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In Chelsea, Staring Through People's Windows to Look at Art
by Olivia B. Murphy

Last Thursday evening, with the sun setting and the air slightly chilled, I stood on the corner of 22nd Street and 8th Ave with a group of people all waiting to tour the two residential Chelsea blocks that had been turned into an outdoor exhibition by curator Lal Bahcecioglu. With her show entitled Sneak a Peek, Bahcecioglu turns four residential buildings and one commercial storefront into exhibition spaces by installing video monitors in the street-facing windows. The result takes the viewer out of the gallery space and on a short stroll along a quiet residential street, peppered with video installations.

All of the participating artists in the show are a part of either, the International Studio and Curatorial Program, or Residency Unlimited, both of which bring international artists to New York for residencies. Bahcecioglu told me that part of the reason she chose to work with foreign artists for this project is because “when one is in a foreign city for a limited time, one sees the city differently.” This relates back to the overall mission of the show, which is to get people—the “curious passersby and art audiences alike”—to relate to art within an altered context.

Installation view of Lourdes Correa-Carlo, No Title (Light) and Graciela Cassel, Subliminal, Photo: Azmi Mert Erdem


On the night of the opening, before Bahcecioglu lead the tour down the two 22nd Street residential blocks, I took a moment to walk through the exhibition myself. When taken out of the group tour setting, there is something discomforting, yet oddly freeing about being given the liberty to stare through people’s windows without judgment. Some windows had thick blackout curtains covering everything but the monitors, while others left their apartments in plain view adding a new level of voyeurism to the works on display. In this setting, I became much more aware of what I was able to see through the windows that were not intentionally on display as part of the exhibition. TV’s glowed through curtain-less windows; lights illuminated kitchens and living rooms with residents milling around, going about their private evenings that now happened to be on view. As I stood on each block, exhibition map in hand, I felt that I had been let in on a secret of sorts, invited inside from the outside.

Installing video work in residential spaces to be viewed from the sidewalk does, of course come with its fair share of obstacles. Works such as Not Worth It (Sara Eliassen & Lilja Ingolfedottir), which re-interprets the visual language of advertising into somewhat perverse sentiments, and The Time of Leaves (Kanako Hayashi), which deals with the aftermath of the devastating 2011 East Japan earthquake, are both obstructed by window bars, hindering the viewing experience. While a more abstracted work like Subliminal (Graciela Cassel) is installed in a clear open window, it is difficult to see all the way up on the third story of the building.

Sara Eliassen & Lilja Ingolfsdottir, Not Worth It: Shine, 2006, 30 seconds. Courtesy of the artists


Bahceciolgu counters these issues that come up with installation by stating that in an attempt to create a new mode for showing work outside of the pristine gallery setting, “it isn’t and shouldn’t be crucial to have wall texts in perfect symmetry, display screens utterly clean, or cables perfectly affixed; perfection can spoil sensation.”

But, there is a reason that the white-box perfection has become the norm for museums and blue chip galleries alike: because it’s a way to control context, which is a difficult thing to do out in the world. With only six works on display, one of which is on view in a commercial space, the intentionality gets a bit lost. For instance, The End is Fine, by artist duo Ghost of a Dream, which distorts the ending sequences of classic films, is on display almost ironically in the Chelsea Frames storefront window, under decals that read “Art Gallery” and “Picture Framing.” At first glance, the videos look as if Chelsea Frames had installed them to be just another advertising display. But understanding the more complex context of the work as questioning the perceived filmic reality versus our own lived reality, it becomes evident that it is a smart curatorial choice to place this video within the context of a contrived space like a storefront, especially one that is labeled “Art Gallery.” But with no wall text, or press release to hand out to every passerby, the viewer is not always “in on it,” so to speak.

