Recent Projects

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Inside the Artist's Studio is a radio program hosted by a robotic Chimpanzee named James Chimpton. Chimpton's brain is powered by a markup language I created called ABSML, or A BullShit Markup Language. The result is rather absurd - a clothed robotic monkey, interviewing artists in the Biennial about their work, in a robotic english accent.

With Chimpton (and ABSML), we once again returned to the theme of generative text. The operator (or "puppeteer", as we called them) would enter into the software the interviewee's name, website, and medium, and based on that information, a set of interview questions would be generated. The puppeteer would then use the software interface to trigger the questions.

Visit the website for all of the Chimpton interviews, courtesy of Neighborhood Public Radio

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ABSML is a new markup language that enables the creation of complex sentence formulas for 21st century automatic writing. ABSML tags replace parts of speech and sentence components using sophisticated semantic analysis, regular expressions, and web-based resources. In the right combination, the tags create prose that -- while based on formulas and code -- do not appear formulaic. ABSML is free and open for others to use, both through an online editor and an API (application programming interface).

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Which party should you go to tonight? Probably the one with that photographer from Last Night's Party, one of the many party photography sites that have become popular in the last few years. With a little luck, you might end up on the front page, posing like a rock star, or at least a really cool roadie. Quietly add the link to these precious stills on your MySpace profile so that everyone knows that, without a doubt, you were at the right party, with the right people, getting really fucked up and having an amazing time.

But if you can't get on the guest list, why not just fake it? This is the goal of Anywhere But HERE! As a standalone installation or in the context of a larger party, participants wait on line behind a velvet rope and a bouncer to enter the staging area, where they are costumed, coached, and then put on stage. Once on stage, our special FauxScreen™ technology inserts you into a scene of a dirty Lower East Side bathroom, a rowdy frat house, or a decadent Ibiza beachfront. You can check out the full catalog of scenes here. Our professional photographer coaxes and directs you into the perfect hipster, clubber, or frat boy party poses, and snap snap, you've got all the proof that you need that you're just as hip as anyone on Last Night's Party.

Move over to our post-processing kiosk and immediately post these photos to Friendster, Flickr, Picassa, Photobucket with just a few clicks, telling everyone what an amazing time you are having.

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Delete City is a WordPress plug-in that operates in the background of your personal blog. Every day, the plug-in conducts searches on sites like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, etc. and automatically downloads large amounts of content. With companies like Dreamhost and Bluehost offering ridiculuous amounts of storage space to lure in new users, a growing percentage of people with blogs have more storage than they could ever use, which is perfect for DeleteCity. These searches can be customized to download the kind of content that you want. For instance, if you are interested in puppies, then DeleteCity will only download movies and photos about puppies. Right now, we are focusing on movies and photos, but in the future we might extend the plug-ins to include PDFs, MP3s, and more.

After the content has been downloaded, the plug-in returns to the site where the content was found at a set interval to see if the content was removed or taken down by the administrators. This is a very frequent occurrence on sites like YouTube. There are many reasons why content could be taken down, from large-scale government censorship, to companies like NBC trying to protect their property, to the author simply deciding that they don't want the content online any more. For instance, try to watch this video of the Alexyss K. Tylor show, Penis Power. I'm not sure why this particular clip was taken down, but it very well could have been because Alexyss herself complained, or simply because it was flagged as inappropriate by enough users.

When the plug-in finds that a piece of content has been removed, it automatically retrieves it from the cache that was previously downloaded and posts it to your WordPress blog. It then emails the author and invites them to come to your blog and comment on why the content was taken down.

This site was inspired by sites like YouTomb and DelTube (which seems to have been taken down). In fact, you could say that DeleteCity is simply a way for anyone to have their own customized YouTomb or DelTube. The fact that DelTube is down perfectly illustrates why DeleteCity is needed. Large companies can take down single sites relatively easily. But once something is decentralized and hundreds or thousands of people all over the world are running a caching program, it is much harder to take something down from the web.

