Sep 1st at 11:03pm
Related Stories:Aug 30th at 4:53am
I usually take my sweet time to write, but today I’m writing a fairly hasty response to an article I just read online by Gary Kamiya for San Francisco Magazine/Modern Luxury: San Francisco is Dead. Long Live San Francisco. Gary is a longtime resident of the city and while he’s both a former tenant and landlord, and feels strongly about the current plight faced by the fading middle class, the poor, the disabled, artists, activists, mentors and anyone else who can’t afford $3,000/month studio apartment. He doesn’t see the argument as black and white and writes intelligently about the many issues at play here now, and feels very strongly about the city’s ethnic diversity and maverick progressive tradition. He even wrote a book about it (Cool Gray City of Love.)
As do I, Gary does not approach the argument monolithically, which isn’t realistic and hardly useful in the end, I agree. Yes things have heated up to an extreme; it’s easy these days for politicians, activists and corporations to all engage in street theatre designed to attract ultimate media attention. And with a few proud exceptions, it’s hard to rely on the media to provide you with a sensible examination of all the issues. Kamiya’s article is thought provoking, well written, and attempts to suggest that the current “cultural, political and class war that has erupted in San Francisco – call it The Change – strikes me as wrongheaded to the point of surreality.” He argues that more of that surreality comes from the left, that there is no enemy and that there is confusion in making the argument about hi-tech companies and employees, new construction and city policies when the reality is about capitalism, pure and simple.
For the record I was part of the dot-com boom, an employee of high tech companies that collapsed when the first tech bubble collapsed in 2001 and was laid off twice. I became unemployed, then disabled, then broke. The circumstances then were not nearly this extreme, but still, many residents didn’t appreciate the new tech workers and their high salaries. That lack of appreciation was palpable and I didn’t like it. Today I rely on Social Security and am semi-retired, a transformed struggling artist and writer trying to survive and feeling very blessed to still be living in the city in my tiny and too expensive rent-controlled studio apartment. So like, Gary, I can see and relate to both sides too. Certain aspects of “The Change,” are about undeniable economic forces that are at play and may not be able to be stopped. And I agree it’s wrong to blankly blame or attack anyone, in this case tech workers, for being the sole cause of the problem. But I think that’s where I stop agreeing with him.
I don’t agree that that city elected officials can’t do anything to navigate and regulate this issue. To say only that “City Hall is in the business of stoking new business, welcoming new people and attracting new capital.” While Kamiya is also right to have us remember what an economic slump the city was in just a few years ago, and that we should appreciate the influx of new business and investment, I think that City Hall is in, or should be in, the business of a lot more than that. City Hall also enacts laws to protect its residents, to control development and to preserve culture here. While most cities do take the “Chamber of Commerce” approach to welcoming any business or investment at almost any cost, this is San Francisco, and the writer says he knows that.
I don’t think anyone knows at this point how all of this will play out. The city has enacted an affordable housing plan to build 30,000 new homes in a few years – we need more like 100,000 and that seems unlikely. As it has always been, city activism has it’s place, as do “we” artists, writers, activists, mentors, middle-class or low-income residents. As do many residents who grew up here and have been here longer than I, I agree that not only is city preservation important, and so is sound planning and development, sufficient affordable housing. San Francisco should continue to be a supporter and voice for diversity, the disenfranchised, low and middle income residents. I don’t want to see more artists forced out of the city. Including me. Now I’m going to continue to think about it all, and write about it some more.Mark Gould is an artist, writer and editor following trends in art, culture, technology and digital media.Apr 24th at 6:40pm
It could be said that housing activists, political street artists and big corporate technology companies are all fluent in the use of different tools to raise media and public attention. No cynicism intended; I’ve been wondering when the seemingly dormant political and social action establishment in San Francisco would emerge to leave its imprint on the ongoing developments concerning the lack of affordable housing in the city, the fallout on some tenants being forced out of their quarters by the current frenzied demand ongoing during the grab for almost any rental property, at almost any price.
— sfsthetik (@sfsthetik) April 13, 2014s
Mission Local reports that an estimated group of 200 people walked to and protested against the conversion of a seven-unit rental apartment building on Guerrero St. that was bought and converted to a private residence, owned by a Google lawyer, Jack Halprin, two years ago. Several signs in the crowd read “Google, don’t be evil. Make Jack Halprin stop evicting teachers,”
Teachers Ask Google Why a Google Lawyer Is Evicting Tenants
— sfsthetik (@sfsthetik) April 13, 2014
I don’t have an idea when or if the protests will continue, grow in numbers or get more media attention. I do know there are many forces for change in San Francisco who have had an important role to play in building the city’s future and have long made a difference in what happens during critical times in the city.Apr 14th at 12:26am
A lot of people have trouble getting their news from a smartphone screen, especially if they’re in a crowd and in a hurry. Others, like me, are not early risers and don’t want to be woken up by caffeine saturated news readers interrupted by loud commercials.
