sexta-feira, dezembro 19, 2014


In the late 20th century, the formative issues in digital media art were about connectivity and interaction. In this century, our post-digital objectives will increasingly be technoetic and syncretic. Formerly, there was much ado about e pluribus unum (out of many, one) - a unified culture, unified self, unified mind, unity of time and space. 
Now the reverse applies: ex uno plures (out of one, many) - many selves, many presences, many locations, many levels of consciousness. The many realities we inhabit—material, virtual, and spiritual, for example—are accompanied by our sense of being present simultaneously in many worlds: physical presence in ecospace, apparitional presence in spiritual space, telepresence in cyberspace, and vibrational presence in nanospace. Second Life is the rehearsal room for future scenarios in which we will endlessly re-invent our many selves. 
As artists, we deal with the complexities of media that are at once immaterial and moist, numinous and grounded; and the complexity of the technoetic mind that both inhabits the body and is distributed across time and space. Where all these differences could be at odds with each other, we are in fact developing a capacity, to syncretise: to analogise and reconcile contradictions, while melding differences, such that art and reality are becoming syncretic. What today we build in the immateriality of cyberspace will tomorrow be realised concretely with nano technology. 
Our syncretic reality will emerge partly through the cultural coherence that intensive interconnectivity elicits, partly through the nano and quantum coherence at the base of our world-building, and partly through the spiritual coherence that informs the field of our multi-layered consciousness. 
As a society, as much as we exercise our everyday awareness, we fear consciousness; we avoid exploring it, we deny its deepest dimensions, and we refute its universal connectivity and collectivity. We know nothing of where it is located, how it arises, of what it is constituted. There is a sense amongst some scientists that they dare not challenge the folk theory of mind as an epiphenomenon of the brain. Too much would be at stake if the Newtonian applecart were to be overturned. Think of the denial amongst physicists of the metaphysical implications of quantum mechanics. Think of the doctrinaire rigidity of those whose fundamentalist materialism credits the brain with the creation of consciousness, rather than investigating the brain as an organ of access to fields of consciousness. Think also of those innumerable first person reports in all cultures at all times of psychic perception in all its forms, that have been routinely rejected out of hand by mainstream science. However, it is an astrophysicist, Attila Grandpierre , who most usefully provides a description of consciousness with the application of field theory, arguing that “the organisation of an organism involves fields, which are the only means to make a simultaneous tuning of the different subsystems of the organism-as-a-whole. Fields with their ability to comprehend the whole organism are the natural basis of a global interaction between organisms and of collective consciousness . . . ”. He offers a quantum-physical model of a multi-layered consciousness, Direct, immediate action at a distance actually exists in the electromagnetic field, which is the coupling, mediator field between waves and particles. The environmental, natural and cosmic fields are determinative sources of our consciousness. “The collective field of consciousness is a significant physical factor of the biosphere”. However, in many cases, field theories are pushed to the margins of scientific respectability. The new organicism of May Wan Ho, the biophotonic research of Fritz-Albert Popp, the holonomic brain theory of Karl Pribram, the implicate order of David Bohm, are distanced by the scientific establishment. And Donna Haraway, even amongst the cognoscenti of media art, is recognized more for her Cyborg Manifesto than for her much earlier Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors of Organicism in Twentieth-Century Developmental Biology . Of considerable significance to the evolving ontology of new media art is the major shift in research focus of Tom Ray that moves from Artificial Life to mind science. It is a research that plays a radical part in the emergence of moistmedia - the convergence of dry computational technologies and wet biological systems, since its concern is with the re-evaluation of psychedelics, and by extension, the pharmacology of plants, in the understanding of mind states, and of consciousness at large. 
Ray, initially famous amongst new media artists and computer scientists for the creation of Tierra (1991) is now engaged in providing the first comprehensive view of how pharmacological compounds interact with the human receptome. [He wants] “to get to know the pharmacology of the attractors . . . .to begin to map the chemical organization of the human mind”. 
The digital moment in art has passed, it has been absorbed into practice, and assimilated by theory, A pharmacological moment is upon us, within cognitive science and beyond its orthodox borders. In the evolving technoetic culture, living in altered states of consciousness will become more frequently the norm, just as living in multiple states of body informs our living today – both in Second life scenarios and the syncretic reality of contemporary being. In our the syncretic, moistmedia, telematic culture, we are engaged in re-inventing ourselves, creating new social networks, new orders of time and space. Technoetics leads to serial selves, serial relationships, serial self-invention. Human nature, unconstrained, is essentially syncretic. Just as cybernetics analogises differences between systems, so syncretism finds likeness between unlike things. If cybernetics underlies the technology of new media art, syncretism informs the psyche. Syncretic thinking breaches boundaries and subvert protocols. Hypermedia is its telematic correlate. 
In religious or spiritual contexts, syncretism can mean combining from diverse sources epistemologies, rituals, psychic instruments, psychotropic plants and herbs, into new forms of sacred communion. In contemporary society, syncretism may involve combining technologies that are interactive and digital, reactive and mechanical, psychoactive and chemical, and new rituals of contemporary social networks that are mobile, locative, and online, together with a creative sensibility towards the practices of older cultures that have habitually been seen as alien, exotic and in many cases proscribed. Digital art is dangerously approaching the status of orthodoxy; the period of extreme speculation, invention and untrammelled creativity is in danger of giving way to academicism and commercialisation, The real revolution in the new digital technology (which will be even more radical with the evolving nanotechnology) lies not so much that of global connectivity – person to person, mind to mind – that releases us from the constraints of time and place (great as that is), but its power to provide for the release of the self, release from the self, the fictive “unified self” that psycho-analysts and therapists relentlessly promote. No! We are multiple, made up of many selves, with access to many layers of consciousness. Rather than needing to go deep into ones self, we need to reach out to the many selves that our innate creativity craves. The revolution in consciousness lies in our ability to be many selves, to be telematically in many places at the same time, our digital and post-biological self-creation leading to many personas, many aspects of what we each can be. In short, the 21st century self is generative. This is of course the appeal of Second Life, as it is to the many narratives and games of generative identity, shape-shifting, an transformative personality that new media art has created. 
We find the earliest and most prescient exemplars of the multiple self in the heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa, each with his own individual history, appearance, emotional register, philosophy, and style of writing. Were Pessoa to be active today, they would probably be Second Life personae. As John Gray has pointed out, “Fernando Pessoa invented at least 72 fictive identities. These jostling aliases express his belief that the individual subject -- the core of European thought -- is an illusion". Therein lies Pessoa’s significance today. He well understood the notion of the distributed self, that we are each many selves. Pessoa left a trunk containing over 25,000 items: poems, letters, journals – writings on philosophy, sociology, history, literary criticism, plays, treatises on astrology, observations on the occult, esoterica of many kinds – written by dozens of heteronyms. Pessoa’s psychological and literary prescience, and the breadth and complexity of his interests, anticipated life in our hypertextual world of the Web, where the fluidity of associative links and genres, and the instability, variability and transformation of identities and personas is one of its greatest appeals and challenges. We can only imagine what his (dis)embodied syncretism might have brought to the telematic embrace. Through his exploration of consciousness, he developed occult skills and paranormal powers, including spiritualist mediumship, telepathy, and especially his development of 'etheric vision. The challenge to our syncretic model of thought and action in the context of creativity is to untie the Newtonian knot that binds our perception, and seek always to put subject before object, process before system, behaviour before form, intuition before reason, mind before matter... 
A truly technoetic and syncretic art will embrace concepts of biophysics: coherence, macroscopic quantum states, long-range interactions, non-linearity, self-organization and self-regulation, communication networks, field models, interconnectedness, non-locality, and the inclusion of consciousness. 

