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<nettime-ann> Turbulence Commission: "look art" - a MUD exhibition

July 15, 2011

Turbulence Commission: "look art" - a MUD/MUSH* exhibition with works by Thomas Asmuth, Alejandro Duque, and Christopher Poff
Openings: July 16, 2011 at 10:00 am and 6:00 pm PST
[Needs Software Download. Follow Directions to Connect]

* MUSH is a pun on MUD -- most often expanded as Multi-User Shared Hallucination, though Multi-User Shared Hack, Habitat, and Holodeck are also observed -- a text-based online social medium to which multiple users are connected simultaneously.

Built on MUSH code, "look art" is a contemporary consideration of the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), a pervasive late-twentieth century, text-based, online environment that was a precursor to today's Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (such as "World of Warcraft" and "Second Life"). MUDs were influenced by early role-playing games like "Dungeons and Dragons," that relied on the user's ability to conjure images through text -- unlike today's dependence on high-resolution graphics (which were not possible then). Because the connection protocols are simple, the text-only space is accessible via many clients, including mobile phones.

The inaugural exhibition features the work of three artists: Thomas Asmuth is creating ASCII portraits, making a wonderful connection between the traditional atomic gallery and the virtual; Alejo Duque is building a communication platform on top of a distopian view of the present; and Christopher Poff invites you to enter his manifesto and engage with it directly.

On July 16, you are encouraged to explore and experience the art and to drop into the Turbulence Lounge for a conversation with the curator, the artists, and other participants. Additional events are planned for the coming months.

"look art" is a 2011 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence website. It was made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by The CADRE Laboratory for New Media.


Thomas Asmuth's (US) work centers around the culture and aesthetics of science and technology, social practices, and performance. Other current projects include autonomous robotics, an exploration of the identity of the 'Space Race' generation through portraits and imaging, and a project in tactical media/wearable computing. He is an alumnus of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media and the San Francisco Art Institute. Asmuth's projects and collaborations have been exhibited internationally including: 01SJ ('06 and '08), Laguna Art Museum, the Tang Teaching Museum, and transmediale09. He is a principle in the development of the digital media curriculum at the University of West Florida as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

Alejandro Duque (Switzerland-Colombia) is an artist and a current PhD candidate at the European Graduate School, Switzerland. His research is entitled "Gifted Malice, Kinship Through the Wires and the Waves". Duque dedicates his free/libre time to experiencing all possible ways for collaborative/participatory arts that celebrate cultural agitation across all possible networks, mostly in a South to East axis. His current interests deal with HAM radio, streaming media and satellite listening and spotting. He is also an active member of networks such as Bricolabs, dorkbot, labSurlab and [k.0_lab] and is easy to spot on the IRC freenode network @ dspstv.

Christopher Poff is a digital artist who specializes in reality / simulation interfaces. He works with digital interactivity and physical computing utilizing Arduino, Java, digital video, After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop. Poff has an extensive background in programming and scripting, both from school and from years of MUSH / MUX experience. Prior to studying Arts and Technology at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, he was a Computer Science / Physics double major. He presently works in the Exhibits Department at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum as their Technical Developer.

Ars Virtua is a virtual gallery and new media center (http://arsvirtua.com) founded by James Morgan in 2006. Past collaborations with Turbulence.org include: "honesty is our policy" (2006), a net art exhibition in Second Life; "Ars Virtua Artist-in-Residence" in Second Life (2007); and "Mixed Realities" (2008), an international competition, exhibition, and symposium that occurred simultaneously in Boston, Second Life and on http://turbulence.org.

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Jo-Anne Green
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
New York: 917.548.7780 Boston: 617.522.3856
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