The 3D Additivist Manifesto + Cookbook

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-27 11:32:03

0aaadiditivso0.jpg
The 3D Additivist Manifesto

A few days ago, i was at Parsons Paris for reFrag: glitch, a series of workshops, talks and performances that address the multifold ways in which glitches manifest and/or are mobilized artistically in our lives. Participants talked about flash crashes in the financial market (more about that one soon), wacky operating system from the early nineties, Spinoza glitches, archaeology of bugs, etc. It was good, brain-stimulating and intense. We even watched the documentary of a fist fucking performance. Here's the project page if you're into that kind of entertainment.

0a1presentation6cb_b.jpg
Rourke presenting at reFrag: glitch.Photo by Benjamin Gaulon

0s1audience5f4c41_b.jpg
Audience at reFrag: glitch.Photo by Benjamin Gaulon

I'll probably write an incomplete but enthusiastic post about the event in the coming days but for now, i'm going to kick out the reports with Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke's presentation of the 3D Additivist Manifesto + Cookbook. Rourke was in Paris. Allahyari spoke to us via skype.

0i0dogdildo.jpg

0High-Barbie-VHS_2.jpg
Morehshin Allahyari, Dark Matter

Allahyari and Rourke's 3D Additivist Manifesto is an invitation to artists, researchers, activists and critical engineers to submit ideas, thoughts, and designs for the future of 3D printing. The submissions should reflect on the current state of additive manufacturing, identify the potential encoded into the most challenging 3D printed objects and push the technology to its most speculative, revolutionary and radical limits. Once collected, these submissions will form The 3D Additivist Cokbook.


Morehshin Allahyari, Daniel Rourke, The 3D Additivist Manifesto. Sound design by Andrea Young

The project started germinating in the artists' minds when Rourke interviewed Allahyari for her project Dark Matter, a series of 3D printed sculptures that combined objects, beings and concepts forbidden by the Iranian government. Most of these objects look pretty harmless to us. However, in her native country, a dildo, a dog, a satellite dish, a Barbie, or a neck tie (??) are frown-upon and in some case strictly forbidden. The work is both an archive of vetoed objects and an encouragement to those who live under oppressions and dictatorship to use the printer as a tool for resistance.

Allahyari and Rourke have recently teamed up for the 3D Additivist Manifesto + Cookbook, a works that brings together art, engineering, scifi and digital aesthetics under a mind-blowing and slightly weird umbrella.

0pl_print_anarchistcookbook_f.jpg
Photo: Adrian Gaut for Wired

0e-stereolithography-04-1024x682.jpg
Julien Maire, Man at Work, 2014

The cookbook is inspired by William Powell's Anarchist Cookbook. Written in 1971, the manual brought together various readily available sources of knowledge and offered instructions on how to build bombs, make drugs, hack arcade machines, etc.

Other sources of inspiration for the 3D Additivist Manifesto include recent 3D printing projects such as the 3D printed gun, Julien Maire's (amazing) 3D animation that uses 3D printed objects instead of film and F.A.T.'s Free Universal Construction Kit.

One last major source of inspiration is Donna Haraway. Because the scholar is the author of the Cyborg Manifesto of course. But also because she believes that the Anthropocene is not a radical enough way to describe our era. Human beings are putting themselves in a situation similar to the one that the cyanobacteria experienced at the beginning the Earth history. They made life breathable for other other organisms by converting CO2 into oxygen, and they almost killed themselves in the process. Haraway suggests that we call our era the Cthulhucene.

reFrag:glitch, a collaboration between Parsons Paris and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Film, Video, New Media & Animation Department, is an international Glitch Art event that ran from the 19th to the 23rd of March 2015.

Read more »

Staalplaat Soundsystem and the book that's also a paper turntable and a music instrument

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-24 11:47:33

A quick post to let you know about the really REALLY nice book i received the other day. I can't stop playing with it. The publication celebrates Staalplaat Soundsystem's brilliant work.

3yo955543913_c06f682c4a_z.jpg
Yokomono. Photo Staalplaat

0a1nantescb8d5f33_b.jpg

0a1nannnntesa098_b.jpg
Sale Away, Nantes, 2014. Photo Staalplaat

0a8yokomo2bd40de_b.jpg
Yokomono White at _V2. Photo Staalplaat

0composeda686361_b.jpg
Composed Nature, Neerpelt. Photo Staalplaat

You probably know them already. Geert-Jan Hobijn started Staalplaat as a record label in the 1980s. He then expanded his label with a radio programme, a record shop, a magazine and, around the year 2000, he founded Staalplaat Soundsystem, the artistic branch of Staalplaat. I've always been a big fan of their noise-making machines and performances that use all kinds of toys, tools, natural or urban settings and electronic junk. Think car horn concert, compositions for vacuum cleaners or washing machines, machines for the 'spirit of dead computers', toy cars driving over vinyl grooves, etc.

The book/turntable/music gadget was published after Hobijn won the Witteveen+Bos Art+Technology Award which goes every year to a visual artist whose work unites the disciplines of art and technology in an exceptional manner and for whom engineering is far more than a means to an end.

0i0iboek1.jpg

0pilesboek-2.jpg
Photo Staalplaat

In typical Staalplaat fashion, the publication only serves as a pretext for letting people have fun with sound. It comes with a nifty paper turntable, a music instrument you activate by plugging in a small battery and i even got a pencil to play with the turntable. There's also a book, by the way.

0a1stallKIDc8c_b.jpg
Staalplaat Soundsytem, Om, 2014. Photo Staalplaat Soundsystem

0s1settingupc487c_b.jpg
Staalplaat Soundsytem, Om, 2014. Photo Staalplaat Soundsystem

Geert-Jan Hobijn, Composed Nature, part of the exhibition Om, 2014. Video Witteveen+Bos


Zephyrus Composed Nature, part of the exhibition Om, Deventer, 2014

The publication and the Art+Technology Award were accompanied by an exhibition featuring an indoor version of Staalplaat's Composed Nature inside the Bergkerk Church as part of the exhibition 'Om'.

Seventy trees were placed in the centre of the church. Visitors of the show could dial a phone number and select one of three compositions. Vintage kitchen mixers attached to the tree trunks were then activated and made the tree rustle according to the chosen composition.

You can order a copy either at Staalplaat or at Metamkine.

Photo on the homepage: AV festival.

Read more »

DIYsect. A series about the DIY Biology & Biology-Art intersection

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-20 09:50:55

DIYsect is s documentary series 'about the DIY Biology & Biology-Art intersection' and it is rather good.

0a11805940d4b557369_original.jpg
Baltimore's Underground Science Space (BUGSS), Nurit Bar-Shai's bacteria sculpture (top middle), and Nikki Romanello in her studio in Red Hook (bottom right)

In Summer 2013, filmmaker Benjamin Welmond and artist-biologist Mary Maggic Tsang traveled across the U.S. and Canada to meet the biohackers, artists, synthetic biologists, writers and curators and talk with them about the possibilities, challenges and dilemmas brought forward by biotechnology. The result is a portrait of DIY biotech hack and biotech art by the very people who are directly involved in it.

The authors of the series write:
Our goal is to discuss the way biotechnology is changing our society: What are its political, social, and even philosophical implications? What happens when manipulating life becomes as simple as writing a line of code? And more importantly, what does this mean for average citizens and their future?

I only discovered the existence of the episodes a few days ago (thanks Adam Zaretsky!) The films are short and sharp. They are released as soon as they have been edited. For free. On vimeo. Let's go!