Roy Ascott.2014

segunda-feira, dezembro 08, 2014

"Concerning Violence"

The powerful new film from Göran Hugo Olsson, director of The Black Power Mixtape, is a fresh and bold visual narrative, documenting the liberation from colonial rule in the ‘60s and ‘70s in Africa. Working with recently discovered archival footage, the film depicts some of the most daring moments ever captured during the anti-colonialist struggle. Drawn from Frantz Fanon’s still-evocative and searing text “The Wretched of the Earth” and narrated by the socially engaged singer Lauryn Hill, CONCERNING VIOLENCE is a striking and emotionally resonant cinematic essay, which confronts the dehumanizing mechanisms of colonialism of the past to illuminate the urgent need for change in the present. 


...We should flatly refuse the situation to which the Western countries wish to condemn us. Colonialism and imperialism have not paid their score when they withdraw their flags and their police forces from our territories. For centuries the capitalists have behaved in the underdeveloped world like nothing more than war criminals. Deportations, massacres, forced labor, and slavery have been the main methods used by capitalism to increase its wealth, its gold or diamond reserves, and to establish its power. Not long ago Nazism transformed the whole of Europe into a veritable colony. The governments of the various Europan nations called for reparations and demanded the restitution in kind and money of the wealth which had been stolen from them: cultural treasures, pictures, sculptures, and stained glass have been given back to their owners. There was only one slogan in the mouths of Europeans on the morrow of the 1945 V-day: "Germany must pay." Herr Adenauer, it must be said, at the opening of the Eichmann trial, and in the name of the German people, asked once more for forgiveness from the Jewish people. Herr Adenauer has renewed the promise of his people to go on paying to the state of Israel the enormous sums which are supposed to be compensation for the crimes of the Nazis.


In the same way we may say that the imperialist states would make a great mistake and commit an unspeakable injustice if they contented themselves with withdrawing from our soil the military cohorts, and the administrative and managerial services whose function it was to discover the wealth of the country, to extract it and to send it off to the mother countries. We are not blinded by the moral reparation of national independence; nor are we fed by it. The wealth of the imperial countries is our wealth too. On the universal plane this affirmation, you may be sure, should on no account be taken to signify that we feel ourselves affected by the creations of Western arts or techniques. For in a very concrete way Europe has stuffed herself inordinately with the gold and raw materials of the colonial countries: Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries toward that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. The wealth which smothers her is that which was stolen from the underdeveloped peoples. The ports of Holland, the docks of Bordeaux and Liverpool were specialized in the Negro slave trade, and owe their renown to millions of deported slaves. So when we hear the head of a European state declare with his hand on his heart that he must come to the aid of the poor underdeveloped peoples, we do not tremble with gratitude. Quite the contrary; we say to ourselves: "It's a just reparation which will be paid to us."

read the Full text of "Concerning Violence,"


quinta-feira, novembro 27, 2014

The Net is Not a Tool, It’s an Environment / Franco "Bifo" Berardi

For instance, in The Political Power of Social Media Technology, an essay published in Foreign Affairs in February 2011, Clay Shirky argues that:

'As the communications landscape gets denser, more complex, and more participatory, the networked population is gaining greater access to information, more opportunities to engage in public speech, and an enhanced ability to undertake collective action'.


