30 11/13

Surveillance made simple

A didactic explanation of how the age of ubiquitous surveillance functions. Nothing that wasn’t already in the program of the computer, though.

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