Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Experiment in 'the Making'

I was really excited last week when our chairperson, Joel Slayton, said he was interested in doing mini-make sessions in our Seminar class. The seminar class is revolving around collaboration already and I had suggested some in class session to make gear led by myself. I am a huge fan of the DIY culture of the Bay Area (check out Make magazine) I can't wait to learn.

Jessica and I want to build some pringles-can-antennas to improve our range for wifi. I also had these ideas for classes I am proposing no particular order):
brewing your own cider,
archery (it is a scary idea but I have seen it done inside),
how to be a flaneur on SecondLife,
how to build a simple object on SL,
bluescreen technique
more to come, I am sure...

Here's a head shot of my avatar from our gallery on SL.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Youngblood's Expanded Cinema available at UBU

I was pleased to find out that this seminal (and out-of-print!) work by Gene Youngblood is now available from the site UBUWeb, an electronic repository for works of art and theory and as they describe it, "all forms of the avant-garde and beyond." Here is the direct link to the page holding the Expanded Cinema pdf. Don't miss the huge archive of sound and moving image from artists and theorists like Paik, Debord, Duchamp, and Ono!
Digital Amnesia

A LA Times article from September 13, Unable to Repeat the Past discusses the yet futile attempts to keep up with the creation of digital documents as a truly archivable material. Is this age doomed to the same fate of tragedy that befell the great Library of Alexandria? Here is an archive copy of the article as PDF in the case it is not available anymore...


Thursday, September 14, 2006

THE CIA????????? is recruiting on Mythbusters??????

OK so I am really bad at doing homework, especially after a night of frosty malted beverages with my art school cohort but, that is a story for another post.

While collecting images for my presentation on the yBa I had a television on in the background. Suddenly my subconscious was aware of a incongruous advertising message from the commercial break, was that really a recruitment advert for the CIA??? Was that really a hip, trendy, ANIMATED ad for the CIA!!??!?!?! yes it was... :O

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

language, priviledge, and sillyness
??a historiography song??

I was fortunate a few weeks ago to catch a CBC Radio One program called and sometimes y... (unfortunately it is not on the CBC site any more). The theme of the series was language and this program so it immediately caught my attention. This episode specifically because it dealt with the languages of specialists.

Being a generalist who is deeply involved with specialty fields, this is often a conflict I run into especially in my study of theory! It made me smile that the three specialty fields the highlighted were auto mechanics, art critics, and cultural theorists.

Of particular resonance (and humor), a fellow on the show, The Word Nerd, composed The Historian Song, a dulcet romp through the taxonomies of the specialists who study other specialists. He has cheerfully agreed to let me post his song via my site here, please enjoy.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ars Virtua Exhibition 'Honesty' Opens

Tonight was the opening of the latest exhibition at Ars Virtua. The exhibition, honesty is our policy, is curated from the turbulence.org archive by Amy Wilson, James Morgan, and Jay Van Buren. The Ars V. Gallery was a buzz as participant from around the country logged on the SecondLife metaverse.

The show included three projects originally commissioned by Turbulence: Urbandale by Cory Arcangel, Heritage by Nicolas Clauss and Jean-Jacques Birgé, and Stop Motion Studies by David Crawford.

Direct and poignant, the work of Crawford rings true in his stop-motion anthropology of Tokyo commuters on one morning. The work is a realization that the world around us is much more poetic in our everyday travails than we ever tend to believe.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

WOW the new semester begins with a bang as usual. Now my third semester and now for the third time two-thirds of my classes get dropped. Then at the last moment the chairperson of my department asks me to teach an Intro to Digital Video class. And they will pay me.

This graduate school life is so weird.

If you want to monitor the progress of our students please see here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Where is kid N?

While researching a project I was Joi-fully reminded of networking entrepreneur Joi Ito's website and blog.

Looking around, I found an intriguing link that simply read: "Where is Joi?". The service and application I found is called plazer and plazes.com. Joi Ito's plazes.com account told me the location of Joi's travels. His current location or perhaps where he was last seen. Intrigued by the idea and thankful that I can give my poor grad-school widow some more information on where to reach me, I signed up and enabled plazes on my laptop and then embedded the plazes badge into my website and the links bar on this blog (see to the left).

With plazer/plazes.com you can publish your geo-location through the internet node to which your machine or web-enabled device is connected. Now this kind of self actuated surveillance might seem a bit Orwellian to some of you but, I think it is a very intriguing social networking site/idea.

