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Franklin Furnace's Goings On
April 3, 2006

1. Franklin Furnace in the New York Times, March 29
2. Stanya Kahn, FF Alumn, at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NY, opening April 8, 6-8 pm
3. DJ Spooky, FF Visionary, at Symphony Space, NY, and more
4. Ken Butler, FF Alumn, at Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, opening April 15, and more
5. Peter Cramer, FF Alumn, on Channel 56, NY, Sundays at 11 pm
6. Seth Tobocman, Jack Waters & Peter Cramer, at Sixth St. Community Center, April 8
7. Terry Dame, FF Alumn, at Galapagos, April 15, and CB’s 313 Gallery, April 29
8. Art/Sci Collision at American Museum of Natural History, April 20, 7 pm
9. Patty Chang, FF Alumn, at SITE Santa Fe, opening July 9
10. Agnes Gund, FF Member, receives Skowhegan Governor’s Award
11. George Moore, FF Alumn, at Moore Space, Miami, opening April 8, and more
12. Karen Finley, FF Alumn, at McNally Robinson Booksellers, NY, TONITE, 7 pm, and more

1. Franklin Furnace in the New York Times, March 29

The New York Times, March 29, 2006
Preserving Work That Falls Outside the Norm
Correction Appended

FOR centuries, museums, libraries and collectors have been forced to worry about how to keep artifacts and documents from falling into pieces. Despite the inevitable decay of the materials involved, curators and conservators have protected mummies, paintings and other objects.

Now these curators and conservators find themselves in the digital era, with artists presenting work that challenges not only the audience, but also the traditions of preservation. The essential question is, How does a museum safeguard work that was built as an interactive experience and that may be based on computer code that will almost certainly disappear in less than two years?

"It's certainly been a problem since the first time we decided to keep something," said Richard Rinehart, director of digital media at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive of the University of California. "That's what museums do: they are society's memory banks. Digital art is different because it essentially can disappear."

"I like to joke that digital art can last forever or for five years, whichever comes first," he added.

The Berkeley Art Museum Web site describes the problem: "Works of variable media art, such as performance, installation, conceptual and digital art, represent some of the most compelling and significant artistic creation of our time. ... Without strategies for cataloging and preservation, many of these vital works will eventually be lost to art history." There is growing concern about preserving digital documents and art among museum personnel, libraries and collectors. Digital art has joined with holograms, performance art, conceptual art and other time-based media creations that can be difficult for a museum to maintain or conjure up again or lend to another institution. While critical appreciation of digital-based art may be limited, there are questions being raised beyond the art itself.

"Preservation represents a continuum," said Carol Stringari, a senior conservator for contemporary art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. "There have always been periods in history in which there was experimentation in art, and there have always been new materials. But the questions about preservation remain the same, regardless of the media. We must strive to understand the meaning and integrity of the work, which allows us to make informed decisions about its long-term preservation."

Keeping alive art that is based on interactivity or computer code was not part of her training, Ms. Stringari said, and raises questions about maintaining a collection.

For example:

A Felix Gonzalez-Torres piece from 1991, "Untitled (Public Opinion)," was shown as a pile of cellophane-wrapped black licorice candies against a wall where people could remove them, changing the shape. To consider preserving the work for restaging, the museum dealt with the artist's estate (he died in 1996) on questions like whether the brand of candy was important; the pile's exact shape had to be kept; and the color or look of the candies must be the same.

"For the moment, those same candies are still available, but they may not always be available," although efforts have been made to specify acceptable parameters, she said.

A computer-based presentation by Mark Napier from 2002 called "net.flag" invited visitors to use symbols from international flags to change a set of stars, among other things, a work partly intended to show how the Internet has dissolved national border limitations. The art is in the interactivity, which is difficult to preserve.

Video works by Nam June Paik, who died in January, were made on machinery using cathode ray tubes, on monitors giving way to plasma screens and with other technology. Conservators suggest that restaging his art reflects the discussion about intention versus physical replication involving hardware, which could change the work.

Art institutions have begun to look at these issues systematically. The Guggenheim is part of a collaborative project that includes the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Rhizome, an online community for digital artists, the Franklin Furnace Archive, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Cleveland Performance Art Festival and Archive. The National Endowment for the Arts granted the consortium $165,000 to create models for preservation. The Guggenheim linked with the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology to stage an exhibition and symposium on variable media art and emulation, which uses newer computers to run older software. And the Museum of Modern Art is working with the Tate Modern in London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on related work.

"It is a paradox that the task is to preserve things that are not materials," said Lauren Cornell, executive director of Rhizome, which documents digital work by participating artists and works with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. "There really aren't any standards for how to do this. We're all testing out different ways to preserve work that is online and then goes out of date really, really quickly."

