“What if, instead of focusing on production capacity and economic growth, we started to take attempts to measure internal transformation more seriously? One result might be that more countries adopt universal healthcare, free education, and a higher minimum wage.”
A trail of early and recent cryptoart laid out by curator Kenny Schachter, “Breadcrumbs: Art in the Age of NFTism” opens at Cologne’s Galerie Nagel Draxler. Works by 16 artists including Rhea Myers, Kevin Abosch, Anna Ridler, and Sarah Friend are presented in an eccentric installation framework—photos, paintings, objects, and screens are augmented with written commentary—and soon as NFTs. “The show will put to rest two demonstrably false assumptions: that this is a fad, and/or not art,” writes Schachter.
Digital art pioneer Manfred Mohr celebrates the 50th anniversary of his solo show “Computer Graphics: Une Esthétique Programmée,” that opened at ARC Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, on May 11, 1971. “I showed around 25 computer generated pen plotter drawings,” Mohr writes in his newsletter, “and demonstrated the use of a flat-bed plotter” (image). “Thanks to the incredible foresight of Pierre Gaudibert, founder and director of ARC, this show became the first one-person show of digital art in a museum.”
Combining photography, poetry, and monumental pixel builds, Ender Gallery’s inaugural resident Cat Haine opens the Minecraft exhibition space with a “playful transfeminist intervention.” Exploring the platform’s potential for queer and trans intimacies, Haine’s “(g)Ender Gallery” features a colossal reconstruction of the artist’s surgically-constructed vagina that contains text and images reflecting upon her transition.
SFMOMA’s “Nam June Paik” presents 200 works by the pioneering video and installation artist in a major retrospective. It takes a show of this scale to weigh Paik’s influence on media art, and key works like TV Chair (1968), TV Garden (1974, image), and Sistine Chapel (1993) are included. The middle work of that trio “epitomizes one of Paik’s great strengths,” says co-curator Andrea Nitsche-Krupp, “the ability to revisit, permutate, and recombine ideas, images, and concepts into newly generative work.”
Opening at Jane Lombard Gallery, New York, “Doku: Digital Alaya” puts Chinese CGI artist Lu Yang’s latest digital avatar front and centre. Created with a team of scientists, technologists, and 3D animators using motion capture, the non-binary, androgynous Doku appears in six virtual environments, each representing a Buddhist realm of reincarnation. Displayed on light-boxes, in videos, and installations, “the artist is reborn repeatedly,” extending life’s cycle into cyberspace.
An output of this year’s entirely online edition of Rewire festival (NL), Instance Terrain Crawler launches. A browser-based offshoot of MSHR’s (Birch Cooper & Brenna Murphy) “sculptural electronic systems,” its wonky 3D environs are both explorable and interactive. Full of blocky totemic forms—objects and waveforms oscillate in unison—its loud polychromy and gloppy synthesized sounds evoke a demented Minecraft world, the likes of which could only emerge from the Pacific Northwest.