The first episode of the web-series, Learning in Public is of course the introductory one. The directors interview members of the DIY biology movement as well as artists such as Steve Kurtz from the Critical Art Ensemble, Claire Pentecost, and subRosa.
The image/sound synchro is a bit wonky (at least when i watched it) but don't let that discourage you from watching the episode.


DIYSECT Episode 1: Learning in Public

Episode 2: Bioterror & Bioerror gets political. It starts with the FBI bioterrorism case against Steve Kurtz and then goes on to reflect the FBI's change of tactics. Realizing its errors, the FBI is now reaching out to the DIY BIO community 'for mutual education.'

DIYSECT Episode 2: Bioterror & Bioerror

Things are gettng tricky with episode 3. Fear of the Unknown which should be out on vimeo today!

The episode delves into the discussions surrounding synthetic biology. On the one hand, a project like the Kickstarter-funded Glowing Plant is creating controversy by bringing synthetic biology to the consumer market in the form of a plant that glows in the dark. Its developers' rhetoric is fairly unconvincing (at least as far as i am concerned.) On the other hand, the technology watchdog group ETC. Its members fear the lack of regulation (the plant doesn't require any form of approval in the U.S. since it is not food) and the potentially damaging impact that the release of the plant might have on the environment. Somewhere in the middle is artist Adam Zaretsky who has long used his provocative performances to try and raise a broader debate about what is ethical or not in the field of synthetic biology. There's this great moment in the film when he explains that we don't really know what we are doing and that we need to stop and think before we 'fuck up our world' beyond human control.

On a side note, i believe we need to see more of Zaretsky's provocations and reflections here in Europe, so let's help him fund his next trip to the old continent.

Read more »

The sound of empty space

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-17 11:14:16

Adam Basanta, The sound of empty space

If you happen to be in Montreal this week, drop by the Galerie B-312 where composer and sound artist Adam Basanta has installed a series of works that play with self-generating microphone feedback. Each of the 3 works in the gallery examines, in its own witty and transparent way, the idea of sound as a mutable product of interdependent networks of physical, cultural and economic relations.

Amplifying and aestheticizing the acoustic inactivity between technological "inputs" and "outputs" - stand-ins for their corporeal correlates, the ear and mouth - the notion of a causal sound producing object is challenged, and questions are posed as to the status of the ʻamplifiedʼ. By building flawed technological systems and nullifying their intended potential for communication, the ear is turned towards the empty space between components; to the unique configurations of each amplifying assemblage.

0a6TheLoudestSound-22.jpg
Adam Basanta, The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly

0bloudestsound348.jpg
Adam Basanta, The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly

In The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly, a feedback loop between microphone, PA system amplifier, and speaker cone is enclosed within a soundproof aquarium. The sound level within the enclosure reaches an ear-damaging 120dB, approximately the loudness of a car horn at close distance.

Pirouette further explores the notion of amplification systems as self-generating sound producers. A microphone rotates slowly and triggers a tuned feedback melody as it comes nearer to one of the seven speaker cones. It takes nine full rotations of the microphone to reveal a skeletal version of the main theme from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet.

In the third work in the series, Vessel, the naturally resonant acoustic properties of a large glass jar are amplified, creating a feedback monody by varying the distance between speaker and microphone.

How could i resist the temptation to interview an artist who can not only turn the usually unpleasant microphone feedback into beautiful artifacts but whose past projects also include a performance in which he played Music for Lamps.

0aaaaaa2Pirouette-1109.jpg
Adam Basanta, Pirouette

0s9pirouett285.jpg
Adam Basanta, Pirouette

Hi Adam! Could you give more details about Pirouette? How does it work exactly?

In Pirouette, a microphone standing on a raised platform spins slowly, hovering over 7 suspended speaker cones. As the microphone hovers over each speaker, it enables a feedback loop: the microphone "hears" the speaker amplifying the microphone, and on and on until we hear microphone feedback or Larsen tones.

Usually, this type of feedback would be very loud. But in Pirouette, the feedback is tuned and controlled by computer algorithms to create a slowly evolving feedback melody. A custom made software is inserted between the microphone and speakers, filtering out all but a very narrow range of audible frequencies. The frequencies which are allowed to "pass through" the filter are the ones that end up feeding back. In this way, I was able to create a very precise sequence of tonal pitches - the main theme from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet - using feedback.

As well, the computer algorithms control the overall volume and amplitude envelope of each feedback note. As the microphone hovers over a particular speaker, the gain of the channel is adjusted based on how loud the particular feedback note is: if it gets too loud, the computer brings down the gain while if it is too quiet, the computer will compensate the gain and make it a little louder.

0a4TheLoudestSound-e1425936983153.jpg
Adam Basanta, The loudest sound in the room experienced very quietly

The description of The Sound of Empty Space talks about 'building flawed technological systems'. Can you talk about these flaws? What makes them interesting and how did you exploit their potential?

Well, the flaws are found in the ways I use or rearrange elements of commercial sound technologies. Pointing a microphone directly at a speaker is a basic error, the first thing you learn to avoid if you are working with amplified sound in whatever context. It is a flawed use of the equipment, in the sense that normally you would want the system to amplify something "worthwhile" (a musician, a speech etc). When feedback occurs, it makes the entire sound reinforecement system useless, because it is at its very basis a method to communicate information, and feedback nullifies this potential; it 'jams' the system, it is noise, it doesn't allow "sanctioned" sounds to be amplified.

So why do this in the first place? Well, I've been involved in making music in different contexts since I was about 12. As much as this is a fun thing to be involved in, I've come to realize that it is a huge industry - I like to call it the industry of 'self expression' - complete with industry magazines, blogs, and allegiances to this company or the other and whichever 'lifestyle' they are selling. I really dislike "gear-culture", but at the same time these are still very much my artistic tools, both personally and culturally: just like a folk singer has a guitar, I have microphones and amplifiers and speakers.

So in a way, arranging these elements in a flawed way - in a way that goes against the original commercial intent of the object - is my way of remaining creative with tools that are in many ways designed in a way which often limits creativity. I try to do this in a very non-antagonistic way: I'm not really interested in a grand rebellious gesture, but more in a gentler form of perversion. I am trying to make something beautiful, something that people can get lost listening to, out of this flaw or error.

At the same time, the more I think about feedback and the more I work with it as sonic material, the more I find it fascinating conceptually. It is an emergent phenomena, in that it relies on the configuration of microphone, speaker and acoustic environment. It reveals aural dimensions of architecture to which we don't have easy (visual) access to. There is no real "causal" element in the feedback chain - all the components are "passive" sort to speak - you can't really say that the speaker is producing the sound more than the microphone is. And in a sense, this is a really beautiful and powerful metaphor for listening in general: perceiving the sound of a guitar or a bird or your lover's voice has as much to do with one's own physiological or psychophysical attributes (for instance, the length of the auditory canal), one's intention (am I hearing or listening?), and the general context in which the sound is produced.

0e3vesselllla.jpg
Adam Basanta, Vessel

0a8Vessel-e1425936873356.jpg
Adam Basanta, Vessel

You are a composer and sound artist. Yet, your installation have obvious aesthetically qualities. Could you talk to us about the visual aspect of your work? Is it important to you? Does it complement the sound work?

