The latest in an ongoing series of themed collections of creative projects assembled by Prosthetic Knowledge. This edition brings together music videos by artists for whom the internet is a primary medium.
Rosa Menkman, 03: Karate aka ☵ ☲ // 010 101 // kǎn lí. GIF extract from music video for Little Scale.
The terms "net art" and "music video" are, while useful, close to becoming retronyms. With electronic technology becoming more easily available and ubiquitous, we are in a time where "new media" is not necessarily "new". As McLuhan famously punned his own phrase, "The Medium Is The Massage:" "All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive...that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered." This applies to the internet, which is becoming more and more familiar and available, making the boundaries and definition of Net Art less and less clear.
Music videos (or at least, how music is promoted and delivered) are also changing—we are seeing more and more examples which are not necessarily traditional viewing experiences. For example: Machine Stop by Duologue, which uses WebGL to display Kinect-gathered performances which the participant can edit; Skrillex Quest, an online interactive game; works by Aaron Koblin. Maybe the word "video" is returning to one of its possible etymological origins, in which it was linked to the word "idea," and away from its more familiar definition...
Despite these shifts, though, both are still enjoyable cultural forms with plenty of creative possibilities still to be explored. In this short playlist, I bring together several works by unique creatives most often associated with Net Art applying their talents to the music video. Enjoy.
The glitch aesthetic is now mainstream, appearing in Wreck-It Ralph, Adventure Time, Man of Steel and even Skyfall, and when we see it we immediately recognize it. What constitutes a glitch can be contradictory—some can be genuine errors, others merely noise. What they all have in common is a broken appearance interrupting, for a moment, the seamless design of human media consumption, an embrace of encryption entropism.
The pop-cultural examples listed above mostly involve two-dimentional signal errors, but the polygon glitch, in contrast with these, is more sculptural. Polygons are used to model 3D graphical environments in real time (particularly for video games), resulting in a carefully constructed realism that often breaks down momentarily, which means that polygon glitches are familiar to players and developers alike. Processing power and software availability has brought such glitches into further dimensions of visual complexity, with richer palettes and lighting. Tools that were originally designed for 3D construction and online game environments have now become interactive canvases for creative or accidental sculpture, a pseudo-Vorticism.
"...what is art? Privacy exposed to radiant light."
— Mu Xin, Chinese Landscape Painter
Undef, User 632 (2013). Animated GIF documentation of real-time visualization of data collected from passersby.
A collection of items from the Prosthetic Knowledge Tumblr archive and around the Web around the theme of privacy and surveillance. The projects listed below are tied to these themes in different ways: some take positions or raise questions on the new technological environments, some offer solutions for a world in which "just like the animals, we need to start adapting new ways to conceal ourselves from the autocratic predators" [source], while others collect and re-purpose ambient data in creative ways.