Archive for the ‘press’ Category
DOMENICO QUARANTA: Oh, When the Internet Breaks at Some Point
“Walked out this morning / Don’t believe what I saw / A hundred billion bottles / Washed up on the shore / Seems I’m not alone at being alone / A hundred billion castaways / Looking for a home” The Police, “Message in a Bottle”, 1979
Back in October 2010, German artist Aram Bartholl cemented 5 USB flash drives in various locations in New York, as part of an Eyebeam residency.  Referring to the way, in espionage, items are passed between two individuals using a secret location and without an actual meeting, he called the project Dead Drops. The first five dead drops were empty, except for a small readme file explaining the project. A dedicated website was set up, featuring a video tutorial and a simple “how to” and inviting people to participate in the project.
In interviews, Bartholl explained that at the beginning he was just fascinated by the power of an image: a small data container plugged in the wall, in public space, and a person trying to access it with her own device. He invited people to participate by dropping files in and taking files out, installing their own dead drop and sending the GPS coordinates to Bartholl. As in many collaborative projects, he wasn’t particularly confident about people’s participation, and he believed that the project was conceptually strong enough even in the shape of a small, five-nodes network. But people liked the idea, and as I’m typing on my keyboard today, the online database features almost 1500 registered dead drops for a total storage space of 9891 gigabytes. I installed my own a while ago and I’ve noticed some others along the years, and I’ve always been fascinated by the precariousness of these tiny, rusty artifacts. I’ve never seen anybody plugging in, and probably most of them are almost empty, or out of work. But they are, still, extremely powerful as an image.
Message in a Bottle
“A Dead Drop is a naked piece of passively powered Universal Serial Bus technology embedded into the city, the only true public space. In an era of growing clouds and fancy new devices without access to local files we need to rethink the freedom and distribution of data. The Dead Drops movement is on its way for change! Free your data to the public domain in cement! Make your own Dead Drop now! Un-cloud your files today!!!” Aram Bartholl, “The Dead Drops Manifesto”, 2010 
The dead drops network emerged in an age that saw a major shift in the general perception of the internet as a public space. Widespread Wi-Fi access, the massive adoption of social networking sites, and the advent of smartphones made people start to think about the internet as a new public space, with no physical boundaries and infrastructure, where data can be shared and taken easily and seamlessly. The metaphor of the cloud, already used in the Nineties to describe the internet, became more and more popular in the late 2000s, when cloud computing emerged – further reinforcing the idea of an immaterial public space and eroding the difference between public and private, local and shared. As Annet Dekker wrote in 2008:
In the past two months there has been again a lot of international press about DeadDrops. The DeadDrops project is running since November 2010, for four and a half years now. After the initial press buzz in 2010/11 the project kept spreading online with occasional press like after the Snowden releases etc. But just since the beginning of 2015 there was a lot of press all over again. It is really hard to tell how such a press wave is starting on a project which is already running for such a while but I assume after almost 5 years there is a new generation of Internet users and press people who haven’t heard about DeadDrops yet. Through some big blogs in the US it reached the south american news, spreaded there and also made it back to Europe. I ve listed a selection of press links at the end of this post. Please also see the nice DeadDrops youtube playlist somebody made.
In Germany the recent reports about DeadDrops had a special twist. End of February the yellow press style news paper Kölner Express had a piece about a bomb making plan PDF which was supposedly found on a DeadDrop in Cologne. The local and national press picked up quickly the story and my phone kept ringing for two weeks. It is astonishing how in 2015 you still have to explain to people that it is of course not a problem to find such a PDF with illegal tutorials on the Internet. Or yes! there could be a virus on the USB drive, like there could be a virus in this blog post. But in an era of constant fear about terror the suspicious USB drive in wall was a perfect story for them. I was only waiting for the ISIS connection. But again this was a good opportunity to explain that there is no use in censoring or prohibiting encryption or anonymous communication technologies because there is illegal activities. Like back in the days the ruling class tried to banish the brand new dangerous technology ‘book printing’ which radicalized all the young people. Especially journalists should be aware how important independent, encrypted, private communication is. In fact DeadDrops is not a very efficient communication technology but a good symbol on independent, open digital communication. So while the NSA has trojans installed on all our hard drives or access to millions of sim card keys we worry about a 20 year old anarchist cook book PDF on a flash drive in a wall in cologne. What a crazy world! :))
The actual great story about the Cologne DeadDrop is that this specific DeadDrop, which I made myself as part of a duo show with JODI at DAM Cologne in 2011, was still existing and working in 2015!! Until the police ripped it out and broke it to then hand it in at the at the LKA cyber security department to get it fixed. Of course the highlight is how the two police men are kneeling in front of the yellow banana (the gallery “certificate”) trying to understand what’s going on. In fact later the Kriminalpolizei called DAM gallery to have them explain what exactly this USB stick is about and what the DeadDrops project is etc. On the same day I made this popular tweet about the whole story.
