Articles | ArtSlant https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/show en-us 40 Distorted Personhood: Sabato Visconti’s DACALOGUE <p background-color:="" font-size:="" new="" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 11px; font-family: Georgia, Times, " times=""><em style="box-sizing: border-box;">This essay is published on the occasion of the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/864246897070042/" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 122, 183); text-decoration-line: none; cursor: pointer; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent;" target="_blank">ArtSlant Prize IX Winners Exhibition</a>&nbsp;at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, March 6&ndash;12, 2018. <a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/472559-sabato-visconti?tab=PROFILE" target="_blank">Sabato Visconti</a>&nbsp;is the ArtSlant Prize Second Prize winner.&nbsp;</em></p> <p background-color:="" font-size:="" new="" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 11px; font-family: Georgia, Times, " times=""><em style="box-sizing: border-box;">Other ArtSlant Prize IX catalogue essays: <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49222-creatures-like-us-the-drawings-of-david-rios-ferreira" target="_blank">David Rios Ferreira</a>&nbsp;&amp;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/49223-to-be-bad-is-not-to-be-good-katya-grokhovskys-performance-art" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(51, 122, 183); text-decoration-line: none; cursor: pointer; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: transparent;" target="_blank">Katya Grokhovsky</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">Although the law is perhaps the discourse that most literally governs citizenship, U.S. national culture&mdash;the collectively forged images, histories, and narratives that place, displace, and replace individuals in relation to the national polity&mdash;powerfully shapes who the citizenry is, where they dwell, what they remember, and what they forget.</p> <p style="margin-left: 240px;">&mdash;Lisa Lowe, <em>Immigrant Acts</em></p> <p>In 1986, Sabato Visconti was a one-year-old baby when his parents brought him to Miami from S&atilde;o Paulo, Brazil, on a business visa. Baby Sabato was issued a social security card, &ldquo;DO NOT EMPLOY&rdquo; emblazoned on it in big red letters. His dad was a semi-precious gems dealer and came to run a booth in Sears, selling Brazilian tchotchkes, polished stones, and crystals with healing powers to the diverse people of Miami. Sabato and his parents would go back to S&atilde;o Paulo to visit family occasionally, renewing their visa along the way. They would import goods, sell them, and go back for more. In many ways, they were a mom and pop import operation for the newly globalized world, living the dream of owning a small business, working across national territories, facilitating trades of goods and culture, making enough money to raise their child.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305194154-20171216224650-dacalog_04_13_med.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Sabato Visconti, <em>Notice of Action (13)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sabato&rsquo;s mom and dad separated when he was in first grade and his mother returned to Brazil. After that, his father began to re-enter the States on a visitor visa when he would go back and forth from Brazil. <a href="https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11515132/iirira-clinton-immigration" target="_blank">A bill</a> signed by Bill Clinton in 1998 instituted three- to ten-year bars on anyone who overstayed a visa. Sabato, facing a ten-year ban from his home&mdash;America&mdash;if he left, stayed. The last time Sabato returned from Brazil was August, 2001, just before beginning his junior year in high school.</p> <p>After 9/11, calls for tightening immigration reached a fever pitch as conservative U.S. politicians became more brazen in resurrecting nativist fears in order to pass racist and classist immigration policy. One of the most consequential ways of cracking down on immigration was by requiring businesses to show their employees had work authorization. To resolve this newly created group of ineligible workers, the bipartisan DREAM Act was introduced in Congress where it would languish for a decade. The DREAM Act was designed to not only create a path to legal work but to provide a path to citizenship for individuals who identified as American but were legally shut out. Sabato graduated high school as the nation he grew up in, the nation that was as much his own as anyone else&rsquo;s, closed itself.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305193956-20171216224836-dacalog_10_20_full.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Sabato Visconti, <em>Deferred Action (20)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite political uncertainty, it was time to go to college. His father thought Sabato might be able to get a student visa but their immigration lawyer said it was impossible. They&rsquo;d have to apply from abroad and if he left the country he would be unable to return. Sabato wanted to study biology and was accepted to Amherst College. However, since he didn&rsquo;t have a work permit or citizenship, he couldn&rsquo;t get financial aid and had to pay tuition himself: $40,000. He survived by flipping merchandise from eBay auctions. He and his father started buying Yamaha keyboards, digital pianos, and musical instruments and selling them in the nascent online auction market. They were able to pay his way through Amherst until the recession kicked in.</p> <p>Running the eBay site while attending school, however, proved to be too much; he flunked out in his sophomore year due to the stress of his coursework and business. According to the nonpartisan <a href="https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/profile-current-daca-recipients-education-industry-and-occupation" target="_blank">Migration Policy Institute</a>, only 4 percent of DACA recipients finish college compared to 18 percent of citizens.