is a dream, suspended between artificiality and reality", their cunning digital visualisations might just enable the Cloud to get off the ground.
Design boom has an extensive overview of dozens of other skyscrapers, 5 star hotels, and concept buildings currently under development. All prominently feature digital modeling and visualisation, some even basing their shapes entirely from algorhythmic forms. The Da Vinci rotating tower, with each story independently controlled, allows thousands of possible combinations, each able to be predicted by a computer simulation. The Dubai Hub One - a cultural and arts sphere - has been designed using "special programing scripts, creating a dense structure of spaces."
Buzzcut, a blog formerly focused on videogames, recently made the (not so) giant leap to focusing on virtual architecture, examining a range of digital and unrealised spaces, from SimCity to Second Life, Debord to Dubai. Virtual Suburbia continues in the same vein, focusing on the metaverse of SL and the dozens of innovative and unusual 'builds' from SL artists. Recent spaces include a replica of the Korova Milk Bar from A Clockwork Orange, historic snapshots of the early days of Second Life, and two major university student projects from Stockholm and Australia.
Not Possible IRL stays with the metaverse, staunchly concentrating on "well conceived and realised content creation in Second Life which would not be possible in real life". Not Possible recommended two spaces which still stand out to me as exceptional - Nathan Babcock's topographic terrain and AM Radio's wheat fields.
Finally Share Architecture and Best and Worst bring us firmly back to solid ground. Both sites are relatively new, the former highlighting new and innovating buildings globally as well as in New Zealand. Both sites also use the digital space as a sounding board - getting feedback via comments, forums, and polls, that will (ideally) come full circle, shaping the waterfronts, public spaces, and apartment buildings of the immediate future locally.
Babel Swarm, an interactive installation in Second Life has generated a lot of interest recently. A collaboration between Christopher Dodds, Adam Nash, and Justin Clemens, the work occupies a site in the metaverse, as well as being incorporated into a show at the Lismore Gallery in Australia. From the blog....
"Babelswarm is a real-time, interactive, audiovisual artwork built in Second Life. The installation is based on the story of The Tower of Babel – a mythical tale of humanity's desire to reach the heavens. Babelswarm is contained within an entire SIM with visitor chat captured and fed into a meta-babeller. This babeller spills words from the sky and into an amphitheater (performance space). The words shatter on their decent and, once settled, begin to swarm in random directions seeking out other letters that held the same numerical position in the word they were born with. If they find a partner they bond and help create the tower's structure. Eventually each letter will sleep, but can be re-awoken or destroyed by touch."
If you have Second Life installed, you can teleport directly to the installation via this SLURL (http://slurl.com/secondlife/ACVA/119/180/295/).
Sam Hamilton writes to let us know he's posted 170+ photographs of his recent South American odyssey on Flickr. Sam joined a group of other researchers, artists, and musicians in the Amazon, completing a series of field recordings of the rain forest, as well as workshopping and gigging throughout his trip.
Thursday, April 10
"I am sorry I didn't inform you about my traveling to Africa" the email begins. It goes on to inform me that the sender is "really stranded in Nigeria because I forgot my little bag in the Taxi where my money, passport, documents and other valuable things were". After setting up the desperate situation, including a bullying Hotel Management and your friend now starving because of lack of funds, the clincher comes. "Please can you help me with a sum of $2700 to sort out my problems here?"
While everyones aware of the standard Nigerian money fraud scheme, it's rare that an entire email account can be hacked into, allowing a variation of this tactic to come from a good friend or colleague. But that's precisely what happened to Hye Rim Lee, the New Zealand based artist who's recently had a flurry of group and solo shows in New York. Strangely enough, the scam email coincides with some of Hye-Rims recent activity, the Africa trip to "empower youth to fight AIDs" is not too far off some recent charitable shows.
