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I discovered Swedish artist Jonas Lund through an interesting article in Gonzo (circus) entitled “Propaganda as a scalpel“. Jonas Lund is a Swedish artist working from Berlin and Amsterdam, who makes use and often questions (and criticizes) the current state and usage of online communications, advertising and marketing.

Terms of Service

TOS (Terms of Service) 2016, Terms of Service textual agreement

According to his online resume he “creates paintings, sculpture, photography, websites and performances that critically reflects on contemporary networked systems and power structures of control“. For this purpose he has made many installations,  websites, online games and bots, of which an overview can be found on his website. Check some of his disturbing online games and bots such as:

Being a web developer by profession from 1995 onwards, I sympathize with his efforts in this particular field of “‘critical” web/net art. After a surge in popularity and interest around 2000 it seems to have disappeared in obscurity again. Nice to see there are still artists who are dedicated to this type of tech art.

More information:

Every technology has its own accidents. Rosa Menkman is a Dutch media artist who focuses on visual artifacts created by these kind of accidents in digital media. The visuals and installations she creates are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of unplanned noise.

Although most people perceive accidents as negative experiences, Rosa Menkman emphasizes their positive consequences. By combining both her practical as well as academic background, she merges her abstract pieces within a grand theory (“glitch studies”), in which she strives for new forms of conceptual synthesis of the two.

Glitch art seems to be an art form which requires a considerable amount of – rather obscure – explanation. According to Menkman, “glitch art is best described as a collection of forms and events that oscillate between extremes: the fragile, technologically based moment(um) of a material break, the conceptual or techno-cultural investigation of breakages, and the accepted and standardised commodity that a glitch can become. […] Glitch genres perform reflections on materiality not just on a technological level, but also by playing off the physical medium and its non-physical, interpretative or conceptual characteristics. To understand a work […] of glitch art completely, each level of this notion of (glitch) materiality should be studied: the text as a physical artifact, its technological and aesthetical qualities, conceptual content, and the interpretive activities of artists”.
and audiences.

If this description confuses you: it is  – more or less! – explained by Rosa when interviewed for the Digital Manifesto Archive:

So much for theory. How does this actually look and/or sound? Below are a few video’s included of works made by Rosa Menkman.

 

Pattern Recognition, Beyond Resolution

This video was apparently commissioned by the Dutch railways to be played on big LED ‘Urban Screens’ in train stations all over the Netherlands. However, when finished it wasn’t used because it was classified by the railway company as being “to strange for train passengers”:

 

DCT:SYPHONING

This installation is part of the Transfer Download exhibition of the Minnesota Street Project in Transfer Gallery in  San Francisco, which ends on September 9, so next week. So you are actually still able to see/experience it if you are living near SF!

According to the Transfer Gallery website this work is inspired by the 1884 novel ‘Flatland’ by Edwin Abbott Abbott. Rosa Menkman tells the story of a father who introduces his son to different levels of compression; they move from dither, to lines, to macroblocks (the realm in which they normally resonate) to the ‘future’ realms of wavelets and vectors.

 

Xilitla

Xilitla is a software game/application for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms which enables you to view the videoscapes of Rosa Menkman in glitchy  way outside the confines of YouTube and Vimeo (or this  blog page..). The app can  be downloaded for free on the Xilitla/Beyond Resolution website. In the About Xilitla video below she explains the goal and concept behind the app:

 

 

All in all, a very interesting Dutch media artist,who combines art theory and practice in her work and has in doing so already produced an extensive body of media art pieces around the concept of “glitch”. Below are some links – in random order, of course – to get you viewing, playing and reading:

More info:

Seaquence is an experiment in musical composition. Adopting a biological metaphor, you can create and combine musical lifeforms (on the website – nnnoises) resulting in an organic, dynamic composition. You can save and share your composition in the website.

Screenshot 2013-12-08_2

More information:

The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media. Release early, often and with rap music. F.A.T. Lab is the unsolicited guerrilla marketing division for the open source revolution in art. The entire FAT network of artists, engineers, scientists, lawyers, musicians  are committed to supporting open values and the public domain through the use of emerging open licenses, support for open entrepreneurship and the admonishment of secrecy, copyright monopolies and patents.

FATLab distributes the FATLab Manual which according to FATLab is

the “Little Red Book” of those who think that information wants to be free, that everybody should have access to its tools, and that art is not a separate, self-referential world or a hoard of luxury objects gathering dust in private collections and museums, but a field of practice that is in constant dialogue and exchange with other fields, and a game that everybody can enjoy, and everybody can take part in. The F.A.T. Manual is not a catalogue, but a tool.

So here it is for you to download, read and …use: FATLab Manual .

Check:

An interesting article on the history of media art on the Hobbyjunkies blog.

Check it out: Connecting the dots; a short history of media arts.


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