February 24, 2009 § 1 Comment
“@” Exhibition, curated by Ars Virtua
Concurrent with the New Media Caucus panel Space: The New Frontier at the National CAA 2009, “@” is an exhibition that examines space and site. With simultaneous locations in Los Angeles and Second Life (SL), “@”challenges artists to consider place & placelessness from within the context of networked culture. The exhibition space features a floor-to-ceiling projection and a streaming video camera, which serves as the interface between the Real Life (RL) in the gallery and its replication in Second Life. The intent for “@” is to exploit the philosophically rich mirroring between RL and SL, as well as the paradoxical condition of being the observer and observed.
“@” exhibition in LA and SL in 02/09.
9:30PM Thursday February 26
New Media Caucus Reception
A video documenting an intervention performance at Eva and Franco Mattes (http://www.0100101110101101.org) Synthetic Performances exhibition in Second Life on the 4th of April 2008. The aims of the Synthetic Performances were to re-enact historical 20th century performances within virtual environments effectively questioning physicality and being by creating a conflict with performances traditionally perceived role.
12 more miles today – making a total so far of 206 miles on the reenactment of Gandhi’s Salt March to Dandi!
So I came upon a group of wolf people, not sure what to call them, you can see a screenshot of part of the group below. Upon seeing me as Gandhi, one of them quickly changed appearance to a wonderful rendition of President Richard Nixon, (above) complete with the presidential podium attached to his chest (moved with him, literally) – along with the audio presentation of Nixon’s “I’m not a crook” speech. Quite fun – I posed for a picture with him.
On Thursday, December 18th, a week before Christmas, the Double Happiness factory was almost overthrown by virtual anarchists claiming to be affiliated with the virtual pranksters known as Second Front. The hysterical rioters attempted to take over the factory with at least 300 lbs of explosives and bottles of hairspray. Chanting “Happiness, not Double” while the Dead Kennedy’s “Kill the Poor” blasted from their iPhones, the hooligans tried to force our happy Double Happiness workers to unionize. Only a few avatars exploded but in virtuality no one was hurt in the incident and production continued to run smoothly during the joyous, holiday season.
This video analyzes the relationship between time and landscape. Usually we tend to associate the study of time to the study of space in the calculation of speed. This association of terms is useful only if we have to calcolate speed.
In all the other cases is better to use the term landscape.
Time in fact is the human perception of the earth evolution movement and landscape is the physical space covered by a human person.
This study examines in its specific this relation applied to an airport during a one day time covering. The airport has an area of 1000mts squared.
The day last 1440 minutes.
The video shows the results of this relation of time and landscape applied to the chosen field of analysis.
These results find explication in the Korsakoff’s syndrome, a degenerative brain disorder.
“Icarus” was shot in Cartagena, Spain. The city of Cartagena, situated on the Mediterranean coast, has been the site of the rise and fall – and of manifestations of power and disempowerment – for an array of cultures and regimes, among them Roman, Byzantine and Islam, as well as the Episcopalian Church and the Spanish Republic. During these times the city served – between long stretches of decay, epidemics, war, destruction and subsequent recuperation …
Since the artists have been living in the States for years in self-exile, their cultural meditations deeply concern history, philosophy, and Chinese diaspora, examine current economic development of China in a context of globalization, meanwhile exploring the meaning of virtual online communities in terms of global dialogues regarding cultural root and fantasy of China. The film functions as multimedia component in Land of Illusion project in Second Life.
The project is an immersive art installation in Second Life, the centerpiece of which is composed of approximately 1000 primitive objects which are coated in moving video accompanied by a densely layered sound effects bed. This complex and dynamic object floats over a landscape which is composed of a grid of interlocking sculpty megaprims…
February 24, 2009 § Leave a comment
Friction Research – Investigating Ruptures in the Art-Political Grid
On view @ www.nictoglobe.com
Menu-entry : Friction Research
Publication date: 02-28-2009
Winter 2009 issue’s contributors include following individuals and collectives from Europe, America, China, GB, Israel & Turkey:
Nictoglobe is a (new) media publishing project by A. Andreas, (im)materialized as an online-magazine. It is as of to date funded by private means, time, travel and expenses are unpaid. Neither is Nictoglobe funded, sponsored or otherwise dependent on public funds.
