Terminal Award: Drawing Circuits by Gottfried Haider

Drawing Circuits by Gottfried Haider

 

launch Drawing Circuits

Terminal and the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University are pleased to announce the launch of Drawing Circuits by Gottfried Haider. Haider is a recipient of a 2013 – 2014 Terminal Award. The Terminal Award is granted annually to four artists to help in the creation of new internet based artworks.

Drawing Circuits is a website that guides users to draw (electrical) circuit boards using their mouse or trackpad to free draw. Drawing Circuits juxtaposes the practice of drawing with the creation of circuitry. Haider is dealing with the largely hidden and undervalued nature of electronics in contemporary media art contexts. The site functions both as a facilitator for an experience, as well as a tool for the creation of circuit boards. The experience includes imagery, music and interventions, that bring elements from a drawing studio into the website. As a tool, the website allows users to export their drawings in a way that they can be easily machined into real copper clad boards ( using a CNC mill or a vinyl cutter).

 Gottfried Haider is a media artist born in Vienna. He studied Digital Arts at Vienna University of Applied Arts before joining UCLA’s Design Media Arts program on a Fulbright Scholarship. His work was awarded an Award of Distinction (2nd place) at Prix Ars Electronica 2004.

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Heather D. Freeman, September 23 – October 4, 2013

Heather D. Freeman, Terminal

 

Heather D. Freeman is Associate Professor of Digital Media at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte where she teaches digital print, animation, video, installation and drawing. She grew in Skillman, New Jersey and was heavily influenced by her parents’ careers in the sciences. She holds a B.A. in Fine Art and German Studies from Oberlin College and an MFA in Studio Art from Rutgers University.  Previously, Freeman worked as an art director, graphic designer, editor and animator in New York and New Jersey.  She also taught art, graphic design and visual rhetoric since 2001 at various institutions including the University of Kentucky and Clemson University. Her work is regularly exhibited regionally and nationally and has appeared in international exhibitions in Canada, China, Cuba, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Sweden and Thailand.  More of her work can be viewed at EpicAnt.com and PersonalDemons.org.

 

 

Statement:

I was always interested in the language and symbolic forms of science and where these intersect with mythic, religious and popular iconographies. With the birth of my son Quinn in 2008, this interest shifted to the linguistic growth of children. As a two-year-old, my son’s language skills went through a developmental explosion, and I found myself cataloguing his verbal discoveries. I reinterpreted my son’s language-defined worldview by taking his interests (trucks, dinosaurs, owls, playgrounds, etc.) and translating them into my own concerns (sustainable energy, ecological diversity, social justice, etc.) These became portraits of my son’s shifting Weltanschauung.

My son’s language skills metamorphose as he grows. As his ability to express the world matures, so accrue his fascinations, from construction equipment to video games, from monsters to death. As his relationship to a complex society matures, my relationships as a mother also evolve.

I find myself investigating old interests (science, human history, popular culture) through the lens of motherhood, with all its self-doubts, flailing, and absurdity contrasted with deep assurance. My son’s growth constantly re-defines motherhood for me, just as the changing nature of childhood re-shapes my investigations of the non-familial world.

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Jonathan Rattner, September 9 – 20, 2013

Jonathan Rattner - Terminal

 

Jonathan Rattner is a lens-based artist who primarily produces experimental nonfiction film and videos.  His material usually consists of fragmentary images of the everyday, which are reassembled into unexpected configurations in an effort to draw attention to the forgotten, the ignored, the banal, and the unseen. In his work, Rattner seeks to offer an open and elastic aesthetic experience that reimagines our physical and temporal landscape and invites viewers to interact with what they see and to create meaning by reflecting on their own experiences, ideas, and truths.

end, end, end: 2013

8 minutes, 45 seconds

end, end, end is a cinematic essay about the dying of a loved one, inability to make coffee, and the desire to remember things that have been forgotten. It is a work woven around a found audio recording of an American Poet using his voice to mark, in various ways, the beginning and end of his analog audio reels.

 

FOR ISSA: 2012 video

11 minutes, 14 seconds

A travelogue composed as a series of visual haikus in the spirit of 19th century Japanese poet and wanderer Issa.   Through a distillation of impressions, the haiku poets of Issa’s time sought to express moments in a crystallized state. In order to capture experience as a unity and totality, the haiku structure consisted of two elements: the first represented the object, condition, or situation; the second represented perception. The desired result was a nexus of self and world.

Footage for this work was gathered over a two year period from various locations, including Thailand, Japan, New York, Iowa, Oregon and Tennessee.