First, (for all of you conspiratists) I can choose to run the app or not allowing me anonymity to the public. I figure any law agency can do this with or without this app on my laptop. Second, the user chooses to publish his whereabouts, the app requires you to put in the data for location. If someone has done this you can choose the first option for your invisibility. The last lines of privacy include options for setting privileged on who can see you or if you are public.

checkout where the hell kid neutrino is today by going to my website or here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pessimism the New Black

Adam Cohen's editorial piece about the cultural ramifications of continued poor predictions, broken promises, faulty calculations, and just maybe outright lies such as "mission accomplished" and "the last throes" really struck me. See: "What is the Latest Thing to Be Discouraged About? The Rise of Pessimism", New York Times, 28 August 2006.

I have to admit that I am one of those mislead from the beginning of this military "quagmire" (I wonder why the newsmedia hasn't bandied that word in many months??); I tried to give the administration some benefit of doubt. I still experience abject horror when I think of what Hussein did to the Kurdish villages when Bush Sr. declared pseudo-victory in Gulf I. And maybe it was empathy for the Kurds (the white guilt of my generation?) that lead me to swallow the bait of 'Intelligence' the king-makers cast at us. How could they possibly create a credible-false story in the post-Nixon utopia of countless investigative and independent sources? Now I just shake my head and let this be my personal apology to those I called extremists as this was unfolding.

Mr. Cohen hits the nail on the head. The lies don't seem to motivate the members of our society. Instead our legions of pessimists such as me know they are being lied to and know the alternatives suck too. These guys make Dick look like an amateur.

Friday, August 11, 2006

David Kelley Lecture

I had the great fortune of seeing David Kelley speak last night at the Silicon Valley Commonwealth Club in conjunction with ISEA06/ZeroOne. I listen to lectures from this group all the time on the radio. It was a pleasure to attend the lecture and I think I will try to attend more in the future.

See the short article I wrote on this compelling lecture on Design Thinking here on the Switch Magazine Blog coverage of ISEA06/ZeroOne.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Switch Blog: the Festival and Symposium

be sure to check out the Switch Magazine blog as we report the happenin's at ISEA06 and the ZeroOne Festival. link

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Rapporteur ISEA 2006
rap-por-teur |ˌraˌpôrˈtər| noun a person appointed by an organization to report on the proceedings of its meetings : the UN rapporteur. ORIGIN late 18th cent.: French, from rapporter ‘bring back.’orteur |ˌraˌpôrˈtər| noun a person appointed by an organization to report on the proceedings of its meetings : the UN rapporteur. ORIGIN late 18th cent.: French, from rapporter ‘bring back.’

I have volunteered to assist Edward Shanken as an Assistant Designer/Rapporteur for the ISEA06 symposiums wiki. This wiki will be a record of the symposium content and commentary. Think of it as real-time reporting and ultimately a document of ISEA06. Find the wiki here and make commentary, ask questions, and report on the symposium.

Edward Shanken is Professor of Art History and Media Theory at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is known for his advocacy of collaborations and syntheses of AST (art, science, and technology). Shanken has also become a proponent in the expanding in move for alternative approach to trans-discplinary graduate eduation. See a lecture Eddie gave on these subjects at UCLA December 2005 here.

My cohort also assisting the rapporteuring, is Christopher Baker. Chris a graduate art student from the University of Minnesota. His research log is here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A new day and it has been very long time since I visited this diaristic tool. I want to introduce a new project idea I have been kicking around for a few months.
3g Art

This coming August ISEA 2006 will be in San Jose, CA which is very convenient for me being that most of my time is being spent in the South Bay. I had proposed the Oculus Project for ISEA but, I found fundraising extremely difficult as I researched last Dec and January. Additionally the Oculus was not accepted to the festival and I think it would be hard to sneak in ; )
I have decided to shelve the idea for a later date.

I became very interested in mobile technologies after attending a lecture by Dr. Genevieve Bell. Dr. Bell researches ethnographic impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the Intel corporation. I learned about the ways mobile technologies around the world are used as the primary communication platform (in lieu of PC's). The mobile phone has emerged as an explosively rich instrument of culture because of the portability, infrastructures, and innovative use by the rest of the world. Please read my summary of her lecture Mobile Messaging in the Pacific Rim in SWITCH Magazine Issue 22.

Quite simply the majority of users on this 'connected' planet are using their mobile devices to communicate and participate. The United States' econonmic priviledge has driven the PC platform to thrive here; distancing the US culture from the international community once again(it appears to this commentator). The implications of this distancing alongside the current conservative political climate are suggestive to isolationistic or nationalistic histories best left to their historical placement.

My project involves distribution of digital art on the 3g platform alone. The stills or time based works are made to be seen, loaded, and shared on the personal devices that populate the majority of the world. The work is not to be consumed on the PC, projected on walls, or any other output. It is specifically aligned to be distributable on 3g devices as a new independent craft; it is a techne for and of 3g technology.

