Tag Archives: art + technology

Beautiful Obsolescence

Beautiful Obsolescence
Cluster Gallery
March 2 — March 30, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday March 2, 7 — 9pm
CLOSING RECEPTION: Friday March 30, 5 — 7pm
Cluster Gallery: 200 6th Street 3E, Brooklyn, NY 11215


I am delighted to have been invited by Cluster Gallery to curate Beautiful Obsolescence, a group exhibition featuring photographic works by Jeanette May and Adrianne Wortzel, as well as sculpture by Mary Mattingly.

Our contemporary lives are filled with redundant technologies and consumer goods. To make sense of the technologies and objects that fill our lives, the artists in Beautiful Obsolescence reimagine consumer goods. By recontextualizing our view on these objects the artists bring a fresh eye to how these objects affect us, giving them new lives.

Jeanette May’s Tech Vanitas photographs of precariously stacked gadgets address the anxiety surrounding technological obsolescence. As May observes, we live in an age filled with devices that make domestic life faster, smarter, easier, and yet, more complicated. The more we yearn to keep current — the newest phone, computer, camera, audio system, coffee maker — the more we produce, consume, and discard. Tech Vanitas references the 17th Century vanitas paintings which celebrated The Netherlands’ new wealth. Just as Dutch Golden Age still lifes portray the abundance afforded a prosperous culture, Tech Vanitas embraces luxury, honors design, and acknowledges the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures.

In Adrianne Wortzel’s EX SITU CONSERVATION: Colony Relocation for Electronic Detritus an inventory of machine parts and electronic elements are photographed as surviving artifacts of technologies facing obsolescence. Objects are arranged in nature, perhaps even as species threatened with extinction. Her photos are an ironic attempt at reverse psychology — a reverence of technology at any price to the environment.

Mary Mattingly’s DRUM from her series Blockades, Boulders, Weights is a sculpture created from mass-produced objects the artist has collected over the years. Her goal is to create structures of bundled objects so that she is really faced with everything on which she relies and consumes. “And it’s a lot”, she says. Mattingly hopes to get people thinking about what we’re taking from the earth, how we can use what we already have to our best advantage. Her sculptures show just how much we’d have to carry if we bundled our objects on own backs.

The artists in Beautiful Obsolescence simultaneously critique and celebrate the multitude of objects we accumulate, to make sense of the stuff we collect in our lives. “May, Wortzel, and Mattingly are all storytellers”, says McDonald Crowley. “Through arranging objects, they compose narratives that help us to make sense of the technologies and belongings that we gather around us, immortalizing them as art objects and compositions: what might be considered trash becomes beauty.”

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Artists @ Eyebeam

Artists @ Eyebeam


While Executive Director of Eyebeam from 2006 to 2011, I worked with staff and the Board to consolidate its residency and fellowship programs, and to develop strategies for public programming to reflect the research undertaken by artists and creative technologists working at Eyebeam. One of Eyebeam’s primary aims is to facilitate situations whereby artists and creative technologists can spend concentrated periods of time researching new ideas, acquiring new skills, forming fruitful collaborations, playing with new media and technologies, and developing new bodies of work.

Artists @ Eyebeam

Core to Eyebeam’s principles is the brokering of relationships between artists, hackers, coders, engineers and other creative technologists and the contexts we provide. The intention is to foster and facilitate relationships whereby artists can come together to germinate and hothouse their ideas, test their hypotheses, develop new processes and create new works through a period of deep immersion in a social context which is rich in technology, expertise and ideas. What we aim for is a form of “creative hydroponics” where ideas are seeded, tested, mutated, replicated, disseminated and realized.

Eyebeam pursued this philosophy through a range of programs. The Artists-in-Residence, Fellowship programs in the Production Studio and in 2006 also the R&D Lab. Employing teaching artists and supporting artists through Grant of Service, Commissions program in the Production Studio had been additional methods for bringing artists into Eyebeam.

