Proteoscope » redaction The Blog of Proteus Gowanus Thu, 12 Nov 2015 16:51:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Secret Wars Tue, 12 Feb 2013 06:01:13 +0000 Dear Readers,

Proteoscope proudly returns to your pixel screens after a monthlong break, with a new topic to go with our new exhibition. I’m Tom Miller, an anthropologist who studies sound, shamanism, and the history of science. Together with Protean creative director Tammy Pittman, I co-curated Secret Wars, the current exhibition at Proteus Gowanus. I’ll be guest blogging for the next two months.

Secret Wars, the second installment of our yearlong Battle series, explores the cryptic ways of warfare waged behind a cloak of invisibility.  Here at Proteoscope we’ll go down the rabbit hole in pursuit of the themes in the exhibition: surveillance, drone warfare, shortwave spy signals, WikiLeaks, redactions, codes, invisible weaponry, cults of secrecy, the persistence of lost things in memory, the neurobiological bases of fear and more. I invite your comments and dialogue as we look at each of our artists’ work, play surrealist conflict games, and reveal the covert world of hidden battle.


Predator 2 by Joy Garnett

Predator 2 by Joy Garnett


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Redaction (-ish) Mon, 03 Dec 2012 00:35:58 +0000 A short post that got lost in the shuffle as Sandy hit our shores (and basement):

If redaction is a conscious removal of words then we can add Ligorano/Reese’s melting ice sculptures to the list. The sculptures in question are hot-topic, push-your-buttons political words created in ice, installed in public locations and left there until their demise.

The latest of these were installed in public spots at both the Republican and Democratic conventions. The words this time around were Middle Class.

Of course we don’t have the ice sculptures in the gallery, but we do have a video that uses stop-motion editing to tell the story of the demise of Democracy, Economy, and Middle Class. If you can’t make it to the gallery, visit to view the videos of the most recent works.

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Out There (2) Fri, 26 Oct 2012 14:30:53 +0000 More Redaction

Jenny Holzer figured high on the list while thinking about War of Words. I confess that I often utter the words “Abuse of Power Comes as No Surprise” (most often while watching/ reading the news—but perfect for so many occasions).

While we didn’t get Holzer’s work for the exhibition, we did obtain a copy of Redaction Paintings, a beautiful book/catalog published by Cheim & Read (and thank you to Howard and Katia Read of Cheim & Read for their donation of this book).

When you stop by the gallery (and reading room), please be sure to check it out. The paintings are enlarged facsimiles of redacted FBI files dealing with some of the most heinous events of our times (water boarding, the World Trade Center and so on). It’s a potent mix: horrible social fact with beautiful cultural artifact.

More: read an interview with Jenny Holzer where she discusses making these works. And see more works at Cheim & Read.

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Redaction Part 2 Mon, 22 Oct 2012 14:46:32 +0000  

In the War of Words, removing a word can be as potent as adding one.

Consider Paula Gaetano Adi’s video documentation of her ongoing performance Pica (on view in War of Words). She calls the performance “an attempt to embody a non-native language.” In this case, the word embody is used quite literally. Each day she carefully removes a single English word from an Spanish/English dictionary, speaks the word and then eats it.

Taken at face value, there’s a peculiar deadpan humor at play. But beneath the surface Paula’s performance hints at a bit of prejudice.

¿Quieres algo de comer?


Read and view more by visiting Paula’s website



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Redaction Wed, 26 Sep 2012 01:53:43 +0000 Redaction looms large in the War of Words.

Words are ingested, negated, excised, crossed out, sliced and melted.

It’s not as though we set out to do this, it just happened to work out that way. Interesting. Over the next few posts I’d like to explore this idea a bit by sharing with you some of the artists, works, artifacts and books in the exhibition.

Redaction 01

Detail of Cody Trepte’s “On Computable Numbers.” Shown are 6 of the 17 parts of the work.

Cody Trepte‘s piece “On Computable Numbers” takes its title from Alan Turing‘s seminal essay of the same name. Turing is a well-known historical (and tragic) figure who is often credited as the founder of computer science and artificial intelligence. Trepte’s piece is comprised of 33 pages of this essay in which he has very carefully cut out all of the words, leaving only 0’s and 1’s.

Cody writes, “By preserving only the binary code present in the text, I attempted to create a recursive artifact of Turing’s work: applying the very concepts Turing invented to the mathematician’s own writing.”

What none of this reveals is the beautiful emptiness that has emerged out of the grid of conceptual rigor.

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