Monday, 23 January 2012

Brief Permanence @ Cambridge

PRIVATE VIEW 28th January 2012
100 Regent Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1DP
 Brief Permanence is an exhibition showing the works of eight artists  whose practices explore the boundaries of what a book is and can be.  Using a variety of different media such as sculpture, installation,  collage and video the book as container of knowledge and object of  culture is reconsidered and reconstructed. Brief Permanence is a  collaboration of recent MA Book Arts and MA Printmaking graduates from  Camberwell College and MFA Fine Arts graduates from Cambridge School of  Art.

28th January 2012
from 18.00
100 Regent Street 


Brief Permanence is an exhibition showing the works of eight artists whose practices explore the boundaries of what a book is and can be. Using a variety of different media such as sculpture, installation, collage and video the book as container of knowledge and object of culture is reconsidered and reconstructed.

Brief Permanence is a collaboration of recent MA Book Arts and MA Printmaking graduates from Camberwell College and MFA Fine Arts graduates from Cambridge School of Art.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Supersymmetry and broken symmetry


From The Hunt for Higgs: A Horizon Special.:

In the standard model symmetry rules. The laws are dictated - really - in their form by requiring tremendous amounts symmetry. That's how we found them.

If the laws of science are framed in their most perfect most symmetrical form, than  life cannot exist at all.  

A universe created along absolute symmetric principles would be in perfect balance and would cancel itself out. There'd be no mass, Higs - or matter at all.
In short, 
broken symmetry creates
imperfection is productive


A beautiful video from Everyone. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The aesthetics algorithm or rationalizing the eye of the beholder.

Kaunas 1
Kaunas 2

Which one of those two photos would you prefer? Which one of those two photos would I prefer? Xerox knows the answer.

The eye of the beholder has lost the crown  - your preferences have just been rationalized. Pure scientific analysis that one day will make Google Image Search like a trip to the gallery.

The idea is very exciting indeed and certainly hugely applicable. Yet, I would be greatly disappointed to find the software in my camera. It is those shit framed and poorly lit photos that generally produce the most interesting material. And they make the Google Image Search more exciting.

The aesthetics algorithm.

What is it?
The algorithm is a key part of a system that can sort photos by how aesthetically pleasing they are. The system's been developed at Xerox Research Center Europe in France.

How does the system work?
It studies photographs where the subject matter is known - pictures tagged "boat" or "flower" or Flickr., for example - and analyses their characteristics. This allows an algorithm - a set of instructions a computer can follow - to recognise other images in the same category.

What about aesthetics?
Images known to look good, such as examples rated as high quality on Flikr, are also analysed. Common characteristics are noted and used by algorithm for its selection. Those characteristics show a distict similarity to what experts already know makes a good photo.

Who would want to use this?
It could help you choose the best images from all those snaps you inevitably take while you 're on holiday. Or, if it is built into a camera, it could allow lower quality images to be wiper out instantly, so they don't clog your memory card. 

When will I be able to use this?
The system will be tested this year by Xerox's corporate partners, including photographic agencies and design firms. A more advanced version should be available commercially within two to four years.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Memory is not history: interview with Prof. Saulius Sužiedėlis.

From an interviu with Prof. Saulius Sužiedėlis by Zigmas Vitkus.

Memory is not history. I understand memory in rather simple terms: memory is what people remember, or - more specifically - what they say they remember. Sometimes it comes from a personal experience, sometimes from stories. I separate personal memory from collective memory, because the latter one often acquires mythologial features. I understand history as a science in terms of historical analysis and reconstruction, based on certain research methods acknowledeged by research institutes. It is a kind of reflective, questioning and critical relationship with past, open to further interpretations.

Sometimes history and authentic historical memory get compromised. It may happen, when traumatized collective conscience needs explanations, to relieve a psychological burden of painful experiences. This forms favorable conditions to the rise of oppressive stereotypes and myths. I think it is important to avoid ideological statements when we talk about wars, occupations, resistence, genocide. These are the subjects that have an obvious moral and ethical context. Indeed, whenever we talk about a widespread brutality, especially when it concerns those close to us, we do ask the question “what are we - good or evil?”. I believe, that we need to project our history from a variety of angles  to avoid selecting the facts favourible to a specific interpretation. Only then our memory traditions (culture) will improve.

from Bernardinai 12/01/02

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Tonis Saadoja & Flo Kasearu. "21.05.09" / "14.06.09" @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Tonis Saadoja @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Tonis Saadoja @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Flo Kasearu @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Flo Kasearu @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Two young generation Estonian artists Tonis Saadoja and Flo Kasearu present their works "21.05.09" / "14.06.09".

Tonis Saadoja’s photo installation "14.06.09" refers to the date of the first mass deportation in Estonia by the Soviet troops in 1941. The photos are taken in Tallinn the same night 68 years later, each portraying an empty crossroad. Although the portrayed locations have individually no specific connection to historic deportation sites, and rather follow a mind construction ,what if it happened today, the pictures are displayed in a sequence from the late 19th century bourgeois suburb towards the modernist Soviet blocks of houses of 1980s.
Presented as a lightbox installation the work physically influences the viewers’ control over the surrounding space, serving as a memorial piece to situations where human control is replaced by force majeure.