 

all night looking

at my wrinkled hands

autumn rain

 

– Issa –

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Some Thoughts On Endurance Performance Art

Recently, art critic Jerry Saltz attended a six hour Jay-Z performance art piece cum music video shoot and made the following observation: “Does every celebrity have to turn into a performance-art marathoner?” The move from celebrity to endurance performance artist seems sensible to me. Celebrities (musicians, actors, athletes) are already performing, but mere performance is just entertainment. How to make entertainment into art? Just do the same thing longer.

jayz roselee

“rapper” Jay-Z dancing with performance art historian RoseLee Goldberg for a pop music video

 

Of course, some “entertainers” also have craft skills other than music or acting. David Lynch, for instance, has movie directing skills and painting skills. So what makes Tilda Swinton or Milla Jovovich lying in a box for a day any more or less quality art (or art at all) than authentic performance artist Chris Burden lying in a box for a day? Well, it’s not the professional quality of the box lying. Chris Burden doesn’t lie a better box.

tildaswinton

actress Tilda Swinton lying in a box

 

Quality endurance performance art seems to have to do with (at least) three criteria:

  1. Is the piece part of a larger conceptual trajectory that the artist is pursuing? In other words, does it connect outward into other media or other concepts in the world (concepts other than the concept of a person sitting in a box for a long time).
  2. Does the piece cost the performer something, or is it a relatively facile thing to accomplish? [MTAA's 1 Year Performance Video is an ingenious, media-aware critique of this rule.]
  3. And finally, related to these first two, but least concrete of all, does the piece produce some sort of magic? Does the endurance performance lead to something beyond what it merely is, or is it merely a person lying in a box?

Endurance performance art is to art what poetry is to writing — anybody can do it at all, but it’s tricky to do it in ways that matter. Just because endurance performance art is a cliche ’60s trope doesn’t mean there aren’t still great endurance performances yet to be enacted. Heck, painting is a cliche ’50s trope, and plenty of people still paint.

Regarding criterias #1 [does it have conceptual merit?] and #3 [is it more than a sum of its parts?], it seems celebrities venturing into performance art are hoping that the “magic” of their celebrity aura will be enough to win the day, make the project magical, and tie the project into conceptual topics larger than the project itself. But the munging up of art worlds and fame is a boring conceptual topic to me. Of course a bunch of art world nerds are going to be starstruck by a performer like Jay-Z. It would be like if Brad Pitt got cast to play Wittgenstein in a Hollywood film about Wittgenstein (implausible, but bear with me), and then he came to a graduate philosophy class to give a lecture on the philosophy of Wittgenstein. All the students would think it was real cool, but it probably wouldn’t be the best lecture on Wittgenstein. The difference is, art has no real boundaries, and “celebrity” is a perfectly legitimate conceptual topic for art, and so Jay-Z is not a fake endurance performance artist. He is “legitimate,” but only because anyone is legitimate. The more relevant contemporary question is not, “Is it legitimate art?,” but rather, “How does it matter in the world?”

Regarding criteria #2 [what does it cost the performer?], I don’t think lying in a box all day costs anybody much. I’m not arguing for the re-skilling of artists or that “craft” become the new criteria for what makes something valuable. Indeed, endurance performance art is cool explicitly because it’s this crazy brute force medium where you don’t have to be “good” at something. But you should at least have to be “stupid” or “brutish” or “stubborn” enough at something for it to spark some kind of magic. I am reminded of the words of King David, when one of his subjects offered him a free field in which to sacrifice an offering to God: “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing” (I Chronicles 21:24). So, call me old fashioned, but I think endurance performance art should cost the performer something. My earliest models for endurance performance art were COUM Transmissions (proto-Throbbing Gristle), and the rank outsider GG Allin (whose final performance after-party literally killed him, or so the legend goes). And of course the Viennese Actionists, who weren’t fooling around.

coum

COUM Transmissions (Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti) enduring the cost

 

According to criteria #2, Andrew WK’s recent 24-hour drum marathon qualifies as quality endurance performance art. Yes, he is also a musician celebrity, but he was an authentic performance artist before (and during) both of those things. The 24-hour drum-athon is actually MTV pop celebrity getting hijacked by performance art, whereas Jay-Z filming a music video with a bunch of New York art people in a Manhattan gallery is merely performance art getting hijacked by MTV pop celebrity. The former is better.

andrewwk

“musician(?)” Andrew WK having played the drums for almost 24 consecutive hours

 

One of my favorite pieces of endurance performance art ephemera/documentation is an essay that Chicago film critic Roger Ebert wrote about a Chris Burden endurance performance in 1975. If you don’t feel the magic of endurance performance art after reading that article, it’s probably not for you. (No worries; not everybody digs haiku poetry either.)

