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Category: Collaborator: a minima

TEXT: a minima:: Feature on Digital Transit

The following is a text about an exhibition at Medialab Madrid, by former curators and directors Karin Ohlenschläger and Luis Rico. It was originally published in a minima:: issue 15.

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in Spanish and English. For more information, please visit aminima.net.

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The project Digital Transit sets out to examine the interconnections between art, science and technology, and the social dynamics that are generated around them. It passes through permeable spaces that provide productive interferences between imageries, concepts and different methods. Overall, it offers a transdisciplinary approach, which we understand as a means of interpreting, exploring and participating in the complex fabric of relationships that forms the basis of contemporary culture. Consequently, Digital Transit is a space for communication that links the current informatics and telecommunications technologies with the visual, sound and scenic arts, architecture and urbanism, science, education, civic participation and the environment.

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TEXT: aminima:: Feature, Humphrey II

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in Spanish and English. For more information, please visit aminima.net.

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In the beginning, there was Humphrey— a mechatronic device that worked in conjunction with a pair of data glasses to simulate flight in a 3-D environment. This installation in the Ars Electronica Center has been a smash hit with visitors ever since the opening of the museum, which has replaced almost all of the “exhibits” on display there at least once over the past eight years. And, indeed, Humphrey will remain aloft in Ars Electronica’s airspace, but his new design will greatl enhance and intensify the experience of flight. Continual improvements in processing capabilities make it possible to generate simulations that get closer and closer to perfection. Virtual reality systems use stereoscopic imagery to produce the illusion of a real, three-dimensional environment.

TEXT: a minima:: feature, “Not-Art” by Antonio Cerveira Pinto

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in Spanish and English. It was previously republished in Net Art Review in August, 2005 For more information, please visit aminima.net.

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I took the expression Not-Art from a Terry Atkinson essay on the possibility of a post-pictorialist, informational art practice that would have to be carried on by a new artist specimen, other than the one modeled upon the bleeding ear of Van Gogh. Significant parts of Terry’s essay were transcripted into this brief memo on the future of art in a world submitted to an expanding and pervasive cybernetic paradigm. [...]

TEXT: a minima Feature on Reinhard Nestelbacher (DNA-Consult Sciencetainment), Gerfried Stocker (Ars Electronica Center)

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in English and Spanish. It was originally published in a minima:: #15 For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

(Spanish Below)

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New technologies allow artists to experiment with new materials and methods. But this is only possible when science and art draw much closer to one another. Due to the possibilities of molecular biology living human cells, bacteria, embryos or whole organisms are becoming part of a new art, sometimes called bio-art. With the help of the GFP molecule (green fluorescence protein), for instance, unusual new artificial creatures have recently been created – glowing mice, fish, plants or bacteria. It allows transforming organisms as image-generating “apparatuses”. GFPixel is a “painting” made of genetically transformed bacteria. These organisms are cultivated in about 4000 Petri-dishes that are arranged as a portrait. Like on digital screens part of the bacteria produce the green light – the GFP-gene is switched ON and in the other part the GFP-gene is ”switched OFF”.

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(English above)

Las nuevas tecnologías permiten a los artistas experimentar con nuevos materiales y metodologías. Pero esto sólo es posible cuando ciencia y arte se acercan la una a la otra. Debido a las posibilidades de la biología molecular, las células humanas vivas, las bacterias, los embriones y los organismos completos están empezando a formar parte de un arte nuevo, a veces llamado bio-arte. Con la ayuda de la molécula PVF (proteína verde fluorescente), por ejemplo, se han creado nuevas criaturas artificiales poco usuales -ratones, peces, plantas, o bacterias luminiscentes. El PVF permite transformar los organismos en “dispositivos” generadores de imágenes. GFPixel es un “cuadro” hecho a base de bacterias genéticamente modificadas. Estos organismos se han cultivado en aproximadamente 4000 placas Petri distribuidas en forma de retrato. Como en las pantallas digitales, una parte de las bacterias emite luz verde – el gen PVF ha sido “encendido”, mientras que en otra parte de las bacterias el gen PVF ha sido “apagado”.

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TEXT: a minima:: Feature on Romy Achituv and Camille Uterback

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine. For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

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Letters are falling down like rain. Try to catch the letters and their meanings. The falling letters are not random, but lines of a poem about bodies and language. Collect enough letters and you can catch a word or even an entire line of the Poem.

TextRain is a playful interactive installation that blurs the boundary between the familiar and the magical. Participants in the TextRain installation use the familiar instrument of their bodies, to do what seems magical—to lift and play with falling letters that do not really exist.

