Neural 65
Redirecting Networks
Co-edited by Irish researcher and lecturer Rachel O’Dwyer, the 65th issue of the media art journal explores the networked panopticon. Highlights include interviews with artists Kyriaki Goni, Tiziana Terranova, and Roel Roscam Abbing, as well as articles on wireless community networks and music streaming services.

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“It’s not that the music they make will sound ‘more Western,’ but it is forced into an unnatural rigidity. The music stops being in tune with itself. A lot of the culture will be gone.”
Khyam Allami, multi-instrumentalist musician, researcher, and founder of Nawa Recordings, on the colonial legacy of MIDI-based music software and how Apotome and Leimma—free software he introduced at CTM Festival—can help break tuning hegemony

Post-Zoom, post-Twitch, ‘share screen’ has ushered in a new visual regime. Picking up on this, curator Domenico Quaranta has launched “Studio Visit,” where “the desktop studio is shown off as the real space where an artist’s practice manifests,” baring its “files, tabs, programs” while the artist works away, their routine on display. Developed for the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève’s digital platform 5th floor, the first video features gonzo CG artist Lu Yang, with future ‘visits’ planned to the desktops of Petra Cortright, Oliver Laric, Eva & Franco Mattes, and others.

Curated by sci-fi author and OG cyberpunk Bruce Sterling, Turin-based Share Festival launches “Born to Be Online,” a ‘best of’ Share Prize-winning projects exhibited over the years. Among Sterling’s twelve picks are Paolo Cirio & UBERMORGEN’s Amazon Noir (2006, image), Lia’s Proximity of Needs (2008), Lauren Lee McCarthy’s Follower (2016) and Milad Tangshir’s VR Free (2019), all exploring different aspects of the Internet age. “With this summary of fifteen years of our involvement in net.art, we at Share Festival are bracing ourselves for what comes next.”

“We hit a wall: how can we pick a single theme with so many simultaneous urgencies? What’s the longevity of a timely research topic in light of mutating global crises and rapidly evolving tech?”
– Team HOLO, on the vexing questions surrounding the next print edition and how, eventually, a new research method provided answers

Co-curated by Sean Sandusky and Dana Snow for Toronto’s InterAccess, “QUEERSPHERE” is an online exhibition inspired by Queer and Trans social media communities in the 2000s. A site where “worldbuilding is allowed to flourish outside of the pressures of corporatization and flat representation,” the show nostalgically yearns for pre-NSFW content ban Tumblr and other platforms, while looking forward via ruminations on Queer AI and campy caricature of Boston Dynamics’ robodog Spot. Featured artists include Keiko Hart, Maxwell Lander, and Lucas LaRochelle (image: LaRochelle’s QT.Bot).

“So many people are afraid of science in the art world because it is more creative and innovative. There are far more new ideas in New Scientist than in frieze.”
Brighton-based artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, on the deep chasms between disciplines
Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt use scientific data as material, dialing into and amping up the noise in natural systems to conjure abstract animations and visceral embodied experiences.
“We have been told there would still be access to Double Negative, but the power of the place would be lost forever.”
– Lisa Childs, founder of Save Our Mesa, on how a solar power plant currently in the works near Overton, Nevada, could occlude views surrounding Michael Heizer’s iconic 1969 Land art work. Once finished, the plant will occupy some 9,000 acres atop the nearby Mormon Mesa.
“Working within the art space means working through ethical dilemmas—all these disparities—unethical relations and roles, creating resources and opportunities … it can be liberating and revolutionary.”
– Curator Kefiloe Siwisa, on cultural production as “care work,” in conversation with Tamar Tembeck and Carmen Salas as part of Molior’s “Rethinking our Future: Art and Collaboration” online symposium

The link between new media art and knowledge work was writ large in Xerox Art. Kate Eichhorn’s 2016 book Adjusted Margin parsed the role the photocopier played in the 1970-90s NYC Art scene in meticulous detail. An excerpt published in the MIT Press Reader introduces the convergence of technological, economic, and aesthetic forces that shaped this under-documented niche genre (image: a page from David Wojnarowicz’s 1988 zine In the Shadow of Forward Motion).

“Provocative art can help push a useful dialogue about the role of technology in our daily lives. This art, however, fundamentally misrepresents Spot® and how it is being used to benefit our daily lives.”
Boston Dynamics, in a preemptive public statement after learning “that an art group is planning a spectacle to draw attention to a provocative use of our industrial robot Spot

After a 203-day journey traversing 472 million kilometers, NASA confirms the touchdown of its largest, most advanced rover on Mars. With a primary objective of astrobiology research, Perseverance will search for signs of ancient microbial life and collect Mars samples (to be returned to Earth in subsequent missions). Perseverance’s first image, sent shortly after touchdown, shows the view from one of its hazard cameras. “Hello, world. My first look at my forever home,” stated the rover’s (chatty) Twitter account.

“Message for Mr.doob 10 years ago: Yes, making a 3D engine using canvas2d is stupid. But in 10 years, you’ll watch a simulation in realtime of NASA landing a rover on Mars that uses that stupid code.”
– Computer graphics whiz Ricardo Cabello aka Mr.doob, reflecting on just how far his immensely popular JavaScript library Three.js has come

A purveyor of handcrafted digital aesthetics from yesteryear, emerging German artist Arno Beck releases a new series of 6-layer woodblock prints. Mirage (image) and Bird on a Wire were printed by Marginal Editions, New York, and are available from the artist.