Golden Aliens

Common Task

Common Task is a project by Pawel Althamer.

“Common Task is a documented group activity, a social sculpture, realised within the science – fiction formula. The artistic project is a combination of an activity performed in public spaces with the social aspects such as exclusion related to the systemic transformation process, self-organisation and bottom-up initiatives which may change the world and shape the future. In broader terms, the Project alludes to the ideals of freedom and solidarity.

[via new art]

Jacko’s monument

LIVE FOREVER - The Michael Jackson Monument Design Competition!

Archinect.com launched a design competion for a monument dedicated to Michael Jackson. Entries are available on the website from today. In the picture above you can see one of them: The Freedom Tower by Harrison & White, “a 1km high gold statue of him with anti-terrorist laser scanning/disintegration rays from his eyes”. LOL

David Byrne on Italy

david byrne's blog

Here‘s a funny (but also depressing for us to read) report written by David Byrne after his trip to Rome. Featuring Radisson Hotel, the Vatican (with all the kitschy souvenirs), Renzo Piano’s Auditorium, Altare della Patria and much more… He seemes to understand very clearly what’s wrong with Italy’s sense of history:

“Do we have to respect every piece of rubble? What can we really hope to learn from these pathetic foundations and remaining stumpy bits of wall? Have the Italians sacrificed some part of their future in honoring and maintaining their glorious past? Am I being cynical? (I would certainly rather see ruins than block after block of ugly, concrete apartments!) The Italians must, I imagine, feel hamstrung by their past, which must justify in their minds the escape from the past represented by the ugly apartment and office buildings that fill these cities outside their historic zones.”

[read more]

Also on Internazionale this week (in italian)

The Fox in the Museum

Francis Alys, Nightwatch

In 2004, Francis Alÿs collaborated with the National Portrait Gallery to create a piece generated by the gallery’s state-of-the-art internal CCTV system. Surveillance cameras observe a fox exploring the Tudor and Georgian rooms of the Gallery at night…

3D and the Reinassance

Avatar

According to art critic Jonathan Jones, James Cameron’s new 3D film Avatar has something to teach us about the Renaissance:

“In the 15th century, artists discovered how to paint bodies and landscapes as if they had depth and solidity. Painting triumphed over the flat surface to create the illusion of a real scene glimpsed through the square enclosure of the wooden panel or canvas, as if you were watching a play on a stage. The effect was just as dazzling, just as unexpected as 3D cinema – and it has lasted a lot longer than the gimmicks of 1950s science fiction.”

[read more]

#songsincode

songsincode

songsincode tries to display either a title of a song or part of its lyrics (as some songs are more known by the refrain than their title – for example there is no such thing as “all the lonely people” by The Beatles) in code. This could be PHP, JavaScript or any other language…”

This Title is an Artwork of Mine

Pind

This is the first thing I saw arriving in Copenhagen. We were just strolling around the city, when I saw the Overgaden Gallery sign and decided to take a look. Established in 1986 by a group of local artists, Overgaden is a really interesting no-profit space for contemporary art, with a program of ten exhibition per year. Currently they are working on the new one, but last week I managed to see an amazing solo show by Pind, a young danish artist. His works plays tricks on the visitor’s mind, calling into question our sense of consciousness, perception, and reality itself…

I create you – you create me. I recognise myself in your thoughts, and you recognise yourself in mine. In this way, we mutually confirm our existence towards each other. (Pind)

press realease and photos
exhibition folder (pdf)

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

Google Street View Camera

This is a must-read. Artist Jon Rafman has written a wonderful essay on Google Street View for Art Fag City:

“One year ago, I started collecting screen captures of Google Street Views from a range of Street View blogs and through my own hunting. This essay illustrates how my Street View collections reflect the excitement of exploring this new, virtual world. The world captured by Google appears to be more truthful and more transparent because of the weight accorded to external reality, the perception of a neutral, unbiased recording, and even the vastness of the project. At the same time, I acknowledge that this way of photographing creates a cultural text like any other, a structured and structuring space whose codes and meaning the artist and the curator of the images can assist in constructing or deciphering.”

read more here
full project here

A structural conceit

Mike Nelson

I’m back in Rome after a short trip to Denmark and Sweden (here you can find the full photo album). I saw a lot of interesting stuff that I’m gonna report in the next few posts. Starting with the best of course: Mike Nelson‘s exhibition at Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. The installation occupies a whole floor of the museum with a labyrinthine and replicating series of rooms. The experience of walking through this work is really hard to explain: it begins with curiosity and fun, than leads to disorientation and anxiety, ending in total amazement. Nelson explains the project in a series of video-interviews you can watch here. And this is an effective description of the work:

Mike Nelson

“Two rooms exactly the same, connected by one long rectangular one in the middle. The structure I’m building is then flipped onto the other side and mirrored with a big curved 120-foot-long corridor in the middle. In a sense you see the back of a structure, the falsity of what you’re walking into, almost like you’ve come to the back of a show when you shouldn’t have done. Initially you’re feeling kind of pleased with yourself because you spoiled the artist’s trick. This however is a double bluff of sorts as it relaxes you for the main feature which is your passage through the curved corridor back to the same space where everything is reversed. It looks kind of the same but you know it’s not, so there’s an uncanniness, an unease about it. It’s like an investigation of your own recent history, a device to reinvent that sense of deja-vu the first time you ever experienced it as a child, an existential moment of confusion.”
(Mike Nelson interviewed by Michele Robecchi)