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The Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is ... a crowdsourcing marketplace that enables computer programs to co-ordinate the use of human intelligence to perform tasks which computers are unable to do. Requesters, the human beings that write these programs, are able to pose tasks known as HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), such as choosing the best among several photographs of a storefront, writing product descriptions, or identifying performers on music CDs. Workers ... can then browse among existing tasks and complete them for a monetary payment set by the Requester.via wikipedia

Crowded is an as-yet unreleased radio show/podcast that is made up of segments of audio recorded by Mechanical Turk workers. Each episode has a mechanism, such as:

  1. Workers listen to a series of songs, choose one that reminds them of an event in their life, and then tell that story. The stories are then combined and played on top of the song that they chose.
  2. Workers are encouraged to call me and have an argument about a topic I give them. I edit myself out, leaving only one side of the argument.
  3. Workers are asked to call and tell a story/reminisce about something that never actually happened to them.
  4. Workers are provided with a conference call line and a character to play. Two or more workers call in and have to play their character.

The workers call in and are given, on average, $5-$8 to send an audio recording that fits the mechanism. They are given the option of calling a US phone number and leaving a message, or recording themselves on HoundBite or YouTube. After doing several projects using crowdsourcing, I wanted to do a project that was about the faceless people who are doing these tasks. Who are they? Where do they come from? Why do they do these jobs? You could argue that I am still just using them and not really humanizing them so much as exploiting their willingness to tell personal stories for a few bucks. But you can argue a lot of things.

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The Wexner Center for the Arts and Performance Space 122 are co-producing my second project, Gin&”It”. The world premiere will be March '10 at Wexner followed by the NY premiere in May '10 at PS 122.

Currently, during a five-month residency at EYEBEAM Art & Technology Center, I’m developing the video score and project specific software that will run the technical elements of the piece. Beginning Oct. ’09, during a nine-week residency at 3LD Art & Technology Center, I will complete the integration of video installation and live performance.

ROPE, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 film, is the source material for this piece. Based on the Leopold and Loeb murder, the story is of two young men who murder a friend just for a thrill. They then host a dinner party for friends and family of the victim, serving the main course on the trunk that is hiding the corpse.

Working with the Warner Bros. Archive and the University of Southern California, I have collected the final screenplay containing Hitchcock’s notes, the scale plan of the set, and photos of the making of the film.

All this information allows me to project the film onto a stage the exact size of the original film set. Five performers, representing the film crew, will capture the projected images on film equipment such as: C-stands, flags, lighting units, and wild walls.

Utilizing the editing technique I developed for The Wooster Group’s HAMLET, I will separate the performers in the film from their backgrounds, creating multiple planes of video. Similar to my directorial debut, THE PASSION PROJECT, I’m developing software that will allow these images (the actors from the film) to be placed on stage relative to their original positions according to the scale plan of the set.

Relationship to Proposal

THE PASSION PROJECT (TPP) is an integration of projected image and live performance. It compresses the timeline of Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” and intersects it with the history behind the making of the film, a discussion with a Danish archivist, and the story of Joan of Arc.

I’m expanding the software developed to run TPP to accomplish the challenges presented by Gin & It. I’m programming software to run HD video and network over multiple computers, using projected images to reconstruct all occurrences in the murderers apt. I’ll mix 10 independent video sources over a space 24 ft sq. to construct the video environment, expanding on the 5 sources and 10 ft sq. environment used in TPP.

Working with the Warner Bros. Archive and USC has allowed me to gather all available archival material on the making of ROPE. I will use Hitchcock’s final shoot script, containing his notes on staging/camera action, as the blueprint for my own stage action. Using the scale drawing of the film set as my guide to size and place the projected characters as Alfred Hitchcock directed them in 1948, will recreate the staging of the 1st historical attempt to film an entire movie in one take.

Unlike Dreyers film, which is constructed from a large number of cuts, I especially chose ROPE because it has none. Hitchcock’s vision was to make a film in only one camera shot as if he were filming a stage play.

I’ll be using Hitchcock’s narrative rhythm as my main theme and intersecting it with the choreography of the camera and the film crew. My technique used in TPP allows me to explore the untold story of the technical ballet occurring off-camera during the making of the film. Blurring the separation between on and off-camera action by projecting the on-camera action (the actors in the film) and staging the off-camera action (the crew making the film) the audience will witness why Alfred Hitchcock called ROPE “an experiment that didn’t work out”.

Artist Credentials

Gin&”It” is a huge step in my career as an individual artist. It’s an expansion on techniques that I have been developing to integrate projected image with live performance. It also expands on my fascination of utilizing the archival material surrounding a film as a source to build a new work of art.

The success of my directorial debut, TPP has allowed me to maintain the support of PS 122 and 3LD. The noted enthusiasm from artists in the community has enlisted Wexner and EYEBEAM as supporters of my second piece.