</p> <p>Around the same time, Sabato began experimenting with photography, making films, and developing his style of illustration. He took classes at the University of Massachusetts and reapplied to Amherst. Sabato luckily found a supportive environment in the Liberal Arts college, which allowed him to get a scholarship to finish his schooling. In 2009, he graduated with a degree in Political Science and got an internship doing graphic design for a financial accreditation company. However, once they wanted to bring him on full time, he ran into a wall.</p> <p>&ldquo;DO NOT EMPLOY&rdquo; was still emblazoned across his Social Security card.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305193751-20171216224616-dacalog_03_06_wide-crop.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Sabato Visconti,<em> If Found (06)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The firm hired a lawyer and tried to find a way to offer him a position but ultimately, there was no way for him to attain a work permit without first leaving the country and sitting out the ten-year ban. The only work available to him was gigging on commercial shoots, wedding photography, and video production, while piecing together enough income to survive.</p> <p>Gigging didn&rsquo;t set him apart from his peers too much. The recession hit everyone equally. In 2009&ndash;2010, <a href="http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2009/07/a_call_to_public_service_and_a.html" target="_blank">the largest employer</a> for Amherst graduates became Teach for America instead of Merrill Lynch.</p> <p>In 2012, President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and announced the establishment of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. The main purpose of DACA was to provide a way for children and young adults without citizenship to receive a work permit, to become part of a regulated citizenry. The following year, Sabato began the application process. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re trained to quantify the self. Anything you apply for as an immigrant requires an intense amount of documentation,&rdquo; says Sabato. His biggest challenge was to prove he was in the U.S. for a given period. He had to get phone records, bank statements, an affidavit from Amherst. He had to document his presence despite the unofficial avenues he was forced to traverse as an undocumented person, living in a country that didn&rsquo;t officially recognize him.</p> <p>Phone records are expensive. The DACA application fee is $380, required biometrics are $85. If you have an immigration attorney&mdash;it&rsquo;s advised&mdash;tack on a couple thousand. The process is prohibitively expensive for people living along the margins.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305193456-20171216224849-dacalog_11_05_med.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Sabato Visconti, <em>Approval (15)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sabato received his DACA certificate in 2014, a year after submitting his materials. &ldquo;On one side of it, it made me happy to be able to provide the correct documentation, but not everyone can do that. That aspect of the process is what this work questions: these are sites of power imbalances that most people take for granted.&rdquo; <em>DACALOGUE</em>, a series of prints that use Sabato&rsquo;s own DACA application as their source material, gets at the distortion of identity an individual undergoes, a privilege in itself: &ldquo;They ask for proof of identity because they know not everyone can provide it.&rdquo; In 2017, it was surmised that only half of eligible undocumented immigrants had applied for DACA protection.</p> <p>Sabato&rsquo;s aesthetic is founded in glitch art. <a href="https://www.artslant.com/ny/articles/show/28693-glitch-20" target="_blank">Glitch</a> has long appropriated the mistake as an aesthetic gesture. For <em>DACALOGUE</em>, Sabato physically manipulated his application materials as he scanned them in a flatbed scanner, pushing and pulling the documents as they were recorded. The resulting distortion opens up questions surrounding the documents&rsquo; essential meaning. Where does identity, and ultimately personhood, reside in the bureaucratic state?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.artslant.com/userimages/32120/1dkh/20180305193359-20171216223810-dacalog_09_15_full.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:12px;">Sabato Visconti, <em>Does Not Grant (15)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Past and current political discourses surrounding immigration have a distinct cultural dimension and, as the opening quote suggests, amount to the policing of an imagined identity. Just last month, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement to omit the phrase &ldquo;America&rsquo;s promise as a nation of immigrants,&rdquo; replacing it with the decidedly more xenophobic [emphasis mine]:</p> <p style="margin-left: 80px;">U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation&rsquo;s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits <strong>while protecting Americans</strong>, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.</p> <p>In the above, Americans are set apart from immigrants, as if those who have citizenship now were never immigrants to begin with. The bending of Sabato&rsquo;s DACA application mirrors the distortion of identity as it enters into the national bureaucracy. The nature of undocumentation as a means to create a nonperson is a fiction: the bureaucratic fixity becomes an attempt to smooth the glitch inherent in the concept of the <em>legal person</em> which holds as fact that a person is not a person without the proper documents to prove it. In reality, undocumentation doesn&rsquo;t create the nonperson; oddly, it is the act of documentation that does.</p> <p>Glitch, errors, and purposeful interruptions of systems of control are a site of possibility now more than ever. As systems become increasingly obscured by specialized knowledge, we must practice breaking them to expand our own territories.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&mdash;<a href="https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/153044-joel-kuennen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Joel Kuennen</a></p> <p><em>Joel Kuennen&nbsp;is the Chief Operations Officer and a Senior Editor at ArtSlant.</em>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size:12px;">(Image at top: Sabato Visconti, <em>Self-Portrait in Three Employment Authorization Cards (11)</em>, 2017, Scanner photograph. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></p> Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:04:36 -0300 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list Wednesday Web Artist of the Week: Daniel Temkin <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/" target="_blank">Daniel Temkin</a> is currently showing new work from his <em>Glitchometry </em>series at NADA with the new media powerhouse, <a href="http://transfergallery.com/" target="_blank">Transfer Gallery</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Although <em>Glitchometry</em> could be described using the fashionable phrase &ldquo;glitch art,&rdquo; it bears little resemblance to what we have come to associate with that genre. Temkin&rsquo;s talents in programming have given him ability to create his own unique systems for manipulating imagery through code. Although the technical aspects of <em>Glitchometry</em>&rsquo;s creation are deeply fascinating, they never overwhelm the works&rsquo; pure hypnotic beauty.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I spoke to Temkin about the origins of his interest in glitch art and why this unconventional method of artistic creation continues to fascinate and inspire him.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504101908-Stripes_co8_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><br /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Christian Petersen: How did you first become interested in glitch art?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><strong style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Daniel Temkin:</strong><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> I began my MFA program (at the International Center of Photography) as someone with a programming background and found that my photography kept becoming new media works. My </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/DitherStudies" target="_blank">Dither Studies</a></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> project began accidentally, when I was editing an image in Photoshop and generated a crazy pattern when messing with color palettes; I was curious about how these complex visual patterns were generated from very simple dithering algorithms. From there, my work became more focused on simple algorithms creating seemingly irrational patterns, [with] the computer as a place that dramatizes our inability to think logically or let our compulsions run out of control. I've continued to create work that engages with both photography and new media such as my recent </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://danieltemkin.com/StraightenedTrees" target="_blank">Straightened Trees</a></em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102059-Trees_Summer-Island_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Summer Island</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">from <em>Straightened Trees</em>&nbsp;series,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, 54 x 60 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: What, in particular, interests you about it?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> There&rsquo;s a freedom in experimenting directly on the data behind an image, in bypassing the safety of image editors like Photoshop that prevent you from breaking images. Working closer to the machine gives access to something less structured, what Hugh Manon and I called the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_6/Manon.html" target="_blank">wilderness inside the machine</a>.&rdquo; Image editors tend to reinforce certain approaches and visual styles through the set of tools they offer. Glitch practice bypasses these to manipulate data directly or to apply algorithms designed for entirely different purposes to images. This experimentation allows me to come up with patterns I would never be able to design on my own.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Richter has talked about a sort of trance he puts himself in while he paints, to bypass having too much conscious control of his process. This makes sense to me; if I were to sit in front of Photoshop and try to consciously design an abstract pattern, I would end up making similar work each time. However, looking at sound waves while I work, instead of the image, and using what I&rsquo;ve learned through experiments over the years, applying different sound algorithms on image data, leads to something new each time. I could never create exactly the same piece twice; the process is too unstable. Curt Cloninger describes it as &ldquo;painting with a very blunt brush that has a mind of its own.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102204-Circles9_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry&nbsp;Circle #9</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013, C-print in lightbox, 72 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102246-Triangles6_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Triangles #6</em>, 2013,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">C-print in lightbox</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How would you describe your personal glitching process in simple terms?</strong></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> In my early glitch days, I probably tried using every program I have to see how it transforms image data. Sonification (the method I use for <em>Glitchometry</em>) is not an unusual glitch technique; there are a few tutorials for the approach <a href="http://danieltemkin.com/Tutorials" target="_blank">here</a>. The problem I ran into using this technique on photographs early on is how entropic the process is. You apply one sound effect, and it corrupts the image; try a second one over that, and it quickly approaches a grey-brown mud. With <em>Glitchometry</em>, I decided to eliminate the photograph entirely and instead begin with simple geometric shapes which more easily maintain some semblance of their original forms. It makes the work process-based; everything in the final image now is evidence of the sonification process, no longer complicated by details of the initial image. It means I can work on the image longer, which takes it past the initial entropic process, allowing new forms to crystallize as well.