Monday, January 29, 2007

Signed Paul Schmelzer

Paul Schmelzer, as signed by Yoko Ono

Many years ago I had lunch with an 8-year-old named Spencer and his father, Ron. We were at an outdoor restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, and one of that town’s favorite sons, jazz musician Ben Sidran, sat at a nearby table. Ron urged Spencer—who has Asberger’s Syndrome, a milder form of autism—to get Sidran’s autograph, and Sidran, accustomed to such requests, gladly obliged. But when he handed the autograph back to the boy, Spencer scolded,

“Not your name. Mine!”

After regaining his composure, the musician scribbled out his own name and rewrote the boy’s.

Four or five years ago, inspired by Spencer’s impromptu deconstruction of celebrity, I began asking artists, writers and political figures to sign my autograph, either in person or through letters.

Paul Schmelzer Signifier, signed..

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Annie Sprinkle

A simple enough premise, my intention was to both critique celebrity (what does it mean that Yoko Ono signed the name of a complete unknown? And is there any value to that signature?) and celebrate those who have shaped my beliefs, by either their positive or negative examples (Studs Terkel versus, say, rightwing musician Charlie Daniels).

I’ve pondered what these responses might mean to me (it’s zenlike, this repetition of my name; it’s egotistical; it’s a transfer of energy from those I respect to me; it's a bit like the mantra-like repetition of a graffiti writer's tag; it fits into an art historical context alongside explorations by Richard Prince, Bruce Conner, Alan Berliner, and others), but always return to this simple belief: the autographs stand alone and don’t need all this intellectual justification.

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Bruce Sterling

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Laurie Anderson

Paul Schmelzer as signed ("several times") by Henry Rollins

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Peter Bogdanovich

Paul Schmelzer as signed by Pat Buchanan

More than 70 celebrities so far have contributed to the project, and another 40 either didn’t understand it, and signed their own names.

Most of the signatures come as highrez pictures, ideal too sign your cheques :)

Signifier, signed..

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Shoal of little fishes in the snowy streets of Russia

Bedazzling and poetic. Some melting snow in the middle of the city turned into a wonderful little fish pond.

digged at wooster

Saturday, January 27, 2007


bugs, biomes and real snails

new zealand garden snails

Eventually this system will be built into an installation version in 2007/08. Where an individual can visit the 'Real Snail Mail' website and email a message which travels at the speed of light to our server where it is entered into a queue. Here it waits until a snail wonders in range of a hot spot. The hot spot is our dispatch centre in the form of a RFID reader. This reader identifies the snail from the RFID chip attached to its shell and checks to see if it has not already been assigned a message to carry. If the snail is available it is assigned the message at the top of the list. It then slips away into the technological wasteland. Located at the other end of the pond (in the case of aquatic snails) is the drop off point. When, or if, the snail ever makes it here, it is identified by another reader, which then forwards the relevant message to the recipients email address; once again travelling at the speed of light.

Collaborating as boredomresearch, Southampton based Vicky Isley and Paul Smith have gained an international reputation for interrogating the creative role of computing. Their enthusiasm for scientific modeling techniques and fascination with natural systems inspires them to produce beautifully crafted software art that presents an exciting alternative to our technologically fraught lives.

biomes exhibited spread out over the floor at Aspex Gallery (April-June 2005)

The biomes are a series of six screen based computational art works that use generative processes in the creation of a dynamic world.

biomes exhibited in the New Forest Pavilion parallel with the 2005 Venice Biennale

A biome's small circular window looks in on a vast sealed universe in which you see a number of intricately patterned bodies going about their business. Observing at length, you will see an almost unlimited diversity of form, colour and pattern, as these creature-like machines enter and leave the viewable area.

a detail from a biome screen

"The biome works were developed after extensive research into computational models used in the study of artificial life. Our desire is to implement these techniques in a way that explores properties present in natural systems. We were interested in the diversity of form and pattern that appears in natural systems and how a similar diversity can be produced using simple rules."

The biome machines generate their own markations using a pattern generator based on simple rules. Each biome is running the same software but as the machines are generative each system is evolving differently.

