An aseptic space. One white table and on it a printed directory, accompanied by an apparently normal looking telephone. It would seem the right environment to make a call. And calls are, in fact, made. The phone operates automatically, dialling random numbers from the many listed in the phone book . The diffused audio allows visitors to listen to the classic dialling sounds, followed by a precise dead tone or a message saying, in varying languages, ‘the number you dialled does not exist’. The process repeats itself tirelessly; another number, another country, another language. A loop of sounds and dead time; a form of a dance, a ritual. A monologue or perhaps a soliloquy. No matter which of the many available numbers are dialled, it is certain that no calls will ever be answered because the list of numbers is officially exposed as The International Directory of Fictitious Telephone Numbers – an extensive list of numbers certified as non-existent and neatly divided into geographic areas of the world. The compilation of this phone book includes official requests from telecommunication regulators in different countries. The artwork, resulting from research by the British artist John Martin Callanan and presented first in Spain and then at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, is indefinitely offered as a resource for use in drama or film productions so that unsuspecting people aren’t disturbed by inquisitive viewers. Art in defence of privacy?
Your chance to get hold of issue #3 of Text Trends newspaper.
The Open Data Institute (ODI) and MzTEK invite you to the Data as Culture Open Day.
The Data as Culture collection is set in the offices of the ODI, and aims to bring tangible interventions into the
mass accretion of data around us. This is an opportunity to see the artworks in the collection and speak to the curators and some of the artists.
Informal presentations from 2.30pm – 4pm, refreshments provided.
Find out more about the artists and the collection visit: theodi.org/culture/collection
Data as Culture: Open Day
16 March 2013, 12pm – 6pm.
Open Data Institute, 3rd Floor, 65 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4JE
23 February – 27 April 2013
Opening 7pm, 22 February 2013
Or Gallery is pleased to present Along Some Sympathetic Lines, an exhibition of artwork by London-based artist Martin John Callanan, and an archive project by curator Liz Bruchet. The exhibition considers the poetic possibilities of data and its documentation, and the tenuous process of making meaning.
Martin John Callanan is an artist researching an individual’s place within systems. Callanan generates and reworks photographs, letters and electronic data into evidence of exchanges – between the individual, the institution and the networks of power that intertwine them. The exhibition presents four of the artist’s series: The Fundamental Units, the result of amassing millions of pixels of data, to photographs, in microscopic detail far beyond the capacity of the human eye, the lowest monetary unit of each of the 166 active currencies of world, only to enlarge and print them to vast scale; Wars During My Lifetime, an evolving newspaper listing of every war fought during the course of the artist’s life; Grounds, an ongoing photographic archive which charts ‘important places’ in the world where security restrictions limit the image to the carpeted, tiled or concrete floors; and Letters 2004-2006, Callanan’s correspondence with various heads of states and religious leaders which implicate them in conversations that question their very rationale of their authority. These acts of excavating, accumulating and visualising data draw out the sympathetic aspects within documentation and in so doing, mark and disrupt the underlying power dynamics.
A second gallery features an archive project by London-based curator Liz Bruchet. The display of ephemera from the personal archive of the curator’s grandfather, a Canadian insurance salesman and aspiring radio presenter, takes its inspiration from a found audio recording – part monologue, part autobiography, and part radio show – made in 1974. Harnessing the impulses of the collector, archivist and biographer, the curator reasserts her role as custodian and caretaker to nurture narratives and give weight to the subjective remnants of one man’s life.
This exhibition is curated by Liz Bruchet.
The exhibition is possible with the generous support of Or Gallery, the National Physical Laboratory, and UCL European Institute.
With thanks to Galeria Horrach Moya, (Hiper)vincles, Whitechapel Gallery, Book Works, David Karl, and Pau Waelder.
art.es international_contemporary_art announces the publication of its issue #53, with the following contents:
• art.es Project #44: Marina Núñez, Necrosis. (2013), digital image.
Cover and 22 inside pages. As always, an exclusive for the magazine (the originals belong to the art.es Collection).
Introductory text: Susana Cendán: Marina Núñez: “Everything has to do with the monsters”.