The Paradox Of Media activism | The Net is Not a Tool, It’s an Environment 
(Franco "Bifo" Berardi November 2012)

sexta-feira, novembro 21, 2014

on performing the medium... (Notes/drafts)

An alternate operational entity that is spatially distributed but electronically connected. -- "Zombies&Cyborgs" Sterlarc

(...) Studying the dramaturgy of a tele-shared fictional or documentary action, intends the comprehension of an alternative space for action (also understood as performativity) where - as in Sterlarc's words - connectedness is bound in electricity becoming the core of every situation created; from the digital lonesomeness of the individual to the maximum collective reach, including every spectator/agent/user present in the network.

"In “Host Diary”, we use systems of telepresence and telematic control to produce the fiction that there is a space open all day to the arrival of others. In particular, the artwork raises the question through the “permissions” that mediate all hosting relationships. What is the guest allowed to do?"
-- Intact's project for CultureHub's REFEST'14 Art&Technology Festival

The output or product is defined by the medium itself and the agency we can have upon it. The only decision left ranges from fiction to non-fiction. Like in a site-specific production of theater, dance or performance work, the site specific here is the medium itself and everyone can be invited to take part, where all are qualified as fundamental along with the timeless and extended medium/site; that is contiguous across combined architectures and multiple 1's.  (...)

sexta-feira, outubro 31, 2014


To communicate means to try to establish a unity, to make one of many; this is what the word communion means. In one way or another, something is always missing from the communion sought by humans, driven by the feeling that solitude is impotence itself. We must necessarily risk our lives: this implies entering into a movement connecting ourselves to other humans who are similar to ourselves. This is absolutely necessary for the life of the flesh.
We would die quickly if we had not taken care to insert ourselves into a system of economic exchanges…

Georges Bataille, The Unfinished System of Non-Knowledge

terça-feira, setembro 09, 2014

Uncovering Ctrl: Teknokultura: "Vigilancia global y formas de resi...

Uncovering Ctrl: Teknokultura: "Vigilancia global y formas de resi...: De vuelta. Nuevo curso y nuevos proyectos... Empezamos con buen pie. el monográfico de Teknocultura Vigilancia global y formas de resi...

segunda-feira, agosto 04, 2014


When I was a kid,
I thought that snails changed shells.
I thought it was a beautiful idea,
changing your home, your exterior.
The idea that your body
wasn't linked to who you are.

I actually believed that
up to now.
I never realised that all those
empty shells were dead snails.

sexta-feira, julho 25, 2014

Cut! Reproduction and Recombination (A Kiss)

A Kiss

But there is an alternative interpretation.
Let's take a look at a differently postproduced image of cut and censored bodies. In the film 'Cinema Paradiso' (1988), a man watches a film roll made from the parts that a projectionist had to censor from fiction films. The result is a reel made of kisses that were too provocative to be shown in public, as they jeopardize ideas from family, property, race, and nation sustained by sexual norms and restrictions.
A reel of ousted kisses. Or is it the same kiss passed on from take to take across different protagonists? A kiss that replicates, travels, spreads, uncontrollably; a kiss that creates vectors of passion and affect, of labor, and, potentially, violence?
A kiss is an event that is shared and consists precisely of sharing, exchanging, and happening in between bodies. It is an edit articulating affect in ever-different combinations. It creates new junctions and forms between and across bodies, a form that is ever shifting and changing. A kiss is a moving surface, a ripple in time-space. Endless reproduction of the same kiss: each one unique.
A kiss is a wager, a territory of risk, a mess.
The idea of reproduction condensed into a fleeting moment. Let's think of reproduction as this kiss, which moves across cuts, from shot to shot, from frame to frame: linking and juxtaposing. Across lips and digital devices. It moves by ways of editing, exquisitely flipping around the idea of the cut, redistributing affects and desire, creating bodies joined by movement, love, pain.

quinta-feira, julho 17, 2014

YouTube Delivers People by Vera Tollman |

Every time a new technology appears, it promises to solve the problems of an existing medium—but in reality, it tends to introduce new problems all its own. In particular, this describes the relationship between television and YouTube, two tools of mass culture that are good at hiding their technological parameters.

At the height of the era of television in the 1970s, artists blamed television for its power to turn audiences into consumers. Using video—a technology that today is available to millions of amateurs—to tape their critique, Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman made Television Delivers People. At the early historical juncture of 1973, they criticized, in a humorous way, what pessimists like Neil Postman got worried about in the 1980s. Serra and Schoolman satirized the banality of TV programs by playing elevator music and scrolling critical messages, such as “the product of television is the audience,” across the screen.

With the popularization of the Internet, new problems emerged with regard to the relationship between medium and viewer. The passive television viewer was suddenly turned into an active user with the changes in form, amount, speed, and context of information transmission. This online audience is currently reproducing everything it learned from TV. The paradox: people undermine commercial media within the framework of a corporately owned medium. The participatory paradigm produces new disadvantages, because in order to rise to the permanent call for creativity, people have to exploit their own means and skills. Web 2.0 comes with hours and hours of labor.

Ramsay Stirling, a student from Copenhagen, recognized these new but not so different conditions and updated the Serra-Schoolman critique in his video YouTube delivers YOU. In it he states, “The New new media state is predicated on media subjectification,” and “Soft detournement is considered entertainment,” underscoring how the Internet user is a consumer, a producer, and the product itself all at the same time; inherent in such art is an indicator of the medium’s limits. Going further on the meaning of art since YouTube, Rosemary Heather suggests in her essay “Army of YouTube,” “There is a kind of autonomous intelligence that wants to be organized into a second level of meaning.” Some video artists like Natalie Bookchin have organized YouTube footage in such a way. In her typological work trip(2008), Bookchin took amateur clips recorded from cars and other moving vehicles around the world. These individual street views are orchestrated into an international road movie that comes along without suspense and narrative. In contrast, her multiscreen work Mass Ornament (2009) shows the scary homogeneity of clips of aspiring dancers. YouTube, therefore, becomes a signifier of cultural production, mirroringTV.

