:: Thursday, March 18, 2004 ::

Last monday Tate Online launched a new work by Natalie Bookchin & Jaqueline Stevens called agoraXchange. The project is described as "an online community for discussing and designing a massive multi-player global politics game challenging the violence and inequality of our present political system". As with all community based work it stands or falls with participation. Because agoraXchange is a Tate commissioned project I'm curious if and how it will attract a large userbase.

:: Peter Luining [+] ::
:: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 ::
Just a reminder that the deadline for Turbulence International Commisions is approaching: turbulence.org
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
While not expressly new.media related, I always find architecture, especially urban architecture, a unique conceptual paralell to some of the issues involved in net.art. For those individuals in the New York area the following lecture might provide some interesting insites into structure and museumification.

AFA Presents "Signature Buildings"
How the Architecture of a Museum Impacts the Institution and Its City

Monday, March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Columbia University
Graduate School of Architecture, Planning,and Preservation
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
1172 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY

With Aaron Betsky, Director, Netherlands Architecture Institute; Sherri Geldin, Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University; Zaha Hadid, Principal, Zaha Hadid Architects; and Daniel Libeskind, Principal, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Architect LLC

Moderated by Joseph Giovannini, architect and architecture critic for New York magazine
For information and registration, call 212.988.7700 ext. 21 or click pubinfo@afaweb.org.

Directions: Take subway line #1 or #9 local to 116th Street and Broadway. Use 116th Street gates to enter the Columbia campus (map of campus posted inside gates)

Presented by the American Federation of Arts
Co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University

Founded in 1909, the American Federation of Arts creates and organizes art exhibitions that are presented in museums around the world. The AFA also publishes exhibition catalogues and offers educational and professional development programs for the museum community and general public.

:: [+] ::
:: Tuesday, March 16, 2004 ::
SXSW is wrapping up today....

with the traditional closing speech by Bruce Sterling who, also traditionally, invites everyone (and i mean everyone) for drinks at his place. However, tonight another event will compete with Sterling's demonstrated hosting abilities... The Austin Museum of Digital Art is doing its bimonthly showcase at its original location - the "old" dance club "Texture" downtown, now "Bonggo's". The showcase is not quite part of SXSW program but Hqrold Chaput and the rest of the folks behind it have been cleaverly making one of its showcases happen during the mega event, and the hundreds of interactive art enthusiasts in town for SXSW are definitely please with that coincidence.

This year, the theme for SXSW was creativity. A lot of the panels were devoted to social networks, online communities. Blogs and wikis abounded on the list of panels. Brenda Laurel's and Howard Rheingold's keynote speeches were definitely the highlights. Brenda developed the notion of "transmedia" that she is putting in place at the Art Center's Media Design Program of the Art Center College of Design (CA), and showed several of the best works produced by the graduate students in the program. At the end, she had a book signing for her newest "Design Research : Methods and Perspectives". I bought it, she signed it and i got to tell her how her "Computers as Theatre" changed my life (and it did).

I missed what was apparently one of the best panels of the meeting, "Virginia Postrel presentation". Postrel, the economist of the New York Times writes in "The Substance of Style" on the importance of aesthetics in everyday life.

I got to go to another panel on aesthetics: "The aesthetics of social networks". Each panelist started by giving her/his own definition of aesthetics and the discussion that resulted suffered more than gained from that diversity of definitions. Furthermore, and in my opinion and of others whom i was able to talk to ince the session was over, the "aesthetics" was confused with "representations of " social networks and, particularly, of social software. Although Molly Steenson stressed that social networks were well beyond social software, the panel as a whole didn't seem to have it very clear. Friendster and Orkut were once again, the favorite topic of discussion. Danah Boyd focused on maps of relationships as one's representation. However, this is precisely the object of a whole body of study pointing at the negative aspects of online social networks that have taken place since the well known Internet Paradox study (1). I will make it simple by translating these successive findings as "are we really building relationships or are we increasingly looking at our belly button?" Maybe Boyd didn't intend to go that far but a brief mention to how some scholars are looking at the negative aspects of this self-reflexivity would have been interesting.

