Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Projects for 2010

Saturday "Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly," my collaboration with Levydance, premiered at Dance Place in Washington DC to a favorable review in the Washington Post. With that I finished my major work of 2009. Inspired to apply my new skills to new projects, I'm planning a number of new projects for 2010.

Project 1: Collaborate with Bad Unkl Sista

Bad Unkl Sista is a San Francisco Butoh-inspired performance group. Their incredibly striking white costumes should work as interesting surfaces on which to project video. I'll use computer vision to track the dancers, applying some of the systems I developed so recently.

Project 2: A story of a dream: typewriter/language-based video installation

This does not yet have a name, but will derive a lot of its function from language and algorithms (I'll be reading some Chomsky). Basically I'll modify a mechanical typewriter with an Arduino to output ASCII. I'll make a program to parse words and mix video accordingly. There will be a lot of system design, video editing, and building the "vocabulary" of the project. Limiting it to one of my dreams will make it more expressive and personal, more aesthetically coherent (visually), and make it a smaller, more achievable project that I can expand on later.

Project 3: Anomaly

I'm expanding on Anomaly with some new collaborators. Besides improving the current sculpture and electronics, I'll be working with Yosh!, Aaron McLeran, Moldover, and Pehr Hovey to have Anomaly control generative sound algorithms which use sound files uploaded by contributors online. As this becomes more developed I'll be inviting sound artists to contribute sound.

Project 4: Events etc.
This year I am co-producing Alchemy, a False Profit interactive art event with Stephanie Tholand, which will take place April 24th.

February 1st I'll be moving into Million Fishes, the artist collective and gallery in the Mission. My goals are to curate art shows in the gallery, hold workshops, work to improve Million Fishes' branding and visibility, and collaborate with my talented cohorts.

I'll also continue presenting and showing my work and probably organize another workshop on using Max for interactivity programming and computer vision.

Basically this year is going to be about collaborating to make a lot of cool work, building on my skills from past projects more than acquiring new technical skills.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Museum: Urs Fischer

Thursday I visited the New Museum in New York with a friend I had just made at my interview at ITP. The Urs Fischer exhibit was "a series of immersive installations and hallucinatory environments. " True to the description, I found it to be entirely sensually pleasing. Exceptionally experiential in its use of space and tactile in its material, I thought it also managed to tie into the "real world" of marketing, the experience of products, design and manufacturing.

The second floor installation of mirrored boxes with giant prints of objects on their surface captured the sense of desire and illusion generated by the ads they seemed to imitate. Larger and more vivid than life, I wanted to touch them. Wandering among them as in a strange garden was certainly "hallucinatory" and open to an array of meanings.

The third floor gooey melting purple piano continued this tactility of medium. It looked like purple taffy, askew and distorted but perfectly detailed. The room had richly colored but subdued wall paper going all the way up, mostly a desaturated burnt umber-mars violet but which shifted at the top to different colors in the light, huge. As a background it made everything else in the room pop and put me inside the installation. It made me feel like everyone else was part of the installation, too: the blonde girl carefully photographing the suspended croissant and her hipster friend watching her, like they'd been arranged there as well. I anticipated something from them, and myself.

The fourth floor had what looked at first like metallic clouds, like nebulous silver Vaseline, but which were in fact giant sculptures of cast aluminum. They were beautiful in themselves, but I thought they were all about how they were made: some American artist simply squeezed some wet clay in his hand, scanned it, and sent it off to China for people there to manufacture, then had it shipped back to the U.S.