quarta-feira, julho 09, 2014

Of mediation and archival (notes)

- undefined roles
- liveness as documentation of the intimate
- globally local
- intimacy and proximity
- collaboration against capitalism (nothing is ownable)
- “to act”, “to act upon oneself”, “to be acted upon”
- integrated mediation
- memory and registration as artifacts
- “electric amplification” of the senses
- branding is an experience
- the body
- expansion and multiplicity
- quantifiable and visible “butterfly effect”

read more here

quarta-feira, julho 02, 2014

MetaAcademy: working the medium and spreading the message

Lisa Parra & Daniel Pinheiro - Meta Academy @ Bates 2013

"Solano’s projects show how for dance the internet can be, instead of isolated bodies on screens, a platform for discovery, exchange and, most surprisingly, “moving” physical experience." 

As we continue live the tension of permanent and persistent digital surveillance, constantly hovering over us, the use of the technoetic-incorporeal entity towards improving collaboration and broadening of the concept of interaction as a mean for extending our mind and bodies is, not only relevant but, one of the vertices of the social pyramid and of great use for inclusion and sustainability.
Again, it's necessary a continuous re-definition of the concepts and adjustments of the practices that are analogical and as such have the need for human power, potential and creativity to feed and nurture them.
The space of the screen can be easily erased, shut down, reseted... but, while we grow more dependent of it, and while we decide to keep it on, the possible outcomes can continue to prove the path for sharing knowledge and bring to light the human capacity to overcome barriers and transform light and electricity into meaningful connections that celebrate our multiplicity.

"Place–making is the confluence of activities, space, and conceptions" (Canter, 1977)
and this:

quinta-feira, maio 08, 2014

untitled text

I always end up here. 
Encompassed by this feeling of smallness, when I face the great will of humans trying to understand their place in this world. The world, the earth, that as it is seen from above makes every problem null, every pain, every sorrow, but does not erase them, nor replaces them with a calm or ease. Instead it replaces the questions, and questions any kind of faith. Fate.
Along the golden carved flowers and angels a constant pain bleeds out of our eyes. We look above and down again and do not perceive the metrics of our existence. We look up at the everyday sacrificed martyrs, we whisper words of tears behind mirrored glasses, we build our strength from weakness and yet we do not allow the weak to be strong. 
We fail again looking at ourselves from the outside.  We try to fail better by trying not to fail again. I do not intend to be the judge of myself but, I will practice that sense of justice as I fail again. 
As I fail to these words. 
As I fail my friends and family. 
As they will fail me as a symbol of their respect and dedication. 
We struggle our way through love and portray it in the most admirable works and actions. 
For there is no greater work than being and building ourselves from loving another.

sábado, maio 03, 2014

short stories on twitter

quarta-feira, abril 30, 2014


: Fear of Disappearing

Permanent Vacation - Cory Arcangel, 2007 (2 computers stuck in an out-of-office email loop)

What we should not expect from Turing-land is art which will be accepted in Duchamp-land. Duchamp-land wants art, not research into new aesthetic possibilities of new media. The convergence will not happen. -- Lev Manovich

Permanent Vacation - Cory Arcangel, 2008 (2 computers stuck in an out-of-office email loop)

Cory Arcangel (today in Serralves, Porto, Portugal) talked about his works or in fact about his current developments. The artist that was called to take part in the "New Perspectives" cycle, taking place at the Contemporary Museum of Serralves in the city of Oporto, decided to talk about his need to explore new forms of expression which lately have been taking the shape of archival and branding in order to "spread them throughout the world".

"When you made net art works, ten years ago, you should really get the attention of people that were not looking for artwork". Cory Arcangel

As the lecture went on and Cory started to wonder inside his own computer (mind) all the body of work started to be part of a stream of consciousness that relates to the "fear of dying", in the sense that as every human being is a day closer to its own ending (even if you are not afraid of flying), a fear that becomes even larger in meaning if you think about the randomness and volatileness of life nowadays. That same sense of being absorbed into the digital void ending up in this kaleidoscopic-pop-ageless-of-non-culture place is transcribed in his work as a form of preservation not only of the digital but of everything that can be preserved and (if possible) shared with the world "in print". That creates the idea of a cloud that is not about going offline but in the place of the online is a direct exchange with material artifacts that are no longer part of a mass culture but instead a world connected because they're exposed to things they care and crave the most.

Maybe the Fear Of Missing Out is being replaced by a need of leaving limited editions to be remembered after.

segunda-feira, abril 28, 2014

Everyone wants to live forever



The company plans to store data from Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, photos, video, location information, and even Google Glass and Fitbit devices. While you are living, you can curate and add to this material; you can also choose privacy settings and determine what information you want stored and made public. then allows you to create a list of people who will be contacted and given access to your account in the case of death, giving your descendants quick and easy access to that Instagram pic of your latte or a detailed history of your Facebook pokes.

Read more:

Missing Links

Today the Web is ubiquitous. A good half of our existence is manifested in data that is hoarded by corporations and divvied up by a few select members of quasi-monopolies. It wasn’t impossible to imagine, even before Edward Snowden’s disclosures, that all possible data has been furtively fed into a sinister machine of political control. But the amenities of the Web are simply too seductive for us to pay this much heed.

By Stefan Heidenreich

sábado, abril 26, 2014


“Some things, once you've loved them, become yours forever.
And if you try to let them go...
They only circle back and return to you.
They become part of who you are or they destroy you“ A.G.

