BOOK. FLIGHT CANCELLED

I am delighted to announce that my new book, Flight Cancelled, is now available from Concrete Press.

Flight Cancelled is a collection of comments written by consumers who flew with Alitalia, Italy's flagship air carrier, between 2003 and 2016. These travel experiences were originally published online. They are reproduced in this book in unedited and unabridged form. These are stories of frustration and resistance. Loss and sorrow. Hope and resignation. Negligence and resilience. These are horror stories. These are cautionary tales. 

Below is a teaser ...

And an excerpt...

GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY

GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY

APRIL 4 – JULY 31, 2016

OPENING: APRIL 4, 2016 AT 6 PM

OPEN SPACE CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITION HALL, IULM

VIA CARLO BO 7, 20143 MILAN, ITALY

ARTISTS: ASHLEY BLACKMAN, LARRY ACHIAMPONG & DAVID BLANDY, BENJAMIN BARDOU, REWELL ALTUNAGA, HUGO ARCIER, MARTA AZPARREN, JOSH BRICKER, JOSEPH DELAPPE, CLAIRE EVANS, CHRIS HOWLETT, KEUNG WAI HUI, HARUN FAROCKI, FOCI + LOCI, ANITA FONTAINE, KENT LAMBERT, LAWRENCE LEK, LES RICHES DOUANIERS, MARCO MENDENI, MILTOS MANETAS, VICTOR MORALES, OSCAR NODAL, PAOLO PEDERCINI, BADEN PAILTHORPE, TOM RICHARDSON, KENT SHEELY, GEORGIE ROXBY SMITH, PALLE TORSSON, MICHIEL VAN DER ZANDEN, BILL VIOLA WITH USC GAME INNOVATION LAB, ANGELA WASHKO, IP YUK-YIU, BRENT WATANABE.

CURATED BY MATTEO BITTANTI AND VINCENZO TRIONE

An official event of the XX1T Triennale International Exhibition. 21 Century. Design After DesignGAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY is the largest exhibition of game-based video installations ever staged in Italy. Transforming the spaces of IULM’s Contemporary Exhibition Hall into a visual landscape of made of pixels and polygons, GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY features approximately thirty international artists working with videogames. Also known as machinima, these video installations explore themes related to simulation and representation, replay and re-enactment, architecture and urbanism, sex and race, gender and politics.

GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY also showcases several canvases by Greek-born artist Miltos Manetas, who spearheaded the development of game-based video art with Miracle (1996), first shown at Joint Ventures, an exhibition curated by Nicolas Bourriaud at Basilico Gallery in New York, and included in GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY to inspire a new generation of video players.

Ranging from institutional critique to new media production, GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY emphasizes the visual nature of digital gaming and its potential for creative expression, rather than mere escapism. By bringing together gaming technologies, experimental filmmaking, video and performance art, GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY invites viewers to see a different side of play.

Although a recent development in contemporary art, machinima allows for a unique and differentiated experience from non-interactive media such as painting and sculpture. Moreover, machinima is, by definition, derivative and recombinant, suggesting a blurring of boundaries between content consumer and creator. Accordingly, the exhibition also explores issues related to copyright, creativity, appropriation, and resistance. Finally, the show title alludes to the concept of Game Art, that is, the use of gaming technologies and aesthetics to produce artistic experiences.

GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY is curated by Matteo Bittanti and Vincenzo Trione with the collaboration of students of the the 2nd Year Program in Arts, Markets, and Cultural Heritage at IULM under the guidance of Anna Luigia De Simone. An exhibition catalogue featuring critical contributions from art historians, critics, and scholars will be released in June 2016. Collateral events include screenings, panels, and performances, all taking place at IULM.

LINK: GAME VIDEO/ART. A SURVEY

ART: WHAC-A-MOLE

Yesterday, Colleen Flaherty and I aka COLL.EO unveiled a new body of work, titled Whac-A-Mole. 

COLL.EO, Whac-A-Mole, 2015. Installation view, Incline Gallery, San Francisco

COLL.EO, Whac-A-Mole, 2015. Installation view, Incline Gallery, San Francisco

The installation comprises the following elements:

  • Whac-A-Mole (five ceramic figurines - 5 in tall each -, one wooden mallet 10 x 4 in and a wood pedestal, measuring 42  x 16 x 16 inches (H x W x L);
  • Homeless in SimCity (after dmex) (framed digital print, 11 x 17 inches);
  • SimHomeless, fifteen ceramic sculptures, measuring 5 inches (H).

The piece is accompanied by “The Cure for Homeless… Details inside ;-)” (digital video, color, stereo, 15’, in loop, with English subtitles, 2015) by Matteo Bittanti.

In “The Cure for Homeless… Details inside ;-)” a robo-voice performs a thread (i.e. chapter) from Matteo Bittanti’s How to get rid of homeless (Concrete Press, 2015).