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In <em>Glitchometry</em>, I work within a tight set of constraints to make sure all the significant manipulation of the images comes from sound editing. At NADA, I&rsquo;m premiering a new set of <em>Glitchometry</em> pieces called <em>Off by One</em>, which use a far tighter set of constraints. For these, which I began during a residency at <a href="http://signalculture.org/" target="_blank">Signal Culture</a>, I gave up the sound editor entirely and I also work in a single channel, meaning the work remains black and white. Again starting with simple shapes (here a triangle and a circle), I open and close the files in the wrong size and resolution, manipulating them only through this process&mdash;it pushes the pixels across from one line to the next. The result is cropped and printed at huge pixel resolution (around 7 ppi) on a long strip of canvas; the longer of the two is 25&rsquo; long.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102359-Triangle_OffByOne_2016.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Off By One: Triangle</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, Pigment print on canvas, 36 in. x 15 ft.</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How do you feel about the glitch art scene in general?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> There&rsquo;s a mythology in glitch art around the glitch itself: the initial error that causes the work to manifest. In reality, what we&rsquo;re doing is introducing noise into a system, or often something more like algorithmic art, using algorithms stolen from other programs. Whether or not the failure of a system is important conceptually to glitch, it doesn&rsquo;t necessarily lead to an image with a glitchy appearance&mdash;many glitch artists produce image after image using glitch techniques and throw away the ones which don&rsquo;t appear glitchy, thus reiterating a similar glitch aesthetic. As I put it in my paper &ldquo;<a href="http://nooart.org/post/73353953758/temkin-glitchhumancomputerinteraction" target="_blank">Glitch &amp;&amp; Human / Computer Interaction</a>,&rdquo; there isn&rsquo;t much glitch in glitch art.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Glitchometry</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">, I'm doing the opposite: using glitch techniques to produce images that break away from a glitchy visual style. In the </span><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Glitchometry Stripes</em><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"> images (appearing at NADA), the visual effect has more of a Bridget Riley/Op Art style, something which I get by using a subset of sound effects (dynamic delay and flanger) that tend toward more graphic results.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102545-Stripes14_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 14</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">C-print in lightbox,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">36 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102719-Stripes14_detail_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 14 </em>(detail)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>CP: How did you get involved in Transfer Gallery?</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>DT:</strong> I met Kelani [Nichole, Director of Transfer] in 2012 at one of my favorite conferences, GLI.TC/H (which is fabled to return&mdash;perhaps some time next year) in Chicago. Transfer was in the planning stage, but I was intrigued by the list of artists, many whose work I&rsquo;d admired. That community aspect is key to Transfer, with a group of artists and writers Transfer has brought together, who have remained close-knit. There are few spaces in NYC devoted to net art/digital art that really know the form&mdash;Kelani has been fearless in inventing new approaches to bring this work to the physical space.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504102916-Stripes_co11_2016.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><br /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504103004-Stripes20_2013.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 20</em>,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2013, C-print in lightbox, 36 x 36 in.</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20160504103129-Stripes20_detail.jpg" alt="" /></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes # 20 </em>(detail)</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><em style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">You can find Daniel Temkin&rsquo;s work this week in <a href="http://transfergallery.com/daniel-temkin-nada-ny/" target="_blank">a solo presentation with Transfer Gallery</a> at NADA New York, May 5&ndash;8.</em></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/441718-christian-petersen?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Christian Petersen</a></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>We run an online magazine, so of course, we're interested in what's happening with art on the web. We invited online gallerist, founder, and curator of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.digitalsweatgallery.com/" target="_blank">Digital Sweat Gallery</a>, Christian Petersen, to write a bi-monthly column for us. Every other Wednesday he'll be selecting a Web Artist of the Week.</em></span></p> <p class="p1" style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>&nbsp;</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">(Image at top:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;"><em>Glitchometry Stripes&nbsp;</em>(detail),&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">2016. All images: Courtesy of the artist)</span></span></p> Wed, 04 May 2016 10:20:40 -0300 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list The Latham Loop: Maintaining a Clean and Healthy Image for 120 Years <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Never forget the loop</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The first time I encountered the loop was whilst using a Chinon Super 8 projector manufactured in the late 70s. Within seconds of my roll of Kodachrome entering the &ldquo;auto-loading&rdquo; machine the projected image began to jitter and convulse. After several further attempts the film buckled, broke, and bunched up in the gate where it was toasted by the searing hot halogen lamp.