Be careful, you are not in wonderland
I've heard the strange madness long growing in your soul
but you're fortunate in your ignorance
in your isolation
you who have suffered
find where love hides
give, share, lose
lest we die, unbloomed.

quinta-feira, abril 24, 2014

Of coffeehouses and airports

People that look to invisible imagined horizons.
People that talk motionless words.
Return to innocence.
Songs that cover the icy and glassy silence.
Individuals that share their immense solitude.
Waiting for the next step outside.
The real world on the sidewalk.
The world unveiled underneath the clouds.
Electri-city is the entire world.
Digital omnipresence.
Dim lights.
Read, talk, breath, 
Dream, pause, rest.
Deeply submerged and tied to the original seaplants.
Nothing is easy.
Nothing will ever be easy again.
Shattered glass.
Shattered humanity reflected on the mirror.
Unsolved lives that are life itself.
Slow motion jitterbug. 
We don't know how to dance.
Old white hats, blinded sights, unteethed mouths
Hipster chains, gelly lenses, smiled pretensions.
Traveller you bare the world and are doomed
To see humanity entirely. Whole. 

sábado, abril 19, 2014

Esthétique du Mal (VII)


How red the rose that is the soldier's wound,
The wounds of many soldiers, the wounds of all
The soldiers that have fallen, red in blood,
The soldier of time grown deathless in great size.

A mountain in which no ease is ever found,
Unless indifference to deeper death
Is ease, stands in the dark, a shadow's hill,
And there the soldier of time has deathless rest.

Concentric circles of shadows, motionless
Of their own part, yet moving on the wind,
Form mystical convolutions in the sleep
Of time's red soldier deathless on his bed.

The shadows of his fellows ring him round
In the high night, the summer breathes for them
Its fragrance, a heavy somnolence, and for him,
For the soldier of time, it breathes a summer sleep,

In which his wound is good because life was.
No part of him was ever part of death.
A woman smoothes her forehead with her hand
And the soldier of time lies calm beneath that stroke.


(Wallace Stevens, 1944)

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]
To view the complete poem, click here

quinta-feira, abril 17, 2014

only lovers left alive

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

terça-feira, abril 15, 2014


... Those windows, opening towards the same sky.
Windows that enclose personal stories
Of an universe of people gathered
In the same and common thought.
The sky is only one. The same sky above us,
Protecting us,
That sky where ideas float,
Where Man, once thought of becoming a bird,
Where the power of wings, comes
From the will and desire of connecting the world,
Sharing, where he also becomes one,
Like a mirror reflecting an ideal humanity, always
But always,
The same.

sexta-feira, março 28, 2014

Herman Hesse // Steps

As every blossom fades
and all youth sinks into old age,
so every life’s design, each flower of wisdom,
attains its prime and cannot last forever.
The heart must submit itself courageously
to life’s call without a hint of grief,
A magic dwells in each beginning,
protecting us, telling us how to live.

High purposed we shall traverse realm on realm,
cleaving to none as to a home,
the world of spirit wishes not to fetter us
but raise us higher, step by step.
Scarce in some safe accustomed sphere of life
have we establish a house, then we grow lax;
only he who is ready to journey forth
can throw old habits off.

Maybe death’s hour too will send us out new-born
towards undreamed-lands,
maybe life’s call to us will never find an end
Courage my heart, take leave and fare thee well.

Steps - Herman Hesse

quarta-feira, março 12, 2014

the 'Ruined Paradise' of Leo Herrera | Statement #gayhistory


>>>The 2014 Black Party film trailer A Ruined Paradise was created using documentary footage of Indian funeral rites and the Holi Festival of Colors. There are no gyrating male torsos or sex scenes; the only nudity is the preparation of the body of a man who died while meditating. These disturbing and powerful clips were purposefully left raw and unadorned, meant to invoke a mood to the event without the clichés of a circuit party promo. There have been questions and concerns about what they have to do with The Black Party and whether this is cultural appropriation. In order to comprehend what death, religion and subversive images have to do with The Black Party one must understand the event’s roots and its context in Gay history. The Black Party is the oldest event of its kind, it survived the AIDS epidemic, outliving most of its original attendees and has thrived through three decades of economic and political changes in Manhattan. Before AIDS had a name, it was christened, “Saint’s Disease” after the gay nightclub The Saint, the first home of The Black Party. The first Black Party poster, shot by Robert Mapplethorpe, featured a man in devil horns. Decades later, the snake from the Garden of Eden would be shown inside a man’s ass. Dark images of religion and sex, as well as mutilation, political unrest and medical nightmares have been part of the Black Party since its inception and have functioned as a reflection of the times. This film is part of that visual tradition, and its intention was not cultural appropriation but metaphor. The Ruined Paradise is not India. It is Roseland. It is Manhattan. Manhattan, our Ganges River, sacred, polluted, steeped in constant loss and change. For thirty five years, it has been the home of this tribal gathering. For twenty-four years only the palatial Roseland had the resources to host this event. As Roseland shuts down this year, it will close a chapter in the history of Black Party and the city itself, making the themes of death and resurrection more pertinent than ever. As Gay men, we have been denied a culture of our own for a very long time. Our community has been comprised of members with religions and cultures which did not accept us. We have historically depended on using the reflection of other cultures to tell our own stories. What does it mean, with our new visibility and political power, that we now have the luxury of a heated debate about cultural appropriation? Who in the Gay community has the right to reference other cultures in the context of a gay dance event? This film was meant to raise these questions and judging by community reaction, it has. Whether one agrees on how this film presented the themes of loss and celebration is a personal opinion, but what is undeniable is that as we face a fundamental change in the way we celebrate this event, these themes require a deep reflection. ” –
Leo Herrera, March 2014

segunda-feira, março 10, 2014

the so called digital art is everything...

