Thursday, January 31, 2008

images from Habeas Corpus

I finally got some images from the Seoul Marginal Theater Festival people of the live version of Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus enterprises a 'syntax of human form' which, derived in part from dance and mime, in an encyclopedic pretension to tell the human stories inside all the technologies we use every day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Revisiting the Moran Museum Show

The "5 colours, I" show is going on at Moran Museum until the end of March, so I thought I'd swing by and make sure everything is still working properly before I take off back home for a couple of weeks.

I took the opportunity to replace some of the video clips in the interactive display with some new ones I had been working on before the Songdo project jumped up and swallowed me last week.

New in these clips are musical sounds and more complex and delicate time layering. As I was working and reworking the same footage from the construction of the wall, I started to explore the limits of the documentary ability of the data. Without adding new material, how could I give more depth to the representation of labour in the 2-d of the display? The object , as before, was to represent the video emanation, it's luminescence in the Museum space, directly to the labour required for it to exist.

I tried a couple of things in the music, but mainly slowing sounds down until they became harmonic drones, which adds a nice 'choral' touch in the reverberant space.

Lots of students around, so I got to see them fiddling around doing a lot of shadow play trying to get the results they wanted from the rudimentary interface. It seems the best way to navigate the database in this work is to dance through projection space, that fits just right!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Typing looks like thinking

So does writing, handwriting, maybe even more that typing, which may look like operating a machine, which does not necessarily involve any thinking.

I started thinking (or typing) on this theme today, after flipping through the comments section of the nth news item I read today, which was about the latest poll figures from Iowa . If you've been these 'comments' recently, you've probably noticed that they seem increasingly to be produced by people working for one or another of the candidates.

Many of these posters may be unpaid volunteers instructed at the campaign headquarters about how and what to post as part of their democracy-minded enthusiasm to get the candidate of their 'choice' elected. The result is that there are a lot of well-researched yet somewhat generic posts which need only have the minutest connection to the theme and tenor of the article they are 'commenting' on.

These msm comments sections have obviously become an integral forum for electioneering. What I wanted to comment on in my own space in my own blog (please feel free to comment below)is the veneer of independent and coherent thought that gives the comments in the comments section the merest credibility in the first place, which is, McLuhan would likely concur, all due to the uniformity of type.

Imagine, if you will, all this copy-and-pasting of statistics, names and references going on, if we had to do it by hand with original documents and scissors and glue. It would be pretty hard to get a credible-looking document together. The ferocious and desperate creativity which goes into the creation of these generic opinion-missives is invisible behind the uniform type of the css. As is the election machine, or lack of one, behind the poster's name.

ssssssoooooo ttttttthhhhhheeeeee uniform typeface which looks like thinking makes possible all manner of new subterfuge. No better and no worse that any old subterfuge. And more positively, it has a certain leveling effect, whereby, trained and backed electioneering (or otherwise campaigning) posters' subterfuge look pretty well the same as that of any individuals. (are there any still out there? and, why do you even bother? you know the only people who have anything substantial to say get ground out of the process early on.)

I guess people still post on their own initiative sometimes 'because they can', because the technology allows them to experience a certain leveling in the appearance of authority and cogency in the uniform typeface of the comments section. Andy Warhol celebrated the fact that the the Coca Cola I drink is the same Coca Cola the president drinks. Can we also see this 'democratic' (Warhol would say 'American') leveling in electronic repeatable type?