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The instruction booklet explained that although the film lacing process was totally automated, the operator would need to press and hold down a button for a duration of about five seconds. The button, located on the top of the die-cast plastic unit was illustrated in the manual with an anonymous finger pressing down on it. Underneath the illustration it said: Loop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Having seen and heard the extent of the machine&rsquo;s automation&mdash;the flickering lights, whirring cogs, belts and fans&mdash;this manual imperative seemed an unusual request for physical interaction. It felt like a moment of consent.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In art school I came across it again, this time during a tutorial on the use of the Bolex H16 camera&mdash;and with a better description of its importance. As part of the standard Camera Operators 101 the message was very clear: check your focus, set aperture, hold the camera steady, but never, never forget the loop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116151921-Loop.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Latham Loop, via Flicker user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/116153022@N02/15192175946" target="_blank">Breve Storia del Cinema</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The loop is the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latham_loop" target="_blank">Latham Loop</a>, an 1895 invention widely attributed to Eugene Lauste and W.K.L. Dickson but patented by Woodville Latham. They had been working for Latham's sons, the brothers Otway and Grey, hedonistic film pioneers during the age of the <a href="http://www.columbia.edu/itc/film/gaines/historiography/Gunning.pdf" target="_blank">Cinema of Attraction</a>. It was their Kinetoscope Exhibition Company that needed to be able to run longer loads of film without it ripping for the purpose of filming boxing matches, a new enterprise they were pursuing with rigor and one that proved almost as lucrative as it is now. The loop provided the solution.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Writing in <em>American Cinematographer</em>, the late David Samuelson <a href="https://www.theasc.com/magazine/mar99/genius/index.htm" target="_blank">described the Latham Loop </a>as &ldquo;as big a breakthrough in film technology as anything that has happened since.&rdquo; The loop is really nothing but a short piece of film footage, positioned on both the top and bottom of the gate, that remains slack and works as a buffer between the rolling motion of the film as delivered by the reel and the yanking motion of the claw that pulls each frame into the gate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Up until then only short takes had been possible and the loop quickly influenced the medium by allowing longer shots and larger reels of film, fuelling the drift towards the longer, more immersive feature film format.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>The integral accident; a tropism for conflict</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The loop struck a balance between the fragility of the medium with the violence of the mechanized processes used to expose and display it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Methods of producing light-sensitive material in long strips, capable of capturing images was quite possible by the 1890s. The fine-timed opto-mechanics required to facilitate it at a rate fast enough to trick the eye, to mimic movement, was also well achievable within fin de si&egrave;cle state of the art&mdash;as evidenced by the simultaneous development of cameras and projectors in a half dozen places around the globe.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">But it was the marriage of these two elements that provided the challenge. The low tensile strength of the gossamer-thin film stock&mdash;at that time brittle, not to mention highly flammable&mdash;was constantly under threat from the overheated, pulling, yanking environment of cogs and claws inside cameras and projectors. It is as if the machines were trying to destroy the film material or at least leave their mark upon it.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&ldquo;When you invent the plane you invent the plane crash... every technology carries its own negativity,&rdquo; <a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/politics-very-worst" target="_blank">wrote&nbsp;Paul Virilio</a> on his theory of the integral accident&mdash;the idea that every new technology contains the capability of its own derailment or failure. An early iteration of this idea may be alluded to in <a href="https://books.google.pt/books?id=1BqRgA9KZXwC&amp;redir_esc=y" target="_blank"><em>War and Cinema</em></a> (1989) when he writes, &ldquo;A camera motor works by holding back its potential energies.&rdquo; He is referring here to the loop and its easing of the conflict between the material and the machine&rsquo;s demand of speed/quality. The loop exists within the machine as a no man&rsquo;s land: its images are not on the reel, nor in the gate, or on the take up reel. Like the referee at the Lathams&rsquo; prizefight, it favors a nice clean fight/image: no scratching, biting, butting, etc.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116153433-Corbett.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Screencap of&nbsp;<em>Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph</em>, 1894, Directed by William K.L. Dickson, Via <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corbett_and_Courtney_Before_the_Kinetograph" target="_blank">Wikipedia</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It is anti-materialist. The film stock is supported only as a means to an end. Any evidence of its physical existence is considered vulgar, ungainly, inferior. The loop&rsquo;s presence only becomes apparent when it fails. The first symptom is a violent jerking upwards of the image&mdash;like the effect of too much alcohol in on the ampullary cupula, a case of the head spins. Then film gate becomes unpredictable; the film will scratch, tear, scorch.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">To think of film via McLuhan, one might say the medium has a tropism for conflict, violence. Every cinematic gun is Chekov's gun, every sequence an integral accident waiting to happen.