September 13, 2010
The BLK River Festival 2010 will again present site-specific installations and a film series to represent a spectrum of artists challenging the notion of street art; exploring new modes of practice while bringing the art form to a wider public audience. This year, the focus will shift to Muralism & Experimental Visual Strategies, with the inclusion of large-scale mural paintings and site-specific installations. The festival will continue its dedication to film and video documentation of Street & Urban Art complimented by strategies in visual communication and interventions in public space.
Within the scope of the BLK River Festival 2010, the Italian BLU – one of the most famous street artist worldwide – just finished his colossal new mural (Untitled/it is obvious) at the Albener Hafen in Vienna. An idea he already wanted to realize for years – now he has found the appropriate wall in Vienna.
pictures by Peter Paltinger
(VIDEO CLIP) GRAFFITI ANALYSIS – POINT OF VIEW
Graffiti Analysis 3.0 by Evan Roth
Right after his artist talk at MQ/Raum D in connection with Museumsquartier, Beton Blumen and BLK River, Evan Roth performed a Graffiti Analysis presentation with two anonymous Viennese graffiti writers. Enjoy Evan’s video clip Graffiti Analysis: POV – Awesome!
June 5, 2008
Gallery Opening 19:00
Thursday 22. Oct. 2009
1020 Vienna, Taborstrasse 18
Footage from F.A.T. involvement in last weeks BLK River Festival. (Apologies in advance for the non-gender-neutral audio… I tried really hard to resist the urge of using a FATBOYS track and lost). www.fffff.at
Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihr Festival.
The Black River festival plays the city in three acts. The first street projects can be seen from mid October along the Donaukanal. There will be street and gallery projects generated daily until the grand opening of the group show @ Ofroom (Taborstraße 18) on the 22nd of October; that also hosts an additional highlight of the festival – an exhibition with 24 pictures per second – the Black River Festival film series.
ARAM BARTHOLL (D)
photo credits – ARAM BARTHOLL
In his work, the media artist Aram Bartholl exams the relationships between network-data- world and our everyday-life-space: “In which form does network-data-world manifest in our everyday-life-space? What flows back from cyberspace into our physical space? How do digital technologies influence our everyday activities?” Emerging from these questions, Bartholl eagerly searches for a humorous approach to the phenomena of being digital. And, in this way, the imaginary borders between the virtual and the real are constantly questioned – the mutual relativity of both categories shifts into the foreground.
Aram Bartholl’s works have had international exposure at festivals such as Ars Electronica Linz; Futuresonic Manchester and Transmediale Berlin. Since 1995, Aram Bartholl lives and works in Berlin.
photo credits – Paul Busk
The omnipresent, multi-talented Busk belongs to the most prominent activists in Viennas Street Art scene. In the mid-90s the Vienna-born artist developed his passion for character sets, fonts and styles through graffiti. As the initiator of the Streetart Project CMOD (City MODification), in 2001 he was to be among those pioneers in Vienna who transcended the artistic practice of graffiti, towards new media and alternative techniques, such as paste-up collages and relief-like cut-outs.
Since 2001, Busk has employed his signature/logo with the characteristic, Donkey Kong like, apes-head in every imaginable way throughout the city; and has also developed and implemented innumerable projects in related areas as advertising, graphic design and typography.
DEEP INC. (A)
photo credits – Lukas Beck
Not uncustomary, the career of the Vienna-based artist Deep Inc. began in the graffiti scene in the western neighborhoods of the city in 1994. After several years of experimenting with classical New York Graffiti styles, he developed his characteristic 3-D style, inspired by calligraphy, architecture, and design. However, for Deep Inc. the boundaries of scriptural iconicity, characteristic to graffitis’ aesthetic, were soon to be reached. What followed were artistic interventions that put public space as a social and aesthetic phenomenon itself under scrutiny.
Ironically, Deep Inc. commented on the (social) failure of Viennas first civic-bike project; or reinvented a streetcar station as a racetrack – an artistic intervention that even met with the transport authority’s approval – subsequently.
BRAD DOWNEY (US)
photo credits – Brad Downey
The multitude of signs and signal-systems which influence the appearance of and imperceptibly determine our everyday movement in urban environments, serve as the primary material for the Louisville, Kentucky-born artist Brad Downey. As the son of a U.S. Marine Corps family, relocation was an important component of Brad Downey’s childhood. This upbringing fostered his unique insight into the variations and similarities of urban environments of the 20th century. Subtle, comic and very often, provocative, Brad Downey’s work focuses on the crossover between public and private territorial claims. Brad Downey studied film and painting in New York and London. He lives in Berlin.
photo credits – Dtagno
“In just a few moments, the Berlin-based writer, Dtango creates complex murals, which consist of a single continuous line.
