Recent Projects

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In September 2010 artists and musicians Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman (aka Extreme Animals) embarked up0n their 8th tour of the United States, premiering 3 new videos and 2 new performances at venues ranging from Universities to Media Festivals to DIY spaces. Continuing their ongoing investigation into the relationship between the banal and the trancendent, the works in "Music Is A Question . . ." combine original video footage with footage sourced from VHS tapes and the internet into a bewildering maelstrom of contemporary American pathos. Rejecting the distinction between the producer and the consumer, or the original and the derivative, their videos and performances attempt to blur boundaries between the authentic and the trite or the liberating and the imprisoning.  How are tweens using YouTube and how is YouTube using tweens? What happens to the activist notion of "going green" when it becomes as ubiquitous as a smiley face on a plastic bag? How much overt emotions can an audience handle before they stop feeling empathy and start feeling judgement?
excerpt from "Music Is A Question . . .":
http://vimeo.com/14822026

The tour coincided with the release of the 3 new videos onto DVD-R, published by Audio Dregs:
http://www.urbanhonking.com/lightandsound/2010/09/extreme_animals_music_is_the_q.html

included on the dvd-r:
"Questions of the Ages"
"My Life My Language"
"Gone Green"

All of the videos and performances were created at and made possible by Eyebeam Art and Technology Centerin Manhattan, New York, as a part of their ongoing research into "Open Cultures".

Many of the source material for the videos was collected and generously donated by  Andrew Jeffrey Wright.

Reviews/texts:
"By the time the Extreme Animals are seated once again and filling the auditorium with frenzied, apocalyptic sounds and visions chasing a recycling and pollution theme, I am fully awake again, and strangely, unexpectedly in love with and in awe of this furious planet." From:

http://blogs.wweek.com/news/2010/09/11/tba-2010-the-extreme-animals-sit-down/

"The modern world can be a frightening deluge of images and commands, and if you have half a mind, that can be a depressing thing. So why not turn all that jumbled garbage on it's head, and make it even more insane? It might even be funny. Laughter is better than sadness, a kind of small victory that Extreme Animals are in the market of producing." from:
http://www.artpractical.com/shotgun_review/the_extreme_animals_sit-down_music_is_a_question_with_no_answer/

http://werwradio.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/extreme-animals-interview/
http://inkstuds.livejournal.com/233289.html

http://elvinadarmawan.livejournal.com/1656.html

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Stefani Bardin's M2A™: The Fantastic Voyage is an immersive installation that repurposes wireless gastroenterology devices (including the M2Acapsule and SmartPill) that record images and information from the gastrointestinal tract in concert with synthetic food scents, sound and behavioral neuroscience  to re-imagine and re-contextualize our food systems within the influences of corporate culture and industrial food production.  The project looks at the trajectory of processed foods versus whole foods through the gastrointestinal system.

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Traditionally, medical conditions are treated through expensive appointments and prescription drugs. Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt is a unique low-dosage cocktail of our most commonly used drugs, all brought together in one simple salty remedy, naturally.

Our process harvests two popular commodities, sea salt and recycled pharmaceuticals from water treatment plants, to produce one fine medicinal product: Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt. A salt for every condition, hand harvested and sun dried for purity.

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The Frontier Prime spacesuit is the first complete pressure garment ever produced at Eyebeam.  It features a unique heat sealed bladder and easy to use nylon restraint system.  Overall weight is just 13 pounds without life support systems, and it is designed to be adjustable to fit an overall 95 percentile human.  The Frontier Prime also features a high canopy visor with a large range of visibility.   The right hand glove is provided by Nikolay Moiseev, and features soft fingertips and a preliminary metacarpal joint.  The left hand glove is provided by Ted Southern, and is an ultra-low torque single layered glove.

The suit was unveiled at Eyebeam on July 16, 2010.   See links for press coverage:

http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/private-spacesuit--new-york-unve...

http://www.motherboard.tv/2010/7/21/q-a-spacesuit-inventors-trump-nasa-v...

http://thelast-magazine.com/wp/?p=1082

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A ticket for a trip is an object that gives you exclusive access to an unexplored place.  It is a mere piece of paper, but it carries imagination and anticipation of the future, of what new world it can unlock. The Ticket Machine is a Rube Goldberg type collaborative installation which is triggered with a drop of a coin. The machine then unveils different worlds, created by the collaborators, and finally produces a printed ticket. This installation was created during the Eyebeam Roadshow 2010 at 01SJ in San Jose. Collaborators include: James Stone, Randy Sarafan

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Unlogo is a web service that eliminates logos and other corporate signage from videos. On a practical level, it takes back your personal media from the corporations and advertisers. On a technical level, it is a really cool combination of some brand new OpenCV and FFMPEG functionality. On a poetic level, it is a tool for focusing on what is important in the record of your life rather than the ubiquitous messages that advertisers want you to focus on.