Phishing, baiting a victim in the hope of "catching" financial info or passports, has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. As the internet picked up mainstream use, amateur hackers could count on web neophytes to click on dubious links or open email attachments from strangers. With a heightened awareness of security, people are treating the greater web more like the street than their bedroom - no gifts from strangers. Very open social networks like MySpace are losing kids by the thousands to more exclusive, 'safer' platforms such as FaceBook. The result? Phishers have to look like your friends, or the people you do business with, to reel users in. Last week I received a Paypal email (shown above), which I quickly learned was a phishing attack. The email address was extremely similar to the official one. The logo, the layout, and the colouring were identical to the legit version.
ASB Bank and Kiwi Bank have both been the victim of fraudsters sending similar emails to their customers. In a famous attack several years ago, phishers set up a duplicate site for a major New Zealand bank, tricking customers into revealing their username and password. The phishers left the truly devastating part to the end: after they had obtained their catch, the user was simply given an error message and directed to the legit bank website, where the login 'worked' as usual. The result? No complaints, security crackdowns, or uproar. Just a steady string of lucrative bank account numbers.
A short very self-congratulatory post - Window:Scene has reached it's 100 post. I started the blog just under a year ago, and have since covered a gamut of topics, from fashion to architecture, videogames to videoart, as well as local events like gallery openings, film screenings, and sound gigs. If you've enjoyed the blog, drop me a comment.
Thursday, April 3
Documentation from our recent Play it! Make it! exhibition is now online. This includes photos from the workshop as well as a playable version of the completed game - a bizaare mix of collaged couples, jumping fish, and cackling spirits. We've had a number of requests to run the workshop again, if you're interested just leave a comment.
If you haven't seen the posters around the city, Window's formal call for proposals is now open. You've got until next Friday to send us your ideas, either through email or by dropping it into the office. I'd particularly be interested in seeing projects that span our unique two spaces, On Site and Online, or create a dialogue between them.
Wednesday, April 2
Newcall gallery launched officially last night with the opening of Martyn Reynolds and Marnie Slater. "No Letting Go, No Holding Back" featured a readymade Mercedes A class banner by Reynolds, which seemed to continue his habit of acquiring large objects from stores and manufacturers (Reynolds previous show at Window featured a treadmill, road bike, and growing lamp from an array of sponsors). Slater's offering consisted of a dual channel project, an awkward series of bodily positions and poses mimicked by either performer. Amateur in an endearing way, the lo-res video balanced the commercial slickness of the Mercedes piece.
Behind the scenes, Newcall is an interesting exercise in reappropriating a space. Originally built at least two decades ago, the open air foyer and ground floors were designed to be a commercial mall, but failed almost instantly. The surrounding area of Newton is strongly industrial and has been for a number of years, and the combination of lack of foot traffic and parking meant the death knell for the original intent. Instead a handful of small businesses catering to office workers fill the void: a post office, a small cafe, a print shop. With it's conversion, Newcall joins the ranks of others such as the Jensen Gallery in Newmarket. Leaving the central city for a bigger, more industrial space, the gallery is quite obviously a converted parking garage, maintaining the hard lines, concrete, and ramps from it's past life.
Newcall continues in the same fashion, rejecting some aspects of it's past while embracing others. The fluorescent panel lighting and dark tinted glass stay. The carpet is (quite literally) ripped out. Walls are created over broken walls, ceiling panels removed for art hanging, vinyl glazing placed over windows blurs studio interiors while letting light in. The main entrance, a large double door affair, is rejected completely. Instead the deck is opened up and a set of stairs direct from a service entrance becomes the entry point.
Sunday, March 23
E-commerce, once the buzzword of online marketing, is so cheap now that any potential merchant can add credit card services to their page for a minimal monthly fee. For access to a bigger marketplace, stores can list on mammoth sites like eBay, Etsy, CD Baby, or Amazon.com. Locally traffic to online auction powerhouse TradeMe accounts for 50% of all web traffic in New Zealand. But to do business with Rene Spudvilas it's very simple. Email him.