Enter Berlin-based Capsule.fm and their great artificial voice that will not only read you from a choice of selected news sources, but also tells you the battery charge on your iPhone, flatter you, and tell you bad puns. Well, some of them are actually pretty funny. All of this is mixed in with quiet ambient-like music and I have found, is an amusing and great way to get your first dose of the news. This doesn’t have the capabilities of Apple’s Siri; it won’t open web pages and apps or find a location on a map. But its not presently designed to do that – it reads you your morning news, and at that does a great job. Right now it’s just an iOS app, but Capsule.fm says an Android version is on the way.
Capsule.fm says Early Edition uses natural language generation with aggregation and filtering systems and advanced text-to-speech technology. I’ve found the British female voice to be be better than some of the “voice assistant” apps, while those apps recognize your voice and will complete a number of tasks, like Siri. So, when it comes to artificial voices it’s currently quite a mixed bag and you should research before you buy. The Early Edition voice has a way to go with pronunciation and phonetics; you have trouble understanding some words, and sometimes there’s a noticeable latency that seems to result in a stutter, unless they’ve built that in as another amusement factor. “Mark, you look fa-fa-fabulous,” just like Max Headroom. Here we are.
What Early Edition has going for it is personalization, that you can choose your news sources from a pre-selected list, and instead of squinting to read from a smartphone screen, the artificial voice will read to you, while you’re on the go. I think it’s worth a try, and seeing where this now rapidly evolving technology goes next.Mar 26th at 8:17pm
It’s taken so many years, but now I have the time to review thousands of shots taken over the years, do a lot of editing and post-processing, and put what I think are some of my better images online in various places. One great shoot was this one, a Labor Day and immigration protest march starting in Delores Park and then weaving through The Mission on May 1, 2007. Speeches, signs and people with an important purpose; what a great place for a photographer to find himself that day!Nov 18th at 8:14pm
Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press is celebrated by an array of public programs at the National Gallery of Art, including lectures, a concert, gallery talks, and a variety of offerings in the Gallery Shops. All programs are free of charge in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios of the last half century, Yes, No, Maybe goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration and the role of the imagination to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. The stages of intaglio printmaking reveal this process in very particular ways. Working proofs record occurrences both deliberate and serendipitous. They are used to monitor and steer a print’s evolution, prompting evaluation and approval, revision, or rejection. Each proof compels a decision: yes, no, maybe. Among the 25 artists represented are those with long ties to Crown Point Press—Richard Diebenkorn, John Cage, Chuck Close, and Sol LeWitt—as well as those whose association is more recent, such as Mamma Andersson, Julie Mehretu, Jockum Nordström, Laura Owens, and Amy Sillman.
The exhibition is on display at the National Gallery through January 5th, 2014.
Judith Brodie, curator and head, department of modern prints and drawings, National Gallery of Art, and Adam Greenhalgh, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, National Gallery of Art
On view at the National Gallery of Art from September 1, 2013, through January 5, 2014, Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press features 125 working proofs and edition prints produced at this printmaking studio—one of the most influential of the last half century—by 25 artists between 1972 and 2010. The exhibition goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration and the role of the imagination to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. In this lecture recorded on September 8, exhibition curators Judith Brodie and Adam Greenhalgh explain how the stages of intaglio printmaking reveal this process in very particular ways.
— sfsthetik (@sfsthetik) October 6, 2013Oct 6th at 7:18pm
Here are a few samples of the wonderful collage work of Eugenia Loli, whose work I came across on her Tumblr and then on her Flickr page. Loli spent time working in the technology sector, (yes I can relate to that) before leaving it to pursue her her art career and we’re all grateful that she did. Loli says her art “with the help of the title, often includes a teasing, visual narrative, as if they’re a still frame of a surreal movie. The viewers are invited to make up the movie’s plot in their mind.” Good news: a lot of her work is for sale online!
more about Eugenia Loli at her tumblr http://t.co/PWftZGjQGW
— Mark Gould (@markegould) September 25, 2013Sep 25th at 3:54am
I’ve been working for the last few years using a combination of “creative coding” applications like Processing, thanks in part to the very large community that supports each other in the development and sharing of open source code and new media creation tools. Max/MSP, Quartz Composer and openFrameworks. Although I wrote HTML as a web designer for awhile, I’m not a coder or a programmer and have made a start in part thanks to this wonderul, sharing community and the ability to cut and paste code, tweak it until I’ve gotten satisfactory results, and combined this with more widely used and sophisticated user-interface driven generative and procedural painting applications like Studio Artist 4.
