Posts Tagged ‘circus’
Posting this amazing glimpse into iMappening 2014, the Media Arts and Practice PhD program’s annual show, at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Polyangylene and Book of Luna (with Clea T. Waite) make a colorful appearance!
Book of Luna…
The iMappenning catalog…
Here is the latest draft of the experience design/ concept for my dissertation project, Polyangylene – simultaneously a projection mapping sculpture, a robotic interface and an audiovisual book.
via Laughing Squid : “Czech pranksters converted a massive rotating billboard into a three person merry-go-round (video). The prank was filmed by Vladimir Turner, and bravely undertaken by Vojtech Fröhlich, Ondrej Mlady, and Jan Simanek (making-of video).”
Mr. Cartoon’s delicious “Ice-Cream Truck” installation at the Los Angeles MOCA “Art in the Streets” exhibit is a paean to L.A. lowrider culture and the city’s cult of hedonism and entertainment. This exultant spectacle is proudly entrenched in the anti-pristine context of LA.’s mythically degraded urbanism. Mr. Cartoon’s revamped, tricked-out symbology is intoxicating: clown-faced, trench-coated policemen, the billowing, whirling orange smog that evokes ice-cream soda foam, the lowriding cadillacs morphing into dripping banana splits with pin-up bunny-face girls lounging in the back seats, and, most syrupy-caustic of all, the “illegal alien”, a sombrero-ed, mustachoed little green man on a popsicle stick. The truck is decked out with colorful video on lowrider culture and shown in a shallow pool of candy. Rarely has the city’s (or pop culture’s, for that matter) heady cocktail of subculture, politics, and flashy style found such viscerally pleasurable and yet mordant expression in Mr.Cartoon’s graffiti poem of sex, pollution, sugar and violence.
The SOUND club in Phuket, Thailand, features architecture that brings a literal meaning to the term immersive. With nothing but round angles, pod-like seating arrangements, curvy corridors and dreamy, shiny, deep blue surfaces, the club recreates a surreal aquarium atmosphere. One can only imagine the synesthetic possibilities if a DJ were to play minimal dubstep, ambient, or deep house. Club architecture is one of many sites of themed entertainment / art environments where the affective potentialities of space are being experimented with and explored. The hybrid nature of clubs as venues for both social and artistic enjoyment – the two functions brought together in a sensual, hedonistic spirit that transforms both the experience of the art and the experience of others – makes them fascinating grounds for architectural experimentation, bringing us back to a Vidler-like (The Architectural Uncanny) notion of architecture as the design of different kinds of in-habiting, of being in space.
Wish Come True, Luminato Festival, Toronto, June 2010
FriendsWithYou is an art collective based in Miami that in addition to creating a wildly successful line of designer vinyl toys, creates large-scale inflatable toy environments. Rainbow City in Miami and Wish Come True in Toronto stand as fairy-tale epitomes of the fantastically cute and adorable, offering extreme experiences in curves and bounciness for buoyant spirits of all ages. Bringing the toy to the realm of the gargantuan, built on the social scale of the city, the art of FriendsWithYou is more than aesthetically overwhelming in its impact, it also acts as a sort of emotional and collective catharsis for the visitors, coercing them into a state of cuddliness and beatific joy. The collective dubs themselves the pioneers of a “happy movement”.
“The individual structures are simple, minimal forms that borrow aesthetics from toy- like geometry and design and tower over guests, as each element’s height ranges from ten to forty feet. By dwarfing the audience, the totemic pieces trigger a sense of reverence, similar to the visual of a monolithic monument. During interaction, the inflated sculptures “embrace” visitors, while repetitive sound elements further enhance the sensory experience.The overall installation creates a surreal landscape of psychedelic scenery intended to simultaneously provoke a religious and childlike awareness.” (friendswithyou.com)
Rainbow City, Miami, November 2010
Cakeland by Scott Hove: celebration of the artificial, of anxiety, delectability and beauty in danger
Hove’s work is unparalleled in his manner of viscerally soliciting contradictory emotions, both reptilian in their simplicity and existentially complex. You feel through the ramifications of the pieces rather than think through them: analysis through affect, perhaps a perennial goal of art and realized in Hove’s work with almost surgical precision.
interactive VR panorama: click on it to explore Cakeland!
