7/13/2019

Summer Semester Beyond Resolution 2019 @ KHK - now online!!

 Alternative formats: Manifestos 
From the extinvion rebellion to Xenofeminism, Occupy Wallstreet to Black Lives Matter or Glitch to #Additivism - all these movements have used manifestos to announce themselves to the world. The manifesto genre is by definition timely and politically focused. It criticizes a present state of affairs but also announces its passing, proclaiming the advent of a new movement or even of a new era. Manifestos are often a call for a new vision, approach, program, or genre: they are the site of political, cultural and social experimentation in our contemporary world.
Manifestos exist to challenge and provoke - to enhance conscious self-expression and empowerment. But how to write a contemporary manifesto in 2019?
How to combine a call for action with ciritical digital design to fundamentally expand the character and scope of the genre itself?

 Tokyo Threading. A presentation given at the Sony Centre, Tokyo for Media Festival Japan. 
It matters what threads are used to construct a garment: using a thread that is stronger than the material that is sewn (the fabric) can end up causing rips in the material. During my time in Japan I had many  encounters with Japanese digital artists who taught me about the importance of how to thread message and material together in very considerate, new ways of presenting.

 AR, VR and ‘empathy’. A presentation for Impakt, Utrecht, Netherlands. 
Impakt asked me to give a short presentation on AR, VR and empathy. VR - or ‘the empathy machine’ - has often been used to tell the story of young refugee girls. Can VR also provoke empathy without the exploitation of minor immigrant girls? And what is so good about empathy - what do we win with empathy if we do not practice compassion, sympathy, morality or other forms of ethical consideration? How easily do we cross the line from emphaty to commiserate disaster tourism?
And what is the relation between AR and VR?
Maybe the use of the world ‘reality’ a misnomer for what better could be understood as chimera or virtual imagination?

 
Emojis - one day workshop The earliest known mobile phone in Japan to include a set of emoji was released by J-Phone on November 1, 1997. The set of 90 emoji included many that would later be added to the Unicode Standard, such as Pile of Poo 💩, but as the phone was very expensive they were not widely used at the time. In 1999, Shigetaka Kurita created the first widely-used set of emoji which was implemented on NTT DoCoMo's i-mode mobile Internet platform.
Today, anyone can submit a proposal for an emoji character, but the implementation of new emoji is regulated by the Unicode Consortium. Yet every year 70 new emojis are chosen and implemented. How?: the voting members of the Unicode Constortium (Silicon Valley _ White Male Conservatives _ ) pay good �💵💴💶💰💷$ to have a vote.
As a result, certain emojis are missing, while other emojis are the linchpin of controversy.

 
Timetravelling - one day workshop With the advent of the digital, time is no longer what it used to be. Instances can be jumped, repeated or stamped: the digital has introduced a new experience of time. But before making such a statement, we first need to discuss the dimension of time.
According to Hillel Schwartz, first there was Aeon time. Aeon time is universally ongoing and impersonal time. As an eternal flux and flow it is always ‘just there’. Schwartz connects aeon time to background noise, the noise that has been there since the Big Bang, the noise that will always exist and is usually suppressed but remains part of any system.
Secondly, Schwartz explains, there is Kronos, from which the term ‘chronology’ stems. Kronos refers to linear, one directional time, business time or incremental, daily routine time. Schwartz connects Kronos to repetitive noise, such as the noise of a dripping faucet. It is sickeningly rhythmic and does not move backwards.
Finally there is Kairos, which is best described as the time of opportunity. This time is dangerous and thrilling, however it can also present itself subtly. Schwarz connects Kairos to the noise of revolution. It is the shriek of invention. The time when someone urges you to seize the moment.
But Schwartz is of course not the only one outlining a general definition of time. Many men have attempted to describe time before him, and many have after... Here Schwartz is merely a starting point to discuss and travel time. 
What can be images of time? And what other radical ideas of time are there? 