I didn’t originally expect this to be a quick or short learning curve, and therefore I consider the work so far to be more like digital sketching, works in progress and exploratory in nature. Given that I’m not a coder and so much of the beautiful generative art shown at museums and major exhibitions is produced by so many talented coders, I see the process and form of my work continually being refined over time.
This work combines a number of generative, procedural drawing and algorithmic brush based painting, which means that the the code underlying a brush style modifies and changes in real time depending on variables, such as pen angle, pressure, and mathematical changes that vary “under the hood” while you draw. One could say my work does not fall within the generally supported definition of “generative,” which is to say that it is not done entirely in writing source code using programming languages, databases, data mapping, fractals, chaos theory and an overall aesthetic approach based on concepts of breeding, automatic selection rules and many other factors relating to computational aesthetics. Some of it is, and that work is then merged and layered in with UI-driven computer art software with other work that has been created “manually” with the artist intentionally interceding in the computer’s decision making process, which in many ways would make these images quasi-generative in nature.
Sometime soon I’ll be writing to elaborate on the work going on to give generative software more artist-friendly user interfaces, and what’s available.
And so, part of my exploration here is not just the work itself, much of my intention is to raise questions about exactly what can or can’t be considered generative art, whether the genre can evolve to perhaps include this kind of hybrid work or whether it belongs in a genre of it’s own. At the same time I and other artists are exploring what could be considered processes in digital abstract expressionism, a metaphor that it seems to me fits nicely with the often chaotic, immersive, ever changing nature of generative art. What I often think about is opposed to paint drips, while the medium is digital the process is random, playful and the underlying code creates “algorithm drips.” It may be presumptuous for me to define it as anything, and let others be the judge.Sep 15th at 9:14pm
o.k. back to tending to the blog after a break. Doing a lot of photography and getting some great new shots in SF. Here’s an edit of one taken downtown last week. All images are for sale as large format prints on archival art papers at this gallery store:Aug 30th at 3:42am
For a while now, I’ve wanted to write and introduce you to the work of media installation artist Dave Greber, part of the New Orleans based artist collective The Front. David belongs to a group of video artists, experimental cinema producers, writers and other artists who are exploring popular culture and it’s media conduit, exposing the often subliminal propaganda-style messages we are all confronted by every day, and in doing so invites all of us to examine media memes and the roles they play in social communications.
More than 30 years ago, long before the concept of an internet meme became so popular and commonplace, media theorists and activists were studying the cultural effects of a meme, most usually defined as “an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture,” often passed along on a personal, family or neighborhood level but on a grander scale through the mass media, including television and the internet.
Adbusters and many other similarly motivated groups have long used the concept of “culture jamming” to both explore and reveal how commercial, corporate, government and other media channels transmit messages through means of mass communications networks that operate on any number of different levels and in dong so, help deconstruct media messages. Neither media messages or internet memes are inherently subversive or deceptive, but the fact that they can be and often are have led to the comparing of these messages to similar processes in what is more narrowly considered to be usually dramatic, commercial or political “propaganda.” But more broadly defined, propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information to further a cause and/or influence public opinion or perception in many ways, through many channels.
These ideas have been explored by media studies scholars, activists and artists (“artivists”) across the cultural spectrum for a long time. What media artists such as Greber employ are devices studied in the field of semiotics, a general philosophical theory of signs, symbols and cultural codes that deals especially with their function in both artificially constructed and natural languages and comprises syntactics, and semantics. From the Merriam Webster Dictionary (online)
Semiotics – Study of signs and sign-using behaviour, especially in language. In the late 19th and early 20th century the work of Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Peirce led to the emergence of semiotics as a method for examining phenomena in different fields, including aesthetics, anthropology, communications, psychology, and semantics. Interest in the structure behind the use of particular signs links semiotics with the methods of structuralism.
Having recently seen some of Dave Greber’s work on Vimeo, I think the inspiration for much of his work takes place as part of this exploration into, as he says, “the constant attack on our biological and cultural environments by commercial forces.”