Of course I am very happy about all the attention for DeadDrops. It is very interesting to witness how the perspective on such a project has changed over the past five years, especially since 2013. I am glad to see how this project is still going on and how it has inspired so many people over the years. Thanks to all the deaddroppers out there!! You are awesome!!
Aram Bartholl, March 2015
Full Interview at Sueddeutsche.de:
More press links:
— Aram Bartholl (@arambartholl) 24. Februar 2015
Dominique von Burg, “The Darknet – From Memes to Onionland. An Exploration.” Kunstforum Nr. 229, Seite 286, 2014
Review of Hurt me plenty on Motherboard Vice http://motherboard.vice.com/read/hurt-me-plenty
by Doug Berend
Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst
Aram Bartholl, 12 pages, 8 pages colored folded cover.
Erscheint viermal jährlich mit insgesamt
28 Künstlermonografien auf über 500 Text-
und Bildseiten und kostet im Jahresabonnement
Hurt me plenty
Exhibition: 13th September – 1st November 2014
DAM Gallery, Berlin
7:30: Introduction by Olia Lialina, Professorin New Media at the Merz Akademie Stuttgart.
In his solo show Aram Bartholl exhibits a new series of works inspired by the questions and developments engaging humankind’s ‘entry’ into the digital realm and the role of the first person as ‘shooter’. Bartholl deconstructs stereotypes about pixel imaging with unique large-scale works that are subtly combined with a series of pieces about issues of privacy, surveillance and net neutrality. With this exhibition, Bartholl proposes a new discourse that challenges the current debates about surveillance versus the seemingly antiquated ideas and images of ‘cyberspace’.
- Hurt me plenty – opening speech by Olia Lialina
- press release DAM gallery, by Tina Sauerländer PDF (PDF deutsch)
- aqnb.com “Aram Bartholl, Hurt me plenty (2014)” by Jean Kay
- makezine.com ‘A First-Person Tour of Aram Bartholl’s First-Person Shooter Art Exhibition’ by Andrew Salomone
- Breitband Deutschlandradio, ‘Vorsicht Ironie’ by Moritz Metz (mp3, at 20:13 min)
- kotaku.com ‘Yes, Even Duke Nukem Is Art‘ by Luke Plunkett
Nr. 176 | Samstag, 2. August 2014
Der international agierende Künstler Aram Bartholl erklärt im Interview, weshalb er gerne digitale Symbole nachbaut und in die reale
Welt stellt. Er ist der Ansicht, dass man sich durchaus mal die Frage stellen sollte, was man den ganzen Tag am Computer macht.
thx @ Ricarda Stiller!
‘A’ for Art
In the summer of 2006 I built the first Google map pin physical representation and set it up temporarily in the backyard of my studio in Berlin Mitte. It was six meter tall and made from a wooden frame mounted with red cloth showing the capital ‘A’. The year 2006 was an important year in my early artistic career. I made a lot of new works and had my first big group shows etc. As it turns out the piece ‘Map’ became one of my important and iconic works. Since 2006 this sculpture was shown worldwide in many different places, art shows and cities. It was made from different materials and in different sizes and it marked many different city centers around the world.
In 2005 Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen designed the map pin symbol for Google Maps which was launched later in the same year. The startup ‘Where 2′ co-founded by Rasmussen which in fact became Google Maps got acquired by Google the year earlier. To point out the locations of search results on the map the pin symbol showed letters of the alphabet. Starting with an ‘A’ through ‘J’ the red pins on the map corresponded with the first 10 search results listed on the page. A couple months ago in spring 2014 Google did a complete overhaul of the design of the Google Maps page. The red map marker does still exist in the new interface but it is displayed in more rare occasions and is only showing a black dot. The lettering A – J is gone. An era of almost 10 years of the Google Maps ‘A’ marker seemed to be over. But just recently in June 2014 the Architecture and Design department of the MoMA acquired the classic map pin symbol with capital ‘A’ from Google for its collection.