In 2006 we adjusted the structure at Eyebeam so that the people working in the Labs comprised Fellows, Senior Fellows (nominated from current or recent Fellows), adjunct Honorary Fellows, Resident Artists, and Student Residents. The atelier model was fundamental to the concept of Eyebeam. The studio/workspace environments, in which the energies of artistic production, education and curatorial practice fuse, provide a unique, stimulating, and vital working context for creating art. This energy, along with the dialogue among curators, artists, and students in various stages of their career development, informed and inspired the creation of artworks that may not previously been imagined or produced. The program was managed in this format by Stephanie Hunt in 2007-2008, and by Roddy Schrock from 2009-2011 (with student residents supported by education staff, Liz Slagus and then Stephanie Pereira).

Research Initiatives served to contextualize work being produced as well as curatorial programming. Initiatives that were active while I worked at Eyebeam included:

  • Urban research, and media in public space: In 2006 I recognized a core strength in urban art, and we began to actively encouraged applications to Fellowship and residents programs by artists exploring locative media, mapping & cartography, street TV and other media interventions in public space.
  • Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group was similarly established in 2006. This was used then as a platform by several artists to explore research around: technology and sustainable infrastructures, weather, food systems, alternative energy systems, as well as a way to share research and eventually also to develop public programs.
  • 10 years of Eyebeam: (2007-2009) an archival research project, in 2007 Eyebeam undertook a series of programs celebrating their 10th Anniversary. These included the exhibitions Source Code and Interference, and then eventually the documentation of every project and public program produced at Eyebeam on a redesign of the Eyebeam web site, rolled out in April 2009 (and previewed at the welcome reception for new residents on March 26, 2009).
  • Education: In keeping with Eyebeam’s Education agenda and building on its strengths, initially spearheaded by Liz Slagus and then later, Stephanie Pereira, Eyebeam’s education program continued signature after school and summer school programs and grew to include Student Residencies, drop in programs, and several organizational partnerships, to integrate learning and engagement into all parts of Eyebeam’s programs.
  • Open Culture: The Open Culture research group grew from the highly successful OpenLab (2006-2008) – established in 2005/06 by Jonah Peretti with Mike Frumin and Kenyatta Cheese – to support the development of open source projects and research.
  • Middle East research group: Founded in 2006 by a group of artists, engineers and designers from Eyebeam (spearheaded by Mouna Andraos) and beyond to examine the influence of media and  technology on the Middle East and its never-ending conflicts.
  • Design for Social Change: (2009-2011) Emerging from the College of Tactical Culture, a core group of practitioners including Paul Amitai, Brooke Singer, Mark Shepard, David Mafoudha and other members of the Open Culture and Sustainability research groups ran a series of working meetings to inform programming at Eyebeam and beyond.

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Internet Economies: Porn, Labor, and Banking

Panel Discussion at Eyebeam art + technology center, 7 Oct 2011

Panelists: Fran Ilich, Stephanie Rothenberg & Jeff Crouse, and Susanna Paasonen. Moderated by Amanda McDonald Crowley

 Jeff Crouse and Stephanie Rotheberg, Laborers of Love

Jeff Crouse and Stephanie Rothenberg, Laborers of Love

What might be strategies to explore and build alternate economies?

Artists Fran Ilich, Stephanie Rothenberg & Jeff Crouse, and Finnish researcher Susanna Paasonen led discussion on the worlds of online porn, digital labor, and alternative finance models.

In their projects “Laborers of Love”, an adult web site that leverages Mechanical Turk labor, and “Invisible Threads” a just-in-time telematic factory, Rothenberg and Crouse have been researching new models of outsourced, distributed global labor. They are interested to explore not only how this affects production but in how these new technologies impact behaviors, value systems and ideologies as workers move between worlds.

During his Eyebeam Fellowship, Ilich investigated creative practices in virtual community investment banking. Globalized capitalist markets use finance as a means to extract surplus and value from localized world production – relying on networks of power to do so. But finance can also be reversed engineered so that it becomes the seed for new forms of cooperation, collaboration and socialization, drawing on and building networks through virtual communities. Used creatively, finance can actually further the prosperity and efficacy of minority reports, marginal narratives, alternate commodity markets, social currencies, hacktivism and other activist practices, as well as strengthen the hope of sustainability in creative digital labor and internet production practices.

Paasonen’s research is in online porn – with a primary focus on how the genre has been transformed with digital production and distribution tools. She explores how we might better account for the affective dynamics of porn consumption. This links to affective economies, amateur porn as “labors of love” (or not), and cans of worms around labor and ethics.

