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.

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.

14 07/08

Mark Amerika’s seminar (01)

It does not matter, quién escribió el presente texto
porque él belongs to the past, Its real owner,
que es lo único que perdura inmanente, el pasado.
Though it has many version and interpretations,
in one of those I can be recognised.
En uno de esos espejos I appear within the crowed
landscape of a latinoamerican city.
With that barahunda de gente comparto language and some traditions
like taste for coffee, dramatic ends and the monarchy of rice in our dishes.
No sería exagerado to say all they live in me y yo vivo en ellos in constant flow.
You might not see me pero si pones más atención, you shall notice me.
And a new version de mi mismo would be created.

I wrote the previous text during Mark Amerika‘s seminar “There must be a creative alternative” in Bremen. Some questions arose during the first minutes: What does mean “source material”, where do come your sources from, is there an original source?

These are hard questions specially in media practice, where the source is a readymade object and no one can assure the completely originality of her/his sources. I suggested that source materials, regardless its origin, are values imposed by the one who chose them as source materials. If so, there should be a “choosibility” as intrinsic property in any object that can make it more or less interesting for a subject. Any object is susceptible of having such a property, but it just becomes a source material once has been used for any specific purpose. Can we imagine a source material without having been used?. The source material feature is capable of triggering new beginnings, new paths either of subversive, diversive or inverse nature.

When I refer  to objects I mean anything that exists outside a subject and can affect its perception (material objects), but as well anything that results of mind’s work: methods, tactics, strategies, ideas, beliefs, knowledge (non-material objects).  Taking this wide definition for object we can give the source material’s value to any of them and as a consequence of that we could mix and combine them into new objects. Cultural progress depends extensively on that assumption, we live in constant state of remixing and recombining source material in order to produce new objects. These objects might be new forms, new contents, existing contents into new forms, new contents in existing forms, new contents into new forms.  Working in such a way would mean a translation of forms or contents, treating them as living and malleable matters rather than dead ends.

Remixing, recombining, remediating all forms appears as a constant post-production state, it seems that the digital object brought it and made it evident by slapping it to our faces, discovering that history of mankind is a flow of revaluing ideas, objects, experiences as source materials for producing a next generation of things. Think in the Romans, they used the classical Greece as source material and mixed it with other source materials to develop what we call the Roman classical culture, they were later re- mixed, layered, interpreted, re-… and we keep doing so, assigning/adding the source material value in different forms and levels to all surrounding objects.

The opening text a remix of a suggested source material by Borges: Borges and I