Questions and conflicts to confront:

1. Is the purity of the medium pivotal? Should I allow this project to be ephemeral or do I create an archive to capture and save the work to be exhibited after the festival. Is the "archive" an acceptable tool in this conceptual stance?

2. Is the work made, edited, and distributed by 3g devices alone? Can I make digital work and translate it to the project?

How to do it?
1. Set up a server to receive requests and distribute materials.

1a. Specifically made for sites of the festival. Users will find CLUE and will SMS to the address they will receive work that is site specific.

1b. Users SMS the database gumball machine and a protocol distributes an artwork per request. Users will not know what artwork they are getting until they open the reply much like a gumball machine.

2. Compile subscription. Collect addresses from festival goers and provide daily(hourly?!) work through the duration of the festival.

Variable: Despite which distribution model I choose: Do I allow festival goers to make work and upload it to the database?

Friday, April 21, 2006


My laptop has gone on the fritz. I spent enumerable hours commuting to and from and at the Apple Store yesterday. This of course is amazingly shit because I am finishing the script for the Real show. uggg. The show opens in less than a week and I skipped Dore's class yet again because of this damned project.

I bought a removable harddrive and mirrored Eurypides (my laptop) to it. I decided to buy a 15 inch iBook to boot the removable drive. I also decided to subscribe to .mac to backup my critical data...

lamely proceeding,
-hop_along Geek

Monday, April 17, 2006

My application to a show called The Real has been accepted. I will be bi-locating my project Fluoxetine in cyberspace and meatspace. I am building a sculpture in Second Life a MMO in which some of the alumnis of CADRE have started an online new media arts center called Ars Virtua. The opening is April 29, 2006 look for the invites soon.

Here's the call:
Ars Virtua Gallery and New Media Center is looking for works for our
inaugural show. The theme of this show is "The Real" and will be
exhibited on the grounds of Ars Virtua which is located on the border of
Butler and Dowden (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Dowden/41/58/52/) in
Second Life (http://www.secondlife.com)

We are looking for 2D media, video and sculpture (including scripts)
produced within the 3D engine. All representable media will be accepted
for consideration but artists are cautioned to be economical with the
number of prims used in sculpture.

For too long "the virtual" has been supplanted by "the real" in the
realm of communication and entertainment. We recognize that there is no
need for replacement, but for extension. We see that 3D game engines are
creating new environments with new rules that are just as tangible as
the old ones, but on new terms. Education and art have been waking up to
value of simulation as it relates to and does not relate to campus and
museum life. The value of simulation or perhaps the threat of it occurs
when simulation begins to trump that which it is simulating. That is the
purpose of this exhibit, and though it does not make every exhibit in
space-time useless or passé it does attempt to offer a wholly electronic
alternative, an "other" real.

"The Real" will be juried by a group of artists from the CADRE
Laboratory for New Media.

Here's my proposal:
Proposal for 'The Real’:

Fluoxetine is an anti-depressant pharmaceutical. It is a common prescription for conditions related to depression and panic disorder. My work titled Fluoxetine is a soft sculpture of the bio-chemical and is reminiscent of the plush toy transitional objects of childhood. Simultaneously, Fluoxetine is a prim-sculpture in the Second Life cyber-reality. The realspace and the cyber Fluoxetine are fetish objects to be held and cuddled as representations of the anti-depressant. The plush sculpture becomes a visceral realization of the coping mechanism made from the composite of bio-chemical functions and cultural connotation of the represented form.

I am constructing the Second Life sculpture with scripts that encourage the SL avatars to interact personally with the cyber-Fluoxetine as a simulation of the real Fluoxetine sculpture in which the public will be encouraged to publicly interact.

Thomas Asmuth

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Manifesto of the Artist on 28 February 2006

a. The foundations of the world are beautiful in their natural geometries and form.

b. The essential theories and physics of familiar objects and substances become deeply imbued and burdened with the subliminal connotations of cultural utilization of these substance-objects.

c. I like to explore the philosophic landscape that is formed between the subtexts and substance-objects. On these topographies I often discover rich metaphors.

Thomas Asmuth

So it was with these observations I was able to sort of decant the reason I wanted to make a soft sculpture (or transitional object) in the form of a Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor named Fluoxetine. This chemical belongs to anti-depressant class of pharmeceuticals and I wanted to make some work about them, the modeling used to explore the chemistry, and the subtextual meanings created through our employ of these chemicals.

The viewer should be able to hold and take comfort or play with the sculpture. The full size maquettes is being rendered in a stretch velour which is very sexy to the eye and touch.