Jason Huff

Jack of All Trades, Master of Nothing

I am part of a generation of artists whose skill set has changed because of digital technology, whose presence in the everyday has increased over the past decade and deeply influences my artistic practice.

Now my artistic research, production, and documentation of work exist primarily on the Internet, to be shared with global communities and collectives of artists. To paraphrase the words of the seminal media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the Internet has recently become an extension of the artist. We are in the age when the most common skill of the artist is the ability to click a mouse or a keyboard.

The arbiters of this new condition are the Internet Aware Artists, which have grown from a deskilled few to a re-skilled many. Their work exists, online and offline in a multitude of forms, within the sea of cultural production affected by the Internet. “Post-Internet” has emerged as a title for this new condition, but it is perhaps a misleading name.

A specific chronology has produced the conditions of the Internet Aware Artist, while at the same time a new economic framework has bloomed from the seeds of the 20th century art world. It is Neo-Capitalism, Post-Fordism, and even more aptly named, “the creative economy.” By tracing parallel developments of social and production networks on the Internet, we can examine, in detail, what events have created the Internet Aware Artist and the implications of the globally networked economy in which he or she exists.

2011_Huff_TECH_INCRIT_Dia3

 

Are We Not Drawn Onward To A New Era

Clement Valla

Zhongbo Copies Google Earth’s View of Wassaic, NY Onto Twilight in the Wilderness, and Paints in the View from his Window

Zhongbo copies… is an oil painting ordered over the internet from the Wushipu “Chinese Painting Village” in Xiamen, China. It was commissioned for a show in Wassaic, NY. These “Chinese Painting Villages” are reported to produce over 60% of the world’s oil paintings, a majority of which are copies of famous paintings. Zhongbo copies… begins with a landscape painting by Frederic Church of the Hudson Valley. A contemporary image of Wassaic (in the Hudson Valley) from Google Earth is collaged onto Church’s painting. The artist in China was asked to paint the collaged image, and add in the view from her/his window in Xiamen. The resulting painting is a collage of geographical locations and representational media.

Clement Valla: Zhongbo Copies Google Earth’s View of Wassaic, Ny Onto Twilight in the Wilderness, and Paints in the View from his Window

Sophia Brueckner

Singing Code

Inspired by John Baldessari singing the instructions of Sol Lewitt, I sang the instructions that I knew: C++ code. C++ is made up of two files, the header file and the body file. This simple C++ program layers the videos of me singing the C++ files.

 

Enraptured && Encoded

Benjamin Kennedy

Exchange Values

ARTIST:
Hello and welcome to my critique. I have made a sculpture, “Exchange Values,” which I will be presenting today for our discussion. But before we begin, I’d like to introduce you to Anthony, who is a nationally certified massage therapist—and now, he will read a prepared statement.

(massage therapist introduces the critique)

MASSAGE THERAPIST:
Welcome to the final critique of the day. Before we begin this process, I’d like to introduce myself and say a little bit about why I am here. My name is Anthony and I am a nationally certified massage therapist. I graduated from the Muscular Therapy Institute, completing a 900 hour intensive program and have had over 6 years of experience in professional massage. I offer Swedish, deep tissue work, sports massage, hot stone, and cranio-sacral therapy. During my free time, I am also an artist, like most of you. I primarily work with paint and canvas. Benjamin asked me to participate in this situation today by providing cranio-sacral massage to whoever is speaking in the space at a given moment.

(laughter)

In light of this information, I kindly ask you to allow me ample time to get around the room to whoever is going to speak next. Basically what I’m going to do is move behind you and gently massage you. Before speaking, please indicate you wish to do so by raising your hand and I will get around to you. For those of you who don’t know, cranio-sacral massage is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the function of the cranio-sacral system. It’s a very gentle approach which helps realign your spine and neurotransmitters at the same time.

(laughter)

This form of massage deals with the bones of the head, spinal column, sacrum and the underlying structures. It employs a very light touch and uses specifically designed techniques to release restrictions and compression in these areas. Ok? So, please take a few minutes and we’ll begin the critique.

(gallery door opens and critics/students walk in)
(5 minutes lapse)

ARTIST:
I would like you all to feel free to comment on the massage therapist who is present with us today but I want to say that I have nothing to say of the massage therapist other than the gesture is not an artwork, and it only exists as one of the many affective presences in the gallery during the ritual of critique today.

CRITIC #1:
I have a question. In a commercial gallery setting, is the massage therapist always there?

(massage therapist approaches Critic #1 and provides massage: laughter)

If so, my first experience is that the work rubs me the right way.

(laughter)

This is very interesting…I’m wondering if there are any topics that lead the massage therapist to other parts of the body?

(laughter)

STUDENT #1:
I see this event as competing with this sculptural work. And so, for me…the initial…

(massage therapist approaches her and provides massage)

(laughter)

…event is a work in itself and I’m not sure how to read it in relation to the sculpture or the video piece. As I look around, I realize that very few people are paying attention to the sculpture and the video. The relationship between the installation and the massage event is confusing to me.

CRITIC #1:
But what a relationship!

STUDENT #2:
Perhaps the massage is a clue to understanding…

(massage therapist approaches Student #2 and provides massage—Student #2 turns to the massage therapist)

Please get away from me.

