The Web’s not just for dramatic chipmunks and cursing toddlers: Contemporary performance and video artists are also exploiting online possibilities. Here, our must-sees for 2007.
1.Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s Because Washington Is Hollywood for Ugly People
Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s satirical animation was one of the most-talked-about works in Postermasters’ summer group show, “Not Your Parents MTV.” Given Hung’s psychedelic palette, and the use of familiar faces, politically potent imagery (a Bush-headed Jennifer Aniston, an Obama-headed Borat, Big Macs, Yodas, Saddam on a skateboard, Osama on the cross), low-tech animation, and a biting slam-poetry soundtrack (plus background music courtesy of M.C. Paul Barman), it’s no wonder why.
2. Paper Rad’s Umbrella Zombie Datamosh Mistake
Paper Rad, a three-person East Coast art collective, hacks into hoards of found media (the good, the popular, and the very, very bad) to create hilarious, culturally attuned compilations. Umbrella Zombie Datamosh Mistake cuts Rihanna’s mechanical song of summer, “Umbrella,” with Cranberry Dolores O’Riordan’s unmistakable vocals, and pixelated eighties-era clips (think Alf, The Running Man). With recent appearances at Deitch, Pace Wildenstein, Foxy Production, and MoMA (the group performed there over the summer with Cory Arcangel as part of the museum’s “PopRally” series), we’re likely to see much more of this feisty trio online too.
3. Marisa Olson’s 96-00-04-08
German-born artist-performer-curator Marisa Olson imagines our past and pending presidential elections as a nineties-era Pepsi/Coke taste test—an apt analogy given the mishaps of years past, stereotypically unaware voters, and the whole red-state-blue-state thing. We think she’s trying to tell us something about the electoral process …
4. Kalup Linzy’s Melody Set Me Free
Linzy’s soap-operatic shorts, (which have attracted attention from the likes of Thelma Golden) have garnered a substantial following. It’s a Young and the Restless for the highbrow set, complete with recurring characters (many of whom are played by Linzy in drag), twisted plotlines, and a dose of subversive humor. Linzy recently posted the above embedded preview, assuring gallerinas and faithful fans that more is certainly on the way.
Read more about Kalup Linzy.
5. Annika Larsson’s Pirate
Dark and meditative, Swede Annika Larsson’s video works have been described as video essays—slow but poignant, and pretty but ripe with relevance. Pirate, posted early this year, was filmed on May 1, 2006, in Stockholm, as hoards of Swedish youth and online fiends quietly (almost too quietly) protested the country’s copyright laws, insisting that in a post-Napster age, “sharing is caring.” Larsson’s subject makes her online medium that much more interesting—especially scored with an ambient soundtrack fit for a day at a deserted beach, not a sizable policy protest.