OMG_sisyphus and *Best*RapidEssayNSFW!! at Studium Generale KABK

October 4, 17.00 – 19.00
Royal Academy of Art, Den Haag

Performance: Emile Zile

OMG_sisyphus and *best*RapidEssayNSFW!! by Amsterdam-based Australian artist, resident of the Rijksakademie. Live video essays with online and prepared video sources from YouTube, 24hour news streams, scientific trials, viral marketing blips, social software and monologues by .com-era cult leaders to weave an audiovisual portrait of contemporary culture and its acceleration of signs. With tutorials, self-portraiture, factory presets, the ecstasy of viewing and the sadness of YouTube.

Lecture Almila Akdag (UVA)

A theoretical view on the nature of (high/low) art and the art market, and its relation to online art communities. Almila Akdag, from the University of Amsterdam, has received a Veni awardfrom NWO to conduct her own research for 3 years. The project is a combination of the application of various scientific methodologies (mostly social network analysis and analysis of image archives). In this lecture she will talk about DeviantArt, an online community of artists and art appreciators, that plays a nowadays role of the Salon des Refuses. She will show the history of this initiative and highlight its social and organizational structure as well as its impact on the art education for the next generation of artists.

Endless Lonely Planet

Christopher LG Hill‘s paper and usb publication Endless Lonely Planet, launching Friday May 4 at World Food Books Melbourne.

WORLD FOOD BOOKS The Nicholas Building, Studio 19, Level 337 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000, Victoria, Australia

Endless Lonely Planet is a yearly periodical in print and data featuring Christopher L G Hill, Nicholas Mangan, Evergreen (Olivia Barrett and James Deutsher), Alex Vivian, Joshua Petherick, Kate Newby, Y3K, Review Swapper, Discipline, Bunyip Trax, Matthew Benjamin, S.T. Lore, Virginia Overell, Nicholas Selenitsch, Darren Banks, Elizabeth Newman, VDO, Theodore Whong, Oliver Van Der Lugt, Hessian Jailer, Jason Heller, Olle Holmberg, Justin K Fuller, Matthew Brown, Ardi Gunawan, Counterfeitness First, Emile Zile, Fictitious Sighs, Porpoise Torture, Bum Creek, Simon Denny… and others

Self published by contributors and Christopher L G Hill, and each copy coming with 4GB of data. A special launch price of $15 (AUD) will apply tomorrow night, it will then continue to be available for $20 (AUD) from World Food Books in store and online.

Three Artists Walk into a Bar

The Black Swan curatorial collective (De Appel Curatorial Programme 2011/2012) is proud to announce Three Artists Walk into a Bar…, a series of works and interventions that take place outside of the premises of the exhibition space, channelled through the website: and framed by public Saturday events at de Appel Boys’ School.

Using the disruptive quality of humour to test the critical potentials of art for the analysis of social, political and cultural issues, this exhibition aims to build a community of peers who speak from and to the challenges of the present time. The commitment to humour stems from a belief in its inherently social capacity to bring subversive voices and unexpected perspectives to mainstream awareness.

My intervention/action will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

Boo Australia

Group show of Australian video artists in Santiago, Chile. Featuring Ian Andrews, Emile Zile, The Kingpins, Anna Davis & Jason Gee, Philip Brophy, Denis Beaubois, Alex Kershaw, Lauren Brincat and Tony Schwensen.
Curated by Tim Welfare.

I’m showing ‘Larry Emdur’s Suit’ 2002 and ‘Five Production Company Logos in 3D’ 2010.

Boo Australia
Matucana 100
Santiago, Chile
April 24 – May 27

OMG_sisyphus documentation and text by Ry David Bradley

Documentation by Pieter Kers

Palais Paradiso
February 16, 2012

It is often said that if Sisyphus were alive today – he would probably be using a bulldozer to push his boulder up the mountain, while running a small company for similar services. Such are the times in which we live, where it’s possible that even mythology cannot exist without having cast over it the contemporary shadow of the corporation. Art that uses technology in any way is also under the same shadow: the product is embedded, be it the logo on laptop lids, in-camera menu systems, the sheer presence of digital projectors in the gallery space adds the subliminal presence of the multi-national brand. This minor conflict is not so much because they are there but because they are not intended to be there. It is a concession that must be made in order to use these tools. Never before has industry been so visible in art materials. Perhaps in a typical setting we are expected to overlook the device in order to consider the art is only what comes out of it. For this reason gallery and museum spaces often attempt to conceal these pieces of equipment so that their relationship with the artist and the viewer is not questioned, but in some ways this smudges something that might be pivotal.

With his history of performances that engage with popular culture and consumer technology Emile Zile recently premiered OMG_Sisyphus. The Greek mythology of Sisyphus, a tale of burden and absurdity, is used as a prop on which to enact a contemporary performance situation: being on YouTube. The performance happens in the midst of laptops, amplifiers, digital cameras, projectors and a  heavy looking stone that the artist carries in from outside. In recent performances of OMG_Sisyphus at (Open Archive Melbourne, 30 November 2011, Palais Paradiso Amsterdam 16 February 2012) Zile enacts a humorously calculated switch. In his treatment we begin to understand that the laptop/webcam is now a rock, or vice versa. Its physical presence, weight, and texture become entwined in a passage of worship, as the ubiquitous Apple product is now something more equivalent to a Chinese scholar stone (Gongshi). Throughout the whole performance it is as if through some application of post-production what we should be seeing as a computer (the adored gateway to online audiences) is now a small volcanic boulder. Simultaneous slips between live action and published content begin, as Zile sits staring at the rock we imagine him staring at his computer, alone in a room while addressing an imagined YouTube audience. In doing so the actual live audience sitting in the gallery space is distanced, even denied. YouTube clips are executed and closed at the same time as the live performance, and by performing to the rock the absurd act of speaking to a mute object is comically revealed. All at once we view him in physical proximity sitting at his desk almost as if we are already at home watching him online. But we are not. At the same time YouTube clips projected at large scale on the wall present various moments recorded earlier, leading to a sense of shifts in time – the first clip is a (insert precise video length) closely cropped macro image of the minute crevices and minor surface details of the rock itself. The tragedy is that even though the rock is there in the room with us we still see it more closely on YouTube. The tone of this performance brings to mind the not-quite-transcendent aura of work by Shana Moulton combined with the webcam style bravado and entertainment factor of Hennessey Youngman. At some points in the piece we are made to feel the joys of web 2.0 publishing, light relaxation muzak plays, we are all connected by technology. But the gallery space begins to fall out of step as the artist struggles against what appears to be self-doubt and loneliness. The rock remains motionless on a small table under lamplight. Is real life different to projected life? Maybe it used to be. Zile seems to suggest a new friction is built in this crossover rather than a seamless merger. Whilst various elements of the performance are online, the crux of this work hinges on being present live in the gallery space – where multiple facets of contemporary being are felt and fired simultaneously. As it happens we are pointed toward a space where states of alienation, corporation and intense connectivity collide into a state of indivisibility.

Ry David Bradley

February 2012