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2 events scheduled on Oct 1, 2012
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Art Speaks!
New York US
19:00
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4 events scheduled on Oct 6, 2012
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Urban Encounters
London GB
11:00
Arduino Workshop
New York US
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Nan Jombang
New York US
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1 event scheduled on Oct 9, 2012
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Stop & Go 3-D
Oakland US
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1 event scheduled on Oct 16, 2012
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Box Art
Oakland US
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Arga Bileg
New York US
1 event scheduled on Oct 20, 2012
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From the ArtBase

The Download: Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain


Screenshot of Pond Type interface

This month on The Download featuring an interactive software piece by Brazilian artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain.

Pond Type (2012) transforms the QWERTY keyboard into a hauntingly beautiful musical instrument for digital poetry. Inspired by Brazilian concrete poet Augusto de Campos's "Pulsar," the artists Detanico and Lain designed a ripple typeface for an exhibition of the poet's work for the Elisabeth Foundation for the Arts. For The Download, they combined the typeface with sound to create an interactive version of Pond Type.

After selecting any text or poem, the viewer is instructed to type slowly and wait for each word to vanish before typing the next. By deliberately slowing down the urge to type quickly, the artists delay gratification and encourage careful listening.

The Download gives a first look to great art for Rhizome members. Start your own digital art collection by becoming a member today.

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Five Videos: Anahita Razmi's Exile TV


Five Videos is an online series "hosted" by Rhizome, in collaboration with FACT, responding to the Liverpool Biennial's theme, The Unexpected Guest. Each week throughout the Liverpool Biennial, a new artist will curate five videos about hospitality. This week, Anahita Razmi the open secret that is satellite "exile TV" in Iran.

“Iran: one of the fastest developing consumers markets in the Middle East…” That’s how the video clip “Why advertise on PMC“ starts. PMC is the acronym for Persian Music Channel, an MTV equivalent for the Iranian population. The channel is broadcast via satellite and is very popular. I remember watching it several times with friends when visiting Iran.

The clip “Why advertise on PMC" was uploaded just 4 months ago, a significant time as this is amid threats of war and heavy sanctions on Iran. By highlighting the TV advertising possibilities for western brands in the country, the clip gives a particular insight into Iran’s consumer market and media landscape. At the same time, it is leaving essential things unsaid. Most notably in comparing state TV to satellite TV, it neglects to mention that satellite TV itself is completely illegal in Iran.

Official TV stations in Iran are all state owned and mostly show little entertaining, untempting propaganda. The counterparts to these are “exile” TV stations broadcasting from outside of the country via satellite. PMC is broadcasting from Dubai, other Iranian channels are based in London and California. The list of these channels is long, the audience is large.

Despite their illegality, satellite dishes can be found everywhere in Iran. When I was filming last year on the rooftops in Tehran, I saw a sea of dishes more or less hidden on every roof. Mohammad Rasoulof’s documentary “The Dish”  is a very informative piece to watch about this subject. 

I find this teaser from MBC PERSIA, showing mostly western movies and productions with Farsi subtitles, a very entertaining example of a channel advertising their programming. “You have an opportunity. This is a rebirth,” says George Clooney to the music of David Guetta’s “Titanium.” It might also be seen as a reflection of the producers themselves about Iran’s media reality, as well as the channel’s own working conditions.

The clip also shows that watching satellite TV in Iran might not be so much of an underground political issue as some would like to see it: people want to get entertainment and Hollywood is there to provide it.

Other examples of popular channels fulfilling this need are FARSI1, mainly showing soap operas and game shows, or MANOTO1 that is producing formats like “Googoosh Music Academy” and a Persian version of “Come Dine with Me.”

Even without understanding any Persian, one easily gets what these teasers are about; the formats are standardized and one-to-one resembling western channels.

The decision of the Islamic Republic to ban these channels does not affect their popularity, even though police forces frequently come to private homes and roofs to destroy or take down the satellite dishes.