I have been researching and exposing tactics of corporate television advertising that are, for the most part, culturally degenerative memes overlooked by the general public. I create a skeleton commercial built from the tone, cadence, verbal and graphic illusions that comprise a corporate propaganda campaign. I then fill the shell with my own agenda, which is to reveal that the form itself is psychologically manipulative. I infuse them with my own contemporary style and present them as a seamless loop, which translates them from a parasitic corporate language to one of viewer empowerment.
And along with the artistic and cultural exploration inherent in his work, Dave Greber also combines a very healthy sense of humor. He says, “I have a great time making and showing these. They make me laugh and they are intended to make the viewer laugh when they have a realization of their own.” I hope you will enjoy them too, while you’re also “getting the message.”
a video installation
by Dave Greber, TV Boxes. Roel Miranda
Camilla Bergin, Andy Cook, Tessa Corthell, Stephen Kennedy, Roel Miranda, JJ Smith, Robert Ries, Jen DeGregorio, Valorie Polmer, Lea Downing, Alden Eagle, Katie Gelfand, Matthew Holdren, Brandon Meginley, Phil Rached
Asst. Director, Katie Gelfand
Camera , Dave Greber, Phil Rached
Music: Peter Leonard, Kevin MacLeod
Aug 27th at 11:17pm
- An Introduction to Exploring Media Arts (mcdonaldemiantor.wordpress.com)
- Call for Submissions: Japan Media Arts Festival 2014 (shinpaideshou.wordpress.com)
- Video Art – Terrestrial Sonata #1 (photosynthesismediaarts.com)
Download image Download image King Jeongjo’s Procession to His Father’s Tomb in Hwaseong, 1795 (det). Korea. Handscroll; ink and colors on paper. H. 18 3/8 in. x W. 150 ft. 11 in. National Museum of Korea. (PRNewsFoto/Asian Art Museum) In an unprecedented…
Aug 4th at 8:07am
Jul 24th at 3:45pm
Google May Spend $500 Million Marketing Moto X (via slashdot)
Google reportedly plans to spend $500 million promoting its upcoming Moto X smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall). That’s big money, to be sure, but can it help the device—or any device, for that matter—succeed in a crowded…
Jul 16th at 3:07am
Came across an interesting bit of art history after finding myself on the New York Historical Society’s website in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the seminal 1913 Armory Show. For one month in New York City, The Armory Show introduced Americans to the European avant-garde artists of the day including Duchamp, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso, and in doing so became what is has been called the most important art exhibition ever held in the U.S.
What Kim Orcutt writes for the Historical Society anniversary about the Cubists versus The Fauves is fascinating. It’s pointed out that The Armory Show is best remembered for Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), and so today, it’s easy to think that the Cubists “were the ‘big news’ of 1913.” Orcutt points out that there was a lot of media attention to “find the nude,” and some critics had no taste for these “puzzle pictures.”
But The Historical Society piece reminds us that the most important space at the show was reserved for Henri Matisse and other artists in his circle, known as the Fauves. Interestingly enough the Fauvist exhibit included a work by George Braque, who to many would become known for his work in Cubism.
Many critics were to become outraged at the Fauves’ primitivist style, which as the article points out, because to them it abandonded technical mastery at the dawn of the modern era and was called art for children. The article itself is brief, but you’ll enjoy seeing all of the art that was at the show by so many artists that we now know, and whose work we love. Hope you enjoy it.
Read more about The Armory Show at 100, The Cubists versus the Fauves ->Jul 15th at 10:49pm
Animator, photographer, and filmmaker Simon Christen knows how to bring art and technology together. He’s worked as an animator at Pixar, as a photographer of urban scenes, and director of time lapse films. So even without having met him, and seen his work, I think it’s safe to say that Simon has a gift for storytelling and the visual arts.
Recently Simon set his sights on capturing the fog that Bay Area residents and City dwellers both love and hate. We San Franciscans seem to both adore it’s beauty and cooling mist, and shake our fists when it hangs around too long, overstaying it’s welcome. (Speaking just for myself, after the last week, I’ll be just so happy to see it!) Christen explains how he went about capturing the scenes for this stunning piece of work, also available in 4K resolution! (If you hadn’t heard, 4K HDTV’s are already on the market, at the cost of at least one car.)
“It has been almost 3 years since I released “The Unseen Sea” and I’m excited and proud to share with you my latest project “Adrift”.
“Adrift” is a love letter to the fog of the San Francisco Bay Area. I chased it for over two years to capture the magical interaction between the soft mist, the ridges of the California coast and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This is where “Adrift” was born.