By way of confession, my own art practice dips into the realms of endurance performance art. Sometimes “new media” is added, so that it’s not “just” endurance performance art ( http://deepyoung.org/current/again/ AND http://deepyoung.org/current/doubleblind/ ). But other times, it’s just plain old endurance performance art ( http://lab404.com/video/pop/ ). As a performer, I am always able to cause myself to have some kind of “magical” experience. It seems the real challenge is enabling others to have that same experience. Perhaps it has to cost them something. I am reminded of the wonderful Lydia Lunch quote: “What could be better than to die for your art… TO DIE FOR MY ART.. Now we’re talking.”

Regarding criteria #3 [the "magic" criteria], the Hollywood comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone seems relevant. Jim Carrey plays Steve Gray (known as “The Brain Rapist”), an “extreme” magician whose act is more endurance performance art than magic. The old school magicians in the movie are constantly asking themselves, “where’s the magic” in Gray’s act. In other words, how much of magic is crafted stage theatrics that produce wonder, and how much is un-staged, actual, Houdini-esque athletics (dislocating a shoulder, holding your breath, acrobatic extrication) that produce wonder? The mention of Houdini brings me back to ex-football-player art star Matthew Barney, whose films incorporate a combination of both stage magic (high-gloss production value) and athleticism (Barney himself actually doing physical stuff). Related topics include: the amount of theatrical acting involved in “reality” TV shows, and what percentage of pornographic sex is “real” (they are “actually” doing it) vs. staged (how much are they “actually” enjoying it).

stevegray

Jim Carrey portraying street magician Steve “The Brain Rapist” Gray preparing to spend the night on a bed of hot coals

 

I’m unwilling to dismiss endurance performance art as cliche (although much of it is), because endurance performance art is at least one art medium (along with land art, dance, and certain forms of socially engaged political art) where “stage crafted theatrics” (ARTifice, magic) intersect with “actual athletics” (real things which bodies in the world can actually do). Such “actual athletic” art might also be thought of as magick — “real” spells and curses that pragmatically cause bodies to change (as opposed to stage theatrics that only cause bodies to seem to change). Indeed, the best endurance performance art lies at the intersection of magic and magick.

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Black & Jones, April 22 – May 10, 2013

2001 Retold, Black & Jones

 visit Black & Jones’s Site

Statement

Our work is based on several assumptions; first, that life is good, second, that two artists working together are better than one working alone, and third, that information is there for the taking. That said, we seek to create new works from both existing and original audio-visual information.

We are part of a long line of collage theorists extending from Kurt Schwitters to Kara Walker, from John Cage to Brian Eno.

Using the techniques of digital sound and video editing – both in the studio and in live performances – our work explores the history of cinema, the culture of the Internet, the richness of language, the pervasiveness of music and all the ways in which media intersect and interact to create new languages expressive of our time.

In 2001 Retold, we ripped a dvd of Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey and divided it up by dvd chapters. We then asked a variety of people to watch one chapter and recorded their retelling of the narrative. The original movie was then re-edited to match this retelling.

2001 Retold – Chapter 12 from Black and Jones on Vimeo.

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Report from the Library of Congress

For three days, on April 3-5 of this year, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC hosted an exhibition, readings, and talks on electronic literature. Electronic literature, according to the Library of Congress website, is something different than traditional print literature:

More than a computer screen and different from an ebook or a digitized text. It is hypertext narrative, literary games, interactive fiction, kinetic poetry. Not just a new way to display the written word, electronic literature exploits the digital world’s capacity for multiplicity and interactivity to create new forms of literary expression that can’t be fully replicated in print. Like all literature, it explores the human condition—but as “born digital” content it

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is now mediated by underlying computer code, often combining the written word with sound, images, animation, and video.

The event, “Electronic Literature & Its Emerging Forms,” created by guest curators Dene Grigar and Kathi Inman Berens, was a milestone for the electronic literature community, and a philosophical leap forward for the Library of Congress. Sure, the LOC has all of the 400 million tweets sent by Americans each day, so they’re not hurting for new media, but judging by the reactions of librarians at the event, electronic literature is alternately something they had originated themselves, or a first glimpse at a brave new world unimagined by Thomas Jefferson.

