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Above (from lef t ): Teen Atlantis Cyber Chat , 20 08 L aser Gr id , 20 08

Opposi te: Berser ker, 20 09

System Scan initiated: Faint signals of electronic activity....No sign of sentient life... Humanity is wiped out in the near future and this crappy screensaver is the closest we get to creating the "Omega Point" simulator/ computer. The Universe expands forever and slowly converts all energy into cold, dead matter, no information is stored—Heat Death. It was part of a show called Speculations on Cosmic Culture, which we had in Berlin at a now-defunct space called Montgomery. It was work that discussed ideas around cosmic evolution and accelerating change. I think these are subjects that we are going to be coming back to over and over again, because they feel so, well, universal.

It made me think about how much desk jobs suck. Have either of you ever had a 9-5 office job? DK: I once had a 9-5 internship at the Chicago Historical Society as a digital archivist, which was pretty fascinating. But other than that, we haven't had normal jobs since before we went to art school. Â


How do your families feel about the work you make? NK: They are very supportive. We are following in their footsteps, in many ways. They are all involved in advertising in some way or another, and at least two of them had artistic aspirations, but they had to use those skills to sell stuff so they could feed and clothe us. So we're sort of part two of a multi-generational project to breed some professional artists. DK: I think for the most part they are very proud of us. There were a few issues where they thought we might be making things too alienating, but overall I think they trust our judgment.

Your piece "Alpha" asks that the collector who owns it keep $25,000 in a US bank account, and the piece of wood will trade stocks, thus "growing" even after it is dead. Has someone bought it, and are your intentions being carried out as you've stipulated? NK: It's a smart piece of Thai driftwood which automatically day-trades stocks and futures, as long as it has an internet connection. It's not sold now, so it hasn't had the chance to really

win or lose using more than a test account. We're going to be re-releasing the work with a custom algorithm. Right now it just subscribes to a Collective2 feed, which is a platform for people to share and sell monthly subscriptions to algorithmic trading platforms, which are the programs that issue the 'buy' and 'sell' signals.

The "Berserker" sculpture, a Styrofoam alien head on a classical-looking human body holding a USB stick with an image of the sculpture on it, begs viewers to think about the piece in terms of reproduction. How do you guys feel about copyright issues in relation to your work? NK: We're not really concerned... the MP3s and JPGs are certainly free for the taking, and if people start making counterfeit sculptures, we'd be honored.

Is there any medium you guys haven't worked in that you'd like to try out? NK: Genetic engineering custom plant strains, more robotics, more algorithmic things that aren't gimmicky, controlling animals or their cells with electrodes and/or chemicals in a safe and humane way.

XLR8R 135 (Sept/Oct 2010)  
XLR8R 135 (Sept/Oct 2010)  

Indie rock's most talked-about band of the last couple years, Salem, starts off this issue we're dubbing The Chi-Light Saga, in which we dig...