Installation view of Ghost of a Dream, The End is Fine. Photo: Azmi Mert Erdem


The curatorial conceit is an interesting one: turning the private windows that are already inherently on display, into actual public exhibition spaces. But it’s an installation decision that runs the risk of both overshadowing the actual artworks, as well as being lost on many unintentional viewers. Bahcecilogu intends to keep exploring this idea however, with research already underway to bring the format of the semi-open air exhibition to the residential windows of select Northern European cities, and to her hometown of Istanbul, Turkey, all of which could unlock new and exciting possibilities for this novel format of viewing art outside of the gallery context.

Sneak a Peek, a semi-open-air exhibition, runs along West 22nd Street, between 8th and 10th Avenues, New York City, from April 14–24, Thursday–Sunday, 6–9pm.


Olivia B. Murphy

Olivia Murphy is a writer and editor based in New York, covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in various publications both in print and online, including L'Officiel MagazineFreunde Von FreundenWhitehotRiot of Perfumedoingbird, and Whitewall Magazine.


(Image at top: Installation view of Mille Kalsmose, New Narratives. Photo: Azmi Mert Erdem)

Posted by Olivia B. Murphy on 4/19 | tags: video-art public art Sneak a Peek Residency Unlimited

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Group Exhibition
Frieze New York
Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan, New York, NY 10035
May 5, 2016 - May 8, 2016

At Frieze Projects, a Corporeal Rumination on the Art Fair's Nervous System
by Nadja Sayej

At Frieze New York, look out for livestock this year—Maurizio Cattelan is putting a donkey in a room with a chandelier, while Nick Bastis is doing an installation with snails. If you smell dog food, it just means you’ve reached the artwork of British artist and poet Heather Phillipson, who has created a giant “spinal cord,” as she calls it, which connects throughout various outposts throughout the fair.

Opening May 4, Frieze Projects, curated by Cecilia Alemani, features Phillipson’s 100% OTHER FIBRES, a piece marked by all things canine which sparks a conversation about terrorism, media consumption, and the art fair ecosystem.

Phillipson is no stranger to addressing commercial bling and the social systems that develop around it. She recently transformed a gallery into a bizarre e-commerce warehouse selling underwear. Armed with a colorful pop aesthetic, her work seamlessly merges video, installations, and poetry, like one project where she screened a video for viewers sitting inside of a birthing pool.

For this piece, the London-based artist takes a stab at the art fair. “It would be very hard for me to make a project for the fair that doesn’t somehow acknowledge this context,” she said via email.

“The fair is, to put it crudely, a shop—just contemplate all that looking and spending that goes on. And that gets me thinking about consumption more broadly—desire, penetration, exchange, ingestion. Not only of products, but also of each other.”

Heather Phillipson, 100% OTHER FIBRES, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016


Unpredictably, her project for Frieze New York all started last fall, when Phillipson was reading about the Paris terror attacks. “In one report, there was a bizarrely brief account of a suicide bomber’s spine blasting through a window and landing on a police car,” she said.

It’s a reference to 26-year-old Hasna Aitboulahcen, dubbed “Europe’s first female suicide bomber,” who blew herself up as police raided the Paris apartment she was hiding in with other Islamic State terrorists. The report never left the artist’s mind. “The potency of that image, especially in contrast to the flippancy of the reporting, came to haunt me,” said Phillipson.

“Similarly, the account of a police sniffer dog which had been killed when sent ahead into the apartment, the dog’s use was a kind of ‘collateral damage,’ and all this bound up with labor, hierarchies and value.” The dog, a Belgian Shepherd named Diesel, got a prestigious bravery medal for dying from gunshot wounds while hunting out the apartment where the terrorists were holed up (Diesel’s story sparked the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisChien).

Heather Phillipson, 100% OTHER FIBRES, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016


Phillipson wanted her project to re-enact a haunting by creating something that keeps coming back. “Once I started thinking of the fair from an aerial viewpoint, it was only a brief leap to think about the bodies that populate it as maggots feasting on flesh,” she said. “Then, when the feasting is done, the bones, so there ended up being a lot of food, sex and waste where everything goes down the toilet, anything goes.”

