Category: Project Abstracts

Weave and Metaphor | Language and Materiality

My exhibit will be an exploration into the idea the materiality of code as a language with respect to the knowlede/data it stores. A project to explore the use of code in society as a means to archive and/or embody data on physically material mediums.

Through the use of a “virtual tapestry” of sorts which will be illustrated on screen as “woven” code (for example – the English alphabet as a grid and linear marquees  or “threads” of the binary code that are representative of each letter),  links on this tapestry will lead the visitor through an exhibit of database and/or archival objects (digital and analog) exemplifying the correlation and physicality of archiving events and knowledge with coding as a means to communicate. Examples of quipu weaves, works by Sheila Hicks and Phillip Stearns (referenced below) will be juxtaposed against hard disk drives and other so called digital databases, showing that the materiality of language as code, as a method of storing knowledge, is not new and persists to this day.

Quipu (source: incagallery.org)
Phillip Stearns Glitch Textiles (source: phillipstearns.com)

WALL ST. IS A ‘REAL’ PLACE (we can go there)

Even as somebody who actively engages with OWS, I find it difficult to connect the proverbial dots of the day-to-day happenings of the movement.

Thus my desire to create a digital timeline of sorts, an easy-to-navigate site wherein one not familiar with the movement is able to, at least on a surface level, ingratiate oneself with the movement.

In a curatorial sense, the intention is to create an as-transparent-as-possible site, though avoiding bias completely is (dare I say?) impossible.  So my political/philosophic leanings will most likely be felt, regardless of how “objective” I intend to be.

This is less an archive and more a documentation.  Though I will focus primarily on the NYC element of the movement as a whole, I will include (inter-)national happenings, as they quite often reverberate (in a very material way) within the NYC experience.

Even though we all live in NYC, “OWS” is still, to many, an abstract concept, and I intend to ground this abstraction in a material history in an attempt to illustrate how material this (supposed) abstraction really is.

 

Electronic Waste and the Art of Disposal

    Electronic waste is a category of refuse that continues to befuddle attempts to close the sustainability loop. There is no great solution for what to do with our electronics in their afterlife. Going even further, there is question of what a responsible way to dispose of e-waste even means. Many of the parts that make up our electronics are highly toxic and dangerous to deal with once discarded.

    While artist intentions will not solve the problem of what to do with e-waste, they can, require viewers to reconcile with the idea that their electronics are not just gone; that they often go on to be shipped away to parts of the world they will likely never see; that they will be broken down, parts salvaged and parts in landfill. Through the work of several artists, such as Rodrigo Alonso and Sarah Frost, who create art out of e-waste, the question I ask in my exhibition is: How does the repurposing of e-waste by these artists tell stories about the life of our devices and our relationship to them?

Invisible Money, Visible Transformations

(Working Title)

The traditional functions of money, as first published by William S. Jevons in 1875 are: 1) medium of exchange: that is, an intermediary object used in trade to avoid the inconveniences of a barter system; 2) unit of account: a standardized unit of measurement of the value goods and services; and 3) store of value: an object that can be used to transfer purchasing power over time—Nowadays, when the value exchange through bills and coins is increasingly replaced with bits; when these transactions are invisible to the naked eye since money can now leap through space; when the monetary unit remains the same, yet it is now digitally stored as a data unit—new challenges, roles and interactions emerge to the surface of humanity. The pickpocket, for example, is now a hacker; the commissioned artist is now an application developer; and the bank shares some of its functions with retailers and mobile carriers. And what will happen with the free and anonymous property of bills and coins, in a world where money is now data—one that can be stored and tracked along the way? Some traditions will definitely change. People will not throw off their phones to the fountain of fortune, and it is hard to believe that small change will be transferred to the artist playing the violin at the subway platform by using bump technology.

 

Mine is a project that tells a story about the old and new material forms of money. My exhibition will document the material evolution of money (from physical to digital), and how major changes in form have had an impact in its functions and human interactions.

 

 

Project Abstract: Geo/Type

My project will explore the relationship between geography and typography. More specifically, what does the type of font, or the physical manifestation of the typography (paint, etching, glass/gas/light—in the case of neon, etc.) say about a location or how does it define an environment? I theorize that history, economy, culture, and personal preference, play into the decisions made by architects, designers, artists, and urban planners (among others) when choosing a medium for their signage or projects. More curiously, what are the implications when unexpected or seemingly inappropriate typography or materials are used in place of what is expected? For instance, a corporate edifice inscribed with Edwardian Script or an MTA subway map done in Baskerville. I anticipate the answers will be as varied as the locations I’ve chosen. My methods are archival research, personal and found photography, and visualization using technologies such as WordPress, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, JavaScript and other programs (time and skill permitting—learning JavaScript is proving … challenging [gnashes teeth and clenches fists]). I want to challenge us to think about these relationships by presenting alternatives to our expectations. My locations include Rockefeller Center, 5 Pointz in Long Island City (scheduled for demolition in the Fall so I’m archiving a threatened environment), the subway system, Roosevelt Island (possibly substituted for Coney Island), the Time Warner Center (to some a modern day Rock Center), Greenwood Cemetary, and the marquees of the Theatre District.

Physical Place and Cultural Place: The Independent Film Scene in 1980’s New York City

How is one’s sense of place shaped by particular media images, and in turn, how do those images create “place?” I am interested in how physical places are sometimes transformed by ideas and images.

I am interested in attempting to answer this question by researching the 1980’s independent film scene in New York City. I want to focus on a select group of films and their directors-specifically films that were made and set in lower Manhattan during this time period. I think it will also be interesting to consider the materiality of how these films were publicized, and in turn how that helped to shape this particular community, or “scene.”

This time period was a turning point for independent film-making, as well as a turning point for New York City as a place; certain Manhattan neighborhoods-particularly SoHo, the Lower East Side, and the East Village were gentrifying at a rapid pace, helped in part by the cultural production that was happening in these places.

Primary research: I plan to consult NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collections and I have made an appointment with Anthology Film Archives. I am interested in periodicals such as The East Village Eye. I’d like to gather film reviews, articles, and images that helped to create this community of filmmakers and films.

My online exhibition will consist of scanned articles/images from these periodicals, as well as available images from relevant films, interspersed with audio/video accounts of those who actually lived in 1980′s lower Manhattan and were a part of this community. I plan to use WordPress, though also considering Tumblr.

 

Project Abstract: “An Abstract Contemporary History of the Television as an Object”

“There is nothing more mysterious than a TV set left on in an empty room.” – Jean Baudrillard

My project will look at the TV as an object in contemporary settings both private (the living room) and public (i.e. at a shopping mall.) Drawing from the work of Marshall McLuhan and Anna McCarthy, I will be documenting the television’s presence in the city as well as my own apartment. Instead of studying only the content of television programs, I will be looking at 1) the sound, 2) the light, 3) the advertisements, 4) the physical object itself, and 5) the setting.

The exhibition will be in the form of a faux-television with selectable “channels” that are controlled by a “remote control.” There will also be a “TV Guide” with information on what is currently playing.   I’ve included a rough sketch of the idea that might make sense.