28 11/14

Vocoder (Voice Coder)

This is a short media history of technical sound coding and distortion, from the military scrambling of speech through the robotic sounds of Kraftwerk to today’s linear predictive coding burned into mobile phones.

10 09/14

01 08/14

Harun Farocki 1944-2014

Tags: | Categories: art, Deutschland

This is another sad week. The German film and video artist Harun Farocki has passed away last Wednesday at the age of 70. The last work I saw of him was Serious Games at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin with Nelson Vergara. Farocki’s works in video were radical in form and with a strong socio-critical content. Farocki! we will remember you.

04 03/14


Some weeks ago, I was discussing the term sampling; it was of course in relation to electronic music. I’m not into sound or music and my take on the conversation was that sampling is part of visual media too. My argument is that taken as a three-dimensional object, the moving image needs to be sampled to be experienced. Two axes of the object are the spatial coordinates x and y, and the third axis is time. Thus, film samples the moving image in the time-axis at 24 images per second; analogue video and digital video add to the sampling the spatial coordinates. However, the reorganization of a particular beat or sequence of beats of music to produce a new composition, rhythm, or even musical genre has no counterpart in the moving image media. One could argue that the narration and even framing or images of a particular film of video are remixed producing thus new productions. This is done all the time in cinema and more conspicuously in T.V. spots. This however is different from sampling and follows the logic of remix and media quotation (remediation?). When there is a case of visual sampling it is the sound that creates the rhythm, not the moving image.

Visual sampling? Close your eyes and see if you miss the images.

MONDOVISION (official full version) from Giovanni Sample on Vimeo.

Earlier and most sampled beats in popular music.

20 02/14

Ghost in the Shell (1996)

Tags: | Categories: science fiction, video studies

What’s true for the group is also true for the individual. It’s simple: overspecialize, and you breed in weakness. It’s slow death.

28 01/14

05 01/14

Portable Media: I carry therefore I produce

Portable Media: 10 January-7 March at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Georgenstraße 47. EG. Atrium. 10117 Berlin.

Super 8 film cartridge

This exhibition shows some of the results of the research project DIY and portable media for moving image production. A series of cameras and storage units, a historical examination of portable media, and three video productions are exhibited. Three presentations will take place during the exhibition. Two special guests, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäffner and Prof. Dr. Frieder Nake, will discuss about media and algorithms. I will talk about the historical development of physical containers for moving images. Portable media emerge from the physical reduction of media supports and the compression of the storage formats into small machines and units. Focusing on the formats and storage units of small gauge film, consumer analogue video, and camera phones, this exhibition highlights the expansion of media carried everywhere and used at any moment.


10 Jan 18:00 Opening

10 Jan 18:30 Wolfgang Schäffner. What is a Video? Media Revolutions of the Moving Image

3 Feb 18:30 Frieder Nake. On the Move – Image Algorithm

14 Feb 18:30 Ricardo Cedeño Montaña. Portable Storage: Chargers, Cartridges, Cassettes

17, 24, and 31 Jan 18:00 screening of Super 8 films.

website: http://media.hu-berlin.de/portablemedia

18 11/13

Chain of machines

Last Friday, during the opening of the exhibition Frieder Nake and friends: No Message Whatsoever, at the DAM Berlin, I exchanged a few words with Frieder Nake about one piece made by Michael Noll in 1963, Gaussian-Quadratic. This work caught my attention because in its label film and photography appeared as the source of the print. Later, I did a brief search for further information and arrived to the SD-4020 Microfilm Recorder. An impressive machine mainly used for the production of graphics. Such a machine chained magnetic, optical, and chemical processes with computations. A magnetic tape stored a computer program and passed it to digital processors that in turn controlled the movement of a cathode ray tube, thus linking video processing and storage technology with digital calculations. The movement of the cathode ray was then captured on film for later reproduction and documentation. The chemical support of the 19th century was the final link in the chain of machines that made that pieces of Mr. Noll. Such assemblage doesn’t exist any more. Today that expanded chain of processing, transmission, and storage, is no longer visible; it has disappeared under the speed and surface of computation.

Gaussian-Quadratic. Michael Noll.1963.

SD-4020 Microfilm Recorder

17 09/13

Luz portátil para vídeo

El díagrama del circuito se puede descargar de http://bit.ly/193yVgF
The electric diagram can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/193yVgF

19 06/13

Richard Serra. Television Delivers People (1973)

| Categories: art

A diatribe against broadcast TV that uses short sentences in white text over a blue background, a format common in TV. This diatribe could be well adapted (updated) to accommodate the situation of networked digital media.

Television delivers people to an advertiser.
You are the product of TV

Internet Service Company delivers people to an Internet advertiser
You are the product of Internet Service Company