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Journal Entry

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


So that art project that Ethan Ham and I did has shipped!

It's the first in a series of art objects produced by The Present Group, which says it's "like a mutual-fund that produces art instead of profits".

Ethan created a robot that trolled Flickr looking for his face. In the process, it found a number of "faces" that we wouldn't call faces. I wrote a series of interconnected stories based on those images.

So, stories about faces that only a robot can see.

There's a signed, limited edition of eighty handmade book-boxy things that subscribers to The Present Group got (you can still get one as a back issue). I signed 'em. With this special archival pen. It was a weird feeling, since I'm used to art that you make as many as you can of, not art that you constrain to a specific number of instances.

You can see what the book looks like here. (Keep clicking on it and it will unfold itself).

And the text of the stories I wrote is online here. (You have to click the little >> at the upper right to go to the next page).

The little green box with a line in it on each picture, shows where the robot found a face.

They also recorded me reading the stories, interviewed me and Ethan, comissioned a critical essay on the work, collected links to related works of art, and made sure the physical object will last for a century.

The audio and the text are CC'd, so you can redistribute them freely (and remix the audio), noncommercially and with attribution.

These people go all out.

Posted by benrosen at April 4, 2007 10:56 AM | Up to blog

Hi there.

I write a monthly department for In These Times magazine that focuses on unique art. I'd love to cover this project for our June issue. The article would be about 200 words, plus a picture. Please respond as soon as possible if you're interested. I can be reached via email at erin@inthesetimes.com.


Erin Polgreen
Associate Publisher | Marketing, Advertising and Outreach

In These Times

Posted by: Erin Polgreen at April 4, 2007 06:03 PM

wow...wow...WOW...what an amazing piece. I love the photos, the text, the boxy book. The whole thing is amazing and wonderful.

Have you ever heard of Negativland? This reminds me a lot of a project they did a few years ago titled "Deathsentences of the Polished & Structurally Weak".

Posted by: Melanie at April 4, 2007 07:23 PM

Erin, great! See my reply in mail.

Melanie, I have heard of Negativland -- I vaguely remember listening to their music years ago, and wasn't there a famous case of them sampling a U2 album -- but I don't know that project. What was similar about it?

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at April 4, 2007 08:36 PM

Holy crap.

Posted by: Haddayr at April 5, 2007 04:06 PM
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