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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day

Hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown, the founders of Zurich’s Museum for Digital Art (MuDA), Caroline Hirt and Christian Etter, announce the non-profit’s untimely end. “It is heart-breaking to have to make such a short-term decision after all these years building this project up from zero.” Crowdfunded in 2016 and recognized for exhibiting the likes of Zach Lieberman and Vera Molnar, MuDA will host its final finissage on July 19th.

LaTurbo Avedon’s interactive experience Your Progress Will Be Saved (2020) launches as the first commission for “Virtual Factory,” Manchester International Festival’s (MIF) temporary home inside the Fortnite videogame. Visitors join the avatar artist on a journey through shifting spaces, across illuminated dance floors and into private booths, making and collecting memories in anticipation of the Factory’s reopening in 2023.

June 2020

In the Bloomberg webcomic The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting, illustrator Anna Haifisch and writer James Tarmy relate the ongoing dispute over who owns John Constable’s 1824 painting A View of Hampstead Heath. Art dealer Simon C. Dickinson had sold the prized landscape to the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, for $3.1 million in January, but a (still at large) hacker intercepted the money transfer by hijacking Dickinson’s email.

Icelandic–Danish installation artist Olafur Eliasson launches Earth Speakr, a new artwork and AR mobile app that “invites kids to speak up for the planet and adults to listen to what they have to say.” Using the app, kids can map cartoon versions of their faces onto their environment and record messages for us to hear. A selection of them will be streamed at the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg as well as at the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

“People underrate the idea of storing material in DNA. If you store a video on a hard drive, it will have a lifespan of maybe half a century. If you code it into strands of DNA, it will last a million years and is probably just as easily retrievable.”
– American multimedia artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson, on the ‘life project’ of encoding her archive in DNA
Suad Garayeva-Maleki & Heike Munder (ed.)
Potential Worlds
A survey of 36 ecocritical works by Mary Maggic, Carolina Caycedo, and Pinar Yoldas and others, featuring essays by Benjamin Bratton, T. J. Demos, and Jussi Parikka

Part of his incomplete series of quarantine collaborations, Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto premieres low tide, a contemplative piece produced together with American experimental music veterans Laurie Anderson and Arto Lindsay featuring video art by New York collective Zakkubalan, within the 2020 Festival de Cannes livestream.

“Mr. Williams knew that he had not committed the crime in question. What he could not have known … is that his case may be the first known account of an American being wrongfully arrested based on a flawed match from a facial recognition algorithm.“
Kashmir Hill, revisiting the (unprecedented) circumstances that lead to the arrest of Robert Julian-Borchak Williams by the Detroit Police Department in 2018
“They were delicious: I couldn’t taste any off notes, which suggests that the fungus had fully metabolised the text.”
– Biologist Merlin Sheldrake, on eating an “amazing crop of oyster mushrooms” that sprouted from his book Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, & Shape Our Futures (2020)
“The uncritical acceptance of default assumptions inevitably leads to discriminatory design in algorithmic systems, reproducing ideas which normalize social hierarchies and legitimize violence against marginalized groups.”
– An open letter signed by hundreds of scholars, to Springer Publishing, about the forthcoming publication of a paper entitled “A Deep Neural Network Model to Predict Criminality Using Image Processing”
Neural 65
Redirecting Networks
Co-edited by Irish researcher and lecturer Rachel O’Dwyer, the 65th issue of the media art journal explores the networked panopticon. Highlights include interviews with artists Kyriaki Goni, Tiziana Terranova, and Roel Roscam Abbing, as well as articles on wireless community networks and music streaming services.
“These periodic bursts are something that we’ve never seen before—it’s a new phenomenon in astrophysics.”
– MIT Physicist Kiyoshi Masui, about the 16-day repeating rhythm of fast radio wave bursts from an unknown source, occurring over 500 days of observations

Exhibiting digital art in sticker form, the Zentrum für Netzkunst-curated group show “stick.t.me” opens at Berlin’s panke.gallery. 19 artists including Nadja Buttendorf, Carla Gannis, Rosa Menkman, Lorna Mills, and Igor Štromajer harness the sticker feature of the Telegram messenger app for creating net art collectibles. Produced during an ‘in-app’ residency, the stickers can be gathered in a dedicated scrapbook available at the gallery; their digital counterparts are available in Telegram.

“The influx of bots and bot mafias has had a complicated impact on the WoW Classic economy. Some items are worth less because bots are working 24/7 to achieve them; others are worth more because bot mafias have hogged goods.”
– Cecilia D’Anastasio, on Blizzard Entertainment suspending over 74,000 World of Warcraft accounts, as bots upend the game’s economy
“We can’t yet confirm or deny our participation in Sony’s reveal.”
– A producer of Russian media and CGI artist Maxim Zhestkov, in response to The Verge’s inquiry about the striking similarities between the artist’s work and the slick graphics used in Sony’s reveal of the PlayStation 5
“Direct input from the public can also help infuse AI ecosystems with nuanced ideas, values and beliefs toward the equitable distribution of resources and mutually beneficial systems of governance.”
– Transmedia artist Stephanie Dinkins on Afro-now-ism, and how infusing AI with a multiplicity of perspectives could offer emancipation from America’s “infinite loop of repression and oppositional thinking”

In announcing this year’s Golden Nica winners, the Prix Ars Electronica jury notes that, for the first time in the prize’s 33-year history, an anonymous citizens movement—that of Hong Kong protesters—has been awarded while all other winners—another first—are women. Among them are Miwa Matreyek (Computer Animation), VALIE EXPORT (Visionary Pioneer), and Lauren Lee McCarthy (Interactive Art +), whose 2019 piece SOMEONE (image) had gallery visitors become human versions of smart home assistants.

“There are no supervillain tech bros in her account, no evil cabals of trolls launching denial-of-service strikes from the Dark Web, no innocent bots corrupted by the inherent evils of Twitter. There’s just prejudice and its pernicious adaptability.”
Stephen Kearse, on the sharpness of Ruha Benjamin’s Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019)
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