Although my training is in sound and music, and I was never really involved in visual art, the visual aspect of these works is critical for me. As opposed to sound, which evolves in time, visual impressions are immediate, so it is really the way to get people curious about the work. With that in mind, I try to use a visual vocabulary that creates a mix of transparency and mystery. Transparency in the sense that I present my materials - microphones, speakers, amplifiers, cables - in a very matter of fact way: here they are, here is how they are connected together. At the same time, some elements are hidden - often, this involves the computer - and so even though we see these recognizable materials there is a sense of mystery or surprise with regard to the qualities of the sounds, or exactly how they are being produced.

With this exhibition in particular, I've been very interested in combining visual and sonic materials in a way that creates an intertwined web of references, and in this way create richer listening situation. The use of microphones, speakers and public address amplifiers - objects that embody communication and sound reproduction technologies - are obvious examples of this. Subtler references include Vessel's resemblance to an "impossible bottle / ship in a bottle", as well as Pirouette's visual reference to a rotating music-box ballerina coupled with the aural reference to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Even small details, such as the use of 7 speakers in Pirouette, reference the 7 tone scale in Western harmony.

Of course, not all of these will be picked up by visitors, and the works can be enjoyed on a "purely aural" level (if that even exists). But to me this is the biggest impetus to create sound art (as a separate practice from concert music): the potential to combine visual references, conceptual ideas, and sonic material (in all its richness and wordless intoxication) in order to create some sort of hybrid listening experience.


Adam Basanta, Julian Stein, Invisible Lines

We live in a very visual society. And sound art is often reduced to just music. I also often find that art journalists, bloggers and critics (apart from those who specialize in sound art of course) are a bit at loss when it comes to writing about sound art.

Do you feel that sound artists have a disadvantage compared to visual artists?

I suppose so. It certainly is a more marginal practice in terms of number of practitioners and institutions, and general 'visibility'. Of course, it also has less commercial potential because it tends to subvert the idea of an art object in favour of an in-situ experience. At the same time, I feel people respond strongly to sound art for precisely these reasons, so I suppose there are two sides to the coin.

0lamps_fofa4-800x467.jpg
Adam Basanta, Julian Stein, Max Stein, Music for Lamps


Adam Basanta, Julian Stein, Max Stein, Music for Lamps

Any other upcoming exhibition, research or project you could share with us?

At the moment, I am hard at work writing some new chamber music pieces for instruments and live electronics, to be performed by Montreal-based ensembles Magnitude6 and Architek Percussion. In terms of sound art installations, I'm continuing to develop some of the threads evident in The sound of empty space, although with some subtle variations. In June, I will create a site-specific feedback installation for the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM, which will explore ideas of feedback as indicator of physical acoustic space in a very large spatial setting. This fall I will be in residency at Titanik Gallery in Turku, Finland, where I will work towards a new exhibition at the Gallery in the end of October 2015, which will examine relationships between instruments of mass communication, the materiality of communication signals, and subjectivities of listening.

Thanks Adam!

The sound of empty space is at the Galerie B-312 in Montreal until 21 March 2015.
Music for Lamps will be playing at MATA Festival at The Kitchen in New York on 15th April.

Read more »

PIGS, structures of surveillance, metabolic landscape, a quiet USA, etc. My favourite photo books of the moment

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-11 04:06:23

I'm drowning in really good books this year. Unsurprisingly, half of them are photography books. And because i'm short on time and these publications deserve a review, i'm going to take the lazy road: a sweeping and speedy overview of 5 of my favourite photo books of the moment. In one post.

Here we go...

0i0dakota1n2b.jpg
Gina Glover, Windmill, Prairie Farm, Near Williston, North Dakota, USA

0_Gina_Glover_Garrison-Dam-Intake-System_Lake-Sakakawea_North-Dakota_USA-552x368.jpg
Gina Glover, Garrison Dam Intake System, Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, USA

0cape Exhibition Jessica_Rayner_Conversion WEB-615x410.jpg
Jessica Rayner, Conversion

0i0icouverturen2b.jpg

The Metabolic Landscape. Perception, Practice and The Energy Transition, by Gina Glover, Geof Rayner and Jessica Rayner.

The Earth is a living organism. Our escalating energy demands are interfering with the carbon and nitrogen cycles and altered the metabolic balance of the planet. Authored by two photographers and a scientist, the book uses images and essays to investigate the landscape in relationship to sources & sites of energy, energy extraction, energy use and climate control.

Gina Glover's work exploits atmospheric weather and ambient lighting conditions to draw attention to such energetic places and artefacts as coalfields in the Arctic, nuclear installations in France and hydraulic fracturing sites in the USA; Jessica Rayner observes how theories of the sun have varied according to the symbolic or scientific precepts of the day, drawing comparison between manufacturing, properties of the sun and changing theories of energy; and Geof Rayner constructs an accompanying textual narrative which shows how the energy transition has profound evolutionary consequences, not only for external nature, but how we see and interpret the landscape.

Published by Black Dog Publishing and available on amazon USA and UK.

0i-unitledgorilla-04.jpg
Untitled, from Some Things are Quieter than Others

0jacekstaqto-www-20.jpg
Untitled, from Some Things are Quieter than Others

0jackstaqto-www-08.jpg
Untitled, from Some Things are Quieter than Others

0-bookcover-jack-65.jpg

Next is Some Things are Quieter than Other by a young Polish photographer called Jacek Fota.

Fota made several trips to the U.S.A. between 2012 and 2013, consciously avoiding the mega cities and landscapes we are already too familiar with. Instead, he turned his lens to the 'peripheries of civilisation' and condensed his personal experience of the big country into a small travel diary.

His photos show the U.S. but on a less grandiloquent, less cliché and more mundane angle than we might be used to. His images look effortless, they are both dream-like and very real, very down to earth.

This way to get the book.

0Canadian-Arctic-LAB-009.jpg
Canadian Arctic, 2013. LAB 1 Royal Canadian air force short range radar installation, north warning system, Cape Kakiviak, Torngat Mountains, Labrador. Photograph: Donovan Wylie

0a0a0Wylie02.jpg
Photo HFA

Over a year ago, i saw Donovan Wylie: Vision as Power at the Imperial Warm Museum in London. The photo exhibition brought together five geographical locations that are interconnected through the apparatus of military surveillance.

Steidl has collected into one slipcase three of these photo series. British Watchtowers (2007) studies the surveillance architecture built at the height of The Troubles. The network of watchtowers and observation posts was erected by the British army to control cross-border smuggling and paramilitary attacks but also to maintain an intimidating presence. The watchtowers were dismantled between 2005 and 2007, as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. As Whyle documented their final days in the countryside, British troops were deploying to Afghanistan, taking with them elements of these Northern Ireland watchtowers.

The second book, Outposts (2011), charts NATO observation posts in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Built on natural promontories, the outposts offer a fascinating parallel with the British Watchtower, as both networks ensured oppression and control in the name of a "war" against terrorists.

The last book in the set, North Warning System looks at a radar station that is surveying a less clearly defined threat. The extreme environment of the Canadian Arctic is home to cyber radar stations unmanned and operated electronically to detect any presence seeking out lucrative natural resources along Canada's Arctic frontier made more fragile by global warming and the new routes though the Northwest Passage it enabled.

Happy Famous Artists beat me to the review.

Donovan Wylie: The Tower Series is available on amazon USA and UK.

