SFPC: Day 06 - Saturday, Bitforms Gallery, Open House New York

Today is a Saturday. Rode my bike from Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, across Manhattan Bridge, and to the Bitforms gallery on the Lower East Side, to see Casey Reas’ exhibition, which they are taking down this weekend.

Inside of Bitforms Gallery Casey Reas' Work

If you don’t know Casey Reas, he’s an artist that primarily works with code to create generative visual artworks. He’s also the co-creator of Processing, with Ben Fry.

Also, this is what it sounded like in the gallery, when I was there. If you listen closely, you can hear a conversation between a collector and two of the museum’s staff. Earlier in that conversation, the collector asked if the 4k displays that displayed Reas work could be used as televisions, so that the collector could just “change the channel” when the occasion called for it. I chuckled to myself when I heard this, but really why not? I think it’s the artist’s responsibility to create something that’s one of a kind, that can’t be… turned back into an appliance?

The curators, whom are also essentially art salespeople(as the gallery always gets a percentage when a work is sold), patiently explained that the collector was free to “display” the piece as he wanted, but that, in fact, it is the gallery’s philosophy that the 4k display is part of the piece and not simply a device showing a pretty multimedia piece(I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist).

The collector’s innocent question reflects a real challenge in code-based visual art. How do you create something computer-based and visual that really feels like “art”?

I think Zach Lieberman’s(SFPC co-founder) recent work is an interesting contrast to Reas’ non-interactive but still very conceptual work.

Here’s Margaret Atwood playing with an Open Frameworks sketch made by Zach. Two heros, two different worlds! Pretty neat!

Open House New York is happening today. I need to get more work done tonight, so this part won’t be very descriptive, but here are some pictures from studios in the Westbeth building!

Open House NYC Open House NYC

Open House NYC Open House NYC Open House NYC

Open House NYC Open House NYC Open House NYC Open House NYC

Also, Medhir(classmate) got a laser engraver machine. P. neat. Was up and running in no time, although there is still some dialing in to do, I believe. He is going to use it to print circuits onto fabric for a project that’s he working on.

Medhir and his engraver

Things coming up:

  • More open studios all across NYC tomorrow. I might go to the Wikimedia thing at ITP just to stop in ITP and have a look around. The clock tower in the Greenwich Village library on 6th avenue is supposed to be pretty cool as well. There’s also the Knotted Gate Chant Cycle in the LES.
  • Stop Work! group crit at Eyebeam on Monday. I will be taking pictures and notes of the event.
  • “Meet the Students Night” at SFPC next Wednesday. Each student will be doing a five minute presentation. Right now, I got nothing - no idea what I’m gonna do. Maybe show some videos? Talk about my love for good green tea? Share some of my random voice memo recordings? I don’t know, man.
  • Ramsey Nasser’s Radical Computer Science class next Friday. I’m going to ask him about my idea for a boob-centric programming language. I will explain in a future post.

For lunch: Plastic-containered Chicken Vindaloo from Mrs. Greens, a fancy grocery on Bank and Hudson. For dessert, I had a cheese danish and a nap.

For dinner: Not time for dinner yet.

Looking forward to tomorrow, I am moving in with Dannie, Agustin, and Baku to our Bed Stuy AirBnb “2 Bedroom Prewar Flat”. Dannie says that our host, Velma, seems nice. Fingers crossed.

Written on October 15, 2016