Three artists who find art in the finger smudges on device screens

Smudge Art 02

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Wired recently featured Tabitha Soren’s project, Surface Tension, for which she photographed the fingerprints and smudges left on the screens of devices.

The marks on the glass screens that technology users normally try to ignore or get rid of are the focal point of SURFACE TENSION. The textural conflicts in these pictures record how we now spend our lives. They’re not just grime; they’re evidence of the otherwise invisible.

In an earlier project (also, weirdly, titled Surface Tension), photographer Meggan Gould took photos of her and her husband’s smudged iPad screens.

 

When Pixels Collide: How a million strangers on the Internet turned a blank canvas into art

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Last weekend, a fascinating history of humanity played out on Reddit.

For April Fool’s Day, Reddit launched a little experiment. It gave its users, who are all anonymous, a blank canvas called Place.

The rules were simple. Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could place as many pixels of as many colors as they wanted, but they had to wait a few minutes between placing each one.

Over the following 72 hours, what emerged was nothing short of miraculous. A collaborative artwork that shocked even its inventors.

Meet Grindr’s new poet in residence

A scene from Max Wallis’s video poem for Grindr.

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Poetry and sex have a long and venerable history, one often being used in the service of setting up the other. Catullus kicked things off, and Lord Byron, Sharon Olds and Carol Ann Duffy, among others, have run with the ball since. The work of those poets is perhaps best thought of as the context for what I am doing now. Starting next week, I will be the gay social networking app Grindr’s first poet in residence, making a video poem each month to be flashed in the app and also on its new platform, Into.

 

Is That Yayoi Kusama Selfie Worth the Wait?

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The show promises an immersive, transcendental experience in which viewers — typically three at a time — step inside mirrored rooms alternately covered with dangling lanterns and floating globes. We were among the 14,000 visitors trying to push through the exhibition of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work in its opening week late last month. Like many others, we came with our phones out, seeking the perfect shot, depicting captivated bliss reflected thousands of times over.

But instead: “Keep it moving,” guards yelled as visitors lingering in front of Ms. Kusama’s canvases of hypnotic nets and dots.

… Ms. Donnally, 61, and her husband, from Washington, were turned away from the show on their first try. On their second attempt, they arrived more than an hour before the museum opened at 10 a.m. They did not get all the way through “Infinity Mirrors” until 4 p.m. “I hadn’t realized it would take all day,” Ms. Donnally said.

… So is it worth the wait? Absolutely, but with all the Snapchatting and Instagramming, don’t forget to look at the art.