———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————Digital Analogy /// Analogía Digital
Pioneers of New media /// Pioneros del New media
Exhibition and media encounter
From 8th to the 28th of February 2014
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Bogotá
Curated by: John Angel Rodriguez
Gustavo Ortiz// MAC Director
Andres Burbano//Coordinator Academic Forum
Universidad de Los Andes and Planetario de Bogotá
Ximena Diaz // Creative Workshop leader
Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano Bogotá
Carmen Herrera and Anne Bechstedt //Coordinador Programación Cultural – Goethe-Institut Kolumbien
Jose Ignacio Roca and Pamela Desjardins// FLORA ars+natura
Rory Blain // Sedition
Vicente Matallana// LaAgencia
Set up: Sebastian Caceres, Carlos Rojas y Cristian Tovar
P.R : Carlos Alberto Ramirez
Digital Analogy is an exhibition that addresses the computer code from an artistic approach. The artists who are taking part in this exhibition have pioneered a number of processes and innovations that we regularly use to communicate, research and share our concerns. Their ideas also have influenced the creation of the interactive interfaces that nowadays are crucial components for our performance.
Given the fact that at the time this group of creators came up with these kind of electronic artworks, what we recognise as digital art did not exist. Approximately four decades ago we had the ideas and philosophical frameworks to develop the complex platforms that we have integrated within the diverse range of social networks, but it was thanks to the contributions of these artists to the art community, that their concepts and explorations became the constituent bases of what nowadays is understood as New Media Art.
This exhibition explores different discourses such as the artistic, social and computer science to understand the evolution of New Media Art. Looking at these approaches will help us to comprehend some of the philosophical and technological additions, which were brought to the field of art, and subsequently this methodology will enable us to seize the intentional origins of these concepts. For instance thanks to the revolutionary and innovative thinking of pioneers like British Professor Roy Ascot whose theories about “Telematics”, it made possible the foundation of such important developments as mobile communication. Also artists like Casey Reas co-creator of Processing that is a programming language, development environment, and online community. Therefore scrutinizing closely these terms trough site specific installations will enable viewers to get familiarise with the origins of some of the intuitive devices that surround us nowadays.
This exhibition is characterized by the incorporation of video installations, mapping projections and site-specific interventions; this exhibition layout seeks to rethink concepts such as “progress and development”. For this reason this exhibition examines some specific artworks of electronic arts, in the same way as this group of creations will illustrate a fragment of the history of electronic and digital arts, and this initiative will provide Bogotá’s audience the outstanding works of the pioneers of New Media, a term that in turn is mediated by the flow of information and its subsequent computer hybridization.
Digital Analogy is an exhibition that will allow us to examine closely the formal structures of these works and also aims to generate dialogue concerning the researches that these theories have arisen. In this exhibition the innovation comes from philosophical interpretations of technology and programming codes are seeing as poetical resources rather than being seen only as a practical tools; which in the contemporary world are part of the most advanced forms to distribute knowledge. Working and interacting with other communities has become one of the most important channels to generate knowledge transfer, thus inviting artist who have been working on the foundational bases of these subjects it might allow us to appreciate the backend of New Media Art.
Roy Ascott (UK)
Jorn Ebner (Germany)
Michael Kargl (Austria)
David Peña ///// (CO)
Alberto Lezaca ///// (CO)
Carlos Franklin ///// (CO)
Roque Rivas ///// (CH)
Jake & Dinos Chapman (UK)
Mat Collishaw (UK)
Damien Hirst (UK)
Doug Foster (UK)
Jenny Holzer (USA)
Ryoji Ikeda (JP)
Aaron Koblin (USA)
Tim Noble & Sue Webster (UK)
Angelo Plessas (IT)
Matt Pyke (UK)
Bill Viola (USA)
Casey Reas (USA)
Memo Akten (TK)
For the last 50 years Roy Ascott has been envisaging a mediated form of art governed by exchange and interaction. He sees technology as a tool for other activities that explore consciousness and the ‘spirituality’ of connectivity. His creative use of telecommunication networks pre-empted technological changes in art and society. In 1983, years before the rise of Internet, Ascott presented ‘La Plissure du Texte (A Planetary Fairy Tale)’, seminal international text collaboration between artists- the exhibition includes an updated version, set in Second Life. In 1986, alongside Don Foresta and Tom Sherman, Ascott first brought network technology to the Venice Biennale with artists from 3 continents interacting through computer networks, videotex, slowscan TV and fax. Ascott has always been ahead of his time, and at this point of crisis in art education, widespread changes in the arts sector and our contemporary mobile culture, his work appears more sentient than ever and demands closer attention.
