DIGITAL ART @GOOGLE: DATA POETICS (program 1)


Google and The Project Room for New Media launch an exhibition program  June 11 (opening reception 6-9pm) - August 13, 2010


Artists: Scott Draves, R. Luke DuBois, Aaron Koblin, Mark Napier, W. Bradford Paley, Lincoln Schatz, John F. Simon, Jr., Thomson and Craighead, Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas


EXHIBITION AND ARTIST TALKS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 5:30pm -7:30pm Thursday, July 29: Mark Napier and John F. Simon, Jr. Thursday, August 5: R. Luke DuBois and Scott Draves Thursday, August 12: W. Bradford Paley and Martin Wattenberg & Fernanda Viegas

RSVP REQUIRED: rsvp@chelseaartmuseum.org EXHIBITION LOCATION: Google, Inc. 75 Ninth Avenue, 2nd Floor New York City

PRESS RELEASE (PDF)


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EXHIBITION INFORMATION:

Data Poetics (June 11 - August 13)

We Write This To You From The Distant Future (August 20 - October 22)

Ancient Stories with Modern Technology (October 28 - December 31)

Support for Digital Art @Google provided by the Google, Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation


New York, NY - Google and The Project Room for New Media at Chelsea Art Museum (CAM) in New York have launched an exhibition program, Digital Art @Google NYC, which will engage Googlers with the art world and promote creativity with digital technology. The exhibitions and artist talks take place at Google and are open to guests at times announced above. 


Data Poetics will open June 11 with works by well-known international digital artists, Scott Draves, R. Luke DuBois, Aaron Koblin, Mark Napier, W. Bradford Paley, Lincoln Schatz, John F. Simon, Jr., Thomson and Craighead, Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas.


Digital Art @Google NYC is curated by Nina Colosi, Curator of The Project Room for New Media at CAM and founder of its public art program, Streaming Museum, which presents exhibitions in cyberspace and public spaces on 7 continents. The programs were inspired by pioneer video artist Nam June Paik who in the 1970s envisioned the Internet, predicting an “information superhighway” as an open and free medium for imagination and exchange of cultures. 


According to Colosi, “A natural synergy exists with Google in this partnership. The Project Room’s program showcases artworks and educational programs in its dramatic two-story black box space at Chelsea Art Museum, which incorporate technology and the Internet in the creative process.“ 


Digital Art @Google emphasizes the correlation of Google’s mission in organizing the world’s information and making it accessible, with the ability of artists to reflect and synthesize information in the creation of artwork that expresses the contemporary world. The exhibitions and speaker programs will inspire, entertain, and help envision the world in new ways. 


The exhibition program was initiated at Google by Josh Mittleman, User Interface Software Engineer, and supported by the Google Community Affairs committee at Google New York City. Mittleman described the motivation of the exhibit, "Art is one of many tools that can help to organize and make sense of the world’s information. Digital Art @Google NYC is the first step toward introducing the digital arts community to Google, and to starting a conversation that will lead to a rich, ongoing collaboration." 


Chelsea Art Museum, Home of the Miotte Foundation, presents contemporary thematic exhibitions that foster critical thinking about today's world. The museum is founded on the legacy of abstract expressionist painter, Jean Miotte, whose foundation is housed within the museum. Through his painting, Miotte strove to build a bridge between cultures and transcend national boundaries. In this spirit, CAM strives to cultivate respect for the world at large, exhibiting seminal, but relatively unexplored dimensions of 20th and 21st century art, particularly focusing on international artists that have less exposure in the United States. Furthermore, exhibits are accompanied by comprehensive public programming that consists of artist and curator talks, panel discussions, concerts, exhibition tours, film screenings and more, to place the art within a context of cultural exchange and dialogue.

CAM also houses the Miotte Foundation, which was founded to archive and conserve the oeuvre of Jean Miotte. CAM's permanent collection features his work along with paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Informel and Abstract Expressionist artists from Europe and the United States, including Joan Mitchell, Manuel Millares, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and many others. Rotating selections from the permanent collection are exhibited regularly. Opened in 2002, CAM is housed in a beautifully restored 1850s warehouse building, providing a unique combination of historic architecture and contemporary design that creates a truly unique atmosphere.