The work exists as an object that can either wall hang or be free-standing. Each system is completely self contained including its own custom built computer and screen. The screen is visible through a circular lens that has a foreshortening effect, bringing the image surface level with the surrounding frame to subtlety but profoundly change the viewing experience. In this form the work is experienced intimately where only a few people can view a biome at one time.

detail of ornamental bug garden 001

Peering through the square window of ornamental bug garden 001(obg001) viewers see a population of spring objects attempt to space themselves evenly across the floor. Many are forced onto wires, the arrangement of which encourages their assent until they are either ejected by a falling weight or reach the top where their only option is to jump. On their decent they collide with flowers and bubbles before ending back on the floor, causing all their comrades to shuffle around From this point the cycle begins again.

detail of ornamental bug garden

Behind a glass slab hanging on the wall, an ecological system works as a living kinetic painting. Below branches, generated with Lindenmayer algorithms, is a delicate ecosystem where tiny shapes jump around and onto each other, spores explode, and bubbles float like pollen.

"Even if you understand nothing about the Ornamental Bug Garden piece (and I'm not sure I understand the work at 100%), its sheer beauty is such that you'd want to take the installation and install it in your bedroom to gaze at it during hours."
Régine Debatty

ornamental bug garden 001

Although OBG001 uses modelling techniques similar to those used by scientists, instead of aiming to understand something existing, we hope to build something new of intrigue and beauty. OBG001 is a biosphere; a close system like the earth taking only energy as its input other than that nothing enters or leaves

via > via

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The New School of Wedding Photography

Pamela Duffy

Wedding photography isn´t exactly the most respected area of photography. In fact it is to photography what G.W.Bush is to presidents of the United States. Often seen as ridiculous, not to be taken serious. Admittedly even placeboKatz has never put any effort into presenting this lost art. Thanks to pdn there´s a collection of photographs online that counters any prejudice about this unloved genre.
The 2006 top knots: The New School of Wedding Photography

Suzy Clement

Aisha Harley

Scott Streble

Mark Hillis

Thomas Hart Shelby

Michael Crouser

Marla Aufmuth

Pat Mazzera


via via

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tagging • Interactive Paintings

Aram Bartholl, previously featured with his public installation SPEED and the "do it yourself set" First Person Shooter, created three interactive paintings "Static", "Dynamic" and "Centric". Each image shows an individual black and white pattern, handpainted with Edding on PVC foam board, which can be decoded by using a standard camera phone.

Each image shows an individual black and white pattern which has been painted manually with an edding 850. These patterns have been created by a special software on a computer. It is possible for any visitor to decode each "Semacode" by using a standard camera phone. Similar to the generic Barcodes the technology of Semacode makes it posssible to encode a specific amount of data within the pixel pattern. This string of data can be decoded from an image taken by the camera phone afterwards. The technology of Semacode is used in serveral industries for improved logistics. For the users it serves as a tool to get simple access to websites on a mobile phone. Equiped with the software the user navigates to websites by just taking a photo of a semacode which has the specific webadress encoded.

Tagging (Static - Dynamic - Centric)
Interactive Paintings 2007, Edding 850 on PVC Foam Board 150x150 cm 3 times

The three interactive paintings "Static", "Dynamic" and "Centric"are a commissioned work by the Institut for Electronic Business IEB.

A citation of Joseph Weizenbaum is encoded in the first image named "Static".
"Knowledge does NOT become unnecessary by the Internet!"

more works by Aram Bartholi

Monday, January 22, 2007

Directors Lounge 2007 • A Cinematic Cosmos

click pic for full view

Our new venue for Directors Lounge 2007, the formerly Cafe Kosmos. On the left the red enlighted Kosmos, once known as the famous Filmtheater Kosmos. Build in 1961, it was the state-of-the-art Cinema of the GDR with 1001 seats. A cinematic flagship near the landmarks of the monumental socialist boulevard Karl Marx Allee the two domed towers on Frankfurter Tor. It isn´t without a subtle irony that the old lounge of the cinema Kosmos, now turned into a multipurpose hall and discotheque, becomes the place to serve the finest cinematic tidbits.