Every day we have to make decisions. These are decisions between affirmation and negation, between yes and no, between 1 and 0. The path is a long one that finally leads a translation of a text to its new destination. There it becomes obvious that every linguistic entity and every specific category undergoes a change in meaning regarding the interpretation within the new context and the renewed reception. The performance on translation (2008/09) visualizes the multilayered processes of translation as a field of action oscillating between word-by-word translation and the freedom of interpretation, between mere transcription and contextual expansion. During the performance a computer program was written that translates a passage from Walter Benjamin’s text “The task of a translator” from ASCII-code to binary code, just to retranslate it subsequently. The transcription from one sign system to the other, however, from one language to another is interrupted by means of a built in randomness. Randomness, the free will and interpretation are part of the process of translation and by this directly coupled to the person of the translator. Above that, the video-documentation shows a reflexion on translation – and becomes by this a translation itself.
A selection of 10 electronic drawings for artist book with two essays commissioned by Dr. Ian Thompson and Dr. Ralf Adelmann about the structure of the landscape, Jorn Internet-escapes explores the possibilities of media design, interpretation of the line, the point and the plane in the context of digital arts, where these elements are configured from the pixel work’s resolution and how this can be set from the number of pixels per inch to the conceptual dimensions versus procedure in respect of the drawing.
Casey Reas’ 10 minutes digital video-piece 100% Gray Coverage, exclusively available on Sedition, was derived from Reas’ work Signal to Noise. The latter is a so-called collage engine, a programme that uses terrestrial television signals as raw material and transcribes them into visual footage. Reas: “Like early twentieth-century collages built from the media of that time, and (comparable to) mid 20th century video collage, Signal to Noisefractures and distorts contemporary information into new data structure”.
For 100% Gray Coverage, Reas developed a newer more evolved collage engine to create imagery: the video is completely abstract and moves at a rapid pace. However, rudiments of what remind the viewer of television images appear occasionally, and the speed with which animation and colour sequences change recalls quick channel surfing. 100% Gray Coverage visually combines a familiar aesthetic of the modern age – television and the disruption or flicker of distorted signals or channels changed at high speeds – and contemporary computer generated animation.
Casey Reas created 100% Gray Coverage in conjunction with Infinite Command Team, both 10 minutes in length and interlinked, utilising the same collage engine.
–Carlos Franklin—&– Roque Rivas–
Through the study of Rem Koolhaas’s and other architectural theoretician’s texts, as well as other records, and after having made referential researches in music and files, a musician and an artist have been able to develop a shape-shifting play.
Their complementary contributions, in words of media and personal universes, enabled to elaborate an audiovisual performance, which mingles electro-acoustic music, video, architecture, and voice. These items rebuild the mixing, the coincidence, the variety and the accumulation one can find in New York City. The spectator wanders through a city – already imaginary – thanks to a ringing spatialization, a witness to depth and traveling, as well as a visual editing upon two screens where verticality asserts itself and, from time to time, anamorphosis oppose itself.
–Alberto Lezaca de Paz–
The installation that Alberto is displaying at the exhibition space will be operated through the usage of video projections, pictorial and sculptural objects this aims to disarticulate the architectural environment. To develop this work, he takes as a starting point the formal aspects of geometric sculpture. Alberto is presenting a set of micro models, large format paintings, and video projections, all this with the objective of breaking the space normalization while contradicting what we are accustomed to seeing.
The result is a work that proposes to itself- a perception path for escape- providing to the viewer unusual references whereas making formal and spatial codes a new form to explore the tradition of the artistic abstraction.
