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Indepth Arts News:

"Osman Khan: Scanners"
2004-07-31 until 2004-08-21
Dangerous Curve
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.

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