0Italypalermo-Spottorno-1269.jpg
PALERMO, SICILY, ITALY, 20-10-2010: ruins in the old part of town. During the American invasion in WWII nearly 40.000 people lost their homes. Instead of restoring them, the local politician, together with the mafia capos planned a speculative plan that kept the old ruins from being rebuilt. Instead, thousands of new concrete blocks were built in all the Golden Valley, surrounding Palermo

0vache1a-large.jpg
Jerez, Spain: This newly built suburb illustrates everything that went wrong in Spain: rapid growth based on seemingly limitless borrowing, which produced a glut of houses and office space that nobody wants © Carlos Spottorno

0aaathhhenz.jpg
Athens, Greece. Hundreds of massive archaeological ruins at the Acropolis are piled here and there, around the restorers' provisional offices. The weight of history is just too heavy for the southern European countries. © Carlos Spottorno

0construction3-08-30 at 11.10.28.jpg
Carboneras, Almeria, Spain: Hotel "El Algarrobico" was built in a protected Natural Park with the complicity of local authorities. Popular activism and pressure from Greenpeace stopped the project. But after a decade of litigation, it has not yet been demolished © Carlos Spottorno

0Italymadon_Spottorno_589.jpg
Gela, Italy: Saro Spataro is a Sicilian-born Argentinian. He sells "madonnine" at the side of the road. He makes them with clay and black concrete. © Carlos Spottorno

0Pigs_-_front_cover.jpg

0Pigs_-_layout.jpg

The term "PIGS" was coined by the financial press as a shorthand for Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain . Never doubting the suitability of reducing over 100 million people to a bunch of clichés, the neoconservatives and the mainstream media quickly adopted the acronym.

Photographer Carlos Spottorno attempted to portrays "Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain through the eyes of the economists". The parody starts right with the design of the Pigs: the book cover is modeled on the front page of The Economist, and even the back page of the publication features a fake advertisement for WTF Bank.

Spottorno's photographs show European countries squeezed between a glorious past and far less glamorous contemporary realities.

Published by Phree and RM Verlag in 2013. The PIGS are on amazon USA and UK.

0aboookcobnflicy8.jpg

I'll always have time for war photography. And since i enjoyed the exhibition Conflict, Time, Photography so much, i had to get my greedy hands on the catalogue of the show. The show (and thus the catalogue as well) looks at over 150 years of conflict around the world, since the invention of photography. Instead of organizing the photos according to themes, geographical area or chronology, the curator orchestrated them according to the length of time that elapsed between the conflict and the moment the photographs were taken. The result is fascinating. You start with images taken almost straight after a disaster occurred and as you proceed, the duration between image and event grows into days, weeks, months, years and decades. One of the last series was shot almost 100 years after the start of WWI. Chloe Dewe Mathews photographed some of the exact spots where British, French and Belgian soldiers were executed for cowardice and desertion between 1914 and 1918.

I'd definitely recommend the book if you can't make it on time to see the show.
Conflict, Time, Photography was edited by Simon Baker, the curator of the exhibition. It is available on amazon USA and UK.

Read more »

Copie Copains Club, a community of artists who copy each other

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-09 08:07:31

During the last edition of the GAMERZ festival, i discovered the existence of the Copie Copains Club (Copy Companion Club), a community of artists who copy each other. To become a member of the club, you either copy a fellow artist or you are copied by them. It's that easy!

Copie Copains Club aims to highlight the art of copying in the Post-Internet era. Today, the works and their representations circulating on the web become themselves available materials, ready to be replayed by other artists. At a time when production companies and governments toil to outlaw copying, CCC aims to be a space where everyone can freely enjoy the copying: a playground where contemporary artists or geeks designers of all generations and all countries can question their relation to intellectual property and their own creation.

Copie Copains Club is a cheerful, provocative project. More importantly, it offers the art community an informal space to discuss copyright, creativity, plagiarism, fair use of existing images and other issues that the art world has long been debating over but that internet culture has reinvigorated.

It is also interesting to note that the initiative comes from France, a country where copyright infringement laws are particularly stringent.

_asalllesOEA7507.jpg
Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

_1ecransOEA0664.jpg
Joëlle Bitton, Weather Desktop Project. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

0atolafurv63po6_1280.jpg
.... inspired by Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project

Copie Copains Club started as a platform and a licence but the experiment was given the opportunity to take on a physical presence when GAMERZ invited the artists behind CCC to curate an exhibition based on the works that follow the CCC rules. Some of the 'copies' merely put an humorous spin on the original, others added depth and an extra layer of reflection.

I talked to artists/curators Emilie Brout, Caroline Delieutraz & Maxime Marion about the CCC experience:

(The artists answered me in french. Just scroll down to read the original text.)

Hi, Caroline, Emilie and Maxime! I like the name Copie Copains Club. It's cheerful and melodic. Why did you chose this name? What did you want to convey with it?

We wanted a meaningful, funny and that sounded good. The CCC is a club of friends who copy each other. Like the project, it is "cute" but also a bit provocative, in particular because it includes the term copy, even if we're actually talking more about détournements, remixes and tributes. The acronym "CCC" is rich in references, and "CCC license" is a direct spin on the Creative Commons license.

Why did you start this project? I remember Maxime telling me in Aix-en-Provence about the situation of p2p exchange in France. So is there a political motivation behind the CCC?

There is of course a political motivation, especially in a country like France where the right to intellectual property is particularly strict. Add to that laws such as HADOPI and a long tradition in which the artist is both protected but also hindered in its practice. The artist is not necessarily a victim of the copy, it feeds on it. The CCC is intended to dramatize a little bit this issue, attacking the copyright idea collectively with a smile and some nice nuances. But we also wanted to create a playground, a space for exchange and dialogue that uses artworks as a go-between.

_grosnuageOEA8101.jpg
Djeff, Super Google Clouds. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

_nuageOEA8098.jpg
Djeff, Super Google Clouds. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

0aasuepmarioclouds.jpg
... inspired by Cory Arcangel's Super Mario Clouds

Many people like to repeat Picasso's quote "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Nonetheless, copying still has a bad rep' in society of course but also in the art world. Why do you think there is still a lot of stigma in art against copying?

Copying in creation is a very old question, and it is surprising to see that it is still raised in a society where ownership and piracy are completely mainstream (who has never used one of the first images popping up on a Google search without even wondering where it came from?) What remains sensitive, is the personal relationship that each artist has with their creation, their own "originality". Many artists are still afraid of being dispossessed, yet each work, inspired or not by another one, matters for the personality that the artist will inject into it. The CCC is also a place where you can show without any embarrassment works that look a bit too much like other works (whether they were produced before or after), a place where everyone and no one can be called a copycat.

_atabloOEA0650.jpg
S. Aubry & S. Bourg, One shot date painting. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

_araOEA0641.jpg
Arnaud Cohen, More Human Than Human. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

How was CCC received by artists whose work had been copied? Did they all feel flattered or did the copies create discontent? Did you find for example that artists who are used to working in tech/digital/new media contexts react differently from artists who are working with more 'traditional' media and ideas?

For an active member of the CCC, being copied is a great honor, it means that someone took the time to reflect on, study, question your work ... The 4th rule of CCC requires you to notify the original author of the fact that they have been copied with a message like this: "Hello, you have been copied with such project, unless you specify otherwise you are now a member of the club and are now free to copy whoever you want". This friendly approach may explain why there has ultimately never been any problem nor removal request. Regardless of age or discipline, the project was generally well received, even by the most recognized artists. And if there is no reaction, we assume that "Silence is consent." This is what the club advocates: we first copy, then we inform, which is subtly different from the standard practice.

How is the CCC database growing? Do you get regular submissions?

