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Listening Post


dimensions variable, vacuum -fluorescent tubes, 8-channel audio, software, electronics

Artists: Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin

Listening Post culls text fragments in real time from thousands of unrestricted Internet chat rooms, bulletin boards and other public forums. The texts are read (or sung) by a voice synthesizer, and simultaneously displayed across a suspended grid of more than two hundred small electronic screens.

Listening Post cycles through a series of six movements, each a different arrangement of visual, aural, and musical elements, each with it's own data processing logic. Dissociating the communication from its conventional on-screen presence, Listening Post is a visual and sonic response to the content, magnitude, and immediacy of virtual communication.

“An acknowledged masterpiece of electronic arts...perhaps no other artwork has evoked human collectivity, and the communicative needs that enrich it, as "Listening Post" does. It is that rarest surprise in contemporary art: a recognizable instant classic.”

—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

‘”[Listening Post] operates in the gaps between art, entertainment and documentary; it is almost irresistible, like magic”

–Roberta Smith, New York Times

“At a stroke Listening Post fulfils the promise of most Internet-based art, affecting a simultaneous collapse and expansion of time and space with implications ranging from notions of private and public space to individual thought and its role in group dynamics - and it advances all of this within a form that finally allows net art to compete with the more sensual pleasures we associate with sculpture.”

–Peter Eleey, Frieze

Awards & Grants

Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica international prize for interactive art form from Ars Electronica and ORF Austrian Broadcasting, May 4, 2004

Webby Award Winner in the Net Art category, June 5th, 2003

Nominated for Wired Rave Awards in the Artist/Performer category, Jan 1st, 2003

Residency and performances at On the Boards, Seattle, Nov 13th - 24th, 2002 Arts In Multimedia

Residency, Brooklyn Academy of Music + Bell Laboratories, January 2000

Rockefeller Foundation support for Whitney exhibition, fall 2000

Exhibition History

La Panacée | Centre de culture contemporaine, Montpellier, France Exhibition: Electric Conversations

June 22 – December 15, 2013

ARoS Contemporary Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark Exhibition: ENTER ACTION: Digital Arts Now

February 7 – April 26, 2009

Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain Exhibition: Machines and Souls

June 26 – October 13, 2008

Science Museum, London

February 19, 2008 – February 21, 2010 (acquired, 1st edition)

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Calif. Exhibition: Dark Matters

July 28 – November 11 2007

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, Calif.

June 3, 2006 – February 4, 2007 (acquired, 2nd edition)

Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, Calif.

November 16, 2004 – February 27, 2005

Grande Halle de la Villette Exibition: Zone de confluences

September 21 – October 3, 2004

O.K Center for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria Prix Ars Electronica Exhibition

September 2 – 19, 2004

List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Mass. Exhibition: Son et Lumier

February 5 – April 4, 2004

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

December 17, 2002 – March 9, 2003

BAM Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn, New York (work in progress)

December 6th - 20th, 2001

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