Tag Archives: art

Toyo Project 3 (KL presentation)

I am doing a presentation in Kuala Lumpur about Toyo's work. The location is Tandang Records/The Zhongshan Building at Kampung Attap.

This link explains my relationship to Toyo.

This link goes to a series of posts about a photographic collaboration with Mee-Young Arkim. The posts outline some of my ideas on the art of photography.

The Japanese photographer in Bali Wave Ghost..

FA-Q was an artist with impact and a friend of Toyo's.

The Guardian on "the art-punk firestorm".

Rivington School: 80s Underground, book launch at Printed Matter

Special thanks to OUR ArtProjects and CC!

Toyo Project 2

Toyo Project 1 is here

Again, I am in Kuala Lumpur, it is 2107 and Toyo is messing with my mind.

Seeing the picture in the first post was a shock. That night: Walking around the Lower East Side with some people on a lot of broken glass and we went to a bar first and the streets were all bodegas and Korean florists and guys selling drugs or dime bags and everything was fun, burnt out and/or threatening when we walked in the music was on and we were overlooking things and there were pipes and sculptures all over.

I took this photo of Toyo that night. Or so Toyo tells me.

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Hi Steve, sorry I couldn't serect any of Photos yet,? I have some question to ask, do you have an idea of Title of this book project? And where is Forcusing of my photo work? Like which period?like 80s Ny or NoSeNo 99 night event? You are thinking combining your NoSeNo Video, means you are more detail of your project , let me know wher to forcus my photos?!

WED 12:26PM

Hi Toyo...

Photo book.. no title yet...

Subject is simply ten photos. Up to you, but I hope I can decide 2 or 3. The point is to put together something that is interesting and full of information and stories. SO it could be anything... but maybe it is good to have only a few from No Se No, because that is so famous already.. As for teh video... I am not sure how it will work yet... I am thinking that my black and white videos will be the heart of the project. And some things, like No Se No, you also have... But the final result cannot be predicted right now. I am just wondering if you are interested or not. If you don't want, to.. I understand... If you are interested...for now that is good enought. I can include you as a possibility in my proposal. Then when I start to see my footage, I can better understand what can be made. For example, I videoed you talking... that must be interesting. Is all of it interesting? Is the tape damaged? Maybe you talk about something and you have a photo of it.. I remember you were speaking in Japanese... but you said "Don't carry mugger money" Maybe you have a photoof that. Maybe I have a photo or video of that... Konokanji... these kinds of questions... I am sorry I am not clearer...but I hope it will be an interesting experience and video.

Book again... if you have a theme or topic or title, I am happy to use it.

Steve Thankyou your reply, I'll talk to you later I gat go dentist appo again. Ok?

Ha ha ha... Japanese joke. I hope the dentist is Ok for you...

WED 4:44PM

THU 3:51PM

Hey Steve, yeah I get something from your comment, about forces! You are not forcing me and my photo so as you are not forucing you and your video,you are interested to make interesting book!? Combination of my photos with your video work and with some writing (story). I'm interested your Idea Steve! You are good writer that you showed me in Facebook. You have something in your head! Like christa G and Stelarc. .. Etc . That we can talk about or tell story about ?! I don't know now we should think and talk more ok ? I'll send you something later

THU 9:52PM

Toyo.. Please do not worry about the story.. The starting point is the photo. It can be a not famous person or a landscape or teh snow on cars. Anything! A tree a show a performance, teh sculpture garden The question is What is in your heart that you want to share?

8:50PM

Toyo... what do you think? Maybe we do one photo a week, or one photo a month? It is important for me to create a blog post that introduces the 10 photos...

Steve I'm sorry not moving our project well, I'll try to serect few tommrow to send you . All period of photos are from my heart.anyway imgoing to start early Ny snap shot, ok? I send you one special for you!

Toyo... No problem at all!

Now we have a start! I know every image is from your heart! I will show you the blog post in a day or two.Then if you think is OK, I will share with people slowly... Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. T H A N K Y O U

(TOYO SENT THE PHOTO THAT IS IN TOYO POST 1) Toyo... who is that singing?

