the New Museum, especially Paper Rad and Matt Barton

Paper Rad and Matt Barton extreme animalz: the movie: part 1 2005 video and mixed media* [detail of installation]

And they don't just sit there. Those neglected and somewhat disfigured creatures really move out when approached by visitors: Dancing fools, all of them.

The New Museum was host to the opening of two new shows this evening: Aernout Mik's extraordinary video installation, Refraction and an installation of internet-based art by Rhizome ArtBase 101.

Internet-based art is difficult enough to display in a traditional setting even without the additional complication of dealing with people partying while crowded into a limited physical space, so tonight's museum opening was not the ideal time to approach most of the work.

But there was one exception. Paper Rad's piece stood out probably only partly because this wonderful collaborative didn't stick to an electronic screen in assemblying their contribution: It's brilliant all the way through. In any event, the section of wall assigned to extreme animalz was definitely the place to watch. Because of the crush of bodies, the plug had to be pulled on the fantastic animation of these dozens of creatures. Since their movement would normally be triggered by the presence of a passing body, tonight the animals had to be guaranteed occasional respites; they were regularly set off briefly by their keeper, Jacob Ciocci, and each time it happened the entire room went nuts.

The museum press release helps us to understand the inspiration which united the discarded physical with the abandoned pixeled in this work:

Projects described as DIRT STYLE appropriate graphic detritus from the Web in gestures that both celebrate and satirize digital pop culture. In extreme animalz: the movie: part 1 (2005) by U.S.-based collective Paper Rad and Pittsburgh-based artist Matt Barton gif files of animals, sourced through Google's Image Search, are woven into a digital tapestry that is mirrored by a surrounding cluster of mechanized stuffed animals.
The artists in the Rhizome show included John F. Simon, Cory Archangel, MTAA (M. River and T. Whid Art Associates),, Marisa Olson and Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, to name only a few and with no particular weight assignments. I couldn't find a complete list to include here, so I have to go largely by memory of the names connected to some of the images I saw tonight.

MTAA 1 year performance video (aka samHsiehUpdate) 2004 web site with flash

* the editor's description

[lower image from]