Posthuman Glossary - one day workshop
Posthuman Critical theory is a convergence of posthumanism and post anthropocentrism.
In humanism the 'man' from the West sets the standards to measure all things. PCT rejects any nostalgia for humanism or the 'enlightened man of reason'.
PCT also rejects to see the world as a hierarchy of species and human exceptionalism - as is celebrated in anthropocentrism. As a result, PCT pratices a ‘dis-identification of the familiar’.
Posthuman Critical Theory believes that:

  • subjectivity does not make an ‘anthropos’. 
  • we need to create a sustainable notion of vitalist materialism - the belief that matter itself has vitality and is alive, no matter how lifeless it may appear to be. In doing so, objects and things are described as having agency (Jane Bennett / D&G). 
  • we need to enlarge the scope of ethical accountability.
In short: Posthuman Critical Theory creates assemblages of human and non-human actors by combining feminist theory and Deleuze and Guattari's new materialist philosophy. Urgency is found in the Anthroposcene condition, which changes environmental, social economical, affective and psychical conditions and the violent and inhumane power relations that result from technological advances and a growing economic and social inequalities.
Critical (in Crtitical theory) refers to both being critical and creative. Critical is as a way to create cartographies of power, to account for and learn to relinquish unearned privileges and implicit power privileges. The creative side enlists the resources of the imagination and a new alliance of critique. Politically speaking, posthuman critical theory is a practical philospohy that aims at composing a 'missing people', to refashion and reshape the human to include all kinds of bodies (immigrant, of color, female, crip)

 

Monopolized services (Included an Amazon Fullfilment centre visit with class)
Monopolies and patents shape the (media) industry by strategies such as standardization, undercutting and prohibition. We talk about a few of these stories and about recent strategies of for instance Amazon, that by means of vertical and horizontal intergration has managed to cut out and bypass whole tiers in the chains of production and distribution. In doing so, the concept of ‘carriage’ - to carry over a particular product, service or provide a platform for a certain producer, has gotten renewed importance. 



Lets talk about money!
Money is nothing. Even so, it can move everything. But how can nothing move everything? ...Its because the concept of money is made of agreements, of solidarity, of trust. Not just moral or political trust, but agreements that resonate in a sort of ‘condition’. (- paraphased from the K foundation burned a million quid)
Money is often described in terms of time, freedom, or as an object rooted in the colonialist, modernist, or imperial projects of standardization.
But when do we actually learn to talk about money? Did someone teach you how money works, what are the rules of who gets to own, earn or safe money and how and what are the histories and ‘logics’ of inflation and value?
In fact, money is quite a fictual construct that is only worth something in ‘the right’ context or space - in the ‘condition’ that ascribes its worth. In this condition - or rather at the fringes of this space, the value of money also gives rise to alternative spaces, such as tax havens, Extrastates or bodies of de-regulated flows of capital.


a look at the slides of the subjects we spoke about during the Beyond Resolution Summer Semester course!

Alternative formats: Manifestos 
Tokyo Threading. A presentation given at the Sony Centre, Tokyo, Japan
AR, VR and ‘empathy’. A presentation for Impakt, Utrecht, Netherlands
Emojis
Timetravelling
Posthuman Glossary

Monopolized services (Included an Amazon Fullfilment centre visit with class)
Lets talk about money! 




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7/01/2019

Pique-nique pour les inconnues - A solo show at Caen, France


For L’Unique Caen I revisited a few of my key works and remade them especially for the square window of the gallery. Pique Nique pour les Inconnues showcases a prepared desktop, hosting a party of ‘unknowns’ - digital and analogue objects that are usually not seen, unknown or ignored. Within the space of the desktop, one by one they obtain a voice and introduce themselves.


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6/24/2019

A Lexicon of Glitch Affect


The Lexicon intends to offer an insight into the development of meaning in the aesthetics of distortion in Sci-Fi movies throughout the years, via an analysis of 1200 Sci-Fi Trailers. It will be released in tandem with a video essay. 

Starting with trailers from 1978, I reviewed 30 trailers per year to obtain an insight into the development of noise artifacts in Sci-Fi from before the arrival of the home computer, to Sci-Fi adopting the contemporary aesthetics of our ubiquitous digital devices. My source for the trailers is the Internet Movie Database, where I accessed lists of the top-US Grossing Sci-Fi Titles per year. When watching these trailers I took screenshots whenever a distortion occured, and when possible interpreted them. Currently the database includes findings from research done into 630 trailers (1998-2018).

Underneath this very short essay I offer my most interesting findings per year. When you click an image, you get access to the noise artifacts per year. 
  