Alright you see image ijust send? You are with microphone got it!

?????!!! Is that 8BC? Where?

Is that an image you want to use in the book maybe? I don't remember that event right now...

haha if you want we can! That was Jhon Sanders( sculptor) Party scene 1983 or 84. Many NoSeNo performers are there, the Brond lady is Shrin Take (Electra in a Bill's play Sharon Take next block from NoSeNo on Rivington st Basement studio

A SAturday night... Many pipes in teh ceiling.. a basement I was there only one time!

Idont know What Day night?! But you found your memory!yes? I too only went once Jhon was friend of Ray. Ok I send you one more image you took tho photo from my camera? I think,are you ready?

(TOYO SENT THIS PHOTO ) John , and me and other Brond girl!

wow

wow

wow

Chat Conversation End

Toyo Project 1

ANYONE CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THIS PROJECT. But yeah, you probably had to be there: LES in the 80s.

I have videos of No Se No performances and Toyo talking about life in the Lower East Side. (Thank you, Cowboy) If anyone has ideas on how to transfer Beta (Beta, not Betacam) tapes into today's technology, please get in touch. Thank you.

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I started this to bring attention to Toyo's photographic work and to see what would happen. Yes, I can write, but maybe I don't need to write anything. There is already one book about the Rivington School. Probably other people have more interesting things to say. Toyo's own memories and stories are treasures. I entered into this thinking that if I did write, I'd write about Toyo's images in a very impersonal manner, to counterbalance his intimacy. Topics like dates and short biographies, how Toyo constructs images, the challenges of film. Then, out of the blue... He sent some picture of me.

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OK... Let's get something out of the way. This series of blog posts is not about me. The first three introduce Toyo and myself, but after that... who knows? I graduated from RIT with a BFA in Photographic Illustration, with a minor in Film and Video. I graduated early, in March 1983. I was having a party and I told a teacher about it. He said where you going? I said New York City. He said what are you going to do and I said I don't know. He showed me a fax. Call them. If you work there, you get access to equipment. That's what it's all about. That was on a Friday. They wanted me to come in on Monday. I arrived in Brooklyn, sat by the river with my good friend Pat and wondered about the Manhattan skyline. We were waiting for another good friend, Ben to show up. We were going to stay at his loft.

The next morning Ben's girlfriend took us on the subway to Rivington Street. It was cold but there was a street market in the park we had to cut across. I imagined fruits and vegetables, maybe cooked chicken or something. We got closer, we were in the middle of it. The ground was completely blue, covered with empty syringe wrappers. Heroin. My interview was just on the other side. We walked through, I went up the stairs, started work the next day. That place was called Young Filmakers/Video Arts. The address was 4 Rivington. Later I moved right around the corner, onto the Bowery.

No Se No was at 32 Rivington Street. I left for a two week stay in Japan in October, 1984. The energy of what I experienced--and so much more, bursts out of every image Toyo has created. I am writing this from Kuala Lumpur, on July 18, 2017. I am seeing some of these pictures of myself... for the first time.

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Toyo Project 2 is here.

Cone: Engadget Experience public document

Hello Engadget and Esteemed Judges,

My name is Stephen Black and I am an artist, writer and producer. Cone is a three part project: a VR experience, an AR film experiment and a book. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

OnwARd,

Stephen Black

Engadget Experience Cone by Stephen Black PDF

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Stephen Black's Cone is a 3 part project proposed for the 2017 Engadget Experience

Engadget Experience STEPHEN BLACK CONE (VR +AR +ebook)

Stephen Black’s Cone is a conceptual, experiential, multidisciplinary artwork: VR, AR, gaming, audio and text. Cone is conscious—and ignorant-- of fine art, dance, music, sound, design, animation, performance art, branding, storytelling, and installation. Cone has three parts: a short VR film experience, an AR experiment with Vance and a book documenting the creation and ideas associated with these two projects. Cone aims to help bridge the gap between artists and technologists.

Stephen Black is an artist, producer and writer. He was creative director of the Monja Kids Creative Development Kit, a 3D gamemaking kit which was successfully launched in Singapore.

