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THE TURING NORMALIZING MACHINE

by Yonatan Ben-Simhon and Mushon Zer-Aviv

An experiment in machine learning & algorithmic prejudice

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From: http://mushon.com/tnm/

In the 1930s British Mathematician Alan Turing studied normal numbers. During World War 2 he cracked the Nazi Enigma code, and then laid the foundations for computing and artificial intelligence. In the 1950s he was convicted of homosexuality and was chemically castrated. And in June 7th 1954, depressed by the anti-homosexuality medical treatment, and alienated by the society who deemed him abnormal, Alan Turing ate a cyanide laced apple.

In the following decades many of Turing’s ideas have materialized through the digital revolution, while many of them are still being researched. Inspired by Turing’s life and research we seek to finally crack the greatest enigma of all:

“Who is normal?”

The Turing Normalizing Machine is an experimental research in machine-learning that identifies and analyzes the concept of social normalcy. Each participant is presented with a video line up of 4 previously recorded participants and is asked to point out the most normal-looking of the 4. The person selected is examined by the machine and is added to its algorithmically constructed image of normalcy. The kind participant’s video is then added as a new entry on the database.

As the database grows the Turing Normalizing Machine develops a more intricate model of normal-appearance, and moves us closer to our research goal: to once-and-for-all decode the mystery of what society deems “normal” and to automate the process for the advancement of science, commerce, security and society at large.

The abnormal,
while logically second,
is existentially first.

Georges Canguilhem, The Normal and the Pathological, 1966.

Conducted and presented as a scientific experiment TNM challenges the participants to consider the outrageous proposition of algorithmic prejudice. The responses range from fear and outrage to laughter and ridicule, and finally to the alarming realization that we are set on a path towards wide systemic prejudice ironically initiated by its victim, Turing.

by Yonatan Ben-Simhon and Mushon Zer-Aviv. [contact]

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AMERICAN HARDCORE, 1978 – 1990

Exhibition running 11 April – 4 May 2013

Opening Reception Wednesday 10th April 6 – 9pm
The Vinyl Factory Chelsea
91 Walton Street
London SW3 2HP
The Gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 – 6pm
+44 (0) 207 589 0588

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The Mott Collection and The Vinyl Factory announce a new exhibition and publication:

AMERICAN HARDCORE, 1978 – 1990
Running 11 April – 4 May 2013

The exhibition brings together 50 American Hardcore single sleeves spanning the apex of the genre from the late 70’s up to the 90’s. The collection represents the subtle shifts and changes, and finally the overall unification of what began as a disparate musical style that developed into a rigid set of fixed codes, sounds, and political beliefs.

From the raw stripped down sounds of Black Flag to the spasmodic reggae influenced Bad Brains, Hardcore emerged as a puritanical suburban rely to the decadence of big city Punk Rock outfits such as the Ramones or the New York Dolls. Popping up in small West Coast communities like Hermosa Beach, Oxnard and San Pedro and simultaneously in East Coast cities such as Washington DC and Boston the Hardcore movement was obsessively local, yet at the same time extremely far reaching due to the punishing tour schedules bands would put themselves through sometimes touring non-stop for years. This had the effect of birthing small Hardcore scenes nationwide each with their own distinct flavours.

The exhibition also features a limited edition silk screen print featuring the ‘AMERICAN HARDCORE’ catalogue cover artwork.

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AMERICAN HARDCORE, 1978 – 1990

The catalogue, printed in an edition of 300 copies, documents 50 US Hardcore Punk singles and features an extended Q&A with author and UK Punk collector Toby Mott and US Punk collector and curator Bryan Ray Turcotte. Also included are a 7” vinyl pressing of a Black Flag interview from 1981 and an oversized foldout print.The catalogue is printed and designed by Ditto Press.

Opening Reception Wednesday 10th April 6 – 9pm
Exhibition runs 11 April – 4 May 2013

The Vinyl Factory Chelsea
91 Walton Street
London SW3 2HP

The Gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10 – 6pm
+44 (0) 207 589 0588

www.vfeditions.com/product/view/98

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David Hammons performing ‘Bliz-aard Ball Sale’ (1983), Cooper Square, New York City
Courtesy Migros Museum, Zurich © David Hammons. Photo: Dawood Bey

From An Interview with David Hammons:

1. I CAN’T STAND ART ACTUALLY. I’VE NEVER, EVER LIKED ART, EVER. I NEVER TOOK IT IN SCHOOL.

2. WHEN I WAS IN CALIFORNIA, ARTISTS WOULD WORK FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAVE A SHOW. SO SHOWING HAS NEVER BEEN THAT IMPORTANT TO ME. WE USED TO CUSS PEOPLE OUT: PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT OUR WORK, DEALERS, ETC., BECAUSE THAT PART OF BEING AN ARTIST WAS ALWAYS A JOKE TO US.

WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK, I DIDN’T SEE ANY OF THAT. EVERYBODY WAS JUST GROVELING AND TOMMING, ANYTHING TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH SOMEBODY WITH SOME MONEY. THERE WERE NO BAD GUYS HERE; SO I SAID, “LET ME BE A BAD GUY,” OR ATTEMPT TO BE A BAD GUY, OR PLAY WITH THE BAD AREAS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.

3. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY BLACK PEOPLE WERE CALLED SPADES, AS OPPOSED TO CLUBS. BECAUSE I REMEMBER BEING CALLED A SPADE ONCE, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; NIGGER I KNEW BUT SPADE I STILL DON’T. SO I TOOK THE SHAPE, AND STARTED PAINTING IT.

4. I JUST LOVE THE HOUSES IN THE SOUTH, THE WAY THEY BUILT THEM. THAT NEGRITUDE ARCHITECTURE. I REALLY LOVE TO WATCH THE WAY BLACK PEOPLE MAKE THINGS, HOUSES OR MAGAZINE STANDS IN HARLEM, FOR INSTANCE. JUST THE WAY WE USE CARPENTRY. NOTHING FITS, BUT EVERYTHING WORKS. THE DOOR CLOSES, IT KEEPS THINGS FROM COMING THROUGH. BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE THAT NEATNESS ABOUT IT, THE WAY WHITE PEOPLE PUT THINGS TOGETHER; EVERYTHING IS A THIRTY-SECOND OF AN INCH OFF.

5. THAT’S WHY I LIKE DOING STUFF BETTER ON THE STREET, BECAUSE THE ART BECOMES JUST ONE OF THE OBJECTS THAT’S IN THE PATH OF YOUR EVERYDAY EXISTENCE. IT’S WHAT YOU MOVE THROUGH, AND IT DOESN’T HAVE ANY SENIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE.

THOSE PIECES WERE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT THE BLACK VIEWER HAD A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF IN THE WORK. WHITE VIEWERS HAVE TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE’S CULTURE IN THOSE PIECES AND SEE VERY LITTLE OF THEMSELVES IN IT.

6. ANYONE WHO DECIDES TO BE AN ARTIST SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT’S A POVERTY TRIP. TO GO INTO THIS PROFESSION IS LIKE GOING INTO THE MONASTERY OR SOMETHING; IT’S A VOW OF POVERTY I ALWAYS THOUGHT. TO BE AN ARTIST AND NOT EVEN TO DEAL WITH THAT POVERTY THING, THAT’S A WASTE OF TIME; OR TO BE AROUND PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT.

MY KEY IS TO TAKE AS MUCH MONEY HOME AS POSSIBLE. ABANDON ANY ART FORM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH. INSIST THAT IT’S AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE IS NUMBER ONE AND ALSO THAT IT’S AESTHETICALLY CORRECT. AFTER THAT ANYTHING GOES. AND THAT KEEPS EVERYTHING INTERESTING FOR ME.

7. I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY WORK IS. I HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR THAT FROM SOMEONE.

I WOULD LIKE TO BURN THE PIECE. I THINK THAT WOULD BE NICE VISUALLY. VIDEOTAPE THE BURNING OF IT. AND SHOOT SOME SLIDES. THE SLIDES WOULD THEN BE A PIECE IN ITSELF. I’M GETTING INTO THAT NOW: THE SLIDES ARE THE ART PIECES AND THE ART PIECES DON’T EXIST.

8. IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE THEN IT’S EASY TO MAKE ART. MOST PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMAGE. ARTISTS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BOXED IN BY SAYING “YES” ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN, AND THEY SHOULD BE SAYING “NO.” I DO MY STREET ART MAINLY TO KEEP ROOTED IN THAT “WHO I AM.” BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT’S REALLY GOING ON IS IN THE STREET; THAT’S WHERE SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING. IT ISN’T HAPPENING IN THESE GALLERIES.

9. DOING THINGS IN THE STREET IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ART I THINK. BECAUSE ART HAS GOTTEN SO….I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK ART IS ABOUT NOW. IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. LIKE MALCOLM X SAID, IT’S LIKE NOVOCAINE. IT USED TO WAKE YOU UP BUT NOW IT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT ART NOW IS PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP. THERE’S SO MUCH OF IT AROUND IN THIS TOWN THAT IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. THAT’S WHY THE ARTIST HAS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE SHOWS AND WHEN HE SHOWS NOW. BECAUSE THE PEOPLE AREN’T REALLY LOOKING AT ART, THEY’RE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER’S CLOTHES AND EACH OTHER’S HAIRCUTS.

10. THE ART AUDIENCE IS THE WORST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD. IT’S OVERLY EDUCATED, IT’S CONSERVATIVE, IT’S OUT TO CRITICIZE NOT TO UNDERSTAND, AND IT NEVER HAS ANY FUN. WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY TIME PLAYING TO THAT AUDIENCE?

DAVID HAMMONS 1986

Running order for your presentations

Unit 8 – Culture & Context – Level 2 Chelsea

Wednesday December 5th   

 All will be ready in the Upper Casket by 9.55am for a 10am prompt start.

