Monday, June 14, 2010

GUEST BLOGGER: Avery Billingsworth III from The Chelsea Beat and Free Booze Review:

Beyond Models of Consensus @ EYEBEAM June 10, 2010

Last night June 10, Upgrade! NY and Not An Alternative, united forces to present their newest innovative exhibition and panel discussion atEyebeam’s behemoth show space at 540 West 21s. Re:Group: Beyond Models of Consensus, is an exhibition, which examines models of participation and participation as a model in art and activism. So here’s what’s going down- The show is ultimately about work that subverts existing systems or envisions new alternatives to the ways in which individuals can take part, or choose not to take part, in social and cultural life. What you wouldn’t expect is the subtle sense of humor that pervades the entire show. White Glove Tracking is an interactive computer based piece by Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth, which requires audience participation to isolate Michael Jackson’s infamous bejeweled glove, which has been edited to appear ridiculously enlarged on his hand as he twirls and moon walks through a looping clip from a performance of Billy Jean. There are six monitors with various visual interpretations of the data that is being collected but it was undetermined if these were pre recorded or responding directly to audience interaction. Wildly entertaining though, if even if you are left wondering what just happened as you chuckle to yourself and walk away. Just across the room in what looks like a post apocalyptic plywood Winnebago, Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Carmen Montoya have created Ghana Think Tank. Here is a unique idea that is simple enough that you could have thought of it yourself but you didn’t. Lets take some big thinkers and regular folks and build think tanks in third world foreign countries like Ghana, Cuba, Serbia and El Salvador to brainstorm potential solutions to first world problems in countries like the United States. That makes sense right? As you enter into the space you cant help but wonder if you should be offended or if this is a joke but sure enough there are monitors haphazardly drilled into the walls inside with videos of the third world think tanks in progress, mostly complaining about the people of the united states but often stumbling upon a few pretty good ideas for us to seriously consider. It’s worth taking the time to watch all the videos and I recommend striking up a debate about the whole purpose of this project with any passer bye. Everyone I spoke with seemed to be eager to throw their two cents in. In addition to the many other projects by some of the most talented tech based artists in the craft, the Bring Back the WPA project by Christopher Robbins, who is believes that if the government wont help us then it is up to us to do for ourselves, is an other idea to take seriously. Although the show is not entirely cohesive and you can tell that perhaps there were too many curators in the kitchen I plan on going back this week to get a little more familiar with the pieces and attend some of the associated events that follow up the show throughout the next month;

Friday, June 11 – 10am to 12pm Breakfast with the Artists.

Wednesday, June 23 through June 25 – Collaborative Futures Book Spirit, organized by Mushon Zer-Aviv and Michael Mandiberg (Eyebeam)

Wednesday, June 30 - 3pm Expedition & Interactive Performance with The Institute for Really Small Things

Wednesday, July 7 – 6 to 9pm Action Research Workshop with Christopher Robbins, WPA 2010

Participating Artists:
Giana González
- Hacking Couture
John Hawke – Orange Work
- Mandatory Minimum–We Have Moved
The Institute for Infinitely Small Things
- Corporate Commands
Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima
- Ten Thousand Cents
Steve Lambert and Packard Jennings
- Wish You Were Here! Postcards from our awesome future
MakerBot Industries
- MakerBot
Christopher Robbins
- Work Projects Administration 2010
Christopher Robbins, John Ewing, and Carmen Montoya
- Ghana Think Tank
Evan Roth and Ben Engebreth
- White Glove Tracking
- Crisis Map of Haiti
- [V]ote-Auction
The Yes Men
YoHa (Harwood,
Yokokoji) - Social Telephony Files

Recommendation Level: HIGH


Crane Lake Cabernet Sauvignon in a plastic cup

Crane Lake Pino Grigio in a plastic cup

Yuengling Traditional Lager 12 oz Bottle