Wednesday, April 27, 2011


ventana244 ART SPACE
244 N. 6th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn 11211
APRIL 16-MAY 8, 2011

Crude by Curt Belshe & Lise Prown

Augmented reality using the smartphone allows the particpant to visualize digital images, "collaged" over the present location, as seen through the phone's camera. Although this superimposition of visual information onto the landscape is an additive process, Décollage: Torn Exteriors implies instead a tearing away of existing surfaces, revealing what is underneath or inside.


graphics by Ephrat Seidenberg

Location: ventana244 Art Space, 244 N. 6th St.

photography by Bill Drury

Unmasked Heroes // Patricia Adler

Unmasked Heroes is a meditation on the power of our personal potential. By placing augmented reality markers on our foreheads, in reference to the traditional South Asian bindis, a gateway to our inner world is created. The smartphone then unlocks the door, revealing our full potential within.

As per the theme of the show, Décollage: Torn Exteriors, "Unmasked Heroes" pulls back the mask we usually hide behind, revealing the one of our deeper self—that of the super hero. We spend most of our lives as mere shadows of ourselves (not to Plato), until confronted with a situation that calls for extraordinary action. This projoects is about ordinary people recounting their true, heroic stories, showing us how we all can, and often are, heroes in our everyday lives.

Formerly based as a designer in London, Adler has been living and working as an artist in Brooklyn, New York since 2009. Her projects seek to create immersive, trans-reality experiences by means of technology, as kinetic sculptures that engage mobile platforms, performance, video, installation and sound art.

Location: 257 N. 6th St.

After Delvaux is an Augmented Realilty room inserted into the front of a residential building. The inhabitants are a child seemingly absorbed in his mobile phone, a woman in bondage who might be looking down at him, a man looking past both of them toward us. Recalling the Surrealist painting of Paul Delvaux, "After Delvaux" calls attention to the experience of looking, both through the browser on the handset and at the figures within the frame who look not at each other but into an unknowable elsewhere. And, of course, you are looking through the bricks of the building.

Since 2000 Steve Bull has created location-specific narratices and games that explore the social, technological, and creative possibilities of cell phones. These projects have been exhibited as SWSX Interactive 2011, San Jose ZeroOne Festival, NIME 2007 and 2009, ICMC 2010, and E.A.T. Revisited. Other projects have been shown at The Getty, The Museum of Modern Art, American Film Institute, PBS, and Creative Time.

Location: 104 Roebling St.

Our "world lines" through the 4-dimensional manifold of spacetime intersect here and are not bound to any specific theory. Neither are we. Tracing out the complete (time) history of a particle, observer of small object has never been possible. What if it were possible to access a complete record of time and place?

Luke Schantz is a media artist, designer, citizen scientist and trans-humanist. He currently cresides in Brooklyn and keeps a studio at the 3rd Ward. Over the last several years he has specialized in media for theater and stage shows. He came to NYC 3 years ago to work with the Blue Man Group as a visual FX artist. While technical minutiae are involved in his daily operations and activities, he has a deep appreciation for the esoteric and the occult. Currently he is working on development of modular electromechanical devices, making media for stage and screen, urban agricultural systems, antennas for broadcasting into space, painting, 3D modeling/printing, performance art and research.

with 3D modeling assistance from Larry Auerbach
Location: Parking Lot, corner of Driggs & N. 5th St.

The Sky-Cone is an idea that sprang from my morning walk toward areas in the neighborhood where I can see the sky. It is my way of getting in touch with the day. The Sky-Cone encourages people to use their personal mobile devices to look up at the sky, outside themselves: a departure point for awareness of the ever-present and yet ever-changing sky above, and the space we exist in.

We are fortunate to be living in an era where the discrete areas of the arts can merge and transform themselves via the new territories that technology is making available. Augmented Reality for mobile devices is a good example. As a long-time sculptor and video artist I am intrigued by the fresh notion of a sculptural "antigravity-ness". I am also interested in being able to make a virtual geological placement of a sculpture, determined by,and reliant on, a host of distant and never-to-be-seen, man-made satellites. Mr. Clarke described it in this way: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Carlton Bright has been based in New York City since 1978. His media projects include video documentation of art and performance, as well as the use of paired SX-70 cameras and other devices to make stereoptical photographs. He currently works as a sculptor and has developed extensive experimental work with stereoptic video.

