Film/Video/New Media · Sculpt/Install · Shows

Ron Arad to Bring a Levitating Circular Cinema to the Israel Museum Next Month

Architecture has taken the cinema to new heights in recent months, with the transformation of both the Hirshhorn Museum and Sydney Opera House into behemoth multi-media screens by architect Doug Aitken and German artist URBANSCREEN, respectively. Following suit this summer is Ron Arad, whose forthcoming “720°” installation at Jerusalem’s Israel Museum trumps both in scope.

The Israeli designer and architect will offer 720 degrees of film and video art by the likes of Mat Collishaw, Ori Gersht, Christian Marclay, and David Shrigley — whereas Aitken’s installation, which wrapped the circumference of the circular museum, was limited to a mere 360 degrees. The installation concept suspends 5,600 silicon rods 26 feet above the museum’s Isamu Noguchi-designed Billy Rose Art Garden, forming a circle. Visitors have the option of viewing projects from the outside, or experiencing the immersive, unannounced live performances within. At its scale, “720°” is not merely a cultural spectacle; it becomes a built part of the museum’s 20-acre campus and a glowing addition to the Jerusalem skyline.

Text and Image via ArtInfo

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Digital Media · Film/Video/New Media · Human-ities · Technology

Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles

Beginning in the late eighteenth century, huge circular panoramas presented their audiences with resplendent representations that ranged from historic battles to exotic locations. Such panoramas were immersive but static. There were other panoramas that moved–hundreds, and probably thousands of them. Their history has been largely forgotten. In Illusions in Motion, Erkki Huhtamo excavates this neglected early manifestation of media culture in the making. The moving panorama was a long painting that unscrolled behind a “window” by means of a mechanical cranking system, accompanied by a lecture, music, and sometimes sound and light effects. Showmen exhibited such panoramas in venues that ranged from opera houses to church halls, creating a market for mediated realities in both city and country.

In the first history of this phenomenon, Huhtamo analyzes the moving panorama in all its complexity, investigating its relationship to other media and its role in the culture of its time. In his telling, the panorama becomes a window for observing media in operation. Huhtamo explores such topics as cultural forms that anticipated the moving panorama; theatrical panoramas; the diorama; the “panoramania” of the 1850s and the career of Albert Smith, the most successful showman of that era; competition with magic lantern shows; the final flowering of the panorama in the late nineteenth century; and the panorama’s afterlife as a topos, traced through its evocation in literature, journalism, science, philosophy, and propaganda.

About the Author

Erkki Huhtamo, media historian and pioneering media archaeologist, is Professor in the Department of Design Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the coeditor of Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications.

Text and Image via MIT PRESS

Art/Aesthetics · Design · Digital Media · Performativity · Philosophy · Technology · Videos

Transcendenz: Metaphysical Immersion

Transcendenz offers to connect our everyday life to an invisible reality, the one of ideas, concepts and philosophical questionings which the world is full of but that our eyes cant’ see. By bringing together the concepts of augmented/altered reality, Brain Computer Interface (BCI) and social networks, Transcendenz offers to live immersive philosophical experiences.

Transcendenz is the outcome of Michaël Harboun’s thesis project at Strate College. He started from a single, inspirational word: Invisible. He says: “After analysing what was invisible to our eyes and our minds, I realized there was something tending to disappear in our fast-paced, information-saturated societies…”

“The idea of Transcendenz came from a personal “design reaction” to the world in which we are living. By observing our modern societies, a certain paradox caught my interest. This paradox concerns the way we behave in time.
On one hand we are constantly trying to be efficient, organized and quick. As time is money, no time should be lost unnecessarily. We try to save every single minute and be as productive as possible, which makes us busy people.
On the other hand, in our free time, we suddenly have so much time for ourselves that we don’t know what to do with it anymore. Not knowing where to invest our time, most of us will consume it throughout technological mediums. Social networks, TV or videogames are some perfect examples. These information technologies put us in a time of connection, interaction and distraction, hence separating us from the empty time.”


Games/Play · Performativity · Sculpt/Install · Sonic/Musical

The Vinyl Rally

Devised and Constructed by Lucas Abela, The Vinyl Rally is an immersive participatory play-set playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports in a video game played within a real world setting.

Classic first person video racing is simulated as remote control cars with styli attached, race across a track constructed from a mass of disused vinyl records. Transmitting sound (produced as the styli skim along the vinyl surface) and vision (from wireless spy cameras mounted to the front of each car) to re-engineered old school racing consoles with immersive 50” flat screens. Here players navigate the course from the vehicles point of view, not only controlling the cars movements, but also the parameters of the resulting sounds they create via a series of unique audio effects mounted onto the dashboard (by Last Gasp Laboratories) giving each car its own distinct aural flavor. These sounds are emitted from speakers built into the seats causing them to vibrate in correspondence with the movements on screen, producing a personally immersive experience aurally, visually and physically that can only be truly appreciated seated at the controls.

Text and Images via Dualplover

Film/Video/New Media · Performativity · Shows · Sonic/Musical

Daria Martin: Sensorium Tests

Daria Martin’s first survey exhibition in a UK public gallery presents a selection of short 16mm films made over the last 10 years, including the premier of an ambitious new work, Sensorium Tests. Throughout this period, Martin has pursued a sustained enquiry into numerous pressing issues relating to film, art and culture, including enchantment, voyeurs and artificial intelligence.

The exhibition includes the following films: Closeup Gallery (2003), in which a magician and his assistant engage in a strange game where cards dance, as if equivalent with inner worlds; Soft Materials (2004) where intimate relationships between man and machine are nurtured in an artificial intelligence laboratory; Harpstrings and Lava (2007) a dark narrative that animates dream images through clashing textures and structures; and the new film Sensorium Tests (2012), which revolves around a recently recognized neurological condition called ‘mirror-touch synaesthesia’.

People affected with mirror touch synaesthesia experience a physical sense of touch on their own bodies when they see other people, or sometimes even objects, being touched. Using staged scenarios based on a real life experiment into this condition, the film explores how sensations might be created and shared between people and objects.

Encountering art has always produced varying degrees of engagement and interaction, whether triggering personal memories, associations or feelings, or more recently in literal, physical responses to immersive, participatory installations. In some ways, Martin’s work turns these distinctions on their head, using mirror-touch synaesthesia to render virtual or remote activities indistinguishable from literal actions.

Daria Martin: Sensorium Tests
20 January – 8 April 2012
MK Gallery

Reviewed by Amy Budd, MK Gallery. Continue reading the review of this show HERE
Images above from Daria Martin’s Soft Materials. 16mm film, 2004.