Las letras caen como gotas de lluvia. Intenta atrapar las letras y sus significados. Las letras que caen no son aleatorias, sino que forman versos de un poema sobre los cuerpos y el lenguaje. Si se juntan las letras suficientes, se puede conseguir una palabra o incluso un verso entero del poema.

TextRain es una instalación interactiva en la que se difuminan las fronteras entre lo conocido y lo mágico. Los participantes se sirven de un instrumento conocido, su propio cuerpo, para hacer algo que parece mágico: levantar y jugar con letras que en realidad no existen.

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TEXT: a minima Feature on Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine. For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

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Life Spacies II is an interactive Artificial Life environment where users can create artificial creatures by typing text messages. The constant movement, feeding, mating and reproduction activities of the creatures result in a complex system that features complex interactions among creatures as well as users and creatures based on written text as a primary source of (genetic) information: Art as a living process.

According to Noam Chomsky, human language acquisition is based on a universal grammar that is genetically embedded within the human mind of all normal children, allowing them to learn their native languages naturally and seemingly effortlessly 1. It was also Chomsky who coined the phrase of “colorless green ideas sleep furiously.” Though this sentence, as Chomsky has shown, is grammatically correct, its meaning cannot be grasped through logic alone. Inspired by Chomsky’s sentence and based on the idea of using language as a genetic code and translating words or sentences into visual forms, we have created an interactive system for the Internet, called Life Spacies 2 and an updated version, called Life Spacies II 3.
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(English above)

Life Spacies II es un entorno de vida artificial interactivo en el que los usuarios pueden crear criaturas artificiales tecleando mensajes de texto. El movimiento constante, la alimentación, el apareamiento y la reproducción de las criaturas dan como resultado un sistema complejo que se caracteriza por las complejas interacciones entre las criaturas, al tiempo que, tanto ellas como los usuarios, se basan en el texto escrito como fuente principal de información (genética): el arte como proceso viviente.

De acuerdo con Noam Chomsky, la adquisición del lenguaje humano se fundamenta en la existencia de una gramática universal que está genéticamente incorporada a la mente humana de cualquier niño normal y gracias a este mecanismo aprende, de manera natural y aparentemente sin esfuerzo, su lengua materna1. Fue también Chomsky el que acuñó la frase: “las ideas verdes incoloras duermen furiosamente”. Pese a que, tal como señaló Chomsky, se trata de una frase gramaticalmente correcta, su significado no es aprehensible estrictamente mediante la lógica. Tomando esta frase como inspiración, desarrollándola sobre la idea de utilizar el lenguaje como un código genético y traduciendo las palabras o frases a formas visuales, hemos creado un sistema interactivo para Internet denominado Life Spacies 2 y una versión actualizada denominada Life Spacies II 3.

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TEXT: a minima Feature on Gerfried Stocker, “The Art of Tomorrow”

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in English and Spanish. For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

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The art of tomorrow is the art of the media. This art is just as much visual image as music and performance; hardware-handicraft and software-concept in equal measure. What once could have been subsumed under the heading of media art has since branched out into a multiplicity of new artistic genres, symbiotic forms whose definitions are rather more oriented on scientific and technical disciplines, on interface development and information architecture or on net culture and the lifestyle of gaming communities than on the isms of the artistic discourse. This development is being carried forward by individuals whose identity is often bounded by the parameters of artist, engineer, social worker and experience designer, and who act out of a clear understanding of its technological as well as its associated social and cultural aspects: coders and hackers, open sourcers and circuit benders who acquire mastery over technological components, ignore rules found in user’s manuals, deploy devices and systems in ways unintended by those who market them, and participate, with this analytical and critical processing, in the design of the way our world is now—art as a test-drive of the future.

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English above

El arte de mañana es el arte electrónico, un arte que tiene tanto de imagen visual como de música y de puesta en escena; que entremezcla a partes iguales el avance técnico formal del hardware con la base conceptual del software. No obstante, lo que en su día pudo alojarse en la categoría general de arte electrónico, ha ido diversificándose en una multiplicidad de nuevos géneros artísticos, de formas simbióticas cuyas definiciones se inclinan más hacia las disciplinas científicas y técnicas, el desarrollo de la interfaz y la arquitectura de la información o hacia una cultura de la Red y el estilo de vida de las comunidades de juegos, que hacia los ismos del discurso artístico. Esta evolución avanza a impulsos de personas cuya identidad queda a menudo delimitada por los parámetros de artista, ingeniero, trabajador social y diseñador de experiencias y que actúan movidos por un claro entendimiento no sólo de sus aspectos tecnológicos, sino también sociales y culturales: programadores y hackers, creadores de códigos abiertos y circuit benders, que alcanzan la maestría de los componentes tecnológicos, se desentienden de las reglas de los manuales de usuario, dan a dispositivos y sistemas un uso insólito, distinto al que inicialmente estaban destinados, y participan, con este proceso analítico y crítico, en el diseño que hoy tiene nuestro mundo: el arte como ensayo del futuro.