Location: 310 N. 7th St.

When standing on the spot once occupied by 310 N. 7th Street, what you see, hear and smell is the devastation wrought by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, one of many highways built by Robert Moses in New York City that has torn exteriors and neighborhoods. The buildings that stood here including 310 were razed in 1947, taking with them the visible legacy of a part of Brooklyn's industrial history. With mobile AR, a trace of what can no longer be seen here can be experienced. Still open farmland in the mid-19th century, in 1873 A.B. Ansbacher opened a factory here that made Paris Green, a dye that got its name because it was used to kill rats in the sewers of Paris. A vivid bluish-green, it was widely used in the 19th centuryto dye everything from wallpaper to dresses though by the end of the century was primarily marketed as an insecticide. Relatively inexpensive and freely available, Paris Green was often used for suicide. Cezanne loved its brilliance. The resulting arsenic poisoning was probably the cause of the artist's diabetes. Demand for Paris Green was high and Ansbacher got rich. There was labor unrest and ethnic tension as the company grew, expanding out of Brooklyn and finally being absorbed into Sun Chemical, a national corporation. Now this site is a state superfund site. Text situated with mobile AR serves as a reminder that another world existed here where a fortune was made, Irish and Italians fought over turf and for higher wages, and a beautiful vivid blue-green pigment finally banned in the 1960s, yet still unmatched in brilliance by contemporary chemistry, drifted out over the neighborhood.

Michals first became aware of the Ansbacher dye factory when researching her series Toxi City: Broooklyn's Brownfields (, with photographs of over 50 locations in Brooklyn that have a legacy of industrial pollution. Toxi City was presented at the Brooklyn Lyceum in 2009 with support from Brooklyn Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, and a PSC-CUNY Research Award. She teaches photography at New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

Location: McCarren Park Dog Run, Driggs & N. 12th

Crude references the large underground oil spill in northeast Greenpoint, between North Henry Street, Norman Avenue, and Newtown Creek, the site of various petroleum industries for over 140 years. From early refineries processing whale oil to later petroleum based processing, the banks of Newtown Creek have been an area snonymous with oil production. In the 1970's, a massive spill, most likely the result of years of industrial dumping, was discovered under the east side of Greenpoint.

"The Greenpoint Oil presumed to be among the largest releases of oil to date in the world. The amount of oil is estimated to be between 17 and 30 million gallons, approximately 50% more oil than the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Unlike spills like the Exxon Valdez, the Greenpoint Oil Release ws not an episodic event, but rather an accretion of oil from many of the refineries on Newtown Creek." (From

The "out of sight" nature of this environmental disaster resonates with the virtual quallities of an augmented realilty artwork. Augmented Reality makes use of the layered nature of our modern technologies to comment on issues of history, culture and environment.

Lise Prown and Curt Belshe have worked collaboratively for more than 20 years on projects that explore the intersection of public art, local history, and information graphics. These transient public artworks use the language of signage to examine expectations of signification in an urban environment.

Location: McCarren Park Playground, Driggs & Lorimer

".... one must cast a beam of intense darkness so that something that has higherto been obscured by the glare of the illumination can glitter all the more in the darkness." (1)

Contemporary educational wisdom returns to the notion that play is at the heart of learning, i.e., that kids don't so much receive knowledge as discover multiple facets of the matter through experimental engagement. The knowing self emerges through experimental emptying and filling, erasure and embrace, ignorance and seeing. The play space is a container for the unkonwn, with its darkness and desires, and against which the outlines of change flicker.

Mobile Augmented Reality presents a similar paradigm: the viewer catches a glimpse of an emergent image continually re-drawn against a moving landscape.

Sarah Drury's work of the past 10 years has explored the subject, "I", as a dynamic, fragmentary, emergent instance of sound, image,movementandtouch using sensing and tracking technologies. Soem of these projects have pointedly questioned: What is the self? How is the self formed in social interaction? What is the self as a phenomenon existing in and around representation? Sarah Drury is a media artist working with video, interactive installation and performative media. Her work has been presented at international venues including: BAM's Next Wave Festival, the National Theater of Belgrade, the Boston CyberArts Festival, the Brooklyn Museum, the Kitchen, SIGGRAPH, ISEA, the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and others. Drury is an associate professor in digital media arts at the Temple University Film & Media Arts Program.