The Project Room for New Media at CAM is an incubator of new ideas, showcasing groundbreaking concepts in all art mediums, and the intersection of the arts through technology. Initiated in 2003 at Chelsea Art Museum by curator, Nina Colosi, over 400 international emerging and established artists have been presented in exhibitions, performing arts, symposiums, meet-the-artist programs, and workshops. The innovative public art project, Streaming Museum (streamingmuseum.org) is a new hybrid museum model that was launched on January 29, 2008 and presents multi-media exhibitions in cyberspace and public space on 7 continents, as well as live at partnering cultural centers.! Exhibitions are generated in collaboration with international cultural, educational, and public centers; artists, curators and visionary creators. !The!museum was inspired by Nam June Paik who in the 1970s envisioned the Internet, predicting an “information superhighway” as an open and free medium for imagination and exchange of cultures.

Google Inc. Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program, which is the largest and fastest growing in the industry, provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.

ARTISTS FEATURED


JOHN F. SIMON, JR., HD TRAFFIC, 2009

software and HD video



John F. Simon, Jr’s new software artwork HD Traffic 3 (2010) combines Piet Mondrian’s rectilinear compositional style and his love of Jazz improvisation with the emergent dynamics of object oriented programming. From simple rules John Simon is able to coax cubes to form realistic traffic patterns, stopping and starting at intersections, passing each other and avoiding collisions, and even ending up in a giant traffic jam. His software endlessly varies the visual elements of the scene such as: the number of vehicles, the street sizes, traffic lights, car speeds, background colors and many more. Like traffic on a city street, the basic patterns are the same but the details never repeat. This new piece, spread across three large screen LCD monitors, follows Simon’s lifelong fascination with using software automation to explore the infinite possibilities of image making. 


Biography


b. 1963, Louisiana. Lives and works in New York.

Best known for his software and screen based artworks, John F. Simon, Jr. uses the unique properties of digital media to create time-based paintings whose compositions never repeat. His software art was shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and many others. numeral.com


MARK NAPIER, PAM STANDING, 2009

custom software, computer, monitor, generative animation. Overall: 42 x 24 x 7” / 106 x 61 x 18 cm; Screen: 23 x 15 x 4” / 58 x 38 x 10 cm edition of 3.


PAM Standing is a new-media Venus: a body re-formed from fragments scattered across the web. This generative screen-based work is a mashup of hundreds of images of Pamela Anderson downloaded from the Internet. Body parts of the pop-culture diva are joined together to form a virtual marionette that moves puppet-like on the screen. Flesh tones blend with numbers, lines and arrows that reveal the skeletal framework of the figure. In a reversal of Cubism, the female figure is “de-fragmented”, rejoined into one seemingly complete body from it’s media representation. Part reflection and part parody, PAM Standing explores sexuality in a world dominated by digital media and global information networks. Courtesy: bitforms gallery nyc


Biography


b. 1961, United States. Lives and works in New York.

Mark Napier is recognized as one of the first to explore the potential of the Internet as a space for public art. Breaking boundaries of ownership in early web-based works such as Shredder (1998), Riot (1999), and Feed (2001), Napier questioned fixed designs of web navigation, opened content choices to users, and dissolved information into abstract expression. His recent works investigate monumentality, permanence, skin, the body, obsolescence, mythology, and architecture. 


Commissioned to create Internet art for the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Napier was also part of the 2002 biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Exhibitions of his work include Centre Pompidou, Paris; P.S.1, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Ars Electronica, Linz; The iMAL Center, Brussels; Eyebeam; Markel Foundation in Rockefeller Center; Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College; Princeton Art Museum; la Villette, Paris, W Hotel, Seoul; Lafayette College; and Cleveland State University. He has received grants from Creative Capital, the Greenwall Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. 

marknapier.com



LINCOLN SCHATZ, NEXT, 2010

generative video work screen, computer, custom software, camera 


Next is an interactive generative portrait. It is constantly changing, never revealing the same composition. The piece collects video from its environment daily, gradually amassing hours of brief video snippets. A generative memory of events is displayed on-screen, overlapping and juxtaposing past with present imagery. This video installation pictures the people and surroundings encountered by the artwork and presents nonlinear temporal possibilities. Imagery will be collected for approximately eight years, at which point the piece will no longer record.  Courtesy, bitforms gallery nyc


Biography


b. 1963, United States. Lives and works in Chicago.

