Star Search

Commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseilles, France, this week's show of Soa(p Op) is just a prelude to a larger, mobile performance. The full-scale version, with the laptops on mobile armatures that interact, will be unveiled in April in France and later in New York. The work was developed through an e-mail file exchange between Hovagimyan and his sound artist, Peter Sinclair, who lives in France.

Though the work might mystify some, Hovagimyan, who started as a "no wave" performance artist in the '70s and now produces and hosts the Art Dirt show on Pseudo.com, enjoys the deliberate confusion. After the Wired anniversary party, where the opera debuted, "people were coming up to me and saying, 'What language is that?' " he says. "I said, 'New York English,' and then they said, 'Oh, now we understand.' "

Thursday at 8, Postmasters Gallery, call 941-5711 for reservations.


Signal and Noise

Muffs 'n' Stuff: For Valentine's Day, Playboy Cyber Club (cyber.playboy.com) will hold an online auction of "memorabilia" from the centerfold photo shoots. The list of dubious hand-me-downs includes "Off-White Faux Fur Winter Boots" worn by Karen McDougal, Miss December 1997 (minimum bid, $150) and "Black Lace Hot Pants" modeled by Miss March 1994, Neriah Davis. '94? Good to know they've hung onto this stuff for over three years...

Cash Flow: City accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand released stats on the still-swelling venture capital investments in the local new media industry. Fifty million VC dollars sluiced into the Alley during fourth quarter last year, up 328 per cent from '96. But it's still just an allowance compared to the total VC investments in the city ($931 million)...

Unplugged: Last week, The New York Times profiled the expansion of the Plug 'n' Go program of cheap, prewired offices in the financial district, but has anybody been down to work in them? Alliance for Downtown New York president Carl Weisbrod praised "the combination of location, price, and simplicity." Let us not forget toxicity. Though 55 Broad might be cushy digs, billowing clouds of smoke and plaster dust forced workers out of the cubicle farm at 11 Broadway, one of the "old school" Plug 'n' Go projects, last week. The bathroom, gutted and out of order, has a hole punched through the tile to the floor below.

E-mail: abunn@villagevoice.com

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