phiffer.org

Dan Phiffer Dan Phiffer is an Internet enthusiast based in Troy, NY

A redesigned phiffer.org

I’ve been tinkering with a new design for this site for a few months and have finally gotten to the point where it feels polished enough to start using. It’s not a huge departure from what was here before, but I’ve made some structural changes to how the WordPress theme works that should make it easier for me to maintain and improve. The old theme was ambitious, I invented my own object-oriented template system that shunned the well established conventions of making WordPress themes. This is all fine and good when a site first launches, but over time I forgot how all the parts fit together and was left puzzled by my earlier choices. This new theme is much more straightforward, no PHP fanciness this time around.

phiffer.org header

I did indulge a bit in some front-end fanciness though. You may notice there’s a new header element that gradually changes in response to your mouse movement. The gradations of green squares correspond to regions of the page, but rotated 90 degrees. If you move your mouse up or down you’ll see changes in the header, only your mouse movements show up horizontal instead of vertical. So the more you browse below the fold, the more visual changes will appear in the header toward the center and right. All this is private to your browser (and saved, per-browser, using something called JavaScript localStorage), I’m not sending any of the mouse movement data to the server.

Aside from that I’ve mostly just trimmed back some text in the sidebar, added a new archives interface in the footer, and beefed up my links to projects and friends. It’s still a work in progress, but with a bit more fit and finish I could see releasing the theme for others to use.

Ohm Ω at Splatterpool gallery

Here is some video documentation of Ohm Ω, a performance drawing piece I helped create with the Future Archaeology crew at Splatterpool gallery. It was very experimental, in the sense that we had no idea how it would come together until it was up on the wall. And I think it came together very nicely, the audience really got into participating toward the end!

Shoot w/o card: On, Review time: Hold, Auto power off: Off

Here is some video documentation of my photo performance in November for Bushwick BETA Spaces. The piece uses three digital SLR cameras with their flash memory cards removed. It is still possible to take photos, but the resulting images can only be seen on the camera’s preview screen. They’re lost as soon as the next shot is taken.

The Here & Now

Well, it certainly has been a while since I posted here. I’ve enjoyed my blog vacation, but I will break my silence to write a little bit about an art show I’m involved in next Sunday.

It’s a group show of some friends and myself, working under the moniker Future Archaeology. We are interested in a pretty wide variety of things, the 6 of us, but we’ve found common ground in this idea of creating a kind of archaeology for the future, an imagined dystopia (this word is probably debatable) of hybridized artificial life. Much like science fiction writing is often a projection of the time it was written, I see Future Archaeology as being about the group’s shared anxiety about technologies losing track of their connection to human needs, about our collective displacement of the ecological basis for life.

Our projects thus far have been about molding simple electronic circuits into artificial insects. This show will be different than previous iterations (see: Canopy Assemblage, Chrysalis). We will have documentation on hand that gives some context for what the group has been working on, but primarily the show is about presenting our individual art practices in a way that isn’t so tightly bound to the group’s constructed narrative. The show is a momentary consideration of the ephemeral present tense, whether it’s literally what’s happening here & now or explores a more abstract treatment of the idea.

The project I’ll be showing involves photography and a simple obstruction (read: gimmick). During the run of the one-day-only exhibition I will be taking pictures with a set of three digital SLR cameras. The obstruction is that I’ve removed the flash memory from each camera, creating a very limited window for viewing each image in the preview screen of the camera itself. At any given moment two cameras will present a screen-based diptych in the gallery space while I’m out taking the next shot to replace the older of the two images. I will spend the day shooting photos and will have no lasting artifact.

Shoot w/o card: On, Review time: Hold, Auto power off: Off

The piece has a kind of unwieldy name that tries to explain precisely what’s going on in the camera’s settings: Shoot w/o card: On, Review time: Hold, Auto power off: Off. I like the directness of the title, but I hope it doesn’t give the impression I’m mainly interested in a kind of mechanical exercise. I’m attempting to provoke a specific kind of reaction in viewers. In denying the longevity of the image, I’m hoping that one might come to appreciate more fully what is happening in the immediate place and time. These are photos deeply rooted in the brief span between their creation and destruction. I will attempt to elevate the sense that our shared circumstances are fleeting and precious. My central challenge will be to work effectively with the small screen size, to create images that might tweak — if even briefly — the relationship to one’s surroundings.

Anyway, come see it happen! It will be part of the Bushwick BETA Spaces festival on Sunday November 14th, from noon until 7pm. Our space is on Grattan Street, very close to the Morgan Ave L train stop. You can find more information on our website.

Events for June 5-6, 2010

This weekend is going to be busy! I’m participating in Bushwick Open Studios (with two shows!) and I’m also teaching a session at ITP Camp.

Rising Currents at MoMAmoma.org

We recently launched a sub-site for the Rising Currents exhibition at MoMA:

MoMA and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center joined forces to address one of the most urgent challenges facing the nation’s largest city: sea-level rise resulting from global climate change. Though the national debate on infrastructure is currently focused on “shovel-ready” projects that will stimulate the economy, we now have an important opportunity to foster new research and fresh thinking about the use of New York City’s harbor and coastline.

These smaller exhibitions don’t usually get their own sub-sites, but it was fairly easy to customize a category view within the existing MoMA blog. A slightly-altered version of the site is also available on kiosks in the exhibition space.

Link

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