A loosely coupled information channel, in which both materiality such as industries, steel , concrete, human bodies, be it creative or otherwise, and immateriality; information, desires, love, awareness, submerge in a more fluidal, kind of communication.
Among its contributors are – in no particular order – :
A. Andreas(.nl) – Artist, Judith V. (.nl). – Artist, Bobbi Lurie(.us) – Writer, Dany Tomasini(.it) – Correspondent, Mark Amerika(.us) – Contributor, Hero Werkman(.nl) – Filmmaker, Brenda Weverling – – and many more.
February 11, 2009 § Leave a comment
The New York Times’s Andrew Jacobs and Graham Bowley report that a fierce fire has engulfed Rem Koolhaas’s CCTV complex during the last day of celebrations for the Lunar New Year in Beijing, while the city was ablaze with fireworks. The building is part of China Central Television’s new headquarters. It was a trophy of Beijing’s pre-Olympics building boom, the result of many billions of dollars the ruling Communist Party devoted to making Beijing a city of the future.
The burning building, also known as the TVCC tower, housed a luxury hotel and cultural center and stood next to the main CCTV tower. Flames were visible from the ground floor to the top floor of the large building. CCTV estimated that the fire had begun a few minutes before 8:30 PM, although some local residents said they saw flames as early as 7:45 PM.
It was not immediately clear what had caused the fire, but the city had been filled with fireworks for the annual festival. There were also no details about whether there were any injuries, but witnesses at the scene said that workers had been present around the clock and were likely to have been in the building when the fire started.
The hotel in the building, a 241-room Mandarin Oriental, was due to open this year. Erik Amir, a senior architect at Koolhaas’s firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, rushed to the site, the Associated Press reported. “I think it’s really sad that this building is destroyed before it can be opened to the public,” he was quoted as saying.
Video footage of the fire can be seen here.
by Bert de Muynck
TVCC was never a very lucky building. The public counterpart to one of the most ingenious and brutal buildings constructed in this era—Rem Koolhaas and OMA’s China Central Television headquarters—it seemed always secondary. Since the start, first in the iconic digital rendering, and later in the actual photographs of the site, TVCC has been obscured, partially visible through the hole that is CCTV’s most famous feature, literally lying in the shadow of big brother. On Monday night, owing to a strange twist of fate and a couple of superpowered firecrackers, it came out of that shadow, if only by going up in flames.
Rem Koolhaas, Ole Scheeren, and Office for Metropolitan Architecture, TVCC (Television Cultural Center), 2009, Beijing. All photos by Bert de Muynck.
The real problem was that TVCC, which could have been built anywhere, had the misfortune of being located next to a building that could not have been built anywhere but in today’s Beijing. Few ever understood what the building actually was doing on the site; for every hundred words written about CCTV, one was written about TVCC. The building, which was to house a 1500-seat theater and a Mandarin Oriental hotel, always came across as an afterthought, a sloping sideshow to the cantilevered loop. Growing out of necessity rather than inspiration, the boot-like building was described as a form of “cake-tin architecture” proving that “charm can be generated on a big scale from heterogenous elements.” But for Koolhaas and OMA, it was where the genius of CCTV spun off into formula and even shtick. Even its name, which reverses the letters of the mothership and stands for “Television Cultural Center,” seemed a bit too predictably OMA in its linguistic play.
News of the strange and tragic fate of TVCC made its way around Beijing and the world last night, first by Twitter and SMS, then by blog and youtube and the Chinese video sites. CCTV, like all the state media, kept quiet on the story in anticipation of a party line, even as thousands of Beijingers turned the East Third Ring into a pedestrian promenade, their cameras registering every spark with a strange mix of disbelief and intrigue. Around them, fireworks exploded desperately as New Year revelers attempted to get one last shot off before the clock struck twelve and pyrotechnics were once again illegal after a two-week holiday. The moon was full. Celebrity bloggers in the crowd included Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (who long ago threw his hand in with OMA rival Herzog & de Meuron, working on the Olympic Stadium), as well real-estate magnate and SOHO China chairman Pan Shiyi (who must just have been glad not to be watching one of his own buildings burn).