100% OTHER FIBRES is a series of four HD videos shown in different locations across the fair. “When I saw the fair, its linear ‘S’ with an exit at either end, it was immediately a body, a spinal cord filled with nervous tissue, a conduit for muscle control, brain activity and impulses,” she said. The artist has also made a fifth piece in the fair, an audio and sculptural installation that sits outside the tent, right by the exit.

The videos are under wraps until they launch at the fair, but the teaser (below) is a digital collage of a white poodle with dog bones, plastic coats, and palm trees. In one scene a dog is eaten up by the flames of an explosion, calling to mind the terror attacks that first inspired the project.


100% OTHER FIBRES - tease from Heather Phillipson


Food, such as bagels, sausages, and ground beef float alongside images of naked people, which look as if they’ve been lifted from sex films.

“Personally, I find the fair a highly stressful environment—full of want, hope and competition, waste and disappointment,” said Phillipson. Frieze New York booths have been said to go for $30,000, but gallerists have anonymously complained that it’s a “mentally expensive” art fair.

The video are set inside of sculptural pieces that include fiberglass dogs, trampolines, dog food, plastic dog poo, and party hats. “Entering at one end, spat out the other, it’s like matter through a digestive system,” described the artist.

Heather Phillipson, 100% OTHER FIBRES, Artist’s sketch, installation view. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016


“The genesis of the idea had a lot to do with the physical and conceptual context of the fair,” said Phillipson, noting politics, shopping, and the fair’s location as contributing factors. She sees Frieze’s Randall’s Island setting as “an off-shore site of asylums, hospitals and cemeteries, as what gets tidied away is put ‘elsewhere.’”

“Surely, I imagine, this seeps into its atmosphere,” she said. “I’m interested in how the location impacts behavior, it being accessible only by boat, the impetus to get to it and get away from it.”

“The fair appeared to me as something that just blows in—comes crashing down on the island—like that spinal cord blasted through the window and is then swept away again, leaving no traces.”

Heather Phillipson, 100% OTHER FIBRES, 2016, Still from video. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016


Nadja Sayej

Nadja Sayej is an arts reporter based in Berlin and the founder of ArtStars*, check out her website at


(Image at top: Heather Phillipson, 100% OTHER FIBRES, Artist’s sketch, installation view. Courtesy the artist and Frieze Art Inc. for Frieze Projects New York 2016)

Posted by Nadja Sayej on 5/2 | tags: digital video-art installation Heather Phillipson frieze projects Frieze New York 2016 dogs

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Frieze Week 2016: Your Guide to the New York Fairs
by The Artslant Team

Frieze Week in New York isn’t holding any punches this year. Upping its game from eight to eleven (plus) fairs, the week will have you zigzagging up Manhattan and beyond—from Brooklyn to the LES, Wall Street to the Hudson Piers, Park Avenue to Harlem. And when you think you’ve had enough, don’t forget to save half your day and all your lunch money to get over to Randall’s Island Park for the main event.

To keep you zigging and zagging in the right direction, we present our annual guide to the Frieze Week art fairs in New York. Here’s what you need to know:



Frieze New York

May 5–8
Opening: May 4, preview (invite only)
Public days: Thurs & Sat 11am–7pm, Fri 11am–8pm, Sun 11am–6pm
Randall’s Island Park
$45 one-day pass

For Frieze New York’s fifth birthday, some 202 exhibitors will camp out under the Randall’s Island tent. As ever, the fair’s overwhelming bounty is thankfully divided into exhibition sectors like Frame, Focus, and Spotlight—for emerging artist solos, young gallery presentations, and 20th century solos, respectively. Part of the Frieze’s non-profit wing, Frieze Projects and Sounds are curated projects and new commissions, realized on-site. Check out our gory convo with 2016 Project artist Heather Phillipson here.

This year’s Talks program has some stand outs. We’ll be lining up for “The Technological Body and Its Discontents,” a panel moderated by Omer Kholief with Zach Blas, Andrea Crespo, and Jacolby Satterwhite (Friday, 4pm); Hal Foster and Ben Lerner’s convo “On Hating On” (Saturday, noon); “Version Control,” a group talk on the latest in ownership, circulation, and copyright; and a panel on the evolving (un)professional backgrounds of curators today (Sunday, 4pm).

