ramblings / cartesian encounters

An Artist Stares Back at the Surveillance State

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 4.36.16 pm

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 4.36.16 pm

Here is a nice little interview with Trevor Paglen talking broadly about his work, new ways of seeing, image making and machine vision.

"Multimedia artist Trevor Paglen is mapping out the new landscape of digital communications and surveillance. In this wide-ranging interview the photographer, sculptor, geographer and writer talks about how he is learning to see the historical moment we live in. Video: Gabe Johnson; Photo: Trevor Paglen" [source]


Alexandre Larose screening

[wpvideo oQn7h791] @ The Young Gallery, Wellington, part of the Circuit Symposium Phantom Toplogies September 2016

The work St Bathans repetitions 1/2/16 - 21/3/16 (portraits de Jacques à St Bathans, avec interlude de paysages, sur écran translucide) could be descibed as a series of sketches or studies. These exploratory fragments have come from a recent residency by the experimental Canadian video artist Alexandre Larose in the gold mining town of St Bathans in the South Island.

"It’s most prominent feature is the Blue Lake, a small turquoise body of water formed by the artificial process of gold-sluicing in the late 19th century. Over three months in early 2016 [he] made a series of works exploring St Bathans’ scenic environs and the domestic spaces of an iconic original mud-brick house. The selected spaces were then subject to intense image manipulation through in-camera techniques, suggesting slippages in time and place."

Photography Without a Lens? Future of Images May Lie in Data

image: Columbia Vision Laboratory/Columbia University

By DAVE GERSHGORN December 23, 2015 :  The New York Times Company

"The light passes through a glass sphere instead of a traditional lens, and it is diffracted into a cup of angled sensors. Because the camera knows exactly how light will pass through the sphere, it decodes and stitches the data from each sensor to make a complete image. 

“The hope is that if this architecture is adopted, you’ll see smaller and smaller cameras producing images with orders of magnitude higher resolution,” Mr. Nayar said.

Retrieved from: http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/lens/2015/12/23/the-future-of-computational-photography/?smid=fb-share&_r=1&referer=https://t.co/jttv6lDyar


Oskar Fischinger Raumlichtkunst (c. 1926/2012)

Images: courtesy Center for Visual Music

Three-projector HD reconstruction by the Center for Visual Music 2012 on at the Govett-Brewster

Space, light, music: A dizzying 3 screen projection of moving-image works by Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967). Unfortunately, I have been asked to remove the video so you have to take my word for it but the accompanying sound brings the works to life. It is not the original composition and in this "re-creation, the Center for Visual Music chose to use Varese's Ionisation and two versions of Double Music by John Cage and Lou Harrison" [source] – perfect! On till the 6th of August at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

In 1926, abstract filmmaker Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) began performing multiple projector cinema shows in Germany with up to five 35mm film projectors, colour filters and slides.

Fischinger wrote of his concept of Raumlichtmusik (space-light-music), believing all the arts would merge in this new art. The critics called his performances ‘Raumlichtkunst’ (space-light-art) and praised Fischinger's ‘original art vision which can only be expressed through film’. These shows represent some of the earliest attempts at cinematic immersive environments, and are a precursor to expanded cinema and 1960's light shows. [source]

[image: book cover of Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967): Experiments in Cinematic Abstractionby Cindy Keefer(Editor), Jaap Gu(Editor) Publisher: EYE Filmmuseum and Center for Visual Music; 1st edition April 1, 2013]



davos 2016: privacy and secrecy

Sorry for the delay on these post. Just cleaning out my drafts folder.

Commonality = priveldge information = value which we trade .

Sharing of nuggets of information . goverenments engage in surveillance and espionage

Should government be allowed to read someones emails?

NO (sort of) / Yes (with a caveat) / YES (sometime) / Yes (with a caveat) / NO

Best answer... YES (caveat)... if he/she (sic) can read the govenments emails.


Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 9.07.35 am
Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 9.07.35 am

really long trunks: first ever youtube video

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNQXAC9IVRw&w=560&h=315]

Uploaded on Apr 23, 2005

The first video on YouTube. Maybe it's time to go back to the zoo?