The effort begins by acknowledging that digital culture cannot simply be a label for culture made on a computer – everything is made on a computer – and that digital isn’t a medium. It is not video, or audio, or words that could have existed on videotape or in a book; and it isn’t a distribution channel such as YouTube or Tumblr. Digital is data-led and algorithmic (with potential for every output to be unique). Digital is generative (it builds upon itself and draws on its own process to create new expressions). Digital is contextual (leading, for example, to theatre that builds around you, in a timely and relevant way). And digital is collaborative (using the volume of the world to curate or create together).

Read everything

sábado, fevereiro 22, 2014

The Great Beauty

Finisce sempre così. Con la morte. Prima, però, c'è stata la vita, nascosta sotto il bla bla bla bla bla. È tutto sedimentato sotto il chiacchiericcio e il rumore. Il silenzio e il sentimento. L'emozione e la paura. Gli sparuti incostanti sprazzi di bellezza. E poi lo squallore disgraziato e l'uomo miserabile. Tutto sepolto dalla coperta dell'imbarazzo dello stare al mondo. Bla. Bla. Bla. Bla. Altrove, c'è l'altrove. Io non mi occupo dell'altrove. Dunque, che questo romanzo abbia inizio. In fondo, è solo un trucco. Sì, è solo un trucco. (Jep Gambardella) in "The Great Beauty"

quarta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2014


A lot of people think that the lives they lead are the truth. They think that what they believe is the truth. They think that what they see is the truth. Well, I'm your boy Willis Earl Beal and I don't believe that. Listen, you may never know the machinations of the show. The ride might stop and you might drop or die upside down. Baby, don't worry whether you finish. For all hearts will surely diminish. And the truth will soon be coming through. Just wait and see, it's gonna be empty. Everything you do, the truth is coming through. Now, righteous indignation and blind dedication. Everybody got a cause, everybody separated but there are no separate spaces. Morality and virtue could easily hurt you. So, don't pick a side just ride the tide there are no lies when you realize that the truth will soon be coming through. One more time baby. I said, the truth will soon be coming through. I got one more verse for ya'. Identify yourselves by stating your names. Validate you independence by being pawns in the game. After scraping to the top nothing to do but drop then start over again. I said the truth be coming through. Just wait and see, it's gonna be empty, everything you do, the truth is coming through.

terça-feira, fevereiro 11, 2014

remembering Nancy Holt

Boomerang (1974)

As Holt begins to talk her words are fed back to her through the earphones she wears. Because the apparatus is attached to a recording instrument, there is a slight delay (of less than a second) between her actual locution and the audio-feedback to which she is forced to listen. For the ten minutes of the tape, Holt describes her situation. She speaks of the way the feedback interferes with her normal thought process and of the confusion caused by the lack of synchronism between her speech and what she hears of it. "Sometimes," she says, "I find I can't quite say a word because I hear a first part come back and I forget the second part, or my head is stimulated in a new direction by the first half of the word."
As we hear Holt speak and listen to that delayed voice echoing in her ears, we are witness to an extraordinary image of distraction. Because the audio delay keeps hypostatizing her words, she has great difficulty coinciding with herself as a subject.
It is a situation, she says, that "puts a distance between the words and their apprehension-their comprehension," a situation that is "like a mirror-reflection ... so that I am surrounded by me and my mind surrounds me ... there is no escape."
The prison Holt both describes and enacts, from which there is no escape, could be called the prison of a collapsed present, that is, a present time which is completely severed from a sense of its own past. We get some feeling for what it is like to be stuck in that present when Holt at one point says, "I'm throwing things out in the world and they are boomeranging back ... boomeranging ... eranginging ... anginging." Through that distracted reverberation of a single word-and even word-fragment-there forms an image of what it is like to be totally cut-off from history, even, in this case, the immediate history of the sentence one has just spoken. Another word for that history from which Holt feels herself to be disconnected is 'text'.
- (p.53) Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism by ROSALIND KRAUSS

Marisal Olson - In response to Boomerang (Richard Serra with Nancy Holt) - 2009

domingo, fevereiro 09, 2014

before youtube and "semiotics of the kitchen"

Untethered: The Birth of Video

Semiotics of the Kitchen | Martha Rosler | 1975, 6:09 min, b&w, sound

...In this alphabet of kitchen implements, states Rosler, "when the woman speaks, she names her own oppression.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 07, 2014

digital bodies: where to?!

“It is in thought that a movement, with both its qualitative and quantitative aspects, with its fluidity and extension in space and time, becomes a dance”
Report on Stamatia Portanova's book Moving Without a Body, recently published in MIT Press “Technologies of Lived Abstraction” series. 

At the heart of her inquiry is the notion of the abstract: “A way to distinguish the concrete experiences of the physical body from the abstract reality of mental experiences, without erasing their important relation”. All too often, the abstract carries a negative charge of theft or a reduction of experience; Portanova’s gamble is that abstraction can be a generative event, the creation of data flows that “can be used to activate further physical or mental, technical or creative processes”.

Moving Without a Body is an important and original perspective on dancing with digital technologies, and in thinking the potential of the relational ecologies of the digital.

by Alanna Thain for Digitcult

Note to self: Between the lived and the exuded the body remains in a place where its humanity is questioned and it thrives towards an existence that is beyond the perception of the sensorial...

domingo, fevereiro 02, 2014

digital witness

People now look upon scenes never before within their range, they see politics as practiced, sports as played, drama as enacted, news as it happens, history as it is made” (Dunlap 1947:8)
- as quoted in Liveness - Live Performance in a Mediatized Culture (2nd edition) by Philip Auslander
Following Orwin E. Dunlap’s early thoughts on television and considering that, what at the time were the medium’s main properties – immediacy and intimacy –; a bridge is established to this new era of connectedness where things are perceived even more within the range of people’s accessibility.
As I watch between yesterday and today livestreams of ongoing theater shows and today's Forced Entertainment's performance #12AMLIVE

I get back at writing this post that follows some thoughts already meant to be written a few days ago; concerning the theme of livestreaming and the way I feel it's a subject of importance not only for the way we live but the way we are used to perceive things. 

