From 4chan to cam4 & beyond
Presented by Upgrade ! Chicago
Natacha Stolz, Ei Jane Janet Lin & Miao Jiaxin In Person!


December 11th, 2010

Natacha Stolz performed her Interior Semiotics project at an exhibtion/event called FOREVER(21) in Chicago, Illinois on March 27, 2010. Stolz uploaded video documentation of the performance to YouTube on May 8. Then, as Know Your Meme reports, “During the week of August 5th, the video was posted to 4chan. Many more threads were posted and the video soon went viral.” The collective entity/4chan-/b/-based identity known as Anonymous mobilized, responding to the video in various ways including threatening Stolz with violence and rape. Anonymous posted her personal contact information online to facilitate these threats, leaking personal photos that Stolz had previously posted to Facebook while her YouTube video continued to climb in popularity, at one moment gaining 200,000 views in 48 hours. Stolz watched within the feedback and feedforward loops of Digital Culture and responded as all of this activity occurred. Her online responses complicated and confounded Anonymous, enfolding 4chan into her project and causing many to speculate that she was in fact ‘trolling the trolls’ or in other words, entangling 4chan in her performative art process and practice:

Ei Jane Janet Lin & Miao Jiaxin interact with the online community of cam4 in explicitly Performance Art oriented interventions. The website cam4 describes itself accurately as being dedicated to “Free Live Sex Webcams – Free Live Cams Sex Chat”. Lin and Jiaxin’s performances play with the expectations and limits of the cam4 community, flowing in and out of variously experimental erotic, comedic and theatrical moments. Their collaborative performances have been met with enthusiasm, attention, dismissal and denial. In particular, their works, although all performed live and in realtime, are often accused of being video playback and therefore violating the rules of the cam4 site and community. This tension between the expectations, realities and performativity of their projects underscores the complexity of their relationships to power exchanges in art and pornography: http://www.vimeo.com/linmiao

Natacha Stolz, Ei Jane Janet Lin & Miao Jiaxin will present their work, discussing the intended and unintended results of their projects. Nick Briz will facilitate a discussion following their presentations.

Nick Briz, an organizer of GLI.TC/H and curator/participant in the Critical Glitch Artware event, will moderate the discussion following presentations by the artists.

Upgrade ! Chicago is the local Chicago-based node of the international Upgrade! network, an emerging network of autonomous nodes united by art, technology, and a commitment to bridging cultural divides. Its decentralized, non-hierarchical structure ensures that Upgrade! (i) operates according to local interests and their available resources; and (ii) reflects current creative engagement with cutting edge technologies. Upgrade! Chicago presents new media projects, engages in informal critique, and fosters dialogue and collaboration between individual artists. Upgrade! International functions as an online, global network that gathers annually in different cities to meet one another, showcase local art, and work on the agenda for the following year. It is organized by jonCates.

Filed under: lecture, new media, Uncategorized, video


A Program Celebrating David Wojnarowicz
Presented in cooperation with P.P.O.W Gallery


December 11th, 2010

David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video A FIRE IN MY BELLY was recently removed from the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute’s exhibition Hide/Seek under pressure from the Catholic League and conservative politicians.

In response, The Nightingale will screen the work on Saturday, December 11 at the top of every hour starting at 1 pm through Midnight and at 7pm will present a program of queer portraits including work by Nick Edelberg, Neil Bartlett, Chris Spinelli, Dorian Bonelli & Siegfried Konig. The screening was co-curated by Ethan White, Threat Level, and Christy LeMaster with the support of the P.P.O.W Gallery and The Video Data Bank.

The Eye & Ear Clinic (SAIC 112 S. Michigan) will present the work at 4:45pm on Wednesday, December 15. Artist-activist, and chair of the dept of Film, Video, New Media and Animation, Gregg Bordowitz will present this screening. Jonathan D. Katz, curator of Hide/Seek, will skype in for a chat at 4:45 exactly!

The Student Union Galleries (SUGs) of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago SUGs will dedicate their video monitor and space to the exhibition of this work starting Wednesday, December 8th!

Chances Dances will screen the work during their regular Dance Party on Monday, December 20th at Subterranean (2011 W. North).

If you are interested in finding out how to show this work yourself, contact the Estate of David Wojnarowicz at info@ppowgallery.com.

