Posts for November 2010

Blingee (Kazimir Malevich) (2010) - Jaakko Pallasvuo

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Originally via PAINTED,ETC.

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A Slow Year (2010) - Ian Bogost

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A Slow Year is a collection of four games, one for each season, about the experience of observing things. These games are neither action nor strategy: each of them requires a different kind of sedate observation and methodical input.

The game attempts to embrace maximum expressive constraint and representational condensation. I want to call them game poems. The set comprises a little collection, a kind of videogame chapbook.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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Videos from the Documentary Real Symposium

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I came across these videos via WMMNA. These talks were taped during the symposium The Documentary Real which occurred on October 21, 2010 at Domzaal, Art Centre Vooruit. The event invited artists and theorists to "interrogate the ambiguous relation between documentary film and reality." I've only had a chance to review the two Gregos and Bruzzi clips posted below, which both emphasize the changing notion of the "real" within a heterogeneous media landscape, especially with the advent of the internet. All the talks are available on the site, here.



Katerina Gregos "The Elastic Documentary"


It has been a number of years that the so-called ‘documentary turn’ has become a frequent phenomenon in many artists’ films. The talk will be a comparative look into recent documentary practices that diverge from the orthodoxy of documentary as ‘factual’ film’, a notion which contemporary artists have repeatedly challenged of late. These artists working from a documentary point of departure use multiple strategies to reveal known or hidden ‘truths’, sometimes weaving fictional elements into their stories. Many of them demonstrate that ‘truth value’ does not lie in mere representation but may emerge even more forceful through artistic abstraction, translation, filtering and interpretation and that nowadays the borderline between documentary and fiction, or reality and fantasy is often becoming hard to distinguish. The talk aims to illustrate that the notion of the ‘documentary real’ is continuously evolving and cannot now be pinned down to a single definition or delineated through specific boundaries. Indeed it aims to show that some of the most interesting documentary practices are those which I call documentary ‘with a twist’, i.e. films that interweave the political with the poetic, and navigate between different filmic categories to arrive at highly individualistic hybrid documentary forms where the notion of realism is in ...

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Mister Modularity: Vittore Baroni, TRAX, And Network-As-Artwork

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The concept of networked art, or art which relies on exchange and collaboration across great geographical distances, has had a rich history prior to the Internet's first rumblings (and is now, fittingly enough, being archived, reappraised, and 'blogged' all over that same Internet.) Unlike the "one to many" presentational modes of the museum, shop, or gallery, networked art pieces were comparatively intimate "one to one" experiences, absorbed by one recipient at a time. Whether we call the collected efforts of this culture "mail art," "correspondence art," or simply "networking," its history is unlike other 'art historical' narratives, insofar as few people feel qualified to act as a spokesperson for the admittedly varied intentions of other networked artists: there is an almost universal reluctance to promote oneself as the "head" of anything in this culture. Especially on the European continent, where the most radical art collectives (e.g. Surrealism) have splintered into warring factions while under the mismanagement of paranoid leaders, no one is particularly eager to waste their otherwise productive time on internecine squabbling about whom deserves what title. So, in these situations, those who are just the most enthusiastic about their work, and its place in a larger creative milieu, end up becoming "ambassadors" by default.

One such ambassador, Vittore Baroni, is an individual who makes introductory biographical surveys like this one such a daunting task: his work spans every conceivable medium from rubber stamps and "artistamps" [mock-'official' postage stamps] and stickers to novel fashion items, and his tastes run the gamut from sublime atmospheric music to graphics exhibiting an exaggerated 'comic book' sense of humor and horror. Other than a general disregard for the taxonomy of art genres, the defining characteristic of Baroni's artwork is the nurturing of paradox and contradiction (he tells me that "[the term] 'paradoxical' is for me a great compliment, and a very positive adjective.") However, I may be getting ahead of myself here, since Baroni disavows the word "artist" entirely. In an early manifesto for his TRAX 'networking project,' co-founded with Piermario Ciani and Massimo Giacon, Baroni demurs "we are not artists, because art is a word that means everything and nothing," and proceeds to apply this to more clearly defined creative categories: "we are not musicians, but we create sounds. We are not actors, but every once in a while we get on a stage. We are not writers or publishing houses, but we can print our own writings." So what exactly is Baroni - and who are "we"?

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A Flight to the Land Beyond the North Pole I & II (2010) - Johan Eldrot and Erik Larsson

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Part of a larger mixed media installation.

Originally via Triangulation Blog

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The Sound of Hard Drives: Jin Sangtae

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It's ironic that Jin Sangtae learned computer repair working at a mammoth South Korean tech market, since he eventually applied those skills to creatively destroying electronics. One of Seoul's most important audio artists, Jin Sangtae creates glitched noise improvisations by manipulating exposed computer hard drive parts.

