[Triumphant Horns] for “Activating Captions,” an Online Exhibition Exploring Closed Captioning

“Activating Captions,” an online exhibition exploring the expressive potential of closed captioning launches. Curated by Christine Sun Kim and Niels Van Tomme for the ARGOS Centre for Audiovisual Arts in Brussels, it brings together Carolyn Lazard, Alison O’Daniel (image: The Tuba Thieves, 2013), Alex Dolores Salerno, and others to “highlight and undo [captioning’s] shortcomings and inadequacies” while raising related questions of equity and access.

I Am a Molocule of the Estroworld!

“I am a molocule of the Estroworld, a corporate conglomerate of the petrochemical, agricultural, and pharmaceutical industries.”
– Biohacker and artist Mary Maggic, introducing “Lab Work–Art of the Experiment,” the sixth of a Vera List Center for Art and Politics Zoom seminar series, in an icebreaker exercise where they invite participants to reimagine themselves as the products they consume

Dotdotdot & ESA Installation Senses the Planetary Emergency

Lisbon’s Museum for Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT) comes out of lockdown with two new shows (“Aquaria” & “Y is Not s Small Country”) and one immersive installation. Realized by the Milan-based design studio Dotdotdot with science support from the European Space Agency (ESA), “Earth Bits – Sensing the Planetary” (image) offers a deep dive into the climate emergency. The data-driven journey begins with visualizing local CO2 emissions and then looks at our impact on a global scale.

Urban Weeds Alphabet Spells Kinship Futures

“Looking back, Virginia Pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum) was really important to me. It thrived on petroleum-soaked copper soil and looked like a desert plant in the urban summer heat.”
Andrea Haenggi, artist, choreographer, and Environmental Performance Agency co-founder, on the origins of her Urban Weeds Alphabet, a series of gesture-driven drawings “co-created with 20 spontaneous urban plants”

How Anil Dash and Kevin McCoy Invented NFTs in 2014

In “NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This,” Glitch CEO Anil Dash reflects on how, in 2014, he and artist Kevin McCoy invented NFTs. Paired at Seven on Seven, Rhizome’s annual one-night hackathon in New York City, the two prototyped monetized graphics, a blockchain-backed technology of asserting ownership over an original digital work (photo). “Our dream of empowering artists hasn’t yet come true,” Dash concludes disillusioned, “but it has yielded a lot of commercially exploitable hype.”

Holly Herndon on Best Practices for Nurturing a Healthy AI Collaborator

“The reason we use this metaphor of a baby is Spawn only has access to the information that we give her—we foster her with the data we feed her. We found this a way to not only talk about the importance of her daily diet, but the communal nature of raising a nascent intelligence.”
– Musician Holly Herndon on her AI collaborator Spawn, after describing the influence of George Lewis’s Voyager project during MIT’s Unfolding Intelligence symposium [quote edited]

Nick Montfort Curates a Dynamic Selection of Browser-Based “Generative Unfoldings”

Curated by Nick Montfort, “Generative Unfoldings,” an exhibition of 14 browser-based artworks launches. Augmenting MIT’s Unfolding Intelligence symposium, its generative works span vignettes on power relations and value (Behnaz Farahi, Maja Kalogera) to pure abstraction (Ágoston Nagy, Andy Wallace). Langauge looms large, as illustrated by Karen ann Donnachie & Andy Simionato’s This Indignant Page: The Politics of the Paratextual (image), which turns revered prose into colourful compositions.

49 Hopeful Offerings to the Hungry Gods of DeFi

TRANSFER and teamed up to offer 49 “Pieces of Me” by, among others, Julieta Gil, Lawrence Lek, Sara Ludy, and Kim Laughton (image: Ascetic Chain, 2021) as commentary on the hype around NFTs. “This show is presented as a hopeful look towards a more thoughtful market beyond the one that arose too quickly, and without care,” write the curators. “There is no bidding—the artworks minted for this installation are unique tokens of appreciation, meant to be held and cherished, not flipped.”

The Problems NFTs Purport to Solve Were Never Really Problems

“The problems NFTs purport to solve (authentication, provenance, scarcity) were never really problems, and they potentially introduce entirely new problems.”
– Anonymous collector, quoted in an email announcing the And/Or Gallery online store. Future proof editions from A-list digital artists including JODI, Olia Lialina, and Brenna Murphy that only cost several thousand USD—quite the bargain, in this moment of intense speculation.