(laughter)

(a few critics sit in Director’s Chair with the word “Pervert” embroidered on it, at different times)

No, I’m only teasing. As I was saying, maybe the massage I’m receiving is a clue to understanding the relationship between the different objects in the room. I’m curious about the boxing glove on the plunger. For instance, I wouldn’t imagine a boxer cleaning a toilet while he’s wearing his fighting glove. And then there’s a bust sitting at the head of the table, and the table has some strange, glossed over finish. The title of the installation is “Exchange Values” and there’s money dropping from the hand of the subject in the video. All the while I’m getting a free massage…I’m definitely happy.

Benjamin Kennedy: Exchange Values Benjamin Kennedy: Exchange Values

Lisa Morgan

The written thesis is approached as a generative force and resource that feeds into, clarifies and illuminates, or consciously confounds, the studio-based practice.

Eva Sutton

I’ve observed some of the work and I’ve gone to some critiques and what I think is very interesting is that instead of becoming more virtual, a lot of the students are producing work that’s deeply physical.

So that’s kind of a reaction to virtuality. Which is not to say that virtuality isn’t addressed, it’s just that the presence of the physical object has not waned. In fact it’s become kind of doggedly more solid and more present, which I think is very interesting and curious.

Laura Alesci

Please Watch Over Me

March 8 2010_Alesci_TECH_Thesis

I was waiting for you. You were running late. You were out on patrol and just received a call to be on desk duty. I have to be on desk duty tonight.

I head out of my apartment to meet you. I get on the bus and it drops me off in front of the main station. As I am walking in I hear a knock on the window, I turn around to see if it was you. It wasn’t.

I walk into the station and tell the women at the front desk that I was there to meet you. Just wait a moment.

A bulletproof glass panel divides the reception area and the seating area for civilians. After a few minutes of waiting, you notice me and signal me in. The receptionist buzzes me into the restricted area.

You show me where you go to clear your mind.

It’s Quiet Here No One Bothers You Here

The next night I return to the docks on my own. I take an image and plan to give you a print of it the next time we meet.

Once in the main hallway, I wait outside another door. You come open the door for me. We walk into the main headquarters office. It is divided into three separate rooms that open into each other.

The middle room contains two rows of cubicles, each cubicle space has a computer. Glass window panels separate the adjacent rooms on either side. To left is the chief’s office and to the right is the desk duty station along with the reception area.

The reception area is where individual complaints and reports are taken. The receptionist was busy. She was talking to a woman in the waiting area I was in minutes before.

We walk over to the desk that you are assigned to for the night.

The chief needs to speak to me, I will be right back.

It’s a gray office, fully carpeted with blue borders running along the floor. I wait at our desk.

When you return, you tell me about report procedures. Part of desk duty is approving and merging reports. All reports must be reviewed. Once approved the report enters a record system through a process called merging. Once the report is merged with this system it is ready for distribution and available to the public.

I ask if I can approve one. You are not sure at first. After a couple of minutes you let me approve one.

Three other officers walk in. They gather around the desk for a quick talk. One of them speaks to you. Looking to go downtown tonight? I am working out. Have to keep up with the younger guys.

I comment on his jacket, Where did you get that?

He names a place quickly. He tells me how I can get a coat just like it, It looks just like the other coats that are required for all the officers to wear. You know you can even get your numbers sewn in with gold.

 

Please Watch Over Me

Lili Maya

The last two years have spawned a formal shift from painting, drawing and bookmaking to primarily digital media. Initially, I was intrigued by the idea of injecting the physicality of traditional art forms into digital media. My first experiments in digital media explored how far I could possibly bridge my history of physical art making with my present interest in emergent technology in the arts.

I was also interested in preserving the sense of immediacy and intimacy that I got from working with my hands in my small studio. I began by building tactile projection surfaces and physical interfaces and trying different approaches to video projection. It has been a challenging and sometimes frustrating journey into understanding how my art practice translates to this new medium.

Nerve Endings

Lili Maya

I relate perception to a “knowing” that derives from experience and direct stimulus on the nervous system. Intuitive and visceral means of knowing and understanding are integral to my creative process as well as the experience of my work. Perception is central to my artistic exploration because I believe that this type of awareness is incisive and evokes a level of engagement difficult to attain by a more conceptual or cerebral encounter.

In fact, by focusing on perception I hope to convey a more urgent and immediate grasp of the human condition and the multiple and complex logical and illogical layers that comprise the psychological landscape.

At a deeper and more specific level, I am interested in exploring the notion of proprioception or perception of stimuli generated by posture, position, equilibrium and internal conditions in the organism. In the future, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the physiological processes in proprioception and how these processes respond to and/or result from psychological stimuli.

Nerve Endings

Hye Yeon Nam

The expectation to conform culturally weighs on me heavily.

Recently, I was having breakfast when the server asked how I would like my eggs prepared and if I wanted them “sunny-side up.” I had never heard this term before and had misunderstood him as saying “sun inside up.”

I could have easily answered him affirmatively but instead I questioned him as to what “sun inside up” meant. This led to a frustrating interaction where he could not understand what I was saying and I could not understand the colloquialisms associated with ordering eggs.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should have just agreed with my server rather than causing the confusion to occur? Or was it best that I asked him so that not only did I have my eggs prepared the way I actually wanted them to be prepared but so that I could also learn what “sunny side up” meant to avoid future such situations? How should I have proceeded in the way that was most culturally complacent?

What does cultural complacency imply?

Self Portrait