Virtual Bodies and Empty Signifiers: On Fred Parke and Miley Cyrus

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Still frame from Fred Parke, Faces, University of Utah, 1974.

On June 19 of this past year Miley Cyrus released a video for "We Can't Stop," the lead single for her fourth studio alum Bangers (2013). Directed by Diane Martel, the video was the first step in a massive rebranding effort by the young singer, who has transformed herself from a Disney teen starlet into a bad-girl human Tumblr. The video largely consists of the young star partying with friends, intercut with a number of visual non-sequiturs that resemble scrolling through the popular microblogging platform. The video, album, and subsequent MTV video music awards performance have sparked a number of interesting debates online and in popular press concerning sexuality, race, and appropriation. Watching the video for the first time, I was shocked, though not at the twerking or the tongue or the dancing bears. "Did you see that?" I yelled as I paused the video. "I think that was the CGI face from Fred Parke's 1974 University of Utah dissertation research." And it was.

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EAI in Times Square

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Takeshi Murata, EAI 40th Anniversary Intro 2011, 1:04 min, color, sound

From April 13 - 19, as part of their 40th anniversary programming, the Electronic Art Intermix (EAI) will organize a special project in Time Square. Partnering with the Times Square Alliance and MTV, EAI will be showing a program of video works on MTV's MTV 44½'s large-format LED screen. The selected pieces by Vito Acconci, Dan Asher, Phyllis Baldino, Dara Birnbaum, Gary Hill, Shigeko Kubota, Takeshi Murata, Nam June Paik, Martha Rosler, Stuart Sherman and William Wegman span EAI's 40 year history and are only a fragment of EAI's vast archive.

The videos will play at the top of each hour, between noon and 4pm and between 6pm and 11pm. On Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 the complete program (25:16 min) will also play at noon.

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RYRAL (1976) – Tom DeFanti, Phil Morton, Dan Sandin and Bob Snyder

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RYRAL is a realtime audio video performance by Tom DeFanti (creating computer animation with the GRaphics Symbiosis System or GRASS), Phil Morton (“up in the kitchen keepin’ track”), Dan Sandin (processing video with a Sandin Image Processor), Bob Snyder (performing experimental electronic music on an analog EMU synthesizer) and an uncredited dancer. This Media Art project was created and performed in April 1976 at the second Electronic Visualization Event (EVE II) in Chicago. EVE II took place at The University of Illinois Chicago.

Documentation of the performance was later exhibited by Diane Kirkpatrick in her exhibition Chicago: The City and Its Artists 1945-1978 at The University of Michigan Museum of Art March 17 – April 23 1978.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE PHIL MORTON MEMORIAL RESEARCH ARCHIVE

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ETRA experiments, chicago edit, pt 1 (1972-1974) - Phil Morton

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Video by Phil Morton, using the Rutt/Etra video synthesizer. For more on Phil Morton and his work, please check the Phil Morton Memorial Research Archive.

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Entering (1974) - Peter Donebauer

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The imagery and sound in Entering were performed 'live' by Donebauer and composer Simon Desorgher, and recorded in real time, using a colour TV studio at the Royal College of Art. Later Donebauer and Richard Monkhouse developed the Videokalos synthesiser, as an image-sound performance instrument. Entering was transmitted by the BBC in 1974.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM TATE

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Shutter Interface (1975) - Paul Sharits

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Installation view of Paul Sharits, "Shutter Interface," (1975, four-screen 16-mm loop projection with four separate sound tracks) at Greene Naftali Gallery, 2009.

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Evelyn Roth on Arts '74

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In this television segment from the 1970s Canadian show Arts '74, artist Evelyn Roth discusses her work in textiles. In the first clip, she shows how she uses videotape as a material for crocheted wearable sculptures (including one which fastens the viewer to a television set) and even a car cozy. Roth's costumes reminded me of those in Forcefield's videos, and her interiors echo a bit with some of Donna Huanca's stage installations and Jacqueline Gordon's Dream Blankets. Neat!

Originally via Nothing Is New

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TV Party: A Panorama of Public Access Television in New York City

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The weird and fantastic world of New York's public access television will receive the attention it deserves in a film program curated by Leah Churner and Nicolas Rapold for the Museum of the Moving Image. The program, titled TV Party: A Panorama of Public Access Television in New York City kicks off tonight, and will run until February 20th. Spanning the past four decades, screenings will include shows such as The Scott and Gary Show, Wild Record Collection, The Live! Show, Glenn O' Brien's TV Party, The Vole Show, and more! Check the trailer below.


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Required Reading: Computational Periodics (1975) - John Whitney

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Film strip of John Whitney's Arabesque, 1975

We may assume that a time will come when that which I am about to describe will name itself—but for now: 'Computational periodics' is a propositional and tentative term which may help to designate a new unified field for a heterodimensional art; a field whose special dimension is time. An art which is temporal, as music itself; being, that is, spatio-temporal. An art whose time has come because of computer technology and an art which could not exist before the computer. Even though this art will be found in the notebooks of Leonardo and has been in the collective imagination, like the flying-machine, since his epoch it was a technological impossibility until the development of computer graphics.

Rhythm, meter, frequency, tonality and intensity are the periodic parameters of music. There is a similar group of parameters that set forth a picture domain as valid and fertile as the counterpoised domain of sound. This visual domain is defined by parameters which are also periodic. 'Computational periodics' then is a new term which is needed to identify and distinguish this multidimensional art for eye and ear that resides exclusively within computer technology. For notwithstanding man's historic efforts to bridge the two worlds of music and art through dance and theatre, the computer is his first instrument that can integrate and manipulate image and sound in a way that is as valid for visual, as it is for aural, perception.

-- EXCERPT FROM "COMPUTATIONAL PERIODICS" BY JOHN WHITNEY

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Originally via DINCA

Little Caesar Magazine

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Snippets below from Little Caesar Magazine, a literary journal/zine produced by Dennis Cooper from 1976 until 1982. Scans and pdfs of the original issues are available through Dennis Cooper's site.


Maybe we're crazy but we think there can be a literary that's loved and powerful. We want a magazine that's read by poetry fans, the rock culture, the Hari Krishnas, the Dodgers. We think it can be done, and that's what we're aiming at.

I have this dream where writers are mobbed everywhere they go, like rock stars and actors. A predilection? You never know. People like Patti Smith are subtly forcing their audiences to become literate, introducing them to Rimbaud, Breton, Burroughs and others. Poetry sales are higher than they've been in fifteen years. In Paris ten year old boys clutching well worn copies of Apollonaire's ALCOOLS put their hands over their mouths in amazement before paintings by Renoir and Monet. Bruce Lee movies close in three days. This could happen here.

Let us introduce ourselves. We're not fifty year old patrons of the arts. We're young punks just like you, and just because Kenneth Rexroth's got a name in some crowds doesn't mean a wink's gonna get his rickety old crap in here. He comes through the back door like everyone else.

- Dennis Cooper, 1978. Excerpt the introduction to Little Caesar #1

Rimbaud Crossword from Little Caesar #5 on Rimbaud

Interview with Andy Warhol by Gerard Malanga from Little Caesar #7

"Variations For Waking" by Jim Carroll from Little Caesar #3

Originally via East of Borneo

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