‘Piracy Today’ @ Penthouse 4C

27 August 2013

No signs of abating energy and ideas as this year’s Hack the Barbican draws to an end. Because Penthouse 4C has another challenge to the status quo with explorations into piracy with Hardcore Software, a new project run and curated by Rachel Falconer and Lawrence Lek tomorrow,  Wednesday 28.

With a growing sentiment of hacking as an integral part of tech-cult progress, Lek and Falconer present AND Publishing, Geraldine Juarez and Martin Dittus in a performative discussion and “flash exhibition” around “deconstructing, remediating and representing public space”.

So as Hardcore Software asks, “is piracy a destructive force or a necessary ingredient in cultural transmission?” It’s probably no coincidence Fari Bradley today did the same:



See the Hardcore Software website for more details. **

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‘Bonus Levels’ @ Artlicks Weekend

20 August 2013

Forever deconstructing notions of digital dualism, London art collective Public Assembly will be launching Bonus Levels at this year’s Art Licks Weekend, running October 4 to 6 in London. A multiplayer video game celebrating the DIY spirit of artist-run projects spaces, the project hopes to bring together those independent artists existing on the margins through a digital sculpture, featuring participants of the Art Licks weekend on each floor.

Artist and avatar will be given the tools for building their own digital space in the shared tower space, in a collective artwork headed by Lawrence Lek, in collaboration with interaction designer Valentina Berardi, photographer Andi Schmied and artist Clifford Sage.

See the Artlicks Weekend website for details. **

Header Image: Lawrence Lek, ‘Bonus Levels’.

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‘Reasons to Be Creative’ running Sep 2 to 4

20 August 2013

Not that you ever really need an excuse but Brighton’s Reasons To Be Creative conference is running September 2 to 4 (Monday to Wednesday). Aimed at creative practitioners across web design, art and coding, the annual event features 30+ speakers working across design, film, animation, illustration and more. Confirmed speakers include London-based visual artist Memo Akten, British-born, Brooklyn-based creative Jon Burgerman and Julien Vallée and Eve Duhamel of Royal Bandit studio in Montréal.

See the Reason To Be Creative website for more details. **

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Hack the Barbican now running

6 August 2013

Hack the Barbican is now running over the next four weeks at London’s Barbican Centre, from August 5 to 31. Open daily during regular opening hours the London institution will be a hive of activity throughout its theatres and foyers as artists, entrepreneurs and technologists look to their boundaries and stretch them as far as they can with experiments in post-apocalyptic Beekeeping, “barbicoins“, arcade games of the future and much more.

See for the full schedule. **

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Create London website takeover

22 July 2013

Continuing on with the cross-disciplinary multi-platform nature of Hannah Perry‘s collaborative Have a Nice Day artwork, has taken over the Create London website for the next two months, following the immersive performance piece, featuring Perry and a group of South London teenagers at  the Barbican, Saturday July 13.

Launched on the day, the take over will last until September 13 and features a visual response to audio collected by the bubblebyte team, during the lead up to the HAND final performance. From that they’ve put together a soundboard that has also been integrated into the Create London takeover experience, along with a legend at the bottom of each page, which will activate a song and an image inspired by the artists and the HAND process. If that’s not the ultimate expression of our transmedia, interactive, post-internet universe, we don’t know what is. See takeover on the Create London website.**


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transmediale 2014 open call for works

15 July 2013

Last year’s transmediale festival in Berlin explored the influence of shifting cultural paradigms on our understanding of science and the world with Back When Pluto Was a Planet and yielded impressive appearances by the like of Andrew Norman Wilson and Jennifer Chan. This year afterglow explores the perceived digital cultural wasteland we exist in in the wake of the Great Land Grab by those major corporate entities that descended on the web early on and they’re seeking artists with finished works engaging with this post-internet discourse exploring the aftermath. Submissions close on July 31 so see the transmediale website for more details. **

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‘ETHIRA®’ @ Arcadia Missa reviewed

11 July 2013

Amalia Ulman’s latest project ETHIRA® presents art’s future counter-culture as ephemeral and anonymous, yet powerful. With beta testing from a host of artists that play with poetry, such as Bunny Rogers and Matt Luther, it takes the form of a downloadable application built collaboratively with developer Daniel Levitt and Arcadia Missa, in-tandem with a physical exhibition at the latter’s gallery space.