- China’s Long March (4/10) (Zhang Fang).
- Meschac Gaba: Trying to change African society (Abdellah Karroum).
- A quantum reflection of Bakalhau (Cod Fish) (Fernando Galán).
• Media Art:
- Martin John Callanan: On Systems and Processes (Pau Waelder).
- Rafa Macarrón: “the solitude of man before the universe inmensity” (Fernando Galán).
- Lipsett: a personal dilemma (Jorge D. González).
- Marco Ayres (Portugal)
- Simón Vega (El Salvador)
- Luis Gordillo (Spain)
- Pipo Hernández (Spain)
- Natxo Frisuelos (Spain)
- The sublimation of detail: José Ferrero (Madrid) (Terry Berne).
- Bunga: beyond space: Carlos Bunga (Santa Mónica, California, USA) (Béatrice Chassepot).
- The descent into Marina Núñez’s hells (Valladolid, España) (Alfonso León).
- Reinterpreting art’s recent history: Roger Gustafsson (Madrid) (Fernando Galán).
- If you like small things: group show (A Coruña, España) (Nilo Casares).
- Critical museology (2/2): On the limits of institutional art criticism (and critical museology as established discourse (Jesús Pedro Lorente)
• What’s going on in… Toronto? (John K. Grande).
- “La Movida”, counterculture and normalization (La Movida, au nom du Père, des fils et du Todo Vale) (Juan Albarrán).
art.es is a 100 % bilingual magazine (English/Spanish) with contributions from the world over, and aimed at the entire world of genuinely contemporary art.
art.es focuses on established art as well as the latest creative iniciatives emerging from every corner of the planet. It informs and reflects on topics of interest, but with a fresh language and crisp design which are comprehensible to both specialists and amateurs. It has over 90 specialized collaborators and correspondents covering each and every geographical and thematic area of the contemporary art world.
Professor Susan Collins gave a UCL Lunch Hour Lecture about SCEMFA.
How are artists translating or materialising digital works for gallery and physical situations? Professor Collins shows a snapshot of works coming out of the Slade and the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) over the past decade that explore the material of the digital. This lecture explores a range of groundbreaking perspectives and manifestations.
Martin John Callanan’s artworks Location of I and I Wanted to See All the News From Today featured in the forthcoming book Art and the Internet by Joanne McNeill and Domenico Quaranta.
Art and the Internet is a much-needed visual survey of art influenced by, situated on and taking the subject of the internet over the last two and a half decades. From the early 1990s the internet has had multiple roles in art, not least in defining several new genres of practitioners, from early networked art to new forms of interactive and participatory works, but also because it is the great aggregator of all art, past and present. Art and the Internet examines the legacy of the internet on art, and, importantly, illuminates how artists and institutions are using it and why.
Black Dog Publishing, August 2013
Paperback, 240 pages, 300 b/w and colour ills, 280 x 230 mm
11 January 2013, 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
The Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton St, Shoreditch, London Borough of Hackney, EC2A, UK
Introducing Friday Lunchtime Lectures at the Open Data Institute.
You bring your lunch, we provide tea & coffee, an interesting talk,
and enough time to get back to your desk.
For our first lecture…
Curators of the ODI Data as Culture art commission, TED Senior Fellow,
Julie Freeman, and MzTEK co-founder, Sophie McDonald, will provide a
background of the data-driven art movement, why this commission is so
timely, and take you on a tour of the art works installed at the ODI
Body 01000010011011110110010001111001 (2012)
Benedikt Groß & Bertrand Clerc
Still Lifes and Oscillators 1 (2012)
Text Trends (2012)
Martin John Callanan
The Obelisk (2012)
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori
The SKOR Codex (2012)
La Société Anonyme
Three flames ate the sun, and big stars were seen (2012)
Vending Machine (2009)
To book your place sign up here
Over the past twenty years, global climate change has emerged as the overarching narrative of our age, uniting a series of ongoing concerns about human relations with nature, the responsibilities of first world nations to those of the developing world, and the obligations of present to future generations. But if the climate change story entered the public realm as a data-driven scientific concept, it was quickly transformed into something that the ecologist William Cronon has called a ‘secular prophecy’, a grand narrative freighted with powerful, even transcendent languages and values. And though climate science can sometimes adopt the rhetoric of extreme quantification, it also — as has been seen throughout this book — relies on the qualitative values of words, images and metaphors. This can even happen simultaneously: during the discussions that led up to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report of 2001, for example, a room full of scientists discussed for an entire week whether or not to include the three-word phrase ‘discernable human influence.’ Only three words, perhaps, but three extremely potent words (both qualitatively and quantitavely speaking), that between them tell a vast and potentially world-altering story.
