July 31, 2004

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150
SONY Cyber-shot DSC-P150
Photo (c) Sony

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150
SONY Cyber-shot DSC-P150
Photo (c) Sony

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150
SONY Cyber-shot DSC-P150
Photo (c) Sony

Sony's new Cyber-shot® DSC-P150 is the world's first compact point-and-shoot digital camera in the marketplace loaded with 7.2 megapixels, putting breathtaking, near-professional-quality photos in your shirt pocket or handbag. It will be available in September 2004 for less than $500.

The P150 camera yields an image size of 3072 x 2304 - making it the first pocketable camera capable of capturing enough pixels to make 300-dpi 8" x 10" enlargements.

The P150 has also been empowered with Sony's own recently introduced Real Imaging Processor™ circuitry that ensures fast start-up and shot-to-shot times, and puts extra speed and performance behind automatic features such as auto focus and auto exposure. That means you'll never miss that one-in-a-million shot because the camera is always ready to take great pictures.

"Not only does the Cyber-shot P150 camera offer tremendous value, it takes incredibly vivid and lifelike digital photos, capturing color and detail previously unavailable in such a compact camera," said Greg Young, general manager for Sony Electronics Digital Still Camera marketing.

Compact in Size and Feature-Filled

The Cyber-shot P150 digital camera is equipped with features typically found only on more full-sized cameras. At just 1 inch thin, it's easy to hold, use, and carry with you in your pocket or purse.

The Cyber-shot P150 features a Carl Zeiss® Vario Tessar® 3X optical zoom lens to complement and maximize the benefit of the camera's high resolution.

The P150 also has a bird-like appetite when it comes to consuming battery power. With up to 310 shots per charge of the InfoLithium™ battery the Cyber-shot P150 lets you snap away and preview images on the 1.8-inch LCD screen without fear of running down the charge.

Beyond the easy point-and-shoot features, the Cyber-shot P150 also has manual flash and exposure settings, and nine preset scene modes such as twilight, landscape, snow, beach and fireworks, letting the user quickly select the best setting based on shooting conditions.

With the optional Cyber-shot Marine Pack (MPK-PHB), the Cyber-shot P150 becomes an underwater camera with water resistance to a depth of up to 132 feet. For those who want greater flexibility, the P150 can be used with optional telephoto and wide-angle conversion lenses.

Cyber-shot Station: A Perfect Resting Place

Finally there's a better place to put your digital camera other than a desk or table drawer. Fitting in next to a TV or PC, the new Cyber-shot Station CSS-PHA camera accessory, available now for about $80, accommodates the Cyber-shot DSC-P150 camera for playing back slideshows on a TV or transferring images to your PC while charging the camera's batteries.

The bundled infrared remote controller intelligently commands the docked camera via the Cyber-shot Station to toggle between captured videos and still pictures. And when connected to a PictBridge™ -compatible printer such as Sony's PictureStation® DPP-EX50 digital photo printer, printing a specific image is as easy as a press of the remote controller's button.

The Cyber-shot P150 camera includes a 32MB Memory Stick® media card, and is also compatible with Memory Stick PRO® high-capacity media cards.


July 16, 2004

David Lamelas: Exhibiting Mediality

David Lamelas: Exhibiting Mediality
ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
September 8 - December 12, 2004

David Lamelas, 1967

This exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Philadelphia draws attention to the late-1960s film and media installations of Argentinean artist DAVID LAMELAS (Buenos Aires, 1946) at a moment when they can speak with renewed urgency. "Exhibiting Mediality" reconstructs and recontextualizes a seminal work from this period to address the conditions under which images are produced and decoded; to consider what it means to exhibit not the image, but mediation. The concept of exhibiting pure mediality/mediation is further explored through collaborations with the University Archive and Records Center, and the Department of English and Film Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and International House, Philadelphia. This exhibition is organized by ICA's 2003-2004 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Tanya Leighton.

