Testament is a series of collective self-portraits made up of fragments from online video diaries, or “vlogs”. The project consisted of a series of chapters, each of which focuses on a collectively told vignette, story, proclamation, or meditation on topics such as identity, the economy, illness, politics, the war, or work. Testament explores the formal and conceptual consequences of online video viewing and sharing, while analyzing contemporary expressions of self, and the stories we are currently telling online about our lives and our circumstances. Clips are edited and sequenced like streams and patterns of self-revelation and narrative that flow and dissipate over space and time. As in a Greek chorus, a choir, or a musical symphony, individuals echo, respond to, contradict, add refrains, iterations, and variations, join in, and complete solo narrations. The series reflects on the peculiar blend of intimacy and anonymity, of simultaneous connectivity and isolation that characterizes online social relations.
Jonathan Vingiano is an internet surfer based in Brooklyn, NY and he graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Experimental Media. He recently completed a project for JstChillin's "Serial Chillers in Paradise" and will be in an group show opening January 15th at Tompkins Projects in NYC. He is the hype-man of the rap trio LIONSHARE. Jonathan is Rhizome's Technology Associate.
When introducing digital art to an unfamiliar audience, every piece becomes a manifesto of its own - it simultaneously informs, provokes and educates the viewer. When East London gallery SEVENTEEN put up "Intentional Computing", Paul B. Davis’ first ever solo show in 2007, this was precisely the challenge it faced. In Britain’s oddly conservative art scene, the show acted as a demonstration of the infinite possibilities and theorization of digital creativity. A brief retrospective of one of London’s most adventurous galleries brings out the problems such artists face as well as the complexities technology- savvy audiences are learning to incorporate into their viewing experience.
“Much of the work we began to show at SEVENTEEN was at first alien to people in London,” says Paul Pieroni, co-curator of SEVENTEEN, who had been a fan of Davis’ work with the collective, BEIGE, for years: “I liked the fact that it takes technology not on face value, but in terms of its place within a more diffuse contemporary culture.” "Intentional Computing" featured some of Davis’ NES hacks, as well as glitchy, pixelated videos, reminiscent of the artist’s early encounters with technology. It also raised debates about issues of commodity and reclamation. By quoting recurring parts of his technological environment past and present, including the computer games (Nintendo et al) of his youth, Davis was rejuvenating a practice innovated by major pop artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi’s work in the early 50s as well as his later mosaics, or Richard Hamilton’s famous collages.
Artist Brody Condon will be exhibiting and presenting a performance of his recent work Without Sun (2008) on July 18, 2009 at Machine Project in Los Angeles. Without Sun (2008) is 15-minute single channel videotape comprised of a series of performances found on the Internet. The tape displays several young people on psychedelic drugs, recounting and documenting, to the best of their ability, their experience for the camera.
The title, Without Sun is inspired by Chris Marker’s classic experimental documentary, Sans Soleil (1983), a film which examines the fallibility of human memory. For Condon, Marker’s piece invokes questions of “faulty and mediated” memory, as well as the theme of travel as a “travelogue [and] destabilization.” From here, Condon explains, the “relevance to kids taking inner journeys and recording themselves then posting the vid[eo] online to preserve the moment seemed clear.”
A transcript of Without Sun can be found on Condon’s website. It reads like a list of utterances without meaning. For instance, phrases such as, “it’s trying to spiral me all in it with it man. Oh. Uh uh. Ahhhh. What the fuck?” Or, “But there is something. Weird. This is weird. You can’t even begin. Everything feels nuts. Like touching stuff….” In another sequence, a young boy in his room explains to the camera, “I don’t even. I’m not controlling my hands. (laugh) this is going to be the best video ever I can already tell. Because. I mean. Ayyy. I forgot there was even …” The incomprehensibility of the phrases are just what you might expect from someone on such a psychedelic journey.
However, reading them as a transcription shifts the focus--when one reads one expects trajectory ...!--more-->
In June I traveled through southeastern Europe from Venice to Athens, where I’m looking at art and blogging. Part three of the travelogue is about Belgrade, Serbia.
With a population of two million, Belgrade is twice as big as Zagreb, which is thrice as big as Ljubljana, but the sizes of these three cities have a paradoxically inverse relationship to their cultural infrastructure, particularly at the intersection of art and technology. While little Ljubljana had enough events to fill my schedule for four days, Zagreb’s handful of galleries were in a summer slumber. But organizations were actually there, even if hibernating, while Belgrade had nothing. Many attributed that to the smaller country’s attempt to find a niche or a brand for itself in Europe’s crowded contemporary art world. “New media in Slovenia was as a more or less organized way of deterritorialization from the ex-Yugoslavian context, a systematic attempt ‘to be more serious than the system itself,’" said Maja Ciric, a Serbian curator, citing Zizek. “But in Belgrade the new media paradigm is self-driven and performed individually.”
Belgrade had a small but active demoscene in the 1990s, which gave rise to one of the most interesting art collectives in the former Yugoslavia, Kosmoplovci (pronounced “kos-mo-PLOV-tsee”). The name means something like astronauts or space sailors, and comes from a 1970s do-it-yourself science and technology magazine that some demoscene friends found at a flea market in the early ‘90s. The members of Kosmoplovci are fond of rummaging through the past, and their varied output—which includes internet works, videos, music, comics, and books—usually involves allusion and found media. Satelitska Stanica is based on an old 8mm film extolling a joint project with Japan to ...