exibbit.com – Online Art Review

By Maddy Plimmer

You could stop at 5 or 6 dealer galleries or just one! The days of 40% commission are over, because now it’s only US$10 a month to set up an online gallery with http://exhibbit.com/.

Vesa Peltonen is just one of many artists currently exhibiting work. As you click on his name and image to enter the gallery, you are briefly shown some text about the artist while the gallery loads, so we know going in that he is as dedicated to his art as he is to protecting and celebrating human rights. Once loaded, you find yourself situated within a virtual gallery. It is a long white room with tall narrow windows to provide natural light and marble floors. There is also a cushioned seat at either end, which is nice if you need to sit down or would like to contemplate the works for an extended period of time.  There is the option for a tour of the gallery, but I decided to use the arrows keys and find my way around myself. Despite becoming briefly trapped in the ceiling, I did enjoy floating around the room, moving through ghost people and furniture to view the mixed media limited edition prints. It was nice to be able to get up really close and see every pixel of the work. The other people viewing the works weren’t bothering me in the beginning, largely because they were see-through and I was able to move through them, however I did later decide I wanted to be alone with the art, so I got rid of them.

I then decided that I wanted to see these works on a magenta wall, so I made that happen.

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I thought this was a very handy feature. Gone are the days when one’s entire critique could consist of “I’d like them so much better if the wall was painted magenta!”

Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Vesa Peltonen’s exhibition in one of exhibbit’s many galleries. It could perhaps of benefitted from some higher resolution images of the works, but I liked that I as the viewer had control over the exhibition space. I don’t know what Vesa Peltonen thinks of magenta walls but at the end of the day, this was my viewing experience, and I tailored it to my tastes. I don’t really know how these features enhance the artworks, or allow

Zero Gamers Exhibition – Website Review

By Mayke Blom

2nd-18th November 2007

Zero Gamers Exhibition was held in 2007 by Curators Corrado Morgana, Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow in a Gallery called HTTP (Now named Furtherfield), London. This webpage is a documentation archiving an Introduction, exhibition statement, lists of artists/works and Catalogue. It is simple and provides apt descriptions of the works involved and the themes explored around gaming worlds, or the position of the ‘Zero Gamer’.

I feel as though this is a great way to document an Exhibition that has taken place, further giving the viewer access to the artists involved, relationships between the works and contributing to a wider event held in London at the time “The London Games Fringe Festival” taking place in 2007. This festival was discontinued as well as the HTTP gallery, making it a cultural-historical document of a temporal space within an urban environment. Many Galleries have limited lifespans, so continuing to give it a presence on the internet this way rather than just a publication seems fitting, especially in context with the themes it explores.

The themes executed by the artists look at ways to intervene with the experience of the gaming process. It places emphasis on pauses, breaks, loading screens and loss of interactivity that interrupt the state of flow experienced when immersed in a gaming environment, allowing users to reflect or refresh their position from the immersive of the game space. The gallery audience has limited or no direct interaction that would usually come from confronting a game-space, and begin to position themselves as spectators of a video game. Artists have recreated and isolated the game space to sit independent of outcome and user-control by either self-automating the gaming process with AI, or changing the gaming space so that the pause becomes dominant to the gameplay.

As I was browsing through this documentation I would have liked to see more footage, imagery, or links from the artist’s work, however as a pause in itself it limited the distractions while getting a better picture of the artist’s work through the text and limited imagery, and extra multimedia references were easily found otherwise. I like how this webpage isolated the exhibition from other events, simply executed with only four tabs to explore.

I think this is a fun and extended dissemination strategy to document exhibition work. The themes explored are clearly communicated and raise interesting questions around artists intervening and evaluating game spaces. It sits within a larger audience, using familiar popular culture game spaces, something that has begun to integrate itself within the everyday.

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Link: http://www.http.uk.net/zerogamer/exhibition.shtml

Luke Munn: swfer – Exhibition Review

By Jordana Bragg

swfer | Luke Munn | Blue Oyster Art Project Space | 9 May 2015 – 06 June 2015

swfer continues Luke Munn’s investigation into the relationship between immaterial, sterilised technology and the intimacy and physicality of our moistmedia bodies.

[moist media] is a term coined by Roy Ascott to signal the emergent confluence in media art of (wet) biological processes and (dry) computational systems.

The bold typeface proclaiming swfer, as the title of Luke Munn’s current exhibition at Blue Oyster Art Project Space (open 09 May 2015 – June 06 2015) had me at its lurid use of hot pink. Fortunately, on Saturday May 09 2015 I found myself in the Octagon in Dunedin at approximately 2:30pm with half an hour to idle. With the large-scale exhibition Private Utopia at Dunedin Public Art Gallery (open 28 March 2015 – 09 August 2015) looming over me like an obligation I could not fully commit to, and the awareness Blue Oyster was to close in half an hour, I ran to Blue Oyster, and right into an artist talk with Luke Munn and Matthew Galloway.

