Posted a video and source code of a new game called Super Monkey Kong which I recently programmed. It runs on an open sourced Arduino based platform called Meggy Jr. in glorious multi-colored LED. The game is essentially a Donkey Kong clone, one of my favorite games and one that has influenced me greatly, and besides there never has been an LED version before so I just had to try. Still have a few tweaks todo on it but for the most part it's complete. You can buy and build the Meggy Jr. electronic handheld kit yourself and then download the game (and other excellent homebrewed games) for free. Or just watch the video.
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, I am happy to present to you some chunks of information about my recent doings, directly from me to you over the Internet, glad you stopped by. Well well, what is new you ask? For starters I recently made a few more generative sound pieces that you may or may not like. Past sound works in this series which began in 2005 and is rather slowly unraveling, involved me surfing into people's web directories, borrowing their sound files and curating them together into randomized browser collages. Now I've decided to find and use someone's entire sound directory, allowing them to be the unwitting curator. Made 3 so far... Trains (my favorite) Drums & Percussion and Star Trek, fairly obvious choices I guess, plenty more to make no doubt.
As per the above image, another recent piece is a cluster of Microcomputers which took some time to complete due in part to the scarcity of 80's vintage blue dollhouse microwaves. Each microcomputer was programmed to loop through a 'processing' pattern - these computational badboys are really crunching the numbers. Couldn't have made this one without the help of an Evil Mad Scientist so thanks!
Been playing around with some 8-bit video programming, which I never tried in the past because I hate assembly language, but found a way to do it in the beloved C language. The first 2 made are TV Colorizer Patternizer and Sine TV. Working with the idea of a simple, reusable, long lasting, componentized art object that can plugged into a variety of display systems, adaptable to new forms and environments which it may encounter over time.
Posted a couple more screen burns and updated a few others with pictures of them 'burnt'. Made an Ad Reinhardt tribute screen burn, one called Test Burn and finally Crash & Burn (whoops I made "sad mac" art). Rather challenging to photograph the subtleties of the screen surfaces, thus grossly overexposed. This series has been critiqued rather negatively by folks... "What are these supposed to be about?" "Too geeky." "Not much to look at." and even "The hardware is not quite vintage enough." Hmmmmm interesting.
Moving on yet backwards, I posted some amateurish travel photography taken in 2007 during a 200 mile backpacking trip through the Nepalese Himalayas. I also have 2500-3000 miles of backpacking experience in the Appalachians, Ozarks, Rockies, and Sierra Nevadas. Though not really a hardcore high-altitude mountaineer, it was indulgent fun to go over a few 17,000 foot mountain passes on this trip, and hiking amongst 8 of the 14 total 8000-meter peaks on planet Earth was life-changing.
Then another page about the miniarcade.com game collection and museum website which I started around 2000. (BTW the Google ads there fund this website) Other ancient projects of mine are soon to be posted here.
Goodbye 2008 Hello 2009 Goodbye.
Hello, added some new art projects to the site. A few screen burns, which is a continuation of a series started in 2005. The screen burns each take 6-12 months or even more, depending upon monitor resilience (the older they are the faster they burn). Uploaded a video of a recent piece shown at Redline called Screen Destinies which contrasts screen burning and saving using a healthy dosage of 1990's Microsoft ghetto-tech. Also trying out some electronics work such as the LEO (light emitting oven) shown above. Lastly, I posted 100 more eBay TV photos.
In keeping with my habit of announcing upcoming shows after they occur, let me now tell you that I had the pleasure of sitting in on the drums last week at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art with b.sous. Wonderful songs, awesome set. Much thanks to the band and the folks at Denver MCA for having us! Apparently I was the first person to ever 'drum' in David Adjaye's new building.
Most people around 'here' didn't know that I could play drums, so I might as well spill the beans. I've been playing since I was 15, am jazz trained (studied with one of Glenn Miller's original drummers) and have played in metal, punk, fusion, indie, etc bands on/off since the 80's. Let me know if you need a drummer to sit in on your latest project, I might be game.
I have some new electronic/video pieces in the inaugural show at Redline Art in Denver. Show opens Friday. You'll have to see this new space to believe it! Lots of great artists here - don't miss it.
I am happy to announce that I was accepted into a brand spanking new artist studio residency program in Denver called Redline. This week I finished moving into a large, beautiful studio, as did about 12 other lucky artists. The residency will last 3 years. Besides the artist studios, the Redline building also has gallery spaces (PS1 of NYC is doing the first show), a library, and educational/community areas. The whole place is gorgeous - one of the most pristine art spaces I have ever worked within, and the artists/persons involved are top-notch folks. Photos to come. I really look forward to being part of this nascent art community. I have no idea whether having a killer studio space will cause me to make more 'offline' type work or not. However as of right now I do have ambitions of using the studio space/time as a 50-50 split between new-media work and painting. (btw... the above screen-painting-video thing I made a few months back is coincidentally a long 'red line')
Upgraded the site engine to Drupal 5.x this month, and updated/redesigned the front-end theme. For the redesign I decided to turn it down a notch. This is the third design for stevenread.com. The previous designs were almost horrible... so to be safe this one pretends that it no longer has a design. I began trying this minimal, off-white, gallery-wall browser style in 2004 with my Photo Noise piece, and more recently was inspired by some artist sites like Damon Zucconi's. Been using Drupal CMS for my website since 2006 when my brother Dan talked me into it. As a software engineer I've been designing/building web content management systems (CMS) for years, even a few from scratch, so I thought finally time to have one for myself! Very safe to say that having/using a CMS tool can greatly affect one's art practice. Moving on... I have ended the 'Conclusivity Blog' which was primarily a net art sketchbook project. I realized that I am not a net artist because I believe successful net artists are good electronic communicators, gregarious even, and these traits usually affect the net art being made. I am a neither of these and don't aspire to be, so I guess I am just a regular artist. For a while I was making net art 'about' bad communication and anti-networking, but it seemed like a weird path for me. Anyhow this new 'Read News' blog will be start out more utilitarian than the last. I also officially downgraded my name back to 'Steve Or Steven Read' which I originally started using in 2004. In 2006 I upgraded this pattern based name to 'Ste(v|ph)en? Re[aei]d' which was regular-expression compliant and allowed for 12 different spellings of my name. That name is officially deprecated, please do not use it. Steve Read, Steven Read, Steve Or Steven Read, and sometimes Steven Fucking Read are the current names which refer to me. All in all it feels great to have some things refreshed at the start of the summer of 2008.