And the winner is:

updated post from january 15th

Andreas Gogol and Telemach Wiesinger receive the
20th Stuttgarter Filmwinter/Festival for Expanded Media
for their film performance Landed Takes & Sound Times

congrats, well deserved

LANDED TAKES & SOUND TIMES, a live performance by Telemach Wiesinger (Film) & Andreas Gogol (Sound) has been shown in two, completely different, representations during Directors Lounge 2006 and later as part of our row of summer evenings. A new incarnation of LANDED TAKES & SOUND TIMES can be experienced these days at the Stuttgarter Filmwinter/Festival for Expanded Media (thurs 18th, 8pm and fri 19th 12 am), in Freiburg on friday 19th, 8:30pm at the E-Werk and later at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Telemach Wiesinger´s film sequences in LANDED TAKES run for 3 minutes each, and are recorded on travel with a static 16mm camera. Updated continuously, these location studies are combined in a fresh way for each projection space.
Andreas Gogol´s SOUND TIMES are LIVE improvisations which amplify the viusual space with sound collages and experiements thereby complementing the selected film passages.

The Expanded Cinema Performance LANDED TAKES & SOUND TIMES is a unique interplay between sound and image. Expanded Cinema stands for an experience which leaves the classic projection room to invent new forms of perception in new cinematographic worlds.
For this experience, both artists co-create an entirely new performance which is highly influenced by the location and the audience.

Andreas Gogol will present a special screening of personal works, together with Florian Krautkraemer, during Directors Lounge 2007

You can see excerpts from LANDED TAKES & SOUND TIMES as presented on
Directors Lounge 2006 thurs 16th february by clicking

Andreas Gogol, D, Sound
Telemach Wiesinger D, Film
Landed Takes & Sound Times 12 min, 16mm , 2006

excerpts from the live performance at Directors Lounge 2006
thurs 16th february
edit/camera: D. Butsch

can´t see the video? click here

Stuttgarter Filmwinter/Festival for Expanded Media thurs 18th, 8pm and fri 19th 12 am
E-Werk Freiburg, fri 19th, 8:30pm
International Film Festival Rotterdam filmprogram: STILL 16

LANDED TAKES & SOUND TIMES on placeboKatz: here and here

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dreaming the Industrial Body

Fritz Kahn's Modernist Physiology

This manipulated photo shows the effects of sunlight on the health of the body.
click pics for high rez

In the early 20th century, Fritz Kahn produced a succession of books on the inner workings of the human body, using visual metaphors drawn from industrial society—assembly lines, internal combustion engines, refineries, dynamos, telephones, etc. The body, in Kahn’s work, was "modern" and productive, a theme visually emphasized through modernist artwork. Though his books sold well, his Jewishness, and public advocacy of progressive reform, made him a target for Nazi attacks. Rescued by American agent Varian Fry, along with other prominent Jewish scientists and intellectuals, he was brought to America in 1940.

Kahn’s modernist visualization of the digestive and respiratory system as "industrial palace," really a chemical plant, was conceived in a period when the German chemical industry was the world’s most advanced.

The nervous system here is visually compared to an electronic signaling system; the brain is an office where messages are sorted.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Slow Space

by Klaus W. Eisenlohr

At first glimpse there is almost no public space in the city. Space, architectural space is always private and has limited access. The filmaker has to learn this as soon as he takes out a professional looking camera. On the other hand, every private space is a public space to a certain extent. The filmmaker, therefore has to find his role that will open the social or architectural space he wants to photograph in. It's here where the game starts.

