Archive for the ‘Contemporary Art’ Category

Recetas y Gangas: Essex Street Market Installation

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Recetas y Gangas (Recipes and Deals) is an audio montage of Essex Street Market vendors and shoppers listing goods for sales or sharing personal recipes. The audio montage was recorded and composed to project the market on to the street through an amplified bullhorn. As pedestrians walk past the Essex Street Market, they hear the recorded voices of people working and shopping in the market. Recetas y Gangas was conceived and produced by Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga in 2016 for the exhibition “Lettuce, Artichokes, Red Beets, Mangoes, Broccoli, Honey and Nutmeg: The Essex Street Market as Collaborator” curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful and presented at Cuchifritos Gallery, located within the Essex Street Market.

Commonly street markets around the world have both an outdoor and indoor space. The perimeters of the market may extend on to the street to invite pedestrians in to the market. Rather than walls, street markets may present large openings and awnings to create an arcade where people are at once outside and inside. The Essex Market in the Lower East Side of New York City does not have a side walk extension beyond sandwich boards and signage outside its brick wall. The Essex Street Market facade does not even present pedestrian level windows for those outside to peer in to the interior. The facade is rather an uninviting brick facade, perhaps a planned institutional barrier that Mayor La Guardia desired as he sought to take cart vendors off the sidewalk in an effort to clean up the streets from obstacles and noise. For the exhibition “Lettuce, Artichokes, Red Beets, Mangoes, Broccoli, Honey and Nutmeg: The Essex Street Market as Collaborator” at Cuchifritos curated by Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, I have sought to extend the Essex Street Market on to the sidewalk through sound.

There is a long history of market vendors announcing, singing or chanting their goods to the public. On Essex Street before cart vendors were moved off the street and into the market, they would call out their goods, hoping to attract buyers. I imagine that when the market first opened this practice continued. Today, walk through a traditional Latin American market and you will hear various products sung in to the air. To develop my project, I solicited vendors to vocalize their products and the more performative, the better. Only two vendors played along, one eagerly – Rosella Albanese from Pain d’Avignon and another through a bit of coaxing – Yanivis Rodriguez of Luna Brothers. You may listen to each of their recordings here. When I was trying to talk Yanivis into the recording while she worked the register, a shopper began to tell me about her recipes for preparing yams. It was an older Dominican woman, perhaps in her 60s who after describing her recipe, told me about the many health benefits of yams.

As I was having a difficult time convincing vendors to sing or chant their goods, I decided to request a recipe from them. This turned out effective as I’ve collected several recipes from vendors and customers. The final piece is an audio montage that captures a portrait of the Essex Street Market through the voices of vendors and customers alike all recorded within the market. The audio montage is titled Recetas y Gangas (Recipes and Deals).

Woman In Subway

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This is the latest animated loop inspired by traversing the city. Whether walking or on public transit, observations of urban life trigger visual ideas that are rendered as brief animations. Audio accompanying the animations are recordings from urban walks as well as interviews with NYC residents. The audio accompanying this animation is from a brief excerpt from an extended interview with my 86 year old neighbor Louise.

Go to rmz.nyc to see the entire series, click on the central image to go from one to the next. Through the combination of animation, WebGL, web video and audio as well as various javascript libraries such as p5.js and three.js, the browser is employed as a canvas.

Peaches Strikes At Gender Norms & Ageism

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Peaches has been making music for over two decades and over that time has not reached the popularity that she is enjoying today. With her 2015 “Rub” album she is receiving the recognition long deserved as she puts herself front and center in the current Culture Wars. “I Mean Something” strikes at ageism and “Rub” obliterates any body and gender norms. Peaches work is as timely as ever; perhaps popular culture has finally begun to catch up with her. As Cameron Cook of Pitchfork puts it “Peaches may be the only female pop musician working today who sings about sex while firmly and intentionally diverting the objectifying male gaze.”

In Peaches music videos women are the heroes and they are sexualized, but not as figures servicing men, instead they enjoy one another and reflect self-empowerment.


Peaches – I Mean Something (featuring Feist)

Peaches – Rub (Uncensored) from Peaches on Vimeo.

It’s also pretty great how Peaches has chosen to work with past punk icons Iggy Pop and more recently Kim Gordon.

Written by ricardo

October 7th, 2016 at 5:27 am

Too Many Guppies

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I took a video of a clarinet and drum duo inside the Metro Tech Subway Station and created a rotoscope animation with the musicians in the foreground, a collection of subway advertisements that I’ve documented over the years in the background and recent gentrification interviews as audio… This is New York City!

