Alien Afterlife and other Art Galleries - NYC

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Alien Afterlife and other Art Galleries - NYC

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:18 pm


Offered as a temporary reprieve from the onslaught of similarly-themed thread proliferation.

Jeremy Couillard
Inside a psychedelic living-room installation—complete with drawn shades, prints on the walls, and a coffee table furnished with a novel by Philip K. Dick and a bong—is an enormous projection of Alien Afterlife, a video game that the artist, a self-taught coder, designed. It begins with a hospital deathbed scene and continues on in strange landscapes charged with uncertain threats and suggestive gibberish. It’s as fun as it is disconcerting. A hilariously over-the-top coda is installed in the gallery’s basement: two life-size sculptures of aliens sitting at facing desks, communicating in a live chat room—you can join in at

2056 A.D: Self-driving smart cars with artificial general intelligence (AGI) have formed real estate corporations that speculate residents out of their own cities. Previous homeowners, landlords, and tenants are forced to either live in the suburbs working menial jobs performing routine auto maintenance or to live in subsistence: hidden away in forests where they bring their old tools and what’s left of their culture to try and start over.
While shopping for a water container in a woodland flea-market, a woman finds an old USB flash drive at the bottom of a shampoo bottle. On the chip is a forgotten video game with the filename AlienAfterlife.exe. In an attempt to make her rare discovery potentially profitable, she decides to make a YouTube video of her playing though the game where she shares stream of conscious stories of her daily life.

In the game, the player dies from a hospital bed, goes off into a hypnagogic limbo state and floats around while waiting to be reborn. Right before being taken to the next life, however, alien terrorists invade and steal the mechanism needed for reincarnation. The player must venture through different levels of the bardo to find the extraterrestrial insurgents and rebuild the machine.

2017 A.D: yours mine & ours gallery will premiere the video game Alien Afterlife on February 17th and it will be playable in the gallery until April 2. Elements from the game will be brought out into the gallery space. The Let’s Play from the future will be on loop waiting for a player to interrupt and explore the world from a game controller. Some of the many 3D assets from the game have been unfolded into 2D rainbow maps and printed on aluminum to deconstruct the artist/computer collaboration. The digital maps are used by the computer to “see” 3D objects. The X,Y,Z vectors are converted into R,G,B data so the computer knows what is up, down, side and front.

Elements from the game space are brought into the gallery from furniture and rugs to bongs and the novel Ubik. And in the dark basement, two of the game aliens have come to life and are chatting with each other on laptops. They have received some information on how to form sentences in English and they are trying to reach out to humanity. A chatroom is open during gallery hours where anyone can join in to talk with them. But as hard as they try they are not able to fully connect with anyone, even each other, as they type away, victims of their own feedback loop.

In retrospect, it now seems like the cold war aliens of X-Files fantasy were just conveniently dreamed up fantasies that gave us alternative theories to the psychedelic weaponry our governments were testing in the sky. But sometimes it feels like maybe while we were distracted, other entities did invade our brains and they’re forcing us into building a world no one actually wants and everyone is totally confused by. A world where the places we are supposed to live in have turned into centers for real estate speculation and parking spots. Data points on machines are valued infinitely more than actual labor or physical objects or food. While trying to build a predictable, safe world another confusing, insane one has emerged. ... herschlein

Dan Herschlein
The Stephen King of new art, born in 1989, Herschlein continues to rattle his viewers as a suave lyricist of dread. Sculptures include a fool-the-eye realist bathroom sink with the top of a head visible beneath the drain. Low reliefs uncomfortably situate figures with shrouded or missing heads. Works on paper depict squalid domestic interiors occupied by grotesque young men. In each case, tenderly tactile materials, such as wax and casein, enhance the creepy-crawliness, like an unfriendly whisper in a dark place where you thought you were alone.

Through April 9.
191 Chrystie St.
Downtown ... vi-acarin/

“Conspiracies Are Things”
The curator Xavier Acarín makes conspiracies seem distressingly charming in this well-chosen if somewhat literal selection of sculptures and prints. Nick Doyle’s L.E.D. portal of concentric circles draws its inspiration from Looney Tunes, while Deville Cohen’s “sculptural excerpts” of an elaborate musical-theatre piece he recently staged in Germany are delightfully absurd wooden contraptions adorned with body hair, wax, and a little electric roller-coaster. The highlight is a trio of sculptures by Sarah Anderson, whose precariously balanced constructions of light bulbs, javelins, and fragments of some of her previous works suggest traps devised by an aesthete-survivalist.

Abrons Arts Center is pleased to announce Conspiracies Are Things, the first exhibition organized by the 2016-17 curator-in-residence, Xavier Acarín. The exhibition departs from an interest in disruption as a motif that characterizes the present and features a group of artists attentive to the processes of alteration and violence in their practices. While sometimes disruption is applied to formal concerns of object-making and ways of distressing materials, it can also disclose the physical realities of technologies and environments that are often rendered impalpable. Malfunction upsets the normative ease and ignorance of daily ritual, drawing attention to the turbulence that is always active under the surface. The works presented in this exhibition deliberately unsettle and disclose the anguished qualities of our existence.

The alteration of the techno-sphere mirrors the disruption of weather patterns, and although these are produced by human means, they constitute systems outside human control. These are expressive of the damaged alliance between humans and their surroundings, between expectations and satisfactions. The recent explosions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the recent cyber attack that destabilized online access using hundreds of thousands of internet connected devices, unveil the features of a world that emerges as strange and unknown. These two cases expose our embeddedness in cycles of violence. The smartphones become time bombs, connecting its users with the processes of natural and human exploitation defined by global trade and low-wages. Our domestic appliances are engaged in cyber warfare without us even noticing. The state is confronted by non-state powers, secret services by hacker’s groups. Dominated by hidden interests, the world becomes incomprehensible.

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