Jawed Karim (born 28 October 1979) is an American-bangladeshi internet entrepreneur who co-founded YouTube and was the first person to upload a video on it. The video he released was named "Me at the zoo" and as of 2017 has reached 36 million views. Many of the core components of PayPal, including its real-time anti-internet fraud system, were also designed and implemented by Karim.

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Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 9.42.57 am

Twitter feeds and glass castles


Twitter feeds are not normally subjected to artistic and/or aesthetic citique but when that feed belongs to one of the most scrutinised females in the western world, it is no surprise that a deeper psychological anlaysis of how individuals view the world around them and how our choices of what we post and share not only become a reflective representation of our existence but also acts as an identifying gesture that marks us. In reading a 'critique' of Melania Trump's twitter feed by Kate Imbach I tried to removed my anthropological microscope from the writing and instead viewed it as an interesting way to approach a critical discourse around the images we create. As always, the comments fascinate me as they reflect the way that social media and similar platforms allow individuals to go on their own divisive 'rants and raves'. Of course we are entitled to our own opinion and observations, and it is not surprising to me that the fractured responses expose our inherently binary attitudes that possibly mirror our ideological 'core-values'. But more fascinating to me is the role that the image plays within the larger discourse of the 'image-world' we live in and what its trajectory might be into a potentially 'post-image' reality, where the boundaries of fact and fiction are now easily manipulated, crafted and composed as new technologies, virtual/augmented realities, "projected 3D images that are beamed straight into our eyes" [source] are about to become the new normal and where 'image' might be/mean something else in the near future.

Imbach treats our very public need for 'display' as a 'body of work' (works of art/artist/performer?) which exposes the network-image of our 'post-truth' capitalist 'value-saturated' environments to a kind of critique that normally we reserve to the white-cube. Here the image which we might dismiss as 'snap-shots' has had its status elevated to 'public-performative' where its association has allowed it to migrate off the mantle piece, the bedside table, fridge or those weird multi-matted-overly-framed-picture-holder-things (sorry don't now how else to describe them) – and to inhabit a networked reality where our senses are trying to adjust to a world of information that puts the image in tension with our subjective relationship with the here and now. Its worth a read and you can find a link in the image below (... more on that later).


Kate Imbach is an American fiction writer and visual artist living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She is an MFA candidate at New York University has an MPA from Suffolk University. She directed the documentary short films The Taxi Composer (2012), The Mayor of Noe Valley (2013), The Last Video Store (2014), and Partners (2015), which premiered at the 2016 San Francisco International Film Festival. Her fiction has been published in Passages North, Word Riot and Map Literary, among others.


re_post : What [in the World] was Postmodernism? An Introduction – by David Ciccoricco



A group of scholars and artists will gather the first week of June with one question on their minds: what was postmodernism?

 The “What [in the World] was Postmodernism?” Symposium will bring together scholars, poets, and visual artists to reflect on how postmodernism has shaped their respective fields and practices, and how the defining traits of that movement have managed to – or failed to – translate into whatever we decide has superseded it in today’s postcolonial, posthumanist, and digital culture.


"As I have suggested elsewhere, the logic that has digital culture leaving postmodernism behind might be further justified in terms of subjectivity—that is, how we see ourselves in light of digital technology and its discourse. Contrary to prevailing notions of the postmodernist self as an emptying out, or an always already discursive and multiple construction, it is arguably a form of surplus selfhood that takes hold in digital culture. If postmodernism’s subjectivity is constructed foremost in and in relation to language, then the digital self—in this age of the “selfie”—is constructed foremost in and in relation to the machine, which rushes to (over)fill the spaces of the network, and there proliferates. Thus, if finding a satisfying sense of self amid the forces of fragmentation is a uniquely postmodernist predicament, then attempting to lose it might be more aptly a digital one, from innumerable search engine hits that locate us in nanoseconds, to the unknown and unknowable number of databases in which our personal details appear, to our ubiquitous profiles cutting across time and space on social networking software du jour. In any case, with all of the conspicuous reconfigurations of human bodies and minds in light of machines, any model of selfhood we embrace in the digital age would have to account for the unprecedented ability to control, configure, and distribute—indeed, self-publish—our own modes and models of subjectivity.3"

by David Ciccoricco 2016-12-04 An Introduction to the gathering.