Going back to Auslander's book:

In an essay 1937, Alfred N. Goldsmith, an industrial engineer, compares television, film, and human vision in these terms:´
As far as ocular vision is concerned, a real event can be seen only at the instance of occurrence ... Accordingly all the historical past is lost so far as the direct vision by human beings is concerned. The motion picture suffers from no such limitation ... the motion picture may be at any time and shown at any later time ... Television with direct pick-up of an actual event is as dependent on its time of occurrence as is the eye. (Goldsmith 1937:55)
... Television rapidly became a medium for the motion picture, a medium of the camera (Bretz 1953:3) and not, as it was first envisioned, a reproduction of the live performance or home theater.  We can start drawing interesting conclusions if we start to change the word television and place the word internet. Although the internet was not envisioned to provide the spectator with live image it (also) rapidly became a very popular and well received possibility. The user has often chosen quantity versus quality and so the Big Screen rapidly went directly to the computer screen as soon as it the bandwidth allowed it... and then quality started to be a demand. 

Our direct vision and perception of things are constantly changing and adapting and the possibility of watching things at the moment that they're happening (Anywhere, Anyplace) allied to the discontinuity (Sontag 1966:29) of the cinematic storytelling asks for the redefinition of what is being livestreamed. 

To rethink the broadcasting techniques means at many levels redefining the concepts of cinema, theater, television or even performance. The immediacy of a live performance is what makes people leave their comfort zone and dislocate physically to a room where the event is taking place. The experience of experiencing something live is not the same of the one watching it through a mediation channel, nor it's the same object we're seeing anymore. 
The livestream must be thought in terms to trigger a different kind of experience.
The live event must also be thought to those watching it in a mediatized format.
The broadcast must be thought as a part of the whole experience.
The camera no longer replaces the eyes on location, if in that case it serves only one requirement of the medium.
This medium must not try to replace or replicate the one it's capturing... or at least not only. 

Otherwise we're just this:


HER name is Samantha. Actually a name picked up randomly out of a list of names that the OS, presented in this near-future, LA based, romantic comedy, picks to name herself. 
A system developed to grow from experiences and to go way beyond the combined characteristics of its programmers.

In 1988 Jessica Rabbit, the character from the movie 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit', answers:

I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.

In Spike Jonze's movie 'HER', Samantha asks herself:

Are these feelings real,(...) or is it just programming?

Although the director says the movie is not about technology, but very much about intimacy it is (almost) impossible to imagine a near future without having the two together. 
The movie stands out for having not only a wonderful screenplay but for the way it's edited and presented to us. A relation between a voice and a fantastic - almost unrecognizable - Theodore, played by Joaquin Pheonix.

segunda-feira, janeiro 27, 2014


Action of artistic telepresence will be held between three centers of Arts and New Technologies: Medialab-Prado (Madrid), Arteleku (Donostia) and Matrabal (Montreal), that will result in a collective and teleshared work between the artists located in the centers and will allow the interaction of the audience.
It is a multidisciplinary work, developed in the context of an interactive installation, that proposes a telematic trip through cyberspace, with sensored and robotic elements, and the creation of visuals, sounds, music and performance.

For more information on this project and the overall concept and working guidelines go to:

sábado, janeiro 25, 2014

thoughts on a performance that involved a #drone

The Living Drones

Joshua Rutter performs on an empty space in a duel between man and a machine triggered by man (I and II). In this seemingly harmless duet both objects relate to one another in the same space and time, how does one survives the other?
The answer remains, in all its layers and meanings, unclear…

The intrinsically connected presence of failure and randomness connected with man powered machines, [here] established the condition of human movement and action, making the set-up work as a place of a battle, which can be directly connected to the art making process and that in this man-powered-solo empowered the object with blood on his veins and impossible to switch off by a slight touch on a screen.

Whilst repeatedly trying to negotiate humanity with technological devices both transform into one, balancing the space between them on a ‘keep the distance’ basis and, by defining that as a conversational mode, the implicit relative position is one that raises awareness for an unclear or undefined political statement – said by the author himself – that, in fact, can be also further brought into a more deep discussion of where do we place ourselves in this era of multiplied surveillance where, silently, machines are programmed to access and monitor also ‘non-connected’ computers (NSA)...

Either it is by triggering a semi-self-controlled device or setting-off an indestructible electronic alarm Joshua Rutter frames this performance in a non-technological/political issue but rather on a human integrity duality where the curiosity and individuality remain in a tense correlation that spreads and multiplies through embodied connectedness: man-machine-man; think of it as a triangle.