Slow Space
a film and art project by fellow curator at the Directors Lounge, Klaus W. Eisenlohr, will be shown at the Bauhaus Kolleg -open space- in Dessau, monday 22th, 7 pm

Slow Space takes the viewer on a visual trip through places of glass architecture in Chicago. Filmed entirely within the urban constructed environment that makes up this contemporary North American city, Slow Space is a visually arresting investigation into how space is described, defined and ultimately experienced. Berlin filmmaker Klaus W. Eisenlohr commutes this relationship with the outside ‘world’ via an array of constructed transparencies in the glass domes and atriums that formed so much of architecture’s modernist preoccupation for a constructed inside/outside dialectic. Descriptions and ultimately opinions on the status of public space in Chicago form part of the film’s identity via a series of interviews conducted from the participant’s private domains. Street scenes with performers complement this film essay. With his project in Chicago, the artist Klaus W. Eisenlohr has investigated the relationship between the body and the urban architectural environment over the time period of three years.

Filmed entirely within the urban constructed environment that makes up the contemporary North American city of Chicago, Slow Space is a visually arresting investigation into how space is described, defined and ultimately experienced. Berlin filmmaker Klaus W. Eisenlohr commutes this relationship with the outside 'world' via an array of constructed transparencies in the glass domes and atriums that formed so much of architecture's modernist preoccupation for a constructed inside/outside dialectic. Descriptions and ultimately opinions on the status of public space in Chicago form part of the film's identity via a series of interviews conducted from the participant's private domains. Looking out and sealed behind the glass of their window panes a number of Chicagoans talk about their own experiences on the private/public borders of contemporary urbanity.
Slow Space is a film of many photographs if one considers it's over 3000 edits. Each frame in this 67 minute film it seems has been invested with a quality of aesthetic authorship normally attributed to the production of single images. Employing a staggering depth of compositional artistry Klaus W. Eisenlohr has enabled a joint optic relationship to come into view between maker and film spectator returning the film experience to an almost first time phenomenological encounter. I am, after seeing the film, reminded of my capacity to see, absorb and recognize spaces as images and spaces imagined simultaneously, i.e. to be totally stimulated with my senses activated to the fields of vision being presented. Seeing this film, it becomes apparent how visually stimulating the film experience can be.
Ben Anderson

related: Slow Space and Slow Space at TIE

Bauhaus Kolleg
-open space-
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Gropiusallee 38
06846 Dessau

monday 22th, 7 pm

all welcome!

the 5 things

I said it before and I´ll say it again:
Dangers are everywhere.
And as to prove this universal law I have been tagged by a lovely lady.

The rules: I have to blog about 5 things that people wouldn't necessarily know about me, and then in turn tag 5 other people.

Below this posts you will find 5 things you never wanted to know about placeboKatz.
In a desperate attempt to hold up my good reputation the 5 things are hidden behind the expand tag.
No need to open placebo´s box.

And these are the lucky five who can consider themselves tagged.

Paul "eyeteeth" Schmelzer
The conscientious Joerg
Mariana Gatochy
Dan "The Man"
The enchanting Queen Of Pure Chance


the 5 things meme part 1

On a sunny day in may 06 I stumbled across an interview with the famous and bedazzling Mrs. XXX at XXX. In that interview she confessed to be, next to her acclaimed work as an art journalist, a kinky, filthy sex blogerette as well. I was shocked and amazed at the same time and decided to start a little experiment. A blog race against myself, placeboKatz versus a spiced up sexy version. The next day I set up a new blog, similiar layout, same posting frequency, art related as well, just a little bit more frivolous, less text more sinful flesh and forbidden fruits.

The rest is history: Within a very short time my luscious sister in kink attracted about ten times more visitors than your humble Katz.

Does this mean you can expect more nekkid beings in this blog?
Sorry folks to bust your bubbles, but higher beings are still a moral institution.

names have been withheld to protect the innocent.

and drugs

The 5 things meme part 2

the drug I like most among all natural stimulants is

Herbes (no, that´s nothing you smoke) sometimes called „Hierbas de Mallorca“

Herbes és una beguda alcohòlica anisada típica de Mallorca, Eivissa i Formentera, obtinguda per la maceració i/o la destil·lació hidroalcohòlica de plantes aromàtiques de l’illa. Se’n distingeixen tres tipus: de dolces, de mesclades i de seques.

