Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jennifer Steinkamp

A visual artist who crafts computer-animated projections for site-specific spaces, Jennifer Steinkamp uses her work to explore new means of producing and experiencing art. Employing virtual-reality software like a painter wields a brush, Steinkamp constructs lifelike installations of nature in motion, derived entirely from code.

The artwork is interactive. Steinkamp builds her pieces in relation to their site's architecture, and sets the projectors at a low level so the viewer's shadow disrupts the imagery, provoking a playful point of immersion.

Loom consisted of two overlapping video projections; one contained a horizontal pattern, while the other vertical. When combined, the two created a weave. Because there were two projections at angles, the viewer created two shadows that disrupted the projection; one shadow revealed the vertical lines while the other was filled with horizontal lines. The image formed a cube that matched the perspective of the space, which was a deep tunnel. The lines warped with a water like pattern.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 aims to shed light on patterns in social dynamics and coordinated human activity. We do so by reporting on experiments, data analyses and visualisations designed and conducted by ourselves as well as carried out by other groups. focuses on exposing patterns. We are specifically interested in experiments that gather data, and visualizations that present the data in novel and insightful ways.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Watch 50 Categorized Dance Animation Videos

Here you will find categorized links to more than 50 posts on Great Dance that include videos of many different types of dance and movement animations such as 2D and 3D, stop-motion, visual effects, interactive performances and installations, computer games, machinima, live action and CG, motion graphics, visualizations, pre-cinema and many other types.

The OpenEnded Group
The OpenEnded Group is three digital artists — Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser — who create works for stage, screen, gallery, page, and public space.
Kaiser and Eshkar have collaborated on numerous projects since the mid-1990s. Interested from the start in creating a new kind of 3D space that did not aspire to photorealism, we thought instead about drawing. Soon we formulated the notions of drawing as performance and hand-drawn space, which we then applied to motion-captured performance in a series of collaborations with choreographers. Of these, perhaps the best known are BIPED, with Merce Cunningham, and Ghostcatching, with Bill T. Jones.
Watch videos like 'Verge (Complete)' (Verge uses volumetric light to explore the idea of “blind 3D” in which black zones of the image may be read as voids or as dark solids) and clips 'Movement Principles' of Robert Wilson's instructions on how to move your body on stage