In the front gallery space on the right wall behind those seated at the artist talk I noted a small-scale pink wall text stating: ‘i-chatmobi’, (iChat – 2015) and upon further investigation it was understood to be a provocation to interact with an online messenger application iChat:

iChat is a messenger application embodied by a ‘Tumblr teen girl aesthetic’, when interacting with iChat a conversation reformation occurs between a ‘decoy adolescent female’ + a ‘predator’.

Citing directly a conversation from Perveted-Justice.com, the application articulates entrapment strategies and the importance of human connectivity/representation/vulnerability online, (whether genuine or constructed).

Against the end wall of the front gallery space a projected text work (Code Swishing – 2014) screens currently circulating Internet acronyms, for example: ‘SWM’, and beneath this the expansion: ‘Single White Male’. This work was initially humorous, yet after time with the work the specific acronyms selected and their intentions became more sinister, asserting a critical awareness, potentially of how these text reductions and their cyber perpetuation simultaneously over simplify and complicate identity politics online (FWB: friends with benefits, GBM: gay black male, BBW: big black women).

Moving into the back gallery space I encountered a disk drive painted white and situated on top of a white plinth (SeeDee – 2014), with a faint soundtrack of the disk burner in operation underneath. At this point I overheard Luke and Matthew discussing “breathing shallow while waiting for emails to load”, which I found extremely applicable and entered back into the front gallery space to stand within ear shot while reading over the titles and work descriptions. In the medium section of SeeDee (2014), it outlined semen as a component of the materials alongside the plinth and disk drive. This particular involvement of the body and, furthermore, bodily fluid evident in the title, yet invisible to the viewer prior to reading the description, provoked me to consider this action in relation to anxieties surrounding uploading the body online and the ever-present yet often ‘invisible’ or little discussed under current of pornography online.

As an exhibition which considers / reconsiders the intrinsic relationship between the gallery space, cyber space and URL / IRL human connectivity and experience, I position this text as anecdotal, a provocation for others to experience swfer IRL (in real life), and to engage with the online components: iChat and the artist talk available on sound cloud (links attached).

Matthew Galloway in conversation with Luke Munn: https://soundcloud.com/blue-oyster-dunedin/luke-munn-talking-to-matthew-galloway

Link to application iChat: http://i-chat.mobi

Aram Bartholl: Paint figure drawing class – Online Artwork Review

By Maddy Plimmer

Aram Bartholl’s “Paint figure drawing class” combines the amusing nostalgia of MS paint with the quiet poise of a figure drawing class. He reinvents the traditional life drawing class by infusing it with post-internet shitty aesthetics. There are the following restrictions on how participants must draw in the class: They must draw with a computer mouse on a version of a simple computer drawing application, such as Paintxp or Gpaint. No layers, gradients or antialiasing is allowed in the document, and there is a maximum of 3 undos and 48 colours permitted.

Having these restrictions on how the work is made seems as if it’s an attempt to more closely mimic how drawing on paper operates. You can’t exactly draw underneath something you’ve already drawn on the page, nor can you quickly create a smooth gradient and completely remove a mark you’ve made. It creates a more simulated environment. Instead of simply creating a space to do life drawing digitally, it strives to recreate the scenario of the class within a somewhat accurate framework. It speaks to the limitations of virtual technology, and also perhaps how we try to create these digital spaces within an already existing structure. We save a pretend file into a pretend folder on our pretend desktop. Technology creates this window into the cybernetic world, which is separate yet engrained in our corporeal experience. Separate because it is fabricated, engrained because the windows are everywhere. Probably in your pocket and definitely in front of you right now. This constructed space that has limitations entirely different to the limitations of the physical world, however we attempt to situate all its elements within a tangible-world context. We further constrain what a technology can do, by further inflicting our human context on it, but it is also an important part of computers usability is enhanced. Sure, we could create a completely new mode of thought for how we use technology, but by situating it in our already understood context, they are easier and more instinctive to use.

This work to me is not just a class, but rather a participatory performance exhibition. It clearly has roots in conceptual post-internet practice, as a post-internet artist set up the class.  The resulting drawings the naïve drawing style of online memes, and reflect the trollpunk style born out of humans interaction with linear digital technology. This performance celebrates the merging of the traditional with the new, and humans with technology within a fine art context, so let’s join in and embrace the Internet ugly!

http://www.datenform.de/paint-figure-drawing-class.html

Fan by Kim Asendorf – Artwork Review

By Jesse Bowling

Kim is a Berlin-based artist, working in new media influenced by the Internet.

Kim’s work “Fan” is listed as a 6 channel sound installation, I watched the video and I think this refers to the noise of the computer fan. When stacked on top of each other playing a constant high-definition coloured video, it makes the computer work constantly for an extended period of time. This causes it to heat up, which makes the fan work, making the “noise”. This is an interesting aspect to technology that they create this “white” noise that we tend not to pick up on, we block it out and just consider it, as “that’s just the sound it makes”.