The creative commission by Wexner is an incredible opportunity. It is a stepping-stone towards building a larger audience and national touring, which will create an income stream making my work sustainable. EYEBEAM has broadened the exposure of my work by introducing me to galleries and museums in the NY area.

I pride myself on understanding all of the technical elements that I utilize to create my work, while still striving to make the work larger than myself. I have a unique blend of technical ingenuity and artistic training. This is combined with a desire to share my obsession with adapting current technology to innovate new forms of performance.

My theater training enables me to utilize collaboration to expand the scope of my productions. Currently at Eyebeam I have a staff of seven intern editors whom I’m training to use After Effects and Photoshop to accomplish the immense amount of rotoscoping necessary to create the video score. I am also training two other interns to program in Max and Jitter.

To be able to fully express my vision, it is essential for me to be a self-producing artist. The last ten years working in New York Theater have been an apprenticeship, particularly the seven years I spent working with The Wooster Group. In this time I have grown into a teacher and an artist with a unique vision. I feel that I have the ability to direct and complete a project as vast and technically challenging as Gin&”It”.

Production Schedule

The early work on Gin&”It” began in Nov ‘08 with researching into the history behind the making of ROPE at the Warner Bros Archive. Being well received by the archive I was able to locate many essential elements such as Hitchcock’s final shoot script.

Building on the process developed for TPP, I have begun mapping the positions of the characters in the film relative to the scale drawing of the film set. I’m focusing on the 24’ x 24’ living room in the apt. where the majority of the film takes place. I have a projection environment set up to this scale at EYEBEAM.

The residency at EYEBEAM is providing my intern staff and me a professional environment to work on the editing of HD media and the development of the software that will control the projection, lighting, and sound playback for Gin&”It”.

The last two months of my residency at EYEBEAM will be divided into two periods of stimulated development. May will consist of preliminary rehearsals with five performers and three days of showings in late May allowing for feedback from artists in the community. June will be dedicated to completing the software and further editing.

Immediately thereafter I’ll be setting up two editing suites in my personal studio to continue developing the video score with my intern editors until Sept ‘09.

Oct 11 begins my nine-week residency at 3LD. The entirety of this time will be used to complete the production. Three of these weeks will be used for workshop showings at night while rehearsing in the day. This is an opportunity to receive feedback from a new audience. The feedback is essential to sculpt this new form of performance while still staying true to Hitchcock’s “failed” experiment.

The world premiere of Gin&”It” is scheduled for Mar 3 ‘10 at Wexner. Following each performance the company will be offering a talk back with theater and film students, as well as the local community. We have a three-week engagement with PS 122 for the NY Premier in May ‘10.

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Trading Glances allows people to trade glances separated in time. The installation consists of a screen displaying faces streaming by as if the viewer were passing people in the street.

As the viewer watches the other person's face, the system records their face and precise eye movements. Later their face is added to this stream of faces in the installation and on the project web site. People can go to the site to see who glanced at them and replay exactly how another person's gaze travels across their face. Ones' eye movements can betray very private preferences and yet they are usually publicly viewable. This project tries to invade the privacy of the person doing the surveillance.

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Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman have developed a new concert performance technology in which speech, shouts and songs are radically augmented in real-time by custom interactive visualization software. This work touches on themes of abstract communication, synaesthetic relationships, cartoon language, and writing and scoring systems, within the context of a sophisticated, playful, and virtuosic audiovisual narrative.

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WPFolio is a free and open source WordPress theme designed by artists specifically for visual artists. Visual artists who have a range of experience with the web (from none, to lots) and want a website that:

emphasizes your images

is easy to update and maintain

includes Theme Options so you can customize colors and fonts without modifying code

uses the latest web standards

is easy for users to navigate

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eteam based 1.1 Acre Flat Screen on a piece of Utah desert they bought in September, 2002 on ebay. Their work investigates the difference between real and computer-generated mirages and dreams, possibilities of ownership and ways of improving the land. After a year of actual and virtual activities and improvements, the land still looks the same. But is it the same? How is the value of the lot-as a piece of land, as part of an artwork, as the ground for an artwork-measured? A public auction held at Eyebeam on Nov. 13 at 8pm, determined if they've succeeded in their efforts to convince a future investor of a promising, prosperous future in that area.