And back to the Austin Museum of DIgital Art bimonthly showcase, to happen tonight at Bonggo's. The visual artists are (and notice the wonderful French-based Pleix Collective):

Brian Alfred
Bill Hundley
Sue Costabile (Musork, Reline DVD)
Eric Tomberlin
Ford Unstable Media
Ben Hodges
Robert Hodgin
Jeffers Egan
Takagi Masakatsu (Carpark Records)
PLEIX Collective
Nate Pagel (Designate)
Ryan Molloy
Min Kang

All in all, SXSW was wonderful as always. You should plan to come to Austin Texas next year!

1) Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? American Psychologist, 53, 1017-1031

:: ana boa-ventura [+] ::
MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Los Angeles is currently featuring an online project by Ayana Takano.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
Eyebeam recently introduced a new section on their website called reblog, where invited curators post recommendations periodically. John Peretti, director of R & D, is currently posting recommendations.
:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
I recently learned of blogging.la, an online resource offering all types of information about LA culture. Although this website is not directly dealing with new media or net art, I think it is important to visit it and entertain the way in which blogs are being appropriated to disseminate more straight ahead news and information.

A subdomain project that is worth noting is art.blogging.la which specializes in the LA art scene. This sub-site actually covers all of the major galleries in Los Angeles, from Baby Bergamot to Chinatown. art.blogging.la started just this past January, and it is currently being run by a handful of people. How long and how welcomed blogging will be to the LA art scene is yet to be seen. But for now, if you are an out of towner, log on and learn gossip along with decent news about one of the most popular art scenes in the world. It can not hurt.

:: Eduardo Navas [+] ::
:: Monday, March 15, 2004 ::
Recently several mailinglists were flooded with the support messages and actions for the Molotov painting by Joy Garnet (see post below by Eduardo Navas). Though I didn't read all responses (I'm not on all lists that commented on the Molotov case), the main thing I missed in all comments was that this whole type of copyright lawsuits have had already some clear precedents. Probably the best known example is the case Rogers vs Jef Koons, in which Rogers sued Koons for using his copyrighted image "Puppies" for the work "String of Puppies". Jeff Koons lost the case and it's interesting to know why. Here I quote from the article "COPYRIGHT PROTECTION AND APPROPRIATION ART" by William M. Landes:

"... is appropriation of mass media images by the artist Jeff Koons who was the defendant in three similar copyright cases in the 2nd Circuit. In the best-known case, Rogers v. Koons, the defendant purchased a note card displaying a photograph of a group of puppies with their owners, tore off the copyright notice from the card, and hired an Italian foundry to make four sculptures based on the photograph. Since Koons admitted copying, the only issue on appeal was if his copying was a fair use.
Counting against fair use is that Koons added little to the original image except for changing the medium and adding color. Indeed, altering the image would have defeated his purpose of changing the meaning of the image by putting it in a different context. On the other hand, Koon's sculpture is not likely to damage the market for the copyrighted photograph. The products are in different markets and won't compete for sales. Yet the plaintiff's business was licensing photographs so upholding Koon's fair use defense could potentially eliminate an important source of revenue to photographers and result in adverse incentive effects.
Koons' principle argument for fair use was that his work should be privileged as a satirical comment or parody. By appropriating an everyday image, he claimed that his work commented critically on a political and economic system that places too much value on mass produced commodities and media images. Not surprisingly, the court rejected his defense because his work did not comment directly on the appropriated image. As noted earlier, fair use requires that the parody be directed at least in part at the original work. When the parody comments on society at large, the defendant should be able to license the copyrighted work."

:: Peter Luining [+] ::
:: Sunday, March 14, 2004 ::
The Web competition for the 11th Biennial of Visual Arts, Pancevo- Serbia, taking place from May 29th - July 10th, 2004, has been announced under the theme "Values".

The winner, as chosen by a jury, will be given an independent exhibition at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Pancevo. Deadline is the 31st of March and the organisers would like work to be submitted in hard copy (CD-ROM) only. Results will be announced on the website in mid April. For more information see the website.

:: Garrett Lynch [+] ::
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