The answer might not be answered by giving clear political statements, but the questions arise when facing this intersection between playgrounds, battle of field and art creation itself. By defining a point as a result of this intersection the possibilities of analyzing relative positions of the body towards, both ‘manned’ and ‘unmanned’, moving objects could make the project take-off on investigating further the already present tension. A tension that instead of asking about survival asks more about position, whether it is physical, social and/or political.


terça-feira, janeiro 14, 2014

On the systemic change of cultural memory and digital art conservation

The digital revolution has called into question the very preservation and survival of cultural memory. However, until now there has been almost no reflection on the far-reaching consequences of this systemic change on cultural memory. But we may ask: what fundamental underlying values can a society have which merely disposes of an event-oriented short-term memory? For digital media art this means that the faster technology develops, the shorter the half-life of the artwork becomes. In dealing with digital artworks today, we have to expect major preservation threats to set in already within ten years of their creation. One approach to this problem of digital preservation is to investigate the relation of the material to the conceptual substance of the work. Here it seems that the desperate pragmatism of repairing and stockpiling of obsolete technologies will quickly run dry. A second approach accepts the transience of the artwork as irrevocable, taking for granted the work's short-term nature as linked to a performative practice understood to be inherent to the time-based arts.

Bernhard Serexhe

domingo, janeiro 05, 2014

pictorial blindness

Mr. Neville: ...the sound of you was in the drawing, you were playing the spinet;
Mrs. Talmann: I thought, Mr. Neville that we had discussed the pictorial equivalence of noise without conclusion...

For Barthes, the screen becomes the all-encompassing concept which covers the functioning of even non-visual representation (literature), although he does make an appeal to a particular visual model of linear perspective. At any rate, his concept encompasses all types of representational apparatuses I have discussed: painting, film, television, radar and computer display. In each of these, reality is cut by the rectangle of a screen: "a pure cut-out segment with clearly defined
edges, irreversible and incorruptible; everything that surrounds it is banished into nothingness, remains unnamed, while everything that it admits within its field is promoted into essence, into light, into view." This act of cutting reality into a sign and nothingness simultaneously doubles the viewing subject who now exists in two spaces: the familiar physical space of his/her real body and the virtual space of an image within the screen. This split comes to the surface with VR, but it already exists with painting and other dioptric arts.
What is the price the subject pays for the mastery of the world, focused and unified by the screen?
The Draughtsman's Contrast, a 1981 film by Peter Greenway, concerns an architectural draftsman hired to produce a set of drawings of a country house. The draughtsman employs a simple drawing tool consisting of a square grid. Throughout the film, we repeatedly see the draughtsman's face through the grid which looks like the prison bars. It is as if the subject who attempts to catch the world, to immobilize it, to fix it within the representational apparatus (here, perspectival drawing), is trapped by this apparatus himself. The subject is imprisoned.
I take this image as a metaphor for what appears to be a general tendency of the Western screen-based representational apparatus. In this tradition, the body must be fixed in space if the viewer is to see the image at all.

in Lev Manovich - The Language of New Media (The Screen and The Body)

Mrs. Talmann: Mr Neville I have grown to believe that a really intelligent man makes an indifferent painter. For painting requires a certain blindness, a partial refusal to be aware of all the options. An intelligent man will know more about what he's drawing than he will see... And in the space between knowing and seeing he will become constrained, unable to pursue an idea strongly...

Visiting (the memory of) Jan Fabre

Curated by Germano Celant

Per-for-mance means a person
who per-for-ates himself and his environment
- New York, 20 February 1982

As we enter the Gallery #4 at the MAXXI Museum in Rome we enter an open space full of tables that are the main exhibition support for the retrospective of Jan Fabre's work within the span of 37 years.
37 years of materials, video, drawings, paintings, recordings, statements, actions performed or just drafted as ideas of what to be performed. There's a sense of cleanliness in the set-up of a work that is many times taken to the limits, exploring physicality, raw materials, body fluids... everything but clean.
As we walk through the gallery we don't have the sense of the duration of his works, we do get the feeling of a constant urgency on finding answers for the state of art, its relation with the body and consequently the direct impact of and on economy; or at least the way this Flemish artist feels about it. Art is in between a the ritualistic act of sacrifice and the result of a contradictory self-indulged inertia that triggers an action.
The self-reflection on his work is present throughout the whole exhibition as a written voice that hangs printed up in the large and tall white walls of the Gallery... these notes work as a mirror of all the objects that are evenly distributed along the tables and on the walls at eye level.

I like performing actions privately in front of the camera.
I get enjoyment and pleasure from doing the most extreme and idiotic things with my body. (am I a voyeur of myself?)

-Antwerp, 8 November 1979

I think it's night
I'm losing the awareness of time.
and can't sleep,
but there's nothing wrong.
I'm starting to draw more and more out of boredom.
I've even drawn on a rug on the floor next to my bed.
I think it's early morning.
The notion of art as cultivated boredom is starting to take hold.
My concentration is enhanced.
I'm covering my clothes with drawings, a mixture of war camouflage and chameleon motifs.
I'm covering my body with drawings of nonexistent organs.
I look like a Flemish aboriginal.

- Leiden, 21 January 1981 (Noted down in the Bic Art Room, copied afterwards)

Performance art has a high economic value (priceless) but no economic power at all.
It stands apart from all the rules of the art market.
No gallery-owner and/or collector can buy or sell it.
Is there anything finer than to know that no one can own you?
Which is why performance art is a important medium.
It questions the essence of art.
And confronts the artist with his own physical and mental limits.
So that he rises the most essential questions about himself and his activities.

- New York, 4 February 1982

The performance;
Should be a noble sacrifice.
(Cut me open and give away my innards.)

- Antwerp, 5 April 1983

I have tried to put myself in the place
Of the artist-visionary
Antonin Artaud
To postpone the judgment of god.
I was too nervous, but believed that
all beauty is clumsy
And religious.

- Rome, 2009

quinta-feira, janeiro 02, 2014

Where the Internet goes...

But while the Internet's global capability to connect anyone with anything has affected every nook and cranny of modern life - with politics, education, espionage, war, civil liberties, entertainment, sex, science, finance and manufacturing all transformed - it's growth increasingly presents paradoxes.