Dining at an art fair is often a perfunctory necessity, but Frieze catering is not to be outdone: you’ll find us anxiously trying to choose between Roberta’s pizza and Frankies Spuntino, or maybe Superiority Burgers, but probably the pizza...

(And because inquiring minds want to know: we’ll be getting to the fair by bicycle.)


Dale Lewis, Sunset, 2016, Oil, acrylic, and spray paint on canvas, 200 x 400 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Edel Assanti. Solo presentation at NADA New York


NADA New York

May 5–8
Opening preview: Thurs, 12–4pm (invitation only)
Public hours: Thurs, 4–8pm, Fri–Sat, 11am–7pm, Sun 11am–5pm
Pier 36 | Basketball City, 299 South Street, Lower East Side
$20 one-day pass, $40 multi-day pass

NADA is one of our favorite fairs for getting up to speed on the latest trends from emerging contemporary artists. These are the artists and galleries who will be vying for coveted spots in the Frieze tent in the next 5 years—mark our words. The fair’s 5th edition boasts 105 exhibitors from 18 countries, including 28 project spaces. Nearly a third of the booths will be solo presentations.

Programming tips: Day one, we’re looking at a convo on “Diversity in Practice” organized by Artadia, with The Met’s Ian Alteveer and Amanda Hunt of the Studio Museum (Thurs, 5pm). This will be followed by performances out on the pier. We devoured Daniel S. Palmer’s recent essay and can’t wait to hear the eponymous panel discussion, “Go Pro: The Hyper-Professionalization of the Emerging Artist” (Friday, 3pm).

Given its Basketball City locale, this year NADA will be hosting 3-on-3 streetball pick-up games, starting Thursday, plus a tournament on Saturday, on a court designed by artist Michael Genovese. Will fair-goers hit the courts in their art-watching attire? (Prediction: nope.) 

Practical heads-up: Don’t turn up without your wallet this year. A newly instituted entrance fee will go toward establishing a new initiative to support first-time exhibitors traveling internationally to New York.

Oh, and there might be wolf spiders running around. So, there's that. 


Omar Victor Diop, Art Comes First, (from the series Le studio des vanités), 2016, Inkjet pigment print. Courtesy of MAGNIN-A


May 6–8
Public hours: Fri–Sun 12–8pm
Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn
$20 one-day pass

The city’s first and only fair dedicated to contemporary African art returns to Red Hook’s Pioneer Works for its second NYC edition. 17 galleries from Africa, Europe, and the US will present over 60 artists from Africa and the African Diaspora. 

Programming highlights include the 1:54 FORUM, a discussion and panel series curated by Koyo Kouoh. 1:54 PERFORMS, curated by Adrienne Edwards, will feature an ongoing text-and-sneaker-based performance by Dave McKenzie, set throughout the Pioneer Works campus. Talks include a roundtable on “repats,” artists and creatives from the Diaspora who are moving back to the continent (Fri, 1:30pm). Growing the network and infrastructures promoting African art seems to be a key theme, with panels on media platforms (Fri, 2pm) and social entrepreneurship (Sat, 2pm). Be sure to check out the work of Senegalese photographer Omar Victor Diop, the 2016 Pioneer Works artist-in-residence. He’ll be in conversation on the topic of “Reframing Beauty” with Professor Deborah Willis from Tisch (Fri, 6pm).

Ace culinary tip: Chef Pierre Thiam, whose acclaimed cookbook Senegal was released last fall, will host a pop-up restaurant in the Pioneer Works garden.


Joey Fauerso, Guadalupe-After Images, 2014, Single channel video, 55:00. Exhibited in :Digits to Digital: at Art New York

Art New York

May 3–8
Preview: Tues, 2–5pm (VIP and press)
Public hours: Tues 5–8pm, Wed–Sat 12–8pm, Sun 12–6pm
Pier 94, 55th Street and West Side Highway, Hell’s Kitchen
$40 one-day pass, $75 multi-day pass (includes admission to booth fairs) 

The fair ever so briefly known as Art Miami New York returns to Pier 94 this year with new branding as Art New York (presented by Art Miami). Its sister fair CONTEXT, established in Miami in 2012, also heads north this season for its NYC debut. Between them, the two fairs will showcase over 150 galleries representing nearly 1,200 artists. Art New York will showcase art from both the primary and secondary markets, while CONTEXT features work by emerging and mid-career artists.

The fairs boast extensive special exhibition programming this year. Highlights include :Digits to Digital: curated by Regine Basha. This presentation of video works considers the traces of hands-on practice in the digital and moving image today. Art in Public Spaces recalls Art Basel’s Unlimited sector, with large, site-specific installations throughout. And Sound Positions, curated by Christoph Cox, presents audio work by 12 emerging and established sound artists.

As we’ve come to expect from the frachise, the fair’s lectures and panels are collector-focused, with a pragmatic approach to the art market and collecting; they include subjects like art world trends “from an Investment Perspective” (Fri, 3pm) and “The Habits of Successful Collectors” (Fri, 4:15pm).

BOLO (Qinza Najm & Saks Afridi), The Defiant Shadow, 2016. Courtesy Flux Art Fair

FLUX Art Fair 

May 3–31
Vernissage: May 13 (Press and VIP preview)
Public hours: Tues 6–8pm (free), 8–10pm (opening celebration $25)
Multiple sites in Harlem centered on Marcus Garvey Park, at 5th Ave between 120th and 124th Streets
Free admission

Check the forecast and save the day with the best weather for FLUX. The fair’s second edition won’t look like an art fair at all. Instead, it comprises an expansive public art program, transforming Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and the surrounding neighborhood into a sculpture park. The year’s curatorial theme is “Changing Landscapes,” and throughout the month, over 40 artists (over 50 percent of whom are women) will present performances, large-scale installations, and subtle artist interventions across Harlem.


Federal Hall National Monument. Photo: Flickr User John Wisniewski 


May 4–10
Inaugural reception: Thurs 6–9pm (free and open to the public)
Public hours: Wed–Tues 10am–5pm
Federal Hall National Monument, 26 Wall St.
Free admission

Organized by 4heads, Inc. (the non-profit behind September’s Governor’s Island Art Fair), and in cooperation with the National Park Service, the inaugural edition of Portal will see artists installing work over the three floors of the Federal Hall National Monument on Wall Street. The fair will feature nearly 30 artists who will keep 70 percent of their works’ sales—no galleries or exhibitor fees here. We think this will be one of the more unique fair experiences this week: a chance to sightsee at a New York monument while discovering the work of young and emerging artists.


The Principals, Glacial Drift, 2016, Site-specific installation realized for the entryway of Collective Design Fair

Collective Design Fair

May 4–8
Public hours: Wed–Sat 11am–8pm, Sun 11am–5pm
Skylight Clarkson Sq, 550 Washington Street, West Village
$30 General Admission

Collective Design is the week’s premier fair dedicated to design and designed objects. 31 galleries are exhibiting at the 5th edition, presenting jewelry, textiles, lighting, ceramics, furniture, and all manner of covetable objects.

This year the Collective Influence exhibition (the fair’s equivalent of a lifetime achievement award) honors Japanese firm nendo, which will create an immersive, site-specific installation. Another must-see is the exhibition of graduate work in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Fine Design for the End of the World, with projects focusing on ways to address social and economic inequality and environmental degradation.


Spring Masters NY

May 6–9
VIP Preview: Thurs 5–9pm (invite only)
Public hours: Fri–Sat 11am–7:30pm, Sun–Mon 11am–6pm
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue
$30 ($25 online) one-day pass, $50 ($40 online) multi-day pass

Spring Masters joins the Frieze Week lineup this year (after preceding it by a week for the past two years). Unlike most of the week’s other fairs, Spring Masters does not focus on contemporary art. Instead, it offers up art, design, and antiquities from the secondary market. Expect an eclectic mix of historical periods and disciplines presented by dealers from Asia, Europe, and the US.


Salon Zürcher

May 2–8
Public hours: Mon 5–8pm, Tues–Sat 12–8pm, Sun 12–5pm
Zürcher Gallery, 33 Bleecker Street, SoHo
Free Admission 

Held in SoHo’s Zürcher Gallery, Salon Zürcher has been plugging away for over a decade. The 11th edition of this “mini-fair” features six galleries from New York, Paris, and Brussels, including ArtSlant favorite, A.I.R. Gallery from Brooklyn.


Fridge Art Fair 

May 7–9
Opening Gala: Sat 8–11pm (proceeds benefit Angel Orensanz Foundation)
Public hours: Sat 4–8pm, Sun 11am–11pm, Mon 10am–5pm
Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk St
$20 one-day pass (suggested)

The irreverent Fridge turns four this year with new digs at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts. Founding artist and director Eric Ginsburg is calling it “The Big Freeze” edition. Pun very much intended. 

Want to stick with the alternative-to-Frieze model? Check out Frontrunner Collective’s An Annual Affair, a group show curated by Edward Syms calling itself a “D.I.Y alternative” to Frieze and its satellites.



April 30–May 22
Public hours: Thurs–Sun, 12–6pm, and by appointment
The Boiler, 191 North 14th Street, Brooklyn
Admission is free

Seven galleries—or rather, eight this year—join together to present one artist each at the 5th edition of this mini-fair/exhibition, hosted by The Boiler/Pierogi in Brooklyn. The exhibition SEVEN-ish, Seriously Funny will present “the jokers, the tricksters, the comedians, the cartoonists, and the just very, very funny serious artists.” Think we’ll all need some of that comedy action by the week’s end :)


—The ArtSlant Team


(Image at top: Frieze New York 2015. Photograph by Marco Scozzaro. Courtesy of Marco Scozzaro/Frieze)

Posted by The Artslant Team on 5/2 | tags: Collective Design Salon Zurcher 1:54 context art new york fridge flux art fair nada portal Spring Masters Frieze 2016 Frieze New York art fairs

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How Does Frieze Select Its Projects? "Focus" and "Frame" Advisor Jacob Proctor Explains
by The Artslant Team

Special exhibition programming and the curatorial wing of an art fair play an essential role as feeder programs for bringing emerging artists and galleries into the world of high retail. To learn more about how Frieze selects exhibitors for its project-driven sectors, we caught up with Jacob Proctor, Curator at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and Co-advisor for Frieze's 2016 Frame and Focus sections.

This year, the popular sectors comprise 18 solo presentations from galleries founded in or after 2009 (Frame) and 32 one-, two-, or three-person curated booths from galleries 12-years-old or younger (Focus). Proctor gets into just what the advisors look for during their selection process, and helps us get a feel for the trends emerging at Frieze New York this season. 

Valerie Keane, Kazu X, 2015

Valerie Keane, Kazu X, 2015, acrylic, stainless steel, polyolefin, rubber, neon, electronic transformer, 157 x 23 x 5 cm
Exhibiting with High Art, Paris, for Frame


ArtSlant: What was your role as advisor to Frame and Focus?  

Jacob Proctor: There are two curators who advise on Frame and Focus. This year I am working together with Fabian Schöneich, who is based in Frankfurt. As advisors, we help the selection committee to decide which galleries to include in those sections.

AS: What's the process? Is the sector application-based?

JP: We’re not commissioning or curating as such, rather we’re helping the committee to select from the proposals they receive. However, we also encourage galleries who we personally feel are strong to apply, often discussing in advance the artists they might consider applying with, or helping them to develop a proposal that works for both the gallery and for the fair.

Patricia L Boyd, still from 1:1, 2015. Exhibiting with Jan Kaps Gallery, Frame


AS: How did you shape or influence the selection? 

JP: We both travel a lot and pay close attention to the young galleries that are relevant in their local or regional context, identifying galleries that have an energy and are setting the agenda in their own scene, but who also have international ambitions. It’s not necessarily an easy thing for a young gallery to do, to come to an international art fair and stand out.

AS: What's the importance of a solo section like Frame in the context of a larger fair like Frieze?

JP: Solo presentations encourage young galleries to focus their efforts and resources, while at the same time encouraging audiences to focus their attention on works by artists that may well be unfamiliar. A strong solo presentation is like a miniature exhibition, and the memorable ones can really help artists to gain visibility with curators and collectors. It’s also an important way for young galleries to establish themselves in the international market. Obviously it’s important for the galleries to sell work, but I think that in the long run it’s often more about the connections made and the relationships that develop out of their participation in the section.

Ben Peterson

Ben Peterson, She-She, 2015. Ceramic, paint, 13 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 4 in. Exhibiting with Ratio 3, Focus


AS: Did you notice any trends emerge from the gallery proposals or the final roster?  

JP: It’s reflective of larger tendencies in contemporary art, but I’m noticing a lot of experimentation with new kinds of production technologies, acknowledging the virtual while at the same time being very attentive to the specific materiality of a given work. At the same time, there’s a fair amount of re-examination of natural materials, especially in sculptural practices.

AS: What should we be keeping our eye on?

JP: I think you will see a resurgent concern with identity, especially with the articulation of gender identity and the fluidity thereof. It’s something that can be felt in a number of projects this year, both by young artists but also historical work that people are now becoming interested in.


—The ArtSlant Team


Image at top: Phillip Zach, Untitled Properties χ, 2016 (detail), Powder coated expanded steel sheet, polyurethane foam, sand, pigments, 96 x 48 in. (243.84 x 121.92) cm. Courtesy of Freedman Fitzpatrick.

Posted by The Artslant Team on 5/4 | tags: art fairs Frieze Focus Frieze New York 2016 Jacob Proctor Frieze Frame

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Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Daniel Temkin
by Christian Petersen

Daniel Temkin is currently showing new work from his Glitchometry series at NADA with the new media powerhouse, Transfer Gallery.

Although Glitchometry could be described using the fashionable phrase “glitch art,” it bears little resemblance to what we have come to associate with that genre. Temkin’s talents in programming have given him ability to create his own unique systems for manipulating imagery through code. Although the technical aspects of Glitchometry’s creation are deeply fascinating, they never overwhelm the works’ pure hypnotic beauty. 

I spoke to Temkin about the origins of his interest in glitch art and why this unconventional method of artistic creation continues to fascinate and inspire him.

Glitchometry Stripes2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.


Christian Petersen: How did you first become interested in glitch art?

Daniel Temkin: I began my MFA program (at the International Center of Photography) as someone with a programming background and found that my photography kept becoming new media works. My Dither Studies project began accidentally, when I was editing an image in Photoshop and generated a crazy pattern when messing with color palettes; I was curious about how these complex visual patterns were generated from very simple dithering algorithms. From there, my work became more focused on simple algorithms creating seemingly irrational patterns, [with] the computer as a place that dramatizes our inability to think logically or let our compulsions run out of control. I've continued to create work that engages with both photography and new media such as my recent Straightened Trees.

Summer Islandfrom Straightened Trees series, 2016, 54 x 60 in.


CP: What, in particular, interests you about it?

DT: There’s a freedom in experimenting directly on the data behind an image, in bypassing the safety of image editors like Photoshop that prevent you from breaking images. Working closer to the machine gives access to something less structured, what Hugh Manon and I called the “wilderness inside the machine.” Image editors tend to reinforce certain approaches and visual styles through the set of tools they offer. Glitch practice bypasses these to manipulate data directly or to apply algorithms designed for entirely different purposes to images. This experimentation allows me to come up with patterns I would never be able to design on my own.

Richter has talked about a sort of trance he puts himself in while he paints, to bypass having too much conscious control of his process. This makes sense to me; if I were to sit in front of Photoshop and try to consciously design an abstract pattern, I would end up making similar work each time. However, looking at sound waves while I work, instead of the image, and using what I’ve learned through experiments over the years, applying different sound algorithms on image data, leads to something new each time. I could never create exactly the same piece twice; the process is too unstable. Curt Cloninger describes it as “painting with a very blunt brush that has a mind of its own.” 

Glitchometry Circle #92013, C-print in lightbox, 72 x 36 in.

Glitchometry Triangles #6, 2013, C-print in lightbox


CP: How would you describe your personal glitching process in simple terms? 

DT: In my early glitch days, I probably tried using every program I have to see how it transforms image data. Sonification (the method I use for Glitchometry) is not an unusual glitch technique; there are a few tutorials for the approach here. The problem I ran into using this technique on photographs early on is how entropic the process is. You apply one sound effect, and it corrupts the image; try a second one over that, and it quickly approaches a grey-brown mud. With Glitchometry, I decided to eliminate the photograph entirely and instead begin with simple geometric shapes which more easily maintain some semblance of their original forms. It makes the work process-based; everything in the final image now is evidence of the sonification process, no longer complicated by details of the initial image. It means I can work on the image longer, which takes it past the initial entropic process, allowing new forms to crystallize as well. 

In Glitchometry, I work within a tight set of constraints to make sure all the significant manipulation of the images comes from sound editing. At NADA, I’m premiering a new set of Glitchometry pieces called Off by One, which use a far tighter set of constraints. For these, which I began during a residency at Signal Culture, I gave up the sound editor entirely and I also work in a single channel, meaning the work remains black and white. Again starting with simple shapes (here a triangle and a circle), I open and close the files in the wrong size and resolution, manipulating them only through this process—it pushes the pixels across from one line to the next. The result is cropped and printed at huge pixel resolution (around 7 ppi) on a long strip of canvas; the longer of the two is 25’ long.

Glitchometry Off By One: Triangle2016, Pigment print on canvas, 36 in. x 15 ft.


CP: How do you feel about the glitch art scene in general?

DT: There’s a mythology in glitch art around the glitch itself: the initial error that causes the work to manifest. In reality, what we’re doing is introducing noise into a system, or often something more like algorithmic art, using algorithms stolen from other programs. Whether or not the failure of a system is important conceptually to glitch, it doesn’t necessarily lead to an image with a glitchy appearance—many glitch artists produce image after image using glitch techniques and throw away the ones which don’t appear glitchy, thus reiterating a similar glitch aesthetic. As I put it in my paper “Glitch && Human / Computer Interaction,” there isn’t much glitch in glitch art. 

In Glitchometry, I'm doing the opposite: using glitch techniques to produce images that break away from a glitchy visual style. In the Glitchometry Stripes images (appearing at NADA), the visual effect has more of a Bridget Riley/Op Art style, something which I get by using a subset of sound effects (dynamic delay and flanger) that tend toward more graphic results.


Glitchometry Stripes # 142013, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.

Glitchometry Stripes # 14 (detail)


CP: How did you get involved in Transfer Gallery?

DT: I met Kelani [Nichole, Director of Transfer] in 2012 at one of my favorite conferences, GLI.TC/H (which is fabled to return—perhaps some time next year) in Chicago. Transfer was in the planning stage, but I was intrigued by the list of artists, many whose work I’d admired. That community aspect is key to Transfer, with a group of artists and writers Transfer has brought together, who have remained close-knit. There are few spaces in NYC devoted to net art/digital art that really know the form—Kelani has been fearless in inventing new approaches to bring this work to the physical space. 

Glitchometry Stripes2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.

Glitchometry Stripes # 202013, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.

Glitchometry Stripes # 20 (detail)


You can find Daniel Temkin’s work this week in a solo presentation with Transfer Gallery at NADA New York, May 5–8.


Christian Petersen

We run an online magazine, so of course, we're interested in what's happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of Digital Sweat Gallery, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he'll be selecting a Web Artist of the Week.


(Image at top: Glitchometry Stripes (detail), 2016. All images: Courtesy of the artist)

Posted by Christian Petersen on 5/4 | tags: glitchometry digital Glitch Art NADA New York Transfer Gallery Wednesday web artist

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