Everyone is free to participate and join the club as long as they follow the rules of the manifesto. Such as copying only living artists (Rule 2), or to copy a "buddy" if this is a first copy (Rule 1). The buddy list (nearly a hundred to date) continues to grow steadily. The more the merrier :)

_fridgOEA0679.jpg
Grégoire Lauvin, Brrrr! Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

_frigoOEA0692.jpg
Grégoire Lauvin, Brrrr! Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

_aprisesOEA0682.jpg
Grégoire Lauvin, Brrrr! Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

CCC 'got physical' for the last edition of the GAMERZ festival in Aix-en-Provence. How did you select the artists who were exhibited? Did you commission some works or did you only chose from the works already available on the CCC database?

Artists and projects were selected directly from the website, but some were still at the idea stage. For example, Brrrr! by Gregory Lauvin existed only in the form of sketches, and the Gamerz exhibited made it possible to produce it. As this was the first physical CCC exhibition, we selected pieces which references were easily recognizable, this facilitated the reading of the overall project.

However, each of these copies had their own relationship to the original work, have very different approaches: distant reference, resonance between personal experience and the one of the referent artist, purely formal détournement, criticism, etc. We were also pleased with the way the works became autonomous, conversed with each other and raised new issues, such as the relationship between "real" and "virtual", transhumanism ...

And do you otherwise work with the notion of copy culture in your own practice?

The concept of appropriation is fully integrated within our respective practices, so that this is not even a claim or a militant act as was the case for artists of previous generations (Sherry Levine, Christian Marclay, etc.) This is a medium like any other, and it happens to be ours. So we very often use the media produced by other people, we focus on their history, on the why and how they were produced, the people they were intended to reach, the paths they traveled and the way to reassemble them in order to produce new forms. This has naturally led us to reflect on issues related to intellectual property.

Thanks Caroline, Emilie and Maxime!


_0ombreOEA7512.jpg
Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ


_apostcardOEA0617.jpg
Annabelle Ameline, Où est Raymond? Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ


_banksOEA8117.jpg
Emmanuel Laflamme, Survival of the Fittest. Photo Luce Moreau for GAMERZ

Réponses en français:

I like the name Copie Copains Club. It's cheerful and melodic. Why did you chose this name? What did you want to convey with it?

Nous voulions un nom explicite, drôle et qui sonnait bien. Le CCC est un club de copains qui se copient. A l'image du projet, il est "mignon" mais un brin provocateur notamment par l'utilisation du terme copie, même s'il s'agit en réalité plus de détournements, de remixes ou d'hommages. L'acronyme "CCC" est riche en références, et la "licence CCC" est une variation directe de la licence Creative Commons.

Why did you start this project? I remember Maxime telling me in Aix-en-Provence about the situation of p2p exchange in France. So is there a political motivation behind the CCC?

Il y a bien sûr une motivation politique, notamment en France où le droit à la propriété intellectuelle est particulièrement lourd, en plus de lois telles que Hadopi et d'une longue tradition où l'artiste est à la fois protégé mais aussi entravé dans sa pratique. L'artiste n'est pas forcément une victime de la copie, il s'en nourrit, le CCC a pour but de dédramatiser un peu cette question, en attaquant l'idée de copyright collectivement, avec le sourire et de jolis dégradés. Mais nous avions aussi envie de créer un terrain de jeu, un espace d'échange et de dialogue par oeuvres interposées.

Many people like to repeat Picasso's quote "Good artists copy, great artists steal. " Nonetheless, copying still has a bad rep' in society of course but also in the art world. Why do you think there is still a lot of stigma in art against copying?

La copie dans la création est une question très ancienne, et il est étonnant de voir qu'elle est encore sensible dans une société où l'appropriation et le piratage sont complètement banalisés (qui n'a pas déjà utilisé l'une des premières images renvoyées par Google sans se demander d'où elle provenait ?). Ce qui reste sensible, c'est le rapport personnel que chaque artiste entretient avec sa création, sa propre "originalité". De nombreux artistes craignent ainsi encore de se faire déposséder, or chaque oeuvre, inspirée ou non d'une autre, compte surtout pour la personnalité que l'artiste va y injecter. Le CCC est donc aussi un lieu où l'on peut montrer sans gêne des oeuvres qui ressemblent un peu trop à d'autres (qu'elles aient été produites avant ou après), un lieu où tout le monde et personne ne peut être traité de copieur.

How was CCC received by artists whose work had been copied? Did they all feel flattered or did the copies create discontent? Did you find for example that artists who are used to working in tech/digital/new media contexts react differently from artists who are working with more 'traditional' media and ideas?

Pour un membre actif du CCC, être copié est un grand honneur, cela signifie que quelqu'un a pris du temps pour se pencher sur son travail, l'étudier, le questionner... La règle 4 du CCC impose de notifier l'auteur original du fait qu'il ait été copié, avec un message du type : "Bonjour, vous avez été copié avec tel projet, et sauf mention contraire de votre part vous êtes à présent membre du club et êtes libre de copier qui vous souhaitez à votre tour". Cette approche sympathique explique peut-être qu'il n'y ait finalement jamais eu le moindre problème ni aucune demande de retrait. Indifféremment de l'âge ou de la discipline, le projet est généralement bien reçu, même par les artistes les plus reconnus. Et s'il n'y aucune réaction, nous partons du principe que "qui ne dit mot consent". C'est ce que revendique le Club : on copie d'abord, on informe ensuite, ce qui est subtilement différent de la pratique courante.

How is the CCC database growing? Do you get regular submissions?

Chacun est libre de participer et de devenir membre du club tant qu'il respecte les règles du manifeste, comme le fait de ne copier que des artistes vivants (règle 2), ou de copier forcément un "copain" s'il s'agit d'une première copie (règle 1). La liste de copains (près d'une centaine à ce jour) continue de s'allonger régulièrement. Plus on est de fous plus on rit :)

CCC 'got physical' for the last edition of the GAMERZ festival in Aix-en-Provence. How did you select the artists who were exhibited? Did you commission some works or did you only chose from the works already available on the CCC database?

Les artistes et projets ont été directement sélectionnés sur le site, mais certains n'étaient alors qu'à l'état d'idée. Brrrr! de Grégoire Lauvin par exemple existait uniquement sous forme de croquis, et l'exposition soutenue par le festival Gamerz a permis de la produire. Comme il s'agissait de la première exposition physique du CCC, nous avons choisi des pièces dont la référence était assez reconnaissable, pour faciliter la lecture du projet global. Mais ces copies, ayant toutes un rapport différent à leur original, présentent des approches très variées : référence lointaine, résonance entre son expérience personnelle et celle de l'artiste référent, détournement purement formel, critique, etc. Nous avons également été ravis de la manière dont les oeuvres, alors devenues autonomes, dialoguaient entre elles et soulevaient de nouvelles problématiques, telles que le rapport entre "réel" et "virtuel", le transhumanisme...

And do you otherwise work with the notion of copy culture in your own practice?

L'appropriation est une notion complètement intégrée dans nos pratiques respectives, si bien qu'il ne s'agit même plus d'un acte revendiqué ou militant comme cela pouvait l'être pour des artistes des générations précédentes (Sherry Levine, Christian Marclay...) : c'est un médium comme un autre, simplement c'est le nôtre. Nous avons donc recours extrêmement souvent à l'emploi de médias produits par d'autres personnes, en nous intéressant à leur histoire, pourquoi et comment ils ont été produits, à qui ils sont destinés, quels chemins ils parcourent et comment les réassembler pour produire de nouvelles formes. Nous avons donc été naturellement amenés à réfléchir aux questions liées à la propriété intellectuelle.

