Oct 25–Dec 12, 2020

Nandi Loaf, Emily Hanson, David Aaron Greenberg, Nathan Rutkowski, Johanna Owen, William Corwin, Alison Nguyen, Matt Giordano; Synthesized by Alex Bienstock

If i ever get to curate another group show and all the artists approve

Example- DC Analysis of a Bipolar Junction Transistor Circuit
[Most common circuit topology for gain pedals]


Synthesized by Alex Bienstock and La Kaje
October 2020

“Guitar pedals all come with their own unique design and function, but putting them in a select chain is where all the fun happens”
—Alex Bienstock

This is my exact pedal board.

I am the looping pedal. The artists can choose which one they are.

Black hole (networking)

In networking, black holes refer to places in the network where incoming or outgoing traffic is silently discarded (or “dropped”}, without informing the source that the data did not reach its intended recipient. When examining the topology of the network, the black holes themselves are invisible, and can only be detected by monitoring the lost traffic; hence the name.

Black hole (general relativity)

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can’t get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible.

Nandi Loaf - I’ve been interested in her work because of the way she disperses it online, her t-shirts are always funny and confident, she addresses art’s historicity, and she always keeps it 100%. I love her aggressive taste in music too. Whether it’s drawing, designing, crafting, sloganeering, or whatever, I’m into it.

Emily Hanson - I see Emily as someone who transcends the idea of being an artist because she doesn’t necessarily need other people’s approval to do things and her mind’s eye just hits different, always. She posts a lot on multiple platforms and it’s a great mix of humor, heartfelt sentiment, and attitude as well. Her style is next level, in my opinion.

David Aaron Greenberg - When! was in my young twenties I found a poetry book of his and immediately became a fan, along with his work as an art writer. I then became aware of him as someone who makes visual art and music. One of his songs actually made me cry once and] have a drawing of his that always reminds me to keep working.

Nathan Rutkowski - Nathan is my newest friend right now and I admire both his life and work, which purposively seems quite indistinct at times. I like how he knows what he’s doing with materials but isn’t overly precious. I also admit to being into him not living in NYC and having a different history than the majority of my NYC art school friends. He knows his stuff and is incredibly passionate.

Johanna Owen - I've seen Johanna read and also “perform” virtually for Lubov gallery. She’s not scared to experiment and seems obsessed with information, synthesizing it in ways that always formally surprise me. Her writing on IG is bluntly honest, humorous, informative, and both empathetic and dark at times. Ultimately her visual, narrative, and intellectual pursuits are unpredictable and that’s cool.

William Corwin - William and I have great conversations and he’s really good at a lot of things. His stories are crazy and he recommends great movies and books. I’m really glad we started to hang out ona regular basis. Hanging out in parks eating lunch and talking about life brings me back to my more youthful days.

Alison Nguyen - When | first got acquainted with Alison’s work I immediately was impressed by the drama she could create using found footage, space, and sound. The way she critically and experientially looks at her source materials feels super researched and explored fully, leaving me with a heavy feeling and loads to think about. Her most recent work delves into territories that are illuminating and admittedly scary. This doesn’t mean she can’t be silly, thankfully.

Matt Giordano - I’ve always really appreciated Matt’s taste and historical knowledge. He’s super skilled technically as a professional editor but he is also an up and coming visual artist doing things with Instagram filters and animation programs that play with the “grotesque” and absurd. He works with other people’s content daily, but it’s his own that I’m excited to see more of.

Click farms

Click farms are usually located in developing countries, such as China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. The business of click farms extends to generating likes and followers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterist, and more. Workers are paid, on average, one US dollar for a thousand likes or for following a thousand people on Twitter. Then click farms turn around and sell their likes and followers at a much higher price. According to the Daily Mail, "BuyPlusFollowers” sells 250 Google+ shares for $12.95; InstagramEngine sells 1,000 Instagram followers for $12.00; and AuthenticHits sells 1,000 Soundcloud plays for $9.00."

In Thailand in June 2017, a click farm was discovered with hundreds of mobile phones and several hundred thousand SIM cards used to build up likes and views on WeChat.

There are two methods to click farming. The first is by hiring competitor fraudsters to deplete the advertising budget of the competitor so that they will be able to have their ads shown in higher pay-per-click rankings at a lower cost. In this case, the competitor is weakened instead of being outbid in the pay-per-click bidding system. The investment on the click farm made by the fraudster is only a very small fraction of the amount lost by the competitor. The second is by hiring the click farm workers to click on ads on the click farmer's own site. This way, the money lost by the advertisers is gained by the click farmer, rather than by the search engines and content networks as in the first method.

The need for click farming arises because, as 'The Guardian' states, "31% will check ratings and reviews, including likes and Twitter followers, before they choose to buy something.” This shows the increasing importance that businesses, celebrities and other organizations put on the number of likes and followers they have. This creates monetary values for likes and followers which means that businesses and celebrities feel compelled to increase their likes to create a positive online profile.

*Emily’s portrait by Alan Merlo

Alex Bienstock, 1987, grew up in West Orange, NJ but was born in NYC and now lives in Brooklyn. He works with images, objects, video, sound, curation, social media, text, books, and live performance, yet doesn’t really distinguish those things from everyday public and private life. He's released three books with Contain, Safety Propaganda, and Memory Pill and has been published in Art in America and Cultured Magazine, as well as participating in solo and group exhibitions all over the world, including Italy, UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. He has also had a screening at Cinema Village in NYC. Attitude, collaboration, and the celebration of both aesthetic and non-aesthetic variety are his main priorities. His studio is placeless, his thoughts are nomadic, and his beliefs are heretical.

Alison Nguyen is a New York-based artist whose work spans video, installation, performance, and new media. Her work has been presented at MIT List Center for Visual Arts, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, The Everson Museum x Lightwork, The Dowse Art Museum, The International Studio & Curatorial Program, AC Gallery Beijing, Half Gallery, Signs and Symbols, La Kaje, Hartnett Gallery, and The University of Oklahoma, among others. Her screenings include: Museum of Modern Art (forthcoming),  e-flux, Ann Arbor Film Festival, International Film Festival Oberhausen, CPH:DOX, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Channels Festival International Biennial of Video Art, True/False Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival, The Jewish Museum, and Microscope Gallery.

Nguyen received her M.F.A. in Visual Art from Columbia University and her B.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University. She will be a 2023-2024 artist in the Whitney Independent Studies Program. Nguyen serves as an Adjunct Professor in New York University’s BFA Program and has been a Guest Lecturer and Visiting Critic at numerous institutions and organizations including e-flux, Cooper Union, University of Buffalo, The New School, New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, The School of Visual Arts, and Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Johanna Owen (Oregon, USA) is a professional biologist as well as a writer within the arts sphere. She is the editor of the journal Ars Scientia, which encourages conceptual rigor in the arts and figural thinking in science through exchange between the two fields.