Ira Greenberg treats himself like a computer. His is the art + science of using coding as a paintbrush and exploring the iterative process of creation. Working generatively, Ira creates art using code and algorithms that are art themselves. The self-dubbed “coding evangelist” believes that coding is the creative mode of our time.
While he has two degrees in painting Greenberg decided he wanted to start working with software for art-making. But he found the shrink-wrapped variety wouldn’t do, and he decided to teach himself coding so he could work creatively at the level of math and algorithms. Now, he’s spent 25 years working to figure out the physical disconnect of the computational medium versus painting.
The intersection of art + science is not a place to which a map can be drawn. Its practitioners won’t give you a neat definition of the field or summarize the nut graph of its literature.
They will tell you that it’s not about answering the question, “What is art + science?” It’s about asking it. And then immersing yourself in the virtual space of discovery that follows. Taking notes on the journey between the asking and the answering. It’s also about learning to ask really good questions…
The soundtrack of the BBC World Service Discovery podcast episode “Sounds of Space: Deep Space” uses data from CSTAR telescopes that has been sonified, or made audible, as part of the data-sound project, INSTRUMENT: One Antarctic Night, an interactive artwork under development by a team of national and international artists, scientists, and Antarctic researchers (including the author).
The BBC segment features the techno-musical beat of pulsars spinning and other audio data from across the universe alongside NASA Voyager recordings, Carl Sagan’s message to deep space lifeforms, and interviews with several scientists working to understand deep space.
INSTRUMENT:One Antarctic Night is an interactive artwork that will use 287,800 images of the universe captured by the CSTAR robotic telescope in Antarctica to help people experience and understand data. The installation will allow participants to interact with telescope data through remixing it into sonic and visual creations – a video and musical jam session occurring in the gallery, on large scale displays, on mobile devices, and online simultaneously.
[Image: Amelia Jaycen]
At first glance, the work of James Geurts may not be what you expect to see at Zhulong Gallery. The relatively new exhibition space calls itself “the new light on Dragon street.” It differentiates itself from most of the other galleries by outwardly embracing new media, and work that interacts with contemporary technology. Saturday’s launch of Re-Surveying: Measuring Site utilized landscape art, photography, and public works.
Geurts is based in both Melbourne and London. Geurts’ vision is related to the shape of the earth itself, while he also ties in complexities of the human understanding of time and space. His presence in Dallas offers a different perspective on new media than the one to which we’ve been accustomed.
Geurts resuscitates anachronistic technologies that seem a far cry from new media–until you take another look.
[Image: Andi Harman]
A woman is lying on the floor of an 8th St loft space in Oak Cliff like a sacrifice, seemingly possessed. Streams of thick white light shine from a lamp straight down into her open throat and then refract out the other end in strings of color. Her eyelids are still, wrists limp against the floor. Her knees are bent, spread just enough to allow a rainbow to escape from between her legs and spiderweb into the room. Not touching her is impossible—the room can barely be entered without climbing over or under the colored strings attached to the walls. Curious figures tip-toe by this quiet sensuality, some trying not to touch anything, others unaffected by the fact that the strings are literally connected to her most private region. Once, at another show, a guy tried to pull the copper piece tied to the strings from inside her as she performed. She wasn’t sure if it was ultimate art or ultimate trauma. Her boyfriend was furious.
“People get very offended with being confronted with nudity, with the human body. They don’t like being exposed to it or forced to confront it. They consider it exhibitionism,” Houston artist Julia Claire says. “For me it’s a way of dealing with relationships with people; with having to be close to them.”
Claire’s installation in the upstairs Spotplus gallery was the climax of a night of performance art, and like many of the other acts, hers left a bunch of curious onlookers trying to figure out what they were “supposed” to feel.
Zhulong Gallery, with its glass façade and dragon shaped gallery space, aims to be a new force in the Dallas new media scene, with international context, a public involvement component and a broad definition of new media that sparks conversations about how to define the popular genre.
Zhulong’s inaugural Satellite XBT 1 is new media work by 11 artists that interpret and respond to data, culture, and projection of information through space and time in digital, two- and three-dimensional pieces. The title Satellite highlights the art space mission to be a technologically-driven gallery that is a hub for receiving and transmitting art and ideas.
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[Image courtesy WaterTower Theatre]
Diana Sheehan is an award-winning actress and singer who relocated to Dallas five years ago and found herself following a successful New York career with a shining start in Texas, including winning “Best of the Loop” two years in a row at Watertower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, among a variety of notable awards and performances in Dallas. Loop provides her and tens of other artists a chance to explore new material with enthusiastic crowds, as it has for 13 years.
This year, Sheehan’s Searching for Gertrude Lawrence is a cabaret exploring mysterious stories surrounding the most famous Broadway star in the world from the 1920’s to 1950’s.
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[Image: Josh Butler outside the Campu Theater marquee. Photo by Amelia Jaycen]
When Josh Butler took an energetic leap of faith toward his dream, he didn’t exactly land on his feet. It was more like a really bummed film junkie who landed in bankruptcy court. Staring at the floor he shook his head, “Why! Why did we just have to have limos for all the filmmakers?”
Making the great Texas film festival was going to take more than spastic enthusiasm, but Butler learned his lesson: Don’t spend money you don’t have. The festival and the nonprofit he created to run it, Texas Filmmakers Association, survived intact while he swallowed a $40,000 debt. But since that 2007 Thin Line Film Fest left him broke, the festival has nearly doubled its revenue each year.
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