In this instance the wall is not just a picture surface, but also an action-site of artistic activity. Similar to Jackson Pollock’s Action Painting, Dtango responds to bodily impulses. The controlled accident becomes an artistic actuality. This freedom allows Dtango an amazing intensity and directness, which stand out against the elaborately developed pieces of numerous writers.” (Ingo Clauß) More than that, his self-constructed “Geräte” allow him to draw up to twelve parallel trajectories at the same time. Execution and effect of this temporally highly condensed, space-encompassing body-performances, remind one of the repetitive written-gestures of the painter Cy Twombly. Dtango remarks about his work: “I write figures and I paint writing. I am focused on the boundaries between writing and images. I use writing as genre, similar to the way that portraits, landscapes or nudes are conceived and executed. I instigate animation from something that is foreign to our writing.” Since 2009, Dtango’s pictures are a part of the permanent collection of the Cartier Foundation in Paris.
CHRISTIAN EISENBERGER (A)
photo credits – Christian Eisenberger
There is hardly anyone in Vienna or in the small Styrian community of Semriach, who has not encountered at least a single pictorial or sculptural intervention of Christian Eisenberger.
The artist became widely known by the city’s public for his repeated dissemination of numerous artworks at intersections and hubs of urban life. It is said that about ten thousand of those artworks, painted on derelict packing boxes, commenting on politics, society, life and death, thereby found their way to the streets, the homes of afficiandos and the containers of cleansing services. Consequently the art of Christian Eisenberger detracts itself of the relative as much as the absolute claims for durability and profitability of both Street Art and the arts market. Christian Eisenberger is the founder of the Kunsthalle K2 in Semriach (Styria). His works can be found in many private and public collections, which include The Living Art Museum, Reykjavik, the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City and the Neue Galerie, Graz.
GRAFFITI RESEARCH LAB / G.R.L. (US)
photo credits – GRL
Founded by the artists James Powderly and Evan Roth, the international network Graffiti Research Lab., is preoccupied with the mission of providing cheap, open-source communication technology to artists, graffiti-writers, communications-guerillas and political activists. The research and development works of the group are consecutively documented and publicized on the web with do-it-yourself construction manuals. Autonomous GRL chapters, based in cities throughout the world, multiply and co-develop the projects of the core group based in New York. The works of GRL are in international collections and museums, including the famous MoMA, New York. In 2006 the group received an award in the category of “Interactive Art” at the Pris Arts Electronica in Linz. In the context of the Black River Festival, GRL will have their groundbreaking, collaborative project, “Eye Writer” (an optical graphic tool for physically handicapped) presented in Europe for the first time.
MARK JENKINS (US)
photo credits – Mark Jenkins
The American artist, Mark Jenkins (b. 1970) is predominantly working with the profane material of packing tape, he employs to take casts of his body and everyday objects, such as children’s playthings. He creates transparent, fragile looking figures of child- and animal dolls, tearing down road signs or populating urban green areas. On occasion the stuffed cast of his body is presented in dressed, life-size sculptures, which are planted in the urban environment, irritating everyday routines. Public space is for Jenkins an embattled territory with shifting boundaries and hybrid networks between city, art, advertising, brand names, individual and collective claims for sovereignty: “Public space is a battleground, with the government, advertisers and artists all mixing and mashing”.
Mark Jenkins lives in Washington, D.C. He operates the website, tapessculptures.org and holds ongoing workshops in connection with his international exhibitions.
KNOW HOPE (IL)
photo credits – Know Hope
Know Hope is internationally known for his poetic and often melancholic artworks, which pertain to the precarious nature of human existence and revolve around the world of feelings connected with the human predicament. In this context one finds in his work the recurring motifs of hearts and hour-glasses, suggesting the fragile and easily broken nature of existence. The artist paints his elegant yet vulnerable creatures on walls, draws them with delicate ornament on paper or cardboard, or places his artworks as lit-up Chinese lanterns in the cities that he visits – reminding of the transitory nature of existence. “I hope to move heavy hearts at least one inch to the side by confessing that I’m petrified and secretly in love with the world,” Know Hope writes in connection with the hope that his works advance. The California-born Know Hope lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel. His art was and is to be found in the cities, streets and galleries of Israel, the UK, Norway, Italy, Canada and the U.S.A.
AAKASH NIHALANI (US)
photo credits – Aakash Nihalani
The artistic approach of the New York-based newcomer Aakash Nihalani is minimalist – in the best sense of the word. With radical consequence he has reduced his pictorial language to geometrical forms, lines and planes. To this end, the New Yorker employs fluorescent tape, to break up the two-dimensional relief of urban architecture with perspectively distorted cubes and quadrants. He superimposes isometric tromp l’oeilsover the urban surface, thus bestowing new perspectives on everyday manifestations.
And “as much as the lines and shapes seem to play with just the structural elements of a city, there exists in each piece a subtle narrative quality that’s not brooding, but light hearted instead, and perhaps more often than not, witty and humorous.” (Meenakshi Thirukode)
James Powderly (US)
The artist labels himself “a maverick hobbyist dabbling at the fringes of robotics, chemistry, writing, pyrotechnics, graffiti, art, tattoos and rock n roll.” Born in 1976 in the US Deep South, Powderly’s loose and versatile self description is indeed proven by his Curriculum Vitae. First teenage experiments with electronic DIY-kits, were soon to be followed by studies in composition and music theory and those followed by a self-relocation to New York and studies in interactive arts. He then worked at Honeybee Robotics, a Manhattan-based NASA contractor, developing the Mars Exploration Rover’s Rock Abrasion Tool. An engagement he soon swapped for activism in the world of subversive arts. Since then Powderly’s arts and design projects can be found on the surface of Mars and other people’s walls throughout the U.S. and Europe. James shares a bed with his cat Schnitzel in Berlin.
