Indepth Arts News: |
"Osman Khan: Scanners"
2004-07-31 until 2004-08-21
Los Angeles, CA,
USA United States of America
Dangerous Curves exhibition in August is for Osman Khan's new media extravaganza "Scanners". For someone with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering interested in
expressing how technology has changed the social fabric, art was the
only avenue for Osman Kahn. Osama had taken plenty of more traditional art
courses, but that type of artmaking just didn't do the trick. So he
turned to new media.
While a Design/New Media M.F.A. candidate at U.C.L.A., Kahn extended his
curriculum to steep himself in art history. So he knew how Conceptual
Art had extended what art could be. However, he went straight to the
heart of the matter and asked if the purchase of the artwork itself
could be the art. Here, the part becomes the whole. In his piece "Kahn
Artist," he lets the user swipe their credit card for whatever amount
they want. The artwork is the resulting charge listed on the user's
monthly statement. Oh, there's also a receipt that gets generated, but
that's only for legalities, not documentation. The statements are
readymades, if you will, appropriated from the consumer world, pointing
to how art gets "value" from its purchase price.
In Kahn's interactive new media, the spotlight on the process, not on
immediate visual feedback, as in video games. In "Net Worth," Kahn's
scanner reads your name off your credit card and ranks it among
previously input names according to how many times they all come up in a
Google search. The feedback is vernacular: can we really trust
information gathering? What about false positives, i.e., when you rank
high simply because you have a common name?
Really, though, it's largely only when we're assigned numbers that we
can have a unique ID. This is not lost on Kahn. In his "Art Dispensing
Machine," he uses scanned credit card numbers to print out unique
combinatorial characters. Sometimes, though, for those very lucky
people, he prints out a little surprise.
Dangerous Curve is committed to supporting visionary established and
emerging artists of all ages, by emphasizing one-person shows of risky,
intelligent work that is not necessarily commercially viable nor
currently popular. In a time when other spaces have reduced their
performance art programming, Dangerous Curve is a new venue for
performance artists, with performance installations, monthly performance
art events, and an annual performance art festival planned.