Martin John Callanan’s ongoing Text Tends series offers a deadpan encounter with exactly this kind of quantification of language. Using Google data the series explores the vast mine of information that is generated by the search engine’s users, each animation taking the content generated by search queries and reducing the process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency of search over time, presented in the form of a line graph.
In the online manifestation of the Text Trends animations the viewer watches as the animations plot the ebb and flow of a series of paired search terms keyed into Google over the last ten years by Internet users around the world. In the case of the environment sequence featured here, pairs of words such as: ‘nature’ — ‘population’; ‘climate’ — ‘risk’; ‘consensus’ — ‘uncertainty’; ‘Keeling curve’ — ‘hockey stick’, spool out matter-of-factly, like a live market index, allowing the implied narrative content of these word comparisons (along with their accumulated cultural and emotional baggage) to play themselves out before us. In contrast to the hyperinteractivity of emerging news aggregators and information readers, Text Trends explores our perceptions of words presented as connotation-rich fragments of continually updated time-sensitive data.
As an investigation into both the generation and representation of data, Text Trends offers a visual critique of the spectacularization of information, a cultural tic that continues to generate the endless roll of statistically compromised wallpaper that surrounds so much public science debate, and which our book — Data Soliloquies — has in large part been about.
For centuries, scientists have sought help from artistic practice as a visual aid. This lecture will explore case studies from the 18th to the 21st century, to show that artists have often participated in the growth of scientific knowledge by disturbing and questioning concepts that scientists take for granted. Would current artist in residence programmes benefit from adopting a more sustained critical role, in light of this history?
Martin John Callanan of the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London contacted the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) as he wanted to put together an exhibition featuring large images of the lowest denomination coins from around the world.
Petra Mildeova from NPL’s Advanced Engineered Materials Group demonstrated that full colour images could be taken using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope. Five coins were imaged (containing over 400 megapixels), allowing coins of less than 20 mm diameter to be printed as 1.2 m diameter images.
Martin John Callanan described the images as “really stunning” and is exhibiting them at the Galleria Horrach Moyà in Mallorca, Spain, in an exhibition entitled ‘The Fundamental Units‘ (referring to the smallest denomination of coins on display and not as a result of working with NPL, the home of fundamental constants in the UK). He now hopes to enhance his exhibition by imaging a further 161 coins, one from each of the other countries around the world that use them.
The images have attracted interest from the British Museum and were featured by New Scientist as their image of the day on 4 December 2012.
The mapping of large areas at very high resolution is becoming a more regular requirement. In fact, the capabilities of the microscope used to produce the images of the coins were barely stretched, as they were only in 2D. Using the Alicona Infinite Focus optical microscope NPL is able to acquire 3D datasets from large areas, which can be used to study worn surfaces on a gear, drill bit or metal punch and hence produce a detailed measurement of the volume of material lost by wear of the component. Such quantified volume measurements can then be used to determine the best material or operating practice for a given material grade.
The euro has taken a bit of a battering of late – and not just in the financial markets. As you can see for yourself above, the surface of a 1-cent coin, while smooth to the naked eye, is pitted and scarred when viewed through a powerful microscope.
To create this image, artist Martin John Callanan, a fellow at University College London based in the Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art, worked with Ken Mingard, Petra Mildeova and Eric Bennett at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory in London. The team used an optical microscope to create images of the lowest-denomination coins used in Australia, Burma, Swaziland and Chile, as well as the transnational euro. They took standard coins that had been in circulation and left the microscope to make 4000 tiny exposures overnight. It then took three days of processing to stitch these images together to create each final, 400-million-pixel version. The zoomable picture above is a low-resolution version.