Lincoln Schatz is an artist working with relative experiences of place and the meanings created over time using non-linear structures. Through use of custom software in his recent work, Schatz selectively records and displays video images culled from specific environments. Known for generative video works that collect, store and display nearly a decade of video memory, Schatz recently premiered new work in portraiture that celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Esquire magazine. Commissions of his work also include Qualcomm Corporate Headquarters, San Diego; the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, Chicago; One Arts Plaza, Dallas; and the Blackstone Hotel, Chicago, among others. 

lincolnschatz.com




W. BRADFORD PALEY, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland TextArc 2001-2010, CodeProfiles 2002-2003, Once More Around the Sun, 2007-2010, Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms


Biography


Brad Paley is a designer who often uses computers to transcribe forms out of information. It is central to his practice that the resulting works are readable: that they can support discourse about the subject of the work as readily, or more readily, than about the form of the work. 

He is pleased that his work is sometimes appropriated as fine art or mistaken for science, but his process does not explicitly include self-expression or apply the scientific method. He attributes these happy mis-castings to the possibility that whenever anything is visually rich, reveals structure at many scales, and can be interpreted, the human eye/mind treats that thing as it does things in the natural world. This allows people to explore it with whatever mental framework they bring to it. 

He coded his first computer graphics in 1973; has shown work in MoMA, the Whitney, and (having been awarded grand prize) at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival; he’s a NYFA fellow and NYSCA grantee. He occasionally teaches interaction design as “cognitive engineering” in the Department of Computer Science at Columbia University, and practices his design methodology roughly half the time for Wall Street, and half creating approaches to exploring parts of the world we’ve quantified but don’t yet understand. didi.com


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland TextArc 2001-2010

A TextArc is a visual index that draws an entire text, line by line, around the outside of a page; then repeats the text, word by word, just inside. If a word occurs more than once it’s drawn larger, at the centroid of all its occurrences. This lets one see which words are used mostly in one place (they’re pulled toward that place) and which are distributed in a more interesting way. Stars (“distribution glyphs”) next to each word point to every occurrence. 

A spectrum paints each section of the text a different enough color that a word used in an unusual place stands out. For example Queen, appearing briefly before the bulk of its usages, shows up as cyan in the mostly green tiny text lines along the bottom.

Note how the “ensemble characters” Hatter, Dormouse, and March Hare all have similarly shaped distribution glyphs, indicating that they always appear together. Similarly King and Queen always appear together. But Queen’s glyph also graphically depicts foreshadowing: spikes pointing toward the bottom right (which don’t appear in King’s glyph) show that Queen appears four times, evenly spaced (reinforced just when one might forget it), before either character appears in person in the text. 


CodeProfiles 2002-2003

CodeProfiles was written August 9-15, 2002 for the CODeDOC exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art; commissioned by Christiane Paul whose curatorial agenda for the show became the organizing thesis of the print.

The artists shared source code with one another and the public, to focus upon it and the process of creating computer-mediated art. The assignment was to write code that moves three points in space—far too few points to interpret, leaving too much to arbitrary graphical choices—anathema to Mr. Paley’s approach to design. But when three different processes were traced through the “space" of the source code the problem became constrained enough to shape this result.


This code reads in its own source and displays it in a tiny font, then moves three points in “code space.” The white Insertion Point traces the code in the order it was written. The amber Fixation Point traces word by word as someone might read it. The green Execution Point shows a sample of how the computer reads it. 


It is displayed here for the first time as an “Illuminated Diagram": a hybrid medium that combines the strengths of print (information density) and projection (used to direct attention over time).


Note how the code occasionally goes into a nested loop near the upper right, and that loop calls routines near the beginning of the code. If that’s easy to see, a harder "geek riddle” is to understand how the code traced itself. In a very real sense, from the moment the tracing scheme was conceived it began tracing the order in which it was written; the same tokens were used later by the program itself to profile runtime order and frequency—all without breaking the Java sandbox. 


Once More Around the Sun, 2007-2010

Once more around the sun is a calendar designed to allow easy travel conflict spotting (since you can circle contiguous days with no weekend breaks), and to let people mark the more important events during the year with one or two words. It is printed yearly on newsprint-like (though high-quality) stock, folded, and distributed in packages of three to help people feel comfortable using it as a scratch pad on which to plot their lives; inventing their own visual language as they go. 