ALBIN RAY (US)
photo credits – Albin Ray
The works of Albin Ray speak for themselves and for their creator. Implicitly, they must, as little is known of this nomad who moves between Vienna and New York. Albin Ray deliberately withdraws from the self-preoccupation and navel-gazing of contemporary media-society. Thus even more so, do the bold works of Albin Ray move into the foreground; demanding active interpretation by the observers and discoverers of his utterances. Nothing but single words, phrases, shreds of thoughts, rhetorical questions and absurd pairings, Albin Ray leaves behind in repeatedly black letters, placed at those points in the city, which are not to be seen or about to disappear and covered up: Words in constant flux, under permanent reconstruction and prey to oblivion – kindred to human thought and perception.
EVAN ROTH (US)
photo credits – Evan Roth
Besides his engagement as co-founder of Graffiti Research Lab.(GRL), in recent years the Michigan-born Evan Roth internationally emerged with a versatile artistic portfolio of collaborative and solo, on- and offline projects. His works cover a spectrum reaching from net-cultural and -critical arts, to analytical works on media and media-aesthetics, from the development of typographical animated-movies, open-source software and tech-gadgets, to crowd-sourcing based media arts and political activism.
Evan Roth’s works have repeatedly been awarded and can be found in public and private collections around the globe. He is co-founder of the open-source technology collective FAT (Free Art and Technology) Lab., based in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at the Parsons New School for Design. Evan Roth lives with his wife in Hong Kong and the USA.
MAX SCHAFFER (D)
photo credits – Max Schaffer
Born in 1985 in Santiago de Chile, Max Schaffer discovered his ability and passion for the arts in public spaces in his teenage years. His early murals on school buildings in Mexico and Cuba would be the prelude to his career in the arts. Since then he continuously has expanded his spectrum of artistic expression from painting, calligraphy and illustration to performance, sculpture and interventions in public space.
Max Schaffer studied fine arts at the Universität der Künste in Bremen; since 2008 he studies painting in the masters class of Daniel Richter, at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. So far, his exhibitions took him from Bremen, Barcelona, Budapest, Milan, Moscow and New York to remote Kirgistan.
STATE OF SABOTAGE (SoS)
photo credits – SoS
The formation “Sabotage” was founded by artist Robert Jelinek in the area of the Documenta IX in Kassel in June 1992. Sabotage” began operating in 1992 as a small project and collective, later 1994 as Sabotage Communications- an art organisation and music label, than a union of various sublabels. Since 1992 more than 100 international “public sabotages” have taken place in form of performances, actions, events and exhibitions. In 2003 the trans-territorial State of Sabotage was proclaimed on an uninhabited Scandinavian island as the “first sovereign state of culture” on earth.
According to the group’s definition, Sabotage “is not a technique that transports meaning. Sabotage transgresses positions without presenting a new social order, provokes thinking by intervening in the official discourse. Sabotage […] tries to make thinkable new possibilities.”
STOP MAKING SENSE (D)
photo credits – Stop Making Sense
In the works of the Berlin-based artist duo Stop Making Sense, the filmmakers accurate view meets with the experimental approach of the free arts (Freie Künste), moving pictures meet sculpture, the temporality of film images meet with the solidity and durability of built environment. Repeatedly it’s the City of Berlin and its urban structures in the duos works, which are contrasted by simple and meditative physical activities of protagonists who seem detached of the cities bustle. Mischa Leinkauf was born in 1977 in Eastern-Berlin. Until 2005 he had worked in different fields and areas of film- and videomaking, before studying at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne since then. Mathias Wermke was born in 1977 in Eastern-Berlin. He studies Fine Arts and Sculpture at the Kunsthochschule Weißensee in Berlin.
In 2003 the Los Angeles-based artist Tony Quan aka Tempt One was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, rapidly progresses throughout all systems. In some cases, the brain loses its ability to control all muscles, resulting in the progressive inability to physically move about or function various parts of the body. The disease may or may not have a known causal factor and may not even have a medical cure. But Tony Quan’s fate has neither touched his sharp mind and creative energy, nor his passion for graffiti.So in early 2009 artists, engineers and programmers from London, Hong Kong, Madrid, Amsterdam and New York City teamed up with Tony Quan to develop the EYEWRITER – a low-cost, open-source eyetracking-based graphics tool that enables people suffering from paralysis to draw with their eyes.
Within a few weeks Tony Quan already managed to create complex illustration and lettering – by the sole means of the coordinate movement of his pupils and eyelids. The Black River festival group show hosts an illustration by Tony Quan done with Eyewriter-Technology.
Apocalyptic Colors Veranstaltungen im öffentlichen Raum
Laurenzgasse 6 / 28
m: +43 699 11939491
A Project in cooperation with Butterflies&Bunnyrabbits