Actually Rene, who deals in rare Japanese bicycle frames, initially began selling on eBay, with immediate success. "I only started after selling my own frame on USA eBay, which was the first Keirin frame I bought after moving to Japan. That frame was the 3rd most watched item in the world for sports category, and I got so many emails asking if I could find more for potential buyers." But he quickly got turned off, "After that I bought a few more frames to sell, but wanted to avoid eBay, because I did not like their fees." Avoiding the generic experience, poor customer service, and anonymous feel of large online marketplaces, he set out for himself. Rene realised how unique his product and his clientèle was, and decided to capitalise on it, "even if I only had a small blog, fans would find it, simply because no other search results would come up on google, if anyone typed *keirin* or *njs frame* etc..."
Spudvilas continues the DIY aesthetic throughout all aspects of his business. He takes photographs of the products himself, with close-ups of what his customers are really interested in. Descriptions forsake corporate speak, personally endorsing products or using more fan-boy terminology. Some products he uses himself "on my daily ride", others are "super sexy old school". Suppliers are really just friends with hand-crafted goods that he can vouch for. His latest product line is from Kishiguchi Yo, "one of my first friends in Japan, who grew up around a lot of pro keirin riders."
Local record label CMR continues in this same vein. Specialising in "Limited edition lathe-cut records, vinyl records and CDs", the site consists of a long list of albums. Reviews are long, eloquent affairs lifted from other sound magazines and distributors worldwide: The Wire, Tofaki, Incursion, Earpiece. The catalogue is rigorously updated and posted in plain text to alternative audio culture mailing lists such as New Zealand's AF (Audio Foundation) list.
Dusty Klein's Cadence Clothing fashion line is a one-man operation that he intends to keep that way. Quality is handmade and meticulous, but also allows for chance and "variants between pieces." Escaping the managerial and ethical dilemmas of offshore clothing factories, production is done in "small, detail-oriented runs." A relatively new company, Klein has intentionally limited his expansion, "believing that growth is not a necessary means of success." Promotion is organic, Klein photographing or filming riders that wear his apparel, and posting these on YouTube or Flickr photosets with titles like "Seattle respect".
Friday, March 21
Julian Oliver sends word about his recent keynote at the Inclusiva Net conference:
From the earliest world maps to Google Earth, cartography has been a vital interface to the world. It guides our perceptions of what the world is and steers our actions in it. As our knowledge about the world has changed, so have maps with it (or so we like to think).
In this lecture Julian shows a darker side of map-making, covering various reality-distorting effects innate to the graphic language of cartography and how they can be easily exploited for gain.
Thursday, March 20
Next Friday at Window we'll be presenting a special one-night only videogame show called Play it! Make it!. The first section consists of a handpicked selection of innovative, unusual, and experimental games from Bill Viola, Toshio Iwai, and others, and will allow you to experience first- hand some important game works.
Game designer Jeff Nusz will be running a lighning fast, low-tech workshop that comprises the Make it! section on the same evening. Arming small teams with a bevy of musical instruments, craft supplies and a computer, Jeff will assist participants in designing and building a simple videogame in just 2 hours.Friday 28 March from 7 - 10 pm, at Window
Tuesday, March 18
Douglas Bagnall writes to let us know that he's made his Te Tuhi Video Game system software open source under the GPL (General Public) license. We blogged about the show a few months ago here at Window:Scene, where visitors to Te Tuhi could draw pictures that were analysed by the software and converted to videogames via a set of rules. Opening the code to the community allows these rules to be changed and shifted, but you'll need some technical savvy. With his usual deadpan humour, Bagnall goes straight from step 4, "Try
./tetuhi path/to/some/image.jpg. If everything is working, a window should pop up with a game in it.", to step 5, "But it probably isn't working, so at this point you should subscribe to the mailing list and ask there."