• Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong

    End Transmission

    2017

  • Syntfarm (Vladimir Todorović & Andreas Schlegel)

    Formations

    2011

  • Alexander Schellow

    KIFISSOS

    2017

  • Jonathan Harris & Greg Hochmuth

    Network Effect

    2015

  • Badfaith VR (Shaun Gladwell & Leo Faber)

    Orbital Vanitas

    2017

  • Nicolas Maigret & Brendan Howell

    The Pirate Cinema

    2012-2014

  • Kelly Mark

    REM

    2007

  • Ron Hutt

    Sort

    2018

  • Dejan Grba

    Study 7/0

    2018

  • Julian Palacz

    Surveillance Visualizations

    2017

  • Seth Myers & Sarah Stolar

    Ribbons

    2018

  • TRACE

    WAYFINDING IN CONTEMPORARY NEW MEDIA ART

    PRO ARTS OAKLAND | 20 JULY — 31 AUGUST 2018

About

TRACE: Wayfinding in Contemporary New Media Art exhibition features the artists who draw inspiration from different forms of situational awareness transforming them into complex new platforms for reflection and discourse: Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong, Badfaith VR (Shaun Gladwell & Leo Faber), Dejan Grba, Jonathan Harris, Ron Hutt, Nicolas Maigret & Brendan Howell, Kelly Mark, Seth Myers & Sarah Stolar, Julian Palacz, Alexander Schellow, Syntfarm (Vladimir Todorović & Andreas Schlegel).

TRACE takes place in Pro Arts, Oakland from 20 July to 31 August 2018, and it premiered in MoCA Salon, Belgrade (30 March — 28 May 2018). Within each venue, the exhibition is redeveloped as an autonomous setup with a specific configuration of the artworks. It includes educational programming with round tables, lectures and workshops, which will be documented and publically available. The show in MoCA Salon will be accompanied by a catalogue published by MoCA Belgrade, and the complete project will be presented in a book published by McNally Jackson in New York.

TRACE is curated by Dejan Grba, Anna Novakov and Yvonne Senouf, members of [PAS].

Concept

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When I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies, I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia.

Ptolemy, Almagest (Syntaxis Mathematica), AD 150.

Hellenistic astronomer Claudius Ptolemy looked to the skies and traced 48 constellations including Gemini (the Dioskouri twins named after Castor and Pollux), linked to Messier 35 cluster dating back 100 million years. Today, we can use mobile astronomy apps to follow the distinct colors of the stars Ptolemy described in his ancient wayfinding text. Science and technology of our time make it easier to track not only celestial mechanics, but the earthly movement of matter, animals and people in various scales and contexts: short routes from home to work, long-distance air travels or ancestral migratory routes gleaned from DNA analysis. They have created new aggregates of hybrid knowledge such as the atlases that map biodiversity and environmental changes on the planetary surface but also deep within the earth’s core. TRACE features diverse contemporary artists who draw inspiration from these and many other forms of situational awareness, and transform them into new platforms for reflection and discourse. They engage with wayfinding in unique and engaging ways, and address it on different conceptual levels.

Artworks

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In Yin-Ju Chen & James T. Hong’s End Transmission (2010), strange messages are sent to humanity. They are frightening and poetical at the same time; they report of a takeover and the end of it all. The messages alternate with ominous black-and-white images of lifeless cities under control, frozen industrial landscapes, sterile laboratory machinery and nature in an abandoned state.

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Orbital Vanitas (2017) is an unreal sci-fi mystery meditation that brings you face to face with mortality as you occupy a celestial position amidst the expanding universe that is the home of humanity.

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Dejan Grba’s Study 7/0 (2018) visualizes the errors of commercial GPS generated with a GPS receiver that had been resting on the artist’s studio desk for 7 days, 7 hours, 16 minutes and 11 seconds (7 July 2010, 16:46:36 to 15 July 2010, 00:02:47). It examines the aspects of cognitive mapping as a personal, non-linear and discontinuous experience of space and spatial relations.

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Jonathan Harris's Network Effect (2015) explores the psychological effect of Internet use on humanity. Like the Internet itself, the project is effectively endless, containing 10,000 video clips, 10,000 spoken sentences, news, tweets, charts, graphs, lists, and millions of individual data points, all presented in a classically-designed data visualization environment.

