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The Arts
May 17-23, 2006

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San Jose City Hall Rotunda

Temple of Dome: The San Jose City Hall Rotunda will be transformed into 'Simulation by Akira Hasegawa of Digital-Kajuku' for ZeroOne.

ZeroOne Adds Up

Electronic and digital arts are the focus for a new cutting-edge festival

By Gary Singh

Metro Summer Guide 2006:
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IN EARLY August (Aug. 7-13), the 13th International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) will descend upon San Jose, Calif., bringing hundreds of artists from around the globe to downtown San Jose. Previous ISEAs took place in Finland, Japan, Holland, Montreal and Paris.

You'll see artists, engineers, hackers, cultural theorists, futurists, technophiles and truckloads of academics who quack way too much about postmodernism, neurolinguistics and game theory.

Running concurrently with ISEA will be the inaugural ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge, which will take place every two years from now on. More than 100 events, talks and installations will take over San Jose for a week, and several arts institutions—in San Jose and overseas—are sponsoring the high-tech hoedown. The whole shebang will make the Tapestry Arts Festival look like a Sunday-afternoon bingo game at a Baptist old-folks home.

Here are just some of the things planned:

Troika Ranch. A high-tech collective featuring Mark Coniglio and Dawn Stoppiello that combines modern dance with computer music, theater and performance art. Ever seen a dancer with electronic sensors on her body that drive the real-time interactive music and video accompaniment? Well, that's the kind of thing that Troika does.

VJ Tulse Luper. The North America premiere of a project by notorious film director Peter Greenaway that functions as a "game [that] is part of the search for a crossover format that breaks the boundaries and rules that have been imposed by film, theater, books, games and other traditional media." Greenaway's appearance was not confirmed at presstime, however.

etoy.CORPORATION. A European new-media art collective who rose to prominence during the beginnings of the World Wide Web. At that time, they were sued by an übercorporate entity called—a children's retailer—that didn't like them using a similar URL, although they had theirs first. It was the first major example of a corporate monolith trying to use its power to smash a group of independent web-based artists. etoy.CORPORATION then launched a worldwide effort to help bankrupt and pretty much succeeded at driving the company's stock all the way down to nearly zero. The entire sequence of events dramatically affected academic discourse on what was then a relatively new topic: Internet commerce.

Last and absolutely not least, Survival Research Laboratories (SRL). Those wonderfully inappropriate troublemakers from San Francisco who stage violent robotic machine war/performance spectacles with Situationist titles like The Pleasures of Uninhibited Excess or The Unexpected Destruction of Elaborately Engineered Artifacts. Bring earplugs for that one, or else you'll be in trouble. A hot August night in San Jose is just perfect for machines, violence, noise and flamethrowers, and you will not see this ditty mentioned in the Downtown Association's calendar of events, I guarantee you.

All in all, there will be hundreds of artists from around the globe descending upon San Jose, and there are so many events going on 24/7 that it's impossible to break it all down with any degree of acumen. An executive summary won't work for this one, folks. It's that huge a festival. For all info, call (408) 916-1010.

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