read the full text here: http://electronicbookreview.com/thread/endconstruction/what

David Ciccoricco: His research is focused on literary and narrative theory with an emphasis on emergent forms of digital literature, as well as digital culture and posthumanism more generally. He has published on Jorge Luis Borges as well as critical work and reviews on digital fiction and poetry. Recent publications include “Focalization in Digital Fiction” in issue 20.3 of Narrative. He is the author of Reading Network Fiction, a book on the first and second waves of digital fiction.

[image] mark amerika / jon vega / twine : filmtext v2.0 : http://www.markamerika.com/filmtext/  Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 9.21.51 am.png

[image] mark amerika / jon vega / twine : filmtext v2.0 : http://www.markamerika.com/filmtext/

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Upcoming Talk (National Library, Wellington): Surveillance, Privacy & Space in the Age of Social Media — Kathleen M. Kuehn, PhD

I’ll be giving a talk this Thursday on the way social media, digital apps and mobile technologies have turned ‘mapping’ into an everyday practice. We regularly ‘check in’, location-tag digital photos, create virtual maps, and publicise, write about and visually document our experience with and within space. As a result, the way we create, represent […]

via Upcoming Talk (National Library, Wellington): Surveillance, Privacy & Space in the Age of Social Media — Kathleen M. Kuehn, PhD

Spectacle, Speculation, Spam

a conversation between theory and practice (and lots more) by Alan Warburton:

"A presentation I made for the Edge of Frame Weekend seminar at The Whitechapel gallery in East London, December 2016. Artists, curators and academics were asked to explore where experimental animation practice sits in relation to independent animation, visual art, histories and institutions. Rather than presenting papers, we were challenged to cite up to three works that illustrated our case."

[vimeo 194963450 w=640 h=360] <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/194963450">Spectacle, Speculation, Spam</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/alanwarburton">Alan Warburton</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

Invisible Images

(Your Pictures Are Looking at You)



We need to learn how to see a parallel universe composed of activations, keypoints, eigenfaces, feature transforms, classifiers, training sets, and the like. But it’s not just as simple as learning a different vocabulary. Formal concepts contain epistemological assumptions, which in turn have ethical consequences. The theoretical concepts we use to analyze visual culture are profoundly misleading when applied to the machinic landscape, producing distortions, vast blind spots, and wild misinterpretations.

We no longer look at images–images look at us. They no longer simply represent things, but actively intervene in everyday life. We must begin to understand these changes if we are to challenge the exceptional forms of power flowing through the invisible visual culture that we find ourselves enmeshed within.


(Research Image) “Disgust” Custom Hito Steyerl Emotion Training Set

Gestures of coincidence:

Some earlier experiements with facial detection results 1/2 : more happy than disgusted – from the corrupted self series according to microsoft.com/cognitive-services api

Hito Steyerl and me displaying outward emotional expressions of disgust 

My level of disgust seems to be far less than Hito's ability to display displeasure.

I've been impregnated with a false memory system.

"Then at one time an authentic Garland existed," Phil Resch said. "And somewhere along the way got replaced." His sharklike lean face twisted and he struggled to understand. "Or — I've been impregnated with a false memory system. Maybe I only remember Garland over the whole time. But — " His face, suffused now with growing torment, continued to twist and work spasmodically. "Only androids show up with false memory systems; it's been found ineffective in humans."



"I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance"

Here's a fascinating post from Art Blart (aka: Dr. Marcus Bunyan). Its an archival project from the The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) who are currently running an exhibition on the runaway slave Sojourner Truth, who was an abolitionist, feminist, and orator during the 1800's and the American Civil War. It not only documents her fervent drive for equality but it also speakes about her relationship with the image and the use of the photographic carte de visite as a propaganda tool to expose the realities of injustice.

