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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day
March 2022

Swiss media artist Jürg Lehni shares a glimpse of his robotic drawing machine Otto (2015) at work at Museum für Gestaltung Zürich. As part of “Planet Digital,” Lehni and historian Monika Dommann have the device trace historical diagrams that represent motion (e.g. traffic plans, ballet notation) to delineate “A Visual History of Flow.” The drawing in progress is the Dench Blues Double Pattern from the International Committee for Artistic Roller Skating rule book.

“We built a recording studio for bees. A sensitive microphone, placed at the center of a wooden box, recorded the flight and activities of each bee entering the mini-studio. We recorded over 600 bees.”
– French sound artist and audio engineer Félix Blume, on the creation of Swarm (2021), a sound installation composed of 250 small speakers, each reproducing the sound of a flying bee [quote edited for brevity]
Chantal Passamonte
Electronic musician and sound artist Chantal Passamonte dies at 52. Creator of genre-defying experimental releases under the moniker Mira Calix on Warp Records, she also collaborated with theatre groups and worked in installation, contributing a sound sculpture to the Cultural Olympiad for London’s 2012 Summer Olympics.

Pushing back hard against the NFT economy, Washington DC-based Vi Trinh releases An NFT Called Tyrian Purple. The short browser-based game prompts players to navigate a list of hypothetical NFTs with unflattering designations like snake oil, scientology, and tulip mania; each item links to a brief text explaining the reference. “This machine is being sold as a way to get away from previous systems of wealth when it is a recreation of existing power structures,” writes Trinh.

“New Art City Festival 2022” opens online, on the eponymous virtual exhibition platform. Leaning into its “Architectures of Abundance” subtitle, it bundles digital sculpture, audiovisual experiments, and code poetry from artists including Anna Nazo, Celine Lassus, Grimm, Henrique Fagundes—100 artists across 31 exhibitions. Of note: “Diffracted Sensibilities Artificial Gaze” (hatched within a Royal College of Art course), and the first issue of H1YBRID ART JOURNAL.

“The dish’s colonial origins not only placed an elided aspect of European history in the spotlight, but also sought to explore the quasi-colonial relations that are built into the Internet’s infrastructure, a mentality we wanted to confront and oppose.”
– Blockchain-based Left Gallery, reflecting on artist and co-founder Harm van den Dorpel serving gado gado—“Indonesian specialties that became familiar to Europeans as the advance of Dutch colonialism subsumed the territory”—at the gallery’s 2016 launch event

“Ultimate Vatos: Force & Honneur,” a solo show by French artist Sara Sadik opens at Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster, Germany. Executed in her “Beurcore” style—reflecting working class North African diaspora youth culture—Sadik’s video installation chronicles pressures faced by young adult post-migrants. The CGI narrative sits “between The Hunger Games and voyeuristic survival training,” and is heavily inspired by first-person videogame playthrough videos.

Software artists and project co-founders Paloma Rodríguez Carrington and Harm van den Dorpel announce the discontinuation of Left Gallery. Active since 2015, the blockchain-based space for the display and dissemination of downloadable objects pioneered crypto art with a curated marketplace and exhibitions. Launched at Spike Art’s Berlin project space, Left Gallery fittingly concludes with NFT auctions of the magazine’s covers throughout the years.

“This week it’s like everyone is drinking from the same well of #midjourney.”
– Software artist Karsten Schmidt, quipping about a twitter pic’s resemblance to a flood of imagery. On March 21st a beta opened for Midjourney, a new machine learning tool, yielding a stream of demented imagery from dozens of participating artists.

“Robota,” a show featuring Matthew Angelo Harrison’s encasements of auto industry ephemera and African sculptures in sold resin blocks, opens at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge. A Detroit native who worked as a clay modeller for Ford, Harrison “attends to the devaluation of human labour” by freeze-framing UAW strike ephemera and hardhats, headlights (image: Seer: Lay Bare, 2020), and African sculptures in vitrine-like forms.

A new iteration of Shirin Fahimi’s Umm al Raml’s Sand Narratives (2021–) opens at articule in Montreal. In this version, the Iranian artist conjures a “future of female prophecy” in VR by foregrounding two of her central motifs: the desert and divination. “I like to think about the connection of sand to technology, from the journey of silica sands to silicon used in computer chips,” she reveals to Akimbo (image: Sand and Silicon Studies, 2022).

“There is a war going on between simplicity and complexity, and we live right at the edge of it.”
Luís Seoane, complex systems researcher at Spain’s Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia, on evolution’s tendency for symmetry. The reason, researchers argue in a new paper, is that the instructions to produce symmetry are easier to embed in genetic code and follow. “These simple, symmetrical building blocks help make sense of [the universe’s] complexity,” says Seoane.

A survey of seven performance and software works that explore human connection during COVID, Lauren Lee McCarthy’s solo exhibition “I Heard Talking Is Dangerous” opens at EIGEN+ART Lab, Berlin. In the 2020 piece the show is named after, for example, a masked McCarthy delivers text-to-speech monologues about safety and distancing to friends—on their doorstep. Captured in documentation and artifacts, the works reveal moments of augmented, but real, intimacy.

In the CLB Berlin exhibition “Assembly Strategies,” Chilean architect Pedro Serrano explores how JOYN MACHINE might help address local infrastructure needs sustainably. Developed by the research-driven Berlin-based Studio Milz, the portable all-in-one design and assembly system allows for low-cost, low-footprint fabrication of wooden architecture. During the inaugural JOYN residency in 2021, Serrano realized speculative spatial configurations “that have no site or client.”

“We expect that our decision will encourage other developers to bring animal biotechnology products forward for the FDA’s risk determination, paving the way for [genome-edited] animals to more efficiently reach the marketplace.”
– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Steven Solomon, on the agency’s approval of the first CRISPR cows. The new breed was ‘engineered’ to endure climate change: their slick, short hair is said to help the animals cope with hot weather.
“When I was pregnant, I had this powerful experience of understanding myself as a vessel or a container for another voice.”
– Sound artist Aura Satz, reflecting on Ventriloqua (2003-4), a performance in which the artist played the electromagnetic waves of her (late pregnancy) belly using a theremin
Wershler, Emerson & Parikka
The Lab Book
Darren Wershler, Lori Emerson, and Jussi Parikka reveal the history of media labs, sites where the “materials and aesthetics of technical modernity were developed”

A solo show by Russian digital artist Olia Lialina opens at Pasadena, California’s And/Or Gallery. Mixing long term project Online Newspapers (2004-18) with newer ones including False Memories (2020) and Lossless (2018-22, image)—browser studies, GIF fragmentation—the exhibition draws a through line connecting Lialina’s interests past and present. “She has become an expert and champion of free-form early net culture and aesthetics,” write the And/Or team.

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