Either way, electronic literature is here to stay. Over the three days of the event, approximately seven hundred people wandered, nudged, and jostled their way through the Whittall Pavilion. They played, studied, and explored “twenty-seven works of electronic literature by American authors, relevant printed works from the Library of Congress collections, readings by select authors featured in

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the exhibit, and hands-on creation stations.” They watched elit authors do live performances of their work. They saw an exhibit of rare books, heard a keynote address, and listened in on a panel discussion about electronic literature. In the event’s most retro moment, young children discovering a manual typewriter for the first time were puzzled by the unresponsiveness of the keys. Why don’t they work? they asked, and upon being told to push them harder, learned that typing is still possible without a computer. At the end of it all, the question in the air wasn’t “What is electronic literature” but “Where can we find more?”

The answer is everywhere. Not just in Facebook posts (where people use multimedia all the time to tell their stories). Not just at the Webby awards, where a work of electronic literature won in the Net Art category in 2011, and another was an honoree this year. And not just in museums, galleries, festivals, online journals, and college classrooms around the world, where elit is no longer an emerging form, but a full-blown phenomena.

But

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for the purists, there are a number of databases on the web where you can familiarize yourself with the form. One is the Electronic Literature Organization’s and there’s the database for Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP).

To learn more about the event at the Library of Congress, go here.

 

Channel TWo to Launch “Instances” and Lecture at APSU on April 9, 2013

Channel TWo Terminal

 

Project Information 

An instance is an intentional hidden message, inside joke, or feature in a work such as a computer program, movie, book, or crossword. Some [instances] may be intentional tools used to detect illegal copying, others are clearly examples of unauthorized functionality that has slipped through the quality-control tests at the vendor.

“Channel TWo: Instances” consists of thirteen augmented reality instances hidden across the campus of Austin Peay State University, beginning on April 9 and running through May 10. Each instance will direct you to a Channel TWo, downloadable friendly care package. All thirteen instances, you will need to download the Layar augmented reality browser by going to the Layar website and downloading the browser onto your iPhone or Android phone (http://www.layar.com/download/). In order to begin finding instances, visit the Channel TWo site for instructions at: http://www.onchanneltwo.com/instances

 

Bios

 

Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook collaborate as Channel TWo (CH2), a studio/research construct focused on mixed reality, media, design, development, and distribution, authorized formats + unauthorized ideas, systems of control + radical togetherness. Channel TWo is loosely aligned with the concept of over-identification, Slavoj Žižek’s description of a tactic intended to reveal the hidden nature of dominant ideologies — not by pointing to them but by becoming extreme forms of them. CH2 intersects joyful/play-oriented aesthetic experiences and user interfaces with challenging social undercurrents. Projects take the form of computer viruses, virtual environments, augmented realities, and motion/generative graphics. CH2 was awarded a Rhizome Commission in 2012, a Turbulence Commission in 2011, and a Terminal Commission in 2009. Trowbridge and Westbrook are both Assistant Professors at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where they teach in the Department of Contemporary Practices and the Department of Art and Technology Studies.

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Lei Han, April 8 – 19, 2013

Lei Han Terminal

 

Lei Han is a new media artist, educator and designer. Fascinated by the influences of eastern philosophy in western art, especially in modern and contemporary art, her recent work aim for creating the cohesion between spirituality and creativity, and as well as making new connections between artist, viewer and object/subject. Lei’s current work, in experimental video, digital animation, video art and interactive video installation, has been exhibited at galleries, museums, and film festivals nationally and internationally. Including Krannert Art Museum, the Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Asheville Fine Arts Theater, North Carolina Visions, and Shenzhen & Hongkong Bi-City Biennial, China.

Lei received her BA in fashion design from Shenzhen University in China and her MFA in computer arts from Memphis College of Art. She is currently Assistant Professor of Multimedia Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and board member of The Media Arts Project.

http://nm.unca.edu/~lhan/mysite/

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On Lying

 

A while back I wrote a book on how to be creative (download the free, illegal pdf here). It was bound to fail because creativity doesn’t really break down into easy modernist steps like a recipe you can follow. Indeed, something like “individual human creativity” arguably doesn’t even really exist. It’s just an idea humans invented at a particular time in history to make them feel good about being humans at that particular time in history. Even so, great artistic chefs do use recipes, and failure sometimes leads to fruitful art, so it wasn’t such a bad idea to write a book like that after all. The book was like a way for me to exhaust all the “best practice” advice on how to be creative, compile it in a single text, get it out of my system, and then whatever was left after that might actually have something to do with creativity.

hotwiring

how to be creative as crap

 

So I researched all sorts of methods for being creative, and distilled them into a long list. Here are a bunch of those methods:

repeat, combine, add, transfer, empathize, animate, superimpose, change scale, fragment, isolate, distort, disguise, contradict, parody, analogize, hybridize, metamorphose, substitute, simplify, adapt, modify, rearrange, reverse, symbolize, mythologize, fantasize.