It was conceived to perceptually/experientially connect tiny and large time scales: if someone marks the calendar then looks back in as little as an hour, they will be able to see the year slipping away. And yet, if this calendar is marked well, it can bring back those lost hours by revealing patterns one might not know in one’s life. It might even do more; if it’s discovered a decade later the key events marked should serve as strong mnemonics, bringing back an entire year that might otherwise have dimmed to just an anecdote or two.

Note how this representation foregrounds the regularity of the way we divide time, interrupted only by the slight differences in month lengths, and the subtler hour deletion & insertion for Daylight Savings Time (on March 14 & November 7 in 2010). 


Relationships Among Scientific Paradigms

W. Bradford Paley, Dick Klavans, Kevin Boyack

This “map of science” was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 scientific papers into 776 different scientific paradigms (shown as colored circular nodes), based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. Links (thin curved lines) were made between the paradigms that shared common papers, then treated as rubber bands; holding similar paradigms closer to one another while a physical simulation forced them all apart. Thus the layout derives directly from the data. Larger paradigm circles contain more papers. The feather boa-like labels list common words unique to each paradigm.

The smaller images along the bottom show how several individual nations concentrate their own efforts. Note how the English-speaking countries seem to focus more on medicine, the humanities and earth sciences; and Asian countries on computers and the physical sciences. Compare that with the relatively balanced focus of the European countries.




R. LUKE DEBOIS, HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS 20/20, 2008

4 from portfolio set of forty-three letterpress prints (41 eye charts, 1 title page, 1 synopsis page). Each print: 21.25 x 28.25" / 54 x 72 cm Edition of 10





Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines the history of American political discourse through the metaphor of vision. Drawing from the annual State of the Union (SOTU) addresses given by Presidents to Congress, ‘Hindsight’ consists of a single Snellen-style eye chart for each president to have given SOTU addresses. Instead of the typical characters present in an eye chart, the piece employs words drawn from their speeches, presented in order of most frequent (top line) to least frequent (bottom line) word. The result is a startlingly clear snapshot of the lexicon of each presidency, containing a mix of historically topical keywords and rhetoric unique to each president and the time period in which they served in office. 

Courtesy: bitforms gallery nyc


Biography


b. 1975, United States. Lives and works in NYC. 

R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural ephemera. Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography," his recent work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his work reveals the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information. 


An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. DuBois holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and teaches interactive sound and video performance at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. He is represented by bitforms gallery. lukedubois.com



SCOTT DRAVES, GENERATION 243, 2009

Original software, nonrepeating playback of 12GB of 1080p nonlinear video, internet community consisting of 350,000 people and computers Generation 243

This is the artist’s print of a commissioned piece for the Gates Center for Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, installed there during opening ceremonies in September 2009. It is an infinitely-running, continuously morphing exploration of the 243rd generation of Draves’ crowdsourced evolving artificial life form, the Electric Sheep. 

Biography

b. 1968, Alexandria, VA. Lives and works in New York. 

Draves is a software artist best known as the creator of the Electric Sheep (1999), a continually evolving abstract animation with 350,000 active monthly participants. He created the original Flame algorithm in 1991 and the Bomb interactive visual-musical instrument in 1995. Draves’ software artworks are released as open source and have been used for two decades by many other artists and designers in their own work. Other works include Clade 1, a 1080p BluRay installed in Google’s New York offices. Dreams in High Fidelity, a moving painting that runs infinitely, is installed in the lobby of Google’s headquarters, and has been acquired by corporate and residential collections nationally. 