Beach Road, Black’s 360 short film co-production with Hiverlab, was featured at film festivals in Brisbane, Singapore and Las Vegas. He curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh. His text was a significant part of Michael Lee’s Office Orchitect installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

Virtual gallery curators at the opening of their exhibition

Glasses in hand, the avatars of Stephen Black and Eugene Soh welcome visitors

Floating balloon dog

Eugene Soh's tribute to Jeff Koons' balloon dog floats over the SPOKEN landscape

VR graphics for game engine project

One of several designs by Roy Chan.

Black has worked for Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox and Fuji TV. He is also the author of several books, including i ate tiong bahru , which is a national bestseller in Singapore. He collaborated text and concepts to Office Orchitect, Michael Lee’s installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

CONE 360 short film will combine butoh, performance art with 360-specific visual and audio techniques.

Ohno spirits

CONE AR will feature Vance, an animated character, and challenges the limits of AR filmmaking/storytelling.

Vance

Secret Donut World by David Severn w/ Stephen Black

CONEMA MANIFESTO (koh-ne-ma, three syllables as in cinema) An ebook combining existing interviews and essays by SB, with documentation of CONE and examples of short stories which lend themselves to 360 cinema.To be given away free during Engadget Experience.

Emgadget Experience documentation

Cover for ebook of Stephen Black's proposed Cone project for the Engadget Experience

Technologies and Products

Google Tango, depth perception visual/shape recognition algorithms, alternatives to image markers or GPS, Matterport, Unity, Vuforia, Android, Samsung, Ossic Sound, technologies that can scan bodies, technologies that link sound files, lipsynch and AI

Total Budget for VR short film experience, AR experience and ebook production, transportation and expenses: $100,000. Item by item breakdown available upon request.

Current topics of research:

http://www.blacksteps.tv/360-videography-what-would-matisse-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-potential-of-vr-as-a-collage-medium/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/virtual-reality-for-artists-workshopmichael-naimarkobjectifs/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/with-bubiko-foodtour-at-the-i-love-penang-festival-in-kl/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/haptics-giving-vr-the-finger-1-of-a-series/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/four-examples-of-a-blog-post-display-on-mobile-instant-article/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/red-dot-sad-stories-art-digitalia-2002-2017/

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

http://www.blacksteps.tv/self-portrait-as-a-game/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-goes-cameramondo/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

Music/audio/performance: 3how

screenshot of video interview on youtube

Stephen Black discusses his books, including Bali Wave Ghost, Obama Search Words and i ate tiong bahru.Reality TV and VR are also briefly discussed. Video by Aquiles Ascension

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Cone. Engadget Experience. Los Angeles 2017

Haptics: Giving VR the Finger (2 of a series)

(The first of my posts on haptics is here. Some posts in this series are technical, some are interviews, some are essays; all are handy and some are touching.)

To truly understand haptics, one must be aware of those glorious, sensitive tools that are always at arm’s length.

Hand performance

from the Mare Vaporum project

"The human hand is an engineering marvel. There is no more impressive example of functional anatomy. It can grab and release, caress and defend. Learn karate, and you can break bricks with it. It’s a mechanism of precision and flexibility. A maestro can play the piano and the violin with the same hand. It’s a way of seeing. Close your eyes, and you can identify almost anything you touch. It’s an organ of sensuality—the fingers have more nerve endings than almost any other part of the body—and an organ of expression and communication. Not for nothing has Dr. Kodi Azari made the hand—its function, its reconstruction, and its transplantation—his life’s work."

hand transplant

hand, transplanted: photo by Michael Lewis for Los Angeles Magazine

“I’m not a religious person, but if there’s any evidence of divine intervention, it has to be the human hand,” he says. “It’s perfect.”

-Amy Wallace writing for Los Angeles Magazine, March 20, 2017. Her article is highly recommended, for anyone. It continues...

