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 […]
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>
(Your Pictures Are Looking at You)
By TREVOR PAGLEN
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.
"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."
code racer you stream / you race
YOU the digital ∝ the massive traversing unimaginable terrains, / a mirror a flip , flop .
expanding infinitely / a boundless volume of consequence, a flux
engaged ... data / an endless stream
manipulated, reinterpreted, cut, pasted
multiplicity ... reshaping shape / languages
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 […]
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
The viewer (or the camera as a ‘viewer proxy’) is already divided, or apart, or opposite from its subject. The viewer is inside the world of course, but the structure of immanence is not in effect. Rather, a structure of distance, difference, relationality predominates.
Truth and the information society.
On May 14th the New York Times ran a story on a ruling by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to grant users the right to remove links about themselves. This case was prompted by a Spanish lawyer who wanted past records of his misconduct removed from search results. The “so-called right to be forgotten, or erasure” ruling poses some difficult outcomes and has some far reaching implications in terms of privacy, rights to knowledge and the miss-representation of our identities. While writing “from code to cortex to cognition” I went back to the link to check the reference but I was unable to find the original document. The link lead me to a different article where the content, title and authors had been changed. It seems content on the internet is forever changeable and it raises questions around the validity and authenticity of information and exposes some wider concerns around issues of confidence and trust.
What we leave behind is just as important as what we engage with in the present. The digital sphere forgets nothing, traditionally our sources of information were printed with ink, on machines made of steel and iron on substrates made from trees and organic matter, “the essence of objects”. The fragility of all those elements in synchronicity expressing the ideas and thoughts of humanity are vulnerable. The information society is vulnerable too, but to a different type of fragility, of being forgotten or being wiped away by the elements of nature, rather we are vulnerable not only to the dissemination of data, but also to how it is used and who controls these flows.
Laura Poitras in Conversation with Lynn Hershman Leeson | PEN America
Long before the digital revolution and virtualization of identities became part of our everyday lives, American artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson created surrogate personas and investigated issues of surveillance, interfacing of humans and technology, and media as a tool to counter censorship and repression.
LP: People have always used encryption. That is one of the goals of encryption, how to communicate privately. I think art is in a kind of different category, because it is communication with the desire to express something more openly. Or perhaps it is communicating some kind of different emotion. It is a translation, or a type of communication that is not based on a set language...
Lynn Hersham Leeson: "her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognized as key to the working of our society: identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in a era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds. [source: http://www.furtherfield.org/features/interviews/woman-art-technology-interview-lynn-hershman-leeson]
SoundDome: Composing with Space
"What makes your heart sing? For me, and for the other members of SoundDome.Org it is the point of intersection between sound, technology, and space. The sound dome brings to life an extraordinary three-dimensional sound world previously conceivable only in the imagination of the composer." Dr John Coulter Managing Trustee