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116153903-800px-Blue_Velvet_TV_Gun.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">Pistol on TV, from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Blue_Velvet" target="_blank"><em>Blue Velvet</em></a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Coming home: The loop enters the living room</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When you slide a video cassette into a VCR and it goes <em>whhRRR&ndash;ZZrrr&ndash;whpp</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">That's the sound of the loop forming.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As Vito Acconci writes in &ldquo;<a href="http://people.ucsc.edu/~ilusztig/176/downloads/reading/acconci.pdf" target="_blank">Furniture, Television and Sculpture</a>,&rdquo; domestic visual technology has, at times, tried to hide itself away. Whereas the early film projector wore its mechanisms on the outside, as it were, let it all hang out, home TV and video tech first sought concealment in the cozy familiarity of furniture, the TV and video cabinet, and then sleek, anonymity of the black box.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Inside the VCR the cassette is opened and in a process called M-Lacing the tape is drawn around revolving heads, and held at just the right tension, critical to within a fraction of a gram allowing the head to read the tape without damaging it.&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The heads on early Ampex video machines would rip so much ferrous oxide coating from the tape that they became unwatchable after a number of playbacks. They were built with special collectors for the resulting debris: little mounds of magnetically charged particles, each containing minute elements of recorded data, isolated and impossible to reconstitute into an image.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116154836-Screen_Shot_2015-11-16_at_3.48.02_PM.png" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">VCR with Bugs and Elmer, Screencap via <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev0RfMokQ8Q" target="_blank">YouTube</a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium; text-align: left;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As a VCR plays a tape and lazily whirrs, what is hidden from view is the tape is being scanned by a video head rotating at 1500 revolutions per minute. Although the tape appears to amble along, the spinning 3-millimeter-long heads are actually zipping across its surface at 17 kilometers per hour. If the head were scaled to the size of a water ski, its relative speed would be approaching the speed of sound.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This electromechanical feat can be achieved without shedding the tape to bits partly because of reiteration of the loop. It pursues glossy, interference-free images, the kind the video age was built dreaming of, by negotiating just the right amount of pressure to achieve image pick-up without overexposing the 20-micrometer-thick tape to the ferocity of the head drum.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">While home video may have concealed these processes within its workings, for the professional sector there was no space for such sensitivity and the processes remained visible.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">It was here that I spotted the loop again: it had landed a high-profile position in broadcast television.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Someone to watch over you</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Around the middle of the last century, perhaps as a result of 50 years of silently watching moving images, the loop began to develop an interest in the content of the medium. As the proliferation of imagery and potential immediate viewership exponentially increases with the postwar explosion of TV, the loop intervenes and becomes censorious as the broadcast delay, aka the seven-second delay loop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">In this process live television is recorded onto magnetic tape, which is waylaid from its natural path into a loop to provide a monitorable delay before a playback head reads and feeds the signal to broadcast.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Becoming watchful, mindful, prudish, the delay loop manages borrowed time as directors of live TV hover over the &ldquo;dump&rdquo; button that will divert offensive content away from transmission cables and masts, into dead air.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The loop may have become resentful of its charge.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">With the rise of an energized new conservatism in the 80s it was there to monitor and defuse studio invaders protesting against legislation such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_28" target="_blank">Section 28</a> in the UK. In the US the provocative mix of race, sex, and outspoken political satire employed by comics such as Richard Pryor had already become subject to its surveillance, the edgy punch line always seven seconds away and the most raucous show on the box, <em>Saturday Night</em> (almost) <em>Live</em>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116160833-pryor.jpg" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Richard Pryor on <em>SNL</em>, screencap via <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2u1bpXVGHE" target="_blank">YouTube</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://news.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116">According to researchers at MIT</a> it takes only 13 milliseconds for human eyes/brains to register and recognize a single image, almost four times faster than previously thought. Down the hall, some other MIT engineers have built a camera capable of shooting at <a href="http://news.mit.edu/2011/trillion-fps-camera-1213">a trillion frames per second</a>, fast enough to film the passage of a ray of light.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Things are speeding up.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>Predictability of the new</strong></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">So where is the loop today, now that film&rsquo;s digital descendants have taken over? Like everyone and everything else: online.