Furthermore, many channels are forced to repeatedly change their frequencies as the state regularly tries to jam the signals of unwanted media. BBC PERSIAN, a channel broadcasting from London, is very much affected by this chase. This clip was aired as a teaser for the launch of the channel in 2009:

Alongside other formats, the channel is showing news in Farsi, tackling Iranian political issues from a designated non-ideological point of view. Last year, they broadcasted an interview with Hillary Clinton, offering Iranian viewers the opportunity to pose questions via the internet. Also last year, the Iranian authorities arrested six filmmakers, accusing them of having worked for BBC PERSIAN.

Here the fear of the authorities over satellite broadcasting seems to come into play when entertainment is mingling with information:  a fear that — while eating popcorn — the revolution will be televised.

— Anahita Razmi

READ ON »


Rhizome Digest: Best of Rhizome September


Essays

Interviews

Artist Profiles

Five Videos

Prosthetic Knowledge Picks

More

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Thank You to Our Sponsors


We would like to take a brief moment to thank this month’s sponsors. These are the organizations and companies that keep us publishing, so be sure to check them out!

Featured Advertisers

  • Brooklyn Museum- GO is a community-curated open studio project. Artists across Brooklyn opened their studio doors, so that the public could decide who will be featured in a group show at the Brooklyn Museum
  • NYU Steinhardt -  Offers graduate art programs in Studio Art, Art Education, Art Therapy, Visual Culture: Costume Studies, and Visual Arts Administration. Admission Deadlines: January 6, 15 & February 1, 2013...

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Melting Bridges and Streets


The iOS6 update for the iPhone no longer includes Google Maps, but Apple's own more inferior service. But the accuracy of its data, has a curious beauty to it: the Amazing iOS6 Maps has found a stunning number of melting landscapes. For example this image, compared the streets in Inception folding up like a draw bridge:

 

Last month, artist Clement Valla explained in his essay for Rhizome how this occurs on Google Earth:

At first, I thought they were glitches, or errors in the algorithm, but looking closer, I realized the situation was actually more interesting — these images are not glitches. They are the absolute logical result of the system. They are an edge condition—an anomaly within the system, a nonstandard, an outlier, even, but not an error. These jarring moments expose how Google Earth works, focusing our attention on the software. They are seams which reveal a new model of seeing and of representing our world - as dynamic, ever-changing data from a myriad of different sources – endlessly combined, constantly updated, creating a seamless illusion...

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Recommended Reading: Captives of the Cloud by Metahaven for E-Flux


  

A selection of the global US social media cloud, resorting under the Patriot Act by Metahaven

E-Flux this month includes an essay by Metahaven (Part 1 of 3) on cloud computing, international law, and privacy. "Citizens across the world are subject to the same Patriot Act powers" the US has over its citizens" as data stored overseas by US companies is still subject to US surveillance. The US also excersizes "super-jurisdiction" in cases like the seizure of Megaupload, which was a Hong Kong-based company, the DOJ accused of "willful conspiracy to break US law" due it's global user base. Furthermore, "all top-level domain names" registered through VeriSign are subject to  US seizure, even if operated entirely outside the country. 

The essay continues, looking at examples of Apple's App store censureship of Drones+, Google+ and Facebook real name policy, and other examples of the "cloud as a political space." 

 

"The first mention of the notion of the “cloud” was in a 1996 diagram in an MIT research paper," redrawn by Metahaven for e-flux

Most journalism routinely criticizes (or praises) the US government for its ability to spy on “Americans.” But something essential is not mentioned here—the practical ability of the US government to spy on everybody else. The potential impact of surveillance of the US cloud is as vast as the impact of its services—which have already profoundly transformed the world. An FBI representative told CNET about the gap the agency perceives between the phone network and advanced cloud communications for which it does not presently have sufficiently intrusive technical capacity—the risk of surveillance “going dark.” The representative mentioned “national security” to demonstrate how badly it needs such cloud wiretapping, inadvertently revealing that the state secrets privilege—once a legal anomaly, now a routine—will likely ...

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Rhizome is dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology. Read more here.