David has converted each frame of the film through the usage of a program that reduces the average color of each frame, subsequently this conversion will be projected onto the walls of an empty room through a set of colored lights similar to those used in shows (DMX controllable RGB floods protocol).
These lights have the ability to play millions of different colors and vary at a rate of average color sufficient to project all and each of the frames of the film, keeping its sync with the original sound, which is emitted from an amplifier.
This reduction process subtracts much of the content while the energy dimension is preserved (what is going to be reproduced in the room, is the effect that causes the distance similar to the effect occasioned while seeing through a windows room where someone is watching TV).
–JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN–
The brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman have been making art together since 1991 and have been called the enfants terribles of the YBA movement (Young British Artists). Their works can depict acts of cruelty or even apocalyptic scenes, but these are often accompanied by an element of humorous wit. Andy Warhol derives from the 1990s video art piece Sacrificial Mutilation and Death in Modern Art, where different artists are portrayed as cartoon-like characters who meet a sticky, deadly end. Here, Pop artist Andy Warhol surveys an orgy-like hubbub of activity in his famous studio, The Factory, only then to be confronted with the gun of Valerie Solanas, who actually shot the artist in 1968, seriously wounding and scaring him. This work is part of a series entitled Sacrificial Mutilation and Death in Modern Art.
Mat Collishaw’s body of work explores suppressed desire, seduction and dark pleasure. With this exclusive new-media artwork, The End of Innocence, the artist presents a ghostly image that has been digitally manipulated. Upon a closer look, it oscillates between two appropriated portraits of Pope Innocent X—one painted by the Irish twentieth-century artist Francis Bacon, and the other by the Spanish seventeenth-century artist Diego Velázquez.
The work was first created in 2009, where it was projected on a monumental scale. Here, it continually dissolves and reforms to create a smaller-scale striated image that is reminiscent of digital rain.
Damien Hirst has often shocked the public using maggots, bisected sheep and a bleeding cow’s head as artistic materials. The artist explores existential topics including the subject of death and its representation. His work For The Love of God was a platinum cast of an actual human skull, which used real teeth and was encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. A lifeless object took on a ghostlike presence of its own.
For Heaven’s Sake similarly casts a baby’s skull in platinum and is adorned with pink and white diamonds. Each tiny diamond glistens and glints in the light as the artwork slowly rotates before our eyes. Working directly with the artist.
Doug Foster’s cyclical work Veil of Light features a woman with a transfixed gaze and an impossibly symmetrical face. The woman’s head and shoulders seem to be illuminated by gentle, liquid patterns of projected light that continually modify her appearance and mask her true identity. On further viewing, her entire physiognomy seems to alter under the influence of this ostensibly benign external force.
According to Foster, the languid, rhythmic undulations of light that wash over the motionless figure are designed to have a soothing effect on the viewer. The intention being that a few minutes restful contemplation of the piece will slow the heart and calm the mind.
Jenny Holzer’s One-Liner (2012) is a 25-minute digital artwork created exclusively for Sedition. A selection of 20 phrases from Holzer’s series Truisms (1977-1979) plays across the screen in a loop, approximating the appearance of the LED displays that have long been associated with Holzer’s work.
Holzer’s interest in the LED medium resulted from her awareness of the power of mass media and a subsequent desire to ask how this mode of communication affects perception, knowledge and truth. The Truisms series is comprised of over 250 single-sentence declarations, which Holzer wrote to resemble existing maxims or clichés.
Privileging no single viewpoint, the Truisms examine the social construction of beliefs and mores. The Truisms first were shown on anonymous street posters that were pasted throughout downtown Manhattan and have since appeared on t-shirts, hats, electronic signs, stone floors and benches.
The Truisms are deliberately challenging and often contradictory. Holzer has expressed a desire for the texts to “sharpen people’s awareness of the usual baloney they are fed.”
