23 07/08

Mark Amerika’s seminar (05):final

Asmaow sawta ahaden ma. Walaken men ayna yaaty
hatha alsawt. Holkato allaile manahat elsawta
nakawatan raheba. La bodda an atwia altholmata wa ahrob.
Lakenny okerro anna shayan ma yashoddony elayha.
Yoarkelo khotaya learje. Sho-oron abyion la yotwa,
aynaha, sawtoha, jasadoha, wa def-o def-eha. Arfa-o
yade el yomna wa oksem, hathehe el marrato el
wahedato alltay yokalejony feha sho-oron momathel.
Ka ashe3ate shamsen atallat men bayne sahabaten
baáda asefa. Ka enaken baáda giyab. Kasharaben
dafe-en baád mashien taweelen tahta elmatar.
Lematha fajatan athkoro jaddate. Kanat ter3obha
allahathato el sa-eeda. Hal ta-anto amekan fel omre
le ofakkera bhatha al-aan. La alla men al afdale an
olkya senenee wa astaslem. An arfa-ah rayata
hodnaten bela shorot. An ahfatha ma-ah wajhe wa
owajeha kadary mosallema. Kollolmady kadentaha
kadomo-en shattataha el matar. La allaha totello
fakat lelahathat, lakennaho da-eman men el jadeer
elentetharo basabren lro-yate ehda akwase kosah.

Last session, short projects presentation and two basic terms: Collaboration and remixing.
Together? collaborative remixiability?.
The path of working in current media content creation, networking disturbed the communication hierarchical flow of information, emitter and receiver. Through networks everyone with access to information can modify it and retransmit it, assembling any media object we have on our hands is how we are creating new contents, forms, and objects.

In this flow personal and social spheres collapse and blur distinctions of identity, of reliability. As more and more people get access to media and tools to produce media content, questioning values of expertness, quality and art acquired again relevance. Are we approaching us to an flat state were all are artist, photographers, writers, designers, etc? Are Media creating such amount of noise that identifying real valuable works become almost impossible?

Here some pieces we did in a short collaborative-remixed assignment:

  • Thanasis, Leonardo, David, Chi: Me (Identity, social)
  • Drita, Ryan, Gero, Johnny and Karl: Route 13 (Mixing Times and Spaces)
  • Katja, Selin, Nagehan, Daniel: III (Identity, exhibitionism)
  • Efi, Ahmad, Ricardo: OverNoise (Identity, performance, noise)

OverNoise Sounds

Efi: Greek 1:08
Ahmad: Arabic 1:16
Ricardo: Spanish 0:57

Cheers and many thanks to Mark.

17 07/08

Mark Amerika’s seminar (04)

Mporo na akuso kapion na milai, ala apo pu erchetai afti i
foni? To mavro skotadi tonizi afti ti foni olo ke perisotero.
Prepei na ksefigo. Alla apo tin alli niotho kolimenos mazi tis.
Enoo oti prokite gia ena poli ikio sinesthima, ta matia tis, i
foni tis, to soma tis, i zestasia tis.

Pragmatika einai i proti fora pou niotho kati san ki afto.
Akugete san iliofos meta tin kategida, san agalia i sa zesti
sokolata…giati ksafnika thimithika tin giagia mu tora?
Panta fovotane tis kales stigmes.
Eimai megalos gia na ta skeftome afta tora? ke kurasmenos.
Mipos einai kali idea na paradotho, na stamatiso na palevo,
epipleon na antimetopiso timia tin mira mu ke na ta
apodechto ola afta.
Oles aftes i stigmes ine tora sa dakria kato apti vrochi.
Ta urania toksa diarkun mono liga lepta, ala panta iparchi
enas kalos logos na perimenis to epomeno.

Computer graphics in the early 70’s, computer art by Norton Starr, he opened today’s seminar. His visual works started when he discovered, back in the 70’s, that the computer could visualise what he as mathematician had in his mind as formulas and equations. The computer could be set up to produce those graphs by following certain instructions being fed by the human. Certain pieces could not even been drawn by the human hand but still representing human aspect a very special kind of conflict between the computable and the malleable.

His method: introducing small changes in a predefine structure to produce big changes, most of those small disturbances are just experiments with the mechanic, he called it a mechanised sort of aesthetic. I would say rather sublime than mechanised, found it by accident. Sublimed as an aesthetic category that overcomes our understanding that is beyond our very control, he him self was amazed when the machine  by a random “failure” produce something was not supposed to, something he himself could not even program.

The Aesthetic of the sublime in a discreet machine.

Mark presented and discussed his 29 inches novel and the Grammatron, both highly randomise and non-linear narratives works. Cyberpunk literature, dotcoms boom, and discovering the potential of the hypertext as a new artistic media. Works immerse between the popular culture and the sciene of writing. When the author loses the control of a vast random machine that generates links, connections and threads of a particular text when it is read (used?). The machine takes over. Again the experience is sublime, but in this case I would say the one who does experience it, is the author, the reader (user, interactor?) does not.

Those examples today showed artists, scientists and designers taken control and driving the media toward creative and experimental arenas, but somehow through commodification those areas are taken over by companies and corporations. In those scenarios is hard to experiment and play, and works there become rather formulas and homogeneous, standard, where the unpredictable rarely occurs.

Marks conclusion was: the work of avant-garde people should be to open up new places, by a creative destructions.

Today’s text is the Greek version of: Dreaflow.