I am very pleased to see this symbol, made for a web page on the Internet by Rasmussen a decade ago is now in the collection of the MoMA. The red pin and its creator Rasmussen very much deserve this attention. This 35 pixel icon became a very important symbol for a whole new era. An era in which society slowly realized the actual impact of computers and Internet. The way we live, communicate and perceive the world has changed dramatically over the last 10-20 years. With my piece ‘Map’, the physical representation of Rasmussens interface symbol I try to point out this paradigm shift since 2006.
Aram Bartholl, June 19, 2014
First physical representation, ‘Map’ Summer 2006. Bartholl studio backyard, Borsigstr. 33, Berlin
Screen shot: MoMA website, recent acquisitions, Arch & Design, June 19 2014
Screen shot: Google Maps, June 19, 2014, re-shaped map pin and no more ‘A’
‘Art vs. Surveillance’ TV report with Mediegruppe Bitnik, Christoph Faulhaber, Kenneth Goldsmith and myself.
“Smart New World” – Künstler gegen Überwachung: Mit Kreativität gegen den Big Brother: Künstler reagieren auf Spionage und Machtverschiebungen im digitalen Zeitalter. Sie schlagen die Überwacher mit bizarren Mitteln, etwa mit einer Handy-Tasche, die Funksignale verhindert. Auf “Capriccio” (Bay. Fernsehen) May 2014.
UPDATE: Awesome opening yesterday night!! Thx to everyone for showing up! Thx to all the artists participating in this show!! & thx to xpo gallery making this possible!! Full press release and descriptions of the works below. More documentation to come!
Rafaël Rozendaal, 2013, everything always everywhere .com website, courtesy xpo gallery
flickr set. All pictures courtesy xpo gallery, 2014. Images by Vincianne Verguethen. Thx!!
- Featured on Artsy : https://artsy.net/post/editorial-wearable-moving-image-art-from-ai-weiwei
- El Pais : http://blogs.elpais.com/arte-en-la-edad-silicio/2014/03/que-hora-es-es-la-hora-del-arte.html
- The Creators Project: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/full-screen-is-a-group-show-devoted-to-digital-art-you-can-wear-on-your-wrist
- Libération: http://next.liberation.fr/arts/2014/03/31/full-screen-l-art-du-temps_991205
- The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/1/5571040/full-screen-exhibit-digital-display-art-with-galaxy-gear-smartwatches
I am very pleased to announce another show I curated for xpo gallery Paris to place in March 2014. Looking fwd to this!! :))
Rafaël Rozendaal, 2013, everything always everywhere .com website, courtesy xpo gallery
Wear art on your wrist! A group show on very big and very small screens!
‘What time is it?’ – ‘It’s art!’
FULL SCREEN celebrates the evolution of the screen in its most extreme developments. Soon screens will disappear from physical view and will be replaced by laser light projected directly into the eye’s retina. Pixels crammed into a rectangle will soon be considered history just as a medium like oil painting is history today. For this exhibition, twelve internationally renowned artists have produced screen-based artwork to be shown on the screens of 12 small smart watches and one large LED screen. Now is the time to go FULL SCREEN!
Each watch contains a single art piece. The common function of the watch has been replaced by an artwork. Visitors to the gallery are urged to ‘Wear art on your wrist!’ and try on the watches themselves. In juxtaposition with the high-resolution (320 x 320px, 275ppi) screens of the watches, a ten-meter wide low-resolution (816 x 96px, 2,54ppi) LED screen spans the wall leading into the exhibition space. This bright, massive screen will display artworks referencing each of the pieces on view on the small watch screens.
Despite the current hype about wearable devices, the latest designs of smart watches feel incredibly dated, as if digital watches of the 80’s have come back in style. The same seems true for giant LED displays that are aggressively bright but very low in resolution, as if desperately trying to seek contact with the viewer. Over the years, the prime dimensions of screens have changed from small, to big, to small again – increasingly moving closer and closer to our eyes. Most importantly, recent developments in digital screen technologies suggest an imminent extinction of the use of physical screens, bringing a sense of urgency to the important questions that the creation and use of digital screen based artworks pose. Let’s celebrate the good old screens as long as we still have them! Let’s celebrate the new retro in a time when society comes to realize its impending digital metamorphosis. ‘Excuse me, but do you have the time?’
