• Welcome to Newark is Watching!

    NIW is a hybrid SL/RL project.

    We are in SecondLife:
    Teleport Now

    We are in RL:

    at Gallery Aferro ( Gallery Aferro is at 73 Market Street, Newark, NJ 07102 USA ) where gallery visitors can see and interact with anything that happens at the above SLURL on the 52 inch monitor..

    Document whatever you do, and post the photos or videos to the web and tell us about it here, whatever happens will be chronicled on this blog, and talked about on our podcast.

    Podtrac Player

Its a mistake

Posted by jvanb on July 22nd, 2010

I talked to Emma from Aferro on the phone this morning and she never meant to delete all of mab’s posts that were here- it was just a mistake. NIW is coming to an end, and the intention was to just leave this blog here as it was as a record — i’m going to see if I can find a way to restore the deleted posts and comments.. Aferro will be posting a more official statement here soon, but I just wanted to set the record straight on what happened re: mab’s posts.

Tower Teardown: What Remains?

Posted by emma on July 19th, 2010

A casual google search can yield hundreds of images and video of historical instances of crowds tearing down structures, usually larger than life statues of figures formerly in power.

The question of what constitutes a spontaneous event, if “sincere” events- ie those that arise from a crowd, are more genuine or valid, is an interesting one. If a staged event can be criticized as being purely for media spectacle, must an event be totally unplanned to be meaningful?

Thinking about Potemkin Villages that can tear themselves down….

I continue to find it utterly fascinating conceptually that the BIW tower had to be cloned and then carefully scripted so that it would appear to fall. Perhaps my conception of “appearing to” is a holdover of “flesh-based,” RL thinking, where I have certain ideas about physical validity.

Anyone got any good images of crowds tearing down things?

Dates for Crits/Podcasts

Posted by emma on July 19th, 2010



Please comment here to suggest tri-state area curators, artists or other professionals who should be invited to critique.

Adaptation, Consensus and Visibility

Posted by emma on July 19th, 2010

Hi Everyone-

I’ve been encouraged to view this blog as having the functionality of a town hall meeting, though I doubt we resemble, bodied or rezzed, the idealized figures in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting.

In the interests of keeping this blog accessible to a larger audience, I can preface that the following reflects the ongoing evolution of an artist project, and shows the complexity of self-organized, that is- non-hierarchical projects. In the same way that doing barter is harder (but more rewarding, I think) than doing money, doing consensus is harder (but more rewarding, I’m positive!) than doing marching orders.

” I’m trying to make sure these dates and plans reach everyone involved.

SL space:

If the meeting on July 24th can be confirmed, that allows for the opportunity to discuss having involved artists each share a small segment of the fee for the sim.


The gallery is closed to the public from after our benefit on June 19th through Sep 11, when we reopen three new exhibitions and resume regular gallery hours. The summer time allows time to figure out a way to keep the sim and do some recap discussion on the blog on the meaning of the tower tear down.


All interested parties need to email niw@aferro.org for an author log in. The intention here is to allow the existing BIW community to keep the blog fresh. Technically the project is not launched yet in the sense that the crit/podcast sessions are for the fall. Our vision of the blog was that it be accessible to a larger readership as well as functioning as a way for involved artists to connect.

Liason/tech admin:

Gallery Aferro’s contribution to this project is to allow people unfamiliar with net art, SL, SL art a chance to see what’s going on, and to connect SL artists to new curators and other creative people. We are not in a position to be a liason between the entire biw group and Gallery Aferro, troubleshoot the blog, or field multi-thread emails that presume tech jargon familiarity we don’t have.

The initial plan was for Jay and Gallery Aferro to get a intern(s) to fill this role. We were unable to secure an intern, which now means we need to change the plan. The liason needs to delegate tasks and make sure they get done. Someone needs to commit to this role.

This issue of needing to modify the plan is an incredibly important one. We called NIW a “usurpation project” as well as a succession project to reflect that Jack the Pelican, an RL space, was being affected by the economy, forcing BIW to change. The future of the project after it’s time in Newark is also interesting. Where do you want to see it go?


Dates for crits for fall are 9/25 and 11/6. The issues of timing of auto-return and any video or pictures of art as it appears weekly, (if this record is important) needs to be addressed by the community, Gallery Aferro cannot commit to solving these issues. The first date is timed to coincide with Newark’s annual arts tour. The TV console can be available to the public during regular gallery hours of Th-Sat 12-6.


Details of guest critics will go on closer to 9/25.

Tower tear down: the tv console, decorated by a local Newark high school artist, was on display on June 19th, and I think that our audience is now definitely curious about the fall events. Because a large segment of the audience we are seeking to reach do not have avatars, it may feel or have felt as if they were not “there”. This reminds me vaguely of artist Vik Muniz’s early projects, which were inspired by the disbelief of a small segment of Americans that the moon landing actually happened, with the alternate belief that it was faked… Our mission is very much about exposure.

I hope that the above covers some of the concerns that have arisen. We believe that with the successful adoption of changes such as realistic task delegation, and a better understanding of Gallery Aferro’s contribution to the fall, NIW can be a great new chapter in the project.

We will be responding to Amy Wilson’s post as it inadvertently provides a good opportunity to speak to issues of access, elitism and community. And speaking of community, I look forward to some passionate debate in the fall crits!

Gift Horse

Posted by emma on June 16th, 2010


More information to come.

Teardown of the old Brooklyn is watching tower to commence 6/19. We need an SL crowd to cheer and wave their hands about.

Though the visual and textual experience is derived from political machinations and upheaval of the past 50 years, I am expecting the event to be more esthetic than political. This is intriguing. An example of an esthetic teardown (falldown, actually) is the radio transmitter, still visible underwater in the Meadowlands of NJ. It was the first radio tower to broadcast Frank Sinatra’s voice, and it looks vaguely like a broken piece of Coney Island, laying the swamp waters.

Newark is Watching open to RL this Saturday

Posted by evonne on June 15th, 2010

On June 19th, from 7-10 PM EST, the RL public attending Gallery Aferro’s 2nd annual benefit party will be able to operate Monet and look around. Not sure what to expect, but there will be more people n the gallery than at almost any other time of year.

So if you want to say hello or watch as Monet staggers a bit, please do visit.

A new picture.

Posted by evonne on May 28th, 2010

Some behavioral conditioning..

Posted by emma on April 22nd, 2010

As we get ready to share Newark is Watching with a larger public, here’s two links, neither is SL-specific per se, but representing meditations on “presentness.”

In the interests of disclosure I should say that my orientation to cyber culture in general, by virtue of temperment and age, is influenced by the body– that we still need one to be in SL. I think about the gendered body, ableness or disabledness of the body, disembodiment, liberation, alienataion…

think the Whole Earth Review “Is the Body Obsolete?” essays, some of which were by people like Kathy Acker and Karen Finley, Bob Flanagan’s show at the old, funky New Museum and more recently, a small news fodder mention of a newlywed couple where courtship took the form of dramanine-fueled Halo marathons.

“if Search is our memory” by Zach Gage

“I am still alive” by Martin John Callahan

niw podcast 1

Posted by jvanb on April 16th, 2010

This is just a brief introduction to gallery aferro, the newark is watching venue.

Direct download here, or get it from iTunes or Feedburner.

More about gallery aferro, emma and evonne listen to them on art international radio

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