Sunday, June 10, 2007

Claudia Giannetti, ARCO and DC curators

ARCO tells me that in 2008 they will have "Expanded Box," a project curated by Claudia Giannetti, which is a new section that "embraces happening tendencies exploring the influence and/or use of technology in art. It is basically conceived for works requiring a non-conventional exhibition space, and to encourage their acceptance in the contemporary art market."

Once again, if I was a power museum curator in Washington, DC, I would contact Ms. Gianetti and ask her if she would be interested in being exposed to the work of a group of DC area artists who are doing amazing things with the influence and/or use of technology in art.

I am referring to the artwork being produced and delivered by the artists and symbiots of the group known as Dorkbot DC. From the amazing techno-art of Thomas Edwards, or Phillip Kohn's collaborative video installations, or the sensory art of the Brain Wave Chick.

Also known as Paras Kaul, or the DC area electronic artist known in the art scene as the "Brain Wave Chick."

A reader who was present at the past Dorkbot meeting tells me that the stuff that Kaul does on computers "is totally over my head, but she said her father was a hypnotist and took her into altered states then he died when she was 14 — she said 'he programmed me.'

So at the age of 14 she started studying altered states and brain waves because she desperately wanted to get back to 'these places' that her father took her. She then met the dolphin man John Lilly and did work with him (the movie Altered States is about him). See what she's doing with all that and sensors and brainwaves here.

Or take Thomas Edwards' Talking Hosts project: A server sits in a colocation facility, every few seconds bothered by Web requests from viewing hosts around the world. The hostnames of the visitors are cryptic representations of where the viewers are and which ISP they are using. "Talking Hosts" uses voice synthesis to speak the hostnames of visitors as they hit the site. It is a stream of humanity, at once personal, yet scarily unending. How many hundreds of thousands have passed through? How many more will come?

Or that annoying Sycophant from a few years ago.

If I was Claudia Giannetti I would be a very ugly and hairy woman, but I may also be curious to discover what these DC area dorkartists are doing with computers, and robotics, and programming, and animation, and ahhh... brainwaves.

And were she to get a call (and I have her number) from say Anne Ellegood or Kerry Brougher from the Hirshhorn or Jonathan Binstock from the Corcoran, maybe, just maybe, Claudia may get interested enough to contact Dorkbot and seeing and hearing, and sensing what they're all about.

It's a long shot, but a shot that a hardworking DC area museum curator with some "humpf" behind his or her title, should take on behalf of an amazing group of dorks from his/her home city.


To Philly area artist Frank Hyder and his mural projects in Merida, Venezuela. Frank was invited to do a collaborative mural with the students from the University of the Andes, a university of 30,000 students, together with a group of students from the Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, the Mural Arts Program of Philadelphia and CEVAM, the bi-national center of Merida. In two intense weeks the students and the artist realized two dynamic murals.
Venezuelan Mural by Frank Hyder
The first, entitled "Return to Nature," involved a Mural Arts-style transformation of an ordinary 150 ft long by about 15 ft high city building from unsightly to a painted must-see sight. The goal of this project was to teach the techniques of mural painting as it is practiced in Philadelphia, one of the nation's most expansive and successful urban mural programs, and to introduce the concept of how impactful a mural can be in an urban setting.

Congrats to Frank, the students from Moore College of Art and Design and the University of the Andes and to all those involved behind the scenes.

Frank Hyder is represented in the Philly area by Projects Gallery.