16 07/08

Mark amerika’s seminar (03)

Puedo escuchar a alguien hablar, pero, ¿De dónde viene esa voz?
La espesa oscuridad enfatiza la voz más y más.
Tengo que correr. Pero por otro lado me siento amarrado a ella.
Me explico, es un sentimiento muy agradable,
sus ojos, su voz, su cuerpo, su calor.
Realmente es la primera vez que siento algo como esto.

Suena como los destellos del sol luego de la tormenta,
como un abrazo o suave chocolate…
¿Por qué de repente recuerdo a mi abuela?
Ella siempre tuvo miedo de los bellos momentos.
¿Seré muy viejo ahora? y cansado?. Quizás es una
buena idea rendirse, parar de luchar,
más aun enfrentar con dignidad mi destino y aceptar,
que todos esos momentos se han ido como lágrimas bajo
la lluvia. Arco iris solo duran unos momentos, pero aun así
es una buena razón para esperar por el próximo.

For  the third day Mark Amerika decided to show “The yes man” film, a hilarious documentary about a couple of anti-corporate activists and how they impersonated a fake spokesman of the World Trade Organization on TV and at several conferences around the world (Finland, Australia, U.S. ). Besides its clear anti-corporate message, which I liked it, for me The yes man people by using the method of disguising, faking and impersonating others, were addressing one central issue in la societé du spectacle: The identity.

They steal certain aspect of an individual and place into another one (Barbie’s voice in G.I. Joe body and vice versa), but the power of the message is increased by doing it public though mass media. They combine disguise tactics with spectacle to convey a political and social-denunciation message. A perfect example of what yesterday was questioned: Who is your audience? and How does it change your distribution channel and production methods? In The Yes Man those aspects are treated so: Audience, firstly, business people and WTO fellows, secondly the broader crowd out there. Production methods: Impersonation, disguise, high visibility. Distribution channel: mass media.

At the end a subtle conclusion showed up: If everybody is doing the same, what you have to do is the unpredictable, the not expected. If all anti-globalization and anti-corporate people is doing the same stuff by the same methods, The yes man did it too, but completely different. And there, in that point resides its success in terms of making an strong (and louder) statement.

Now, going a lit bit out the movie, a related question came to my mind: What is real in the digital public space today? To whom does belong the facade towards I’m re-acting? It does address to a very problematic matter. The truthfulness of our identities and specially the ones who are in power and take decisions. The Digital remix demands a high level of literacy and being in constant up-to-date, moreover in that paranoia for not being cheat by something or somebody else we can become vigilantes of source materials.

The text opening today’s report are is the translations to three spanish different languages of yesterday’s text.

15 07/08

Mark Amerika’s seminar (02)

I can hear somebody talking but where that voice coming from ?
The black darkness emphasizes the voice more and more.
I must run away. But on the other hand I feel attached to her.
I mean it is a very comfortable feeling, her eyes, her voice, her body, her warmth.
Indeed it is the first time I feel something like that. It sounds like sunlight after storm,
like a hug or sweet chocolate…why suddenly I remember my grandmother now?

She was always scared of the nice moments. Am I old to think of this now? and tired.Perhaps it is a good idea to give in, to stop fighting, moreover to face with dignity my destiny and accept all that, all those moments are now over like tears under the rain. Rainbows last only few moments but still there is a good reason to wait for the next one.

Today we started with “Take Time” by The Books, the underlying question was: Who is your audience?. Take time in its video-version has (I found) similarities with Koyaanisqatsi, but the differences are precisely the audience and production’s process. While in the latter a big company like Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is in the back, Take Time is based on DIY and video material taken from television, basically prayers and people doing funny things, the distribution is also self-made by their own web-site or direct contact. Locating audience might then lead to different outcomes as well as different techniques for production and material generation.

At that point quality issues become a main point for discussion, specially if mass audiences don’t have access or interest to acquire high quality reproduction devices, Should the authors downsampling their works in order to access to a broader public?. It is clear that youtube videos, mp3 players, mobile devices do not have the same quality offer by a cinema, a home theatre system or a DVD. But many people either don’t have such a equipment at home or are to lazy and not enough motivated to go to a theatre and prefer to consume media material at home in low-resolution devices. Is it a matter of content? It is a market trend?

Something definitely is happening which is not really happening at all.

Coming again to our Monday’s topic, we watched “la societé du spectacle” a film done at the beginning of the 70’s by situationist Guy Debord based on a book of the same title. Image and media have become the currency of the capitalism, consumption of visual entertainment material keeps us happy and maintains alive the money-and war-making machinery by blurring our senses, in a perpetual state of pleasure. We celebrate all production of such a material as a narcotic activity. This work remixed three layers: images coming from black and white film and tv are override by a voice over reading the very content of the book, in French, the third layer is composed by subtitles. Djrabbi group mobilised it into the net and query society, by updating contents and re contextualising it, they did a completely new piece, that highlights current digital capitalism as a central thema, but how does happen the process of creation in such a piece?.

Nowadays creativity seems then to happen into the deep waters of reusing, updating, re contextualising, and re purposing objects. I would like to drop to this discussion the idea of a creative engine as a highly distributed system, where processes of creation happen in the performance of external sources by adding distinct levels of  values to each one, here the Deleuze’s concept of assemblage comes to the surface, thus creativity shall depend on processes between decentralised systems where performers (objects and subjects) have adaptative behaviours.

This probable has happened always but it just become noticeable since the digital, by the vastness and mutability of networked environments. Are we getting closer to understand the essence of how does our brain work? Is it a step further in decoding our selves? If we finally decoded us, who is going to take control of such a code? Dangerously by that we can live (happily) in a perpetuals state of slavery.

The opening text is an Exquisite corpse, we did as starting point for our final piece. Written by three minds, and six hands.