‘Unzipping Codes’ showcases techno-arts

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‘Unzipping Codes’ showcases techno-arts

If Korean techies can have their phone, MP3 player, digital camera and Internet access morphed into one, Spanish digerati are here to prove that they can fuse sound, digital images, software and hardware online while also performing live offline.
The exhibition “Unzipping Codes,” which opens today at Art Center Nabi in central Seoul, showcases conceptually cutting-edge digital work and audio-visual performances, both online and offline, by 15 visiting artists from Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and Italy. The exhibition/event, which runs until Dec. 23, offers participants a rare opportunity to experience what a group of avant garde techies can do to entertain digitally.
The exhibition is the result of a year of collaboration among three curators: Nilo Casares, a freelancer based in Valencia, Spain; Cesare Espada of the Spanish Embassy in Seoul, and Hur Suh-jung of the art center.
Since his arrival in Korea two years ago, Mr. Espada has occasionally thrown parties at his own home in Hannam-dong to inspire himself and his friends, but for the past year or so, he has wanted to do something on a grand scale for the public. The second secretary contacted the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ibiza and Mr. Casares, who works closely with digital artists in Europe and Latin America.
The first part of the exhibition is “Code Art” by Brian Mackern, Joan Leandre and Arcangel Constantini, who display interactive digital work on laptops. Visitors can hear sound through headphones while clicking on icons to observe changing images on LCD screens, some of which are transferred to the wall. In his work, the Uruguayan artist Brian Mackern employs CD-ROMs to explore the psychic connection of sound samples from musicians and artists around the world. Barcelona-based Joan Leandre has experimented with various software programs and created games whose goal lies not in winning but in questioninge boundaries of the world within virtual reality.
On the wall in the adjacent room is a non-stop replay of video art. “To the Other Side” is a one-hour compilation of digital images, short films and animations by 12 artists. Each distinctive work in the collection?― from a semi-documentary “Nike Ground” by “net activists” 0100101110101101.ORG, to a fusion of digital art and animation, “Pile up & Dead,” by Oscar Mora ― shows the infinite possibilities, limitations and versatility of the medium.
The highlight comes on Friday, when visiting artists will perform live. Brian Mackern, one of the four artists to perform “Net Jamm Live” from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Art Center Nabi, says the team usually designs unique sounds and images in collaboration with a few select artists. The concept, he said, was initiated by a British Internet artist, Andrew Forbes, who collaborates first online and then performs live offline.
The ultimate connection between online and offline, both artistic and technological, will be made at the Positronic Party at W Hotel on Friday night at 9 p.m. Area3 of Spain, a hypermedia laboratory experimenting in art, images, sound and technology, will give a dynamic audio-visual performance until 2 a.m. with Korean DJ, Dalparan and VJ Kwon.


by Ines Cho

Art Center Nabi, on the fourth floor of the SK Building near Gwanghwamun, is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily except Sundays. Both the exhibition and the W Hotel event are free. For more information, call (02) 2121-0906 or visit the Web site (www.nabi.or.kr).
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