A Short History of Perpetual Art Machine [PAM]


Perpetual Art Machine [PAM] was a video project that was created by Chris Borkowski, Aaron Miller, Raphaele Shirley and Lee Wells in December of 2005. The project was exhibited over 30 times in various locations around the globe from 2006-2009. The website which was an integral component of the project ran from 2005 to 2012.

This article is a work in progress, but serves a brief description of the project and archive of materials.

Official Description:

Perpetual Art Machine [PAM] is a living archive of 21st century international video art featuring over 5000 videos and over 2000 artists from over 80 countries. PAM’s rapid growth leverages the full potential of convergent media, advanced computing and database technologies not only to stream video artist’s work online, but also to exhibit video in large-scale interactive installations. Created in December 2005 as a collaboration between the artists Lee Wells, Raphaele Shirley, Chris Borkowski and Aaron Miller, PAM democratizes the curatorial process for both the artists and for the viewer/user through an open submission policy, social tagging and touchscreen/keyword access during display. PAM has since presented numerous installations and screenings globally through museums, universities, festivals and art fairs and is considered an important global resource for 21st century video art.

What is/WAS [PAM]?
Perpetual Art Machine is a community for video artists, curators, writers, therorist, educators, collectors, and enthusiasts.

Perpetual Art Machine is an on line gallery and database of video art.

Perpetual Art Machine is a traveling video installation.

The website feeds our installation machines. Both the database and video content work together at exhibition venues displaying works simultaneously and individually. The works play off each other, informing each other by association or differentiation, highlighting through the display system their individual qualities.

How it all works/worked
The [PAM] Process:

1. Artists submit QuickTime movies to the PAM website, along with keywords that describe their movies.

2. The movies are organized according to their keywords and additional keywords given by the curators.

3. The keywords are put into a MySql database, so that a movie can be looked up based on any keyword associated with it.

4. When PAM is in auto-curate mode, it will group movies together based on similar keywords and associations.

5. Once PAM has collected a group of movies it displays them in a grid of up to 16 videos projected into the installation space.

6. When the current group of movies has finished playing, or if PAM decides to stop them, a new group of movies replaces the former group.

7. This new group of movies is based on associations between the keywords in the former and the new group.

8. At times, PAM may decide to highlight an individual movie (based it’s relevance to the sequence of chosen keywords or another curatorial decision) by playing it in full-screen mode.

9. PAM’s interactive user interface station allows users to circumvent the curatorial decision making processes through a duel touch screen display system.

10. When a user steps up into the interface station, PAM acknowledges their presence and the touch screens becomes active, allowing the user interact with [PAM].

11. The first user interface controls the keywords PAM will use to choose the movies and or solo all of a particular artists . See the [PAM] Keyword touch screen below.

12. The second user interface allows the user to choose which movies to play in full-screen mode. Once chosen, the video will play in its entirety and upon completion will be replaced by another video. See the [PAM] Video Grid and touch screen below.

13. When the user steps away from the user interface station, [PAM] thanks them for taking part and the process returns to auto-curate mode after the last fullscreen selection has finished.

Exhibitions & Installation of [PAM]
Spring 2009 – University of Georgia, Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, Georgia.
Fall 2008 – Utsikten Center, Kvinesdal, Norway
August 2008 – Hanes Art Gallery, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC
June 2008 – Second Nature Festival, AIX, France
June 2008 – Scope Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
March 2008 – Scope Art Fair, New York, New York
March 2008 – College of Santa Fe, MOV-in Gallery, Santa Fe, NW
October 2007 – House of Campari, New York, New York
September 2007 – Robodock Festival, Amsterdam, Holland
August 2007 – Chelsea Art Museum, New York, New York
July 2007 – Scope Art Fair, East Hampton, New York
June 2007 – WRO07 – XII International Media Art Biennale, Wrosaw, Poland
May 2007 – House of Campari, Los Angeles, California
April 2007- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Inido, California
April 2007 – ArtDC art Fair, Washington D.C.
February 2007 – Scope Art Fair, New York, New York
December 2006 – ART|BASEL, Miami, Florida
December 2006 – Scope Art Fair, Miami, Florida
October 2006 – Scope Art Fair, London, UK
September 2006 – Split Film Festival, Split, Croatia
August 2006 – Le Name Festival, Lille, France
July 2006 – Scope Art Fair, East Hampton, New York
June 2006 – Digit Film Festival, Monticello, New York
March 2006 – Scope Art Fair, New York, New York

Curatorial Projects & Screenings from the [PAM] Database

June 2007 Video-Salon 2, Curatorial Rebound Project, galerija10m2, Sarajevo
April 2007 “Entre la Piedra y la Flor” – CIRCA ’07 Art Fair, San Juan, Puerto Rico
April 2007 Video as Urban Condition, The Lentos Art Museum, Linz, Austria
April 2007 Imagine Party Will Save the World, The Mod Club Toronto, Canada
Jan. 2007 Video Box @ We Are Your Future, Special Project to the 2nd Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia

Video Documentation

[PAM] Links:











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