The Venice Biennale reports. Part 3: Protests and modern slavery at the Arsenale

The 56th Biennale is thus set against the backdrop of economic, ecological and humanitarian crises. Any kind of art or design event has to pretend you care for the state of the world these days (unless you're at the Frieze art fair of course) but somehow this edition of the biennale demonstrates far more energy, determination and spirit in tackling the sufferings of our world than many much younger and openly socially-engaged events i've attended recently continue
The Venice Biennale reports. Part 2: Abu Bakarr Mansaray's UFO and other futuristic flying machines

Abu Bakarr Mansaray draws futuristic worlds inhabited by flying machines piloted by skeletons, tanks that look like dinosaurs, dangerous computer virus, 'Hell Extinguisher', aliens and other 'sinister projects.' continue
Terrazza: Artists, Histories, Places in Italy in the 2000s

What's hot and what will be hot in contemporary art in Italy. This book explores various aspects of art in Italy from 2000 through 2010: production centers, benchmark exhibitions, the major artistic developments that often contributed to extending if not shifting the domains of art, and the leading Italian artists in recent generations. The story is mainly told through images... continue
The Venice Biennale reports. Part 1: Angels, giant lizards and a Trojan horse

I finally made it to the Venice Bienniale this week. I hadn't set foot there for years. My number one preoccupation was to locate the Pavilion of the Indonesian Republic. It's at the Arsenale, I had seen a photo of it. Some kind of rusty dinosaur with angels flying around it. It turns out there was no dinosaur but a cross between the Trojan Horse and a Komodo dragon, a large species of lizard found in Indonesia continue
Project Nimbus. Cinema in the clouds

Project Nimbus is the outcome of 5 years of collaborative research by artist and inventor Dave Lynch and Chemical Physicist & Laser Expert Mike Nix. Using off-the-shelf technology, the team built an experimental device that projects moving images onto clouds. Onto pretty much anything cloudy actually: clouds of course but also cooling towers or urban vents. Project Nimbus is based on the zoopraxiscope developed by Eadweard Muybridge in 1879 and regarded as the first movie projector continue
Book review: Bio Art. Altered Realities

In an era of fast-paced technological progress and with the impact of humans on the environment increasing, the concept of "nature" itself seems called into question. Bio Art explores the work of "bio artists," those who work with living organisms and life processes to address the possibilities and dangers posed by biotechnological advancement continue
Oil company nationalizes artwork critical of the oil industry

The piece is made of Exxon, Shell, BP, and Mobil oil cans, but overnight, the local gallery staff had them secretly changed to Petronas labels. Though this violates the contract, I decided to keep the piece in the show because of the strange situation this tampering creates--a nationally owned oil company rushing to put its logo on a piece of art that is highly critical of the oil industry and what it appropriates and extracts continue
Drones, pirates, everyday racism. An interview with graphic designer Ruben Pater

Pater is a graphic designer who gave himself the mission to create visual narratives about complex political issues. He is not only interested in flying machines of death but also in disaster floods caused by global warming, Dutch sweets that evoke everyday racism, fishermen vs oil tankers, citizen journalism in countries with censorship, digital surveillance, etc continue
The Shock of the Anthropocene. Or what does it mean to have the future of the planet into our hands?

Scientists tell us that the Earth has entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene. We are not facing simply an environmental crisis, but a geological revolution of human origin. In two centuries, our planet has tipped into a state unknown for millions of years. How did we get to this point? continue
Identity squatting and spy training. A conversation with Simon Farid

Simon Farid is a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. In practice, this means that the artist is 'squatting' identities that have been constructed by other people for surveillance, marketing or institutional purposes and then discarded. He notoriously 'inhabited' the identity of an undercover police officer and the one of a politician who moonlighted as a web marketing guru continue
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