In the posthuman opera "The End" Vocaloid Hatsune Miku is unreal and ageless but possibly not death-defying. What can a not-quite-Open-Source media phenomenon teach us about mortality and cultural alienation? And how much further can the figure of the virtual idol singer be taken in a world which increasingly resembles the cyberpunk dystopias that it originated in?
Marc Garrett reflects on Furtherfield’s role and direction as a rhizomatic arts collective. He argues that the mainstream art world is becoming less relevant in contemporary life. He presents a selection of artworks, projects and events shown in their public gallery in Finsbury Park over the past 2 years and discusses Furtherfield's new lab space, the Furtherfield Commons. This presentation was given at the ICA, London and to students at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, Leicester.
Rachel Falconer's article is written in response to an interview conducted with lizvlx and Hans Bernhard from Ubermorgen. 'userunfriendly' is their first solo exhibition in London and presents a performative study of creeping paranoia. It is on show at Caroll/Fletcher Gallery through October until 16th November 2013.
Rachel Falconer writes about the cyberfeminist art collective 'subRosa', a group using science, technology, and social activism to explore and critique the political traction of information and bio technologies on women’s bodies, lives and work.
Esther Belvis Pons writes about the rising interest in the notion of public space; demonstrations, camps, collaborative projects, artistic interventions, community projects, social activism. Pons explores just a few names that exemplify the different forms of engagement that deal with the complexities of this radically emergent culture, and discusses its legacy that is already dismantling certain assumed thoughts about ‘the public’.
Luke Munn reviews a series of artworks that provide clues about the strategies of contestation and intervention available to contemporary artists. As Luke tells us, "Ripps, von Bismarck and Fornieles belong to an era of artists that may 'no longer dream of an outside', their work utilizing the logic of branding and media to stage interventions that appear more collaborative than combative, preemptively disarming attempts at appropriation".
We all know what Outsider Art is, and the fallaciousness of the term - yet, why is the mainstream artworld suddenly turning towards it? Outsider artworks (echoing Dubuffet) are aesthetically valuable, precisely insofar as they haven't been created for the sole purpose of critique, nor for being deliberately market-friendly (the last point is quite contentious). They are what they are. Or at least, 'what they are' is grouped around a deviation from the mainstream 'norm'.
Patrick Lichty in his essay explores the aestheticization of unmanned mobile devices more commonly known as drones. What emerges is a cultural landscape where a burgeoning remote air force polices the globe while the images generated by them elicit a perverse visual fascination amongst certain subcultures, whilst also being flown by techno-enthusiasts. What is developing is a complex set of relations that is abstracting power, interaction, and representation.
Rob Myers takes us on a short historical journey of Glitch as an aesthetic signifier of technological presence that dates back at least to the 1980s. Referencing the Vaught-Kampf machine in Blade Runner (1982), the titular character in Max Headroom (1985). And how the use of Glitch as an artistic aesthetic in itself has accelerated with the democratization of new technologies.
Patrick Lichty has some intriguing questions regarding conceptions of New Aesthetics in its various forms, in terms of interaction with the program/device and its level of autonomy from the user. It includes looking at different aspects of Glitch, Algorism, Drone imagery, satellite photography and face recognition.
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