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Ron Hutt's Sort (2018) is an algorithmically inspired work that reveals the creative process of combining digital, visual and auditory files into a post-cinematic performance. The goal is to achieve a new digital indexicality — a time-based audiovisual experience that employs amped up digital processes that trace the artist’s aesthetic choices.

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Nicolas Maigret's Pirate Cinema (2012-2014) is a monitoring room which shows Peer-to-Peer transfers happening in real time on networks using the BitTorrent protocol. The installation produces an arbitrary cut-up of the files currently being exchanged.

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Kelly Mark’s REM (2007) is a feature length video mash-up consisting of 170 different sources taken from television between April 1 and July 31, 2007. A true story of assassination, apocalypse and apnea that begins in the barren arroyos of New Mexico, when a hitchhiker is picked up by various people who will influence his fate and draw him into a mystery of murder and intrigue.

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In Julian Palacz's Surveillance Visualizations (2017) videos are analyzed with a computer algorithm for moving objects such as people, cars, bicycles, etc. The collected data of the moving objects is then drawn in thin black lines, leaving behind only the motion of the captured video.

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KIFISSOS (2017) is an exploration along Athens’ Kifissos River, which, as an actual urban environment, has nearly disappeared. The river’s material and imaginary ‘presence’ in daily life is researched, along with the related strategies of remembering, forgetting and actualizing. The project reconstructs the flow of the river through the perceptions and practices that preserve this former reference line of Athens’ cartography as an urban reality – despite its eradication through urban planning.

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Ribbons (2018), a collaborative effort by US-based artists Sarah Stolar & Seth D. Myers, is a six-segment video installation that explores diverse variations of the displacement of time and space within the construct of an ethereal and psychological landscape. Each individual segment functions similar to a dream state as they appear to begin at an arbitrary time and place and end abruptly. Collectively, the six sections are paradoxical; linear and non-linear, interconnected and disconnected, abstract and representational, narrative and non-narrative, dark and light. The audience is challenged to work through this enigma.

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Formations (2011), by Singapore-based artist duo Syntfarm (Vladimir Todorović & Andreas Schlegel), was created by coding. While traveling through real data satellite imagery and traversing constructs of synthetic cloud formations, the audience is invited to play the role of an astronaut, observing slowly changing audio-visual textures on various macro and micro scale levels in an alienated but familiar setting.

Artists

Yin-Ju Chen

Yin-Ju Chen's primary medium is video, but her works also includes photos, installations and drawings. In the past few years she has focused on the function of power in human society, nationalism, racism, totalitarianism, collective thinking or collective (un)conscious. Her recent projects also engage in the relations between cosmos and human behavior. From 2010-2011, Chen was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She currently lives and works in Taipei City, Taiwan.

Leo Faber

Is an executive producer with 20 years experience as a producer, director and writer in the television and film industries. In 2015 he started making VR content, producing and directing numerous VR experiences for brands such as Intel, Audi, Facebook, Samsung, Jaguar and Semi-Permanent. In 2016, he recognized a need for a more creative approach to the medium so he reached out to artist, internationally renowned video artist Shaun Gladwell.

Shaun Gladwell

Shaun Gladwell is a contemporary artist based in Sydney and London. His work spans moving image, painting, photography, installation, performance, and text. Gladwell’s work reflects on human experience through a wide range of subjects, such as contemporary culture, cinema, and ideas throughout art history, such as the sublime and vanitas. His work is held in many museum collections throughout the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Australia.

Dejan Grba

Dejan Grba is a media artist, author and educator. His artistic investigation of the perceptive, cognitive and cultural factors of visual phenomenology is focused on constitution, representation and interpretation of the individual notion of reality. He has exhibited and lectured at venues including ISEA Manizales and Hong Kong, SIVA Shanghai, ZKM Karlsruhe, IFA Berlin, GfZK Leipzig, Montevideo Amsterdam, MiP Vienna, CCN and <rotor> Graz, MoCA Novi Sad, MoCA and MST Belgrade. He has published papers in new media art journals worldwide. He is a founder and a chair of New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade where he teaches Transmedia Research. He teaches Poetics of Digital Art at Digital Art PhD program at University of the Arts in Belgrade.

Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris is an Internet artist and designer living in Brooklyn, New York. He has won three Webby Awards. Harris was honored as "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum. His work has received coverage by CNN and BBC and has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In his own words, his work aims to "explore and explain the human world". He studied computer science at Princeton University. Some of his noted works are the Yahoo Time Capsule which attempted to create a digital finger print of the world in 2006, I Want You To Want Me, the Sputnik Observatory, Universe, the Whale Hunt, and anonymous question/answer service Justcurio.us.