Merci Caroline, Emilie et Maxime!

Previously: The 10th edition of GAMERZ. From dancing trash bag to dichotomic perception + Hold On, when a joystick manipulates Hollywood.

Read more »

Make+, Art & Technology program in Shanghai

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-05 09:07:18

0ioioiologo5.jpg

0stacked-rooms-8.jpg
Stacked rooms. Performance

Make+ is a Shanghai-based programme that stimulates collaborations between art and science. Its main motivation is to 'make ideas happen'.

The recipe is quite simple: an individual comes with an idea, a team forms around it, mentors join in and guide the team along the way. At the end of the process, the idea is made reality. Participants come with all types of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. They can be fashion designers, hardware engineers or painters.

The experimental and not-for-profit space also organizes educational workshops, talks and exhibitions that further encourage exchanges and raise public awareness about the kind of creativity that emerges when people from different professions meet and share ideas.

I met Sophia Lin, the Director of Make+, a few weeks ago. We were both giving a talk at the same moment at the latest edition of the Lift Conference in Geneva. Sophia is also the co-founder of Basement 6 Collective, a studio and community space located in an old bunker and dedicated to promoting the arts in Shanghai.

Since i missed Sophia's presentation in Switzerland, i thought that the best way to catch up with the activities of Make+ space would be to interview her:

0a2014sceineackday2c86ece.jpg
2014 Science Hack Day

0assciencehackday.jpg
2014 Science Hack Day

Hi Sophia! How big is Make+? How many people are working on the program?

Make+ is supported by volunteers only. We have roughly 9 core volunteers, and 30+ volunteers who help out whenever it's needed.

0make-200-small-600x400.jpg
The 2014 Make+ team

The Make+ program encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration. How do you make these cross-disciplinary collaborations happen? Is it by acting as a go-between? By making resources available? etc.

We do a lot of things to encourage these collaborations happen. We host events where professionals and students from different professions can meet and collaborate, we act as a resource database for those who need to reach the other end. We have also started a research project on methods of crossover collaboration.

Are there like-minded people, institutions organizations in Shanghai and in the rest of China? Who does Make+ collaborate with? Who are its allies?

We are seeing more and more institutions especially the universities opening their doors to these kind of experiments by having collaborative courses and programs. Make+ collaborates with art museums, galleries, makerspaces, libraries, hardware companies and foundations.

0a0biotechworksh7.jpg
DIY biotech workshop. "Painting Class with E. Coli"

0aaaa-bacteria2.jpg
Workshop Painting with Bacteria

You told me in a previous conversation that Make+ doesn't have its own space. So how do you manage to organize meetings, workshops, exhibitions?

We usually host our events in our partners' spaces. We work hard.

And apart from having your own space, what are the biggest challenges that the program encounters?

Having a steady funding is our biggest challenge. Our currently method is to offset our cost by charging the event. But in reality, the income usually only pays for the materials and instructor, but never the organizers.

You also told me that you work with artists who might have a fairly classical view on art and with science & tech people who are not so used to working with artists. What makes these two worlds dialogue and collaborate? And does their perspective on their own discipline change after one of your Make+ events?

Yes, this is a very challenging problem. People have to really WANT to collaborate with the others to make it work. We learned from our experience that a forged relationship without a strong motive is hardworking and tiring. However, the participants who have had a successful collaborations often goes on to try more.

0overview5.jpg
Saoirse Higgins, Overview. Video still-user with headpiece and balloon above. The Bund, 20th July 2013.

0fireflimagebicho_1_.jpg
Ji Jiaqing, Firefly

0i2air013-07-07-17.19.111.jpg
Berni War, Vincent Harkiewicz and Brad Jester, Aaaiiirrr (Open Source Air Filter)

0arobot9dt7e56_o.jpg
Kami, DT Robot at 2013 TedxTheBund

Could you give us some examples of projects developed during Make+ workshops?

In 2013, our creative camp incubate a fresh team that consists of designers, artists and engineer. They do not know each other at the beginning, and have never collaborate with other discipline before. After some very challenging weeks, they built a "emotion" room that responded to people's brainwave. The room would try to make you angry if you are calm, and try to calm you down if you are agitated. The team members became best friend and went on to collaborate on many projects.

Last year in 2014, we incubate a long-term not for profit project, where artists, designers and scientists would lead people to research trips to China's old villages to see if there anything they can help with.

0abrain0brainwave.jpg
Installation built by one of the teams of the 2013 creative camp. The audience was wearing a brainwave detector. If you are angry, the ambient light turns blue or green, if you are calm, the light turns red

What's next for Make+?

In 2015, apart from our regular programming and incubator programs, we have started a long-term research project on methods for a successful crossover collaborations. We feel that we need to learn from the successful teams and projects around the world about how to initiate a successful collaborations.

0stackedsurgeon-rooms-4.jpg
Stacked rooms. Performance by Moyo

0stacked-rooms-2.jpg
Stacked rooms. Performance by Olaf Hochherz

0i7ethermasup.jpg
Nicolas Maigret, Clement Renaud and Lionel Radission, The Ether Mashup

Thanks Sophia!

Read more »

Book review: Staging Disorder

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-03-03 11:32:12

Staging Disorder, edited by Christopher Stewart and Dr Esther Teichmann.

0Staging-Disorder-cover-400x439.jpg

Publisher Black Dog writes: Staging Disorder brings together work that considers the contemporary representation of the real in relation to photography, architecture and modern conflict.

The concept of 'staging disorder' looks not to how photographers have staged disordered reality themselves, but rather to how these artists have recognised and responded to a phenomenon of staging that already exists in the world.

Military simulations of rooms, houses, planes, streets and whole fake towns in different parts of the globe provoke a series of questions concerning the nature of truth as it manifests itself in current photographic practice.
(...)
In highlighting the resonance that these projects have with one another, the publication develops a thesis on contemporary photography at a point when we are currently witnessing a shift away from a critical discourse that has been preoccupied by theoretical concerns related to artifice and illusion.

0-9a3e-06e5bc9f4003.jpg
Richard Mosse, Airside

024-4981-a1bf-165d1e86442c.jpg
Richard Mosse, Airside

Everything in this book is fake: fabricated streets that barely look real, sculptures of airplanes that look like cheap overblown toys, American soldiers who pretend to be the enemy and paint anti-US slogans on the walls, etc.

These images come with a description that immediately imbue them with dread, tragedy, horror ad terror. There is often little to see though. An empty room with a chair in the middle or a wall with graffiti but that is often enough to have us speculate about the brutality deployed there. These are architectures specifically designed for rehearsal, for pre-enactment of conflicts and acts of violence. We will probably never see any of the locations documented by the 7 photographers whose work is included in the book but the photos are nevertheless chilling because the danger they evoke is often set in civilian, even domestic context.

The photos presented in the book are astonishing and often spectacular but they also make us reflect on a society that fears and feeds on threats and catastrophe. Staging Disorder also invites us to consider the role of photography, a medium which relation to truth is routinely being questioned, when it comes to documenting a reality that is fabricated.