Glitch Art genre (2019)  Every file format consists of a language, or ‘dialect’, according to which it is encoded, often also refered to as a compression algorithm. When we break this organization of data, by for instance glitching or databending, a new utterance or visual expression appears, showcasing the otherwise obfuscated organizations of compression on the surface of the image. These newly emerged images are often directly dismissed as 'garbage' or 'noise artifacts’, but sometimes, the results of these noise artifacts can in fact reveal exciting, unexpected new forms of expression or ‘visual slang’. It is these modes of expression that artists have named the genre of Glitch Art. But, to call glitch a genre suggests it is intelligible and that it follows certain norms or rules.

From its beginnings, glitch art used to exploit medium-reflexivity, to rhetorically question technologies ‘perfect’ use, conventions and expectations. However, paradoxically, over time glitch art has become standardized into a genre that also fulfills certain expectations (oa. to rhetorically question the medium). This reflexive approach inherent in the materiality of the glitch tends to, as Katherine Hayles would assert, re-conceptualize the glitches’ materiality into an interplay between its ‘physical characteristics and its signifying strategies’. But glitch genres perform their reflection on digital materiality not just on a technological level. To really understand a glitch, each level of this notion of (glitch) materiality should be studied: the text as a physical artifact, its conceptual content, and the interpretive activities of artists and audiences.
 
Distortions in Sci-Fi
  

Distortions prompt the spectator to engage not only with themes, but also with complex subcultural and meta-cultural narratives and gestures, presenting new analytical challenges. In the Glitch Moment(um) (Institute of Network Cultures, 2010) I wrote that every form of glitch, either breaking a flow, or designed to look like a break from a flow, will eventually become a new fashion. As the popularization and cultivation of the glitch genre has now spread widely, I believe it is important to track the development of these processes in specific case studies and create ‘a lexicon of distortions’. New, fresh research within the field of noise artifacts is necessary. In an attempt to expand on A Vernacular of File Formats, I propose a lexicon that deconstructs the meanings of noise artifacts; a handbook to navigate glitch clichés as employed specifically in the genre of Sci-Fi. 

Sci-Fi relies on the literacy of the spectator (references to media technology texts, aesthetics and machinic processes) and their knowledge of more ‘conventional’ distortion or noise artifacts. Former disturbances have gained complex meaning beyond their technological value; with the help of popular culture, these effects have transformed into signifiers provoking affect. For example, analogue noise conjures up the sense of an eerie, invisible power entering the frame (a ghost), while blocky-artifacts often refer to time travelling or a data offense initiated by an Artificial Intelligence. Interlacing refers to an invisible camera, while camera interface esthetics (such as a viewfinders and tracking brackets or markers around a face) refer to observation technologies. Hackers still work in monochrome, green environments, while all holograms are made from phosphorous blue light. And when color channels distort, the protagonist is experiencing a loss of control. 


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5/23/2019

Behind White Shadows of Image Processing (video) at ICC Tokyo as part of "Alternative Views"



** This video is a placeholder; work in progress!!ˀ

Behind White Shadows of Image Processing is a video based on my essay of the same name and is on show now at the ICC Tokyo as part of "Alternative Views" in the Open Space.

In Behind White Shadows, the "Angel of History" sends its friends and colleagues an email with the photos of two female figures attached. These two images, modelled after real women, are still seen by many people. However their name and identity remain unknown. The Angel writes: "While contemplating these images, I had to think about other women, whose faces were put through similar histories. Forever resonating within the realms of image processing - wether they chose this fate themselves or not. As it seems your face is amongst them, I wondered if you could share some of your insights." The Angel receives replies subsequently from the leader ladies, Lena, Ariane and a render ghost.

Alternative Views is an exhibition covering media art works and various expressions in the current media environment. It displays typical works in media and art, works incorporating contemporary technology, works with a critical perspective, works by emerging artists, and ongoing projects at research institutes. Furthermore, with commentary to help the understanding of the work, not only enjoy the work but also the current diversified media and the way of communication in the background, or the prospect for the future, the new sensitivity and the sense of beauty about the modern technology society We are aiming for an exhibition that will give us an opportunity to think

Period: Saturday, May 18, 2019 – Sunday, March 1, 2020 : NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC].

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