Draves’ award-winning work is permanently hosted on MoMA.org, and has appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, as an official skin for Google Chrome, as the graphic identity for Siggraph 2008, at the Prix Ars Electronica 1993, the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, and on the main dance-floor at the Sonar festival in Barcelona. Draves is now an engineer in the mapping division at Google Inc. In 1990 he received a BS in Mathematics from Brown University and in 1997 a PhD from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University for a thesis on metaprogramming for media processing. scottdraves.com



AARON KOBLIN AND CHRIS MILK, THE JOHNNY CASH PROJECT, 2010

music video, collaborative web project JAMES FROST (Director) and AARON KOBLIN (Director of Technology), HOUSE OF CARDS, 2008

music video, interactive data viewer, source code


The Johnny Cash Project is a global collective art project where participants are invited to create a drawing that is woven into a collective tribute to Johnny Cash, set to his song Ain’t No Grave. The project was inspired by the song’s central lyric, "ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down,” and represents Cash’s continued existence, even after his death, through his music and his fans. A collaboration with director Chris Milk, the work continues to grow and evolve as more people participate. thejohnnycashproject.com



House of Cards is a music video that used lasers and sensors to scan the band Radiohead into a three-dimensional particle-driven data experience. The code and data were launched on Google Code as an open source “music video without video” project. Aaron Koblin was Director of Technology. With Director James Frost and a bunch of other great people, lasers and sensors were used to create a 3D data “music video”. The project was launched as an Open Source project on Google Code. An interactive online viewer (created along with Aaron Meyers) allows for 3D investigation of the data online. Nominations in 2009 include a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video, UK VMA for Best Rock Video, and British Design Museum Awards. [The Making-of “House of Cards”]  aaronkoblin.com/work/rh/index.html


Biography


Aaron Koblin. b. 1982 United States. Lives and works in San Francisco.

Koblin is an artist specializing in data visualization. His work takes social and infrastructural data and uses it to depict cultural trends and emergent patterns. Aaron’s work has been shown at international festivals including Ars Electronica, SIGGRAPH, OFFF, the Japan Media Arts Festival, and TED. He received the National Science Foundation’s first place award for science visualization and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Currently, Aaron is Technology Lead of Google’s Creative Lab where he helped to launch Chrome Experiments, a website showcasing JavaScript work by designers from around the world. Koblin holds an MFA in Design|Media Arts from UCLA. 

aaronkoblin.com


FERNANDA VIEGAS & MARTIN WATTENBERG, FLICKR FLOW, 2009

print and interactive


The two of us see the world as a stream of color, and in 2009 we finally had a chance to draw the river in our heads. We began with a collection of photographs of the Boston Common taken from Flickr. Using an algorithm developed for the WIRED Anniversary visualization, our software calculated the relative proportions of different colors seen in photos taken in each month of the year, and plotted them on a wheel. In the image above, summer is at the top, with time proceeding clockwise. 


Biography


Viégas b. 1971 Brazil, Wattenberg b. 1970 United States. Live in Cambridge and Winchester, Massachusetts. 

Viégas and Wattenberg are the founders of Flowing Media, a studio focusing on media and consumer-oriented visualization. Before starting Flowing Media, Viégas and Wattenberg led IBM’s Visual Communication Lab, where they created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes. The two became a team in 2003 when they decided to visualize Wikipedia, leading to the “history flow” project that revealed the self-healing nature of the online encyclopedia. Viégas is known for her pioneering work on depicting chat histories and email. Wattenberg’s visualizations of the stock market and baby names are considered Internet classics. Viégas and Wattenberg are also known for their visualization-based artwork, which has been exhibited in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Whitney Museum of American Art. hint.fm



THOMSON & CRAIGHEAD, GOOGLE TEA TOWELS, 2002

4 prints, 29” x 17" each

A beautifully crafted set of four tea towels sporting a series of authentic search engine results returned to a user when the criteria, “Please Help Me”, “Is Anybody there?”, “Please listen to me” and, “Can you hear me?” were entered into the search field, while using Google in Netscape 4.7 on Mac OS 9.2 or Netscape 6 on Windows 98. 


Biography


Craighead b. 1971 Scotland, Thomson b. 1969 United Kingdom. Live in London and Kingussie, Scotland.

Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead are fascinated by how global communications networks like the web are transforming the way we all perceive and understand the world around us. They live and work in London and Kingussie in the highlands of Scotland and make artworks for galleries, online and sometimes outdoors. Recent exhibitions include: Artists Space, New York; FACT, Liverpool; Tang Contemporary, Beijing; Dundee Contemporary Arts; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. They currently have a solo exhibition at the Highland Institute of Contemporary Art (H-I-C-A) in Inverness-shire and are screening their recent video work, ‘Several Interruptions’ on the side of a highrise building in Syracuse, New York as part of the Urban Video Project. thomson-craighead.net


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