|Fragmented process||Continuum process|
|Fragmented process||Continuum process|
One variation of my (self-)portrait, (auto-)retrato: 100 fragmentos, variaciones 1 y 2, has been selected for presentation in the Media Art show at the coming XII Festival Internacional de la Imagen in Manizales, Colombia.
Work’s statement in Spanish:
La interrupción de la máquina facial solo es posible a través de la fragmentación interna del tiempo y el espacio del cuadro.
Este (auto-)retrato es una aglomeración, en un mismo cuadro, de imágenes grabadas con un celular en diferentes momentos y lugares. El objetivo es diluir mi propia imagen a través su fragmentación. Variación 1 y 2 se componen de 100 fragmentos de grabaciones de vídeo. Cada vídeo ha sido grabado por una persona diferente en momentos y lugares diferentes usando una cámara de celular. En cada variación los 100 vídeos son reproducidos simultáneamente y son ubicados en el cuadro de forma aleatoria hasta llenarlo completamente. El resultado es un vídeo compuesto de una serie consecutiva de tiras verticales de vídeo una al lado de la otra. En estas dos variaciones se juntan 100 “”yos” separados en el tiempo y el espacio.”
A complete description of this work in English is here: self-portrait
Ideas improve. The meaning of words participates in the improvement. Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author’s phrase, makes use of his expressions, erases a false idea, and replaces it with the right idea.
Guy Deboard. The Society of the Spectacle. Ch8. Series. 207. 1967.
60×60 Radio Request Extravaganza 2012 is going to happen at WGDR 91.1 FM Plainfield, Vermont on August 24th at 8:00 PM – August 25th at 6:00 AM Eastern Standard Time.
El pŕoximo 30 y 31 de agosto se lleverá a cabo el primer Congreso Colombiano de Cultura Libre en la Universidad Nacional de Colombia en Bogotá. Topografías hará parte de la exhibición multimedia durante el congreso.
Next 30th and 31st August will take place the first Colombian Congress of Free Culture at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. Topografías will be exhibited in the media exhibition during the congres.
Two weeks ago I presented my (self-)portrait in the general meeting of DAAD scholarship holders in Lübeck. After the presentation several issues generated a vividly discussion. I’ve grouped those issues under two fragmentations: of the frame and of the author. The first, evident in the visual outcome, is the fragmentation of the space within the frame. The second refers to the crowd-sourcing strategy I use for the production of the portrait.
Video is a medium primary concerned with time. This medium fixates time into a series of independent recordings that we watch in rectangular frames. Almost always the space of the frame is filled with one image that represents one time and one space. Although video fragments time, the visual frame keeps in each recording a unified time and space. The camera can only record a sequential flow of time; it cannot record several, non-sequential moments of time simultaneously. The simultaneous assemblage of different times within the frame occurs always in the montage. In my work this is not different. I record each time one minute of video of myself but in the final composition, a real-time montage, all these recordings are agglomerated and played simultaneously within the same frame. Each recording is cropped to a few pixels width and placed next to another recording. This procedure produces a moving image that is composed by several other moving images. The frame is thus fragmented into several columns and each of these columns is filled with a different video. The fragmentation of time that video generates is carried to the very frame. The manipulation I propose has a spatial character. Such a procedure, I would claim, it is only possible in digital video because the digital allows the complete programming of the image and each pixel is susceptible to manipulation.
This fragmentation is taken to the production too. Each video recording is made by a different person using a camera phone. I’ve established a general set-up to control the visual aspect of the image and each person should comply with it. In this form of production the final outcome is made by the work of a crowd. In my (self-)portrait there are authors and I act as a catalyst for the making of the video portrait. My role as an artist is to create the conditions for the production, nothing remarkably new since all post-industrial production functions in such a way. But this work is about the production of a portrait, something intimate and full with authorship. Expressed mathematically, each column of one pixel in my portrait is a function of one independent variable: you multiplied by a constant: me (γ).
Thus, f(you * γ)
Everyone who carries a mobile phone in their pockets can produce video. These days, the video camera is fully integrated into the mobile phone, and at the hand of them, this type of camera has become ubiquitous. Although camera phones have made more popular than ever, the production of home movies, the history of amateur film equipment reaches far back and can be traced back to the early years in the film history. At the beginning of the 1920s a French company developed what was the first portable film camera intended for amateur production. Portability, the most remarkable feature of that camera, has since become the driving force behind the amateur production of moving images.
The history of the portable camera begins when the French firm Pathé developed and successfully commercialised the 9.5 mm format in 1922. The system composed of film stock, movie camera, and projector was purposely designed to attend to the amateur market. Other formats were previously developed but none enjoyed the popularity the Pathé had, basically because of its cost and size. The narrow 9.5 mm film stock was reversal-processed which means that it could be directly developed as positive, thus sparing the negative printing process. This feature lowered the costs of production and made possible for the amateur to afford the production of films on a home-based scale. The Pathé-baby format put in the hands of everyone, with no experience, the power to film short sequences on a non-professional scale.
The portability of the camera was the most salient characteristic of Pathé’s system. The camera, known as Pathé-baby, was a simplification of the cumbersome 35 mm movie camera. The Pathé-baby kept the basic elements: a lens, a shutter, an internal sprocket to move the film along the film guides, and an external hand crank to operate the camera. The camera was 10 cm height, 10 cm wide, and 0.4 cm breadth; and it weighted slightly more than 0.6 kg. These dimensions and weight made easier for amateurs to carry the camera in a handbag and to shoot a Sunday picnic or a horse race. The Pathé-baby could be easily brought and used everywhere at any moment.
The Pathé-baby made portable, in a reduced scale, the production of moving images. The firsts movie cameras were mobile but not portable. They could be moved to any location where the filming would occur. But the size and length of the industry standard 35 mm film stock made those cameras big, heavy, and expensive. Filming in 35 mm was not, and still isn’t , an easy matter. The Pathé-baby was, in contrast, light enough to be always ready to go and shoot; it didn’t even need a tripod. Its portability allowed it to be an spontaneous media. In that sense, the camera phone is similar. Both cameras are small and both represent different instances of the portable media; which is to say that the tools for media production live in our pockets.
The individual portrait was a Renaissance invention and it has been popular in visual arts since. Today, a portrait is still described by the stylistic rules of the Renaissance portraiture. In this kind of depiction we observe the subject either in profile or in frontal position; and his or her eyes, nose, and mouth are easily identified as such. We have an idea of how the governing elites of the courts of Florence and Venice looked because they had themselves portrayed. The purpose behind these depictions was always the same: to make the subject identifiable and recognisable as the ruler.
The advent of photography facilitated the production of portraits at an individual scale and made them portable. Nowadays, one of the primary devices for identification is the ID photograph that can be found in ID cards and passports. The style of these photographs is always the same: frontal position, lack of gestures and headdress, and neutral background. Contrary to the Renaissance, the portraitist, photographer, is not necessary as this style is embedded in the photo booth. This style allows to thoroughly measure the face of an individual. The distance between eyes, dimension and position of the nose, width of the mouth, height and breadth of the face, and all other sort of physical features are documented. The aim of this process is the certain identification of each particular person. The modern systems of control in public places like airports and government facilities largely depend upon the boring ID portrait.