Posted inArt

A Deep Dive into Digital Art

Some people spend Christmas Eve going to mass or sitting around a tree; others spend it eating Chinese food and going to see a movie. If you don’t have any family or friend traditions to adhere to, or if you do but want an escape, one possibility I’d recommend is to spend this late afternoon/evening digging into digital art via The Wrong, a new online biennial.

Posted inPerformance

A Digital Artist Goes Analogue, but the Message Is Fuzzy

Sitting in the audience for the performance of Ann Hirsch’s “Playground” at the New Museum last week, two things came to mind: one, that Hirsch had managed to trick a bunch of art school kids and fans of her often web-based art into coming to a very conventional theater production; and two, that the plot of her play felt a little conservative, despite Hirsch’s larger body of work that seeks to question representations of female minds, bodies, and sexualities on the internet.

Posted inArt

A Futuristic Ghost Story with Many Layers

To tackle the anxiety of online identity and the constant torrential rain of information, artist Toni Dove has orchestrated a ghost story. It’s a spectral experience that spills from video screens that raise from the floor and hover from the ceiling, blending in live soundtracking, robotics, motion-sensing animation, and a whole cavalcade of integrated technology that comes together more like a sci-fi symphony than a replica of all that online noise. I recently visited Dove’s studio in Lower Manhattan, where she demonstrated the technology behind Lucid Possession and discussed her continuously evolving new media-based work.

Posted inArt

Tracing a Path from Cubism to Digital Art

I first learned about Cubism in an art history class my sophomore year of college. I remember the moment of revelation, after reading a lot about but still failing to grasp what exactly Picasso and Braque were after. In the darkened lecture hall one afternoon, our teacher summed it up this way: how sparingly could you paint a face while still having the viewer understand it as a face? What was the bare minimum required for representation? As legend has it, these questions and the art they inspired changed the course of art history forever.

Is the same true of the digital revolution? That’s the premise of Decenter, an exhibition curated Andrianna Campbell and Daniel S. Palmer and currently on view at the Abrons Arts Center.

Posted inArt

Reject Reality and Substitute Your Own: Using Augmented Reality as Art

Whether you like it or not, the digital invasion of Google Glasses is on its way, bringing the alternate world of augmented reality with it. As the late sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, who I really wish was here to react to the rapidly cyborg-like technology advances, forebodes in his 1978 essay “How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later”: “What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudorealities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”

Posted inArt

What Does the Sundance Festival Tell Us About the Future of Film?

The deal making begins weeks before the celebrities touch down in Park City, Utah, a pop-up center of the universe for the culture industry during the ten-day run of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Open Road Films buys the Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher as the Apple co-founder, long before audiences clap, yawn, or both at its Sundance Closing Weekend premiere. Other movies including Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, and No, featuring Gael García Bernal, also arrive with deals intact. The pre-fest deals, as well as decisions by filmmakers from former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl (Sound City) to Shane Carruth (Upstream Color) to take on a DIY release model, lead to an inevitable question: with the ability to build communities of fans and supporters 24/7 on digital platforms, are the time, energy, and money spent getting in and getting to Sundance still necessary?