Max Maslansky: 13 Pages from History “picked” on the Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2014

Max Maslansky, “13 Pages From History,” at Light & Wire Gallery. The L.A.-based painter (soon to be featured in the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.” Biennial) has a series of works on display at this online-only exhibition space. Expect a whimsical soundtrack accompanying painted-over teen idols plucked from fan magazines and historical figures with extra appendages. Very cheeky. On view through June 21, online only at lightandwiregallery.com.2

Fay Ray in The Mothership- 1/16/2014

“The Mothership, In Our Details are the Maps of Existence” Curated by The Sacred Door & Dilettante, 1.16.14

Gather us together so we can offer up creations that speak from the source. We hold the light that leads growth and can best gather ideas to nurture whomever comes looking. In our details are the maps of existence, guides to human form, and our voices united display the song that allows it all to continue: Jacqueline Suskin

The Mothership is a vessel that guides and carries smaller vessels, usually for the purpose of inquiry and exploration. It is a concept, which has been used in the artwork of Carly Jo Morgan as a symbol of the collective conscience form, which we, as individuals, draw creativity and inspiration from. The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts, and as we take direction from the source, we weave a web that operates as a unifying force for all. The “Mother” represents a specific feminine, maternal, intuitive energy. On January 16th, The Mothership calls a group of female artists to come together and form a unique matrix. The ideas and insight that spring from this matrix bring us balance, strength, and renewal.

Artists: Jasmine Albuquerque / Lita Albuqurque / Gemma Bayly / Amanda Charchian / Diana Garcia / Dana Louise Kirkpatrick / Carly Jo Morgan / Fay Ray / Lila Roo / Alia Shawkat / Elena Stonaker / Jacqueline Suskin / Lola Rose Thompson

The Sacred Door is Carly Jo Morgan. She is an artist, jeweler, curator, birth doula, and soon to be mother. Her aesthetic explores the trans-dimensional psychedelic realm via mythical landscapes, color, humor, and uplifting New Age symbolism. Dilletante is a collection of artists, writers, impersarios and managers. They are arbiters whose mission is to nurture talent, incubate brands and develop audiences. Rooted within music and artist management, they run an LA based, multi-disciplined creative consultancy and arts space. The Mothership is the first curated fine art show to take place within Dilettante.THE MOTHERSHIP SHOW_Final InviteWeb

Emilie Halpern’s Three-Part Exhibition Coincides With The Autumn And Winter quinox, Beautiful Decay

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A collaboration (of sorts) between Mother Nature and Los Angeles-based artist Emilie HalpernShōka, Halpern’s current show at Pepin Moore, has been on view since the autumnal equinox on September 22nd, and it closes on the upcoming winter solstice on December 21st.  The exhibition has three stages, which is a concept derived in part from the shōka style of ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of floral composition. The shōka style, cultivated in the Ikenobō school in the 15th century, is a minimal description of the universe in three parts: the earth (地), the heavens (天), and humanity (人).

 

Read more here…

Paul Pescador and the Dark Side of Intimacy by Nikki Darling on KCET Artbound, December 9, 2013

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Paul Pescador’s art wants to get familiar with you. It wants pathos, romance, failure and triumph. That much of it involves his relationship with his two life partners, also known artists, seems to be an open invitation to get intimate right back. Yet, Pescador’s work; performance art, photography, a web series, currently up right now at Light and Wire Gallery, and especially his film, “1-9,” the piece de triumphant, and three years in the making, keep viewers at an emotional and physical distance, creating a constant yearning for consistency. Even sound, parceled out in “1-9″ with such frugality, leaves the audience thirsting for anything resembling order, which is ironic, since the film takes place in nine orderly vignettes.

 

Read more here…

ALL EDGE: Olivia Booth and Candace Nycz, Weekend, November 9 – December 1, 2013

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Opening Reception: November 9th, 6-8pm

Weekend is excited to present All Edge, a two-person exhibition of painted works by Los Angeles based artists Olivia Booth and Candace Nycz. “All Edge” is one of the main themes that surfaced in the artists’ decade-long dialogue about painting; their works are braced for the edge at any given moment. So, like any good compulsion, the edge has become the center of their work.

Booth’s paintings utilize glass planes as their imagistic surface, allowing one to look at, in, and through, in order to maintain the brink between actual and pictorial space. Edge becomes the point of continuum in the works but also, because of the delicate nature of the material, the source of their underlying tension. Nycz has driven the edge to the center and back out again in her paintings, allowing it to shift out of sight in order to reveal continuous illusion. Immersed in a complex space, the pattern of edges vibrate in such a way that it resonates out, beyond, and in front of the works.