from Scott Hove’s website mshove.com:
Cakeland is a series of sculptures and installations resembling perfect delicious cakes– wall mounted, hanging and standing– and walk-through cake environments complete with their own lighting. The sculptures have all of the appeal of the best cake you have ever tasted, but can never be eaten. The nature of edible cake is fleeting, lasting only as long as the brief celebration it was made for. These cakes last as long as the artist or society have the wherewithal to preserve them. Being such a destination of beauty, Cakeland requires that it be equipped with its own defense, because the reality of beauty and perfection is that people want to possess it. The sculptures, with their display of beauty and potential for satisfaction, lure the viewer into a sense of anticipation. The viewer will slowly notice that Cakeland contains defensive elements, not immediately seen, that create a sense of anxiety and fear. This in turn creates a visual and emotional resonance that is intended to represent what we all have to deal with in our lives everyday… the hunt for satisfaction, and the anxiety that we won’t get it. Cakeland is also a celebration of the artificial, and acknowledges our tendency to embrace the artificial in order to feel safe or receive emotional gratification. Cakeland also can serve as an analogue for the search for temporal love; the experience can be incredibly sweet and indulgent, punctuated by moments of insecurity and terror.
The sculptures are formed using carvable rigid polyurethane foam and plywood. The installations are constructed of cardboard, plywood, and any found object that has a suitable form. They are frosted with a variety of acrylic media, using traditional cake decorating tools, and accessorized with fake fruit and other objects found in stores or on the street.
The obscure Renaissance scholar Athanasius Kircher’s fabulous system of magnetic divination: “The World is Tied with Secret Knots”
Hidden in sun-drenched Culver City, The Museum of Jurassic Technology is a hoax, an art installation of intimate and metaphysical magnitude, a labyrinth for the scholastic imagination and anything else you can dream of or wish for. Founded by the enigmatic David Hildebrand Wilson in 1989, susbequent recipient of a Mac Arthur “Genius” Grant in 2001 for this puzzling and original endeavour, the Museum is a cabinet of curiosities that tantalizingly frames tidbits of historical minutiae in a fabulous context, very much in the spirit of Mark Z. Danielewski’s legendary House of Leaves, also an ironic mise en abime of scholarly critique folded into an impossible (alhough imaginary) geometric space. Minuscule steroscopic projections visible through copper-articulated glass plates, documentary films with convoluted mystical narratives, whimsically lit diaoramas and glowing orbs: such is that place of perfect delight and incomprehension, the Museum of Jurassic Technology
The micromosaics of Harald Henry Dalton, visible only through a microscope
from the exhibit Lives of Perfect Creatures: Dogs of the Soviet Space Program
from the exhibit Garden of Eden on Wheels: Collections from Los Angeles Areas Mobile Parks
from the exhibit Rotten Luck: The Decaying Dice of Ricky Jay
Think of these rides as INTERACTIVE SCULPTURES : again, breaking down the false-ontological barriers between the cultural practices of high art and “low” entertainment. pop culture is the avant-garde !
the commentary is priceless…
on the playful properties of fluorescent materials: thinking back on Avatar‘s blindingly exciting fluorescent rainforest flora, I’m just wondering on what makes day-glo, phosphorescent and blacklight hues and brilliance so childishly appealing…the spiritual alchemy of electric and organic? Other cinematic delights that rely on fluorescence: Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels – Hong Kong is a nightmare veined with neon. neon sheds color + texture (is that what GLOW means: photo-texture ? ), that radiates with angelic and consummerist vibes…
USE FLUORESCENT PAINT
as part of creating a taxonomy
of material effects/affects
to organize artistic practice.
For those interested in interactivity not only as an art or industry practice but as a way of life and social experiment, Burning Man remains a visionary site where specifically space, in Lefevrian fashion treated as a shaper of social and cultural context rather than background, is radically explored and expressed. Taking its cue from the Situationists and their idea of a playful “psychogeographic” city, Burning Man is fun fair, ginormous art installation, multimedia playground, slum-mushroom, Fourrierian commune where the consequences of extremely minimal legislation (including a prohibition against the use of money) allow you to live the anarchist American dream.
If you could do exactly what you wanted to invest your time in, and give it some kind of physical form, what would you chose to do? This is the question answered by Burners…often giving rise to habitats, zones, and contraptions that you would only see in the virtual realms of computer games or from the sets of fantasy and science fictions movies. Loose in time, without any schedule (divorced from leisure and encouraged to participate), revelers spend it being in and feeling the weirdness and possibilities of space. From this radical redefinition of these basic parameters, sociality starts to mutate beyond recognition…
The theme for 2010 is METROPOLIS. I would think unavoidable research for anyone interested in dreams of future cities! “Every year a dense metropolis arises in the Black Rock Desert; every year it disappears without a trace. Tumult and change, churning cycles of invention and destruction – these forces generate the pulse of urban life. Great cities are organic, spontaneous, heterogeneous, and untidy. They are, like Burning Man, magnetic hubs of social interaction. This year’s theme will function as a micro and a macro-scope, an instrument through which we will inspect the daily course of city life and the future prospect of what we call civilization.”