The morning after, the whole area around the construction site was guarded by police. Crowds gathered at corners and on sidewalks, pointing their fingers, gesturing at how the fire fell through the roof. News that one fireman was killed fighting the blaze was released. Seven others were sent to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. Walking around the area, one was immersed in a strange architectural experience, feeling something happening, but wondering exactly what. More fingers point to the façade. For a second one might have thought they had spotted an an audacious stuntman climbing the façade of CCTV. The armed police march their patrols, sidewalks are closed, traffic diverted. For all its devastation, human loss and years spent in negotiation over the construction of the building, its interiors, its management, for all of its tragedy, there is a strange beauty to the building as it stands now, like a burnt-out Olympic torch next to a glimmering ring. TVCC’s façade seems to be crying. It is bumpy and, finally, textured. Walking around it the morning after the fire, one could only wonder how long it will stand, and what its potential collapse might mean for architecture. Would this become a perverse Pruitt-Igoe, and thus a deflation of the modernist dreams CCTV has been said to re-embrace? Will the grassroots transmission and narration of the catastrophe stand more as proof of the clarity and empowerment of the people’s media—a phalanx of tweeters and bloggers and amateur videographers—above and beyond the state machine for whom OMA so controversially designed these buildings in the first place, and which for now still insists on a miniscule official press release and forbids photographs from running in the newspapers?
“PR Rotterdam” is the message I receive when I contact TVCC’s project architect asking who is talking about this unfortunate event. After that I ask him if anyone in Beijing can comment. A simple “No” follows. I stop my inquiry, look around, see the people discussing, clustering, stopping, registering, picking up cameras and binoculars. For the past few years I have been circling the area quite often, registering the progress, watching the demolition of its surrounding neighborhood. The exact date of the coming together of the two CCTV towers had been subject to such extreme secrecy that it seemed to happen occasionally, just over a year ago. No real proof seems to exist of that moment, save for the built proof that it happened. Today, I am seeing the proof that something else has happened, that architecture is vulnerable, subject to natural forces. It is a bizarre apotheosis of a two-week holiday, characterized mainly by relentless firework explosions in the winter air.
At the same I can only think about the “Fighting the Flames” spectacle Rem Koolhaas described in Delirious New York. “Fighting the Flames” was a daily event on New York’s Coney Island which consisted of burning the same city block over and over again. The block as actor. Koolhaas wrote, “The entire spectacle defines the dark side of Metropolis as an astronomical increase in the potential for disaster only just exceeded by an equally astronomical increase in the ability to avert it. Manhattan is the outcome of that perpetual neck-and-neck race.” Without any question CCTV has defined the dark spectacle of this Metropolis. But it was his little strange brother who didn’t possess the ability to avert the disaster and has thus paid the price for Beijing’s neck-and-neck race with architecture.
Bert de Muynck is a Beijing-based writer and architect, and co-director of MovingCities.
February 9, 2009 § Leave a comment
Netizens in China are becoming more and more innovative in their ways of protesting against censorship authorities’ arbitrary abuses of power in curtailing freedom of expression. Their tenacity is best demonstrated in the support they have given to Bullog International since its relaunch on 31 January 2009, despite continuous attempts of authorities to block the site. Conflicts between censorship authorities and netizens have taken a new turn in the past few days. Some netizens were so outraged by a decision to censor the content of their online photo albums that they staged an online protest. The protest is known as an anti-anti-vulgarity campaign. This is the first time the government’s anti-vulgarity Internet censorship campaign has met with such widespread opposition among Internet users in China. It is also the first time that authorities have given in to netizens’ demands.
Since certain Renaissance paintings have been censored in the anti-vulgarity campaign for displays of nudity, Douban members used Photoshop to clothe some of these famous figures and posted the images on their blogs.
Some of these manipulated photos:
February 9, 2009 § Leave a comment
The Los Angeles Times reports that, on Friday, a wide majority of the US Senate passed an amendment “to ensure that taxpayer money is not lost on wasteful and nonstimulative projects” such as museums, theaters, and art centers. Americans for the Arts, which has been fighting for a crumb or two of the federal economic-stimulus package to land on the table of nonprofit arts organizations, reported that its side took a drubbing to the tune of seventy-three votes to twenty-four. The arts advocacy and lobbying organization labeled the amendment to the Senate’s $827 billion stimulus proposal “egregious” in its exclusion of “any . . . museum, theater, [or] art center” from sharing in the bailout. Americans for the Arts notes that among those voting for Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn’s amendment to freeze out the arts “surprisingly” were Diane Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York, Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.