Pictures of the event are here.

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From October 26, 2010 – January 29, 2010, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center’s main exhibition space was transformed into X-Lab, an open lab environment where we shared the ongoing research and practice of our residents and fellows, and offered opportunities for deep public engagement.

Much as an unConference favors a flexible, participant-driven format that values energetic dialogue over talking head presentations we described X-Lab as an unExhibition where, rather than present finished works, we provided a space for critical reflection on and participation in the research and production processes at Eyebeam.

In the spirit of open culture, X-Lab was a platform for opening Eyebeam’s process to the public. Through X-Lab, we shared thinking and techniques behind the work-in-progress through workshops and presentations, while looking critically at experimental lab models around the world. Artists, engineers, hackers and program staff  tracked the activities and projects within X-Lab as they evolved, forked, and converged via a dynamic documentation process – available online and in the space.

Check out a video of Eyebeam Residents + Fellows talking about their work in X-Lab.

Follow X-Lab projects online as they were in development: http://eyebeam.tumblr.com.

In exploding the Eyebeam lab model, putting it under the microscope for closer inspection, we offer new ways for both the public and Eyebeam itself to understand and shape its vision for creative practice at the nexus of socially-engaged art, design, and engineering. In keeping with exploring collaborative models for not only developing new work, but also developing new ways to curate and present interdisciplinary, and research based projects, the program itself was a collaborative effort, with some twenty different events, workshops, prototyping events, dinners, and discussions included in the program series.

X-Lab included the following resources and work/play spaces:

  • R&D houses tools for prototyping and developing work
  • Prototyping is a fabricating space for production
  • Sandbox is a play space for user testing and collecting data for new projects
  • Classroom is a networked space to think and make and meet
  • Presentation is flexible space for workshops, discussion groups, formal presentations, and dinners
  • Bookstore is a space for informal conversation, reading, doing research – and shopping 🙂

These spaces are flexible and permeable: the activity from one can easily bleed into others, or be taking place simultaneously in many.

The public is invited to interact with the artists’ works during our X-Lab Open Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 12PM – 6PM. Docents will lead visitors through the space and introduce artists during those times. Go here to view the schedule of artists’ work-in-progress.

Creators: Aaron Meyers; Brooke Singer; Jacob Ciocci; Jon Cohrs; Kaho Abe; Aram Bartholl; Piotr Adamczyk; Stefani Bardin; Tahir Hemphill; Ted Southern; David Jimison; Hans-Christoph Steiner; Tikva Morowati; Max Lavicka; Justine Neuberger.

Organizers: Amanda McDonald Crowley; Paul Amitai; Roddy Schrock; Stephanie Pereira

Technology and Infrastructure: Marko Tandefelt; Jamie O’Shea; Jackson Moore; Nicholas Fraser

Design: Not An Alternative (Ange Tran and Jason Jones)

Partner Organizations: Parsons The New School For Design; FutureEverything; Visualizing.org; SEED; Hacks/Hackers NYC Meetup

Interns: Arash Nassiri; Madeleine Aronson


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Curatorial Masterclass

Eyebeam Summer School: Curatorial Masterclass


An initiative of Eyebeam’s Summer School program, the Curatorial Masterclass was led by Eyebeam research partner Sarah Cook from CRUMB, the online resource for curators working with media art. The series provided an opportunity for emerging and established curators of art to get together within a focused period of time to learn from each other’s practice, and to develop a greater understanding of curating, open source methods, and working in the public domain.

The first hour of each day was structured as a formal conversation modeled on CRUMB’s tea-time chats, and featured established curators and artists. The second hour was a rigorous participant driven discussion that built upon the first hours of themes and insights. Following each presentation and workshop, participants had the opportunity to stick around for beer o’clock and conversation with presenters and fellow masterclass participants, as well as participants from other Eyebeam Summer School programs.

Lead Tutors and Program Management: Amanda McDonald Crowley, Anne Barlow, Dominic Smith, Fred Benenson, Hans Bernhard, Lize Mogel, Patrick Lichty, Rebecca Cittadini, Sarah Cook, Scott Burnham, Stephanie Pereira, Stephen Duncombe, Steve Dietz, Steve Lambert, Taeyoon Choi.