In addition to emulation, other preservation techniques include storing the original work and machinery, making computer copies or preparing extensive documentation.

Mr. Rinehart, a digital artist himself, said that questions about digital art may signify a larger issue. "Digital art, like all art, may be at the forefront of a larger question," he said. "What is rapidly developing is this black hole. In the future, people may look back and be able to see what was happening in the 18th century, the 19th century, and then will come a period in which we cannot tell what artists were working on. But this is not limited to the art world. This problem about retaining things will be for our collective social memory, and it will be of concern to everyone in every walk of life. Government documents, for example."

Still, he added, the heart of computer-generated art "separates the logical from the physical."

"We have worried about preserving the physical," he said. "Perhaps we should be worried more about preserving the logical." Mr. Rinehart has written academic proposals for creating documentation that is more akin to a music score — with work recognizable even if some of the period instruments in use at the time of creation are changed.

The larger issues of digital preservation have drawn attention at conferences, in academic reviews and in expensive proposals. The popularity of electronic media and the Internet have made it easy to publish — but to keep, catalog and find materials later is more complicated. Preservation can become a juggling act among competing archiving media. Photographs, for example, have been moved from digital files to CD-ROM's to optical drives or tapes or other media that also have maintenance issues.

A program led by the Library of Congress for digital preservation was granted nearly $100 million in 2000 to commission efforts among public and private libraries and institutions that need to maintain collections.

"Creating art through time-based media means also talking about the 3-D effect of the art, or about how the information is received by the viewer," said James Coddington, the chief conservator for MoMA. "The question becomes, What is the information that we need to transmit? If future generations are to understand the art of our time, they need to have real examples presented in authentic manner to understand what we and our artists were talking about. And that is very difficult."

Correction: March 31, 2006

An article in the special Museums section yesterday about methods for preserving digital art misidentified the museum with which Rhizome, an online arts organization, is affiliated; it is the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, not the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.


2. Stanya Kahn, FF Alumn, at Elizabeth Dee Gallery, NY, opening April 8, 6-8 pm

Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge are having a solo exhibition of their collaborative video works at Elizabeth Dee Gallery.The show runs from April 8th-May 13 2006 The opening reception is April 8th from 6-8 pm We'll be there! Three recent pieces will be installed, two in the main gallery and one in the back room.

Elizabeth Dee Gallery
545 West 20th Street
NY, NY 10011


3. DJ Spooky, FF Visionary, at Symphony Space, NY, and more

Hey People - Two summers ago I curated an event at Lincoln Center called "Afro-Eurasian Eclipse" that bought together some of the people in NYC that I think are doing great work in literature, art, and music. All the shows were sold out at about 1500 people per show! This year, I'm going to put together several events in NYC that go back to that same spirit of celebrating diversity and progressive digital media and multi-culturalism. I'd like to extend an invitation to the list to come check out an event I've put together in NYC April 6, 2006.

New Strategies is based on the idea of updating some issues of contemporary composition. New strategies, new styles: old and new - I like to think of this kind of soundbite situation as a way to explore different styles. So here goes:

The roster for the event is based on people from a wide variety of backgrounds, and I think if you're into anything South Asian electronic music to rough edged hip-hop and cutting edge digital media, there'll be something in this event for you. The whole idea:

New Strategies
Thursday, April 6 -- starts at 7:30pm sharp!

"It's been 90 years since Luigi Russolo wrote his famous "Art of Noises" and several centuries since Francis Bacon wrote his "New Atlantis" in 1626 A.D. The music being composed and performed here is as much an inheritor of those kinds of conceptual statements as it is by composers as diverse as Grandmaster Flash, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, and John Adams. It reflects the way composing music has changed under the impact of these varied scenarios and situations. This evening celebrates a range of styles and strategies for composition -- it's as much about the changing cultural landscape of digital media, as it is about the way we think about music."

DJ Spooky's guests will include the following artists:

Suphala, who has collaborated with artists including Sean Lennon, Perry Farrell (Jane's Addiction) Vernon Reid (Living Colour) Timbaland, Norah Jones and many others. As a teenager, she studied violin and drums, and later turned to tabla, which she studied with Ustad Zakir Hussain, as well as his late father, the master Ustad Allarakha. Currently she leads her own band with violinist Mazz Swift and trombonist Dana Leong.

Vijay Iyer, who will premiere a new composition for piano and laptop, has been dubbed one of the "new stars of jazz" by U.S. News & World Report, and one of "today's most important pianists" by The New Yorker. Iyer is a forceful, rhythmically invigorating performer who weds a cutting-edge sensibility to a unique sense for compositional balance. Recently in the Village Voice, Gary Giddins described him as "one of the most original and accomplished young pianists in years." An exceptional, forwardthinking composer, Iyer draws from African, Asian, and European musical lineages to create fresh, original music in the American creative tradition.