ACTION CAUSES MORE TROUBLE THAN THOUGHT, CHILDREN ARE THE HOPE OF THE FUTURE, A LOT OF PROFESSIONALS ARE CRACKPOTS, MONEY CREATES TASTE, and ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE are only some of the dicta that Holzer decided to include in this exclusive piece.
Ryoji Ikeda’s work is a complex and fascinating audio-visual representation of a single number; a number so large it has 124,761,600 digits. In mathematical terms, this number is fairly small considering the endless possibilities between naught and infinity. If visualized in single digits, 124,761,600 is unimaginably large. However, a number that needs this many digits to describe it is utterly beyond human comprehension! With A Single Number That Has 124,761,600 Digits, Ryoji Ikeda brings all 124,761,600 digits before our eyes. In doing so he demonstrates a simple mathematical fact: that – due to their computational complexity – it is impossible to verify whether this number of digits are randomly placed, or following a pattern.
The whole 124,761,600 digits – in what appears a random blur of static – run in front of our eyes over the screen. The animation is accompanied by a high-pitched varying sound that represents the frequency of the actual number the viewer is witnessing. At times, the sequence comes to a halt and pauses – and only then is it possible to recognize the many small digits covering the screen. One may not find any meaning of certain large numbers, which are in fact the majority of numbers. However, A Single Number That Has 124,761,600 Digits most likely is the first time – since the beginning of time – that this seemingly meaningless number is represented visually in its digital entirety, for someone to witness.
Aaron Koblin uses data to tell amazing visual stories that reflect on life and technology. Flight Patterns is a visualization of airplane traffic over North America during a 24-hour period. As the video progresses one can see the ebb and flow of air traffic, red eyes coming from California, the East Coast waking up, and the arrival of European flights into the Tri-State area. The different colors are coded to the 573 different types of airplanes that traveled through North America, totaling over 205,000 flights, on this day in August 2010. Koblin’s use of aggregated data to reflect on life and our systems is not only visually spectacular but also a reflection on the relationship between humans and technology. Working directly with the artist, Sedition brings you this exclusive limited edition.
–Tim Noble and Sue Webster–
With Electric Fountain, Tim Noble and Sue Webster present their hybrid reinterpretation of the gushing Renaissance fountains in Rome and the modern day fountains in front of iconic Las Vegas hotels such as the Bellagio. The work is both minimal and over-the-top.
This 35-foot tall sculpture is constructed using neon tubing, steel and 3,390 LED light bulbs, which electrically pulse to create a spectacular tiered-cascading fountain. The monumental sculpture was originally installed at the Rockefeller Plaza in February 2008, creating an electrically pulsating centerpiece.
Electric Fountain exhibits a striking symmetry and an elegant minimalism, and this pop fountain immerses the viewer within its hypnotic and luminous glow. Working directly with the artists, Sedition carefully recreates the effects of the original sculpture in a new digital format.
Angelo Plessas believes that the portrait as an art form is at a high point in history. He remarks: “Spending so much time on Facebook, Twitter or any dating sites we literally live in front of our screens and we elaborate different personas or alter egos. People are so creative with their self-image nowadays, (and) I am very interested in this mindset (of presenting) identity and self inside a browser window.”
Plessas’ aesthetic recalls early-digitalised computer worlds – no matter whether of the gaming world or simple RGB pixel spectrums or heavily references the early 80s and 90s imagery. Plessis: “I think our screens are our new mirrors and this is intriguing.” One has to ask whether Portrait 4 is the counter image of a contemporary digitalised reality, or the reality of a hyper-real creation with almost no visual limitation but the picture frame.
Transfiguration, 2011, was created by Matt Pyke together with Realise Studio for the reopening of the prestigious digital art gallery La Gaite Lyrique, Paris. A bulky human figure walks at a brisk equalized speed at the center of the screen and transforms in a cycle of progressively transient and surprising materials. We watch how flames grow into metal structures that transform into the rock-like matter, out of which icy crystals spring. After numerous further transformations, the walking giant takes on liquid qualities, then becomes gas, and, in turn, transforms into a perfectly depicted fury figure out of innumerable strands of multi-colored hair; and so on.