Jin produces his initial signal in Clanger Theremin, a digital theremin available as freeware designed for use on PDA devices. Controlling pitch, volume and modular effects with a stylus, Jin leads the signal through several exposed computer hard drives, each fed to a separate track on a mixer, a process that methodically undermines his instrument.

Jin's impressive level of control over hardware errors does generally overshadow the theremin signal. A repeated series of staccatos resembling vinyl skips can be gradually protracted into a striated drone and then diminished into a paper-thin hiss. High-pitched sounds are emphasized; although harsh noise artists Otomo Yoshihide and Merzbow are certainly influences on Jin, his squealing feedback evokes scientific, mechanical imagery rather than a nihilistic anti-aesthetic. Although Park's improvisations are structureless, his decisions of which ideas to develop at length and which to briefly interject reward deep listening.

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Photo of Jin Sangtae's Exposed Disk Drives

Professionally, Jin Sangtae runs an audiovisual supplies distribution company, but Jin's office doubles as a small experimental performance space called Dotolim. Along with a few other venues in Seoul like Park Chang Soo's Houseconcert and Lee Han Joo's Yogiga gallery, Jin Sangtae's Dotolim concert has made him central to Seoul's experimental scene. While Houseconcert emphazises acoustic free jazz and Yogiga is a freeform sprawl, the circle of musicians surrounding Dotolim concerts is an erudite group of tech-savvy electroacoustic noise artists. The Balloon and Needle label, run by noise musicians Choi Joonyong and Hong Chulki ...

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Videos from Wikitopia Festival

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Videos of the keynote speeches by scholars Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Hector Rodriguez from September's Wikitopia Festival at Videotage in Hong Kong have been posted. The event examined the Free Culture movement and its impact on practices of knowledge sharing and networked creativity.

Originally via Networked_Performance



Wendy Hui Kyong Chun "The Possibilities and Limitations of Open Content"

The Possibilities and Limitations of Open Content by Prof. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun from Videotage Unlimited on Vimeo.

New media has made possible new “vernacular” archives of knowledge—from wikipedia to del.icio.us—that are challenging their standard top-down counterparts. These archives are usually either celebrated as democratizing knowledge, or condemned as destroying it. Refusing either of these positions, this talk asks: what does opening up content do? What does the open both make possible and close down? Is open content enough? How, in other words, should the open be the beginning rather than the end of the discussion?



Hector Rodriguez "The Principle of Reciprocity"

The Principle of Reciprocity by Dr. Hector Rodriguez from Videotage Unlimited on Vimeo.

Marcel Mauss’ classic study of The Gift introduced the principle of reciprocity, which has played a fundamental role in the evolution of modern social anthropology and critical theory. Mauss regarded the giving and receiving of gifts as a widespread cultural phenomenon. Although the gift often appears to have been spontaneously and freely offered, it is in fact obligatory. According to Mauss, it consists of “three obligations”: the obligation to receive, to give, and to return. The exchange of gifts thus exemplifies a complex procedure of ritualized exchange.

The principle of reciprocity can be understood in at least two different ways. First of all, the study of gift exchange constitutes a prehistory of the modern contract. Mauss showed that modern market transactions grew ...

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Paik Raster Manipulation Unit or Wobbulator

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Demo video of the Paik Raster Manipulation Unit or Wobbulator, an example of Paik's "prepared television" which distorts broadcast signals or, if used as a monitor, images from a live or prerecorded source. Experimental Television Center provides a lengthy description and diagrams for building a Wobbulator, here.

Originally via Noted by Daniel Rehn

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POWEr (2009) - Alexandre Burton and Julien Roy

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POWEr is a performance based on high-voltage electromagnetic perturbations, by Alexandre Burton and Julien Roy. Using an audio-modulated Tesla coil as a live instrument, electrical arcs are generated and transformed in an ongoing, realtime audiovisual process. Electricity is used as a subtle yet intense material, manifested as an instrinsically synesthesic phenomenae.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Originally via Serial Consign

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The Sky Is Falling (A Day in the Life...) (2010) - Michael Demers

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Captured PlayStation3 video from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, edited to reflect the seamless passing of game time and “real” time. One minute of “real” time equals approximately 30 minutes of game time. The resulting 48 minute video records the passing of one game day.

References to playable characters, AI characters, and accompanying sound effects have been edited from the video in an effort to focus on the notion of a virtual space with the possibility of non-virtual habitation, defined in part by the passing of game time during the observers "real" time. The health meter, magic meter, stamina meter, weapon and magic selections and the game compass have been unedited as a digital referent in the hyperreal environment of the game engine.

-- FROM THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT

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