I understand this language just as little but you may get the essential, so to say
Hierbas, an aniseed drink, is made from soaking and distilling of aromatic plants from the island. You will find sweet, mixed and dry hierbas.

and rock´n roll

the 5 things meme part 3

little is known about my time

as a DJ.
For more than a decade I was a regular behind the turntables.
In a bizarre twist, I, a Katz from head to toe, was dubbed Boy Dog by the Godfather of P Funk himself, Mr. George Clinton.

Georg Clinton calling a Katz a dog

once a vinyl junkie, alWays a vinyl junkie

and ducks

the 5 things meme part 4

yes, ducks quak quak

For a certain period of my life I was a dedicated collector of ducks, all kinds of ducks. Even so I abjured this noble addiction there are still ducks hiding in every corner of my place.

and jumping TV sets

the 5 things meme part 5

on the 12th of june, back in 1993 I was among the choosen few to witness
the first ever recorded jump of a TV set through a burning wheel.

See this major event in media history exclusively on placeboKatz

TV set trained by the enchanting tamer of television, Mrs. Cosima Reif

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Olivier Grossetete • bateau ivre

Un bateau ivre I 2001

Some see Olivier Grossetête as a « joyful prankster», those for example who witnessed his installation at the Valence Tax Office composed of enormous plastic bags stuffed with over 6000 handwritten notes on which could be read: C'est du travail (It´s work). Still others see him as a harsh crank who gets off making collages from parking tickets on cellulose as in Vole libre, and transforming elements of the real into a grating fiction. Decidedly, Olivier Grossetête masters the art "of confonting the law in a falsely naive poetic manner".Finally, there are those who see in him a young talented filmmaker, of somber, poetic images that are just a tad outdated. The compliment would certainly make him blush: there´s a bit of Tati in his Bateau ivre I, a monumental sculpture of a paper boat (like those which graced the floors of our schools) shown as a 16 minute video-fiction to the great enjoyment of the spectateurs.

To see an excerpt of Bateau ivre I ..

Un bateau ivre I 2001
Film 16 mm et vidéo, 16'35"

In this story of childhood fragrance, nothing interests him more than to invert the scale relationship between the paper, the landscape, and man. Nothing grabs his attention more than all these little accumulations of accidents, these series of anodine incidents, as if what mattered to him was to immortalize on film the somersaults of the real when fiction intrudes. And he has a whale of a time doing so, reappropriating various cinematographic references borrowed from The Night of the Hunter, Aguirre or the Wrath of God, Delivrance or African Queen. In short, Olivier Grossetête has decided to help the dream spawn where it is least expected, leaving a constellation of stories in its wake. source

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ira Schneider • In and Out of Context

tonight: Rote Loge 10pm

Ira Schneider was born in 1939 in Manhattan into a family who, in 1947, were the first on their street to own a television. The 8-year-old’s fate is sealed, and several decades and 250,000 hours of television viewing later he stops counting. Obsessed with media technology and imagery, Ira Schneider becomes a “televisor”, filmmaker, visionary video artist and proponent, co-founder and publisher of the journal Radical Software – the most important voice of the US video community in the 1970s – and co-author of the first standard work on the then new media: Video Art. An Anthology. In 2005 we presented a collection of early works by Ira as part of the first Directors Lounge.
Tonight is the chance to see not only "In and Out of Context" from 2005 in attendance of Ira Schneider but also two additional tidbits unseen before

In and Out of Context
Schneider writes: "It is a non-narrative information collage of people, places & music. It includes brief clips of Jonas Mekas' Anthology Film Archives 35th Anniversary & sequences in Copenhagen, NYC, Nice. It alludes to art, music. It includes some Berlin nightlife, Fluxus Performance and a look at Andy Warhol's favourite club of the 60's - Max's Kansas City."

Afterwards you have the chance to see two documentaries of rock concerts back from 1967/8, one of them in world premiere.

A must, if you´re in town

Rote Loge Simon-Dachstrasse 22, (next to Revalerstrasse)
tonight (wed 17th) 10pm

Escaping the lens

The rules are simple: I put the self-timer on 2 seconds, push the button and try to get as far from the camera as I can. muggezifter

for more escapees

Running from Camera via trendbeheer