Azari, who is 48, is the surgical director of the Hand Transplant Program at UCLA, where he’s worked since 2008. The field is still in its relative infancy. The first hand transplant to achieve prolonged success was performed 18 years ago in Louisville; by 2015, fewer than 85 procedures had been undertaken worldwide. But Azari is at the forefront. He’s traveled the country as one of the lead surgeons in five hand transplants conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and at Johns Hopkins University, including the first double-hand transplant and the first arm transplant performed in the United States. Then, in 2011, he and a team of 16 others did the first hand transplant west of the Rockies, at UCLA. The recipient was Emily Fennell, a 26-year-old single mom who’d lost her right hand in a traffic accident."

The complete article: http://www.lamag.com/longform/the-hollywood-exec-and-the-hand-transplant-that-changed-his-life/ The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life In just 30 hours, a superfit reality TV producer went from the top of his game to the precipice of death. What happened next would teach him everything about grace, resolve, and the power of love.

Jersey Finger

Gloves in space: this article, from 2009, details some of NASA’s requirements for hand coverings. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18166-nasa-seeks-its-one-true-glove/

hand performance

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

TALK TO THE HAND

Mare Vaporum: Open Source Video Material/Artwork

tribute to Alfred Steiglitz

Artists, musicians, filmmakers, poets, theatre people, CG artists, GIF artist, data scientists, ANYONE...Feel free to use this video for any noncommercial project you like. Let me know how you use it and I will promote your project. Commercial projects: I am sure we can work something out.

SOME POSSIBILITIES: - visuals for ambient, flute, or piano soundtrack/music video - elements for any kind of music video - cutaways or structural elements for a film - theatre backdrops/projections - mashups with other videos - video reformatted into other GIFs (FWIW the file size below is 5.42 megs) - stills accompanying texts, like short stories or poems

Mare Vaporum

    WHAT: Shot on an iPhone near Kuala Lumpur. There was no goal, other than to capture the moment.

    WHO:

    Stephen Black

    NOTES

    I am interested in, and have been writing about, hands and haptics. Also, I am now rewriting a collection of stories and essays called Touching JB, in which tactile sensations figure prominently. And then there are my startup plans...

    gif.com screencaptures

    GIF possibilities created and suggested by gifs.com algorithms gif.com

    The GIF below was created by the algorithms at gifs.com. It was extremely simple. Thanks to this article on Gtricks. I learned how to upload on gifs.com .
    Gif artwork

    Gif artwork

    This project is a collaboration with the software and algorithms of gifs.com About the fingernails... they were real. I will write about this later, but they were a personal art project.

Haptics: Giving VR the Finger (1 of a series )

Rethink the body for a moment. The skin; the largest organ. The wondrous organs and processes within this sack of flesh, especially the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. With everything working together, we can do things like jump, speak and button our clothes.

Zooming in on the act of buttoning a shirt, we see a number of interactions. The brain controls muscles related to the eyes, arms and hands. Information about texture and positioning is exchanged between brain and fingers. Muscles and tendons make movements, some obvious, some extremely subtle. Fingertips maneuver the object. Voila! The shirt is buttoned. All parts of the buttoning operation are important. However, from the viewpoint of haptics, the three nerves connected to the fingers deserve a closer look.

The median nerve controls the thumb and wrist. It also gives feeling to the skin around the palm, thumb, middle and index fingers. It runs down the inside of the arm, crosses the front of the elbow and passes through the wrist bones and connective tissue of the carpal tunnel. Compressing the median nerve over a long period can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Another nerve, the ulnar nerve, is connected to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers. It passes behind the elbow. When someone says, “I hit my funny bone”, the correct reply is,”what you are actually saying is that you’ve unexpectedly stimulated your ulnar nerve, resulting in that unusual, wacky tingling sensation”.

Spock rockin' that ulnar nerve/ flexor digitalis superficialis action.

Finally, the radial nerve, which straightens the wrist, thumb and fingers. It gives feeling to the skin on the back of the hand, as well as the index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Considered by many to be the second most important nerve in the body, the radial nerve is also responsible for bending the elbow.