Filed under: film, video


A Meeting of the Dil Pickle Club


December 9th, 2010

The Dil Pickle Club to be revived at the Nightingale
Radical Chicago Renaissance nightspot starts again again

…How to Take a Punch by Bill Hillmann
with an interlude about Chicago Park District Boxers by Fred Sasaki & Jacob S. Knabb

Flight Painting by Peggy Macnamara
and notes on Nathan Leopold’s Warblers by Paul Genesius Durica

Rocket Launch by Kenneth Morrison

Special guest appearance from Sinterklaas
Plus more! plus DJ Emerson Dameron

The Dil Pickle Club will be a discussion group with prominent invited speakers. Subjects to be discussed will be controversial, off-beat, and intellectual. Tonight, emphasis will be placed on FIGHT/FLIGHT.

St. Nicholas Day will also be celebrated! Bring a pair of clean, polished shoes (clean like they’re the only pair you’ve got to wear) for donation to the Share Your Soles Foundation. Donors get a surprise from Sinterklaas.

Bill Hillmann is a writer and storyteller from Chicago. He is contributing editor for F Magazine and the staff writer for Criminal Class Press. His award-winning audio essays have appeared on WBEZ, NPR, and PRI. He is also the founder and host of the Windy City Story Slam.

Peggy Macnamara has been the artist in residence and associate of the Zoology Department at the Field Museum for the past twenty years, where she also teaches drawing and painting for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Painting Wildlife in Watercolor, Illinois Insects and Spiders, and Architecture by Birds and Insects. The Art of Migration is due out in 2011.

Thanks to co-conspirators Mairead Case, Emerson Dameron, Paul Durica, Rob Funderburk, Fred Sasaki, Nell Taylor, and especially Christy LeMaster and Kenneth Morrison.

Filed under: lecture



Saturday, December 4th at 7:00 pm, Free

Join us for a night of karaoke with specially crafted videos from the Moving Image students at University of Illinois at Chicago. Deborah Stratman and Jesse McLean proudly present a collection of original karoake videos created by their students in Moving Image 1 and Introduction to Time-Based Arts respectively. You will not be disappointed!

Videos by:
Maria Alejos, Christine Anderson, Jesse Banwart, Yesenia Bueno, Jin-Kyu Choi, Sarah Chung, Megan Convey, Neal Crowley Caroline Dodd, Cassie Fikes, Bryan Forsyth, David Fredericksen, Michael Garcia, Jeremy Garven, Joseph Grover, Mitch Gummerson, Donya Hammad, Lauren Harnisch, Gregg Hecht, Yazmin Hidalgo, Sarah Horbaczewski, Meg Huntsman, Alejandro Jimenez, Stephanie Jones, Colleen Kane, Bill Klazura, Joe Klomes, Asja Lausevic, Jessica Ledbetter, Meaghan Lee, Erin Miller, Nathan Miller, David Mizak, Michael Napierala, Christian Norcross, Gosia Pis, Chris Siska, Tim Steadman, Maira Stukas, Kevin Ticas, Mike Trofimuk, Juan Villalobos, Mike Watson, Lucy Welsh, Dee Williams

Filed under: performance, video


An Ethno-Folk Documentary by Olivia Wyatt


December 3rd, 2010

Ethiopia is known to be one of the oldest areas inhabited by humans and presently has over 80 diverse ethnic groups. Photographer/filmmaker Olivia Wyatt explores 13 different tribes throughout Ethiopia in this visually stunning film. Traveling from the northern highlands to the lower Omo Valley, Wyatt brings together the worlds of Zar spirit possession; Hamer tribal wedding ceremonies; Borena water well polyphonic singing; wild hyena feedings; and bizarre Ethiopian TV segments; presenting an enchanting look at these ethereal images, landscapes and sounds from the horn of Africa. The tribes featured in this film are captured with an unflinching sense of realism and poetic admiration resulting in a visual and aural feast of the senses.

Also screening will be her short SEEKING THE SPIRIT, an experimental documentary about a group of Celestial Church of Christ practitioners originally from the Republic of Benin, who meet on Rockaway Beach, NY to worship each night for one month between the hours of midnight and 6 am. This denomination incorporates elements of Yoruba into their practices and from a distance resembles Vodou or Santeria, which were also influenced by the Yoruba Religion of Nigeria and Benin.

To read more about her trip, check out this article in xlr8r.

Olivia Wyatt is the most recent contributer to the Sublime Frequencies collective. She is formally trained in still photography and worked for the past 5 years as a multimedia producer for Magnum In Motion at Magnum Photos. She also co-produced a children’s television show and has created several short documentaries and animations.

Through December 31st, 2010 Alibi Fine Art (1966 W. Montrose) will also be exhibiting 30 polaroid photographs from Wyatt’s stay in Ethiopia.

Filed under: documentary, video

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