Whac-A-Mole is currenty on display at Incline Gallery in San Francisco as part of The Dissidents, The Displaced, and The Outliers exhibition, from May 16 till June 19, 2015.

In The Dissidents, the Displaced, and the Outliers, Bay Area artists Anti-Eviction Mapping ProjectEliza BarriosCOLL.EOLeslie DreyerTom Loughlin, and Elizabeth Travelslight present work focusing on the convergence of privacy and gentrification unique to the Bay Area, in particular the impact of surveillance technology and the digital economy on housing security, wealth inequality, and discrimination. Organized by the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism in partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and staged at Random Parts, and Incline Gallery, The Dissidents, the Displaced, and the Outliers, is a transbay visual art exhibition curated by Dorothy R. Santos.

Incline Gallery is located at 766 Valencia St, San Francisco, California, 94110.

The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday May 16, 2015, between 5-9 pm.

Artwork below:

COLL.EO, Homeless in SimCity (after dmex), 2015, framed digital print, 11 x 17 in.

COLL.EO, Homeless in SimCity (after dmex), 2015, framed digital print, 11 x 17 in.

COLL.EO, SimHomeless, 2015, fifteen ceramic sculptures, measuring 5 in. (H).

COLL.EO, SimHomeless, 2015, fifteen ceramic sculptures, measuring 5 in. (H).

COLL.EO, A New American Dream, 2014, digital image.

COLL.EO, A New American Dream, 2014, digital image.

SHOW: THE DISSIDENTS, THE DISPLACED, AND THE OUTLIERS (MAY 2 - JUNE 19, 2015)

The rumors are true.

We're implicated. 


"From Saturday May 2nd to Friday, June 19th the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism in partnership with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Random Parts, and Incline Gallery will present The Dissidents, the Displaced, and the Outliers, a transbay visual art exhibition about housing security and digital privacy at Random Parts in Oakland and Incline Gallery in San Francisco. Curated by Dorothy R. Santos, the exhibition will feature work in both venues by Anti-Eviction Mapping ProjectEliza Barrios,COLL.EOLeslie DreyerTom Loughlin, and Elizabeth Travelslight.

In The Dissidents, the Displaced, and the Outliers, Bay Area artists offer a collection of work about the convergence of privacy and gentrification unique to the Bay Area, in particular the impact of surveillance technology and the digital economy on housing security and how affluence secures both privacy and housing.

Exhibitions Dates and Locations

OAKLAND
May 2 – June 5, 2015
Random Parts
1206 13th Avenue, Oakland, CA
Opening reception: Saturday, May 2 • 4-8pm

SAN FRANCISCO
May 16 – June 19, 2015
Incline Gallery
766 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA
Opening reception: Saturday, May 16 • 5-9pm

Public Events and Programs

Outdoor Film Salon
Saturday, May 9
7-9pm @ Random Parts
1206 13th Avenue, Oakland, CA

EFF Digital Privacy Workshop
Saturday, May 23
2-4pm @ Random Parts
1206 13th Avenue, Oakland, CA

Closing Panel Discussion
Sunday, June 14
4-6pm @ Incline Gallery
766 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA

All events are free, all ages, and open to the public.

Historically, the artist has served as a figure who illuminates what is emblematic of the times serving as a luminary that provides the necessary historical, political, and cultural contexts that explains the significant shifts and changes within an environment. Since the emergence of dotcom businesses of the late 1990s, Bay Area residents have witnessed the rise and fall of the initial technology driven economy. The resurgence of online businesses and explosion of start-ups have resulted in exponential growth of the tech workforce across industry-leading companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

This two-city parallel exhibition aims to open conversation about these topics on both sides of the Bay and is supported by free, public programming, including an outdoor film salon, a panel discussion with organizational partners and artists, and a workshop on digital privacy. These free community events enable visitors to delve further into the exhibition themes and be in dialogue with artists and community leaders.

Exhibition Partners

Bay Area Society for Art & Activism – The Bay Area Society for Art & Activism is a diverse and intergenerational community celebrating the way artists and activists engage with issues of social justice, hope, freedom, history, democracy, love, labor, class, the environment and more. Our goal is to cultivate art and activism as vital regional values and to return creative, cultural and monetary resources to Bay Area artists, curators and activists so that they can continue to create the incredible work that makes the Bay Area a beacon of subversive, socially-engaged art and visionary grassroots activism. Emboldened by the wave of evictions in 2013 and the threat to art and activist communities presented by skyrocketing housing costs, the Bay Area Society for Art & Activism is working with our fiscal sponsor, SOMArts Cultural Center, to expand the reach and scope of our offerings and to deepen the claim of art and activism as essential features of San Francisco’s cultural landscape.

