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.