Both artists’ works allude to the nuances inherent in the act of seeing and the cognitive mapping that occurs whilst simultaneously observing and imagining objects in space.  In an ingenious, tactile and revelatory way, All Edge subtly draws attention to the constructed worlds we inhabit and the “edges” of human intent that entangle our experiences.

Olivia Booth lives and works in Los Angeles. She received a MFA from ArtCenter and has exhibited her work at the Schindler House, Mandarin Gallery, Los Vegas Museum of Art, and Marc Foxx. Her work has been written about in the LA Times, LA Weekly, New York Times, Art Review and Artforum.

Candace Nycz lives and works in Los Angeles.  She received her MFA from Art Center and has shown her work in Los Angeles at Light & Wire Gallery, Circus Gallery, Marc Foxx and Black Dragon Society as well as Claremont Graduate Gallery in Claremont, CA and the Art Gallery of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Her work has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, Artforum.com and Artweek.

WEEKEND

4634 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
HOURS: 11-6 pm, Sat-Sun, and by appointment.
info@weekendspace.org         
www.weekendspace.org

PRESS: Light & Wire Gallery in ARTnews 6/12/2013

Light & Wire Gallery in context with a variety of internet based art projects in the new issue of ARTnews by Carolina Miranda.

Click to see article on ARTnews.

NetArt-Backes

 

The New World of Net Art

BY  POSTED 06/12/13

Over the course of three months in 2011, a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley, regularly logged on to their Facebook accounts to post updates about what they were doing. Things got messy fast. They used the social media service to arrange trysts on campus and off. Pictures of out-of-control parties soon materialized—including images of new pledges being waterboarded at a campus fraternity. More online uproars ensued when it was discovered that one of the university’s top athletes was connected to a violent drug cartel.

OK, not really. Dorm Daze was a performance piece staged on Facebook by British artist Ed Fornieles. It featured dozens of fictional characters and an array of subplots. Fornieles played the role of an aggressive frat guy dating the campus sorority queen. The other roles—math nerds, goth kids, and the basketball star/meth dealer—were inhabited by friends and acquaintances. The largely improvised storylines moved forward every time someone posted a status update. “It was like narrative on crack—it kept escalating,” Fornieles recalls. “As an artist, that’s what I’m interested in: that moment in which a piece just takes off and mutates in ways you could never imagine.”

In many aspects, Dorm Daze represents the Internet art of the moment—taking a prominent media platform and subverting it. The project encompasses a variety of other mediums. Fornieles has built sculptural frat-house sets for rowdy Happenings connected to the online narratives. Physical objects from these events then get repurposed as sculptures, which he displays in galleries. (Fornieles is represented by Carlos/Ishikawa in London, where his pieces sell in the range of $5,000 to $17,000. In July, he will have a show of new works at Mihai Nicodim Gallery in Los Angeles.) “A piece of carpet might be covered with an elaborate mixture of fake blood and vomit, and it becomes this incredible wall piece,” he says. “It’s much more loaded than anything I could make.”

When Internet art first emerged in the early 1990s, it was regarded as something that dealt almost exclusively with the architecture of the World Wide Web itself. During that period, the German-bornWolfgang Staehle constructed The Thing, an electronic bulletin board system that served as a forum for discussions about and dissemination of what was referred to as “net art.” In 1998, British artist Heath Bunting produced a Web text titled _readme.html, in which every word links to a website that employs that same word as its URL—an abstract way of getting at ownership of ideas online. And the Dutch-Belgian duo known as JODI (Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans) created such iconic works aswwwwwwwww.jodi.org, a website made in 1995 that appears to be nothing but garbled alphanumeric symbols—until the viewer clicks through to the programming code, which is written in the shape of an atomic bomb. (The site is still up.)

JODI’s 2008 Web work GEOGOO riffs  on Google Maps.

JODI’s 2008 Web work GEOGOO riffs
on Google Maps.COURTESY THE ARTIST

 

But as the Web has evolved, so too has the notion of what might be considered Internet art. “I think it’s much harder to define than it was in the mid-1990s,” says Christiane Paul, adjunct curator of new-media arts at theWhitney Museum and a follower of the form since its earliest days. “We are looking at something that is becoming more hybrid. Pieces often have different manifestations: an application, a net-based piece, an installation.” For Fornieles, who divides his time between London and Los Angeles, going from the virtual to the physical is simply representative of the way he thinks. “I studied sculpture, but I like moving from one medium to another. Why shouldn’t the work I make reflect a bit of that ADD mentality?”