The lightbox installation is accompanied by a video work "21.05.09" (aka ESC) by Flo Kasearu referring to an awkward real life incident with escaped hippodrome horses galloping in a desolate Tallinn some years ago on the night of the 21st of May. Being partly a reconstruction of the documentary events the video features a digital high speed graffiti displayed on the facades of Tallinn. The expressive galloping of a symbolic white horse in a desperate boy racer situation leads to a powerful trip through the city presented from a perspective of the invisible persuader.

Fluxus Cabinet @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Fluxus Cabinet @ ŠMC, Vilnius

Fluxus Cabinet @ ŠMC, Vilnius.
Fluxus Cabinet @ ŠMC, Vilnius.

  It would be great to be able to handle them! It is a shame, that their monetary/etc value has detached them from their original purpose - cheap, ephemeral publications, to be held. I saw Fluxus exhibition a few years ago in the Baltic, Newcastle. Likewise, the books and boxes were behind the glass. Yet, Fluxus room in Vilnius felt more successful - it looks like a private room, it encourages to explore slowly, like one would explore somebody's library when waiting for a cup of coffee. A comfy chair would be helpful. And a small table with copies of the publications. Thank you.

George Maciunas Fluxus Cabinet

The CAC has recently re-opened its permanent exposition of the George Maciunas Fluxus Cabinet, which for three years toured, as a part of the international exhibition 'Fluxus East: Fluxus Networks in Central Eastern Europe', to several museums in Europe. In 1997 the Cabinet was donated to the CAC as a gift from the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Collection; the world's largest collection of Fluxus works, and curated by the influential historian of Fluxus movement Jon Hendricks. The Cabinet consists of nearly 100 objects and presents work by many of the most important Fluxus artists, including; George Maciunas, George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Shigeko Kubota, Ben Vautier, Mieko Shiomi, Henry Flynt, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, and Ay-O. The collection of the Cabinet which includes the scores and visual documentation of Fluxus 'events', photos from seminal Fluxus festivals in Wuppertal, Nice and New York, Fluxus newspapers, and other editions, reveals the interdisciplinary nature of this influential artistic movement and its practices, which changed notions about visual arts in the 1960s.


outside ŠMC, Vilnius

Žilvinas Landzbergas and Jaime Pitarch @ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Jaime Pitarch @ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Žilvinas Landzbergas@ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Žilvinas Landzbergas@ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Žilvinas Landzbergas@ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

In celebration of its 20th birthday, the Vartai Gallery in Vilnius is putting on an exhibition featuring two contemporary artists – the Lithuanian Žilvinas Landzbergas (1979), and the Spaniard Jaime Pitarch (1963). The show delights the local public with Jaime Pitarch's objects of art, and with two of Landzbergas' latest projects – Sun Setand The Future is Now (2011) – three-dimensional stories brought to life with the help of various objects and motifs. The Vartai Gallerydoesn't attempt to put the artists “all in one basket” by either comparing or contrasting their works. Both artists' conceptions, displayed next to each other, create an illustrative dialog; by presenting the critical reflexive life with their rich visual language, they illustrate the orientation of values in today's society.

In Žilvinas Landzbergas projects, the unified compositions of his expositions use elements of science fiction and characteristic images of consumeristic society and today's mass culture. With symbols from our daily lives that everyone is familiar with, he creates a modern-day vision of the social world. The feeling of a surreal dream is achieved by creating a meadow not with real plants, but rather with, for example, pictures or imitations that have been bought from a store. In this way, Landzbergas places the viewer in the role of the main character of an illustrated story. His installations become an instrument that helps the viewer understand his personal state in the time and space in which we live. The works inherit their meaning only on the specific walls of the exposition, and they are not for sale nor available for viewing outside of their original context.

Barcelona-born Jaime Pitarch also selects the motifs for his works from the “garbage” of today's society's life. A painter by education, he also works with sculpture and is a master of video and performance art, but he has gained greatest popularity with his installations and objects which feature consumer products that the artist has altered. Pitarch believes that people are characterized by the objects they use. He changes various details of objects, playing with our comprehension of the point or meaning of the thing – by either exaggerating it or denying it. His art becomes either a question mark or an exclamation point to regular consumers. In the last few years, Pitarch has created sculptures made from clothes pins; an authentic Russian matryoshka doll, mutated with additional heads of varying size growing on it like tumors (“Chernobyl”, 2007); and guitars with strings tied on so tightly that the body of the guitar has curved inward (“Spanish Guitar” and “Play Hard”, 2006). 

Vilniaus g. 39
Lietuva, Vilnius

Emilija Škarnulytė @ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Emilija Škarnulytė @ Vartai Gallery, Vilnius

Emilija is showing her latest project Dingusio miesto slėnis (The Valley of the Lost City) consisting of pictures and videos of the Raigardas Valley which has been painted by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis.
Nostalgic. Intimate. Horizon blurred with mist. The prints show lines, like they have been printed on a faulty printer.
I  wonder what do non-Lithuanians make of her work? It resonates some quintessentially Lithuanian aesthetics, suggesting an idea, that my fellow countrymen would respond to it with a different emotional charge to everybody else.