Electronic Frontier Foundation – The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF champions user privacy, free expression, and innovation through impact litigation, policy analysis, grassroots activism, and technology development. We work to ensure that rights and freedoms are enhanced and protected as our use of technology grows. Even in the fledgling days of the Internet, EFF understood that protecting access to developing technology was central to advancing freedom for all. In the years that followed, EFF used our fiercely independent voice to clear the way for open source software, encryption, security research, file sharing tools, and a world of emerging technologies. Today, EFF uses the unique expertise of leading technologists, activists, and attorneys in our efforts to defend free speech online, fight illegal surveillance, advocate for users and innovators, and support freedom-enhancing technologies.

Random Parts – Random Parts is an artist–run project space based in a small storefront in the Eastlake neighborhood of Oakland, California. Our vision is to give international, national and local multidisciplinary artists a platform without distinctions among well-known, self-taught and underexposed. We believe that these value judgments are a product of the commercial and educational art systems which emphasize career strategies rather than the complexities of a sustained art practice.  By leveling the playing field, we see Random Parts as an equalizer – aiming to showcase provocative and challenging art in an approachable environment in hopes of engaging the public and promoting critical thinking, dialogue, and risk taking.

Incline Gallery – Incline Gallery is an alternative art space that fosters relationships between community and artists. We create opportunities for emerging as well as established artists to exhibit in a non-cube format that challenges and encourages experimentation in exhibition design. Our role continues to expand by facilitating outside curators, international exchanges and partnerships within a community-based organization.

Contacts

Bay Area Society for Art & Activism – Dorothy R. Santos, dorothy@artandactivism.org and Elizabeth Travelslight, elizabeth@artandactivism.org

Electronic Frontier Foundation – Nadia Kayyali, nadia@eff.org

Random Parts – Colleen Flaherty and Juan Carlos Quintana, partsrandom@gmail.com

Incline Gallery – Christo Oropeza, christo@inclinegallerysf.com

SHOW: MIRAGE (MAY 26 – JUNE 22, 2015, HAVANA, CUBA)

I'm pleased to announce that COLL.EO (Colleen Flaherty and Matteo Bittanti) is involved in two art exhibitions taking place during the 12th Havana Biennial in Havana, Cuba.

The first is entitled MIRAGE:

MIRAGE

Casa De Cultura De Guanabacoa, Cuba

Collateral exhibition to the 12th Havana Biennial

May 26 – June 22, 2015

Opening reception: Tuesday, May 26, 6:00 – 10:00 pm

with live performance by Sriba Kwadjovie

 

Artists

Brigada Roja/Nelson Enriquez & Rebekah Olstad

Bernardo Palau

Carlo Ricafort

COLL.EO

Juan Carlos Quintana

 

English

There are nebulous horizons playing tricks on us by promising the illusion of change while simultaneously defending the interest of the status quo. There is no sea or land that separate or unite us; there are only desires. We are all in a mirage longing for something tangible which becomes intangible when viewed upon the prism of expectations. The unlikelihood of possible alternatives will become clear as subversive practices are recognized for what they really are: hegemonic lollipops - as harmless as tooth decay and bad breath - yet can lead to heart failure.

Español

A tientas, como perdidos en la niebla vamos engañándonos a nosotros mismos. Por la ilusión, por ese posible cambio venidero que al mismo tiempo nos deja perdidos en la ensoñación (y el estatus quo). Realmente ni los mares, ni las fronteras nos unen o separan; el deseo es lo único que existe. Todos estamos inmersos en un espejismo, deseando, esperando por algo tangible que al mismo tiempo se vuelve inasible cuando lo vemos a través del cristal de las expectativas. La improbabilidad de cualquier otra alternativa se pone de manifiesto cuando reconocemos el verdadero valor de cualquier "acto subversivo"; al final solo parecen caramelos hegemónicos tan innocuos como un dolor de muelas.  

LINK: MIRAGE

HOW TO TALK AND LAUGH ABOUT ART

Today I'm releasing two short new sound pieces titled How to talk about art and How to laugh about art

Description

How to talk about art is a sound installation composed of filler speech uttered by writer Sarah Thornton during a conversation with artist Grayson Perry at Tate Modern, in London, titled "What makes an Artist?". The event took place on Thursday, October 2, 2014 between six thirty and eight pm. The original conversation is available here.

