"It’s 2017 and computer graphics have conquered the Uncanny Valley, that strange place where things are almost real... but not quite. After decades of innovation, we’re at the point where we can conjure just about anything with software. The battle for photoreal CGI has been won, so the question is... what happens now?" (Alan Warburton)
LINK: Alan Warburton
"In 2010, an obsessed gamer designed the perfect game of Sim City that he mysteriously titled “Magnasanti.” Achieved through a repeating pattern of clustered high rises, “Magnasanti” exposes the hellish consequences of top-down civic design. In “Films from Magnasanti,” documentarian John Wilson curates a program of short films inspired by the ethos of this fictional metropolis, culminating in the director’s newest work-in-progress that explores the way “Magnasanti”s philosophy manifests itself in New York City." (John Wilson)
John Wilson's latest documentary was selected for the New York Film Festival 2017 and it was made possible with a generous grant from Rooftop Films. Wilson is a lo-fi documentarian based in Brooklyn. His short films are narrated collages of street life shot on disposable media.
It seems we all now live in a Magnasanti whose governing algorithm is to capture all work and play and turn them not only into commodities but also into data, and to subordinate all praxis to the rule of exchange. Any data that undermines the premise that this can go on and on for 50,000 years, has to be turned into non-data. If there’s work and play to be done, then, it’s inside the gamespace that is now the world. Is there a way that this gamespace could be the material with which to build another one? (McKenzie Wark)
LINK: John Wilson
"Comprising three film installations and new series of photographs, ‘The End of the World’ deals with the artist’s relationship to technology and memory, speculating about Armageddon and a loss of connection to the server.The installation The End of the World (2017) is film work projected onto three screens, enclosing the viewer in a planetarium style view of the solar system. The accompanying audio monologue intertwines examples of end times, examining its differing cultural forms. The narrator touches on macro ideas effecting nations - genocide, climate change and more personal, intimate moments of loss and grief. A section of the film appropriates chat-room text from users of Asheron’s Call, a multi-player online role-playing game, whose servers where recently shut down after 17 years of collective game play. The users gathered to communally experience the end of their world, publicly narrating their emotions.The Archive (2017) is a film made inside the Hans Tasiemka Archive, using 360-degree filming technology. This sprawling resource is run by 94 year old Edda Tasimeka from a 1920’s semi-detached house in Golders Green. Amassed over decades, it's a collection of hundreds of thousands of idiosyncratically catalogued newspaper cuttings forming a web of interconnected stories and information. Masses of cuttings are kept all around the house, from the toilet to her garage, categorised through subjects as diverse as ‘The Family’, ‘Isis’ and the ‘Kardashians’.HD Lifestyle (2016) focuses on the physical nature of the screen, its component elements and the cost of their extraction. Blandy notes the physicality of the Cloud, the ocean floor cables and rare earth minerals extracted at such an environmental cost that the Chinese state has designated specific ‘sacrificial zones’ - concentrated toxic wastelands permitted in order to maintain high levels of production. The material forms of the Internet are countered by the users desire for dematerialisation, to be brought closer to the information, the game, the experience, to reach through the screen and interact directly with content.The exhibition is completed by a new series of photographic works, images woven into a digital collage, finding equivalence between geology and technology, silicon chips and cosmic matter." (Seventeen Gallery)
Marco Mendeni “De Oraculis Novis” [solo show]
October 24 - December 10, 2017
via Vigevano 35, cortile interno, 20123 Milano, Italy
Hours: Monday - Friday 3.30 - 7 pm., Saturday (appointment only).
“r_lightTweakSunlight” project stems from the research within the videogames brought forward by Marco Mendeni in recent years, giving rise to an environmental path entirely realized with CryEngine3 engine, an advanced software to create videogames. The use of a platform for the creation of virtual worlds has allowed him to develop a parallel reality starting from nothing, populating it freely with textures and extravagant Physics laws, in a search which is about space and shape, thanks to computer use.
LINK: Marco Mendeni
LINK: AREA35 GALLERY
Described as a "reflexive mechanism in which the face of the viewer provides the playing surface via live video," That is an early experiment in virtual projection and digital identity by Tony Patrickson made in 1995 for the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. As Patrickson explains, That consists of
A computer game and video installation designed for the 1995 Live Art Week at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. The installation functioned as an interactive environment in which the player of the game (designed specifically for the exhibit) had their face inserted into the playing area via the use of live video in conjunction with a genlock. The resulting combination of imagery was then projected in real-time onto a wall, the audience thus appearing self-consciously within the game they were playing.
Tony Patrickson trained in performance art and sculpture at the University of Ulster and Epsom College of Art & Design. Since 1988 he has exhibited performance and multimedia artwork nationally and internationally; more recently this work is research-led in virtual imaging for film and arts environments. He has lectured in multimedia at GMIT since 1998 and is currently completing a Masters in Film Theory. He teaches at GMIT, in Ireland.
