Silencing the Conscious: The Representation of the API Body in Ex Machina // published in Hyphen

ex_machina

The plot line dictates, culturally and historically, a dominant narrative told many times in film and media. I wish it were different. With the myriad of racial, cultural, and social stories flooding the media, visibility of API bodies is still so very far behind in the mainstream culture even when it is inserted into film as an aside.

From two teenage boys creating a women in the 1980s film Weird Science to a robotics scientist creating a Voice Input Child Identicant (VICI) in cult classic sitcom Small Wonder, the impact of robotics and artificial intelligence on the human condition isn’t anything new. The profound interest in artificial intelligence has gained popularity with surrealist images of Google’s AI perceiving images in nature to self-driving cars. The rapid development in the realms of science enhance existing technologies to make our lives convenient. But the dominant narratives persist in popular culture as seen in the Alex Garland’s directorial film debut in Ex Machina. Since the release of the film, critics laud the triumph of soft spoken and seemingly delicate feminine robot Ava. As she speaks to Turing tester, Caleb, a programmer for Bluebook (Google-esque technology company), we realize she is well aware of the surroundings and has even developed qualities of human behavior that mimic her ability to think of ways to escape her captor-maker.

However, the film seemed to backfire as an interpretation of the battle between the sexes. Nathan, maker of Ava, created a female AI based on Caleb’s pornographic preferences, which reminds us that Nathan himself knew to use one of his own employees as a ploy in confirming his abilities and deftness in using programming and coding to materialize his fantasies and desires. The creation of Ava is also a way for Nathan to assert his control over Caleb.

Read the rest of the piece here

Takashi Murakami’s film, Jellyfish Eyes, to be released later this year

This post is long overdue. Months ago, I was reading through various art blogs and websites looking for interesting developments in the art world. One of my resources for art news is ArtInfo, having learned about Takashi Murakami’s current work, I saved a draft post and ONLY now just getting back to it (I originally wrote this back in late January of this year!). I still can’t believe it’s half way through April! What the heck? In any case, he is working on a Godzilla-like movie titled Jellyfish Eyes scheduled for release later on this year. Now, if you’re not too familiar with Murakami’s work, he is the artist responsible for Kanye West’s Graduation album cover.

Kanye West’s Graduation album cover ~ Image Source: takashimurakami.net

Many Louis Vuitton fans may also remember a line of bags, accessories, and even a New York 5th Avenue store covered in Murakami’s work.

Louis Vuitton 5th New York Store ~ Image Source: Hype Beast

Last year, I read Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. Each chapter looks at an important day in the art world (e.g., The Auction, The Crit, etc.). For The Studio Visit, Thornton met with Murakami and some of his staff. One thing that intrigues me is the collaborative effort it takes to manufacture the grandiose pieces. I try to take notice of what makes a particular artist successful and one of the common threads I see (especially across new media artists) is the ability to work with a cross-section of people. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Murakami’s work but it’s difficult to deny his creative process and prolific production. His work is certainly reflective of human consumption and excess. From album covers (i.e., Kanye West) to the Palace of Versailles, his work is probably the most visually consumed. Reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s art factory, Murakami is an astute artist and business person. It only makes sense that he come out with a movie, right? Right! Quite honestly, I’m really intrigued and will be on the look out later this year.

Takashi Murakami Talks about his Upcoming Monster Movie from Tom Chen on Vimeo.

Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Please support Kirby Ferguson! Great information, wonderful video, and extremely informative! You will want to watch all parts of Everything is a Remix. Click here to view the site.

The Art of War

Last weekend, I watched Full Metal Jacket. Being a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick and a sucker for a well done war film, the movie was phenomenal. Naturally, I thought of the various ways war has been depicted in the visual and new media arts. Admittedly, I’m not huge fan of political art; HOWEVER, when it’s done well, it can be powerful and truly engaging. From visual to performative, the artists below have created some of the most memorable pieces.

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During a Feminism & the Arts course, I studied Martha Rosler‘s photo montage works of the Vietnam war.

Artist: Martha Rosler | Title: red stripe kitchen (Part of 'Bringing the War Home' Series) | photo montage | 1967-1972

Currently in draft mode, I’m working on a zer01 piece on new media art that serves as both political and social commentary. One of the artists I’m looking at is Joseph DeLappe and his work, ‘dead-in-Iraq’.

Artist: Joseph DeLappe | Title: dead-in-Iraq | Interactive | 2006 - Ongoing

The conceptual work of Chris Burden possesses an extraordinary and rather dangerous level of self-sacrifice that works extremely well. His work STILL gives me chills. Talk about physicality and gesture – his work is all about that.

Art collectives epitomize the adage, ‘Power in Numbers’, and the Tool Shed Days is a collaborative effort that created the interactive piece, ‘Befriend a Recruiter’. Please watch the video and share your reflections. Again, I am working on a piece and will be discussing them a bit more in detail…In the interim, I would love to hear what you think – positive, negative, or indifferent.

Befriend a Recruiter from artfail on Vimeo.

Tim Roseborough, New Media Artist

Portrait of Jason II: Rebirth of the B*tch - Film by Tim Roseborough, Courtesy of the Artist

This past year has been filled with pleasant surprises in the arts, in particular, New Media Art. One of the co-founders, Tim Roseborough, of the UpgradeSF node is a New Media artist I’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately. Not only am I intrigued by digital and multi-media art, I’m enthralled by the ways in which new media artists must engage their viewer on a level of thought that looks at technology as a means to convey something deeper about the human condition and existence in this post modern age. In the next few days, I will be dedicating some much needed blog posting real estate to Mr. Roseborough’s work.

Please visit his site by clicking here.

You know what would be even more wonderful? YOUR questions about his work. At the moment, I have two postings in the works (for publication by the end of this week) yet I would like to invite you to reply to this posting with a question and/or thoughts about his work.

Something fun…

The Other Other

Went to the Art Murmur in Oakland, CA last Friday, September 3rd. Specifically, I went to the Other Other opening curated by curatorial collective, OFFSpace. It was a great show about, well, “otherness”. I won’t get into it right at this minute but since a few more people (yes, thank you, dear friends) are keeping up with the blog, I wanted to stay connected. For now, take a look at these artists…they comprised The Other Other show…

The show will be up for some time (another month or so, I believe). Visiting the artists’ sites is a great way to get an idea of the art work being made but there’s nothing like actually seeing the work. Again, I’ll be posting more on my impressions but I definitely encourage you to check out the show, if you’re able.

The Other Other Artists include JC LenochanEric SanchezLuther Thie, and Kathryn Williamson

Curatorial collective OFFSpace