• Download the complete schedule, list of guest bios, and key references compiled by Sarah Cook here: CMSS_09_crumb_eyebeam.

Day 1: July 7, What open source is and what it means for art (Burnham, Smith, Benenson) | WATCH VIDEO
Day 2: July 9, Publication and Documentation (Mogel, Cittadini) | WATCH VIDEO
Day 3: July 14, Networking and Collaboration (Lichty, McDonald Crowley, Cohrs) | WATCH VIDEO
Day 4: July 16, Curating in the public domain (Dietz, McDonald Crowley, Choi) | WATCH VIDEO
Day 5: July 21, Evaluation and Audience Engagement (Barlow, Bernard, Duncombe) | WATCH VIDEO

Eyebeam Summer School, 2009

Summer School 2009 program also included:BBQ_IMAGE

Summer School @ Night, A series of free evening lectures open to the public led by hosts from Eyebeam’s Summer School program and friends of Eyebeam, programmed by Stephanie Pereira and Paul Amitai.

Digital Day Camp 2009, a summer program for open to NYC public high school students to engage in lectures and hands-on workshops focusing on art and technology tools, and relevant social and artistic topics, managed by Stephanie Pereira. Check out the DDC2009 Blog here for information on participants, tutors, and program. DDC activities are led by invited technology professionals, contemporary artists, and Eyebeam’s residents and fellows and was an annual program at Eyebeam from 2000 to 2011.

College of Tactical Culture, A think tank on creative activism led by Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert. Project Manager: Paul Amitai. Participants: Larry Bogad, Andrew Boyd, Rebecca Bray & Britta Riley, Ava Bromberg, Anne Frederick, Packard Jennings, Kristin Horton, Aaron Hughes,  Laura MacCleery,  Ricardo Miranda Zuniga, Eve Mosher, Brooke Singer, Ella Turenne.

Photos: Christine A. Butler courtesy of Eyebeam

Press release for the Summer School 2009 is available here: summerschool_PR_070109_FINAL

Further archive information about Summer School at Eyebeam.

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The title for FEEDBACK, an exhibition conceived and curated by Eyebeam’s Sustainability Research Group, refers to the self-correcting mechanisms by which systems—in this case, ecological—respond to the influence they exert on their environments.

Numerous projects in the exhibition addressed energy consumption, production and harvesting: A visitor entered the exhibition through Fluxxlab’s Revolution Door, a modified revolving door that harnesses and redistributes human energy. Mouna Andraos’ The Power Cart is a mobile unit that delivers alternative power to people on the street, and Jeff Feddersen’s installation The Off-Grid Outlet is a solar-powered AC outlet and 12V DC power port destined for the Brooklyn restaurant Cafe Habana. Building on existing urban infrastructure, Andrea Polli’s Queensbridge Wind Power Project investigates how clean, renewable wind power might be integrated into the landmark architecture of the Queensboro Bridge.

FEEDBACK also featured the winners of the Eco-Vis Challenge, a two-part juried design competition to raise environmental awareness through creative data visualization projects.

A series of short video-documentaries by Jason Jones of the Brooklyn artists’ collective Not An Alternative, commissioned especially for FEEDBACK, documents the making of each of the displayed projects, providing insight into the creative process. These videos were screened in the main gallery, and are  available on Eyebeam’s website.


Curators: Amanda McDonald Crowley, Liz Slagus, Paul Amitai, in collaboration with Eyebeam’s Sustainabilty Research Group
Exhibition designers: Fluxxlab
Videographer: Jason Jones, Not An Alternative

Project and artist websites:
Andrea Polli, The Queensbridge Wind Power Project
Annina Rüst, eRiceCooker
Brooke Singer, Superfund365
Eve Mosher, HighWaterLine
Fluxxlab (Jennifer Broutin and Carmen Trudell), Revolution Door
Forays (Geraldine Juárez and Adam Bobbette) Edible Excess
Green Map® System, Green Map® Icons
Leah Gauthier, Sow-In
Michael Mandiberg, The Real Costs
Mouna Andraos, The Power Cart
Preemptive Media, Area’s Immediate Reading (AIR)
Rebecca Bray and Britta Riley, DrinkPeeDrinkPeeDrinkPee
Roger Marvel Architects, Govenors Island Project
The Living (David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang), Living City
The Studio for Urban Projects, Strange Weather
Timm Kekeritz, VirtualWater and WaterFootprint
Fred Beneson, CommitteeCaller
Natalie Jeremijenko, The Environmental Health Clinic
Sustainable South Bronx
Not an Alternative

Feedback Press Release: PRFeedback030408FINAL.