0personalkill13.jpg
Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, Personal Kill #13, 2006

0k0church-west.jpg
Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, Church West, Übungsdorf, 2008

0personalkill11.jpg
Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann, Personal Kill #11, 2006

In military lingo, killing with direct contact is called a "personal kill." Beate Geissler and Oliver Sann visited a place in Bavaria (Germany) where American soldiers are trained to do so. The settings are not the usual battlegrounds. They are mundane, civilian spaces where, increasingly MOUT (Military Operations on Urban Terrain) are taking place.

0Richard-Mosse_-Airside.jpg
Richard Mosse, Airside

0Richard-Mosse_-Airside-2.jpg
Richard Mosse, Airside

0a747heathrowage.jpg
Richard Mosse, 747 Heathrow

The image of a plane on fire has always evoked fear. Our post 9/11 world has made the same image even more tragic, shocking but also strangely fascinating. In his "Airside" series, photographer Richard Mosse captures the disaster-response training practice of setting life-size model airplanes on fire.

0a29palms.jpg
An-My Le, 29 Palm

0Henry-AnMyLePalmsbg.jpg
An-My Lê, 29 Palms

0moseairside2 4.jpg
An-My Lê, 29 Palms

An-My Lêtraveled to a Marine base called 29 Palms, in the California desert. This where soldiers train before being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. The series show the American soldiers both rehearsing their own roles and playing the parts of their adversaries.

0High-Street_Fsarahpickering8.jpg
Sarah Pickering, High Street

0ppublicorder_f_email.jpg
Sarah Pickering, Public Order

Public Order is a series of photos of the Metropolitan Police Public Order Training Centre, a simulated urban environment where officers rehearse responses to football riots, protests, acts of terrorism and other acts of civic unrest.

The fabricated training locations look a bit like the fake backdrops used to shoot Western movies. The largest of these, Denton, is a huge network of fake streets and cinder-block facades, with all of the hallmarks of a midsize British working-class city, including a football stadium, a nightclub, and a Tube station.

Pickering's images demonstrate better than any newspaper article the omnipresent anxiety and fear of terrorism that pervade our society. "My work explores the idea of imagined threat and response, and looks at fear and planning for the unexpected, merging fact and fiction, fantasy and reality," she states.

0closequrtersHils-RedLand-BlueLand_D10.jpg
Claudio Hils, Close Quarters Battle Range, village centre

In military context, Red Land-Blue Land are terms that define a site divided into the territories of friend (blue) and enemy (red.) The military training ground of Senne in Germany is one such site. Claudio Hils documented a ghost town that looks normal until you start to identify cartridge cases, overgrown graves, human-shaped targets, wooden backdrops that represent streets, etc.

4a5Stewart.jpg
Christopher Stewart, Kill House, 2005

4q3Stewart.jpg
Christopher Stewart, Kill House, 2005

At the time of the work, an estimated 25,000 private military personnel were stationed in Iraq, collectively forming the second-largest fighting force in the country after the US Army. Mostly funded by US tax dollars, these armed security services handle tasks that include training local forces, surveillance, fighting but also 'clearing' domestic houses in war zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The mercenaries aren't trained in US boot camps but in places like the one located in a vacant area of Arkansas and depicted in Christopher Stewart's photographic series Kill House.

2a2_chicago06.jpg
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Chicago #10, 2006

2a2_chicago02.jpg
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Chicago #2, 2006

The Chicago series documents a fake Arab town built in the middle of the Negev desert by the Israeli Defense Force for urban combat training. "Everything that happened happened here first, in rehearsal," write Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. All wars led and to be led by Israel in the future get a test run in the streets of Chicago, where the only traces of human beings are photographs of Arab militia used for target practice. Chicago comprises different settings that reflect the terrains where the IDF might have to strike: a fake refugee camp, a fake downtown neighbourhood, a fake rural village, a dense market area, etc.

Staging Disorder is also an exhibition currently open in the galleries of the London College of Communication. The show runs until Thursday 12 March.

Read more »

Disnovation, an inquiry into the mechanics and rhetoric of innovation

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-02-26 11:56:39

The so-called Centennial Light has been burning for 113 years. It graces the ceiling of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire station (in California), has its own live cam and is often cited as evidence for the existence of planned obsolescence in later-produced light bulbs. It also provides me with a fairly simple way to ease into the concept of 'disnovation'...

0i1ampoule8e5_b.jpg
The Livermore Centennial Light Bulb, at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret.

A few months ago, the festival accès)s( in Pau (France) invited the audience to take a critical look at the idea of a techno-driven progress, at a propaganda machine that promise that new 'advances' in information and communication technologies will solve our problems and fulfill the dreams we don't even know we had. All we need to do is update, upgrade and replace our devices.

The problem is that this quest for the new, this confusion between 'innovation' and 'progress', has been seeping into other areas of the public sphere: politics, economy, eduction and art. This global phenomenon has contributed to institute techno-sciences as the core of modern dogma and the consommation / innovation pair as the driving force for the economics.

This 'Disnovation' (a term coined by Gregory Chatonsky), this techno-capitalist innovation that feeds on our fear of obsolescence raises a series of questions:

Are the continuous flight towards novelty and the negation of preceding values a human obligation, an intuitive tendency, an end in itself, a salutary value? Is innovation the expression of an ideal whose purposes are dictated by mere economic and industrial choices? How can artists become tacit actors for the spreading and popularization of innovations? How does this context result as counter-relief in hijacked, critical, poetic, alternative practices?

0aa3_patricio.jpg
Nicolas Floc'h, Grand Troc Chili, 2008

0i1yane80c3345_b.jpg
A performance by Yann Leguay at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

0i1grenadec2b5b4_b.jpg
Julian Oliver, The Transparency Grenade at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

The curators of accès)s(, artists Nicolas Maigret and Bertrand Grimault, invited artists and thinkers who question, comment on, fight or reveal this culture of disnovation. The festival was a breath of fresh air in my peregrination of media art events which often seem to celebrate far more than they challenge technology. The programme of exhibition, talks and performances Grimault and Maigret devised was by far one of the most exciting moments of the year 2015 for me. Sorry, i meant 2014. I am, as often, a bit behind schedule with my reviews.

I did blog about some of the works on show a few months ago but allow me to add a couple more key pieces in the exhibition:

0i1rybn9c206e_b.jpg

0i1rybn3be3fc_b.jpg
RYBN, The Algorithmic Trading Freak Show, 2014 at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

RYBN.ORG has spent the past few years studying obsolete trading algorithms. These automated traders execute pre-programmed instructions based on forecasts that become obsolete as soon as conditions change (in times of crisis, for example.) Some traders actually believe they might have as much chance of getting it right if they based their operations on blindfolded monkeys playing darts.

RYBN.ORG dissected and analysed the mechanics of these algorithms. Then, they selected the wackiest and ogranised them into a kind of cabinet of curiosities.

0i1glasgoow453ac_b.jpg

0i1glasglw383a6dd86_b.jpg
Nicolas Floc'h, Grand Troc Chili, 2008. View at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photos by Nicolas Maigret

Nicolas Floc'h was showing a brilliant project called Grand Troc Chili. He invited people living in an underprivileged community in Chile to a 'workshop of desires' and asked them to use discarded material and craft the objects they most needed but couldn't afford to buy. The pieces were then exhibited the objects made and even offered for barter: anyone interested in buying the sculpture made during the workshop could trade it for the actual object, which was then given to its author.

0h1clemence54e9eaaf_b.jpg
Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

0i1clemence3359bc7_b.jpg
Clémence de la Tour du Pin, Computer store original, 2013 (Production accès)s( @ IFF inc). Photo by Nicolas Maigret

Clémence de la Tour du Pin worked with professional perfumers to capture the smell of «the brand new». Visitors of the show could take away a little sample of liquid that has the typical smell you detect as you enter a computer store.

