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At 'Geekdown,' Artistic Techies Leave the Classroom for TriBeCa Gallery Show

By DNAinfo Staff on August 6, 2010 7:33pm  | Updated on August 7, 2010 10:17am

Jeff Howard's
Jeff Howard's "Transient Faces" used foreground subtraction to delete people from Grand Central Terminal.
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Jeff Howard

By Jennifer Glickel

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

DOWNTOWN — What happens when you bring together virtual sea creatures, time-lapse photography and cutting-edge electronic DJs for an interactive art show?

You get Geekdown, a new exhibition featuring the technology-inspired artwork of graduates from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

The show, which takes place on Friday evening at 92Y Tribeca, features pieces and performances that run the gamut in terms of subject and content, but contain one crucial common theme — technology.

“Everything that’s in this show couldn’t have existed without technology or computers,” said Winslow Porter, Geekdown’s event producer and a recent  graduate of the NYU program.

Nobu Nakaguchi's “Kinetic Memory Triggers” features anthropomorphic rubber sculptures that move in ways meant to trigger certain memories.
Nobu Nakaguchi's “Kinetic Memory Triggers” features anthropomorphic rubber sculptures that move in ways meant to trigger certain memories.
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Nobu Nakaguchi

“Humans created those as well, so we view computers and the work we produce with them as just kind of an extension of the artist,” Porter said.

ITP is a two-year graduate program at NYU in which students aim to explore new means of experimentation and production through new media.

“You get a lot of projects that range the full spectrum from really techie, art-based work to projects that help people with disabilities,” said ITP’s special events coordinator, Midori Yasuda.

Each winter and spring, the program hosts two-day shows of students’ works, which are the source of the majority of the pieces in Geekdown.

In contrast to those two-day shows, Geekdown will be on display through the end of the month at 92Y Tribeca. Friday night’s opening party will feature performances by musicians alongside the art pieces.

“I really wanted to bring the two sides together and have the art stay up for a little while, so it could have a life outside of ITP,” Porter said.

Examples of the projects include Jeff Howard’s “Transient Faces,” in which the artist used "foreground subtraction" to delete people from scenes created by time-lapse photography or video, leaving only the background.

In one example, Howard reconstructed the interior of Grand Central terminal using time-lapse photography and "subtracted" the people that appeared in original photos of the space.

In “Kinetic Memory Triggers,” designer Nobu Nakaguchi created five anthropomorphic rubber sculptures that move in ways meant to specifically trigger certain memories. Each wiggling rubber piece represents a different member of the artist’s family, triggering with their movement memories the pieces recall.

“Geekdown is meant to be a combination of a geek-out and a hoe-down,” Porter said, describing the show's name.

“There’s a whole world of geekiness waiting there for you, and it’s exciting to take it outside of ITP and open it up to the world.”