(1) In his book "A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis", James Grotstein recounts his experience of being read this phrase by Bion, in a free translation from Freud's correspondence.

Location: 897 Lorimer St. (near Bedford)

Hana Iverson and Chris Manzione share an interest in the body as shape, metaphor and site of meaning. In their work, the body's inherent properties of weight, mass and physicality operate within a digital field of ephemera, instability and generative thought. These figures "dance" in the landscape, loosely tied to location, simultaneously present in the mobile phone and absent in the physical world.

In Hana Iverson's multimedia work, the body, often fragmented, has been the site of her exploration, the locus of perception, of identity, of memory. The bodies in this work merge with the landscape, they touch each other but also speak independently to their own emotional expression. The images reflect a dream: shadow of people who were there but are no longer.

Iverson's public projects, Cross/Walks: Weaving Fabric Row and View From the Balcony, along wtih her education initiative Neighborhood Narratives, employ the neighborhood as social practice to explore questions about place, embodiment, and social engagement inside of mobile and alternative forms of distribution. She is currently Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Women & Art, Rutgers University, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Creative Research, NYU.

Chris Manzione is a sculptor who works with both physical and virtual shapes and structures. For him, the body is a shell, a husk that is shed to reveal the echo of its spatial properties, invisibly changing over time. He perceives bodies as silhouettes, and uses ouch and the tactile aspect of form to seek intimacy and closeness. In 2010 Chris initiated the Virtual Public Art Project (VPAP), a platform for the public display of digital works of art, maximizing public reception of augmented reality art through smartphones.

Location: Intersection of Bedford Ave., Lorimer St. and Nassau Ave.

The conception of Nasci å Pinhole was my attempt to reconcile what I saw as a senseless human intervention in the 2010 Prospect Park goose slaughter. 450 birds were systematically exterminated in the middle of the night to ensure the apparent safety of airline travelers. However, the birds that were killed were non-migratory and not a threat to airline traffic. In response to this perceived over-kill, I created a void, devoid of all color and history. Both my own ghosts and the ethereal nature of nature then reformed in my studio space, albeit upside-down. With the use of small holes and slits I turned my space into an ultra-reflective pinhole camera that reflects the augmented landscape of Pratt Institute's campus. I filmed the daily pinhole eclipse of the sun and the fleeting happenstance reflected in front of it onto the floor and wall, digitally. This new, seemingly living form exists without the specific time and place of its creation. Yet the digitized video is both the result of and a reflection of a specific time and place. For Décollage: Torn Exteriors, this digital video was filtered again into an animated .gif to be viewed through Layar. Augmented Reality, via Layar, further displaces the orb by allowing it to be seen out-of-doors, as a reflection of outdoors in indoor space. In reality it should cease to exist in the light of day, yet it jumps along in your palm on your smartphone, captured. Nasci å Pinhole literally translates "to be born a pinhole". Nasci is the root of both the word nature and nation. It references both the unformed nature of regret and memory with a physical searching for time and place. It is formed yet unformed; it exists within, but only as a reflection.

Holly Senter has a BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) and is about to receive her MFA from Pratt Institute. Her works include installations and performances based on fleeting happenings and their subsequent exploitation. She currently lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn.


Décollage: Torn Exteriors projects can be viewed in the round on iPhone 3GS and Android phones using the Torn Exteriors layer in the free application Layar.

0. Go to the App Store

1. Download Layar for iPhone 3GS or Android

2. After having installed the Layar app on your phone, the Torn Exteriors layer can be accessed via Layar's built in layer directory. Click Search and type in Torn Exteriors.

3. Once the Torn Exteriors layer is running and you are physically in the vicinity of one of the Torn Exteriors projects, you can switch to the MAP view, which will direct you to the precise location of the project.

4. Once you have arrived within viewing distance of one of the Torn Exteriors projects, switch to the "REALITY" view. You can now walk up to and around the virtual object, using the iPhone 3GS or Android phone to view details.


For Décollage: Torn Exteriors, Patricia Adler's Unmasked Heroes can be viewed in ventana244 Art Space by going to the App Store and downloading two apps: Junaio and QR Scanner. Then follow instructions posted in ventana244 Art Space.

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