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“Just as quarantining helped slow the spread of the virus and prevent a sharp spike in cases that could have overwhelmed hospitals’ capacity, investing more in safety would slow the development of AI and prevent a sharp spike in progress that could overwhelm society’s capacity to adapt.”
A survey of artworks acquired by the Nam June Paik Art Center during its COVID-19 pandemic closure opens in Seoul. “On Collecting Time” presents Kim Heecheon, Sunmin Park, Jinah Roh, Sungsil Ryu, and 6 other artists whose collected works are thematically bound in their exploration of “human and machine time in various forms.” Unmake Lab’s Utopian Extraction (2020, image), for example, pairs video demonstrating janky real-time object detection and documentation of slowly evolving landscapes.
Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki’s animated series 2 Lizards (2020) opens as an installation at The Whitney. In it, two anthropomorphized CGI lizards channel the artists’ experience of the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding in New York City, “a city gripped by extended isolation, and cries for social justice reform.” Originally released in eight episodes on Bennani’s Instagram, the Whitney show is 2 Lizards’s first institutional screening as a narrative film.
Created between summer 2020 and spring 2022, during COVID isolation, Marcel Schwittlick’s plotter drawing series Upward Spiral concludes with an online archive and a show. The 144 cylinders, each penned by a custom-built drawing machine performing continuous spiral motions, contain all possible colour combinations of the solid-paint marker brand used. Whereas the archive compiles all the Spirals in a neat calendar view, the Berlin Bark LAB exhibition presents a selection of ten.
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.
“I couldn’t meet any students for almost three semesters. However, it would have been no problem for me as a director to shoot commercials or reality TV. How is system relevance defined here? Not to mention culture?”
“Pakui Hardware’s work was timely pre-pandemic; it is in no need of conceptual frills to emerge as a strong indictment of our relationship to technology and the pervasive toxicity permeating contemporary methods of care.”
“Last year, we created a new artwork Time Synthesizer. It was seen by almost no one. It doesn’t feel that it fully exists yet.”
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.
Zachęta National Gallery of Art curator Anna Maria Leśniewska and chief restorer Anna Olszewska demo a fully functional Senster (1970) during the online opening of Sapporo International Art Festival (SIAF). The 2018 reassembly of Edward Ihnatowicz’ long-lost robotic sculpture was scheduled to make its Asia debut at this year’s SIAF. Due to COVID-19, it remained in Warsaw and will show at Zachęta’s “Sculpture in Search of Place,” opening on Dec 28, instead.
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.
“If the court finds that Internet Archive ‘willfully’ infringed copyright, the library could be on the hook for up to $150,000 in damages—per each of the 1.4 million titles.”
“I still think COVID-19 sounds like it’s a poorly-supported mid-2000s video codec.”
Shanghai’s Chronus Art Center (CAC) launches “We=Link: Ten Easy Pieces,” a special online exhibition that responds to the unfolding global health crisis with new commissions by aaajiao, Tega Brain & Sam Lavigne (image: Get Well Soon!), JODI, Weiyi Li, Slime Engine, Ye Funa, Evan Roth and others. “We=Link” is co-commissioned by Rhizome and Art Center Nabi, and co-hosted by 12 international institutions including Arts at CERN, HeK, iMAL, LABORATORIA, and V2_.
New York-based video artists Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki release the first episode of 2 Lizards (2020), an animated collaboration featuring two anthropomorphized CGI lizards that are “lucky they work from home.” Made while self-isolating because of COVID-19, the video captures a “beautiful moment of communion through sound waves in Brooklyn despite social distancing.” Remember: “The virus’ protective membrane is very sensitive to soap and heat but also bass.”
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