Have a small piece up at The Belmar Laboratory of Art and Ideas in Lakewood Colorado. If you are in the Denver area I would definitely recommend a visit to Belmar, a relatively new art space. Currently there is a wonderful Fang Lijun show in the main space, and there's always the ever popular 'Mixed Taste' lectures on Thursdays, among other things.
This group show is entitled 'Better' and has a unique theme. The general idea was to work with the idea of the creative process, as a result of by which something is thought of as getting better. As described by Belmar, "The project gives visitors and readers access to the process by which finished products are generated and insight into what is considered 'better' in a diverse range of fields. Better also allows creative individuals the opportunity to make their mark on existing materials...". 25 or more local artists contributed pieces, some are remnants of past projects which betray a process or thought, others (like mine) were made especially for the show. The differing types of submissions is a big plus for the show in my opinion. Anyhow I created a paper cut/rip/paste database report starting from a found district attorney mainframe exception printout. The exceptions were handled yet unhandled (sorry, a really really bad software geek pun). Working with 'found data' discovered OFF the internet is one of my latest fetishes. I don't think I actually made anything better though. No photo here yet, so go visit Belmar and see this show which is up all summer!
Has been a few months since a post here. As they say, no news is good news. I have been updating the site with new work, but no news updates because I'm afraid of news. Lately I have been exhibiting in group shows and traveling. I feel now as if I'm just about ready for my next solo show, but no time/place is yet determined. Here is a quick recap for all you news hungry citizens of Earth.
I participated in one of the newer New York art fairs, the Red Dot art fair. Located in a hotel in Gramercy Manhattan, the show actually takes place in hotel rooms. Many art veterans merely rolled their eyes when I first told them about this new art fair. "Yet another art fair?" or "Red Dot ...wow thatâ€™s a horrible name". Yes, these things are probably true, I understand the pessimism, but the fair overall was quite good and we had a blast! I visited many of the fairs that weekend (Scope, Armory, etc) and this one fits right in. Good deals too â€“ a great place to find hot new emerging artists (like me?). Thousands upon thousands of people came into our Rule Gallery room over the weekend. I showed 2 video pieces, and both were UHF broadcasted from the bathroom (right under the toilet) into the room and hallway. Paula Ochoa also showed video pieces, viewable while lying down on the bed. Matthew Larson was there, he showed a real Gideon's Bible and his "Lint Sock" pieces in the dresser drawers. If asked the price of the Bible, the instructed reply given was something like "Well, what is the price of salvation?", which often greatly confused the ambitious art buyer and caused them to carefully place the Bible back in the drawer, leaving the room quickly and silently. I am pleased to report that I think we were the only gallery in the whole fair clever enough to use the bathroom, dressers, beds and such to display art, using the room as an 'installation' of sorts. Laura Fayer, Zing Magazine's Devon Dikeou, Mary Ehrin, and other Denver area artists showed sculptures and paintings on the walls. A great time was had by all, and we even had some cool bigtime art-world visitors that came to party with us.
Another recent show was at Rhinoceropolis in Denver called Draw Rings. A great collection of drawings by local artists such as Travis Egedy, Tiffany Kennedy, Justin Simoni, Terry Campbell, Lela Shields, Abigail Hays, Alicia Ordal, Justin Beard, and Harry Walters. This was an awesome show for sure, the finest drawing show I've seen in Colorado! Props to Travis for curating it. Travis, painter & musician (Picture Plane), worked with me on a piece entitled Drawing Explaint. A nod to Sol LeWitt's instructional pieces (incidentally he died since the show), and also a nod to Matthew Barney's nod to the 1960's process art movement, so anyway I created a rather simple list of drawing instructions, and Travis followed, or should I say 'interpreted' them.
Yet another recent show was called 'Pattern Recognition' at the Foothills Art Center in Golden. Ahhh, you could smell the Coors beer brewing nearby. Curated by Michael Chavez, this was a survey of Colorado artists experimenting with pattern. There was some critical brouhaha about how the show ended up being about the 'lack of pattern'. Perhaps this makes sense as it was about pattern recognition (not patterns per se). Pattern can only emerge from non-pattern. I think Michael made a great show, especially apropos in light of Colorado's strong history of pattern-based art (Criss Cross Magazine for instance). I showed a large painting on canvas, Datavis 1, which was situated opposite a new 45 minute projected video of mine called Stuff (or 1000 manipulative electronic deceptions). This title was randomly generated via dictionary algorithms, as were other elements of the video. I think this was the first ever video shown at the Foothills Art Center! Bruce Price, Emilio Lobato, Brian Bottenger, Lori Lynxe Murphy, Matthew Larson, Tshei Johnson were all rockin' the house too.
Then I went to Nepal for a couple months and backpacked 300 miles in the Himalayan Mountains. This was incredible indeed! I'm speechless. Now Iâ€™m back in Denver. Now Iâ€™m broke. Now its time for me to get back to work. It would probably make more sense in the future to post news about the shows while they are still up, in case you want to see them in person. A crazy idea. Thanks for listening!