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TEXT: a minima Feature on Molleindustria

This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in English and Spanish. For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

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Molleindustria is a project that takes aim at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of the videogames. Using simple but sharp games we hope to give some starting point for a new generation of critical game developer and, above all, to test pratices that can be easly emulated and virally diffused. So far we have published nine games (four of them are available only in italian), some theoretical essays and other web-based project like Mayday NetParade or where-next.com.

A spectre is haunting the net: the spectre of political games. Small and viral online games able to spread dissonant messages. They emerge and disappear in the ever-changing world of the blog, forum and mailing lists. Sometimes they are blended into the undeground gamedesign scene, sometimes they pop in the glossy pages of popular magazines, sometimes they are disguised as works of art.

I’m talking about a spectre because political games don’t exist, or better, they have always existed: every video
game – as every cultural product – reflect author’s ideas, visions and ideologies. Every video game is essentially political.

Why super Mario is a plunder? Has anybody ever seen him fixing a pipe? He probably fit better into the shoes of a rampant Wall Street broker, a social climber who attack every being that comes across his path. His eternal dissatisfaction, his continuous run, his orderliness in killing enemies sounds suspicious. In the typical level-based structure of arcade games we can recognize some qualities of the yuppie ideology: success is like a ladder that gets harder and harder to climb. There are many partial achievements but the whole plan is often difficult to understand. Individualism, competition an accumulation of useless points are constant. It’s the neo-liberal short-sightedness, the means that becomes the end, the carreer, the 80’s dream.

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Molleindustria es un proyecto que tiene como objetivo iniziar una seria discusión sobre las implicaciones políticas y sociales de los videojuegos. Utilizando juegos simples e ingeniosos intentamos proporcionar un punto de partida a las nuevas generaciones de desarrolladores de juegos críticos y, probar prácticas que puedan ser fácilmente emuladas y viralmente difusas. Hace tiempo publicamos nueve juegos (cuatro de ellos están disponibles sólo en italiano), algunos ensayos teóricos y otros proyectos basados en la web, como Manday NetParede o where-next.com.

Un espectro merodea por la red: el espectro de los juegos políticos. Pequeños y ágiles videojuegos online que pueden expandir mensajes disonantes. Los vemos emerger, desaparecer y aflorar en la espumeante galaxia de blogs, listas de correo y portales. Unas veces se esconden en lo más profundo de la escena videolúdica amateur, otras veces aparecen en las páginas de las revistas de cotilleos, otras veces se disfrazan de obra de arte.

Se trata de un espectro porque los juegos políticos no existen, o mejor dicho, han existido siempre: cada videojuego -como cada producto cultural- refleja la visión del mundo, las convicciones y las ideologías de los propios autores. Cada videojuego es esencialmente político.

¿Por qué super Mario es un fontanero? ¿Se le ha visto alguna vez ajustar un tubo? ¿No estaría mejor poniéndose en el lugar de un jugador de bolsa de Wall Street, un trepa social que ataca a cada criatura que se encuentra en la calle?

Su eterna insatisfacción, su continuo correr por plataformas, la sistematicidad con la que liquida a los adversarios nos resulta sospechosa. En la típica estructura de los niveles de juegos Arcade podemos encontrar algunos personajes importantes del yupismo: el objetivo sólo se puede conseguir a través del éxito parcialmente representado por niveles rígidamente secuenciales. La agresión, el individualismo y la acumulación están siempre a la orden del día. Es la miopía liberalista, el medio que se vuelve mensaje, la carrera, el sueño de los años 80.

TEXT: a minima Feature on George Gessert

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The most interesting question that plant breeding raises for me is: why are some hybrids esthetically more appealing than others? This question has received remarkably little attention, considering how popular flowers are, and how long plant breeding has been practiced. Most garden writers ignore the question, or pass over it as quickly as possible, with a self-deprecating joke perhaps, as if the answer were self evident, or involved matters of personal taste too sensitive to discuss in public. Art commentary engages issues relevant to the question, such as the role that kitsch plays in contemporary culture, but the traditional focus of art commentary is on works made of nonliving materials. Live art and nonliving art share common ground of course, however the two diverge in significant ways. Two reds, identical to the eye except that one is produced by pigments in a rose, and the other by cadmium on paper, will not have identical associations, meanings, or emotional weight. Furthermore, living reds of identical hue can be as different as apples, parrots, and poppies.

