"...Abode where lost bodies roam each searching for its lost one. Vast enough for search to be in vain. Narrow enough for light to be in vain. Inside a flattened cylinder fifty metres round and sixteen high for the sake of harmony..." Samuel Beckett, The Lost Ones, 1972
UNMAKEABLELOVE is a revisioning of Becketts initial investigation that focuses and makes interactively tangible, a state of confrontation and interpolation between our selves and another society that is operating in a severe state of physical and psychological entropy. UNMAKEABLELOVE advances the practices of algorithmic agency, artificial life, virtual communities, human computer interaction, augmented virtuality, mixed reality and multimedia performance to engage the bodys primordial inscriptions. It locates Becketts society of lost ones in a virtual space that represents a severe state of physical confinement, evoking perhaps a prison, an asylum, a detention camp, or even a reality TV show.
While in UNMAKEABLELOVE the inhabitants of the cylinder remain oblivious in their condition, and we the viewers of their world, with our probing torch lights and prying gaze, are positioned as the ‘other’, forced to experience the anomalies of a perceptual disequilibrium that implicates us in this alienated narrative. The resulting ambiguity and complicit agency in UNMAKEABLELOVE reinforces a perceptual and psychological tension between ‘self’ and ‘other’ generated by the works’ mixed reality strategies of embodied simulation.
New Scientist takes a look at the performance staged at this year's Hong Kong Art Fair.
via Open Culture
Originally founded in 1979 by Richard Fielding, Andrew Wright and Tom Ellard, Severed Heads was an electronic group based in Sydney. They used synthesizers, tape loops, and an array of electronics to yield a distinctive sound, one which could most easily be described as industrial music, which later developed into abstract pop. While the lineup changed over the years, Tom Ellard has been the main continuing force in the group, up until his announcement of its end in 2008. In 1983, Severed Heads began integrating live video in their performances, which became a mainstay in their work. This post collects videos of the group, the majority of which date from the early 1980s, and many of which document their use of video synthesizers. For more information about everything Severed Heads, check Ellard's official site.
In this short clip, filmmaker Bruce McClure is interviewed on the occasion of the 25 FPS International Experimental Film and Video Festival 2010. Video by Daria Blažević, Mario Kozina and Igor Lušić.
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.
This interview originally appeared Video Vortex Reader II: moving images beyond YouTube (Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, March 2011) edited by Geert Lovink and Rachel Somers Miles. The Video Vortex Reader II launches this week in conjunction with the Video Vortex #6 conference at TrouwAmsterdam in Amsterdam on Friday March 11th and Saturday March 12th.
Natalie Bookchin and Blake Stimson first met in New York in the early 1990s when they were both affiliated with the Whitney Independent Study Program. This exchange took place over email, for the most part between their respective homes in Southern and Northern California during the summer of 2010.
Although she has a rich and varied artistic background, one theme that has regularly come to the fore in Natalie Bookchin’s work is a concern with documentary. In some of her early work, this concern seemed to emphasize the inhumanity of recording machines in the way that Andy Warhol’s, or perhaps Gerhard Richter’s, work did. In a different way, the entire ‘found object’ tradition associated with Duchampian indifference, and still so manifest in much contemporary art, also seemed to feature in Bookchin’s work. Here, we might recall an early piece for which Bookchin photographed everything she owned, object by object, down to the last paperclip; or perhaps, in a different sense, the Universal Page she created with Alexei Shulgin in 2000, which promised an algorithmically derived objective average of all web content. In one sense, her recent work of gathering videos from the internet might be said to continue in this vein—at least insofar as she is functioning as an aggregator of existing content drawn largely from YouTube, in a way similar to a service like Digg or any of the many interest or attention measuring functions of the web (not the least being Google and other search engines).
On the other hand, Bookchin’s work possesses a strong, even impassioned, activist element of the sort consistent with the reportage tradition extending back to John Heartfield and Sergei Tretiakov, or Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine before them. For example, in the interview Bookchin and Shulgin published in conjunction with the exhibition of Universal Page, Bookchin spoke of that time as one that demanded ‘superactivity’ because ‘there are vitally important things that need to be done’ to ‘resist total corporate, technological, and institutional takeovers’. In addition, her multiplayer game agoraXchange was created in collaboration with the political theorist Jackie Stevens, and called for ‘an end to the system of nation-states, the demise of rules rendering us passive objects tied to identities and locations given at birth’, and the elimination of ‘those laws requiring us to live and be seen largely as vessels for ancestral identities’. And finally, there was her very funny announcement, in 1999, of her intention for a journal titled BAD (standing for Burn the Artworld Down) that was ‘committed to the documentation of acts of terrorism and agitation against the institutional art world’. All of these works have performative dimensions to them, and as such call up a sense of tongue-in-cheek detachment from the subjects they purport to represent. Yet, to varying degrees, they also seem earnest and forceful political statements.
Glasser performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Monday. If you watch the video above, you'll notice the QR codes circling the stage. The QR code was designed by Kyuha Shim. He built a system using programming language that receives color data sets from Glasser's album graphics and adapted them to the modules that he designed. The QR code also leads viewers with mobile devices to "zones" designed by artist Mitch Trale's web production company, which you can access here. (Christopher P. Allick, Trevor Giller and Pablo Rochat contributed to the technical and creative direction for the website.) I've posted Mitch Trale's past websites-as-interactive-music-videos to Rhizome before, such as New Stripes (2009) as well as the epic Open Seas (2010). The use of QR codes during Glasser's set is a really interesting translation of this idea to a live performance context, and I thought it was very cool.