Artist Jens Haaning Takes Museum’s Money and Runs

Miffed about the meager fee offered for the reproduction of two of his banknote works, Danish artist Jens Haaning pocketed the 534,000 kroner ($84,000) lent by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg (DK), and delivered two empty frames entitled Take the Money and Run. “The work is that I have taken their money,” Haaning said in an interview. “It’s not theft. It is a breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the work.” The frames are now on view as part of “Work it Out,” the museum’s ongoing show about art and labour.

Cat Blumke on Rail and AR as Infrastructures Past and Present

“We were thinking about infrastructure, specifically: the railroad as one of the past, and the possible implications of augmented reality as another in the future.”
– Artist Cat Blumke, speaking to Reality Crossing, a work on rail, empire, and speculative real estate in Canada. Produced with Jonathan Carrol, the piece is part of InterAccess’ all-AR exhibition “Geofenced,” curated by Karie Liao.

Holly Herndon: “The Blockchain *is* Culture! And it Succeeded Where More Traditional Institutions Have Failed.”

“The art world seems preoccupied with bringing culture to the blockchain. But it already is a culture, and it’s fascinating, fast-moving, and inclusive. In many ways, the NFT space has succeeded where more traditional institutions have failed.”
– Artist and musician Holly Herndon, during an Art Basel panel discussion on NFTs. “I’m obsessed with the weird culture that’s coming out of this space,” says Herndon. “It has its own language, and understanding of aesthetics—and some of it is beautiful.”

Metahaven’s “Passphrases” Are Made of Film and Fabric

A spatial collage of film and fabric, Metahaven’s “Passphrases” opens at State of Concept Athens—the first solo show of the Dutch avantgarde film-and-design collective in Greece. Featured alongside a newly commissioned installation of their films Chaos Theory (2021) and Hometown (2018), both part of a trilogy that begun with Information Skies (2016), are textile works from the series Arrows (2020) and—a premiere—Blossoms and Secrets (2021), “embodying texture, dreams, and film stills.”

Artist Joana Moll Forces Major Barcelona Arts Center to Half Energy Use

“What if an exhibition had an energy budget? How would it affect its design, organization, management, and activation?” With 16/2017, Spanish artist Joana Moll forces Barcelona’s Arts Santa Mònica Center to cut its energy usage by 50% during the “Exposar · No exposar-se · Exposar-se · No exposar” exhibition. Named after a failed policy to half the region’s CO2 emissions by 2030, 16/2017 prescribes weekly meetings to monitor the energy budget and negotiate corrective measures with management, artists, and the public.

Eyebeam’s Roderick Schrock is Not a Fan of Big Tech “Artwashing”

“Call me a Gen-X’er, but I’m troubled by artwashing as a means of distancing from bigger issues, like the lack of governmental regulation of consolidation, racist AI, tunnel-effects of social media, etc. I’m almost nostalgic for days when banks bought art for lobbies.”
Eyebeam Executive Director Roderick Schrock, on why he turned down an invitation to participate in a Big Tech roundtable on “the role of artist communities in promoting corporate culture through creative place-making”

Artist Rafaël Rozendaal’s Websites Become a “Permanent Distraction”

The most extensive installation of Rafaël Rozendaal’s websites series and the Dutch-Brazillian artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK, “Permanent Distraction” opens at Site Gallery, Sheffield. Existing and newly produced websites are shown as twelve, floor to ceiling projections, filling the space with abstract colour, movement and gesture. The show “forces us to confront the slippage between our physical and digital realities,” writes the gallery, “bringing bodies physically into the space of the internet.”

Claire L. Evans Suggests “Mother Nodes” are the Answer to Platform Capitalism

Drawing on Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree, writer Claire L. Evans makes a case for reimagining the web’s central metaphor as a forest. Teasing out the famed Canadian ecologist’s findings gleaned from a life in forestry, Evans uses the symbiotic tendencies of ‘Mother’ trees, mycorrhizal fungi, and birch trees, to map alternate readings of the web. Big Tech has “privileged high-value crops—viral content, controversy, and clickbait—over a healthier ecosystem of people, opinions, and perspectives,” she writes, likening platform capitalism to clear cutting—short term profit at the ecosystem’s expense. While the diagnosis is grim, Evans ends optimistically, calling for “Mother nodes,” resilient sites of nurturing and collective memory.

Jonathan Chomko’s NFT Project is Literally Proof of Work

“I wanted to see what human-generated randomness looks like,” writes Jonathan Chomko of his NFT project Proof of Work. Extending out his previous prompt-driven choreography, the Montréal artist created software for collecting random values from “small-scale“ gestures: typing random characters on a keyboard. Experiments with scale and colour yielded a pixellated visual language and, post-NFT drop, he notes the labourious process “records a minimum viable artwork, the hand of the artist visible in the digital image.”