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IN SITU NEW YORK

Months after hurricane Sandy whipped the U.S. East Coast, the most devastated areas of New York City are gradually coming back to life. If the December 20th resurrection of Eyebeam, which lost $150,000 of technological equipment in the flood, is symbolic of the resilience of Chelsea galleries, New York’s art community is already back in the game. © PHOTO KEN SHULER

physical space. Once inside, visitors may feel like extras in a film by Peter Greenaway: a baroque and multisensory scene (symmetrical fields of swings, a giant fluttering white curtain, “talking” brown paper bags, gramophone); live animals (caged messenger pigeons); performance (readers, writer, singer); all symbolic of an esthetic ecosystem in a dreamlike décor. The game is to animate the great curtain by playing on the swings as in a theater of marionnettes, while listening to utterances by the readers, which are wirelessly transmitted to the paper bags from behind the pigeons. The surreal experience becomes almost mystical.

Chris Klapper & Patrick Gallagher, Symphony in D Minor. Coincidentally, a couple of Brooklyn artists, Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher, designed and constructed a visual, musical and interactive installation that simulates the poetic phenomenon of a thunderstorm in Philadelphia’s Skybox Gallery. In the form of four daunting cylinders suspended from the ceiling, their Symphony in D Minor[1] responds to visitors’ nudges with images of turbulent clouds and a symphony that is sometimes tempestuous, sometimes tranquil, but never the same. Thunderstorms, by their very nature, are ominous and magnificent, says Chris. With Symphony we wanted to convey this power through the use of volume, mass and motion. While some people may approach the installation with a degree of hesitation due to its massive scale, they are quickly drawn into its playfulness. Another formidable installation, this time on the scale of an armory, Ann Hamilton’s The Event of a Thread[2] fully occupies the main exhibition hall of the Park Avenue Armory, which has always commissioned projects worthy of its imposing, historical

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On a more intimate — but just as immersive — scale, Aaron Taylor Kuffner’s Gamelatron Jalan Jiwo[3] attempts to convey the spiritual side of Gamelan, Indonesia’s traditional percussion music, by inhabiting the main space of the Clocktower Gallery, directly under the resident bell. With its authentic vibraphones, drums, chimes, bells and bronze gongs spread throughout the white room, the kinetic spectacle is as moving as an acoustic concert… except that the drummers are robotic mallets playing a digital score. Also on exhibit in the Clocktower is a triptych video-game arcade signed Babycastles, New York’s own DIY game collective, strategically set in a small room transformed into a retro pizza parlour by Slice Harvester (a.k.a. Colin Hagendorf), an artist known for his pizza-tasting fanzines, and decorated by multi-talented punk rocker Yusuke Okada. The in-situ installation resulting from this collaboration is Babyharvester[4], or the latest incarnation of a singular vision of the new arcade, where independent games are exhibited and played in a social, often DIY, setting. On the menu of harvested indie games: Peacemaker; Harpooned; I Was In The War. After the winter release of Wreck-It Ralph, the 3D-animated movie with 8-bit nostal-

(1) < http://symphonyindminor.com > (2) < www.armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/ann_hamilton > (3) < http://artonair.org/exhibition/the-gamelatron-jalan-jiwo > (4) < http://artonair.org/residency/babyharvester > (5) < www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2012/11/29/videogames-14-in-the-collection-for-starters > (6) < www.makerbot.com/retail-store >

Barack Obama vs MakerBot.

© PHOTO R.R.

WINTER GAMEPLAY

gia, MoMA[5] has made a timely announcement that it has acquired 14 classic video games. This seed selection (Pac-Man, Tetris, Myst, The Sims, Dwarf Fortress…) is part of the museum’s Architecture and Design collection and will be exhibited in its galleries in March 2013. Such an initiative marks a considerable step forward, not only for institutional recognition of video games (not to mention media arts) as artworks in their own right, but also for their professional and systematic conservation. Finally, like a green light at the intersection of art and commerce, the democratization of three-dimensional modelization has materialized on Mulberry Street between East Houston and Bleecker. The pioneer manufacturer of 3D desktop printers MakerBot[6] opened its first shop here in NoLiTa in September 2012, showing off colorful objects printed with its new and improved Replicator 2 ubiquitously displayed in action, $5 “gumball machines”, and the surprise revelation of the boutique’s official opening on November 20: the 3D Photo Booth. Thanks to this high-tech twist on the classic funfair attraction, anyone can come in and have their head scanned for 5 dollars, then choose the size of a plastic model to print (the smallest measures a few centimeters high and costs 20 dollars). Of course, 3D technology itself is nothing new. But its increasingly direct, easy, popular and ultimately playful access is what brings us that much closer to creating our own real-world wonderland. CHERISE FONG

Digitalarti Mag #12 (English)  
Digitalarti Mag #12 (English)  

36 pages of digital arts featuring: interview of Grégory Chatonsky - Fred Forest exhibition at Centre des arts d'Enghien - Digital arts in p...

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