In short, Unlogo gives people the opportunity to opt out of having corporate messages permanently imprinted into the photographic record of their lives.

From the Berkeley Net Art exhibition:

Corporate branding coupled with new media transforms our already cluttered visual environment into a pulsing tesseract of capital. Commercial television and video digitally blur some logos while promoting others. Music videos were introduced as short films and commercials for albums, but today’s music videos are commercials within commercials (Lady Gaga’s music video Telephone features nine product placements.) However, new media also offer new forms of resistance and play.

Enter Unlogo, a new artwork by Jeff Crouse that uses corporate technologies to new ends. Unlogo is an iPhone app and website. The app can be used by individuals to identify logos that may occur in photographs they take with their phone and to replace them with images drawn from an online databank. The website allows anyone to view and contribute to the databank, suggesting and uploading images that may be substituted for a particular logo.

Unlogo follows the history of tactical media art projects and adds its own contemporary twists. It allows individuals to moderate not only the temporary act of viewing a magazine, billboard, or screen without corporate messages, but gives people the opportunity to opt out of having these messages permanently imprinted into the photographic record of their lives. In allowing viewers to identify what constitutes a logo and its alternate, Unlogo asks us to consider our own role in media culture. What image will you suggest as a logo-alternate? Your Facebook pic? Your garage-band skateboard sticker?

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"As new technologies come into play, people become less and less convinced of the importance of self expression. Teamwork succeeds private effort."

—Marshall McLuhan

Despite these words, the true nature of collaborative culture as a form of creative expression in the context of digital and network technologies has remained elusive, a buzzword often falling prey to corporate and ideological interests. This book was first created by 6 core collaborators, as an experimental five day Book Sprint in January 2010. Developed under the aegis of transmediale.10, this third publication in the festival's parcours series resulted in the initiation of a new vocabulary on the forms, media and goals of collaborative practice.

In June 2010, the book was rewritten as a part of the Re:Group exhibition at Eyebeam, NY. This second edition invited three new collaborators to challenge the free culture sentiment underlying the original writing. The result is a deliberately multi-voiced tone pondering the merits and shortcomings of this new emerging ideology.

Booki.cc/CollaborativeFutures
Collaborative-Futures.org

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"Silver Surfers" (tentative title) is an experimental video piece investigating relationships between age, technological change and progress, and science fiction. Older people are interviewed about their thoughts on the future, science fiction and technological progress. These interviews become the starting point for the development of scenes and story-lines that will be directed by Jacob Ciocci and acted partially by the elderly. So far Jacob has collaborated with members of the New School's Institute for Retired Professionals in a series of interviews and there are plans to collaborate with other individuals and organizations in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

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This is a project by 2 artists, Jacob Ciocci and Jeff Crouse, both fellows at a place called “Eyebeam“. In this project Jacob and Jeff have redesigned Light and Wire Gallery’s typical website for the month of August 2010, so that every time you visit a new page, a new layout (or “theme” as the free website creation tool WordPress calls it) is loaded behind the gallery’s typical content. Jeff wrote a piece of code that randomly loads 1 of 20 different WordPress “themes”, each one visually modified by Jacob. As you click around, you may find yourself thinking:

“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”
“Is this a cool theme?”

 

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When installed properly, GodBlock will test each page that your child visits before it is loaded, looking for passages from holy texts, names of religious figures, and other signs of religious propaganda. If none are found, then your child is allowed to browse freely.  But if religious content is found, your child receives a page that states simply:

Blocked for religious content.

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“Please refrain from devoting your life to imaginary supernatural beings until you are at least 18 years old.”

No filter is perfect, and false positives are an unfortunate reality.  But isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?  Make the world a better place.  Protect your impressionable kids and students from harmful ideas so that they don’t grow up to spread hate, fear, and shame.  Allow them to hold onto their natural reason, compassion, and acceptance without being polluted or destroyed by some self-serving or delusional fanatic.

Install GodBlock today!