All this time, the figure’s journey across the black screen is accompanied by sound that correlates to what the viewer sees. Simultaneously, the audio is descriptive of the material of transformation itself. The figure finally dissolves into what appears to be stardust or simply light – underwritten by a high-pitched sparkly bell-like sound – and re-accumulates into flames that re-start the cycle.
On his website, Pyke describes Transfiguration as: “an anthropomorphic giant (that) endlessly evolves between primitive and advanced materials”. Both “transfiguration” and “evolve” are positive words that signify a development towards and into something: a progression. In this sense, Transfiguration can be seen as a work referencing the evolution of life and humanity itself, crossing from the simple elements over into a digital hyper-real age.
For over 40 years Bill Viola has created architectural video installations, video films, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast, as well as music concerts, opera, and sacred spaces. A Phrase from “Chris” is part of his Transfigurations series that includes the installation Ocean Without a Shore (2007) created for the 52nd Venice Biennale.
“Transfiguration refers to a rare process whereby both the substance and essence of an entity is reconfigured. In physical terms, a transfiguration is a change in form, a remodeling of appearance. The word derives from the ancient Greek ‘metemorphothe’ or ‘metamorphosis,’ suggesting a complete reformation. However, the word takes on its fullest meaning in the spiritual context when it refers to the moment when a person or an object is transformed not by external means but from within. The resulting change is absolute and thorough, affecting the heart and soul of the subject. Although the outward appearance can sometimes be altered in this process as well, it is not necessary. A deeper, more profound, complete transformation occurs inside, out of sight and, for a person it reformulates the very fiber of their being, finally radiating outward to affect everything around it.”
AES+F’s unique aesthetic is famous for its hypnotic appeal, classical beauty, multilayered narrative, and alienation. This project for Sedition, Reincarnation, was created in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine and completes the Russian artist collective’s The Liminal Space Trilogy about the modern world: heaven, purgatory, and hell.
The work is based on Giovanni Bellini’s Allegoria Sacra depicting purgatory: unchristened children, figures of the Old and New Testament and ancient mythology meet in a modern international airport where grounded passengers are suspended between time and place. AES+F reinterpret the painting by transporting the characters into a hyper-real future where they combat with recognizable themes of the modern world.
Reincarnation is an extract from the complete film, Allegoria Sacra. The work’s overarching themes include obsession with beauty, youth, luxury, and society’s avoidance of moral and ethic responsibility all unfolding in a stunning, yet grotesque dance to baroque choral music.
Memo Akten’s Simple Harmonic Motion works are part of an ongoing research series investigating complexity through simplicity: to explore the nature of complex patterns created from the interaction of simple multilayered rhythms. Custom software creates a number of ‘agents’ who are assigned a simple behavior – a repetitive pattern of movement and sound. On its own, each agent is monotonous and mechanical. However, in combination with other agents, the interaction of the various parts creates an encompassing audiovisual experience. Akten drew inspiration for the project when exploring the motion of pendulums and other fundamental oscillatory phenomena that exhibit simple harmonic motion. In addition, drew on the works of Norman Mclaren, John Whitney, Steve Reich, John Cage, Gyorgi Ligeti, Edgar Varese and Brian Eno.
Simple Harmonic Motion continually evolves and takes shape in various media, ranging from video to sound installation. The digital output has been created exclusively for Sedition. Akten: “By abstracting, emphasizing and amplifying the beautiful complex patterns created from the interaction of simple harmonic motion at different frequencies, the project aims to share the enthusiasm, excitement, and fascination I personally feel from such observations. (I) Ultimately hope to encourage and inspire others to look at the world around them in more detail, with a more interrogatory approach; most importantly learning to find fascination in what they normally would not even have looked at.”
Sedition is the world’s leading online platform where artists display and sell their art in digital format for connected screens and devices. Sedition offers everyone an easy, enjoyable and social way to experience art collecting at affordable prices. The company was founded by Harry Blain, the owner of Blain|Southern. The mission of Sedition is to change the art world by making art affordable and universally accessible.
Roy Ascot– Saturday the 8th of February from 7pm to 8pm