Curated by Aram Bartholl
Opening March 13, 2014 Save the date!
March 13 – April 4, 2014
XPO gallery, Paris
Vincent Broquaire, Minute after minute (2014), video, 01:00 min.
Using unique hand drawn animations, Vincent Broquaire questions our viewing habits with surprising simplicity. With a few animated strokes he creates small, beautiful universes about the relationships between society, machines and technology. “The screen fills like a sand glass. But is it empty in the first place? Considering that each flowing grain of sand corresponds to a pixel, the work questions the process of appearance and disappearance of the screen and its basic states as a white screen or black screen. But what is the outcome for these small objects? Is there an entire world involved? Can a hidden technical device and a complex mechanical system join together on a mission to make the screen disappear?“
Jennifer Chan, Deep Burn (2014), video, 00:52 min.
Jennifer Chan works with video, performance, and web-based media. She deliberately creates kitschy remix videos as a form of social commentary on the topics of post-internet art and gender. “Collaging Internet pop-culture is a way to appreciate it as artifacts in a complex light, and to be critical of it by ‘acting out’ within its language. Deep Burn represents “the need to act calm in a state of constant anxiety depicted by anime eyes over inverted, time re-mappedexplosions. Sources are from the anime series Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Tabor Robak’s Explosions (2010), and free riser sound effects by Deficio.”
Petra Cortright, buggin out (2013), video, 02:03 min.
“The videos are what first got Cortright noticed. Descended from the moving-image work of Alex Bag and Pipilotti Rist, they’re limited to about two minutes — because no one wants more than that, she reasons — and usually feature her on a webcam, displaying a guileless SoCal demeanor that has become her personal brand. In “buggin out,” a recent piece, she uses digital trickery to change the size of her eyes each time she raises and lowers a pair of sunglasses, so that they go from teensy to anime-character enormous. “It’s half very sincere,” she says, “and then, of course, it’s also a performance as well.” – NYT Magazine Nov. 2013.
Constant Dullaart, The Sleeping Sunset (2014), screengrab from http://thesleepinginternet.com, 5:00 min.
In January 2014, a picture of a sunset from an advertisement in Tiananmen Square went viral on the Internet. In the image, the sun is caught in a moment between coming and going but never setting on the huge LED screen during any time of the day. The sunset is sleeping and it is slowly breathing. Inhale. Exhale. In 2011, Dullaart created the website work thesleepinginternet.com based on the sleep mode light used on Apple computers. When viewing this page, the full website fades to black and then returns to full brightness within the cycle of a few seconds like the rising and setting of the sun. The work, The Sleeping Sunset, is a screen grab of that rising and setting website, a reflection on the desperate attempt to stop and capture the rising and setting of the light of time.
Oliver Laric, Nymph Untying Her Sandal (2013) , animated gif, 320 x 320px,
The rotating Nymph Untying Her Sandal is digital artwork from a series of 3D scans of objects from the Usher Gallery and The Collection in Lincoln. The project started in 2012, when Ashley Gallant from The Collection in Lincoln invited artist Oliver Laric to propose an idea for the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award for Museums. Laric’s proposal to create 3D scans of the collection and subsequently publish all data for free was chosen as the winning project. Nymph Untying Her Sandal, Artist: Gibson, John, Period: 19th Century, Material: Stone, marble, Inscription: I Gibson ne fecit Roma, Object Number: LCNUG: 1927/142
Sara Ludy, Mist (2014), video, 60:00 min.
Sara Ludy is interested in the logic of spaces and the digital constructions of nature. In her work, she often compares physical and virtually generated nature. Mist is a one hour computer generated animation of slowly changing cloud structures. With the help of algorithms it is possible nowadays to simulate mist movement in a very naturalistic way. However, Ludy tricks the viewer. The cloud structures only seem to change shape and color in chaotic, random ways. Only after a longer study of the work, it becomes apparent that the shapes and movements are consistently symmetrical, unlike natural clouds. The mystical and calm movements promise the freedom and uniqueness of nature while the underlying truth is pure calculation.
