New Media

Gilberto Esparza: Cultivos at Laboratorio Arte Alameda

Gilberto Esparza. Plantas autofotosintéticas, 2013-2014; polycarbonate, carbon fiber, stainless steel, silicone, acrylic, electronic circuits, waste water and aquatic ecosystem. Courtesy of Laboratorio Arte Alameda.

Sheltered by darkness, a mysterious octopus-like artifact lies in the nave of the Laboratorio Arte Alameda, a contemporary art museum housed in what was once an ancient convent. Capable of creating light and life by itself, the machine artifact operates by complex mechanisms. Twelve cylinders containing microbial fuel cells are connected to a main Plexiglas tank that houses plants in its interior. Every cylinder carries wastewater from various[…..]

Chen Qiulin: One Hundred Names at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney

Chen Qiulin carves tofu

What’s in a name? In ancient China, surnames represented clans and ancestral lineage, a highly significant aspect of identity and filial obligation. In contemporary parlance, the Chinese phrase “Lao Bai Xing” (literally, “the old hundred names”) translates as “the ordinary people” or “the common folk.” It often refers to the voiceless, those who are most powerless in the face of social forces. For many years, Chen Qiulin[…..]

La Polis Imagi-nada at El Quinto Piso

Liz Misterio. El regreso de Ana Suromal, 2015 (action-art still); action-art and video projection. Courtesy of the artist and El Quinto Piso, Mexico D.F. Photo: Liz Misterio.

What is a city? How can it be conceptualized? How does one create oneself within that geographic and symbolic space? These questions frame the most recent show at El Quinto Piso, La Polis Imagi-nada. The curatorial statement talks about the polis and civic participation in theoretical terms, but the exhibit situates these concepts firmly within the symbolic and geographic realities of Mexico City. El Quinto[…..]

Joel Holmberg: You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Ask Yourself at Atlanta Contemporary

JoelHolmberg_Cleopatras

Joel Holmberg’s newest installation, You’ll Never Know If You Don’t Ask Yourself, expands our understanding of what it means to watch, witness, and experience information through the infinite cyclical stream of live media coverage within the institutional parameters of the art gallery. Currently on view at the Atlanta Contemporary, Holmberg’s display is simple and striking, consisting of six videos that emanate short clips culled from[…..]

Tomás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

Tomás Saraceno, Omega Centauri 1 Nephila Kenianensis 4 Cyrtophora citricola, 2014; Spidersilk, carbon fibre, light, Tripod. Courtesy of the artist and Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin.

The gallery hums with screechy sounds resembling acoustic feedback, punctuated by random bursts of bass and cartoonish sound effects. The soundscape is queasily amorphous and disorienting, built on dissonance and the chaotic rhythms resonating from a handful of arachnids that have woven fine, thick webs around delicate wire frames. Featuring a plethora of spiderweb sound installations, Tomás Saraceno’s latest show Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions is[…..]

Summer Reading – Where Are the Women of Color in New Media Art?

Screenshot from Morehshin Allahyari’s “The 3D Additivist Manifesto” (2015), a collaboration with Daniel Rourke.

Today we continue our Summer Reading series with an article from our friends at Hyperallergic. Author Ben Valentine worked with writer/curator Dorothy Santos to send a questionnaire to women of color (WOC) and queer or trans women of color, and the responses were included in “Where Are the Women of Color in New Media Art?” This article was originally published on April 7, 2015.  Not long ago I wrote[…..]

Disguise: Masks & Global African Art at Seattle Art Museum

Brendan Fernandes. As One, 2015; HD video loop; 22:54 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Museums are constantly devising new platforms to present their permanent collections. Interventions and mining-the-museum have become commonplace curatorial strategies, and institutions frequently turn to contemporary artists to animate, recontextualize, and bring visibility to canonized cultural objects. Disguise: Masks and Global African Art is Seattle Art Museum’s latest attempt to draw connections across temporal, geographic, and cultural lines. Leveraging the museum’s collection of African masks, the[…..]