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">A popular video sharing website presents me with a &ldquo;video you might like.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The sample thumbnail shows an intensely focused man standing on a mountain cliff. He is wearing a video camera attached to a crash helmet and an outfit that makes him look like a dayglow flying squirrel, a degree of gaudiness only extreme sports types seem to find necessary. He is about to throw himself off the edge. I have no idea why the website has predicted I would want to watch this&mdash;but strangely, I do.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116161240-loader-large.gif" alt="" /></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-size: x-small;">A throbber</span><a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/Throbber_allbackgrounds_monochrome.gif"><br /></a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">When I click play a familiar circular symbol appears against a black screen. This ourobouros lazily chasing its tail is called a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Throbber" target="_blank">throbber</a>.&nbsp;Having just learned the loop has developed into a censorious prude, I suspect its hidden presence immediately. Why was my video taking so long to arrive? Was the loop/throbber assessing it for suitability? Is my selection being run through some vast metadata filter?</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Paranoia aside, in this moment the video file may still be sitting in some server farm having just received command to run, to play, to gather its things and go. Or it may be physically in transit. Either way, it is no longer purely resting in storage and it is not being viewed; it is in the loop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The internet is becoming about prediction. It seems to know just what we want even before we do. What we are wearing, who we are. (It&rsquo;s a bit like a Hannibal Lector to our collective Clarice Starlings&mdash;it can really creep you out if you let it, but we keep coming back for more because it always has something we want. The question is, as a trade-off, how far inside our heads should we let it?)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The video arrives and the man heads off like a guided missile. His POV-cam is ultra wide-angle; other cameras capture his descent from the ground, the air, past craggy rocks, trees. As his body hurtles from one side of the frame to the next, chased by whip-pans, something happens to the texture of the video image. At points of movement, of fast radical variation of content there is sort of bubbling, blurring. The flat surfaces of the sky, the rock face are embellished with a crystalline patina.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116161827-w_s2.JPG" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Screencap via <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgQRUhGt8Ks" target="_blank">YouTube</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">This is, of course, the result of video compression: this is a process managed by the loop.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At each stage of the image being filmed, edited, uploaded, the frames are run through video codecs in attempts to reduce the amount of data generated and stored by comparing separated frames and then assuming what the frames in between might look like. Any frame represents a minute fraction of time and possibly something from a few moments before and after. This system of compression though comparison and prediction manages the demand for speed and quality against the limitations of the hardware.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116162158-GOP_2_thumb.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Inter frame prediction, Via&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.provideocoalition.com/twice_as_nice" target="_blank">ProVideo Coalition</a></span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The predictive frame exists in a hyper-reality of images composed of copies and imagined in-betweens. This process drastically reduces file size but generates glitches, compression artifacts. At some level the process imagines and creates its own imagery.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The wingsuit man isn't flying over craggy rocks and alpine flora so much as a torrent of compression artifacts, alien forms that suddenly appear then vanish into the spewing magma, the lossy data soup.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These artifacts and glitches are ancestors of flicker, jitter, the miniature sandstorms of dust particles, the scratched and scorched frames that the Latham loop and other processes like it have sought to eliminate.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">These are the imperfections that interrupt immersion, that remind the viewer of the materiality of the medium.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116162648-rohfilm-4.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">Birgit and Wilhelm Hein,&nbsp;<em>Rohfilm</em></span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino;">1968,&nbsp;Black and white, sound, 16mm, 20&rsquo;00</span></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><strong>The cozy catastrophe and the digital scratch</strong></span></p> <blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left; padding-left: 30px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><em>When that medium starts to break down, to suffer and reveal imperfections. The technology becomes visible through its failures. Glitches and errors constitute evidence of its origins; we see the material through disruption</em>.