The Blackest Spot (Main Gallery)

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© Courtesy of the Artist and the Fringe Gallery
The Blackest Spot (Main Gallery)

504 Chung King Court
Los Angeles, CA 90012
September 6th, 2008 - October 4th, 2008
Opening: September 6th, 2008 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Thu-Sat 12-6


The Blackest Spot is an interactive installation that uses Elias Canetti's seminal text "Crowds and Power" as its point of departure. Canetti speaks of crowds as a mysterious and universal phenomenon whose density creates the 'blackest spot'. Using images of crowds culled from the daily newspaper, Jody Zellen explores the representation of crowds and the myriad of reasons for public gatherings. Animated imagery, fragments of sounds from well know speeches throughout history, and drawing will transform the gallery space into an arena placing the viewer in the role of audience or speaker. As viewers interact with triggers strategically placed on the floor of the space, they will be able to choreograph their own experience. Alternating between contemplative quiet and a cacophony of cheers, the many facets of public gatherings will be explored. Zellen worked with Lewis Keller who programmed the electronics for this project. 

Jody Zellen received her MFA from CalArts and has been exhibiting her photographs, drawings and installations worldwide since the mid 1990s. Recent exhibitions include Sixteen to One, Santa Monica, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, and Printed Matter, New York. For more information visit

Los Angeles based artist Lewis Keller manipulates frequency, timbre and amplitude via performance, installation, fabrication and digital media. His work combines sophisticated technology with crude humble structures, inviting listeners to question their relationships with time, technology, space, sound and silence. He received his BAfrom Colorado College and his MFA from CalArts. For more information visit 

Virta-Flaneurazine(VF) is a potent programmable mood-changing drug for Second Life (SL). It is identified as part of the Wanderment family of psychotropic drugs because it automatically causes the user to aimlessly roam the distant lands of online 3D worlds. As the prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing digephemera and walking or flying in circuitous paths. Many users report the experience allows them to see SLin a renewed light, as somehow reconfigured outside the everyday limitations of a fast growing grid of virtual investment properties. VF derives from a formula which the authors of this study, Dr* JC Freeman and Dr* WD Pappenheimer, synthesized some time ago. The clinical study will include an exhibition that dispenses and evaluates the drug for volunteer subjects. The installation includes a comfortable multi-position mechanical chair, exam area, a waiting room and live SLprojection screens for patient and public viewing. 

Virta-Flaneurazine is a 2007-08 Rhizome Commission. 

For more information please see 
(A high-resolution version of this image can be downloaded for publication at

John Craig Freeman's work has been exhibited internationally including at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, the Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, Eyebeam in New York, City, the Zacheta Narodowa Galleria Sztuki Warsaw, Kaliningrad Branch of the National Center for Contemporary Arts in Russia, Art Basel Miami, Ciberart Bilbao and the Girona Video and Digital Arts Festival in Spain, La Biblioteca National in Havana, the Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, the Nickle Arts Museum in Calgary, the Center for Experimental and Perceptual Art (CEPA) in Buffalo, Art interactive, Mobius and Studio Soto in Boston, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City, Ambrosino Gallery in Miami, the Photographers Gallery in London, and the Friends of Photography's Ansel Adams Center in San Francisco. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His writing has been published in Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure, as well as a chapter in the book Electronic Collaboration in the Humanities. Freeman received a BA degree from the University of California, San Diego and an MFA from the University of Colorado. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston. 

Will Pappenheimer is an artist working in new media, installation and multi media. His projects utilize home surveillance networks, participatory media and information aesthetics. He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions including the ICABoston, FILE 2005, Sao Paulo, ISEA2006/ZeroOne, San Jose Museum of Art, Kunstraum Walcheturm, Zurich, the Museum Fine Arts, Boston and Exit Art, Florence Lynch Gallery and Postmasters Galleries, New York. His work received a half page photo citation in the New York Times at Art Basel Miami 2003, a chapter of Gregory Ulmer's book, "Electronic Monuments" and is included in Whitney Museum curator Christiane Paul,s new edition of "Digital Art." He has been recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, recent commissions from and and the 2009 Lights On Tampa, Florida artist program. He holds degrees from Harvard College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Bos