October 4, 17.00 – 19.00
Royal Academy of Art, Den Haag
Performance: Emile Zile
OMG_sisyphus and *best*RapidEssayNSFW!! by Amsterdam-based Australian artist, resident of the Rijksakademie. Live video essays with online and prepared video sources from YouTube, 24hour news streams, scientific trials, viral marketing blips, social software and monologues by .com-era cult leaders to weave an audiovisual portrait of contemporary culture and its acceleration of signs. With tutorials, self-portraiture, factory presets, the ecstasy of viewing and the sadness of YouTube.
Lecture Almila Akdag (UVA)
A theoretical view on the nature of (high/low) art and the art market, and its relation to online art communities. Almila Akdag, from the University of Amsterdam, has received a Veni awardfrom NWO to conduct her own research for 3 years. The project is a combination of the application of various scientific methodologies (mostly social network analysis and analysis of image archives). In this lecture she will talk about DeviantArt, an online community of artists and art appreciators, that plays a nowadays role of the Salon des Refuses. She will show the history of this initiative and highlight its social and organizational structure as well as its impact on the art education for the next generation of artists.
This entry was written by cold, domination, metal, plastic, saliva, submission and tagged face the feast of powder, kino, kunst, live action, neverneverlands, recycler, world wide web. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on October 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm, filed under
Documentation by Pieter Kers
February 16, 2012
It is often said that if Sisyphus were alive today – he would probably be using a bulldozer to push his boulder up the mountain, while running a small company for similar services. Such are the times in which we live, where it’s possible that even mythology cannot exist without having cast over it the contemporary shadow of the corporation. Art that uses technology in any way is also under the same shadow: the product is embedded, be it the logo on laptop lids, in-camera menu systems, the sheer presence of digital projectors in the gallery space adds the subliminal presence of the multi-national brand. This minor conflict is not so much because they are there but because they are not intended to be there. It is a concession that must be made in order to use these tools. Never before has industry been so visible in art materials. Perhaps in a typical setting we are expected to overlook the device in order to consider the art is only what comes out of it. For this reason gallery and museum spaces often attempt to conceal these pieces of equipment so that their relationship with the artist and the viewer is not questioned, but in some ways this smudges something that might be pivotal.
With his history of performances that engage with popular culture and consumer technology Emile Zile recently premiered OMG_Sisyphus. The Greek mythology of Sisyphus, a tale of burden and absurdity, is used as a prop on which to enact a contemporary performance situation: being on YouTube. The performance happens in the midst of laptops, amplifiers, digital cameras, projectors and a heavy looking stone that the artist carries in from outside. In recent performances of OMG_Sisyphus at (Open Archive Melbourne, 30 November 2011, Palais Paradiso Amsterdam 16 February 2012) Zile enacts a humorously calculated switch. In his treatment we begin to understand that the laptop/webcam is now a rock, or vice versa. Its physical presence, weight, and texture become entwined in a passage of worship, as the ubiquitous Apple product is now something more equivalent to a Chinese scholar stone (Gongshi). Throughout the whole performance it is as if through some application of post-production what we should be seeing as a computer (the adored gateway to online audiences) is now a small volcanic boulder. Simultaneous slips between live action and published content begin, as Zile sits staring at the rock we imagine him staring at his computer, alone in a room while addressing an imagined YouTube audience. In doing so the actual live audience sitting in the gallery space is distanced, even denied. YouTube clips are executed and closed at the same time as the live performance, and by performing to the rock the absurd act of speaking to a mute object is comically revealed. All at once we view him in physical proximity sitting at his desk almost as if we are already at home watching him online. But we are not. At the same time YouTube clips projected at large scale on the wall present various moments recorded earlier, leading to a sense of shifts in time – the first clip is a (insert precise video length) closely cropped macro image of the minute crevices and minor surface details of the rock itself. The tragedy is that even though the rock is there in the room with us we still see it more closely on YouTube. The tone of this performance brings to mind the not-quite-transcendent aura of work by Shana Moulton combined with the webcam style bravado and entertainment factor of Hennessey Youngman. At some points in the piece we are made to feel the joys of web 2.0 publishing, light relaxation muzak plays, we are all connected by technology. But the gallery space begins to fall out of step as the artist struggles against what appears to be self-doubt and loneliness. The rock remains motionless on a small table under lamplight. Is real life different to projected life? Maybe it used to be. Zile seems to suggest a new friction is built in this crossover rather than a seamless merger. Whilst various elements of the performance are online, the crux of this work hinges on being present live in the gallery space – where multiple facets of contemporary being are felt and fired simultaneously. As it happens we are pointed toward a space where states of alienation, corporation and intense connectivity collide into a state of indivisibility.