0i1general7ea8_b.jpg
General view of the Disnovation exhibition. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

0i1hooverf2e11c8_b.jpg
Sloan Leblanc, Hoover contre Kaisui, 1997 at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

Hoover contre Kaisui are two vacuum cleaners, one from a U.S. brand, the other French. They intermittently powered up and fought each other above the head of the visitors.


Julien Prévieux, Anomalies construites (extrait)

In his video Anomalies construites, Julien Prévieux highlights the tension hidden within Google Sketchup. The 3D modeling computer program allows users to create 3D buildings inside Google Earth. The software is free. Is building architectural or civil engineering structures a form of creative leisure? Or is it a camouflaged (albeit entertaining) way to work unpaid for the corporation?

0i1turtle20fc6_b.jpg
Melle Smets and researcher Joost van Onna in collaboration with the community of Suame Magazine, Set Up Shop, Turtle 1, 2013 at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

0i1satromc03a2_b.jpg
Performance by Jon Satrom at Disnovation Exhibition @ accès)s( Festival & Bel Ordinaire, 2014. Photo by Nicolas Maigret

0a1bridle85102a9.jpg
James Bridle, DIY Drone Shadows

The 14th edition of the festival closed on November 16th, 2014. If you've missed it, you can still follow the research on the Disnovation tumblr.

Programme curated by Nicolas Maigret and Bertrand Grimault.

Previously: How to build an African concept car in 12 weeks, The Terminator Studies and Retail poisoning, a disruption of consumerism.
accès)s('s photos of the exhibition and of the talks and performances. My photos.

Read more »

Printing Things. Visions and Essentials for 3D Printing

Feed : we make money not art
Published on : 2015-02-19 11:52:23

Printing Things. Visions and Essentials for 3D Printing, edited by Dries Verbruggen and Claire Warnier.

Available on amazon USA and UK.

0printingthings_press_cover.jpg

Publisher Gestalten writes: 3D printers will soon be found in more and more workshops, offices, and homes. With them, we will be able to print out small pieces of furniture, prototypes, replacement parts, and even a new toothbrush on-site at any time. Consequently, new production methods and business models are developing--along with a new visual language of multidimensional formal explorations. Today, 3D objects and complex forms can already be printed out that were previously impossible to achieve with traditional methods.

Printing Things is an inspirational and understandable exploration of the creative potential of 3D printing. The book not only introduces outstanding projects, key experts, and the newest technologies, but it also delves into the complex topics that these paradigm-shifting technologies bring up, such as how to handle copyrights and seamless manufacturing.

0Precious-Plastic-by-Dave-Hakkens_dezeen-10-ss.jpg
Dave Hakkens, Precious Plastic

0KioskCycling4.jpg
Unfold, KIOSK

I've no idea why i waited so long to get my hands on Printing Things. Visions and Essentials for 3D Printing but i've just finished reading it and it is brilliant. Which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows the work of the authors of the book. Dries Verbruggen and Claire Warnier are Unfold, a duo of designers who have worked, experimented and provoked debates with their 3D printing experiments.

In 2011 already, the duo walked around the Salone del Mobile in Milan with their mobile Kiosk, making 3D scans of the new objects presented at the fair. They then started to appropriate, sample, remix, improve, up/downscale or copy new objects 3d-printed on the spot.

And because the members of Unfold believe that 'there can be no revolution without disruption', i'd say that it was a brilliant idea to let them edit a book that sums up and illustrates the opportunities and challenges offered by 3D technology.

Printing Things starts with a few pages that explain very clearly and briefly what 3D printing is and how it works. Then come a series of essays that explore issues such as the empowerment that the technology gives to people and the responsibility that comes with it, the right to copy and create derivative content, the way 3D printing affects the figure and role of the designer, the decentralization of production, the peculiar aesthetic characteristics of the technology, the compatibility with craftsmanship, etc.

After these first 50 pages of reflections and ideas, you get almost 200 pages of pure Gestalten paper entertainment: photos and short texts that highlight the best of what artists, designers, architects, and even experts in prosthetics are 3D creating today.

The boyfriend has been a 3D printing maniac for a couple of year. My involvement with the technology is much more distant but we both really enjoyed reading this book. I particularly appreciated the way the 'case studies' and the introductory texts cleverly balance the down to earth practicalities of 3D printing and the near future scenarios the technology might give rise to.

I'm going to leave you with some of the projects i've (re)discovered in the book:

0_peacedronegsiTk5840.jpg
Axel Brechensbauer, Peace Drone

Axel Brechensbauer 3Dprinted a cheerful-looking UAV that would playing loud 'clown music' and spray 'terrorists' with a cloud of Oxycontin, a pain-relief drug that also induces feelings of euphoria, relaxation and reduced anxiety. I used to think that a weapon could never be more devious than a predator drone....

leo-marius-photo-sbinou3645.jpg
Léo Marius, Open Reflex

The OpenReflex is the first open source 3D printed analog camera with a mirror Viewfinder and a finger activated mechanic shutter. All the pieces can be printed and assembled at home using a RepRap-like ABS 3D-printer.

The DIY instructions are up on Instructables.

0original-improvised-vacuum.jpg
Jesse Howard, Transparent Tools (Improvised Vacuum)

Jesse Howard designed household appliances for a not so distant future that will see people being increasingly involved in making, repairing, and customizing their own products. Each appliance is constructed from 3D-printed and CNC manufactured components based on OpenStructures, standard components, and parts salvaged from discarded appliances.


Amanda Ghassaei, 3D-Printed Record, 2012

0a0iirecord2.jpg
Amanda Ghassaei, 3D-Printed Record, 2012

Amanda Ghassaei created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low, the audio output is still easily recognizable.


David Bowen, Growth Modeling Device

0-DavidBowen-GrowthModelingDevice(9).jpg
David Bowen, Growth Modeling Device (photo)

This Growth Modeling Device scans an onion plant, 3D prints a plastic model of it and then displays it on conveyor belt. The process is repeated every twenty-four hours. The result charts the growth of the plant in little plastic models.

0fSOLIDPSACE86894bca.jpg
Dries & Verstappen, Solid Spaces (Bergkerk), 2013

Dries & Verstappen scanned the interior of buildings with their own developed hardware. The resulting 3-D sculptures are materialized with a 3-D Print.

0lunar92img0.jpg
Foster + Partners, Habitable Lunar Settlement

Foster + Partners looks at how 3D printing might be used to construct lunar habitations, using raw lunar soil as building matter.

0sekuMoiMecy-2-Plummer-Fernandez-4.jpg
Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, sekuMoi Mecy

0-cuckoo-project-stilnest-1.jpg
Stilnest, The Cuckoo Project

Views inside the book:

0printingthings_press_p020-021.jpg

0printingthings_press_p088-089.jpg

0printingthings_press_p056-057.jpg

0printingthings_press_p092-093.jpg

0printingthings_press_p120-121.jpg

0printingthings_press_p162-163.jpg

0printingthings_press_p188-189.jpg

0printingthings_press_p066-067.jpg

0printingthings_press_p070-071.jpg

0printingthings_press_p192-193.jpg

printingthings_press_p192-193.jpg

0printingthings_press_p250-251.jpg


0printingthings_press_p224-225.jpg

Read more »

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 » [116]