The coin images are part of an ongoing series called The Fundamental Units in which Callanan explores “the atoms that shape the global economy”. Ultimately, the series will encompass all 166 of the world’s active currencies that use coins. The first five are on display as 1.2-by-1.2-metre prints, along with more of Callanan’s works, at the Galleria Horrach Moyà in Mallorca, Spain, until 17 January 2013.
Physics & Math, Picture of the Day, Science In Society
How did this collaboration with National Physical Laboratory come about for your project The Fundamental Units?
For six months I was having tests run all around the UK on different types of microscopes such as scanning electron microscopes, at different institutions, universities and testing laboratories. The Curator of Modern Money at the British Museum suggested an idea which eventually lead me to the National Physical Laboratory.
I ended up at the Advanced Engineered Materials Group which is part of the National Physical Laboratory, using an Alicona infinite focus 3D optical microscope.
They were really into experimenting and pushing the equipment. It took about a month of tests to get the results we see. The process involved Petra the scientist in charge of the machine writing programs to capture the data as a whole, as the machine is designed for looking in detail at one tiny part of an object. We crashed it several times working out the right solution. Each coin, which are generally around 18-20mm in diameter, take a whole night to capture. Then computers run for three days assembling the data into extremely high resolution photographic images. We are talking files too big for normal image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. Each photographic print is from files with around 400 million pixels.
What did some of the earlier tests look like?
Many microscopes are not optical, they don’t use light, and therefore produce results that are removed from what we generally expect to see. A scanning electron microscope, for example (attached), produces images in greyscale and the electric charge greatly emphasises dust and dirt. Clean images could be obtained though sonic cleaning and plating the coins in gold, but this started to become very removed from examining these low value tokens of exchange.
Could you explain the choice to scan these particular coins? How did you get a hold of them?
There are currently 166 active currencies using coins. Using online market places and by contacting national banks I have found the lowest donimation coin for each of these currencies. At the moment, at the beginning, we have imaged one from each continent. All 166 will be imaged.
What are you working on currently?
Well, the UCL European Institute have just (five minuets ago) awarded the research project funding to image the currencies of: Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania Sweden, and the UK.
On May 16, 2008, Martin John Callanan changed his name to Martin John Callanan, by Deed Poll, sworn and sealed at the City of London Magistrate’s Court. On July 5, 2012, Martin John Callanan assumed the name of Martin John Callanan by Deed Poll, sworn and sealed by a Comissioner for Oath, and enrolled in the Supreme Court of Judicature. Through this action, at once absurd and totally in keeping with the laws of the United Kingdom, the artist Martin John Callanan (formerly Martin John Callanan) turns an administrative process into a reflexion on his own identity and the systems that validate the laws and institutions that govern our society.
We live in a multitude of systems: natural systems that affect our environment, social systems that define the possible actions in the framework of an established community, computer systems that enable and control the transmission and storage of data with which we create our memory and the image of our world. They shape our everyday reality, but we tend to ignore their existence or assume it as an indisputable fact: as the clouds floating overhead, these systems respond to a logic that is largely out of reach of the average citizen.
Through methodical and precise processes, Martin John Callanan explores the notion of citizenship in a globally connected world. The relationship between the individual and the systems that surround and affect our lives take shape in a series of works in which both the structures and the fragility of these systems are shown, sometimes by resorting to the absurd and the excess of information. The atworks in this exhibition at Horrach Moyà Gallery venture into the dynamics of natural, economic, administrative and mass media systems by means of an observation both on the cosmic and the microscopic level.
Inspired by the forms of scientific data visualization, the artist made in A Planetary Order (Terrestrial Cloud Globe) a globe that only shows the position of the clouds during a second in February 2, 2009. This ephemeral map, made from hundreds of photographs from NASA satellites, is embodied in a sculpture created with a 3D printer and shown as an unattended object, an ignored finding, a fragile piece containing an unusual vision of our environment .