ETHIRA® presents a clean greyscale interface. It is available from iTunes store under the category of “Social Networking”. However its purpose, to share authorless 140 word posts that disappear once displayed on its recipients’ devices, does not follow mainstream marketing principles. Here, no Facebook thumbs up or Twitter retweet equivalent is programmed in, only the possibility to read a stream of prose, coupled only to a geographical location from where the thought was born, at its author’s discretion.

Amalia Ulman, ETHIRA® (2014) @ Arcadia Missa installation view. Courtesy the gallery.

ETHIRA® facilitates freedom of expression with the death of the author, it places value on the word and extends the arena for that short SMS fiction that is so popular with Japanese commuters.  How anyone who uses the app understands the work will depend on where they are, who they are and, if included, how they contextualise the location from where the post came.  That also works the other way, its  authors are liberated of a back catalogue, a need to relate to an audience or fear of criticism. All of which, of course, can also lead to unexpected results.

As with all technology, ETHIRA® is at the mercy of its users. Couplets, teen angst or abuse could become the flavour of what is read on an application whose anonymity is a selling point for those who revel in trolling. The posts’ momentary existence make it the perfect medium for quick, unedited thoughts, automatically deleted without care.

Amalia Ulman, ETHIRA® (2014). Courtesy Arcadia Missa .
Amalia Ulman, ETHIRA® (2014). Courtesy Arcadia Missa.

Contrastingly, Arcadia Missa’s gallery space sandstone tablets sit with tools of brush and water, inspired by the Buddhist tradition of writing with water onto hot stones and point to a simple form of meditative writing. Sentences could disappear once written, allowing the author to observe their own thoughts, graphically illustrated and beyond their mind’s eye, before letting the text go and arranging their thoughts. It’s a philosophy undoubtedly closer to what Ulman seeks to advocate, where ownership over content is abandoned and its validity is never subject to user approval.

In that way ETHIRA® is the opposite of a social network site but not actually ‘antisocial’, such as apps like Hell Is Other People, which warns you of your ‘friends’ close proximity. It is far more restricted than Snapchat, which allows users to share multimedia timed to self-destruct, but in being solely text-based encourages its own belief in anonymity. It’s an application that channels the values of post-hippie-era electronics ideals on free software and free expression, while predominant net counter-culture focuses on spam, denial of service and hoaxes. Ultimately, though, its success rests on who joins and how that shapes its future.

ETHIRA® is running at Arcadia Missa June 28 to July July 27, 2013.

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Melanie Jackson @ Flat Time House reviewed.

Melanie Jackson. Goethe + Genetics.
12 April 2013

Melanie Jackson‘s  The Urpflanze (Part 2) is a hard show to miss. For a start, a local walking down Peckham’s Bellenden Road couldn’t ignore the Slade Fine Art graduate’s two, out of proportion and off the scale, blue and yellow books suspended mid-air in the front window of Flat Time House. Here is a show about the visionary artist and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s fantastical idea of the archetypal plant called Die Urpflanze, mimicking its beautifully absurd idea and inviting us in.

Melanie Jackson, The Urpflanze (Part 2) (2013).
Melanie Jackson, The Urpflanze (Part 2) (2013).

Continue reading Melanie Jackson @ Flat Time House reviewed.

  share news item’s ‘SECONDO ANNIVERSARIO’ @ Seventeen.

10 April 2013

Seventeen Gallery in London will be celebrating online art space‘s second anniversary with a group exhibition, aptly titled SECONDO ANNIVERSARIO and showing the works of nine new media artists that have presented there before in its short history. Running from Friday, April 12 to Saturday, May 11, the event will feature Constant Dullaart, Paul Flannery, Cieron Magat, Yuri Pattison, Hannah Perry, Angelo Plessas, Silvain Sailly, Travess Smalley and Jasper Spicero.

Alongside the physical exhibit, founders Rhys Coren and Attilia Fattori Franchini will take over the Seventeen website to curate Casa Del Divertimento, featuring the works of several other artists, to launch a new collaboration with Paul Flannery that concentrates on curating within the fabric of other functioning websites. See the Seventeen website for more info**

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‘REVOLUTION 02: Dirty New Media’.

