Carl-Johan Rosén's project “I speak myself into an object” is a book consisting only of the programming code the computer needs to print the book.
Last week I saw CHR give a reading from the book, super interesting because the gibberish of the code is transformed into a kind of poetry. The project gives a whole new meaning to the expression “I publish, therefore I am.”
Mathematical Films of Manfred Mohr
Just stumbled across this collection of digital math and geometry films created by pioneering digital artist Manfred Mohr in the early 1970’s. This stuff puts most modern GIF artists to shame, and he made them in Fortran IV on a CDC 6400, which is considerably less powerful than Photoshop. They had to then be captured by a microfilm printer in order to be converted to 16 mm film!
Super cool look back at early digital art, though. Get inspired! Here’s another, “Cube Transformation Study”:
Saw an exhibition of Manfred Mohr’s work at bitforms gallery (NY) two years ago that was spectacular.
One Million Finnish Passports, 1995
One million replicated Finnish passports, glass, 800 x 800 x 80 cm.
Finland has a historically stringent immigration policy, staunch nationalists they accept only a tiny fraction of the citizenship applications they receive, far less than any of their neighboring countries. Observing this, Jaar somehow managed to get 1 million Finnish passports printed up to represent the number of people who should have been nationalized as Finnish citizens but weren’t. Now obviously this poses somewhat of a security risk, so the passports were housed behind a fortress of bullet-proof glass and the passports would be burned after the exhibit ended.
“I could say that everything I know about art, I learned as an architect. As an architect, I give myself a program, taking into account a specific space. Space is not just physical. It’s also social, cultural, political. Studying the space, I try to reach what we call the essence of the space. Then I combine that with the essence of what I am trying to say. All these elements are incorporated in the program, in which I have an objective.”
Guess I should be more proud to be a Finnish citizen.
"I began writing about art because I was interested in the gap between what we see and what we say. Also I wanted to write about things in the world that stayed in the world after I had written about them, so whatever I wrote would remain in a live relationship with its subject. If you write about a concert or a play or a public event, that event is gone and nothing remains but the writing. Works of art, however, survive as an ongoing critique of the critique you have written. I like that."
"What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures. In a word, art that is the very opposite of mass media."
Robert Hughes (via artcomingoutofmyfists)
March in Art
I saw so little art this month in comparison with February… but sometimes less is more. The month started off with the opening of Sturtevant’s show “Image over Image” at Moderna Museet which I wrote on for Art Observed.
Then my friend isismarina tipped me off on #BMWtatelive Performance Room where I watched a performance by Jerome Bel. As tweets flew by I tried to formulate an easy-to-answer question for the artist to answer in the Q&A which HE THEN DID! It was a bizarre experience, leading me to wonder if tweets are the new applause.
Later on in the month my friend Stefanie Hessler curated a fantastic week-long series of lectures, performances and workshops entitled Performing Recalcitrance, hosted by the Royal Institute of Art (KKH). As part of that I watched a hilarious artist talk by Mike Smith, heard Geert Lovink muse on Wikileaks and the relentless release of documents, and then engaged in three therapy sessions with a Viennese artist by the name of Clemens Krauss who previously trained as a psychotherapist.
Near the end of the month I went on my usual Hudiksvallsgatan gallery rounds, where I enjoyed the following three exhibitions:
Jakob Krajcik at Peter Bergman Gallery, Jeannin Schuurmans “Le Sous Marin” at Christian Larsen, and Jorma Puranen at Galleri Flach. The last is pictured below - the glares are in the photograph themselves and not by the lighting when I took the photo - supercool. I noticed a theme running through several galleries with photographers working with the blurring of memory.
That’s it for March, stay tuned for April.