vertexlist blog is an online extension of vertexList gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The content is a collective effort of artists and curators working with vertexList. (

Monday, October 30, 2006

"vertexList: An Attempt at Disclosure" in the Journal of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

My essay about the curatorial concept of vertexList came out in October issue
of the very fancy Journal of National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. The whole issue is devoted to Digital Art and various approaches to its preservation in archiving. Below is a short fragment (in English:) with images:

Doug Henderson installing a sound installation in front of the gallery

"I picked the name vertexList because I found the metaphor to be potent and inclusive, not to mention the word itself sounded good. The curatorial philosophy was to follow my theoretical interests of disclosing the hidden codes running behind everything from on-screen images to American war games and social institution. This way I didn’t feel limited to new media only, although new media naturally became the label. The kind of artwork I was looking for opened up the slick surface of things and showed the underlying principles, algorithms and numbers. The focus immediately became “low end”, material residues of digital cultures and revisiting the early days, when computers where still bulky calculators. The ideas developed organically: I realized that low-end digital was more interesting from artistic point of view, didn’t require tremendous budget for cutting-edge technology and was largely underrepresented in the New York art scene. I lined up the first season worth of shows; mostly artists I knew since my MFA times at the University of Pennsylvania and some local Williamsburg/Brooklyn selections. I opted to follow the example of Pierogi and Momenta and do two projects by separate artists at the same time. There was enough space and the mixing of two “crowds” at the opening turned out to be very beneficial for developing artistic relations and connections.

"Breathing Mickey Mouse", Akiko Sakaizumi (mechanical sculpture, digital print on fabric)

I also decided to have music performances with the openings, which added some unique character and brought large audiences. To continue with the general philosophy of vertexList I begun curating chiptune music performances, Game Boy sonic experiments and various, digitally based sound performances. Since October 2003 vertexList hosted Bitshifter, Brian Dewan, Bubblyfish, Receptors, Covox, David Kristian, Glomag, Huaratron, Jengizkhan, Minusbaby, Nullsleep, Role Model and many more.


Joe Amrhein, "Spurs Take Assault on Women", acrylic on plaster

The magic arrived sooner than one could expect. After the positive review in the New York Times by Holland Cutter, vertexList was on the map, and I had to somehow keep the momentum. Still barely capable of putting together a proper press release, armed with my cell phone and laptop, I took the challenge and tried to make things as interesting as I could. People arrived to check out the new spot in Williamsburg, most with a fresh copy of the Times rolled under their arm and asking what happened to the Four Walls. Yellow envelops from young artists interested in having their NY debut appeared on my desk, which I just recently found on the streets of Brooklyn. Soon after Steven Miyao, the CEO of Kasina, (a smart e-commerce consulting firm in Manhattan), offered his sponsorship: vertexList received a brand new data projector and funding for all printed materials. All I had to do now is show some good work.

"Mus Muluscus Domesticus", Ernesto Restrepo and Maria Lopez (50 female mice, cameras, projectors, prepared doll houses, toys)

VertexList disclosures took very different formats: anything from an acrylic painting to a sensor based Jitter installation. I tried to proove to my audience and to myself that the digital condition is hidden in the way of thinking, communicating and the medium of its deconstruction is really secondary.
Over last 3 years vertexList exhibited solo projects by 32 different artist and collaboratives. The small selection described above is just a sampling of the enormous variety of media, tastes and schools of thought. "

"Explosion", Lee Arnold, acrylic on canvas



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