Dirty New Media.
19 March 2013

For those in the midlands, artist Antonio Roberts will be curating a day of performances and interactive installations at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham. AV performances, screenings, lectures, workshops, an exhibition and a ‘super special essay’ will be presented by artists from the UK and US, REVOLUTION 02: Dirty New Media runs from 4to 10pm is on Thursday, March 21.

Presented by Vivid Projects, as part of the University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Festival, (Monday, March 18 to Sunday, March 24), the event is free. It’s sure to showcase some of the most exciting young artists, operating within that realm of using new technology the way you weren’t supposed to, producing something infinitely more interesting in the process. See here for more information.**


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New media artist announces ‘prosumer manifesto’.

Nick Briz. Apple Computers.
12 March 2013

Chicago-based new media artist Nick Briz has released an open letter to Apple Inc. petitioning the company to relax its policy of ‘planned obsolescence’. The half-hour pseudo-documentary mimics the interface of his afflicted MacBook Air, features interviews from his peers, and past footage of an idealistic Apple co-founder Steve Jobs elaborating on the ideology of ‘creative copying’ that, Briz claims, the company is now in opposition to.

Becoming known as the ‘default art computer’ for its user-friendly interface and industrial design, Briz and his fellow prosumers highlight that among its good qualities, a rapid updating policy makes past projects, made within the Apple ecosystem inaccessible, while rendering its hardware components obsolete far too frequently. Something not mentioned and worth exploring further is the phenomenal amount of technological waste such a rapid turn-over would produce, which is something photographer Pieter Hugo investigated in his Permanent Error exhibition last year, pointing to a global issue far greater and more urgent than just artistic inconvenience.

You can see the video in full and as intended here.**

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Facade mapping explored.

Facade Mapping. Urban Futures.
5 February 2013

The canvas was once but a blank space, invisible, a standard pre-amble to any image. From the humble sketch book to the glowing cinema screen, white space meant little more than a means to an end, a space to fill, a place to beam onto. Then street art opened up the door. City streets became a playground, buildings billboards; pipes, CCTV cameras, shop window shutters all features to play with.

Yekpare by Nerdworking.
Yekpare by Nerdworking.

Continue reading Facade mapping explored.

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Save the Cosmonaut

28 May 2011

We’ve been following the Cosmonaut since we discovered it back in December (even if the project kicked-off more than 2 years ago), patiently awaiting a new trailer, a new sequence, news, script reviews, international collaborations, evolution of the funding… a big drama, but an exciting one.

Because since its creation, the Riot Cinema collective behind this idea (Nicolás, Bruno & Carola) have become one of the biggest European referents of community based filmmaking mixing the most popular financing &  production techniques the Internet era has brought… crowdfunding, community participation, early engagement with the viewers from the beginning of the project…. and a distribution of material licensed under Creative Commons.

the Riot trio (Nicolás , Carola & Bruno)

This is where the hype is now, and with successful examples & platforms such as Kickstarter (who have enabled crowdfunding for countless projects) they have a good chance to succeed if they make it appealing enough.

Apparently last week one of those big initial investors reduced his contribution to the film and now the guys behind the Cosmonaut are asking the community for a bit of a contribution… you know, the crowdfunding game again. They’re asking for small contributions from a couple of € to several hundreds.. and they need to raise the 4K figure within a month.

As it usually happens with this sort of projects the web community answer has been instantaneous and after just a couple of days they’ve already raised 92% of that big figure. We’re pretty sure they’ll have reached their goal before the weekend ends. But just in case we thought you could help them a bit just like us (this way).

For those of you who just discover this project, The Cosmonaut about “Stan” who in 1975 prepares himself to become the first Russian cosmonaut on the Moon. Andrei, his best friend, manages the mission; but in the tense last days before departure, Stan thinks about Yulia, the woman they both have been in love with since her arrival to the City of the Stars, more than ten years ago. Two days after takeoff the spacecraft loses communication with Earth and after many months the ship returns one day to earth… without the cosmonaut.

The big buzz around the project hasn’t been for the story itself but the great mix of crowdfunding, distribution and sponsoring plans they initially outlined to reach their 860.000€ budget… This first round of investment the project raised around 30K, but will they meet their ambitious plans?

financing plan

We really hope they do.

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