Unlogo: Jeff Crouse
September 1–November 30
Online only: netart.bampfa.berkeley.edu.
Exhibition Opens September 1
With an iPhone app and a website, this online exhibition enables individuals to use a phone to identify logos occurring in cellular photographs and to replace them with images drawn from an online databank. Anyone can view and contribute to the databank, suggesting and uploading images that may be substituted for a particular logo, hence undoing the original logo—Unlogo.
Corporate branding coupled with new media transforms our already cluttered visual environment into a pulsing tesseract of capital. Commercial television and video digitally blur some logos while promoting others. Music videos were introduced as short films and commercials for albums, but today’s music videos are commercials within commercials (Lady Gaga’s music video Telephone features nine product placements.) However, new media also offer new forms of resistance and play.
Enter Unlogo, a new artwork by Jeff Crouse that uses corporate technologies to new ends. Unlogo is an iPhone app and website. The app can be used by individuals to identify logos that may occur in photographs they take with their phone and to replace them with images drawn from an online databank. The website allows anyone to view and contribute to the databank, suggesting and uploading images that may be substituted for a particular logo.
Unlogo follows the history of tactical media art projects and adds its own contemporary twists. It allows individuals to moderate not only the temporary act of viewing a magazine, billboard, or screen without corporate messages, but gives people the
opportunity to opt out of having these messages permanently imprinted into the photographic record of their lives. In allowing viewers to identify what constitutes a logo and its alternate, Unlogo asks us to consider our own role in media culture. What image will you suggest as a logo-alternate? Your Facebook pic? Your garage-band skateboard sticker?
Jeff Crouse’s often-humorous artworks take the forms of games, robots, software code, and Internet art and have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival. He has received an Obie award, a Rhizome grant, and is a Senior Fellow at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center, New York.
Richard Rinehart, Digital Media Director and Adjunct Curator
Unlogo was co-curated by Steve Dietz, Jaime Austin, and Richard Rinehart and is co-presented by BAM/PFA and ZER01.