That’s a match between art and technology, of course!
The 01 Biennial is just around the corner and I have been perusing their site and flagging my favorite can’t-miss-it installations. The “Build Your Own World” concept is a refreshing theme for the fair – people will come prepared for outrageous utopias; and if not utopias, then maybe some innovative solutions for the multitude of climatic/political/social/economic catastrophes in which we now find ourselves sinking And frankly, where better to release some creative vision on the world than in Silicon Valley? This is probably the one place in the US right now that is still capable of throwing good money after good ideas (and hopefully products!).
Soooooo far, my list looks like this:
Xu Zhen, 8848-1.86 (2005) – this sounds familiar to me (maybe I saw this at the Venice Biennale in 2005???), but I still love the work. A grainy footage video of a team of “mountaineers” who apparently lob off the top of a “Mount Everest” peak. In “reality”, they stage the event on top of a Shanghai gallery. But given the fact that our “realities” are (in the US, as well as in China) shaped by subjective reporting, delusional politicians, and scripted tv which calls itself “reality”, the “real” is turning out to be any event plausibly ( or even implausibly) constructed that fits into a primetime slot. Mount Everest? Sure, I’ll buy it!
Then there is Air, an audio-visual app for the IPhone and IPod Touch (no IPad????) by Peter Chilvers and volcalist Sandra O’Neill. Without downloading the app (I don’t have an IPhone or a Touch), I cannot give a first-hand description of this, but I like the sounds of an aesthetic and audio track interacting with each other, constantly changing, and responding to cues from each other. They have also worked on the apps called Trope, which again marries soundscapes with visual forms, and Bloom, which enables viewer participation in both the visual and audio components of the composition.
And my final pic of the day is Exquisite Corpse/Lavish Martyr by Ali Momeni and MAW. This looks like it will be complicated to run, but will be uplifting if it works. Two groups of artists – one in Iran, one in San Jose, will collaborate in the drawing of a single composition. But this will be in the “Exquisite Corpse” model – which means that they will all work within the theme (the work of martyrdom in Iran), but they will not know what each other’s work looks like until the end. The drawings will be projected in real time in an outdoor setting by a “custom mobile broadcast unit” which has its own acronym, so it must be important.
I am encouraged by the simple idea that while our governments throw empty promises and threats at each other with the most skeletal of communications strategies, artists from both countries can actually collaborate and accomplish something of value on the basis of pure faith; without full knowledge of what the other “side” is producing, but with absolute trust that it will all work out in the end. It’s designed to make you think, and that is what good art is supposed to do.