JAMES CONNOLLY: CONTROL SIGNALS, AUGUST 6 - SEPTEMBER 10, 2022 AT THE LATENT SPACE
EXHIBITION | WORKSHOP | PERFORMANCES | ARTWORKS
Control Signals is a solo exhibition by James Connolly at The Latent Space in Chicago featuring a large-scale audio/video installation, two nights of performances, and a DIY audio/video synthesis workshop. The exhibition runs from August 6 - September 10, 2020.
Control Signals opens on August 6, 2022 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at The Latent Space (4150 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618).
Control Signals will premiere Connolly’s new open-source instrument the CRT Flux Phaser through a large-scale installation of 19 modified cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors driven by custom software to electromagnetically manipulate video in captivating and psychedelic ways. The installation will include an supdated version of Connolly’s RGB.VGA.VOLT video synthesis system the artist first released in 2014. A new series of mounted prints will also be presented.
View the exhibition page on the Latent Space's website.
Because of the transmissibility of the Omicron BA.5 variant, masks are highly encouraged at all events and will be available at the door.
In analog broadcast television, video test cards were used to calibrate cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors and ensure the fidelity of the signal being received. These test cards conformed CRT output to the standard visual image being transmitted, disabling the complex chromatic and electromagnetic materiality these devices are capable of emitting.
Similarly, the contemporary consumer electronics we use to access the internet limit what we can produce and how we can communicate. The decentralized network is re-centralized through a small number of apps and platforms embedded within ideologies that algorithmically dictate our interactions and invisibly track and monetize the endless bits of data we unknowingly generate.
“Control Signals” examines ways of breaking the restraints of consumer technologies in order to subvert expectations and humanize the apparatuses that mediate our interaction with the digital world. Hacked and cracked analog monitors are powered by custom digital tools that bypass restrictive interfaces. Electronics created as proprietary commercial systems for consumption and surveillance capitalism are turned into tools of open aesthetic creation through open-source artware.
A DIY audio/video synthesis workshop will take place Sunday, August 21 at 2:00 pm. Participants will make the custom hardware hack that drives visuals in Connolly’s RGB.VGA.VOLT system and will receive a full demonstration of the hardware and software driving the 19-monitor installation.
Tickets can be purchased below:
Two evenings of real-time audio/video performances will accompany the show.
CONTROL SIGNAL PERFORMANCES #1—SATURDAY, AUGUST 13, 8:30 pm at the Latent Space (4150 N Elston Ave Chicago, IL)
Cracked Ray Tube (James Connolly and Kyle Evans)
Angelina Almukhametova is a Chicago-based artist whose work interfaces neon sculpture with digital technologies, analog synthesizers, and custom built software to create responsive light and sound installations and performances. She holds a BFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited work and performed in New York City, Chicago, Houston, Zürich and Iceland. She has led workshops at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago. In 2022, she was a hacker in residence at the Swiss Mechatronic Art Society in Zürich, Switzerland.
James Connolly is a Chicago-based artist, educator, museum worker, and archivist. His videos, open-source tools, and real-time audio/video performances undermine the interfaces and break through the algorithms of digital and analog systems, examining hidden power structures and liberating latent aesthetic materialities in cathartic and captivating compositions. He is an Associate Professor, Adjunct at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the Collection Manager of the Roger Brown Study Collection.
Kyle Evans (MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago) is a new media artist, sound designer, educator, and performer. Focusing on the intersection of art and technology, his work commonly explores concepts of hacking, technological failure, and digital media artifacts. He has produced and presented a wide range of tech-art performance and new media installation work throughout North America and Europe at venues such as MUTEK San Francisco, Transmediale in Berlin, the International Computer Music Conference at Columbia University, the Dallas Video Festival at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Dimanche Rouge in Paris, the Vancouver New Music Festival, the Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, and the GLI.TC/H festival in Chicago. He is a founding board member, Managing Director, and instructor at the tech-art educational non-profit dadageek, board member and composer of the sound-art collective Rolling Ryot, co-founder of the immersive art studio dadaLab, and instructor in the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies at the University of Texas in Austin. He is actively involved in multiple internationally recognized collaborative and solo new media projects including Cracked Ray Tube and pulseCoder. His writings and artworks have been presented in several academic and popular publications including the Leonardo Music Journal, Computer Music Magazine, Neural Magazine, and Popular Science Magazine.
Maryam Faridani is an Iranian artist currently living in Chicago. By using moving images, installations and performance, she tries to explore how the given technical systems today leads to the creation and maintenance of a particular set of social conditions as the environment of that system.
CONTROL SIGNAL PERFORMANCES #2—SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 8:30 pm at the Latent Space (4150 N Elston Ave Chicago, IL)
Nick Briz makes work with and about our digital ecosystem. He is an active participant in various online communities and conversations including glitch art, net art, remix culture, digital literacy, hacktivism and digital rights. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of the Moving Image, New York City; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas, Venezuela; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Tate Exchange, London, among others. Briz is co-founder of netizen.org, a nonprofit focused on digital literacy and digital culture, a professor, adj. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, lecturer at the University of Chicago, and a freelance creative technologist.
Sky Goodman is a multimedia artist, poet, and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. Sky’s formal training is in poetry (MFA from Columbia College) with a background of teaching creative writing and literature to high school and college students. Currently they work full time as an artist, creating music videos for bands and working with virtual reality and 3D software, crafting dream-scapes. Sky regularly collaborates with other artists, musicians and dancers. They are a part of the audio visual duos interference//, ethereal_interface, and Twin Render. They are one half of the New Media collective S H R I N E which puts on live events, exhibitions, and performances in Chicago. Sky is the author of three published poetry books, “Starfish” “Deep Dream” and “Universal Texture.” Their work has been exhibited internationally and in the metaverse.
CRT Flux Phaser (2022)
A custom hardware modification that adds four hand-wound electromagnets to cathode ray tube monitors. These magnets receive different, precisely-tuned digitally-generated audio waveforms that enable full manipulation of the CRT’s visual capabilities that are typically repressed by the limitations of its consumer interface. This system will run algorithmically on a stack of 19 CRT monitors with an LCD monitor displaying a live view of the software.
An instrument driven by a hacked video graphics array (VGA) cable that bends audio into video and bypasses white and black signal clipping. The tool circumvents the restrictions placed on CRT monitors for the sake of photographic representation, revealing the full spectrum of electro-chromatic visuals they are capable of. This system will run algorithmically on a stack of 19 CRT monitors with an LCD monitor displaying a live view of the software.
A series of 10 dibond-mounted photographs and 6 editioned paper prints displaying test cards being processed on the CRT Flux Phaser will be on display.