The economic system, which has raised to such notorious prominence in recent years because of its obvious impact on our lives, is a complex structure whose functioning is increasingly necessary to understand and, as much as possible, to predict or even control. In this sense, and in response to the dominance of macroeconomics in the discourse of the media, the artist chooses a microscopic view of the world economy. The Fundamental Units, a series that begins with the works produced by Horrach Moyà Gallery for this exhibition, is an exploration of the lowest denomination coins from the world’s currencies using an infinite focus 3D optical microscope at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington (UK). The images obtained with the microscope have been combined to form an extremely detailed large scale reproduction of the least valuable coins from Australia, Chile, the Euro, Myanmar and the Kingdom of Swaziland. In these images the humble metal acquires a planetary dimension and is displayed as the atoms that shape the global economy.
The reality shown by the media consists in turn of its own units, the news covering the front pages of newspapers and circulated by television and radio, websites, blogs and social networks. The speed and density of the information flow that is generated in every corner of the planet and invades all communication channels exposes us to a saturation that paradoxically makes data illegible. I Wanted to See All of the News From Today deals with this excess of information by means of a web site that automatically collects the front pages of hundreds of newspapers around the world and displays them in a grid. From these data, the artist has produced a series of prints in which the pages of newspapers form a totemic picture of everyday life in the information society.
Martin John Callanan completes this exhibition with Deed Poll, which is both the action taken in the process of change (or recovery) of his name on July 5, 2012 and the legal documents, canceled passport, letters and responses, official notice in the newspaper and other items related to this administrative procedure. Callanan thus adds to his analysis of the systems that determine the conditions of life in the societies and the planet we inhabit an action on a personal level, as an individual and citizen that participates (voluntarily and involuntarily) in the dynamics generated by these systems.
Pau Waelder, Curator
November 2012 – May 2013
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori
Martin John Callanan
Benedikt Gross and Bertrand Clerc
La Société Anonyme
This exhibition showcases the most dynamic work being made in London in 2012. Take a journey through a selection of the latest art trends and see potential stars of the future amongst 35 artists chosen by a panel of international artists, curators and collectors.
Political and social subject matter is a theme in many works. The show features artists using performance and DIY approaches to making work whilst others investigate kitsch, outsider art and countercultural groups. The exhibition includes Arnaud Desjardin’s live printing press, Leigh Clarke’s negative casts of masks of political figures often worn during demonstrations, Nicholas Cobb’s photographs showing fictitious model riot scenes at Bluewater shopping centre and Pio Abad’s work featuring Saddam Hussein’s gold taps printed on an imitation Versace silk scarf.
The London Open includes work in a diverse range of media from painting, sculpture, film, textile and photography to installation and performance. It includes Paul Westcombe’s intricate illustrations on takeaway coffee cups, Alice Channer’s body-based sculptures, Lucienne Cole’s pop culture-inspired performances and Martin John Callanan’s conceptual works, such as International Directory of Fictitious Telephone Numbers (2011) and Letters 2004-2006.
The London Open is a chance to see some of today’s most innovative artists. The Whitechapel Gallery’s open submission exhibitions have shown artists including Grayson Perry, Bob & Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread early in their careers.
Artists: Pio Abad, Peter Abrahams, Caroline Achaintre, Greta Alfaro, Sol Archer, Thomas Ball, Martin John Callanan, Dale Carney, Paul Carter, Alice Channer, Leigh Clarke, Nicholas Cobb, Lucienne Cole, Beth Collar, Chris Coombes, Shona Davies, Jon Klein & Dave Monaghan, Arnaud Desjardin, Sarah Dobai, Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson, Ana Genoves, Mark Harris, Emma Holmes, John Hughes, Nikolai Ishchuk, Robert Orchardson, Heather Phillipson, Ruth Proctor, Amikam Toren, Charlie Tweed, Roy Voss, Paul Westcombe and Rehana Zaman.
Selectors: Patricia Bickers, editor of Art Monthly; artist Rodney Graham; collector Jack Kirkland; curator Marta Kuzma; and Whitechapel Gallery curator Kirsty Ogg.
Martin John Callanan will also have a Performance on 5 July