Ometepe the Video Game

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Ometepe the video game

In June 2013, the Nicaraguan National Assembly approved a bill conceding the financing, planning, construction and management of a cross-oceanic canal to the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company (HKND Group) headed by Chinese billionaire Wang Jing. The agreement spans an initial 50 years with the possibility of a second 50 years. The initial phase of construction began in December 2014 and the target year of completion is 2020. The agreement to this 40-50 billion US dollar project was discussed by the Nicaraguan National Assembly for only one week before approval. The agreement was not made public prior to the decision. The construction of the Nicaraguan Canal would entail the largest movement of earth in the planet’s history and would have immense ecological impact. The planned route of the canal would require the forced relocation of campesino communities.

To help bring attention to the Nicaraguan Canal, the video game Ometepe is set on the island of the same name, located in Lake Nicaragua through which the canal will pass. The island is formed by two volcanoes rising from Lake Nicaragua that are linked by low wetlands; Ometepe was officially declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2010. Although the canal project appears to be stopped due to lack of funds, the Nicaraguan government remains secretive about the project.

Ometepe the Video Game

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I’ve spent a good chunk of time this past year learning Unity3D. Although I’ve primarily been covering Unity for 3D and VR content, I wanted to build a 2D game as well and a first version is nearly finished! “Ometepe” – a 2D platformer type game is set on the island Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua where you control El Chapulin Colorado who defends the island from ecological havoc wrought by President Daniel Ortega and Hong Kong Billionaire Wang Jing has they attempt to construct the Nicaragua Canal. (If ever realized, the Nicaragua Canal would entail the largest movement of earth in the planet’s history. I plan to complete the game and have it available this July 2016!

June Leaf at the Whitney Museum

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June Leaf

I recently saw the exhibition of drawings and sculptures by June Leaf and felt a familiar throwback to work that I really enjoyed 20 years ago. The drawings are fun and fantastic. In an art world that tends to take itself much to seriously, June Leaf’s exhibition is a reminder that art may be inquisitive, fun and simple to execute. There’s a sincerity in the work that I generally don’t find in Contemporary Art. The show is up until July 17 at the Whitney Museum.

June Leaf

June Leaf

June Leaf

June Leaf

June Leaf

Written by ricardo

May 4th, 2016 at 8:31 am

Eyebeam Awards Benefit

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Eyebeam Awards Benefit Invitation

Eyebeam Awards Benefit Invitation

May 10th is the Second Eyebeam Awards Benefit, a gala event that this year celebrates the work of new media curator Barbara London and artist-activist collective Not An Alternative on May 10th from 6:30-9pm at Industry City Distillery, 33 35th St 6A, Brooklyn, NY. If you are unable to attend the gala, please consider making a donation to help Eyebeam to continue to support artists exemplifying creativity and courage!

Eyebeam Mission

Eyebeam is a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology toward a more imaginative and just world. By providing generous support to artists for research, production and education, Eyebeam makes ideas real.

Eyebeam Model of Practice

As the leading arts organization for technology in the United States, Eyebeam grounds its unique model of practice on the following assertions:

Ideas work. With critical knowledge of the world, people can create a better one.
Process matters. Nothing is more powerful than expectation-free experimentation.
Impact counts. When ideas work together, the effects can cascade exponentially.

The vision of technology here includes all processes, tools and strategies for navigating a complex world. The residency program provides people with space and time to develop their ideas into full projects. Drawing entirely on the community of residents and alums, Eyebeam then expands their work into exciting programs with lasting impact.

to send checks instead of making donations online, they should make checks payable to: Eyebeam
Mail to:
Eyebeam
Attn: André St. Clair
34 35th Street
5th Floor, Unit 26
Brooklyn, NY 11232

Written by ricardo

May 2nd, 2016 at 8:37 am

Fischli & Weiss Popular Tableaus

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Peter Fischli and David Weiss unfired clay tableaus are whimsical and striking. Here are just a few that I really enjoyed from the Guggenheim exhibition How To Work Better.

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Fischli & Weiss Sculpture

Written by ricardo

April 21st, 2016 at 11:29 am

Fischli & Weiss Drawings

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Yesterday, I made it to the Peter Fischli and David Weiss exhibition How To Work Better at the Guggenheim Museum. A big fan of their work for a very long time, I’d been looking forward to seeing this show and it is great. Below are a few of the drawings that I enjoy and separately I’m posting a selection of the ceramic pieces from the “Popular Opposites” series.

Fischli & Weiss at Guggenheim

Fischli & Weiss Drawing

Fischli & Weiss Drawing

Fischli & Weiss Drawing

Written by ricardo

April 21st, 2016 at 11:24 am