Monday, March 10, 2008

GIVEN ENOUGH EYEBALLS: Kendall Bruns

The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery
Opens Friday March 14th (5-8pm) - April 26th

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This is the announcement card. It is a photo of the plants in the lobby of The Science Center

This Friday a show I put together for The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery is opening. The work all somehow relates to open source, a computer term that refers to a set of principles for designing software in which the source code, which you can think of as the building blocks for a software program, is openly available for any and all parties to use or learn from. Because a lot of the work is more cerebral then visual I've decided to spend this week blogging about the artists in the show and highlighting how cool their work is, this makes double sense because many of the artist's work is readily available to view online. If you take the time to visit the exhibition you will also benefit from a personal experiment; is it necessary to investigate artworks in person or do you get more out of the online experience?

Today we will cover the work of Kendall Bruns, a Cincinnati-based artist who spends most of his time making videos and pod-casts that are freely distributed on the inter-webs.

Kendall has a dry sense of humor that is a little hard to take at first. His artwork is also really self-absorbed but, taking these factors in mind, I think you'll come to love him as I do. He has two pieces in Given Enough Eyeballs.

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Kendall's haircut history chart.

The first is entitled The Haircut Entries and this is a grid of entry forms for a contest to create a new haircut for Kendall. The artwork isn't really the entries but the documentary, which turned out a lot like a reality tv program, called The Haircut. You can view the documentary online by accessing Kendall's you-tube or Vimeo channel Pizza Infinity, which is also the name of his podcast. I've embedded the first part of The Haircut here, altogether there are four parts. I suggest watching them as they are pretty funny and in a mixed-up way a sort of poignant metaphor for the condition of public image and art:



My favorite moment is in the second part when Kendall says "People don't like art because it's pretentious and boring. This may be pretenious but it's at least not boring." I think this quote explains the heart of the whole project.

Mr. Brun's second work is called Landscape and it's the first world of Super Mario Bros with Mario removed. I wanted this piece in the exhibition as sort of a homage to all of the artworks and etc. that have been created by hacking Mario Bros.

Here are some links to just a few of the things regular people and artists have created using this video game:

Cory Archangel scroll down the page until you see his "Mario Clouds" project which you can download the source code for.

Mario Air Hack, if you follow this link you will find many related "hack" you-tube searches, happy hunting.