LINK: Tony Patrickson
Mauri Lehtonen, UFO Trouble, HD video, color, sound, 2015, 1'
Mauri Lehtonen (b. 1985) is a Finnish filmmaker and a new media artist. His works is imbued with styles ranging from abstract structuralism to experimental pop mutations. His latest video is titled UFO Trouble, as it was created by corrupting Super Nintendo ROM files before running them with emulator software. He describes it as "Rhythmical exposure to synaesthetic glitch sequences". This work was screened at Experiments In Cinema v11.4 (USA 2016), AnimateCOLOGNE 4 (India 2016) and at the College Art Association Conference (USA 2016).
Mauri Lehtonen, still image from UFO Trouble, HD video, color, sound, 2015.
One of my favorite works from Lehtonen is Haustorium (2013):
Mauri Lehtonen, Haustorium, digital video, 4', 2013
"Violent parasite infection. Video and audio were made by hex editing Atari 2600 ROM files." (Mauri Lehtonen)
Haustorium was screened at International Symposium On Electronic Art (Canada 2015), Lausanne Underground Film & Music Festival (Switzerland 2014), Lumen Outdoor Projections at Beacons Festival (UK 2014), What The Festival (USA 2014).
LINK: Mauri Lehtonen
isthisit? is a platform for contemporary art run and founded by Bob Bicknell-Knight.
You are invited to submit to isthisit?'s third magazine publication, which will be available to view online and in physical limited edition books.
The overriding theme of the issue will be virtual worlds, the excessive violence surrounding video game debate and discussion, particularly in the online sphere, alongside video game aesthetics and ideas. In August of 2014, the now infamous movement dubbed Gamergate was born, the controversial campaign concerned issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture, stemming from a harassment campaign conducted primarily through the use of the hashtag #GamerGate. Within the movement several prominent female figures working within the gaming industry were targeted, particularly game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian.
The third issue of the magazine hopes to consider the constructed worlds that we choose to inhabit, the power of video games as an interactive medium, the heteronormative face of stereotypical video gaming and the aesthetics and ideas associated with machinima based art practices.
You're invited to submit any and all types of work that fit under this loose theme, from videos to physical sculptures, net art to paintings. We are also looking for academic (and not so academic) essays that consider these ideas.
In the future there will be a physical launch event for the third issue of the magazine, most probably in London.
If your work is selected you will receive a free PDF copy of the magazine.
Go to www.curatorspace.com/opportunities/detail/isthisit-magazine-issue--open-call--virtual-worlds-and-excessive-online-violence/1598 to submit through CuratorSpace.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'isthisit? issue 3' in the subject line, including your name, artist statement, art work name, description of artwork and some images/video file/essay.
Visit the Facebook and Instagram for regular updates:
If you have any questions or queries feel free to email email@example.com !
Bob Bicknell-Knight is a London based artist/curator and the founder of isthisit?, working in installation, sculpture, moving image, net art and other digital mediums, with an interest in online and offline surveillance accompanied by the consumer capitalist culture within today’s society are the main issues surrounding my work in association with current and future utopian environments, the continued automation of our daily lives in relation to the internet of things and the various cultures associated with online communities
LINK: Bob Bicknell-Knight
Martin Zefeldt, When You're Dead, You're Dead: Part 2, 2013, Acrylic on Canvas. 55 x 40 inches COPYRIGHT © 2017, MATHEW ZEFELDT.
Painter Martin Zefeldt's (b. 1987 in Clayton, California) combines ancient Greek imagery with video game aesthetics borrowed from first person shooters like Castle Wolfenstein, Doom and Duke Nukem. His style is both explosive and methodical, with the same motifs often repeated obsessively on the same canvas. His retro-nostalgic ludic influences are often juxtaposed to more traditional art themes appropriated from a variety of sources - from popular culture to classical styles, from art history to the vernacular. Some paintings, like Green Screen Shadow Rain (2016), seem to evoke the vibrant and syrupy palettes of Candy Crush. Others create dazzling and dizzying effects, trompe l'oeils 2.0. His 2D reproductions of barrels, doors (like this one from Duke Nukem), mirrors (do you recognize this one?) and pipes remind me of both Aram Bartholl and Damiano Colacito's obsessions. Zefeldt has not simply captured the zeitgeist: he's updating it.
Martin Zefeldt, Desktop, 2016, Soap Factory, Installation View COPYRIGHT © 2017, MATHEW ZEFELDT.
Mathew Zefeldt received his MFA in Studio Art at University of California, Davis in 2011. He previously graduated in Art at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work has been exhibited in several solo and group shows across the United States.
LINK: Martin Zefeldt
Jon Rafman, Dream Journal, 2017, Single Channel Video (excerpt)
Jon Rafman's latest video project is titled Dream Journal (2017). It's a journey into the mind of a deranged man. Expect an overdose of 3D computer-generated erotic fantasies with vernacular horror. Think The Sims Gone Wrong plus Bunuel plus mythology plus hentai.
LINK: Jon Rafman