Saturday, January 3, 2009

eva and franco mattes have a new show in Mumbai, India, opening Saturday the 3rd, it's called "Traveling by telephone".
Eva and Franco Mattes are known as the Bonnie and Clyde of contemporary art.
Interviewing artists Eva and Franco Mattes is confusing because Eva and Franco are not really real. “Once we were watching a Fassbinder movie and a journalist called,” the artist who uses the name Franco recalled in an email interview with Time Out Mumbai from Italy. “He wanted a name to write on the paper. We said we didn’t want any names, he insisted so Eva looked at the TV screen and there was the actress Eva Mattes, so she promptly said ‘OK, you won, my name is Eva Mattes’.” The name Franco was picked because it means honest in Italian. There are, however, some things about them that have been confirmed. They are the website They have watched and loved Sholay (“Sholay was like Sergio Leone on drugs!” they said). This fortnight, they will make their Indian debut at Galerie Mirchandani+ Steinruecke.
Eva and Franco Mattes are recognised as pioneers in the field of net art, which involves scrambling or copying internet codes. For Life Sharing (2000), they submitted themselves to a year of satellite surveillance during which their every move was monitored. In 2003, they courted media attention with an elaborate prank titled Nikeground. Nikeground circulated the rumour that Nike was going to buy and rename the town square Karlsplatz in Vienna which would be renamed Nikeplatz. The point was to trick an entire city and to a large extent, they succeeded. However, the protests they had expected against the privatisation of public spaces didn’t materialise. In 2006, the duo decided to make art out of and in Second Life, a virtual world where members, known as Residents, interact with each other using online personae, known as avatars. Second Life avatars are three-dimensional and animated, hovering between realistic, robotic and cartoonish. “We have always experimented with drugs, especially LSD,” said Franco. “We like being totally spaced out and see the world from a different perspective. Second Life reminded me a bit of that feeling, like being in Blade Runner or in Neuromancer.”
In 2006, Ars Virtua, a gallery in Second Life, hosted an exhibition by Franco and Eva Mattes at which they showed portraits of characters in Second Life. The same show, with the avatars were printed on canvas, was also taken to more conventional gallery spaces across Europe and in New York. The age-old European tradition of portraiture met the pop-art sensibility of Andy Warhol, held up a mirror to ideas of beauty and explored how identity is constructed in contemporary society. In Second Life, “masks are not there to hide your real identity”, explained Franco. “On the contrary they are there to show who you really are, since you can ignore social restrictions. Since we’ve been living fake identities all of our lives, it’s obvious that we are attracted by a world of avatars.”
The tension between the real and the virtual also inspired the Synthetic Performances series in which Franco and Eva recreated a number of famous performance art projects in Second Life. They picked “the most weird performances; maybe for all the sex and pain involved, which is completely absent, or, well, ‘abstract’ in a [video] game”, said Franco, who hates performance art as a genre and can’t see the point of it. In Mumbai, they will show the re-enactments of Chris Burden’s “Shoot”, Marina Abramovic’s “Seven Easy Pieces” and Gilbert & George’s “The Singing Sculpture” on large screens. The synthetic world of Second Life robs performance art of its central characteristic: spontaneity. Everything is mediated through avatars and feels oddly abstracted. The jerky, movements of the avatars further underscore the artificiality of the performances.
A number of Eva and Franco’s projects have been about art. Between 1998 and 2000, the duo created the fictional artist Darko Maver, by setting up a website and posting pictures of his art works, which recreated scenes of murder and violence using mannequins (in reality, they were pictures of real crime scenes that were freely available online). They convinced many of the existence of this Serbian artist, only to eventually kill him. In 2001, they scrambled the code of the website of Korean Web Art festival so that the works of artists were exchanged. “I’m afraid I have a love-hate relation with art,” said Franco. “I love it so much that I’m afraid to find out it may well be all bullshit, like a religious guy who after a whole life lived piously finds out before dying that god does not exist.”
The duo’s newest works, some of which will be shown in Mumbai, are photos “shot inside” a game called Half-Life. It’s been one of their tougher challenges. “Every shot was taken while killing aliens, struggling with radioactive traps or while escaping helicopters,” said Franco. “Sometimes I had to go through the whole scheme over and over for hours, because every time I was trying to stand still and make the photo, some goddamn alien was trying to eat my brain.”

"Theater Of War" by John Walter
John Walter labels his film Theater Of War “a documentary about art and politics,” which is the kind of blatant provocation meant to pay homage to the film’s ostensible subject, Bertolt Brecht. In 2006, Walter was allowed to film the rehearsals for George C. Wolfe’s Central Park production of Brecht’s anti-war play Mother Courage And Her Children, starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, and Austin Pendleton, with a Tony Kushner translation and songs by Jeanine Tesori. Walter was also granted extended time with Streep, who allowed a rare and reluctant glimpse at her process in deference to Brecht, an artist who favored exposing his own artifice. Walter intersperses his coverage of the Mother Courage production with biographical sketches and analysis of Brecht—much of it provided by post-modern novelist Jay Cantor. At one point, Walter shoots some stock footage of Cantor working at his computer, then cuts to a shot of what Cantor is writing: a few idle lines about how much he hates pretending to work for the sake of a movie.

Though Theater Of War is informative—both about Brecht and about the effort it takes to mount a big New York production—Walter overreaches in trying to connect Brecht’s anti-war sentiment with contemporary protest movements, and doesn’t do more than dabble with the themes of truth and representation in documentary filmmaking. There’s an interesting section about how in Brecht’s 1947 appearance before HUAC, he used his own theatrical techniques to throw Congress off the scent of his Marxist leanings; for the most part though, Walter is unable to make the intersection between art and politics in Brecht’s work really come to life. The problem is built into the documentary’s design. While Theater Of War contains a few direct, empathetic moments—like Kushner describing how Mother Courage changed his life when he read it in college, or Streep explaining that she sees her role in theatrical revivals to be “the voice of dead people”—Walter would rather we care about the ideas this film raises, not the people we meet. Which is very Brechtian, to be sure, but not always so engaging