February 16, 2012
Featuring Dennis Verbeke, Ieke Trinks, Sina Khani, Uta Eisenreich, Guido van der Werve, Emile Zile, Nina Yuen, Bregje de Kater, Danai Reints, Loeke Gerritsen, Nederlands Dans Theater 2, Broersen en Lukács, Renée van Trier, Isabelle Schiltz, Jeroen Offerman
Daniel Mudie-Cunningham’s project to collect songs to be played at funerals has opened at MONA in Hobart, Tasmania.
I chose a song by Daniel Johnston.
Photo by Pandarosa
Omer Fast: Dialogue, Reality, Fiction, Documentation, Overidentification, Recreation, Narrative.
Antiphotojournalism: Truth, Representation, Evidence, Distribution, News, Mourning, Humanism.
See them while you can.
1. Laibach – Predictions of Fire 1996
In the early 80′s, an industrial rock band named Laibach emerged out of the Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. Incorporating what many took to be fascist imagery in their performances, they shocked this small Balkan republic and, after signing a recording contract with London’s prestigious Mute Records label, went on to shock the rest of the world as well. Laibach was soon joined by a painting group, IRWIN, and theater group, Red Pilot, at the helm of one of the most ambitious and cutting-edge arts collectives in the world. Modeled after a socialist state bureaucracy, and calling themselves Neue Slowenische Kunst (New Slovenian Arts, or NSK), these three groups became the titular heads of a micro-state within the independent republic of Slovenia. NSK recently began issuing its own passports and opened embassies and consulates in Moscow, Berlin, Ghent, Florence, and in the US.
2. Aleksandra Domanovic – Turbo Sculpture 2010
Turbo Sculpture is questioning the emergence of a new kind of public art in ex-Yougoslav republics. The title of the video is a reference to Turbofolk, a popular style of music from the Balkans that freely samples traditional and contemporary sources. A sculpture of Bruce Lee, or of Rocky are politically neutral and common cultural references for the different communities that were at war for over a decade in the 1990s. While the war time Turbo Culture was mostly associated with exaggerated nationalism, almost pornographic kitsch and crime glorification, the post war Turbo boldly contrasts nationalist xenophobia while retaining its stylistic identity.
3. BBC4 – Nicolae Ceausescu, The King of Communism 2003
Nicolae Ceausescu created a unique personality cult in the 1970s and 1980s, transforming communist Romania into one of the strangest regimes Europe has ever seen. Newspapers had to mention his name 40 times on every page, factory workers spent months rehearsing dance routines dressed as soldiers and gymnasts for huge shows at which thousands of citizens were lined up to form the words Nicolae Ceausescu with their bodies. When the Romanian economy and living standards plummeted in the 1980s, the line between theatre and life blurred completely. Ceausescu went on working visits to the countryside where he inspected displays of meat and fruit made out of polystyrene, and closer to home began work on what would have been the largest palace in the world. At the final parade in 1989, workers walked past their leader to the sound of taped chants and applause.
Analog media seizure. Sony Cassette Walkman discontinued in Japan and Technics 1200 turntables discontinued globally. 30 year old technology. Beginning of personal audio. Beginning of scratching, club culture. Analog components difficult to source. Challenges in the marketplace. Walkman’s death announced on the birthday of the ipod.
‘Forever’, the analogue feedback music video for Love Of Diagrams screens in the Rojo Nova Audiovisual Sessions, happening July 1st – August 15th 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. http://www.rojo-nova.com
If you cant make it to the museum in Brazil, you can watch the video here: http://www.messandnoise.com/tv/3916440
Dafna Maimon’s take on arts industry workers, recent art school graduates, art guards and the dreams and fears of the people at the frontline of cultural institutions. The protagonists use black parcan theatre lights on mic stands to frame their monologues. A white light too strong. Lights. Camera. Action.The repetitious scenes were almost nausea inducing in their hammy under/overacted delivery. Exquisitely bland dialogue, sometimes directed to audience members or the unwitting gallery visitor who becomes part of the narrative. Tiny, intoxicating scenes that would be repeated over the course of an hour.