Her use of the existing technologies of the time to disrupt the status quo is a testament to the power of simplicity and the effectiveness that the image can bring to raise awareness of social and political issues. "Truth used her image, the press, the postal service, and copyright laws to support her activism and herself." It also reflects her understanding of the value that images carry, as she equated her own image as a commodity. The wording on the cards is also carefully considered to speak to her own image and "Truth’s use of the first-person present tense “I sell” declares her ownership of her image: to sell it, she must own it. Most significantly, by using this caption Sojourner Truth knowingly aligned her photographs with paper money." (source: BAMPFA).

In a strange way it makes me think of Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Nice, just to name a few. But it also makes me think of the ubiquity of the image in our times, the agency that it might or might not carry and whether we have reached a 'saturation-density' that has marganilised the images affect. But what makes Sojourner Truth's story different is that she has made a consious decision to employ the image as a tool, not only for self-expression but as a means of dissent as well. Here intent becomes a function of outcomes and observation is left to those who interpret them.

Her possession of self is intimately tied to the photographic depiction of her bodily form. She sells the photograph to support the body and, as her agency, the images become a form of self-actualisation. In this sense the image that she controls becomes her holistic body, for she never displays her injured hand or the scars on her back that she were inflicted on her during slavery. (Bunyan, 2016)

During the Civil War, a ferocious debate raged about whether paper could represent value like coin. Paper greenbacks – the first federally issued banknotes in American history – were attacked by those who believed that money was not a representation but a “substance.” Hard money advocates (naively) believed that gold was value, not its representation…. Like paper bills, cartes de visite functioned during these years as currency and as clandestine political tokens.

Sojourner Truth’s very terms, “substance” and “shadow,” were economic as well as photographic metaphors in the fierce debates about money: shadow was aligned with the abolition of slavery, substance with proslavery and anti-black sentiment. Sojourner Truth knew this opposition very well. She was making cheap paper notes, printed and reproduced in multiples, featuring her portrait. She had invented her own kind of paper currency, and for the same reasons as the government: in order to produce wealth dependent on a consensus that representation produces material results, to make money where there was none, and to do so partly in order to abolish slavery.

The photographs of Sojourner Truth register only her appearance, not her commanding presence. They are shadows, and some are more elusive and mute than others. Yet the printed words – name, caption, and copyright – remain forthright: her speech, authorship, and recourse to law coexist with her image. Those printed words force us to acknowledge the illiterate woman’s authorship, as well as her eloquence, her agency, and her legal claim to property, even as we value these humble objects. [source: http://bamlive.s3.amazonaws.com/SojournerTruth-brochure.pdf]

Exhibition dates: 27th July – 23rd October 2016 ‘I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance’ Former New York slave Sojourner Truth (which literally means “itinerant preacher”) strategically deployed photography as a form of political activism. This deployment is part of a long tradition of photography being used in the African American struggle for political change, from […]

via Exhibition: ‘Sojourner Truth, Photography, and the Fight Against Slavery’ at The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Berkeley — Art Blart

Dr Marcus Bunyan* is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne. (source: https://artblart.com/dr-marcus-bunyan-writes-art-blart/)

* He makes great images too! HERE

2b-sojourner-truth-verso-web   [image] Unknown photographer &nbsp;(American)&nbsp;Captioned carte de visite of Sojourner Truth (back)&nbsp;1864.&nbsp;Albumen print mounted on cardboard.&nbsp;4 x 2 1/2 in.&nbsp;UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, gift of Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby


[image] Unknown photographer (American) Captioned carte de visite of Sojourner Truth (back) 1864. Albumen print mounted on cardboard. 4 x 2 1/2 in. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, gift of Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby

3-sojourner-truth-web   [image] Unknown photographer &nbsp;(American).&nbsp;Captioned carte de visite of Sojourner Truth c. 1864-65.&nbsp;Albumen print mounted on cardboard.&nbsp;4 x 2 1/2 in.&nbsp;UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, gift of Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby


[image] Unknown photographer (American). Captioned carte de visite of Sojourner Truth c. 1864-65. Albumen print mounted on cardboard. 4 x 2 1/2 in. UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, gift of Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby