Rotterdam Experiences: Off the Press: Electronic Publishing in the Arts and DEAF

Last week the Institute for Network Cultures and Digital Publishing Toolkit brought us to Rotterdam to speak about The People’s E-book.  The conference brought together an interesting mix of academics, students, artists, practitioners, and a few other designers and publishers.  There was a focus on what are artists producing in terms of e-books, what different production workflows look like, and what the future for libraries looks like.  They did a great job documenting most of the conference, so I thought I would continue that trend.

program for the conference

You can view many of the presentations here:

You can see images of the days here:

There are re-caps of most of the presentations here and here


Making Epubs Easy with The People’s E-book: 

Oliver did a demo of the tool, explained pe-epub (the open source epub generator that we built for People’s E-book), and talked about Streambooks, our Tumblr to epub conversion tool.

Off the Press – Oliver Wise: Making ePubs Easy with the People’s E-book from network cultures on Vimeo.

As you’ll see in the video, we had a little trouble with the slides, but you can see them below!


Publishing Constitutes a Public

There aren’t photos or video from the Arts and Crafts Session organized by Silvio Lorusso, but our slides are below and you can read the full text of our presentation here.  Oliver and I spoke about our thoughts about publishers as a support structure for a public, our past work that relates to digital publishing, and how and why we focused on artists when building The People’s E-book.


DEAF: The Progress Trap

We also were honored to be a part of the DEAF (the Biennial Dutch Electronic Arts Festival) at the Het Niewe Institute in their TV Lunch Program.  It was more of a casual conversation about our practice as well as the others’ who were also a part of the conversation.

The exhibition at Het Niewe Institute to go along with the festival, whose theme this year was “The Progress Trap” was pretty great. I especially loved Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen‘s work: 75 Watt.  They designed an object whose primary function was to choreograph its creation.

75 Watt – trailer from Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen on Vimeo.

Another favorite was also a video installation, by Gabriela Golder, entitled “Conversation Piece” which showed the artist’s mother – a militant in the Argentine Communist Party – reading the Communist Manifesto with her two young granddaughters.

CONVERSATION PIECE (the installation) from Gabriela Golder on Vimeo.

And Rotterdam has a pretty interesting mix of architecture. It was fun to be around.

A Modest Occupation

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts

Right now we’re part of a little show in St.Louis, at The Luminary Center for the Arts, that focuses on the recent boom of art subscriptions and art CSA’s and takes a look at the work that is being produced through this model.  It is curated by Abigail Satinsky from threewalls.  The exhibition is part of The Luminary Center for the Arts’ How to Build a World That Won’t Fall Apart  Exhibition Series, a year-long exploration of the ways that artists and alternative spaces sustain their practice in times of social and economic uncertainty. The series, a product of an institution examining itself in a time of transition, resonates pretty strongly with us right now as they are exploring of the role of alternative spaces within a broader ecosystem and the collective identity that arises through collaboration.

The show features works from Alula Editions (Bay Area, CA) Art Practical Mail Art Subscription (San Francisco, CA), Community Supported Art ChicagoCommunity Supported Art Philadelphia,Community Supported Art MinneapolisThe Drop/NOLA (New Orleans), The Present Group (Oakland, CA), Regional Relationships (Chicago), and The Thing Quarterly (San Francisco, CA), along with a special reading room in the window space by Silver Galleon Press (Chicago).

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts

If you aren’t in St. Louis between March 15 – April 12, 2013, you can still catch the show in other locations as it travels around the country:
June 28 – August 3:  Threewalls, Chicago, IL
September 14 – October 26:  Transformer Gallery in Washington, DC
possibly then to New Orleans hosted by The Drop

Abby also worked with projects included in the show along with designer Working Knowledge to create a publication featuring essays and profiles from participating art subscription services.  A physical copy of this publication can be ordered for $3 from Luminary Arts or you can download a pdf version by clicking on the image below.

Photo: Luminary Center for the Arts


People don’t like to read art: TPG 16 shows off

Rebecca Blakley’s Lichen Books: On the Road is showing at Western Exhibitions (Chicago) in July as part of the show, “People don’t like to read art.The title of the show takes its name from a 2009 drawing (not in this show) by Deb Sokolow that humorously reflects on some viewers’ aversion to reading text in visual art works. While the use of text in contemporary art is fairly commonplace, the artists in this show move beyond the use of single words and phrases by working with paragraphs, lists, fully-formed narratives and book formats, asking viewers to take the time to actively read the work.

July 9 – August 13th, 2011
Reception: Saturday, July 9, 6 to 9pm
SUMMER Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm

Gallery Address: 119 N Peoria St, Suite 2A Chicago, IL 60607

David Horvitz will put your tweet in the Library of Congress. Last day: Today!

TPG 9 artist David Horvitz (@davidhorvitz) has been commissioned by Creative Time to produce a hard copy of every tweet containing the hashtag #VadeMecum (Latin for “Go with me” and meaning a reference book designed to be carried) between June 17 and June 23. On June 24, he will carry the materialized tweets by train from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., following the route of the first transcontinental telegram (sent in 1861 from San Francisco to President Lincoln in the nation’s capital). Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the entire collection will be submitted to the Library of Congress and donated to a public archive, where it will remain accessible.

Through the project, Horvitz will give his audience’s tweets literal and metaphorical weight. Serving as an anachronistic messenger in an era in which distance is no longer an obstacle to communication, Horvitz will re-engage with the relatively slow pace of the physical journey as a meaningful and transformative phase in the life of the message.

Read more here about the Creative Time Twitter Projects

View tweets here
View David’s transcriptions of the tweets here

geez.. that project has legs: State of the Arts in another show

Sometimes you know projects are touching on something important at the time that you are doing them, but then they sort of quietly slide from your consciousness.  Other times projects have a sort of rhizomatic quality to them, growing beneath your feet both in terms of importance and reach.

State of the Arts seems to be one of those projects.  It keeps showing up in unexpected places, hanging out and creating dialogue everywhere it goes.  At the end of last month, down in southern California, it was part of a show and lecture series put on by the graduate curatorial practice students in the Master of Public Art Studies Program at the USC Roski School of Fine Art.

The show description:

The project explores issues of artistic production and labor, and is motivated by a keen awareness of how the current economic situation applies particular pressures on the many connotations of artistic “work.” It is a crucial moment to reexamine the shifting value, both economic and cultural, of artistic labor and to explore the ways in which artists navigate, resist, and reproduce these values. Each of the participating artists in the exhibition implement distinct methodologies for transforming the economic conditions of their artistic activities: from reflections on artistic practice as labor and entrepreneurial venture; to developing practical contracts that enforce artist fee structures; to resisting the speculative art market by offering unlimited multiples; to conceptualizations of artistic service provision, among others. Beyond evidencing economic models, the exhibition aims to reveal the shifts in political and social dynamics that artists face when negotiating the conditions of production, reception, and consumption of art.

Upcoming: Aaron GM

The Present Group is pleased to announce that the 18th artist edition for their Art Subscription Project will be by Aaron GM.

Aaron GM (b. 1978 in Washington D.C.) lives and works in Los Angeles. He studied at both San Francisco Art Institute and UCLA. Recently he exhibited a solo presentation at the NADA Art fair in Miami Beach (2010). Other Recent solo exhibitions include capezio (2010) at ltd los angeles, Timeshares (2009) at Parker Jones Gallery in Los Angeles, and sales calls (2008) at Blanket Gallery in Vancouver. Aaron has shown in group exhibitions both nationally and internationally.

Aaron is currently getting a new set of performances ready to show at Green Gallery in Milwaukee, WI.

Did you love Nava Lubelski’s work? Here’s a chance for more.

Nava Lubelski is using the new “Kickstarter for Artists” called United States Artists to make another machine embroidered piece like she did for the (sold out) TPG15. You can bid to receive one of the edition for only $150.

She is also showing in Santa Monica at Luis de Jesus in March and in Raleigh at Artspace in April.

Photos from Give & Take at LCCM

Untitled Event, Andrew Venell 2011

Photos courtesy of Andrew Venell. The show will be up until March 27th.   Learn about the details of the show here.

Matt Cella curates and shows at Soap Gallery

Wasteland, a multi-media exhibition curated by Matt Cella, opens this Saturday, February 5th, from 6 to 9pm at SOAP Gallery.

A suburban cabinet of curiosities, Wasteland highlights the work of a generation of artists raised on 80′s and 90′s popular media.

Inspired by the emo-bedrooms and basement dens of teenage America, the exhibition will feature works by Adam Hathaway, Amir Esfahani, Anthony Record, Ben Venom, Carrie Hott, David Horton, Jeremiah Jenkins, Julumarie Joy Cornista, Kristen Roberts, Matt Cella, Mike Decker, Neils Neilson lll, Renetta Sitoy, Robert Burden, Ross Campbell, and Tom Mueske.

Wasteland will run until March 5th. The Gallery is located at 3180 Mission Street, in San Francisco.

SOAP Gallery
3180 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

Dispatches from 01SJ

“Cheek to Cheek” by Bernie Lubell, 1999  at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art

“OutRun” by Garnet Hertz,  South Hall and beyond
FYI this is a video game that you play as you drive around the city.  WHAAAT?

“No Matter” by Scott Kildall and Victoria Scott, 2008  at the San Jose Museum of Art
They hired Second Life players to create digital representations of 40 legendary objects (Icarus’s wings, Yellow Submarine, Holy Grail, pot of gold) which they then handcrafted in real life.

Solar Pump charging station, by Sol Design Lab and Bike Zoo, outside South Hall
Why doesn’t this exist everywhere?

“Le Monde des Montagnes” (The World of Mountains), by Camille Scherrer, 2008 at San Jose Museum of Art
The screen was a live image of the book on the table.  As  you turned the pages, new worlds would apppear from and within the pictures on the pages.

from “Mapping Non-Conformity: From the Global Border to the Border Neighborhood” by Teddy Cruz at MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana)

Print Summit 2010: East Carolina University

The Present Group will be taking part in East Carolina’s Print Summit 2010: a three day symposium consisting of exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations celebrating the diversity of contemporary printmaking media.  We’ll be showing Whitney Lynn‘s DIY Survival Kit as part of  “A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking,” an exhibition that includes the work of some of the most influential and important printmakers working in the US today.

Matt Egan and Michael Ehlbeck, professors of printmaking at East Carolina University, brought together five individuals to co-curate an exhibition that would offer a comprehensive look at the innovations and excellence that are shaping the course printmaking today.  Along with many other lectures through the weekend (um, Karen Kunc!), these curators will discuss the collection they brought together and take a look at the current state of printmaking.

The Curators:
Bill Fick, of Cockeyed Press and co-author of “Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process.”
Beth Grabowski, Professor of Art at UNC Chapel Hill and co-author of “Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process.”
Rockie Toner, former Dean of the Tyler School of Art.

R.L. Tillman
, artist, educator and co-founder of “Printeresting.”
Matt Rebholz, Assistant Professor, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.

The Details:
The Summit is hosted by the Printmaking Department of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, September 9 -11, 2010.

“A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking” will be on view at:
Gray Gallery, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University.
September 7th through October 2nd, 2010, Opening Reception 7:00 Friday, September 10th

Panel Discussion for “A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking”
5:30 – 7:00 pm  Speight Auditorium , Room 1220- School of Art and Design

Upcoming: September is jam packed with awesome.

My mind is exploding with all the things I want to see and do in September.  Here are some highlights:

Stop & Go Rides Again | Intersection for the Arts | 9.11.10: A diverse collection of stop-motion animations by Bay Area and international artists unveil their most recent experiments in animation and comment on everything from the simple beauty of a rubber ball to the history of evolution.

Pop Up Magazine | Herbst Theatre | 9.9.10: Pop-Up showcases the country’s most interesting writers, documentary filmmakers, photographers, and radio producers, together, on stage, sharing short moments of unseen, unheard work.  Tickets go on sale TOMORROW (8/26) at noon.  Last time they sold out in 5 hrs, so be ready if you want to go.

Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After… *| Lake Merritt, Oakland | Ongoing:  Produced by Scott Oliver, Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After… is a public art project set at Lake Merritt.  There are three major components: a self-guided audio walking tour (available now) will take listeners to a variety of sites around Lake Merritt while exploring the stories and forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the lake and its surroundings.; watershed awareness signage (to be installed this winter) will show how Lake Merritt and the surrounding city are intimately connected through ecological phenomena and a complex network of storm drains; and a series of Lake Merritt souvenirs (available starting 9/15) being developed with local students and artists will highlight different aspects of the lake from individual perspectives.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the 01SJ Biennial yet!

01SJ Biennial | Mostly in San Jose, various venues | 9.16 – 9.19: The 2010 01SJ Biennial is predicated on the notion that as artists, designers, engineers, architects, marketers, corporations and citizens we have the tools to (re)build the world, conceptually and actually, virtually and physically, poorly and better, aesthetically and pragmatically, in both large and small ways. 01SJ is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique and distributed city-wide platform for creative solutions and public engagement.

This packed weekend of shows, events, talks, performances and experiences looks amazing.  We may need to move to San Jose for the weekend.