Image: David Lamelas, Límite de una proyección I (Limit of a Projection I),
1967 Installation View, Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires
Courtesy of the artist and Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam

DAVID LAMELAS is a pioneer of the radical repositioning of sculpture in the sixties and seventies that abandoned traditional definitions of sculpture, displacing its materials and modes of production. In doing so a redefinition of the status of art and its "sites of display" took place. Situated within an emerging aesthetic of institutional critique (that addressed conditions of spectator behavior as forms of social experience within the public institution of art), and opposed to the false neutrality of minimalist sculpture, Lamelas' sought to analyze art as a means of communication, relating it to how information was conveyed by the film and television industry, and to the discourses around public space and media technology. In light of current discussions on the relationship between cinema, art, the media, and politics, his work re-presented thirty years later has lost none of its relevance. 

David Lamelas's work proposes an extreme focus on self-awareness, an aesthetic of pure information—unfettered and laconic. The transformation of the space of the exhibition is one of the most overlooked and critical dimensions of his work, and the often alienating effects that Lamelas realizes through his use of media, challenge us to distance ourselves and to question the role of film, television and the media. In Límite de una Proyección aka Light Projection in a Dark Room, David Lamelas divides the exhibition space into two distinct zones of light and dark by reducing the art object to a single beam of light: the projection of a spotlight in an otherwise completely dark space. The work is almost non-existent, David Lamelas offers only its illusion: "a (dark) space occupied by another (illuminated) space." He poetically and succinctly creates a work that exists for itself, in "undisguised violence," only within its own consciousness and self-awareness. The object upon which light is shed is deliberately erased, paradoxically highlighting the act of "shedding light" itself. The political implication of which is that the work always has the possibility of change, existing as it does as nothing other than the product of the spectator; it exceeds the prefigured meanings imposed by the artist as producer and challenges the restrictions of the aesthetic structure itself. 

In the context of this exhibition, David Lamelas' simple gesture of "shedding light" is understood "in the light" of cinema. Tracing the origins and pre-history of cinema we find that the act of "spotlighting" (the "fonction éclairagiste du cinéma" as French critic Serge Daney wrote) is the very genesis of cinema. The spotlit, illuminated 19th Century vitrine is widely understood as an essential component of cinema's birth. From a diametrically opposed perspective we could say that cinema's birth coincides with a notion of "blocked vision," a blocking-out, that is, a context in which the observer sees one thing, and then another successively in darkness; his/her vision directed only to what is being spotlit and to nothing else.

EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE: Animal Locomotion plates, 1884
Parallel to David Lamelas's work, and as a means to elucidate the constitutive elements of cinema, "Exhibiting Mediality" draws attention to Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion plates, created in 1884 in Philadelphia, and preserved at the University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania. Eadweard Muybridge's photogravures offer another reflection on the essential elements of cinema and in a sense complete the sentence that Lamelas' spotlight opens. Cinema is one image after another, each image disappearing for the apparition of a third invisible image in the mind of the spectator. This invisible image is again what David Lamelas's work is spotlighting.

Exhibiting Mediality is a collaboration with the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and International House, Philadelphia. For details of talks and film/video screenings visit http://www.icaphila.org

The curator, Tanya Leighton, is the ICA 2003-2004 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow. David Lamelas: Exhibiting Mediality is the culmination of a year-long fellowship offered by the Lauder Foundation, in collaboration with the Whitney Independent Study Program (ISP) in New York.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
September 8 - December 12, 2004
Exhibition Walkthrough: Friday, September 10, 5-6pm, ICA Members Only, join on-site
Opening Reception: Friday, September 10, 6 - 8pm, free and open to the public.

July 14, 2004

Samsung SPH- S2300 : 3,2 megapixels camera phone

SAMSUNG 3.2 megapixel Digital Camera Phone: the SPH- S2300 

Samsung S2300 Camera phone

Samsung unveiled its first 3.2 megapixel digital camera phone (SPH- S2300) with 3 times optical linear zoom today. The SPH-S2300 is the world’s first camera phone with optical linear 3X zoom.