Greg Hochmuth

Greg Hochmuth is an artist and engineer specializing in data science. He studied computer science and design at Stanford University, and then worked as a product manager at Google, focusing on Chrome, Translate, and ad personalization. He left Google to join Instagram as employee number seven and remained with that team through its acquisition by Facebook, where he served as an engineer, product manager, and data analyst. Greg left Instagram last year to move to New York, where he works on a variety of creative and technical projects, including DADA, an agency focused on data engineering and insights.

James T. Hong

James T. Hong is an Asian American filmmaker based in San Francisco, California, whose works tend to focus on philosophical topics and figures and controversial race and class issues. His films and videos include Behold the Asian: How One Becomes What One Is, Condor: A Film from California, The Form of the Good, Taipei 101: A Travelogue of Symptoms, The Spear of Destiny, Suprematist Kapital, and The Denazification of MH about Martin Heidegger, which is analyzed in the journal Film-Philosophy.

Brendan Howell

Brendan Howell is an artist and a reluctant engineer who has created various software works and interactive electronic inventions. Currently, he lives in Berlin, Germany. He has done research and led courses at the Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Merz Akademie, Fachhochschule Potsdam and the Kunsthochschule Berlin, Weißensee.

Ron Hutt

Ron Hutt is an internationally active artist whose innovative digital performances and site-specific installations leverage new strategies for creating relationships between auditory and visual elements in provisional spaces. Hutt’s creative practices focus on the relationships between technology, art and society – deterministic trends, cultural forms and media representations. In his work, he explores, in tandem, both utopian and dystopian world-views by questioning the implicit and explicit teleological conjuring of algorithmic thinking in the age of augmentation and advanced design manufacturing. Hutt’s work explores our shared future, how emerging technologies affect individual lives, the social experience and environmental values.

Nicolas Maigret

Nicolas Maigret develops sensory and immersive audio visual experiences, exposing the internal workings of media through an exploration of their dysfunctions, limitations, or failure thresholds. As a curator, he initiated the http://disnovation.net research project, a critique of propaganda in favor of innovation. He teaches at Parsons Paris and co-founded the Art of Failure collective in 2006. His work has been presented in international exhibitions and festivals at places such as FILE (Sao Paulo), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (Hamburg), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Elektra (Montreal), NWFF (Seattle), SAIC (Chicago), China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing), The Pirate Bay 10th Anniversary (Stockholm), and HEK (Basel).

Kelly Mark

Kelly Mark works in a variety of media including sculpture, video, installation, drawing, photography, sound, multiples, performance and public interventions. She has exhibited at the venues that include The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Darling Foundry (Montreal), Musee d'Art Contemporain (Montreal), MSVU Art Gallery (Halifax), Bass Museum (Miami), University of Houston (Texas), Real Art Ways (Hartford), The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle), Ikon Gallery (UK), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Scotland), The Physics Room (NZ), Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art (Belgium). Kelly represented Canada at The Sydney Biennale 1998 and at Liverpool Biennale 2006. Her works are included in the public collections of The National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Foreign Affairs, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Musee D'Art Contemporain and many other public, corporate and private collections.

Seth Myers

Seth D. Myers is an artist, filmmaker and educator. Myers’ creative work ranges from experimental video, to single and multi-channel video works, performance and large-scale installations. His work is driven by personal inquiries into social behavior and psychological space. His award-winning multimedia work has exhibited and screened internationally at venues that include the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and the 8th Havana Biennial in Cuba. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art & Communication at Loras College and lives and works in Dubuque, Iowa.

Julian Palacz

Julian Palacz lives and works in Vienna. Studies in Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna under Peter Weibel and Virgil Widrich. Co-founder of the publishing house TRAUMAWIEN for digital poetry. In his conceptual works tools of data visualization and analysis of modern surveillance systems are misused: through aestheticism and ironic treatment they are placed in an artistic context and allow to get a new perspective. The resulting works are usually fed from traces we leave behind unnoticed every day in our digital and analog world.

Alexander Schellow

Alexander Schellow deals closely with relations between space, perception and action at the junction between an artistic and scientific research. His work revolves around a possible documentation on questions of orientation, or of the ways attention is scattered and distributed into given spaces. Since 1999, he has been working on reconstruction processes from memory, based on an ongoing daily drawing practice. This generates different formats which often evolve over a long period of time, partly related to specific contexts. They build series of drawings, animations / films, archives, installations, readings, performances and texts.