The weather conditions have to be just right for the fog to glide over the hills and under the bridge. I developed a system for trying to guess when to make the drive out to shoot, which involved checking the weather forecast, satellite images and webcams multiple times a day. For about 2 years, if the weather looked promising, I would set my alarm to 5am, recheck the webcams, and then set off on the 45-minute drive to the Marin Headlands.
I spent many mornings hiking in the dark to only find that the fog was too high, too low, or already gone by the time I got there. Luckily, once in a while the conditions would be perfect and I was able to capture something really special. Adrift is a collection of my favorite shots from these excursions into the ridges of the Marin Headlands.
I hope with my short film I am able to convey the feeling of happiness I felt while I experienced those stunning scenes.
Licensing: Adrift is copyrighted. All of my work is available for licensing under a rights-managed agreement. If you are interested in using any of my images and/or time lapse footage, please visit my website or contact me directly. Most of my clips are available up to 4K resolution! All of them support 2.8K and standard HD resolutions of 1080p/720p. Some of my favorite scenes in the film are also available as high resolution prints.”Jul 2nd at 5:32am
I’ve spent the last two months toying with glitch art destruction, game hacked 8-bit graphics styles and all that. I can say one thing at this point – it’s great to play with iterations in digital art. It’s very satisfying and increases the scope and perspective to which elements of change, time and story can be created to group works of art which are added when you group a set of works, or create an exhibition or installation. And it’s a great way to offer limited edition sets. Of course I’d love your feedback. Sooo, here’s episode 1 of the big ammerican monster glitch and 8bit internet art show, such as it is! As for my long term aesthetic point of view about glitch, 8-bit or generative art for that matter, let’s save that conversation for another day. These images are in the online shops I use and are available as large format pigment ink prints in limited edition of only 20 prints per image.Jun 22nd at 1:52am
There’s an exciting New Surrealism exhibit at Mirus Gallery curated by Paul Hemming, opening Saturday, June 8th, and, taking part in the Yerba Buena Gallery Walk this weekend. Paul has put together really quite a superb group of contemporary artists working in the surreal genre for this show. Dreamtime: New Surrealism considers how how concepts about the unimagined and the fantastic have developed over time, and the artists featured in the show represent a range of artists working in the Surrealist tradition, from Pop Surrealism to Postmodern appropriation of surrealistic imagery.
Coining the term “surrealism,” almost 100 years ago, the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, named “surrealism” as realism beyond reality, “sur – real.” And after the turn of the last century, Surrealism was officially founded, when André Breton wrote Le Manifeste du Surréalisme. In it, he defined Surrealism as “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express – verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner – the actual functioning of thought.” In this, he proposed that artists should seek access to their unconscious mind in order to make art inspired by this realm.
The original Surrealists were seeking a reprieve from the violence of war and investigating the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud – many themselves underwent psychoanalysis, seeking to access their subconscious in order to make art inspired and unlocked by the imagined and the unreal. A century later many artists continue to use fantastical imagery rooted in dreamscapes to relate to the realities of the increasingly fragmented, global, and at times senseless world we live in.
I wonder, are journeys into surrealism today that much more fertile for artists with the world itself so much more fantastic? Or do you believe that we as humans have the same potential for imagination as we always did?
Links of interest:
(editor’s note: the images shown here are from the individual artists’ various sites and collections online and as of this publication we do not know the actual artwork to be shown at the exhibition.)
Dreamtime: New Surrealism considers how this approach has developed over time, changing to meet the aesthetic tastes of contemporary artists, yet rooted in an essentially similar practice of delving into the subconscious to reinterpret perceptions of reality. The artists featured in the show represent a range of artists working in the Surrealist tradition, from Pop Surrealism to Postmodern appropriation of surrealistic imagery. Artists work featured at the exhibit include: Scott Anderson, Ebenezer Archer, NoMe Edonna, Joseba Eskubi, Christine Gray, Joe Hengst, Marcus Jansen, D’Metrius Rice, Kate Shaw, Er ling Sjovold, Marlene Steyn, Alex Stursberg, Michael Zansy, and Zio Ziegler.
One can’t help but be impressed at the breadth and range of the artists brought together for this exhibition, an amazing journey through the 21st century version of what’s beyond real. A definite exhibit to catch if you are taking part in the Yerba Buena Gallery Walk this weekend.
-MarkJun 6th at 3:57am
[repostus thumb=5869435 hash=ea593758cefed00d6c96a9bb13a50bdb title=Gallery%20openings%20June%202013 host=OregonLive.com short=1Gejg]Jun 3rd at 12:27am