An artist working with electronics and electronic media, based in Brooklyn, NY

Archive for October, 2011

Subliminal Machines Teaser

Teaser Slideshow for Subliminal Machines – a solo exhibition by Phillip Stearns – presented by Rabbithole Gallery.


Solo Exhibition: Subliminal Machines @ RabbitHole Gallery

Above: PHILLIP STEARNS "Fruiting Bodies of High-Voltage Transmission Lines" (2010) Found speakers, speaker wire, custom electronics, dimensions variable

Subliminal Machines
03 NOV – 28 NOV 11

Opening reception: THU 03 NOV 11, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Artist’s presentation: FRI 18 NOV 11, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

“When the circuit is exposed, electronic technologies can take on an organic appearance. In my work with sculptural electronics, the components become crystalline lattices, skeletal structures, with wires functioning as any blood vessel or nerve bundle would. By making electronics physical, I invert the paradigm of miniaturization which constantly seeks to embed ever powerful computational devices in increasingly smaller spaces, choosing to explode the physical attributes of the circuits to give them a bodily presence.

Under the banner of a “smarter world”, we are inundating ourselves with objects whose functionality forms a dynamic interrelationship of dependence. The devices are not yet autonomous, to be so would mean that they are able to re-program themselves. What this means is that the behaviour of the electronics is to an extent pre-determined, not by some heartless machine, but by a group of humans (hopefully not heartless ones). We cannot help but embed our value systems and biases into the devices we build.

It is not necessary to accommodate every way of thinking, nor is it very useful to create the ultimate swiss army knife, to do so creates unwieldy and ultimately useless tools. However, it is important to understand that a device can shape our thoughts, that we take on the same thinking that went into the making of the device each time we use it. They have their own internal logic, and we must conform to the functioning of that logic to gain access to the intended utility.

In my work with electronics, I have not built devices to be used, but experienced. They have their own internal logic, but it is not necessary to access it. There are deeper metaphors embedded within the design of some of my works, however, this should come secondary to the experience. It is there that the meanings can be strung together, without a deep understanding of what is going on and how it is happening.”

– Phillip Stearns

View images of works

Algorithmic Unconscious – Group Exhibition Nov 4th

DCP 0091 by Phillip Stearns

Algorithmic Unconscious

Curated by Phillip Stearns

LOCATION: 54 Majuer St at Lorimer. L to Lorimer, G to Metropolitian

Exhibiting Artists
Jeff Snyder
Daniel Temkin
Phillip Stearns
Jeff Donaldson
Arcangel Constantini

Digital is anti-noise. In the shift from analog, physical, or chemical forms of art making—where physical agents operate on physical material—to digital, the noise of the medium is minimized (controlled) as a default of the technological substrate.

Algorithmic Unconscious highlights machine/human collaborations where the primary material in the works exhibited is the inherent noise of electronic systems. By emphasizing random fluctuations, the artists explore the potential for electronic technologies to misinterpret and re-imagine the signals they are processing in order to complete the work. The featured artists work within and parallel to the Glitch Art movement, recognizing that algorithms for processing signals function as key materials of digital art. By feeding these algorithms “unconventional data” or by putting them through unconventional routines, noise is reintroduced as a signature of the machine.

Jeff Donaldson’s work takes analog VHS tapes and Flash video compression and twists them into a system where the product is an “interpretation” of noise that mirrors the phenomenon responsible for the noise of our visual sense organs being perceived as visions in dreams. Dan Temkin puts Photoshop’s dithering algorithm into a situation where it is forced to get creative with incompatible color palettes in the production of large scale, low-resolution images. Arcangel Constantini re-wires the electronics of an Atari 2600 game console from the 70s so that the internal memory is expressed in a fragmented machine style stream-of-consciousness: a frenetically changing barrage of fragmented geometries and saturated colors. The images of Phillip Stearns’s DCP Series explore a machine dream-state induced by rewiring the brains of digital cameras. The analog plotter drawings of Jeff Snyder utilize technologies from which contemporary digital art practices originated: analog computing, providing an elegant counter point to the digital works in the show.

The algorithmic unconscious itself may not yet be something that we can clearly define or identify, however, we may be able to view the works in this exhibition and identify between them a revised metaphor for ourselves and our relationship to our technology.

Schedule of Events

Opening: November 4th, 6:30p reception / 9:30p concert
Performance Lineup
Richard Garet
Kamran Sadeghi
Phillip Stearns
Closing: November 18th, 8:30p – 11:30p
Performance Lineup
Phil White
Dandelion Fiction
Phillip Stearns

Apeiron Peras in Recent Some Magazine Issue “Electric”

Apeiron | Peras is featured on page 11 of the latest issue of Some Magazine.

Apeiron | Peras on Page 11

Toktek Vs. Simonz Berz @ 319 Scholes

Date: Saturday, October 8th 2011
Time: 8pm Doors
Location: 319 Scholes @ 319 Scholes St. Brooklyn, NY 11206
Tickets: $10 at the door
Description: Leisure, a concert series produced by 319 Scholes, welcomes special international guests Tom Verbruggen (Toktek) and Simon Berz in a program curated by Phillip Stearns featuring performances by locals TwistyCat, Jeff Donaldson Vs. Phil White, Phillip Stearns. The evening promises to be a “spastic, sweaty and intense” display of electronic music from a wide array of sensibilities spanning drone, noise, glitch, and ambient genres.