My interest in haptics is not yet linked to any projects, commercial or artistic. This series of haptics-related blog posts is open-ended, but, the following topics seem likely to follow, in this order: nerve endings, sensors, and haptic-related products. I am especially interested in the intersection of haptics and music. I hope to also again speak with Stelarc about his possible haptics-related projects. I was fortunate to document some of his third hand projects, as well as chat with his prosthetic head. FWIW, I have only knowingly photobombed once:

Stelarc third ear

Stephen Black's first and only photobomb.Stelarc, Uerich Lau, Steve Dixon and ? LASALLE College of the Arts

Black and white photo courtesy of Toyo Tsuchiya, from his No Se No documentation project.

Part two of this series is here.

Foreign Search Engine

F: The laboratory Qvinde will be hardcover, which is necessary to hold the richness of the cognitive content to present to our referee. One requirement is total submergence.

Who stole the veil?

J: This is the only question I can believe in right now.

D: I want to emphasize this is NOT a floor about China. Dorya is in Academy Award winner Oscar Wilde, cyberspace, Belgium, the hereafter, outer space and streams.

We have danced a tango.

Dorya Glenn seen from outside

image by Filip Naudts

now

>now, now

red dot SAD (Stories, Art, Digitalia 2002-2017)

red dot SAD is a collection of stories, essays and images created during Stephen Black's fifteen years in Southeast Asia, mainly in Singapore. An American who has also lived in Tokyo, Manhattan, Hong Kong and Paris, the book documents a creative life that knows no boundaries.

Topics include virtual reality, performance art, network television, food, music, photography, and art projects of all kinds. Physical locations range from an abandoned "haunted" hotel to facilities stacked with IT machinery, from wet markets and beaches to construction sites, the Singapore Biennale, and government built housing complexes. For those interested in Singapore and anyone who enjoys visual arts and well-researched, dynamic writing.

red dot SAD is also an experiment. Presently the book is about 150 pages. Eventually the book will be printed on paper. Those who buy the earlier editions of the ebook receive the updated versions free of charge. For more information on how red dot SAD is re-inventing Amazon and crowdfunding, click here.

To see the current list of topics, click here.

red dot SAD on Amazon

Reviews of i ate tiong bahru, Black's bestselling book are here.

Interviews with Stephen Black and descriptions of his other books are here.

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

Hummingbird vs. Helicopter

The following is inspired by a piece by Gerald Leow on display as part of his solo exhibition at Chan+Hampe Contemporary until June 25.

On a material level, Manifold is simple: a dynamic, radiating metal sculpture made of copies of the same jagged line. These lines are like flattened appendages of a predatory insect, or sentences written in a spiky font. The pieces are colored asymmetrically; seven tones shifting between purple and orange. Manifold is bold, yet delicate-- an opening and a threat. Leow has been quoted as saying that he wanted to create works which are poetically violent. He has succeeded. Manifold is a beautiful but deadly tropical flower, 76 x 76 x 17cm.

The “edginess” of the sculpture is literal; the aggressive shapes on the edges of the lines form negative spaces which complete the piece. These edges are appropriated from the font and logo used by Judas Priest, a heavy metal band. Leow, who studied sociology, has a body of work based on the logo and the conceptual possibilities of heavy metal subculture. With Manifold, however, the link to heavy metal is not obvious, thankfully. Appropriation can be a one-trick pony; what is insightful and magical initially can later become an unrewarding burden for both artist and audience.

The exhibition’s title adds another dimension. I am Time Grown Old to Destroy the World refers to a comment Robert Oppenheimer made in 1945, when he witnessed the detonation of his brainchild, the first atomic bomb. The phrase is from the Mahabharata, specifically the Bhagavad Gita. A passage of 700 verses, the Gita documents the exchange between Prince Arujuna and Lord Krishna as they discuss war, duty and moral confusion.

contemporary sculpture in Singapore

Manifold from Leow's exhibition at Chan+Hori Contemporary Gallery in Singapore

Southeast Asian artwork made of mild steel, automotive paint and western pop culture. It is real.  It has universal significance. Manifold is an artwork worthy of its most serious sources of inspiration: the Mahabharata and the atomic bomb.

…………………………………………30……………………………………

I am elaborating upon this essay, including other projects of Gerald's as well as some of our collaborations and personal experiences. The result will be included in red dot SAD which is updated periodically.