But fellow carless peeps, never fear!  Here are a few great shows closer to our neck of the woods that are associated with 01SJ:

Knowledge Hacking | Worth Ryder Gallery | Opens 9.15: Knowledge Hacking invites artists to use the university research environment as raw material for their work. The three projects selected demonstrate a range of ways in which scientists and artists might share their expertise, to better investigate how we understand and engage with our world.

Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand | Catherine Clark Gallery | Opens 8/28:  Curated by Ken Goldberg.  Featuring Whitney Lynn of TPG 12 fame (she has another show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery in September as well)

Building Steam : Lynn Koble | Swarm Gallery | Opens 9/18: Curated by Jeff Eisenberg, Aaron Ximm and Swarm Gallery Building Steam is a year-long program dedicated to sound art created by local and national artists.  The first show in this series is by Lynn Koble, whose work reflects her interest in the many forms of constructed and simulated environments – physical, social, psychological, natural – that exist in a technology-saturated world. She is also curious about how people experience, order and disrupt these environments according to systems, both scientific and personal, tangible and virtual.

*disclaimer: Oliver and I helped to fund this project

New Media, New Modes: On ‘Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media’

Nathaniel Stern takes a look at this new book by Sarah Cook and Beryl Graham, co-editors of the CRUMB site and list (the Curatorial Resource for Upstart Media Bliss

Color changes things

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Back in 2006, the Library of Congress organized an exhibition titled  Bound for Glory: America in Color that showcased little-known color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI).

Made from color transparencies taken between 1939 and 1943, these images change the way we see the past.  I mean, there’s just so much more color.  As silly as that seems to say, it makes these photos intimate and relate-able in a way that I haven’t felt before.  The black and white images of this era neutralize the bright colors and patterns in the clothing, signs, and wallpaper.  It makes it seem like this time wasn’t so long ago.

The photographs depict the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations, the beginning of the nation’s subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country’s great mobilization for World War II.

According to Wikipedia, these slides would have been some of the first of their time, as the chronology of the development of color transparencies look like this:

  • 1936: Agfacolor (transparency film)
  • 1940: Ektachrome (slide film)
  • 1942: Kodacolor (color negative process for still photography and later motion pictures)



there is a book of these images too.

SFAI MFA highlights

FYI this roundup is totally unfair to people working in video or performance.  The opening show is much too chaotic, crowded, and loud to experience those things.

Jen Susman

Jack Leamy

Emily Dippo made viewers that correlate with walks around the city “to encourage wonder while experiencing the city”

Kim Cook made water bottle backpacks and drawings of their (impractical) usage

Ashley Harris

Rhizome’s Seven on Seven a Success" class='title'>Rhizome’s Seven on Seven a Success

I love the nature of this program: match up artists and technologists for 48 hrs and see what you get.  And it is great to hear that it worked to some degree.  I too, would love to see more of these programs.

Exhibits: SF | Last chance to see Christine Kesler’s “in a world where you are possible” | closing reception TONIGHT


NOMA GALLERY is proud to present its first solo show by TPG #3 artist Christine Kesler. “in a world where you are possible” features an installation where the artist intersects and collides paintings, drawings and sculptures as well as a new video piece.  TONIGHT there is a closing reception (though the show has been extended a week so you can still see it!) and it should be a good time.

An evening of Sounds and Words:

Drawing on the influence of poetry in Christine’s work the gallery put together an evening of readings and music. Kevin Killian will read from his new book ‘Impossible Princess’ (City Lights), Christine Choi will be reading portions from her work ‘Swollen Animals Dream: Fifteen Love Letters’ accompanied by projections and a hacked “lyre”, Christine Kesler will be reading some recent poetry and there will be a music performance by James Devane.

Exhibits: WE | Davin Youngs

TPG #5 artist Davin Youngs shows a new collection of photos in Chicago in February.  Davin’s photos are wonderfully romantic, tactile, and beautiful. Should be a good show.


Photographs signify participation. They are visual representations of the ways in which space and relationships are navigated and/or participated in. WE is artist Davin Young’s expression of desire for thorough, deep and unique participation in the world and with those around him. This participation can span from isolation to intimacy.

Created without special lenses or digital editing, these images were achieved by somewhat simple (or complicated?) participation. Davin was close enough to capture and removed enough to observe. They are meant to share unique moments, but also serve as an invitation for you to participate, too. The hope is that together WE can collectively observe, enjoy and create.

February 5 – February 27 2010
Opening Reception: February 5  7-11pm

Fill in the Blank Gallery

5038 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months