Matthew Shipp: With his unique and recognizable style, pianist Matthew Shipp worked and recorded vigorously during the 1990s, creating music in which free jazz and modern classical intertwine.

Rob Swift: Whether he's droppin' beats hard and strong as one third of the groundbreaking turntable band the X-ecutioners or rockin' a salsoul beat with jazz master Bob James, turntable composer Rob Swift is "all killa and no filla" on the decks. A dedicated artist, a turntable maverick and the Ablist DJ to come along since the form's mixmaster pioneers, it's Swift's destiny to be a major deal on the wheels of steel.

Guillermo Brown is a drummer, sound designer and composer who incorporates jungle, avant-jazz, drum and bass, and numerous other styles. He has developed a unique solo performance system called the Explorer.

Ben Neill creates unique musical and visual universes, melding the worlds of electronic music, jazz, pop culture and visual media.

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based audio artist who does unique and haunting things with voice, live electronic processing, and sampling technology. She is known for layering her operatic voice with digital sound and a controller, called the BodySynth®, which allows her to access electronic samples through gestural movement.

Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
2537 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.
The theatre is located on the southwest corner of 95th St and Broadway.

Apr 6, 2006, 7:30pm

More info:

Paul D. Miller a.k.a. Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid


4. Ken Butler, FF Alumn, at Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, opening April 15, and more

Friends (and acquaintances) I hope to see you at one of these events! Ken

"Instrumental Desire: Strings Attached"
Hybrid sculpture, collage, and performances by Ken Butler
April 15 - May 14, 2006
opening reception Sat. April 15, 6-9pm, performance at 8pm

Sideshow Gallery 319 Bedford Ave. (btwn. S.2nd & 3rd) Williamsburg, Brooklyn 

Additional performances: "Voices of Anxious Objects"
Wed. April 26 10pm (with the band) at Zebulon 258 Wythe Ave. Williamsburg  
Sat. May 6 8pm (with special guests) at Sideshow Gallery

Sideshow Gallery presents "Instrumental Desire: Strings Attached", an exhibition of hybrid instrument sculptures, new grand pianos, collages, and live performances by artist-musician Ken Butler. It is his first solo exhibition in New York City in five years. Characterized by his obsessive desire to re-order the world around him, Butler's multi-disciplinary creations can be difficult to describe as they bridge visual art, design, performance, and life itself in unusual ways. Ever the urban bricoleur, the artist is a resourceful problem-solver committed to exploring and re-configuring our relationships to the objects around us. I also have a solo exhibition The New Sound of Music at Mass Moca in Kidspace March 30 - Sept 4th http://www.massmoca.org/kidspace/



5. Peter Cramer, FF Alumn, on Channel 56, NY, Sundays at 11 pm

a 13 part weekly series March 19 - June 11 2006.
SUNDAYS @ 11 pm Channel 56
also on the internet at http://www.mnn.org/

Episode 2 -
This week's episode continues with the struggle of garden politics and history . As we track this history we celebrate the joys and pleasures of the garden - Happy faces of neighbors gathering and the blooming flowers of early Spring, yoga by Nammi Lee, poetry of Shelley Marlowe, mural painting by GRRRR (Ingo Geizendanner), a zany homage by Brandon Olson to Alice in Wonderland. Oh yes, you'll also see Peter Cramer at City Hall!
Begin the beguine of performers, artists, people, plants, insects, rain and sunshine that grace gardens and the good 'ol Lower east side. Viva Loisaida!
Won't you join the dance?!
See a preview trailer and leave comments at http://www.lpvtv.blogspot.com/


6. Seth Tobocman, Jack Waters & Peter Cramer, at 6 th St. Community Center, April 8

Benefit for the
sending volunteers to help rebuild New Orleans
Saturday - April 8 at 7:30 pm.at 6th Street Community Center.

Join us for Live Music, Spoken Word, and Performance, including: Jemeel, Moondoc, Seth Tobocman, Jack Waters and Peter Cramer, Ray Gant, Martha Hyde, Will Sales, Michael Sansonia, Mac McGill, Eric Blitz, Emilio China, Steve Wishnia and other local favorites! Help raise funds for the Loisaida-New Orleans Caravan, sending volunteers to help rebuild New Orleans communities by working with the Common Ground Collective.
$20 Sliding Scale. Tasty food and drink! 638 East 6th Street, bet.Aves. B & C.
More Info, phone 212-677-1863 or email: info@sixthstreetcenter.org.