Instructions

How to talk about art is played in a very dimly lit room built inside an art gallery, called The Inner Sanctum. Upon entering this space-within-a-space, the visitor is given the opportunity to sit on a rug and meditate as How to talk about art plays in loop. Thornton’s speech fillers, mumbles, and stutters are diffused by a surround sound system. They are played in sequence, i.e. as they were uttered during the conversation with Perry at Tate Modern. They are not repeated or electronically manipulated. Fillers are parts of speech which are not generally recognized as purposeful or containing formal meaning, usually expressed as pauses such as "uh", "like", "you know", and "er". The audio piece operates as a mantra. It is, in effect, Sarah’s mantrah (sic). Isolated from their original source, the fillers produce an almost melodic chant that may or may not have psychological, neurological, and even spiritual effects over the listener, modulating her or his consciousness in powerful, yet unpredictable, ways. A wittgensteinian exploration of language and meaning, How to talk about art requires close listening.

Description

How to laugh about art is a sound installation composed of laughters uttered by writer Sarah Thornton during a conversation with artist Grayson Perry at Tate Modern, in London, titled "What makes an Artist?". The event took place on Thursday, October 2, 2014 between six thirty and eight pm. The original conversation is available here .

Instructions

How to laugh about art is played in a very dimly lit room inside an art gallery, called The Inner Sanctum. Upon entering this space-within-a-space, the visitor can sit on a rug and meditate, as How to laugh about art plays in loop. Diffused by hidden surround speakers in the room, Thornton’s laughs are played in sequence, i.e. as they were uttered during the conversation with Perry at Tate Modern. Moreover, they are not repeated or electronically manipulated. Thornton’s irresistible, spontaneous, infectious, and contagious guffawing produces powerful effects on the listener’s consciousness. According to several scientific studies, laughter can trigger positive and healthy physical changes in the body, enhancing the immune system and reducing stress. Laugher can release endorphins which in turn promote an overall sense of well-being and temporarily relieve pain. The Inner Sanctum is an immersive acoustic space that allows the listener to fully experience Thornton’s genuine, liberating, exhilarating chuckle, while developing a profound understanding of the Artworld. This is a track of laughs. Effectively, a laugh track. 

Bio

Sarah Thornton is the author of two books on art: 33 Artists in 3 Acts (Granta, 2014) and Seven Days in the Art World (Granta, 2009), both international bestsellers. Thornton was the chief writer on contemporary art for The Economist and has written about the art market and art world for several publications including The Art Newspaper, Artforum.com, The New Yorker, The Telegraph, and The Guardian. Thornton holds a BA in Art History and a PhD in the Sociology of Culture. Her academic posts have included a full time lecturing position at the University of Sussex, and a period as Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London.

LINK How to talk about art and How to laugh about art

HOW TO GET RID OF HOMELESS

On January 8, 2015 CONCRETE PRESS released my new book(s): How to get rid of homeless.

A 600-page epic split in two volumes documenting the so-called “homeless scandal” that affected the newly released game SimCity (Maxis/Electronic Arts, 2013), How to get rid of homeless reproduces dozens of threads concerning “homelessness” that appeared in Electronic Arts’ online forum between 2012 and 2013.

I have collected, selected, and transcribed thousands of messages exchanged by the forum members who first experienced, and then tried to “eradicate”, the phenomenon of homelessness that “plagued” SimCity. From surprise to despair, from shock to resignation, these posts highlight the pitfalls of simulation, the not-so-subtle effects of ideology on game design, and the interplay between play and society, politics and entertainment.

Decontextualized from their original source and reproduced on paper sans the majority of online communication hallmarks (e.g. author’s signatures, side banners, avatar pictures etc.), these textual exchanges create a peculiar narrative. Some of the dialogues’ absurdist tones evoke Ionesco’s plays. Others reveal racist and classist biases, and forcefully introduce - or, rather, reintroduce - a highly political vision that the alleged “neutral” algorithms were supposed to overcome.

So what is How to get rid of homeless, exactly?

It is an act of defamiliarization: the original content is reproduced in a different context. Thus, the forum has been deterritorialized. It is a gesture of reblogging/retweeting/reposting digital content in a physical space.

How to get rid of homeless confers materiality (and thus “weight”) to the ephemerality of online conversations, where editing is a fluid, ongoing activity and can be performed almost in “real-time”. Print adheres to different temporalities and protocols.

How to get rid of homeless is an act of reframing: it gives the original text new shape and meaning by virtue of a novel context. Reproduced on paper, these posts challenge some of the fundamental assumptions about the form and content of the book.

As an edited reproduction of an archive, How to get rid of homeless clearly communicates its self-referential character. As an archive of an archive, How to get rid of homeless is a collection of previously assembled data. The book format is assertive: it attributes value and relevance to content normally deemed trivial and irrelevant.

As How to get rid of homeless appropriates and re-presents a collection of presences (the authors’ statements), but also of absences (e.g. missing images that have disappeared from their respective online archives), the book can be read as a meditation on the writing process itself in the age of digital media.

How to get rid of homeless is available on Amazon in a limited edition of 99.

volume 1

volume 2

Here is the full table of contents in ADD-friendly format (that is, video).

And a critical "text" that provides contextual information (also in ADD-friendly format).