Thursday, July 29, 2010

Post perspectivam

Finally, what of Alberti's window in this "postperspectival age"? Let me briefly allude to the recent technology of "digital image processing" that has almost entirely replaced conventional photography in astronomical observatories, expecially for the recording the most distant galaxies and quasars. This ability is the result of a remarkable postage-stamp-sized silicon chip known as teh CCD, or "charged-coupled device," which can be attached to a telescope to make it into a camera, and which acts like a photographic plate. Rather than being coated with light-sensitive emulsion, its surface is composed of millions of tin electronic "pixels" arranged in a rectangular grid.
Have we here the ultimate heir to Alberti's window? Just as the Renaissance artist transferred his earthly subject, square by square as seen through the gridded veil, onto his smaller-scaled picture surface, so the CCD collects cosmic light through the telescope, pixel by pixel, and then converts each photon impulse into a digitized electronic signal and sends it to a television monitor. Celestial bodies are perceived and revealed against the deep-sky background by the luminosity fluctuations and changes in brightness recorded by the individual pixel across the CCD grid. These digitized encodings can then be translated into computerized colors. Since the actual hues of the celestial subject remain invisible, however the image processor (as the CCD artist is now professionally called), even though equipped with spectrum sensors and chromatic filters, must still make decisions based on aesthetic preference just as do modern artists - or one might even say like medieval artists trying to comprehend the ineffable colors of the heavenly empryean.

The Mirror, the Window and the Telescope, How Renaissance Linear Perspective Changed Our Vision of the Universe, by Samuel Y. Edgerton (pp 171-172)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vombies and Vampires on Headphone Commute

Headphone Commute is featuring my latest mix CD on their podcast this week. I love this description they give it.
After his previous appearance on Headphone Commute with an excellent modern classical mix, Later, Cole Pierce returns with a grab-bag of soothing summer tunes that cut through the heat, your ears, and your heart. Just like the last time, this mix is actually in two parts: Zombies and Vampires, presented here in one piece for your enjoyment. Expect the unexpected, smolder and rejoice!

Field Mic Named 'Best Amateur Music Blog' by Chicago Reader

The music blog that I co-author was just named 'Best Amateur Music Blog' by the Chicago Reader. If you haven't spent time with Field Mic, please do.

Chicago-based monolith Pitchfork has a profound influence on the gravitational field of the indie-rock universe, not to mention its own festival. But what about the little guys, who don’t pay attention to release cycles and aren’t driving the zeitgeist—the folks who don’t share the blogosphere’s obsession with being the first to cover the next new thing? Instead of slathering adjectives all over Best Coast seven-inches, Field Mic collects what it calls “sound from the field.” That means several posts a day that range from performances of music by little-known contemporary composers to video of oddball circuit-bent instruments and elaborate mechanical ensembles that play themselves, along with the occasional dude-and-guitar clip or actual music video. The blog is ecumenical in its tastes, though it leans a little toward the electroacoustic and ambient—and there are absolutely no reposts of clubby remixes of popular indie bands. Founded in April and curated by three far-flung editors—Chicago audiovisual artist Cole Pierce, Brooklyn-based New York Times blog specialist Jeremy Zilar (who also runs Silence Matters), and North Carolina collage artist and designer Able Parris—Field Mic doesn’t offer deep analysis, usually just a sentence or two of enthusiastic explanation. It’s heavy on reader submissions, and every page is charged with the thrill of someone with a brilliant new discovery he’s aching to pass along to the wider world.

Jessica Hopper


This weekend Danny Think Tank goes public, in the form of a group art show in a borrowed apartment. DTT is the name that my friends from grad school and I have given to the studio critiques we do 2 or 3 times a year. We were given the opportunity to exhibit work during the Milwaukee Ave Art Fest, a neighborhood festival in Logan Square (Chicago) complete with outdoor concerts and visual art exhibitions in businesses and empty storefronts. Thanks to Felix and Victor, we get to use a huge 3 bedroom apartment that is currently vacant. It came with a pink/purple bedroom and 2 taxidermied lions. We use the purple room brilliantly, but we just could not find a place for the lions. The MAAF website states me as the curator, but really I'm the project manager. The Danny Think Tank curated this show as a group. We'll be there Friday, Saturday and Sunday so if you're in the area please stop by. Its right above Disco City.

Press Release:
Danny Think Tank will feature recent work of 11 Chicago based artists, showcasing a survey of contemporary practices. The ongoing dialogue within Danny Think Tank will guide the curatorial decisions as the group responds to the unique location. The exhibition will take place in a vacant loft/apartment, exhibiting a collection of paintings, photography, collage, sculpture and video.

Milwaukee Ave Art Fest July 23-25

2628 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd floor (apartment above Disco City)
Chicago, IL
Friday - Opening 6-10pm
Sat & Sun noon-11pm

Curt Bozif
Derek Chan
Ryan Fenchel
Dan Gunn
Roxane Hopper
Lisa Majer
Stephen Nyktas
Cole Pierce
Julie Rudder
Kendrick Shackleford
Craig Yu