Inane moving of lights. Incessant moving of the framing devices. The power a directed light has to focus energy and create an immediate stage is profound. The spotlight gives license to the characters to deliver lines in much the same way that social networking platforms or micro-blogging services gives licence to transmit little traumas, everyday desires and narcissistic impulses. These individuals prepare their monologues for the amorphous mass, one liners that are both media-conscious and personal. They recite language to the ether, not a directed conversational language, but a never-ending stream of quotes, self-critical comments and weak commands. The dialogue of mediated individualism. I felt we were trapped in the lucid daydreaming IM chats of bored gallery sitters and wannabe curators.
Melodramatic pauses and romantic dialogue interspersed with asides to the audience “If this was a film I would be shot over the shoulder in medium close-up”. Characters moving in highly artificial arcs. The pacing is drawn out and gives ample room for slippage, coincidences and accidents. A character sighs and delivers a highly breathy and despairing “Help. The website is stuck again”. This is anti-depressant operatic tragedy set to the scale of 21st century comment culture.
09/01/10. W139, Warmoesstraat 139, Amsterdam
Directed by Dafna Maimon
Performers: Anu Vahtra, Lot Meijers, Steven de Jong, Timothy Moore
This entry was written by electricity, exhaustion, hysteria, plastic, submission, warm and tagged live action, make it up, mokum alef, pop, voice, words. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on January 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm, filed under
Google screenshot painting by Tyler Wilde.
Article by Dutch-Australian media theorist Geert Lovink on google, society of the spectacle/query and the shape of critical thought in this info-glut.
‘The society of the query and the Googlization of our lives’
Ever since the rise of search engines in the 1990s we have been living in the “society of the query”, which, as Weizenbaum indicates, is not far removed from the “society of the spectacle”. Written in the late 1960s, Guy Debord’s situationist analysis was based on the rise of the film, television and advertisement industries. The main difference today is that we are explicitly requested to interact. We are no longer addressed as an anonymous mass of passive consumers but instead are “distributed actors” who are present on a multitude of channels. Debord’s critique of commodification is no longer revolutionary. The pleasure of consumerism is so widespread that it is has reached the status of a universal human right. We all love the commodity fetish, the brands, and indulge in the glamour that the global celebrity class performs on our behalf. There is no social movement or cultural practice, however radical, that can escape the commodity logic. No strategy has been devised to live in the age of the post-spectacle. Concerns have instead been focusing on privacy, or what’s left of it. The capacity of capitalism to absorb its adversaries is such that, unless all private telephone conversations and Internet traffic became were to become publicly available, it is next to impossible to argue why we still need criticism – in this case of the Internet.
A new movie by Craig Baldwin, straight out of the Other Cinema compound in San Francisco. The latest in his canon that includes Tribulation 99, Sonic Outlaws and Spectres of the Spectrum, all intoxicating feature-length films that use pre-exisitng media. Screening this Thursday night in Amsterdam.
A radical hybrid of spy, sci-fi, Western, and even horror genres, Craig Baldwin’s Mock Up On Mu cobbles together a feature-length ‘collage-narrative’ based on (mostly) true stories of California’s post-War sub-cultures of rocket pioneers, alternative religions and Beat lifestyles that creates an alternative American history.
‘..an often hilarious, sometimes inscrutable, always original film that’s part pop-cultural fantasia, part capitalist critique’ – New York Magazine
a day-long symposium on the changing nature of cultural development, ‘amateurism’ vs. ‘professionalism’, the shifting sands of creative consumption and critical construction… gatekeepers now left with no-one at the gates… playlist curatorial selections and niche/long tail sales techniques… for a long time it has been sensed that artists are the new curators, filters that set signs into collision, to paraphrase Bourriaud. i’m interested to to see what this gathering has to say on the consumer as curator, and how the curators see it…
please note: ‘Captcha’ as logo
produced by the Breda Graphic Design Museum, headed up by Mieke Gerritsen
While museums are developing strategies to digitalise their collections, online cultural production is growing steadily, with hundreds of thousands of new images posted each day. A lot of potentially interesting work is being produced online, which never reaches the physical world. The distribution of this high quality work is increasingly decentralised, leaving museums, foundations and professional magazines at a loss on how to redefine their role as gatekeepers. On the other hand, the time spent daily behind the computer on internet networking is pushing the demand for a physical experience of our fleeting culture. Designers, artists, mediators and policy makers need to redefine their position, because new technologies define to a large extent today’s possibilities and means of presentation and archiving. The search is for new quality criteria, new frames of references, and alternative methods for enabling connections between the virtual and the physical space of today’s culture.
