25 May 2006

Experimental TV Center

With any luck, you won't be hearing from me for a few weeks. I'm headed to Owego, New York, for a residency at the Experimental Television Center. I'm looking forward to experimenting on their awesome equipment, collaborating with the other residents, working on the music video for my summer single, and finishing my music video for a new track by Kid 606. (Details on both of those to come.) While I'm there (on Thursday, June 8, at 7pm), I'll also be giving a lecture on Rhizome.org and new media art, at the Ti-Ahwaga Performing Arts Center. It should be total summer fun!

14 May 2006

Check out my Mandelbrot Set!

Hello. There are long & short versions of this story.

The short one: In a funny double use of the word "set," I posted a photo set of Mandelbrot Sets on Flickr. Haha. They are really pretty!

The longer one: Lately I've been somewhat obsessed with a number of math & physics questions. I guess, as a humanities gal, these things mystify me. But I'm also interested in overlapping vocabularies and concepts--i.e. radio astronomy meets the radio countdown, etc... More recently, I've been thinking about the idea of chaos. It's an important concept, in math & physics, but also in the social realm. (Obviously these realms aren't mutually exclusive!) I'm basically researching the positive outcomes & aesthetics of chaos. This is part of my larger project on Disorder, in which I'm currently writing about the relationship between social disorder (as a form of protest) and disorder in a work of art (ie remixing, hacktivism, etc).

See, I told you it was a long story.... Anyway, this has all led me to the Mandelbrot set. The images in my photo set are visualizations of the scenario most simply describe here (the earlier link has more math details @ wikipedia):

The Mandelbrot set, named after Benoit Mandelbrot, is a fractal. Fractals are objects that display self-similarity at various scales. Magnifying a fractal reveals small-scale details similar to the large-scale characteristics. Although the Mandelbrot set is self-similar at magnified scales, the small scale details are not identical to the whole. In fact, the Mandelbrot set is infinitely complex. Yet the process of generating it is based on an extremely simple equation involving complex numbers.

Mandelbrot visualizations are all, naturally, quite similar, and yet can be totally diverse--though they are almost always beautiful. There is also a whole culture of nerds like me for whom fractals & computers go hand-in-hand. Computers allow us to visualize these things in new way, and share them with friends. In fact, check out this funny Friendster-inspired Fracster site, in which people identify themselves in relation to their favorite parts of Mandelbrot set!!

Anyway, as I've mentioned before, I also have a bit of a drag & drop problem, so posting 272 of my favorite Mandelbrot images online allows me to share them with you (returning them to their natural homes online), while purging them from my computer. Enjoy! By default, or for good measure (haha-math joke!) there are also a few Julia's in there, too... Oh, and if you do some secret Flickr hacking, you'll find that some of these are really amazing animated gifs!

13 May 2006

Yes Men in Aspect Issue 7

I just received Issue 7 of Aspect, the biannual DVD 'magazine' that covers new media art. It's a really brilliant publication model in which each issue offers video documentation of artists projects and optional audio commentary. I've frequently used Aspect in the classroom, as it's a great way to give a real impression of the experience of a work, and watching videos without and then with commentary is a nice way for students to compare their interpretations with others.' Both the artists and commentators, in each issue, are always great and there tends to be a nice balance between emerging & established artists. Each issue is thematic and previous themes include West Coast artists, humor, and site-specificity. I've previously recorded commentary on Anthony Discenza, Jim Campbell, MTAA, and Lee Walton.

The newest issue is on Personas & Personalities and I recorded audio commentary on The Yes Men. I focused specifically on their Dow-related projects, but I'm a big fan of their work in general. (Check out their most recent Haliburton project!) The whole issue is very impressive and engaging. In all honesty, whereas I was once quite interested in 'identity art' and self-portraiture, I now tend to feel like much of it is caught up in a tired, self-perpetuating academic cycle. (This is why the fuss over JT Leroy's 'real identity' bored me to tears.) But I think this issue of Aspect shows the diversity of the genre and presents some very strong pieces by folks like Lynn Hershman, Anthony Goicolea, Kristin Lucas, Christian Jankowski, Adrianne Wortzel, and others. Anyway, check out Aspect!

04 May 2006

Universal Acid drops in Berlin, Vienna, London, Spain, SF

Yes, Universal Acid is hitting the road. Here are some details on screenings of the videos. (All but the Free103Point9 events are tours of How the West May Save Us Yet, which was curated by Nick Hallett and started at the NY Underground Film Festival.)

Tomorrow (5/5) it will be at Twisted Robot (Berlin) with music by The Skaters.

From May 5-7, Free103Point9 will be at the Observatori Festival, in Valencia, Spain, and they will be presenting Universal Acid along with other work from their previous residents and other artists in the Surge exhibition with Rhizome. More details here.

On the 6th & 7th of May, we will be at Vienna's Schikaneder, as part of the Destroy America festival of "Music Videos From the Art Rock Resistance." There's a German article about this particular screening in Skug - Journal für Musik and I think there's an English option, somewhere.

On 5/9 we're at Barden's Boudoir (London), with the totally amazing BARR and The Sticks. More.

On 5/13 With ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES, we're on a UK TV program(me!) curated by the YYY's. Cool! We love TV!

Then we bring it home at San Francisco's Mission Creek Music Fest, where Artists Television Access will screen our stuff, on 5/21.