Allan Kaprow: “Happenings” in the New York Scene
Andy Warhol's "Exploding Plastic Inevitable"
“In both cases the interactive method comes from outside the community, and because the organizing principles are not within the audience’s sphere of influence, one might next ask whether interactivity of either of these sorts actually goes beyond what Jean Baudrillard calls “reversibility” – processes like sending letters to the editor to the newspaper – and rearranges communication in a fundamental way”. What if participants designed their own game and own rules as part of the game?
“…when bang! there you are facing yourself in a mirror jammed at you. Listen. A cough from the alley. You giggle because you’re afraid, suffer claustrophobia, talk to someone nonchalantly, but all the time you’re there, getting into the act…Electric fans start, gently wafting breezes of New-Car smell past your nose as leaves bury piles of a whining, burping, foul, pinky mess”.
“…they appear to go nowhere and do not make any particular literary point”. Because instead they create experience.
“First, there is the context…that is, its “habitat“, gives to it not only a space, a set of relationships to the various things around it, and a range of values, but an overall atmosphere as well, which penetrates it and whoever experiences it.”
Soke Dinkla: “participation is located along a fragile border between emancipatory act and manipulation”. where do I stand on this?
Sartre in Nausea on the construction of human situations
gallery: taste :: happening: dirty
“…a flimsily jotted down score of root directions”
“chance then, rather than spontaneity, is a key term, for it implies risk and fear (thus reestablishing the fine nervousness so pleasant when something is about to occur)”
(People having to waddle through a room filled with garbage)
“But it could be like slipping on a banana peel or going to heaven“
“The physical materials used to create the environment of Happenings are the most perishable kind”
“they reveal a spirit that is at once passive in its acceptance of what may be and affirmative in its disregard of security.”
“A STATE OF MIND”
New York Times op-ed says graduate education needs to be restructured around multisciplinary programs that produce non-traditional, media-based dissertations
End the University as We Know It
GRADUATE education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).
Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades, and the seeds of this crisis go as far back as the formation of modern universities. Kant, in his 1798 work “The Conflict of the Faculties,” wrote that universities should “handle the entire content of learning by mass production, so to speak, by a division of labor, so that for every branch of the sciences there would be a public teacher or professor appointed as its trustee.”
Unfortunately this mass-production university model has led to separation where there ought to be collaboration and to ever-increasing specialization. In my own religion department, for example, we have 10 faculty members, working in eight subfields, with little overlap. And as departments fragment, research and publication become more and more about less and less. Each academic becomes the trustee not of a branch of the sciences, but of limited knowledge that all too often is irrelevant for genuinely important problems. A colleague recently boasted to me that his best student was doing his dissertation on how the medieval theologian Duns Scotus used citations.
The emphasis on narrow scholarship also encourages an educational system that has become a process of cloning. Faculty members cultivate those students whose futures they envision as identical to their own pasts, even though their tenures will stand in the way of these students having futures as full professors.
The dirty secret of higher education is that without underpaid graduate students to help in laboratories and with teaching, universities couldn’t conduct research or even instruct their growing undergraduate populations. That’s one of the main reasons we still encourage people to enroll in doctoral programs. It is simply cheaper to provide graduate students with modest stipends and adjuncts with as little as $5,000 a course — with no benefits — than it is to hire full-time professors.
In other words, young people enroll in graduate programs, work hard for subsistence pay and assume huge debt burdens, all because of the illusory promise of faculty appointments. But their economical presence, coupled with the intransigence of tenure, ensures that there will always be too many candidates for too few openings.
The other obstacle to change is that colleges and universities are self-regulating or, in academic parlance, governed by peer review. While trustees and administrations theoretically have some oversight responsibility, in practice, departments operate independently. To complicate matters further, once a faculty member has been granted tenure he is functionally autonomous. Many academics who cry out for the regulation of financial markets vehemently oppose it in their own departments.
If American higher education is to thrive in the 21st century, colleges and universities, like Wall Street and Detroit, must be rigorously regulated and completely restructured. The long process to make higher learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative can begin with six major steps: