"the future is not what it used to be" brings together artists engaged in the Internet shaped culture. Through drawings, photographs, sculpture, video, and online projects they explore social interaction in a networked world, reflection in the times of speed, new communication tools and smart technologies affecting cultural and sociopolitical reality, sustainable strategies for contemporary life, connectivity and dis-connect, digital/analog divide, instantaneity and obsolescence, the web as the largest image depository ever, and new forms of appropriation, means of production, and modes of political engagement.
What we do today shapes our tomorrows.
Kevin Bewersdorf conducts Google searches for images that he then orders printed onto variety of objects employing online services like walgreens.com. These remotely made "Promotional Objects" transcend banality of its origins as private found imagery: from infinite web space onto a limited product, the unwitting subjects are made physical once again, staring at you across time and space.
Charles Broskoski presents a gallery version of an internet work entitled "Films" (2008, http://films.supercentral.org). The piece explores internet-time, or how time passes on the internet, by providing a contrast to immediacy of online media. On his site, eight well known films (Pulp Fiction, Terminator 2 and When Harry Met Sally among them) play continuously on a fixed daily schedule whether users visit the site or not. The screen is black save only for the subtitles of the dialog. The gallery version corresponds with the daily schedule of Films online: Stand By Me (10:00 AM), Shawshank Redemption (11:20 AM), Terminator 2 (1:37 PM), Trading Places (4:00 PM), Pulp Fiction (5:47 PM), Back to the Future 2 (8:00 PM), When Harry Met Sally (9:42 PM), Batman (11:00 PM).
Marc Horowitz found an analog way to connect with his fellow twitterers: "for the next 100 people that add me on twitter (http://www.twitter.com/marchorowitz ) I'll send you a small drawing." The 100 drawings on view will be mailed out at the end of the show. Later, in a course of the exhibition, every afternoon Horowitz will broadcast "AnHourADay.me" - a livestream video and chat talkshow with scheduled field trips, interviews, concerts, covert meetings, cooking instruction, comedians, reviews, round tables, celebrity guests, LA artist studio visits, road trips, and more.
Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung has been called "the John Heartfield of the digital era" His collages and animations composed entirely of imagery appropriated from the web deliver a biting political satire. New series -"In God We Trust" - presents global and domestic challenges facing the new Obama administration with the savior president cast as different deities (Jesus Christ, Mohammad, Krishna, prophet Abraham, Yoruba Orisha Trickster God Elegua/Eshu, Buddha, and Guadalupe)
Kristin Lucas pays hommage to the ever-replacable technological marvels: maclassic, a 25 years old icon of personal computing, and other nearly forgotten hardware objects are cast in colored wax as beautiful yet perishable candles.
Michael Mandiberg's altered encyclopedias, dictionaries, and newspapers, words incised into them with a laser cutter, highlight the loosing battle of printmedia at a time of user generated content, rapid online delivery and the never ending newness of information. Everyday a fresh copy of The New York Times with the words "old news" cut onto it will be delivered to the gallery, a stack accumulating over the course of the exhibition.
Eva and Franco Mattes (aka 0100101110101101.org) inject new synthetic life into art long gone. Their avatars in a virtual world Second Life re-enact seminal performance works from the seventies. Gilbert and George's "The Singing Sculpture" (1971) and Marina Abramovic and Ulay's "Imponderabilia" (1977) are staged for a very different audience.
Joe McKay finds the ghosts of Google Street View van and Mapjack car. His photographs recreate these stealth vehicles from partial reflections in store windows in San Francisco.
JooYoun Paek's inflatable objects are smart appliances for urban survival. A bicycle cover made from garbage bags provides inconspicuous "blend-in" protection for a city cyclist, and a self-sustainable chair inflated by walking offers its user an independence from the urban infrastructure.
Sharing and communal nature and of online engagement has lead to formation of surfing clubs: group blogging sites with fast-paced conceptual exchange based on treatment and analysis of online material. Marcin Ramocki & Paul Slocum (with Spiritsurfers) will present "here is it?" a short video based on the blog posts of Spiritsurfers.
* The title of this show is a quote from Paul Valery (1871-1945)