Location: Paradiso, Amsterdam (Weteringschans 6)
Entrance: €25, €10 (studenten) english spoken
Being locked out of my Sandberg studio while holiday renovations take place creates time for exploring the Amsterdam forests by bike, watching EasyJet 737′s full of anticipatory stoners land from my balcony and reading books.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Australian Screen Classics series. Currency Press, Sydney.
Brophy’s reading of the signs within this iconic Australian film is a euphoric textual overload. Few other writers cause me to verbalise my intellectual agitation during the act of reading as Brophy does. I find myself floored by the spiky analysis, unexpected connections and sharp wit. His analysis is incisive and the language used is never jargonistic or cluttered. The author generates a highly subjective theory-fiction, akin to Baudrillard or Barthes’ analysis of the products of culture. Just as valid as any other potential reading and certainly not pandering to any pre-digested self-image of the Australian Film Industry. A highly provocative reading of the gay/straight, male/female, urban/rural energies contained in this film, the passages on Chrome-plating and the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy, Scarves and the Village Roadshow logo leave a lasting impression, as too the Freudian disfiguration of the land to make way for the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric scheme. I come away from this book thinking where are all the other analyses of popular culture that refuse to tow an accepted ‘Margaret and David’ canonisation of certain cultural works. Where is the psycho-sexual re-reading of Antiques Roadshow, Channel 10 Late night news or The NRL Footy Show?
Cultural Activism Today. The art of over-identification. Episode Publishers, Rotterdam.
I have been intending to read this collection of essays for the past year. Subconsciously avoiding it until I had decent time and space to take it in perhaps. Beginning with Slavoj Zizek’s concept of over-identification with ‘the enemy’ (advanced capitalism, totalitarian regimes, neo-conservative agendas) as the only form of cultural activism that doesn’t automatically lock into a played out notion of Left-Right politics, with all the perfunctory role-playing that such a binary opposition summons up. Post-ideology activism for a post-ideological age. The argument is that to face the opponent with an image of itself so magnified, heightened and detestable is the only way of exposing the inherent hypocrisy within that system. Santiago Serra, Christoph Schlingensief, Atelier van Lieshout are discussed at length and the cultural shockwaves that their performances and installations generate. Schlingensief has always fascinated me. His ability to be the enfant terrible for German-speaking culture, making unsettling film, tv and theatre work that implicates it’s audience, funders and participants. A kind of double-bluff that provokes a social black hole of shame and responsibility, of which Schlingensief isn’t immune to either. Schlingensief’s projects discussed in this book include the African Twin Towers film installation and Bitte liebt Osterreich, a protest against the extreme-right party of Jorg Haider joining the Austrian government; In a makeshift container camp in the center of Vienna a Big Brother-type reality show asked Austrians to vote asylum seekers out of the camp and out of the country. The ‘most integrated’ refugee at the end of the game won a residence permit. A superb analysis of the Slovenian industral band Laibach is undertaken by Alexei Monroe, dismantling their seemingly ultra-nationalist symbols such as the Slovenian Stag, Alpine romanticist oil painting and traditional folk costume. True to the image of themselves as ‘State Artists’, Laibach’s administering organisation NSK offers a passport to the public from their website for admission to their ‘state in time’. All the artists discussed in this volume keep their poker face. It is an ambiguous and complex gesture that provides no easy recuperation or dismissal.
Laibach Live 14.11.03 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Destroy All Monsters. Marion Boyars, London.
A sharply non-linear novel that runs at breakneck speed between visiting aliens, Tokyo teens, reanimated Elvis Presley and the interior monologues of the President of the Unted States, Destroy All Monsters is a thrilling read. Elliptical narratives. Cascading plots and thoroughly media-soaked characters scattered around the globe. Also highly recommended is Ken Hollings and Simon James’ ResonanceFM podcast series on American 1950′s Science Fiction, Fantasy and Fact; how the cold war, space race and the very real ‘little green man’ hysteria influenced popular culture and vice versa: Welcome to Mars