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(English above)

Para mí, la pregunta más interesante que plantea el cultivo de plantas es: ¿por qué algunos híbridos son más atractivos estéticamente que otros? Esta cuestión ha recibido muy poca atención, considerando lo populares que son las flores y el largo tiempo que se lleva practicando el cultivo de plantas. La mayoría de los escritores de jardinería no tienen en cuenta esta pregunta, o pasan por ella lo más rápidamente posible, tal vez con una broma de autodesaprobación, como si la respuesta fuese evidente o implicase un tema de gusto personal demasiado sensible para discutirlo en público. El comentario del arte trata temas relevantes para la pregunta, como el papel de lo kitsch en la cultura contemporánea, pero el foco tradicional de la glosa artística está en las obras hechas a partir de materiales inertes. El arte viviente y el no viviente comparten por terrenos comunes aunque también divergen de forma significativa. Dos rojos idénticos al ojo, excepto porque uno es producido por pigmentos naturales en una rosa, y el otro por cadmio sobre una hoja de papel, no tendrán asociaciones, significados o peso emocional idénticos. Además, los rojos vivientes de tonalidad idéntica pueden provenir de seres tan diferentes como loros, manzanas o amapolas.

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TEXT: a minima Feature on Christiane Paul


Image: one of various projects from Software Structures by Casey Reas

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This PDF file is released in collaboration with a minima:: new media magazine, published in English and Spanish. For more information on the publication, please visit aminima.net

artport, a website designed as a main portal to Internet art worldwide, and as an online gallery space for new and specially commissioned net and digital art was launched by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York on March 1, 2001. The site provides both a comprehensive resource of net art and access to original art works created specifically for the site and commissioned by the Whitney. artport consists of five areas:

A gatepage section that archives the splash pages created by artists who are invited on a monthly basis to make a small artwork as a gateway the artport site. The gatepages contain links to the respective artist’s site and most important projects, so that the gatepage archive functions as a database of net art projects created since the beginning of Web-based art. An exhibition section, where current net art / digital arts exhibitions are accessible and past exhibitions, such as the Whitney Biennial Internet art projects, are archived. A resources archive with links to new media organizations and virtual galleries on the Web, net art exhibitions worldwide, festivals, as well as net art publications on the Web. This archive is continually evolving as new organizations and resources are being added. A collection area that archives the works of net art and digital art in the Whitney Museum’s holdings, such as Douglas Davis’ The World’s First Collaborative Sentence, the first work of Internet art acquired by the Whitney Museum in 1995. A commissions section, which provides access to artworks commissioned by the Whitney specifically for the artport site.

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Inglés arriba

artport, un sitio web diseñado como portal principal de arte de Internet y como galería online para obras de arte digital creadas por encargo, fue lanzado por el Museo Whitney de arte Americano de Nueva York el 1 de marzo de 2001. artport proporciona, tanto recursos extensos de net art, como acceso a obras de arte originales creadas específicamente para el sitio y encargados por el Whitney. artport consta de cinco áreas:

Una sección de entrada que archiva las páginas creadas por artistas a los que mensualmente se invita a realizar pequeñas obras de entrada para artport. Esta sección contiene enlaces a la web del artista y a sus principales proyectos. De modo que el archivo de la página de entrada funciona como una base de datos de proyectos de net art creados desde los comienzos del arte destinado a la red. Una sección de exposición, donde se accede a muestras actuales de net art / arte digital y al archivo de exposiciones pasadas, como los proyectos de la Bienal Witney de Arte de Internet. Un archivo de recursos con enlaces a organizaciones de nuevos medios, a galerías virtuales, a exposiciones de net art de todo el mundo, a festivales y a publicaciones sobre net art. Este archivo está en continuo desarrollo. Constantemente se agregan nuevas organizaciones y recursos. Un área de colección, que archiva los trabajos de net art y arte digital que posee el Museo Whitney, como The World’s First Collaborative Sentence, de Douglas Davis. Fue la primera obra de arte de Internet adquirida por el Museo, en 1995. Una sección de encargos, que proporciona acceso a las obras encargadas especialmente por el Whitney para artport.

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