Academic journal article Afterimage

Building a World

Academic journal article Afterimage

Building a World

Article excerpt

2010 01SJ Biennial

San Jose, California

September 16-19, 2010

Now in its third iteration the biennial 01SJ arts and technology festival in San Jose, California, is finally gaining traction. With its blend of commissioned works, museum and gallery shows, and a street fair, the festival brought an interesting and occasionally perplexing vibe to the downtown area.

The festival was not for the passive art viewer. This year's theme, "Build Your Own World," included many projects that either were created right in front of spectators or required viewer participation or active discussion with the artist for full appreciation of the work. For example, Christopher Baker's project offscript (2010) invited participants to describe their view of the future and submit images or words to the project's website. (1) The words and drawings were then projected each evening of the festival onto the facade of one of San Jose's upscale shopping areas. Shoppers who paid attention could also contribute their own text and words by interacting with the artist on the spot. The artist team Blast Theory created the interactive performance project A Machine to See With (2010), which is designed to be played with a random partner based on instructions arriving via mobile phone. Meeting a stranger and collaborating with that stranger on an unknown escapade, which takes the participants through obscure parts of the city, ensures that issues of trust and partnership came into play. In commissioning projects such as these, ZER01 is moving art out of the gallery and onto the streets.

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As part of the theme, museum and gallery venues were free to interpret the intersection of art and technology as they wished. The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art presented "Exposed: Today's Photography/Yesterday's Technology," an exhibition of photographs by artists using retro-photographic techniques to communicate their contemporary ideas. Exhibiting artists included Binh Danh, Chris McCaw, Beth Moon, and Brian Taylor, and during the street fair Michael Shindler worked his alchemy to create tintype portraits.

This year a selection of artist teams were commissioned to create work over the course of two weeks in an 80,000 square-foot exhibition and workshop space called "Out of the Garage Into the World." Workshops were organized with local participants on topics as varied as youth videomaking, solar-powered sculptures, and huarache shoemaking. …

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