Video interview with Amanda McDonald Crowley about FEEDBACK workshops

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part of the Eyebeam 10 Year Retrospective

Artists : Forays | Angie Eng | Jill Magid | Carrie Dashow | Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg | Trevor Paglen | neuroTransmitter | Robert Ransick | Yury Gitman | Carlos J. Gómez de Llarena | IAA | Graffiti Research Lab | Caspar Stracke | Eyebeam R&D Lab | Michael Frumin | Jonah Peretti

Interference was the second exhibition celebrating 10 years of Eyebeam support for artists experimenting with new technologies. Employing a diverse array of media and strategies, which includes data visualization, performance, community engagement and public intervention, the artists and collectives featured in Interference probe ideas of access and autonomy.

From the very public, but deliberately obscured, satellite surveillance data recorded in Paglen and IAA’s work tracking CIA aircraft, to the intimacy of Magid’s collaboration with a local NYC police officer; from Forays’ engagement with local community gardeners, to GRL, Gómez de Llarena and Gitman’s tools for communication in public space, the projects in Interference ask us to seriously consider concepts of communal space in an increasingly privatized public sphere.

-Amanda McDonald Crowley, Executive Director, Eyebeam

Interference public workshops and events.

Curators: Amanda McDonald Crowley, Liz Slagus, Paul Amitai
Exhibition Design: David Benjamin, Soo-in Yang
Technical Design + Installation: Emma Lloyd, Marko Tandefelt, Paul Amitai, Bryan Mesenbourg, Matt White, Jason Jones, Kory Hellebust, Dave McDermott, Jamie O’Shea, Craig Montoro, Jon Cohrs, Benjamin Leduc-Mills
Graphic Design + Marketing: Rebecca Cittadini
PR + Media Relations: Joanna Raczkiewicz

Download Press Release: PR_Interference_91607.

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Sustainability Research Group

Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group

165389751_a4e31b8df7As a cultural worker and curator, I am equally interested in providing contexts for artists to produce new work and research as I am in curating exhibition programs.

Eyebeam art and technology center had a brief to provide critical contexts for artists and technologists to  produce, and present new works and new research. Responding to the work being undertaken by artists at Eyebeam, I facilitated the establishment of the Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group in 2006. Initially managed by Rebecca Bray as part of a research internship, it comprised residents, fellows, alumni, and staff at Eyebeam. The structure was very loose and various artists used it as a platform to individually and collectively undertake research, develop projects, programs and exhibitions. As examples, in 2007 Michael Mandiberg, Brooke Singer, and Paul Amitai led an effort to establish an Eco-Vis Challenge; in 2008, Andrea Polli used the Group as a platform and to convene monthly discussions related to her research; the significant exhibition FEEDBACK was collectively conceived by the group in 2008; in 2011 resident artist Stefani Bardin used the group structure to convene conversations and around her research in the area of Food and Emerging Media, as well as a series of XLab Salon dinners. Projects were not specifically curated, rather the research themes at Eyebeam became factors in the selection process for fellowship and residency programs at Eyebeam, and the research structure provided a rich context to produce work. Occasionally larger collaborative public programs also emerged from the group.

Further information about artists, projects, and programs related to this research topic can be found at Eyebeam Sustainability Research Group.


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ISEA2004 Program Catalogue



ISEA2004 catalogue cover. publisher: m-cult design: Tuomo Tammenpää

ISEA2004 catalogue cover.
publisher: m-cult
design: Tuomo Tammenpää




Please see  my project page, giving a brief overview of ISEA2004 as well as links to the ISEA2004 Magazine and ISEA2004 Brochure.

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Mobile Content & Urban Surgery

Mobile Content and Urban Surgery

Residencies and workshops in Helsinki and throughout the Baltic region before, during and after ISEA2004


Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 4.26.38 PMLifeboatScreen Shot 2013-02-16 at 4.24.26 PM

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