Andreas Schlegel

Andreas Schlegel lives and works in Singapore. He is interested in creating artifacts, tools and interfaces where technology meets everyday life situations in a playful way. His work is concerned with emerging and open source technologies for creating audio, visual or physical output using computational and generative processes. Andreas is coordinating the Media Lab at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore where he also lectures in the Media Arts Department. With several years of experience in the creative industries, he is also a practicing artist whose works have been shown at ISEA, Dislocate, ARCO and SFMOMA. In 2007 Andreas co-founded the art collective Syntfarm. He is active within the international media arts environment and regularly contributes to the open source community Processing.org. With a background in Design and Media Arts, his artistic practice focuses on using new technologies to seek new forms of expression.

Sarah Stolar

Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary artist and art educator who lives in the Santa Fe, New Mexico. Working from a strong psychological and female perspective, the breadth of her work includes painting, drawing, multi-media installation, film, video and performance art. Selected visual art and performance exhibitions include Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe; the Donau Festival, Krems, Austria; Anti-Contemporary Art Festival, Kuopio, Finland; 53rd Venice Biennale; and a solo exhibition of drawings at the Bohemian Gallery & Museum of Contemporary Art in Montevideo, Uruguay and the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos. A committed art educator for fifteen years, Sarah serves on the AP College Board and other academic committees, and is currently the Chairperson of the Art Department at the University of New Mexico - Taos.

Vladimir Todorović

Vladimir Todorović is a filmmaker, a new media artist and an educator. He is working as an Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU in Singapore. His projects have won several awards and screened at numerous festivals, exhibitions, museums and galleries including Visions du Reel, Cinema du Reel, IFFR, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Busan Film Festival, L’Alternativa, Yamagata, Siggraph, ISEA, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Japan Media Art Festival, Centre Georges Pompidou, The Reina Sofia Museum, House of the World's Cultures and many others. His films and new media art projects explore class differences, migration, memories, our relationship to history, land and changing environment. The structure and form of his art often exercise mathematical precision; hidden, minimal and micro narratives. His films have been described as being radical and novel in sensibly and poetically depicting human condition.

Curators

DEJAN GRBA is a media artist, author and educator. He has exhibited and lectured at venues including ISEA Manizales and Hong Kong, SIVA Shanghai, ZKM Karlsruhe, IFA Berlin, GfZK Leipzig, Montevideo Amsterdam, MiP Vienna, CCN and <rotor> Graz, MoCA Novi Sad, MoCA and MST Belgrade. He has published papers in new media art journals worldwide. He is a founder and a chair of New Media department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade where he teaches Transmedia Research. He teaches Poetics of Digital Art at Digital Art PhD program at University of the Arts in Belgrade.

ANNA NOVAKOV is a fashion essayist, olfactory curator and new media art critic. In 1992, after completing her doctorate at New York University, she came to prominence in Manhattan as one of the first art critics to write about the interrelationship between art, technology and Utopian spaces. The author of dozens of books, exhibition catalogues, magazine and newspaper articles, Novakov lives in California and New Mexico and is Executive Director of Freehold Taos, co-Founder of Provisional Art Spaces and Adjunct Professor at University of New Mexico, Taos.

YVONNE SENOUF has more than thirty years of experience in the art world, working as a creative producer for the public and private sector. She has collaborated and worked with Christies’, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA, The McKee Gallery, National Gallery of Art Venezuela among others. In 1995, she founded Clinica Aesthetica, an experimental multidisciplinary space dedicated to the production of cultural projects. She currently lives in the South of Spain and in parallel to be a Founding Partner of MELD, (a platform dedicated to art and climate change), is working on several art productions for a select group of visual artists, like Australian artist Shaun Gladwell “1000 Horses”, commissioned by the Sherman Foundation, Sydney.

Provisional Art Spaces [PAS] is an international consortium of curators and artists who create opportunities for spatial transference through artistic affiliations, environmental action and strategic productions. As an association, [PAS] uses territorial entanglement and emerging technology as vehicles for migratory art practices. Working in the United States, Asia and Europe, [PAS] offers an innovative model for contemporary art production that goes beyond the established art market and towards a more egalitarian embrace of viewers and audiences.

TRACE