The smaller room with the computers in the upper casket will be used as a ‘dressing room’ and the next two groups will be preparing quietly for their presentation while another is preforming. When the group performing has finished you will have 5mins to set up and be ready to present.

This is the running order, but you should all be prepared to go on next just in case of technological or costume malfunctions.

1. The Pheromones

2. LOCKA

3. JucyShaC 

4. KEEEEN

5. TshilliConSally

7. Se7en

 8.  NAME?

 9. VI

Mark Ingham | November 2012

PDF: Wednesday December 5th Running order for the presentations

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 “Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance favours only the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

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Shoot!


EXISTENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/shoot-existential-photography

Admission £5/£3 Concs
12 October 2012 – 6 January 2013
*

*
©Kate Elliott

INFO
In the period following World War I, a curious attraction appeared at fairgrounds: the photographic shooting gallery. If the punter’s bullet hit the centre of the target, this triggered a camera. Instead of winning a balloon or toy, the participant would win a snapshot of him or herself in the act of shooting.

Shoot! Existential Photography traces the history of this fascinating side-show – from its popular use at fairgrounds to how it fascinated many artists and intellectuals in its heyday, including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Man Ray and Lee Miller. The artist Erik Kessels celebrates one shooter in particular – Ria van Dijk, who took portraits of herself in this way every year from 1936 – sixty of these images feature here.

Investigating numerous analogies between taking photographs and shooting, the exhibition includes works by many contemporary artists including Sylvia Ballhause, Agnès Geoffray, Jean-François Lecourt, Christian Marclay, Steven Pippin, Émilie Pitoiset, Niki de Saint Phalle, Rudolf Steiner and Patrick Zachmann.

To artist Rudolf Steiner the camera also serves as a target. In his series Pictures of me, shooting myself into a picture, the bullet hole serves as the aperture for a pinhole camera, creating an image upon impact. The video-sound installation Crossfire by Christian Marclay is a sampling from Hollywood films that edits together those moments in which the actors on the screen begin to take aim at the movie theatre audience. For eight minutes and twenty-seven seconds, the montage transports the viewer into a visual and acoustic crossfire from all sides.

At the end of the exhibition, visitors (18+ years) have the opportunity to take their own portraits in a photographic shooting gallery.

 

Exhibition curated by Clément Chéroux and co-produced by the Rencontres d’Arles and the Museum Für Photographie, Braunschweig

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Viral Utopias

The Virality part of this free event (see below) will now be a collaboration between Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini, Nik Vaughn and Tony D. Sampson. We will be responding to the idea(l) of a viral utopia using academic voice, VJing, bass guitar and turntable.

Viral Utopia: What kind of Ontology is This?

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RSVP ESSENTIAL

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563

Viral Utopias launch event on Friday November 16th

Viral Utopias Friday November 16th – 7PM til 1AM @ LimehouseTown Hall

Panics, plagues, and politics. Countless times the death of politics, utopia and neoliberalism has been proclaimed… and just as many times the lumbering remains of our conceptual apparatuses dust themselves and trundle on again… mutating their movements in unfolding recombinatory patterns.

Come join us to celebrate the release of several new publications exploring this overlap between the utopian and the viral, the networked and the not-worked: Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks by Tony Sampson; Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia by Angela Mitropoulos;

Open Utopia by Thomas More & Stephen Duncombe; and the current issue of Mute Magazine, ‘Becoming Impersonal’ Vol.3 #3.

DJS Agit Disco DJs http://www.metamute.org/shop/mute-books/agit-disco LIVE BANDS Traum – London-based chanson for lovers of neo-romantisch perverse pop http://snd.sc/PqsQb1 Hungry Hearts – whisky filled gruff folk punk: http://www.myspace.com/thehungryhearts

VENUE Limehouse Town Hall 646 Commercial Road London E14 7HA RSVP ESSENTIAL http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4688544563

ABOUT THE PUBLICATIONS Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks – Tony D Sampson with Tim Vogt, Francesco Tacchini and Nik Vaughn http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/virality Contract & Contagion: From Biopolitics to Oikonomia – Angela Mitropoulos http://www.akpress.org/contract-contagion.html Open Utopia – Thomas More & Steve Duncombe http://theopenutopia.org/ Mute, ‘Becoming Impersonal’, Vol.3 #3 http://linkme2.net/sx

About Virality Tony D. Sampson is a London-based academic and writer currently lecturing at the University of East London. A former musician, he studied computer technology and cultural theory before receiving a PhD in sociology from the University of Essex. His ongoing interest in contagion theory is reflected in his recent publications, including The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), which he coedited with Jussi Parikka. His new book, Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks is published by the University of Minnesota Press in August 2012

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Red, White And Blue

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Mark Titchner

From 07/11/12 to 08/12/12

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Location: London Chelsea Space, United Kingdom

Special Events

Featuring: Derek Jarman, Laibach

Links: chelseaspace.org

Group exhibition exploring pop, punk and politics, with works by Peter Blake, Barney Bubbles, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Derek Jarman, Laibach, Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Jon Savage, Mark Titchner and more.

London Chelsea Space,

7 November–8 December.

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