Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

Structural Patterns

Reflections on Art, Technology and Society

Archive for the ‘new media’ tag

Review of “The Linguistic Errantry”

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The Linguistic Errantry by Tansy Xiao

Imagine an immersive Boschian landscape rich with metaphoric allusions of surveillance and control, such is artist Tansy Xiao’s latest creation. The desktop application “The Linguistic Errantry” puts the user/player in a surreal yellow hued environment populated by singing giraffes, floating goldfish, levitating eggs, flying surveillance cameras and a giant broken egg with octopus tentacles dancing about. In a desert-like setting, enclosed by rock cliffs, Marxist monuments stand erect but their heads are 19th century copper and brass diving helmets. A buddha on lotus monument is surrounded by surveillance monitors that show the world itself as captured by the roving surveillance cameras. This world reflects upon “the totalitarian lockdown in Shanghai.”

“The Linguistic Errantry” is a first person roaming world. Walk past any of the 14 giraffes and you will hear it singing brief notes.

Each giraffe is set to sing a measure constituting 2-4 notes and nonlinguistic lyrics deconstructed from L’Internationale. When two giraffes collide, they adopt each other’s measure to add to their own array. Giraffe 0 as the only exception, is set to speak “Control / Your / Soul’s / Desire / For / Freedom” by default, instead of singing—a propaganda phrase from a government official during the totalitarian lockdown in Shanghai, when the whole country entered an Agambenian “state of exception.” Each word occupies one slot in its array and will be gradually replaced by fragments from L’Internationale as giraffe 0 encounters the others of its kind.


As game engines have become more accessible and adopted by artists to create immersive worlds layered with meaning and cultural critique, it is exciting to see Xiao adopt the game platform to create a powerful metaphoric world that easily stirs investigation and reflection in the viewer. As Xiao further describes “The Linguistic Errantry reimagines the Tower of Babel in a way that manifests the arbitrary nature of history: the consolidation and disintegration of sovereigns, an anticipated revolution to be generated by mere chance, or a parallel universe where nothing ever happens and only entropy reigns supreme.”

Undocumented Drones at New York Hall of Science

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Last Thursday, October 25th was the celebration for the opening of ReGeneration, an exhibition at the New York Hall of Science in Corona Park, Queens that will be on view through January 13th. I will be writing one or more extended articles regarding the works in the exhibition. Meanwhile, I am posting a video of the Undocumented Drones being installed at the Hall of Science as part of my installation titled “a geography of being : una geografia de ser”. This is an installation comprised of a video game and three wooden figures with screens and motors that are networked to the game. The figures or undocumented drones help the player along through the game at specific points. Each figure has a corresponding icon on the game screen that tells the player that the small robot has a message. If necessary, the player may step away from the game to view the undocumented drone’s embedded screen for instructions.

Apply Immediately: Full Time New Media Position at Hunter College

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Job Title: Assistant, Associate or Full Professor – Film and Media Studies

Job ID: 2389
Location: Hunter College
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Performs teaching, research, and guidance duties in area(s) of expertise as noted below. Shares responsibility for committee and department assignments, performing administrative, supervisory, and other functions as may be assigned.

Hunter College’s Department of Film and Media Studies, which combines analytical and theoretical analysis with creative practice using an interdisciplinary approach to media, seeks applications for a scholar and practitioner of new media. The position calls for a candidate who has an understanding of the cultural effects of new media and Internet technologies.

Ph.D. degree in area(s) of expertise, or equivalent as noted below. Also required are the ability to teach successfully, interest in productive scholarship or creative achievement, and ability to cooperate with others for the good of the institution.

A record of publications related to computer and Internet technologies and a mix of theory and practice is desirable. Extensive teaching experience is essential. A PhD, M.F.A. or professional equivalent are required.

Commensurate with rank, education, accomplishments and experience.

CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees and eligible dependents based on job title and classification. Employees are also offered pension and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans. Part-time employees must meet a weekly or semester work hour criteria to be eligible for health benefits. Health benefits are also extended to retirees who meet the eligibility criteria.

Include letter of application with teaching/artistic/professional philosophy, curriculum vitae, list of three references sent to:
James Roman, Chair
Department of Film and Media Studies
Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Open until filled with review of resumes to begin November 15, 2010.

The City University of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer which complies with all applicable laws and regulations, and encourages inclusive excellence in its employment practices.

Written by ricardo

October 21st, 2010 at 11:03 am

On Transmitting Ideology

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On Transmitting Ideology

My installation “On Transmitting Ideology” opened this past Friday at the artist run, Philadelphia gallery Vox Populi. The installation presents eleven wooden guns outfitted with radios broadcasting declarations on freedom and transformation in our society.

As I was listening to famous historical speeches concerning U.S. politics, I primarily became interested in the rhetoric that has established “Conservative” vs. “Liberal” ideology in the United States. Unfortunately due to the quality of sound of early 20th century speeches such as an excellent speech by Calvin Coolidge declaring the need for an imperial reach by the United States in the name of liberty, I narrowed the selection to speeches since the second half of the 20th century.

On Transmitting Ideology

The broadcast is 18 minutes long and begins with the famous declaration by Barry Goldwater “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” The broadcast includes an excerpt from a debate between Buckley and Chomsky, and excerpts from speeches by Reagan, Martin Luther King, and Obama. For the most part I left the excerpts intact; it is only with King’s speech in opposition to the Vietnam War that I withdrew “Vietnam”, because his arguments against our intervention in Vietnam parallel all to well the current war in Iraq.

On Transmitting Ideology

Pictured above, in the upper right corner of the gallery on a shelf sit a CD player connected to a miniFM transmitter. On each table are five hand-crafted wooden AK47s and Uzis (one is also mounted on the wall), each gun has an exposed pocket radio tuned to the transmitter.

On Transmitting Ideology

The exhibition also features two recent video commissions that question the outcome of popular notions of freedom, liberty and the power of capital. “Arbol que nace torcido, nunca su rama enderece” (“Tree that is born twisted will never straighten”) is an animation created for the public commission “Carreta Nagua, Siglo 21” (2007) that tells a tale of immigration, aging and cultural and familial loss. Two aging television super heroes, Ultraman and El Chapulin Colorado take the voices of my parents as they look back upon their lives and consider the price of immigration. The video “El Rito Apasionado” (2007) (commissioned for 50,000 Beds) takes place in a hotel room where three Guevarrian Neo-Marxist Latino Terror Revolutionaries from Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico gather to prepare an act against the history of U.S. intervention.

On Transmitting Ideology

“On Transmitting Ideology” will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday noon – 6pm. For more information please contact Vox Populi: 215 238 1236

Written by ricardo

March 10th, 2008 at 10:09 am