GIF installation view of ‘TRANSFER Download’. Images courtesy of Transfer Gallery.
Hyperlinks are conspicuously absent from Instagram and Snapchat, and subject to the algorithms and viral culture of Facebook and Twitter, but they remain a powerful mechanism for decentralized learning and cyber-crawling. In the exhibition TRANSFER Downloada pop-up now at The current art museum in New York, the hyperlink serves as a conceptual format and container for a number of video installations by Eva Papamargariti, Sabrina Ratté, the influential Russian video collective AES+F.
TRANSFER Gallery‘s Kelani Nichole first developed TRANSFER Download this summer in San Francisco at Minnesota Street Project with collaborator Harvey Moon. The idea was to present a large-format, fully immersive experience in the form of a layered, hyperlinked salon-style installation to examine a large number of works in a single physical space. Like the San Francisco edition of To downloadthe New York pop-up does not present any works hanging on the walls, but several pieces superimposed to create a virtual space.
“The pop-up is a collaboration with The Current, a new digital art support institution, who invited me to pop-up as part of their first event,” Nichole told The Creators Project. “We are like-minded organizations thinking of new ways to support the collection and preservation of these formats.”
Nichole has invited artists to create a solo presentation of their work that includes a variety of media formats ranging from 4K, algorithmic video, 3D animation, animated GIF, web illustrations and virtual reality. She wanted the exhibition to point to a multiplicity of formats that create “a stunning physical installation that can connect the viewer to many new forms of artistic creation in a single space”.
“Every song plays on all three channels,” says Nichole. “And there is a control that allows the viewer to switch between pieces, changing the whole space to present a new work.”
The NYC playlist, according to Nichole, is more powerful than the first screening in San Francisco, with several intense tracks. One of the new works is by Eva Papamargariti, who adapted her single-channel work, Prosomiosis, for space, a bewitching and exotic journey through patterns, geometries and objects found in a virtual ecosystem.
Nichole also looks at Sabrina Ratté’s new sculpted 3D environment Square Concrete as particularly intense. Using analog and digital technologies, Ratté creates a series of corridors generated by electronic signals that melt and move in different ways.
Russian AES+F video and art have been around for over two decades, but a quick look at their work proves that they are still dynamic creators. For To downloadthe crew offered one of their EPIC sagas as a trailer, last riot. A three-channel video made in 2007, last riot is something like a speculative fiction, in which the new heroes were the participants in the “last riot” that ended ideology, history and ethics, destroying all kinds of binaries like man and woman and victim and aggressor.
Some of the videos in the NYC upload were taken from the San Francisco edition. One of the most mind-blowing of this bunch is Rosa Menkman’s trailer for her VR play DCT: siphoning. Inspired by Edwin Abbot Flat terraina novel with multiple dimensions, DCT: siphoning is the story of a father who introduces his son to different types of compression. There are also pieces by Claudia Hart, Phillip Stearns, Rollin Leonard and LaTurbo Avedon.
“I love the story of the To download like aligning with experimental art spaces and using the format to tell a story about media development and create impactful physical encounters with distributed artwork,” says Nichole.
Although the hyperlink format of To download is a unique presentation and reimagining of gallery space, it’s also a great crash course in video formats. And for the uninitiated, To download it’s a solid introduction to the talented artists working in these different new media.