Finally, my favorite method is “prevaricate,” which simply means “lie.” I love the prevaricate method and find it woefully under-used by artists (although politicians use it all the time). I’m not sure why artists’ don’t lie more in their work. If you make art involving networks, then the medium more or less forces your work to lie, whether you want it to or not. Even if you don’t have a Facebook pseudonym or an opposite-gender avatar in Second Life, you are more or less lying every time you say “I” online — because your Facebook actions are always meant to have some kind of limited effect within the context of Facebook, because the formal constraints of the medium and the network greatly limit the “amount” and “quality” of “self” “you” are able to “put” online.  Indeed, media have always modulated the “self” of the “artist/author” — painters, writers, dancers, sculptors (cf: Barthes’ “The Death of the Author“). Even more radically, philosopher Alfred Korzybski says to use the word “is” at all is a kind of lying, since no single subject could ever be adequately equated to a single predicate. Even more radically, philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari famously undermine the use of the pronoun “I” at all. In the beginning of their seminal A Thousand Plateaus they explain:

The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. Here we have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have assigned clever pseudonyms to prevent recognition. Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit. To make ourselves unrecognizable in turn. To render imperceptible, not ourselves, but what makes us act, feel, and think. Also because it’s nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking. To reach, not the point where one no longer says I, but the point where it is no longer of any importance whether one says I. We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.

 

Obviously, there are some ethical problems with lying. If I am a different “I” from one moment to the next, then the “I” of today no longer need take responsibility for the actions of the “I” of yesterday. If the “I” of a conglomerate corporation is protected by certain rights that leave the individual members of that corporation unaccountable for their actions, then we have some problems. But art is not individual citizenship or corporate citizenship. Art is the province of the trickster. Art is always already lying. Ai Weiwei is a trickster artist because the Chinese government is a shifty, lying entity. Even if you’re not making overtly political art, materials and media (particularly new media) are lying all the time. Materials aren’t even “lying,” because that would imply that somehow they were aware of the truth. Materials and media are simply indifferent to our human notions of truth. As anyone who has used or studied color can tell you, colors shift subjectively depending on their context. They fail to remain “true” to their mathematical properties. Art has always already been more about “seems” than “is.” Even in the province of science (a famously “is”-y province), “is” can get slippery at very small and very large scales.

Josef Albers proves that colors are full of crap

 

Here is a famous picture of Yves Klein leaping into the void. A leap of faith.

famous lying art

 

Here is a less famous picture of Yves Klein leaping into the void. The fact that the famous picture is a lie doesn’t really matter. It serves its historical purpose.

unfamous true non-art

 

The best art liar is David Wilson of the Museum of Jurassic Technology. He is great because he is not really lying. Or better yet, he makes the issue of whether he is or isn’t lying less relevant than what he is actually doing, which is something like awaking wonder. And sometimes, in order to do this, he lies.

Mary Davis’s horn at The Museum of Jurassic Technology

 

Recently I got an email from someone who was lying. His fake name is Sebastian Elk. He is trying to find a replacement for himself so he can stop doing whatever it is he is doing. My guess is that he is the webmaster of a wonderful online repository of 20th Century manifestos and periodicals (in the spirit of the original Dada periodical 391), and he wants someone else to take over his job. Whatever the case, he has now issued two abstract/surreal surveys (text based and video based) to help him select his successors. The surveys themselves are wonderful works of lying art.

 

On the topic of surreal/abstract surveys, here are some more that I really like:

Jane Dark’s Emotion Criteria Exam (Marcus)
NODATA (Donwood/ Radiohead)
The Will Power Clinic (Szyhalski)
starfish exams (Stanton)

 

I run a website that may not be lying: http://deepyoung.org . My wife runs a similarly named school that may not be lying: http://deepyoung.com . My uncle has my same name and he may not be lying: http://curtcloninger.com . Some corny people are fond of saying, “Fiction is a lie that tells the truth.” A lie that tells the truth! What a colossal waste of a lie! Why not just tell a lie that tells a lie? Or better yet, why not tell a lie that tells of a speculative future that is not yet and may never become true (cf: this lie and the lie below)?

Arakawa & Gins have decided not to die. Arakawa is dead. Long live Arakawa.

 

An insane person is not really lying; she just thinks of the truth differently. Maybe artists are insane. If you are an artist on the internet and you aren’t intentionally lying, you are really wasting  a great opportunity.

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