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &mdash;Ed Halter,&nbsp; <a href="http://domenicoquaranta.com/public/pdf/LABoral_Revista_PLAYLIST.pdf" target="_blank">The Matter of Electronics</a></span></p> </blockquote> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><a href="http://www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_6/Manon.html" target="_blank">Glitch Artists</a>, on the other hand, like Materialist Filmmakers before them, embrace these imperfections as auratic and keys to revealing the processes of each image&rsquo;s conception, levels of existence, vulnerability to damage, decay, and decomposition. Like the oil painter&rsquo;s thumbprint left on a canvas, these elements are considered to demonstrate each frame&rsquo;s uniqueness while contextualizing its existence beyond the limits and confines of mise-en-scene, narrative, etc. Bending, moshing, getting down and dirty with the <a href="http://www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/" target="_blank">impoverished image</a>, Glitch Art isn't afraid of the results of overloaded, compromised, or mismatched media. It is about entering closed systems to explore the possibility for art between human error and the cold infallible logic of machines.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116172120-glitch_art_65786784_by_jiqoirs-d7jeiyi.jpg" alt="" width="600" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Glitch art, Via <a href="http://jiqoirs.deviantart.com/art/glitch-art-65786784-455853690" target="_blank">Deviant Art</a>, Creative Commons license</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Reams of readymade code become the substrate for sculpture, for subtle coercive interaction. It often seeks to attain, suspend, and display the effects of the moment before failure, sustain the frisson felt at the instant of crash. It aims to release a flow of randomized images and sounds, encourages failure and decay, the jarring revelation of the integral accident. In doing so it negates the predictable (and yet somehow, it often is).</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116172333-15264221265_0b28a31ce0_z.jpg" alt="" width="500" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Glitch Art, Via Flickr user <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/15264221265" target="_blank">Torley</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like a wheel within a wheel, contemporary video codecs such as H.264 contain an inner process, an In-Loop <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deblocking_filter" target="_blank">Deblocking Filter</a> that finds and seeks to eliminate or obscure the materiality of the compression artifact. Unlike the glitch artists, the In-Loop Deblocking Filter has no truck with byproducts, spoilers, elements that are non-immersive, anti-illusionary.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116172529-Screen_Shot_2015-11-16_at_5.25.14_PM.png" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">Block Partition, Via&nbsp;<a href="http://www.google.de/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fc%2Fce%2FBlock_partition.jpg&amp;imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ABlock_partition.jpg&amp;h=303&amp;w=595&amp;tbnid=Ld8suUwk_zmzeM%3A&amp;docid=a8gG9jr61a-DaM&amp;hl=en&amp;ei=ZlpEVtzeLYaVPoKZisgP&amp;tbm=isch&amp;iact=rc&amp;uact=3&amp;dur=433&amp;page=1&amp;start=0&amp;ndsp=15&amp;ved=0CCAQrQMwAWoVChMI3Kmp48eKyQIVhooPCh2CjAL5">Wikimedia Commons</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: center;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: x-small;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Instead, it smoothes out their edges, paints them into the background.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">I see this as the next expression of the loop and somewhat like a suburbanite Sunday painter with whom it appears to share technique and aesthetic sensibility. Its work is amateurish but there is nothing refreshingly <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Dubuffet" target="_blank">Brut</a> about its inelegance, only a desire to conform, to make things look &ldquo;right.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Like a sloppy watercolorist, the Deblocking Filter treats the misunderstood, the error, the out-of-place detail, with excessive washes until they are homogenized, blurred out. This obsessive flushing aims to cleanse the image. The loop has become prudish, precious, biased, as it finds itself endlessly repeating a mistake that's vexed art tutors for generations: it attempts to paint what it knows, or thinks it knows, <a href="http://www.artslant.com/ew/articles/show/43239" target="_blank">rather than what it sees</a>.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">The Lathams never witnessed very much of the loop&rsquo;s progress, their short lived company's most enduring legacy.&nbsp;They lost their money as fast as they made it and by 1902 both brothers were dead, Grey crushed by the steel wheels of streetcar, Otway as a result of undisclosed playboy lifestyle choices. Their loop, the referee between material and machine, demand and capability, became the very antithesis of who they were.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">And today, the YouTube video wingsuit man is what every Go-Pro owner dreams of: part Viriloian image/speed machine, part idiotic, pseudo-suicide in a bad outfit.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">At every movement, every protuberance dodged, I anticipate his impact and death. The predictive loop of the video codec predicts otherwise and the dude just kept going.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">As Nam June Paik once said: <em>Video isn't I see, it's I fly.</em></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">(Just preferably not into the side of a mountain.)</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;"><img src="http://dbprng00ikc2j.cloudfront.net/userimages/32120/1dkh/20151116172928-better.gif" alt="" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">Should something go wrong, his body will be swallowed by the codec, merged into the surrounding environment far faster than his corpse would be under the stresses of natural decomposition. The sudden appearance of his smashed body, his exploding camera will be mistaken for a glitches, compression artifacts. They'll be washed from the image surface, blended in and in an instant, overwritten a thousand times.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&mdash;<a href="http://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/372591-guy-parker?tab=REVIEWS" target="_blank">Guy Parker</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p style="line-height: 26px; text-align: left;"><span style="font-family: georgia, palatino; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 15:54:35 -0300 https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list https://www.artslant.com/ny/Articles/list