Even artists who aren’t known for working on the Internet have put a toe in the arena. Three years ago, L.A. Conceptualist John Baldessari collaborated with the organization ForYourArt to produce In Still Life 2001–2010, an app that allows users to create their own renditions of Abraham van Beyeren’s 1667 painting Banquet Still Life. “What I like about these types of commissions,” says Baldessari, “is that they give you the ability to do something that you don’t normally do.” In this case, that’s digitally rearranging the fruits and shellfish in a historic Dutch work of art.

A still of Yoshi Sodeoka’s A Candle  and A Moose Head from “The Shortest Video Art Ever  Sold,” 2013

A still of Yoshi Sodeoka’s A Candle and A Moose Headfrom “The Shortest Video Art Ever
Sold,” 2013COURTESY THE ARTIST

 

There is also now a surfeit of digitally minded venues—both virtual and physical. Light & Wire Gallery, based in L.A., and the Super Art Modern Museum, in France, host curated projects solely online. In March, a gallery called Transfer opened a brick-and-mortar space in Brooklyn, focusing on artists who keep one foot firmly planted in the digital world. And this past spring the Moving Image art fair in New York featured a project called “The Shortest Video Art Ever Sold,” curated by Marina Galperina and Kyle Chayka. It consisted of 22 different six-second works by various artists, all created on the Twitter-owned app Vine, where users share bite-size videos. One of the pieces, Tits on Tits on Ikea(2013), by Angela Washko, sold to a Dutch curator for $200. The earnings may have been small, but the video generated a flurry of press coverage for being the first Vine-made work to sell on the commercial art market.

Moreover, there has been significant movement at the institutional level. The Whitney has been commissioning net art for its website for more than a decade. This spring, in fact, JODI created a 30-second animation that pops up on the site every day at sunrise and sunset. In addition, nonprofit organizations, such as Eyebeam Art+Technology Center and Rhizome (an affiliate of the New Museum), serve as important art-tech incubators.

Rhizome’s annual “Seven on Seven” conference pairs seven prominent artists and seven technologists for creative brainstorming sessions that can result in unusual works of art. At last year’s conference, photographer Taryn Simon and the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz created Image Atlas, a tool that sorts online image searches by country. “It’s so elegant,” says Heather Corcoran, executive director of Rhizome. “It allows you to compare how a word like ‘freedom’ might be visually represented in the United States versus China or Brazil.”

Our cultural landscape is now rife with references to digital visualizations, such as pixelization or the plastic colors and stiff lines of digital rendering. And the boundary between the “virtual” and the “real” is often blurred. Last year at South by Southwest, artist, writer, and technologist James Bridle dubbed the phenomenon the New Aesthetic, a term that has since gone viral.

In art, this way of seeing has manifested itself in innumerable ways. Melbourne artist Joe Hamiltoncollages digital graphics and video footage—as seen in his popular Web piece Hyper Geography, from 2011—to create filmic landscapes that feel both synthetic and disconcertingly real. Montreal-based Jon Rafman has a photographic series based on images he appropriates from the Street View feature on Google Maps. He combs the service in search of unusual slices of street life—arrests, brawls, a butterfly in flight—and then displays these on his Tumblr blog. Rafman also generates prints that he shows in galleries. (He is represented by Zach Feuer in New York, where his works sell for up to $20,000.) “He’s exploring the real as a virtual space,” says Rhizome curator and editor Michael Connor. “It’s very much a product of modern technology.”

A video still of Joe Hamilton’s Hyper Geography, 2011

A video still of Joe Hamilton’s Hyper Geography, 2011COURTESY THE ARTIST

 

The culture that has grown up around the Web is also regularly de- and reconstructed. In the Internet-art version of institutional critique, many artists strive to sabotage the corporate platforms that are now active parts of our daily life. Bridle has used the photo-sharing service Instagram to post images of drone-strike zones in the Middle East. On Twitter, Lithuanian artist Laimonas Zakas (better known by the pseudonym Glitchr) uses gaps in the social network’s code to create texts that bleed digital gibberish all over the screen. Facebook demands that users register with their real identities, a rule that Fornieles and his crew violated when they staged their collegiate soap opera.

The Web, in fact, has lent itself to parodic intervention from its earliest days. Eva and Franco Mattes are New York–based Italian artists who have worked together since 1994 and sometimes use the alias0100101110101101.org. The duo once invented a reclusive Yugoslavian artist named Darko Maver, a figure who received all kinds of media coverage and inclusion in the Italian Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale, in 1999, before he was revealed to be fictional.

In 2010, the Matteses staged a fake online suicide and recorded the reactions to it on Chatroulette, a service that allows random users to connect via webcam. Some viewers giggled at the sight of the hanging man; evidently, only one called the police. “Every time a new medium is born we tend to perceive it as being more real than its predecessor,” the couple states over e-mail. “For example, we take for granted that people on TV reality shows are acting, or at least self-aware, while we assume that a kid making online videos is authentic. In our works we exploit a bit of this deep-rooted trust.”

The vastness of the online world is such that some artists have taken to building new tools for viewing it, as is the case with Simon and Swartz’s image-search engine. Projects of this nature have included Mark Napier’s Shredder 1.0—a piece that reconfigures, or “shreds,” the text on any given website—anddump.fm, a fast-moving image chat room designed by art-technologist Ryder Ripps. For his 2010 work riverthe.net, video artist Ryan Trecartin, along with several collaborators, created a site that endlessly streams ten-second videos uploaded by users. It’s a frenetic peek into the Web’s oddest corners, a way of decontextualizing and reframing Internet imagery.

As with a lot of business done on the Web, net art is not without its commercial challenges. How do you convince a collector to pay for a piece that has been electronically “shared” several thousand times? “It’s a miniscule market,” says Magdalena Sawon of Postmasters, a gallery that has supported tech-driven projects since its founding in the mid-1980s. Sawon has had great success selling prints, installations, and videos, but she has never sold a piece that resides purely online. (Postmasters represents the Matteses, as well as Wolfgang Staehle—both of whose works run in the $10,000 to $50,000 range.) “When we did some of the early shows that featured net artists in the ’90s, I thought it would take a year or two and everyone would be on board with the idea of Internet art,” Sawon says. “Well, here we are 17 years later.”

Acquisitions at the institutional level also remain slow. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis maintains numerous online works as part of a commissions project called “äda ‘web,” which includes pieces by the likes of Jenny Holzer, but none of these works are part of the museum’s permanent collection. The Whitney has only a single net-art piece (The World’s First Collaborative Sentence from 1994, by Douglas Davis), as does the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Fernanda B. Viégas and Martin Wattenberg’s Wind Map, on view in the exhibition “Applied Design” through January). “What is important to me is the art history we are writing,” says Whitney curator Paul. “This is work that is in dialogue with other things in the art world. We are writing a very strange art history if we don’t consider it, if we don’t bring it to the museum space.”

 Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg’s Wind Map, 2012

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg’s Wind Map, 2012 COURTESY THE ARTISTS AND POINT B. STUDIO, PORT ORFORD, OREGON

 

The lack of marketability, however, doesn’t mean that artists are staying away from the Internet. They are simply finding ways to innovate. Rafaël Rozendaal is a New York artist who does installation work as well as pop-inflected net-art pieces like mechanicalwater.com. His tactic has been to create a brand-new website for each work, which he then sells to collectors for $4,900. These pieces—i.e.colorflip.com or intotime.org—remain publicly viewable online but the ownership and maintenance of the site are transferred to the buyer. Rozendaal says he has sold more than two dozen of these works, likening the process to owning a piece of public art. “Here, the experience is both private and public,” he says. (For his physical installations, Rozendaal is represented by Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, where his works sell for up to $14,000.)

Rozendaal isn’t the only one cultivating his own collector base. Young-Hae Chang and Marc Voge are the multimedia artists behind Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, based in Korea. They produce stripped-down text animations of poetry set to musical scores. These are often fast-paced and funny, in a simple oversize font (Monaco), with stream-of-consciousness language that is right off the Web. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries does not have gallery representation, but the duo does sell works to collectors in a variety of digital formats. “We’re in a brave new world here,” they write in an e-mail from Seoul. “Artists have always been inventors, and today’s digital lifestyle invites us to be just as inventive in determining not only what constitutes an artwork, but what constitutes its delivery system.”

Even as their profile grows—their pieces have been transformed into elaborate video installations in institutions like the Pompidou Center in Paris—Voge and Chang have no intention of giving up the Web. They keep the majority of their work online, in several languages, viewable to anyone with a working modem. “We began our career by making Internet art,” they note. “We love our website.”

Carolina A. Miranda is an independent journalist based in Los Angeles. She blogs at C-Monster.net.

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