Linear Zoom, an upgrade from the stage-type of non-linear zoom, allows users to zoom into subjects at a more precise magnification. Most digital cameras on the market have adopted this format to improve picture quality. By adopting a 3X linear zoom, as well as operations expected of a high quality digital camera, Samsung was able to raise the functionality of its camera phone to that of digital cameras.

Along with a 4X digital zoom, the S2300 can magnify pictures up to 12 times. It allows users to choose an image size from a maximum of 2,048 x 1,536 to a minimum of 640 x 480 and between an ISO setting of automatic, 100, 200 and 400. White balance can be used automatically or manually and a manual setting allows users to alter settings to accommodate weather and lighting.

Instead of a LED flash, a camera flash, whose brightness can be adjusted, is installed, allowing users to take pictures of subjects that are in darker settings with outputs that are similar to that of a digital camera. The S2300 also has an auto focusing function that allows the user to take pictures where the main image is in focus and the background out of focus to produce pictures that were only possible with manual focus cameras.

Like a high quality digital camera, the S2300 offers camcorder functions and a high quality microphone. Users are able to record images for more than 2 hours and with Samsung’s unrivaled TV-out function, they can connect the phone to a TV to view video and images directly through a TV.
Users are able to extend the memory capacity with a mini SD card, which can be used as a portable storage device when connected to the PC through a USB cable.

The phone adopts a design that salvages the special features of a digital camera. The front is designed like a digital camera with a zoom lens that projects up to 3 cm out of the device and boasts a hidden antenna (so called ‘intenna’ design). Because menu, zoom, shutter and ok buttons are arranged similar to a digital camera, users are able to operate the S2300 like a digital camera. The rear looks like a mobile phone with a slide-down panel that contains keys for functions, such as menu, send and ok, and covers two rows of dial buttons.

Kitae Lee, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics stated, “Although the number of pixels of camera phones were a widely debated issue, it is meaningless to simply compare camera phones based on this parameter. The key is how efficiently and harmoniously a camera phone can embody the functions of a digital camera with identical number of pixels.” He adds, “The S2300 is a totally new product that offers the functions of both a high quality digital camera and phone.”

The S2300 is currently being tested and with the carrier’s approval, Samsung plans to start selling the S2300 in the Korean market in July.


July 4, 2004

William Kentridge: Shadow Procession at Seattle Art Museum

William Kentridge: Shadow Procession 
Seattle Art Museum
July 1, 2004 – October 17, 2004

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents South African artist William Kentridge’s video, Shadow Procession (1999). This seven-minute long video was recently added to SAM’s permanent collection as the museum continues to update its collection of international contemporary art.

William Kentridge is widely recognized for his handcrafted animated films, drawings and theatrical productions. Influenced by South Africa’s political policies, Kentridge once stated that it was the job of the artist to escape the “immovable rock of apartheid”. His art forms focus attention less on the specifics of apartheid and more on the disorienting effects of living amidst prolonged violence.

Shadow Procession is an animated film that illustrates how William Kentridge rebels against the seduction of special effects and returns to techniques of shadow-theatre. He depicts a procession of strange shadow figures slowly struggling to advance through a deserted landscape. This haunting parade of figures is made from cardboard cutouts that move across the screen, hauling their belongings—donkeys, carts, chairs, sacks, and even whole towns on their backs—as if in an exodus. Interrupting the exodus is a grotesque strutting buffoon, William Kentridge’s version of Ubu, a ridiculous dictator created by the French writer Alfred Jarry for a play entitled Ubu Roi in the late 19th century. An unexpected musical score accents the visual contrasts as “What a Friend I Have in Jesus” is sung by Alfred Makgalemele.

