Jens Brand, G-Pod, Image copyright Galerie Rachel Haferkamp
Given the amount of i-pod fetishization that proliferates the Internet, I am wholly uninclined to reproduce images of the product here for fear of irritating myself further with its presence. I make exceptions, only in the case of artists like Jens Brand who lightly mock the product with such works as G-pod, a portable device that allows you to listen to an aural mapping of the earth through the use of pre-existing satellites any time you wish. The humor of this piece is subtle because of course, it’s not like we’ve all been waiting for someone to come up with a device that provides us the convenience of listening to hours of noise on the run, but it’s clever enough that I actually enjoy featuring it on AFC. In fact, you can read about this, and all kinds of other great work like it at the DiVA art fair in Miami at The Reeler. The teaser begins below.
Even with the 3-year-old Digital & Video art fair (DiVA) now in town, it's pretty clear that cinema and the digital arts are not a priority to this year's various fair organizers. Reports of poorly attended and out-of-focus screenings plagued both Art Basel and DiVA, while Cinema Scope continued building upon less than substantial programming. Granted, the market for art video is relatively small compared to that of traditional media, which in part explains the overall lack of emphasis on the medium; as it remains relatively untapped among art fairs, the event planning is so splintered that only the most dedicated cinephile could capitalize on the screenings.
In theory, DiVA offers a solution to this problem with a focus exclusively on video and digital art. Founder and organizer Thierry Alet acknowledged this factor would likely explain the smaller audience. “I see DiVA as a destination show,” he told me outside “the village” — the fair local, which comprises 18 sea containers as exhibit spaces laid out in the form of two concentric semi-circles. He went on to explain that the people who attend the fair are specifically interested in video art as opposed to the more casual Basel art shopper. But how many of these “focused” people actually showed up? Artist Martin Ramocki (about whom I wrote here in October) uploaded pictures from the first day of the fair on his gallery's blog vertexlistblog, documenting a total of three attendees. The numbers climbed in subsequent days, but you'd think that as a destination fair, it would have resulted in a single sale. Last I heard, though, the largest grossing gallery at the fair was boasting a $20 profit after having found a bill on their floor.