Raquel Meyers, Aztec Ballad (2013), video, 01:44 min., music by Goto80
Raquel Meyers follows a very unique way to create her carpet woven like digital animations. She draws her colorful geometric tableaus ‘by hand’ in typewriter mode on a classic Commodore C64, which was a popular personal computer from the 1980′s. With a system of old software and the special character format PETSSCI (similar to ASCII), one can follow Meyers ‘live’ as she unfolds the amusing play animation of Aztec Ballad. With great speed, the cursor moves over the drawing on screen, changing and rearranging symbol by symbol. “I call it “keyboardslöjd” which means drawing/crafting by typing. It’s a mix between traditional techniques like embroidery and typewriting. Basically, you have to type everything in one go and then save it. There is no load function, no copy paste, and no undo.”
Evan Roth, http://christopher-george-latore-wallace.com (2014), website, variable
US copyright law protects the work of an artist for 70 years after their death before it is allowed to become public domain. The rapper Christopher George Latore Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. was shot in March 1997. Evan Roth’s website piece http://christopher-george-latore-wallace.com is a clock counting down the time left until The Notorious B.I.G.’s artistic work becomes public in March 2067. Only then can the DJs and musicians of the world officially play and remix his music. The existence of this website questions the highly protective copy right laws of the music industry which appear outdated when seen through the lens of the vibrant remix culture developed through the Internet – especially because the culture of remixing and sampling was first invented in rap music.
Rafaël Rozendaal, everything always everywhere.com (2013), website, variable
Rafaël Rozendaal is well known for his ongoing series of abstract, colorful websites with an intriguing combination of shape, movement, sound and interaction. With striking simplicity, the viewer’s imagination is catalyzed by the optical illusions made using basic elements of sound and color. Soon Rozendaal will reach his hundredth website. The project everything always everywhere.com is made up of progressively expanding blue gradient tones that draw the viewer’s attention towards a fixed horizon.
Paul Souviron, Sémantique du présent non exhaustif (2014), video, 06:25 min.
The clock is ticking. Second after second. But wait, what does is say? Paul Souviron confronts us with questions of the passing of time by accumulating a wide range of symbols from various religions, secret societies, stone-cutters, internet sources and more. Some symbols seem very familiar while others are unknown. Could one be from an ancient culture? Or does is it a design for high-tech electronic parts? In his works, Paul Souviron often investigates the process of deconstruction, the unfinished and how time leaves its traces on man-made culture. In a trance-like stream of black and white lines and patterns Sémantique du présent non exhaustif constantly poses questions in place of telling the actual time.
Addie Wagenknecht, Lasertits (2014), video, 00:36 min.
In her screen-based works, Addie Wagenknecht often combines powerful icons of viral pop-culture on the web with animated gif tableaus. In her digital collages, figures slowly accumulate. The initial image begins with the famous Super Mario clouds (originally used by artists Cory Arcangel), set against a pink background. Soon, a whole mob of animated gifs are attracted to the scene and proceed to interact and enjoying themselves. The effect is so likeable that even the attack of the space invaders will not even cause trouble for these joyful characters.
Ai Weiwei, Dumbass (2013), video, 05:13 min.
Ai Weiwei is one of the few internationally acclaimed artists who concertedly engage with the powerful outreach that the internet offers and incorporates this understanding into his own practice. In addition to his highly active twitter account with more than 260.000 followers, he recently created a couple of web based projects such as http://weiweicam.com/ or http://www.moonmoonmoonmoon.com/ which was in collaboration with artist Olafur Eliasson. In the project Dumbass, Weiwei chose to utilize another pop-culture format as a method of reaching out to a large audience. He created a music video to talk about his period of detention by the Chinese government in 2011 when he was also banned from speaking. To date, the 5 minute clip on YouTube has more than 300.000 views.
Credits for Android code Dan Moore!!
Funkloch fürs Handy selbst basteln.
Immer und überall haben wir das Handy dabei – und immer und überall könnte unser Handy auch abgehört werden. Es sei denn, man bastelt sich sein eigenes Funkloch. Der Künstler Aram Bartholl zeigt, wie einfach es ist. Metallbeschichteten Stoff nehmen, an den Seiten zusammen nähen, Handy rein und zuklappen.
August 30 – October 13, 2013
- http://www.dw.de/out-of-the-internet-and-into-the-gallery/a-17085144 (german)
pictures by Nils Klinger