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At the recommendation of the UNESCO’s National Commission, Germany declares the
Demoscene a cultural heritage. The decision acknowledges the country’s long tradition as one of the niche computer culture’s hotspots, where, for decades, international gatherings (so-called demoparties) have brought together programmers, artists, and musicians for eccentric creative coding competitions. “Most forms of digital culture are short-lived,” states Tobias Kopka of Digitale Kultur. “Active for over 30 years, the Demoscene is alive and well.”
“My money came from crypto, and it’s great that I’m able to do the same thing—change someone’s life—and touch millions of people. The idea’s in the mainstream now, it’s going to bring a lot of artists to NFTs, and they’re going to make their first $1,000, first $5,000—just like I did in 2013.”
The fourth edition of “ECOSS: Ecosystems of the Unexpected” opens at
Santa Mònica Arts Center, Barcelona, pondering “how much of what we consider nature is in fact a simulation.” Featuring inter-species installations by Nathalie Gebert, Paula Bruna, Anna Rierola, María Castellanos & Uh513 Collective (image: Beyond Human Perception, 2020), the show takes visitors through seeded topographies, microscopy of cellular self-regulation mechanisms, and prosthetic objects that communicate with and care for plants.
“It’s a grimly funny gesture, a reminder that the tools used to measure the quickening pace of climate change are contributing to that acceleration just as much as the tools used to mine crypto.”
In the second of a
three-post series revealing their spatial computing roadmap, Facebook Researchers reveal in-progress gestural and neural interfaces. One demo shows expressive wrist and finger control mediated by a watch-like wearable reminiscent of the Myo armband; supporting concept videos telegraph aspirations for neural keyboards and that old AR chestnut: a user manipulating GUI elements in 3D space in front of them. However far off the tech is, it’s immediately satisfying to watch one of the researchers gush about the shiny future of neural interfaces where “you and the machine are in agreement about which neurons mean left and which ones mean right” without any mention of data harvesting or his employer’s long history of malfeasance.
Simon Denny’s solo exhibition “Mine” opens at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York City, disentangling “data mining, mineral mining, and the mechanization of labor.” The show brings together recent works, like Denny’s massive cardboard mining machines clad in cartoony videogame textures, as well as newer ones: the artist’s 2021 sculpture of a patented Amazon delivery drone comes alive with an animated AR model of a mineral-rich Earth that is drawn from mineral mining propaganda.
“It was a remarkable turn of events. The relationships behind Clearview AI had germinated at an event celebrating Trump. Now, four years later, the app was being deployed in a domestic crackdown on lawbreaking Trump supporters.”
, uncovering the controversial facial recognition start-up’s secretive origins, the legal and ethical limits of its
, and how its success in identifying U.S. Capitol rioters changed (some) opinions
A survey of painting and sculpture in the post-digital age, “The Artist Is Online” opens at König Galerie, Berlin. Showing 70 works by 50 ‘at home on social media’ artists such as
Gretchen Andrew, Ben Elliot, Miao Ying, and Chloe Wise, curator Anika Meier demonstrates how the attention economy has redeemed the medium. “Painting has become a mashup where the Old Masters, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Post-Internet Art are sampled,” she writes. “The result is portraits of people, bodies, and animals that lose themselves in pathetic poses.”
“In short: Right now NFTs are built on an absolute house of cards constructed by the people selling them. It is likely that
every NFT sold so far will be broken within a decade.”
– Software engineer
, on how NFTs
reference media. “The NFT token you bought either points to a URL on the internet or an IPFS hash,“ he explains his findings in a (viral) Twitter thread. “In most circumstances, it references an IPFS gateway on the internet run by the startup you bought the NFT from. Oh, and that URL is not the media. That URL is a JSON metadata file.”
“Beginning today, Uber drivers in the UK will be treated as workers.”
– Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, announcing its UK drivers are workers—not independent contractors—and entitled to a living wage, holiday pay, and pension contributions. Not arising from benevolence, his op-ed concedes to a
February Supreme Court Ruling
in favour of a 2016 lawsuit by UK drivers. While stopping short of recognizing Uber’s precarious workforce as employees, this designation has potential to reverberate throughout the global gig economy.
An examination of how popular media consumption and biology have converged in molecular animations, producing new ways of seeing and knowing
Better late than never: a year into the Zoom boom, American artist
Sam Lavigne releases Zoom Escaper, a sneaky tool that helps you bow out of video meetings. “It allows you to self-sabotage your audio stream, making your presence unbearable to others,” writes Lavigne. The ‘unbearable’ signal interferences provided include echo, bad connection, construction noise, and a crying baby, all perfectly acceptable excuses to end a video call early. Lavigne offers a video tutorial on how to install Zoom Escaper here.
“The trend is worrying. There’s been a decline in submissions, and many personal emails show that artists are under massive pressure and simply don’t have the opportunities to implement or complete their projects.”
– Ars Electronica’s Artistic Director Gerfried Stocker, taking stock of this year’s
entries so far. To support struggling artists, the institution has endowed the long-running prize with substantially more money.
Marking the one-year anniversary of New Art City’s domain registration, New Art City Festival opens to celebrate with two dozen trailblazers of the browser-based 3D art and exhibition space. “A prototype grew into a tool, and a tool grew into a community,“ writes the team around Internet artist
d0n.xyz. “Since then, more than 40,000 people in 125 countries have visited galleries on New Art City.” The site will add a new show every day through May 26, featuring works by Otrus Extraviadus, Sofia Crespo, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, and others.
“The film … is called
Black Square. That’s a reference to Malevich’s Black Square painting which popularly is understood as the first painting of nothing, but I’m also thinking about blackness as a color and about this symbol as something that is unstable, right?”
With their solo show “In the Absence of Evidence,” opening at Galerie Liusa Wang, Paris, artist duo
Quadrature revisit the boundary between science and fiction: (Cosmic Radio Engine for Delusional Observations), for example, is a 2020 sound installation that channels Pulsar signals, received via an on-site radio dish, into an otherworldly score. “The raw signals serve as input data for a neural network trained on human theories on aliens,” state the artists. The composition is the network trying to find E.T. messages in the noise. C.R.E.D.O.
“Meet me in the woods behind the observatory at midnight, or you’ll never see your lens again.”
– An 1872 ransom letter to
, then director of the Pittsburgh Allegheny Observatory. As writer
relates in her survey of astronomy crimes, the telescope lens had indeed been stolen. “Langley refused to pay the thief’s ransom, believing that it would spur ‘lens-napping’ at other institutions.” The astronomer managed to retrieve the lens—but not without a few scratches.
The 24th Japan Media Arts Festival announces
Meiro Koizumi’s VR piece (2019) as this year’s Grand Prize winner in the Art Division. Inspired by Greek mythology and realized as a theatre experience, the work explores dreams of technological advancement through the eyes of a person suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a paralyzing neurological disease. Other prize winners include Prometheus Bound Adrien M & Claire B, Simon Weckert, and Myriam Bleau.
“It’s a reminder of what has gone before, and that the commercial success of digital art in the present day is less surprising than it is long overdue.”
, on his “Before the Boom” list of NFT precedents including
. “There has never been this kind of speculative money in digital art,“ writes Connor, “still, it’s important to not lose sight of the long history of experimentation with the sale of digital work.”
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