I’m also interested in the laptop as a sculptural form as a ready-made. The laptop can have implications of the dependence of technology and the tool we create digital works on, there are many connotations that a laptop can emit these are just a few.

But overall I feel this work doesn’t have much substance, conceptually. The idea is simple, and I enjoy that simplicity, but at the same time I wish it went further then just the idea of making the laptop fan work extra, because of lack of air circulation. This judgment is purely off observation, I cannot find anything listing the ideas of the work or any write-up on this exhibition. Which seems contradictory for someone who works within the Internet and in the “Internet-aware” scene.

Riverofthe.net – Online Art Review

By Maddy Plimmer

Riverofthe.net

Before there was Vine, there was Riverofthe.net. Launched in 2010 by video artist Ryan Trecartin and founder of Tumblr David Karp, the website consists of 10 second videos that occupy the entire Internet window. The videos are collection of Ryan Trecartin’s own work, videos found on the web and videos uploaded by visitors to the site. This is similar to the format of the popular video sharing cell phone app “Vine,” in which users upload 7 second videos to be viewed by their followers and those watching on the website www.vpeeker.com.

It is interesting to see how the short time frame allocated for the videos on both Vine and Riverofthe.net, has been used in such different ways. Videos uploaded via Vine, are often fast paced. The 7 seconds are filled with quick cuts and several short scenes in order to allow for a brief dialogue. They seem to all subscribe to a mutual unwritten goal of including as many quick scenes of humorous dialogue as possible, and certainly follow a sequential order with a set-up and punch line.

Following suit from Trecartin’s example, the user-contributed videos on Riverofthe.net are far more nonsensical, and slow paced than how people approached Vine. They don’t attempt to tackle more than one shot, scene or idea; rather one finished or repetitive movement occupies the full 10 seconds. All the videos are very disparate in tone and content, so the way they are played in a random order definitely mimics a sort of mash-up of everything that can be experienced on the Internet. I really enjoy the way Ryan Trecartin’s work is shown in amongst found and donated video. He lets his work be surrounded by the culture it is referencing, and influenced by, such as b-grade omegle footage, and a middle-aged man dancing alone to techno music. This idea of accessible technology, and average quality is present throughout all the works, even Trecartin’s films, and it’s nice to see the purposeful low quality of his work, played along side unintentional low quality works. In a way, Trecartin and Karp have set up a mode for exhibiting his work in a way that allows it to be in very direct conversation with the culture surrounding it. It’s like a more isolated, and regulated version of Youtube.com, another site where Trecartin often displays his works, except the user is shown works without choice of what they are shown. This is something that brings the site closer to a form of exhibition, as the audience does not select what they watch and when, like on Youtube.com. Like the Internet itself, Riverofthe.net is a collaborative montage of a variety of content, ever changing and growing.

Petra Collins’ Instagram – Online Art Review

By Laura Duffy

Petra Collins is an American photographer and artist, currently working in New York. Petra often photographs adolescent girls with sensitivity towards the exploration of friendship, sexuality and youth. Using the representation of young experiences to encourage young people to become more comfortable within their own bodies.  Potentially reproducing the ideology that she’s trying to critique by discussing female sexuality and development from a male-gaze perspective specifically in her older work. I think she and working through the internalization of the male-gaze and progressing.

Petra seems to be interested in broadening the dissemination of her work outside of the gallery, as well as being involved with Rookie magazine she designed a t-shirt featuring masturbating menstrual blood for American Apparel. She is also very prominent within social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Utilising the mainstream space of fashion and magazines as well digital social media space, which could be said to be more popular than the gallery space for her target audience of young girls. Looking specifically at her Instagram, the photographs are being digitally exhibited, as well as simultaneously published to her account. As well as posting her own work and exhibitions, she includes influences to her life and work. I find this an interesting mixture of professional and personal, workbook and blog. Entering into the same space that she’s critiquing, the mainstream, she’s working from the inside out. As well as allowing easier, instant and international accessibility for viewers.

I found it really thought-provoking when Petra Collin’s Instagram was shut down after posting a picture in bikini bottoms with public hair showing. The photo was reported to Instagram by a number of anonymous users, exemplifying a societal force and regulation to the “norm”.  When interviewed by Oyster on the topic Petra Collin’s expressed her confusion and annoyance drew comparisons to the medias repetitious coverage on Rihanna’s face beaten up after being the victim of abuse. Questioning what is censored and what is not, why are we allowed to see so many horrific things yet censor the natural pubic hair of the female body? She finishes the interview with lingering questions for readers, “WHY you felt this way? WHY this image was so shocking? WHY you have no tolerance for it? Hopefully you will come to understand that it might not be you thinking these things but society telling you how to think.”

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Link to Petra Collins website where the Oyster interview is published:

http://www.petracollins.com/?page_id=222

Link to Petra Collins’ Instagram:

https://instagram.com/petrafcollins/

Image credit: Screenshot from Instagram & Petra Collins