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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
Andrés Burbano
Different Machines
In his investigation of the emergence of Latin American media technologies, the Colombian artist and scholar constructs a “historiographical and theoretical framework for understanding the work of creators who have been geographically and historically marginalized.”
“Oversight boards and ethics teams at big tech companies have always been a fig leaf. Their purpose is to convince regulators that the companies can regulate themselves. That’s it.”
– American writer Joanne McNeil, critiquing Silicon Valley’s ethics shell game, as tech leaders call for an AI moratorium. “Good work can be done and good people can be hired,” McNeil continues. “Doesn’t change the purpose and ultimate goals of these departments.”
Pevere, Schubert, Żyniewicz
Membranes Out of Order
Part exhibition catalog and part philosophical inquriy, Berlin-based bio artists Margherita Pevere, Theresa Schubert, and Karolina Żyniewicz expand on their recent self-survey together with philosopher Margrit Shildrick and art historian Olga Majcen Linn.

Completing the NFT-release-to-exhibition trajectory in just six months, Tyler Hobbs’ “QQL: Analogs” opens at Pace New York. The American artist describes his solo show as “an examination of ways to integrate the hand and the machine in painting,” and explores the texture and imperfections introduced when using oil and acrylic paint to plot selected outputs of his eponymous circle packing algorithm. Closing the loop, each of the 12 large paintings on sale are bundled with the NFT used to generate it (e.g.)

“We should not be using AI to generate more ‘diverse’ models. Use the AI to invent new races, new genders, new forms that transcend the body! Like everyone’s trying to make the perfect plant-based salmon—JUST INVENT A NEW FUCKING FISH.”
– American critic and writer Dean Kissick, chiding U.S. fashion brand Levi’s for the planned use of AI-generated avatars to increase the diversity of its models

Named after a line of predictive text poetry, Travess Smalley’s solo exhibition “Number colors burn randomly” opens at Foxy Production, New York. Comprising new textile works (literal pixel rugs), plotter drawings, silk screen prints, and videos, the show expands upon the American artist’s use of code and scripts to plant “seeds of chance” for visual production. “It might not be the mark of my hand that is interesting,” notes Smalley, “but the exact inverse, the absence, the ghost, the memory.”

Amsterdam’s NEMO Science Museum unveils a giant meatball made from cultivated woolly mammoth flesh. Created to spark conversations about sustainable meat alternatives, food engineers from the Australian cultured meat company Vow inserted sheep cells with the mammoth myoglobin gene. “When it comes to meat, myoglobin is responsible for the aroma, the colour and the taste,” James Ryall, Vow’s Chief Scientific Officer explains. Where Vow’s mammoth DNA sequence had gaps, African elephant DNA was spliced in for completion.

“Starting April 15th, only white nationalists with 30 followers will be in ‘For You’ recommendations.”
Eve 6 band leader and Buzzfeed columnist Max Collins, responding to Elon Musk’s announcement of Twitter Blue favouritism. Cited in Mashable reporter Matt Binder’s analysis of the social media company’s flailing subscription game, Collin’s tweet rings true: Half of Twitter Blue users have less than 1,000 followers and comprise “far right wing accounts, cryptocurrency scammers, and hardcore Elon Musk supporters.”
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto dies after a battle with cancer. Co-founder of Yellow Magic Orchestra in the 1970s, his film scores earned an Oscar and a Grammy, and he was a fierce post-Fukushima disaster climate activist. Collaborator Carsten Nicolai lauds Sakamoto for recognizing “conversations between different and unusual styles may be the future.”
“We conclude that LLMs such as GPTs exhibit traits of general-purpose technologies, indicating that they could have considerable economic, social, and policy implications.”
OpenAI, OpenResearch, and UPenn researchers, on the potential impacts of recent AI advances. “With access to a large language model (LLM), about 15% of all worker tasks in the U.S. could be completed significantly faster at the same level of quality,” they suggest in a new paper. “When incorporating software and tooling built on top of LLMs, this share increases to between 47-56% of all tasks.”
“People think that everything lasts forever on the internet but it falls apart. Without real caretaking and maintenance, everything you make is destined to disappear.”
DIS Magazine’s Lauren Boyle, on the struggle to keep online content presentable. “Three years is about the shelf life of any piece—before you start to get some kind of digital rot,” adds New ModelsCaroline Busta, in conversation about the publication and curatorial collective Boyle co-founded in 2010.

Celebrating her pioneering “seer-like spaces and live surveillance situations,” the retrospective “Julia Scher: Maximum Security Society” opens at Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach (DE). The “essayistic survey” scans the American artist’s entire oeuvre of power and gaze-focused works, from Predictive Engineering, her live camera installations iterated at SFMOMA over the years (1993-2016), through Delta (Radio) and Planet Greyhound, both produced for her recent Kunsthalle Gießen exhibition (2022).

ZKM Karlsruhe opens “Renaissance 3.0,” a major celebration of “new alliances of art and science in the 21st century.” The last exhibition curated by ZKM’s late director Peter Weibel brings together 35 artistic positions by Tega Brain, James Bridle, Anna Dumitriu, Tomás Saraceno, and Saša Spačal that “open up multidisciplinary knowledge bases” and “new fields of research.” A visualization of such entanglements offers Wissensfeld (2023, image), Weibel’s final artistic collaboration.

“Libraries are more than the customer service departments for corporate database products. For democracy to thrive at global scale, libraries must be able to sustain their historic role in society—owning, preserving, and lending books.”
– Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, responding to a federal judge siding with four major publishers in a lawsuit against the nonprofit digital library over its Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program. “This ruling is a blow for libraries, readers, and authors,” states Kahle, “and we plan to appeal it.”

”New Surroundings: Approaching the Untouchable,” an exhibition organized by Molior that delves deep into the digital sublime, opens at Montreal’s Livart. Curated by Nathalie Bachand, it features artists including Caroline Gagné, Olivia McGilchrist, François Quévillon (image: MÉTÉORES, 2017-18), and Sabrina Ratté presenting works in print, installation, video, and VR that explore extreme tensions between ”modified, reorganized, and augmented” digitality and nature.

Resurfacing fabled 18th century partially-dissected wax figures used in the study of anatomy, “Cere Anatomiche” opens at Fondazione Prada Milan, presenting four anatomical venuses and 72 drawings from the La Specola collection alongside a companion film by David Cronenberg. Entitled Four Unloved Women, Adrift on a Purposeless Sea, Experience the Ecstasy of Dissection, the Canadian director’s short dwells on how the figures’ uncanny “body language and facial expressions do not display pain or agony.”

“Grids are emblematic of the array—the fundamental data structure around which all computer hardware and software is built. So, the grid is a natural visual form for computer–based digital art, and the aesthetic implications of this are far-reaching.”
– Generative artist Tyler Hobbs, on the enduring technological relevance of (the often grid-based works of) Agnes Martin. Reflecting on the late American painter in advance of his show “QQL: Analogs,” Hobbes enthuses “her work has taught me to take a closer look.”

The final instalment in a trilogy of exhibitions fixating on highrises, Jesse Colin Jackson’s “Mackenzie Place” opens at Toronto’s Pari Nadimi Gallery. Venturing to Hay River in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian artist shot a year of time-lapse photography atop Mackenzie Place—the near arctic town’s lone skyscraper. The resulting panoramic video tracks daily and seasonal flux and is bolstered by audio of oral histories about the mining town collected by anthropologist Lindsay Bell.

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