How a Fluxus Pioneer Tuned Televisions to a World of Noise

Wolf Vostell, ‘Endogene Depression’ installation view (all images courtesy of galerie Anne de Villepoix unless otherwise noted)

Wolf Vostell, ‘Endogene Depression’ installation view (all images courtesy of galerie Anne de Villepoix and hyperallergic.com unless otherwise noted)

PARIS — Following on the heels of the Jean Dupuy and Robert Filliou gallery exhibitions, a third radical Fluxus-related artist is receiving a museum-quality gallery show in Paris: Wolf Vostell. Vostell was a German who, as an art student in Paris, was co-initiator of the European wing of the Fluxus art movement in the late 1950s and founder of the European Happening scene based in Cologne.

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Visitors in Lake Tahoe Are Taking Too Many Bear Selfies

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A black bear in Taylor Creek near South Lake Tahoe, California, in 2008. IMAGE: RICH PEDRONCELLI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Conventional wisdom stipulates that upon seeing a wild bear, one should not go near said bear. One should also avoid taking a picture of oneself with said bear.

Visitors to Lake Tahoe this month laugh in the face of conventional wisdom, though. The number of visitors attempting to take selfies with bears in the area has caused the U.S. Forest Service to issue a statement requesting that visitors keep a safe distance from the animals. Continue reading

Olafur Eliasson to Show 112 Tons of Ice for ‘Ice Watch’

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Olafur Eliasson: Ice pavilion, 1998. COURTESY http://olafureliasson.net/

COURTESY GROUP GREENLAND

On Sunday, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing will unveil Ice Watch, an installation that will bring 100 tonnes (equivalent to 112 tons) of ice to Copenhagen’s City Hall Square. Taken from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, and displayed like a clock, the installation’s twelve large blocks represent the amount of ice that melts every hundredth of a second due to climate change—a number that will only increase over time. Continue reading

Elsa Schiaparelli and the Surrealists

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí

Elsa Schiaparelli (center) with Salvador Dalí (right), 1949. COLLECTION OF MERYLE SECREST

Long before visitors lined up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Alexander McQueen retrospective, the worlds of fashion and art collided in the Surrealist designs of Elsa Schiaparelli. The Italian-born couturier—as famed in her heyday as Coco Chanel—is the subject of Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography (Knopf), in which author Meryle Secrest investigates the designer’s ties with Salvador Dalí, Francis Picabia, Jean Cocteau, and other members of the Parisian avant-garde in the 1920s and ’30s.

Schiaparelli was particularly close with Dalí, with whom she made the memorable “Lobster Dress,” “Shoe Hat,” and “Tears Dress.” The last is a slender gown and veil patterned with Dalí’s trompe l’oeil rips and tears to give the illusion of lacerated flesh. “Dalí had some pretty crazy ideas,” Secrest tells ARTnews, “and one of them revolved around the necrophiliac fantasy of the corpse who comes back to life with all the skin torn off,” as seen in his 1936 painting Necrophiliac Springtime. Yet the fabric Schiaparelli concocted “isn’t macabre at all,” Secrest adds. “In her hands, the concept becomes something unusual and strange, but not sadistic.”

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Visualizing Our Tech Worship With Giant Webs of Circuitry

rp_mandala-chips-ft.jpgFor Italian artist Leonardo Ulian, this is our universe. At its center: a microchip. Beyond: resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors.Ulian’s “technological mandalas”—webs of circuitry in the form of the Hindu or Buddhist symbolic diagrams of the cosmos—are icons for an electronic age, and he’ll be exhibiting them this fall in Milan.

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Charting the Geo-History of Culture

vh720Bigger data gets the bigger picture . . . in this case, the big picture in the form of an amazing visualization of global cultural evolution. In Europe. Things move slowly at the beginning, when the only stars and centers of cultural gravity are Athens and Rome. Watch Europe flicker through the “dark” ages until the Renaissance lights up the map. Of course,  things really get going in the nineteen hundreds with the industrial revolution.

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Reincarnation 2014

cropped-SB_DS_6089a1.jpgWelcome to the latest reincarnation of digitalsouls.com — as a WordPress site.

Previous incarnations of digitalsouls.com included early html only versions (1997-2000), followed by an incarnation as a PHP reactor (2001-3), followed in turn by a very successful life as a PHP Nuke in which digitalsouls.com evolved and grew through multiple versions of that publishing platform (2004-2013). Now, after a rather brief incarnation as a Joomla site (2013-14), digitalsouls.com emerges once more in its latest reincarnation, this time as a WordPress site.

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Dr. Hugo: Body Language Sequences

Dr. Hugo Heyrman’s online selection of short video loops offers a glimpse on the complexities of human behaviour and interactions. An intriguing mixture of urban anthropscrn18seq1ology and behavioral psychology, Heyrman’s work combines the elements of a virtual siteseeing tour exploring the streets of Antwerp, Netherlands, with the aesthetics of choppy motion loops – micro shorts, as Dr. Hugo calls them. The online work is part of Dr. Hugo’s Museums of the Mind.

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The Big Here and the Long Now

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Brian Eno COURTESY THINK JAR COLLECTIVE

It was 1978. I was new to New York. A rich acquaintance had invited me to a housewarming party, and, as my cabdriver wound his way down increasingly potholed and dingy streets, I began wondering whether he’d got the address right. Finally he stopped at the doorway of a gloomy, unwelcoming industrial building. Two winos were crumpled on the steps, oblivious. There was no other sign of life in the whole street.

“I think you may have made a mistake”, I ventured.

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10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); :GOTO 10

10print504This installment of MIT Press series Software Studies has an unusual title, at least for the non-coding population. It is a single line of BASIC that, if the code is executed, prints an infinite string of consisting of two characters, selected at random. The last instruction at the end of the program line (GOTO 10) instructs the computer to go back to the beginning of line 10 of the program, execute its instructions, and generate and print out another character based on the algorithm.

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