7. Terry Dame, FF Alumn, at Galapagos, April 15, and CB’s 313 Gallery, April 29

Hello Friends,
After a year off Electric Junkyard Gamelan is back and badder than ever. We've been working on some new grooves, got a new instrument or two and are prepared to rock the house with two upcoming NYC shows. Our new set is groovier than ever...in fact downright danceable. Forgotten who we are, never seen us? Well we are that group that plays original music on invented instruments and objects featuring Robin Burdulis, Terry Dame, Lee Frisari, Mary Feaster and Julian Hintz. You can check out the sounds, see some photos and video on my website www.terrydame.com.\ Then come on out to one of our upcoming shows. Details are below.
Peace and music will make it better,

Electric Junkyard Gamelan upcoming shows
Saturday, April 15th- 8pm  $7
appearing with Matt Welch's Blarvuster
Galapagos Art Space
70 North 6th Street
Williamsburg, Bkln

Saturday, April 29th 10pm
CB's 313 Gallery
315 Bowery between 1st & 2nd St, NYC
w/ Pustule Brass Band (on tour from France)
The Skorchers (great Ska band)


8. Art/Sci Collision at American Museum of Natural History, April 20, 7 pm

Art/Sci Collision: Brandon Ballengée’s Eco - Art
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Code: EL042006 7:00 PM
American Museum of Natural History
Wallach Orientation Center, 4th floor $15 ($13.50 Members, students, senior citizens)

Blurring the boundaries between art, science, and technology, Brandon Ballengée creates multidisciplinary works out of information generated from ecological field trips and laboratory research. For the last ten years, Ballengée has collaborated with numerous scientists to conduct primary biological research and advanced imaging procedures. Whether documenting aquatic organisms found at local seafood markets or web-casting an actual laboratory experiment examining amphibian limb development, the art projects and installations created by Ballengée are scientific collaborations meant to engage the public in the broader discussion of environmental issues. www.greenmuseum.org/ballengee

Tickets: (212) 769-5200 Information: (212) 769-5315 or www.amnh.org/programs
AMNH, Central Park West at 79th Street New York, NY 10024

Kathy Brew
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @ 79th Street
New York, New York 10024-5192


9. Patty Chang, FF Alumn, at SITE Santa Fe, opening July 9

Congratulations to Patty Chang, FF Alumn, who has been selected to participate in the biennial exhibition SITE Sante Fe, opening July 9


10. Agnes Gund, FF Member, receives Skowhegan Governor’s Award

Congratulations to Agnes Gund, FF Member, who has received the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service to Artists


11. George Moore, FF Alumn, at Moore Space, Miami, opening April 8, and more

The Moore Space
invites you to the exhibition
metro pictures
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 8, 2006, 7-10pm

"metro pictures" refers to snapshots of the city. This two-part exhibition brings together 27 artists whose works define, interpret and/or reject the city, as well as describe how the city is navigated. This exhibition concept is by no means a tight thematic show, nor is it meant to be interpreted literally. In fact, the term "city" is proposed as a concept of space, whereby artists explore the psychologies, conflicts, resolutions, and states of mind that entail negotiating with surroundings, people and change. Several sub-themes include broad social issues shared by large populations; micro-stories and personal histories; interactive works that illustrate relationships; as well as topics that engage political and philosophical stands on environment, race and other social concerns. Part One will open
at The Moore Space on April 8, 2006 and Part Two opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami on May 4 through September 17, 2006. This collaborative exhibition includes works in a diversity of media including painting, sculpture, video, photography, performance and public art. This exhibition runs through July 31, 2006.

The Moore Space
4040 NE 2nd Avenue, 2nd fl
Design District
Miami, FL 33137
Tel: 305-438-1163
Hours: Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm and by appointment


12. Karen Finley, FF Alumn, at McNally Robinson Booksellers, NY, TONITE, 7 pm, and more

Karen Finley's George & Martha
Two New York City bookstore events

Celebrate the launch of Karen Finley's first book in six years, an illustrated political satire which imagines a torrid affair between George W. Bush and Martha Stewart.

Monday, April 3 — New York Premiere
McNally Robinson Booksellers
50 Prince Street
7 pm
Introduction by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Wednesday, April 5
Barnes & Noble Astor Place
4 Astor Place
7 pm

"George & Martha is a nasty, hysterical, weirdly plausible bitch-slap of a book that might have been fashioned by Jonathan Swift after a night of caffeinated madness with Georges Bataille and Terry Southern."

—Jerry Stahl

Both events are free and open to the public.
Contact Verso at 212 807 9680 for more information


Goings On is compiled weekly by Harley Spiller


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Harley Spiller, Administrator
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