While Shadow Procession can be seen literally as a statement about the forced migrations of laborers in South Africa, it also questions two urban personalities- the person who stumbles from carrying too much of the world in their minds and the authority figure who doesn’t realize how bumbling his brute force seems to those around him. William Kentridge states, “I am trying to capture a moral terrain in which there aren’t really any heroes, but there are victims. A world in which compassion just isn’t enough.”

Fascination with William Kentridge’s expressive drawing and filmmaking techniques has inspired a documentary entitled Drawing the Passing. This 56-minute documentary, based on a collaboration between a filmmaker and an art historian in 1999, is available for viewing in the 4th floor resource room. Curated by Pamela McClusky, Art of African and Oceanic Curator.

Seattle, WA 98101

July 2, 2004

Evolution of American Modernist Art - Exhibition at SAM

 Modern in America, is an installation of more than 90 works drawn from Seattle Art Museum's (SAM) permanent collection. It is a selective survey of American modernist movements from 1905 to the present day. Organized by Susan Rosenberg, SAM’s associate curator of modern and contemporary art, the installation includes paintings, photographs and mixed art.

Modern in America begins with the museum’s remarkably rich collection of paintings by the earliest exponents of modernism in America: artists who participated in the circles of Alfred Stieglitz’s pioneering “291” gallery (1905-17) and Louis and Walter Arensberg’s New York Dada Salon during World War I. Featured are major works by Georgia O’Keeffe’s (including A Celebration, 1924), John Marin and Marsden Hartley, as well as photographs by those who waged the first battles for photography’s status as fine art, including images from Camera Work by Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. The installation also presents oil paintings from the museum’s unmatched collection of works by John Covert, cousin of Walter Arensberg and an artist now widely recognized for his idiosyncratic and distinctive contribution to the New York Dada movement.

A post-World War II generation went about reinventing modernism for itself in the form of a return to primitivism and the unconscious, as embodied in the exquisitely crafted signature paintings reflected in SAM’s celebrated collection of Abstract Expressionism, including Jackson Pollock’s Sea Change (1947), Mark Rothko’s Number 11 (1947), and Willem de Kooning’s Woman (1943). The radically altered vocabulary of art-making reflected in a successive generation of artists is represented with several works from SAM’s collection by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Ellsworth Kelly. The exhibition also includes two major works borrowed from local collections: Ellsworth Kelly’s Red and White, 1963, Jasper Johns’, Harlem Light, 1967, and Robert Rauschenberg’s Manuscript, 1963, a partial and promised gift to the museum. These artists individually and collectively displaced art-making to art perception, moving away from the subjective, unconscious and personal to embrace the cerebral, the systematic and the everyday.

Also featured is a selection of prints from The Stockholm Project, a portfolio conceived by the New York-based “Experiments in Art and Technology” (E.A.T.) - which had a Seattle branch in the late 1960s. Made in 1971, and donated to the Seattle Art Museum by Robert Rauschenberg, it provides a mini-survey of artists of the minimal, conceptual and fluxus movements, including Sol Lewitt, Hans Haacke, Nam June Paik and others, demonstrating the profound shift to an art of mechanical reproduction. A rich collection of works by Andy Warhol includes Double Elvis, 1964, and the rare multiple Kiss, 1966. Warhol’s embrace of photographic reproduction, as well as American typologies, looks simultaneously backward and forward. The deep and continuing influence of cinema on painting emanates from Andy Warhol to Edward Ruscha (with An Exhibition of Gasoline Powered Engines, 1993) and John Baldessari (in Blue Pole: Two Men With Guns and Woman (Hands to Ears), 1997).

Cinematic influences are also evident in works by Sue de beers, Deborah Mesa Pelli and Catherine Opie, younger photographers included in the installation. Their large-scale photographic works, which conclude Modern in America, not only declare the warm embrace of photography as just one art form among many today, but also the evolution of photographic technologies and its status as manipulated versus true.

Seattle Art Museum Fourth-Floor Installation
100 University St., downtown Seattle
July 8, 2004 – January 4, 2006