Wednesday, December 19, 2012
"Does the interiorization of media alter the ratio among our senses and change mental processes?", a question posed and subsequently explored in Marshall McLuhan's "The Gutenberg Galaxy" (1962), one of the concepts central to McLuhan's body of work to which this project is a reaction and response.
McLuhan suggests that "when technology extends one of our senses, a new translation of culture occurs as swiftly as the new technology is interiorized." From the perspective, or lack thereof, experienced by people living in the present Age of Information, the implications of the interiorization of mass digital communication technology like the Internet seem to surpass anything conjectured during McLuhan's time, yet simultaneously confirm all his expectations. Writing in the 1950s and 60s, the technology he fully analysed was that of the printed alphabetical text, facilitated by the invention of the printing press, and the cultural and social transformations accompanying the transition from the oral tradition of manuscript-based media to the rational, codified and fragmented society with the book and the textual library of knowledge at its core.
Few individuals appear to have anticipated the Internet as fully (and as critically) as McLuhan, and very few still seem to be on the edge of grasping the interiorization and integration of these technologies as not just culturally significant but biological events; as paradigmatic shifts that radically affect humans at the level of our cognitive operational models. I am still fully shocked that in the near wake of the Sputnik launch, the earliest days of satellite transmission and television, someone was accurately anticipating that electric media meant the extension of the human nervous system into an "all-at-once" field of information, dissolving boundaries and uniting the globe, and the human family, on one stage; a pure prophecy encompassing Debord's spectacle, Baudrillard's simulacra/simulation, Virilio's dromosphere and Gibson's cyberspace.
I feel this idea of simultaneous and total involvement in each other – systems of exchange of information which facilitate a stage-like experience or virtual "presence" between people, however mundane – is perfectly exemplified by YouTube, a service most people in Western society are now at least familiar with. Through this project, I intended to capture something of the perspective I found myself in, watching recordings of Marshall McLuhan on a computer, through the Internet, in the YouTube window, describing phenomena which were, in fact, the exact things mediating the experience itself.
Through the combined use of print-based technology and modern, digital techniques, I produced a series of work that collides and superimposes models of media – appropriating a printed text which in turn is an appropriation of Greek history which once belonged to the hand-made manuscript and audile tactile tradition, and corrupting it and obviating it with the printed YouTube frame and temporality disrupting "pause" and "play" symbols, which are universal in our modern experience of media, a circumvention of time. The work is confusing and disjointed like the ever-accelerating and self-negating cultural media milieu in which we find ourselves; simultaneously a frozen video frame belonging to a dynamic visual system, a printed record of ancient history and a unique handmade manuscript, contexts and paradigms which make the past model obsolete and outmoded as we move forward without understanding the consequences of further and further extension of the human animal into a form of pure information. Images of a face, an eye staring into a grid of the electronic network, a communications satellite stamped in printed ink haunt the torn pages like the spectre of outmoded media and outmoded human perception haunting history, like McLuhan's cybernetic phantasm haunting cyberspace from the past, present and future simultaneously.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Ryoji Ikeda's massive installations spanning the two DHC ART sites are an opus on the analysis, representation and interpretation of data. The primary medium used by Ikeda in this series is light; one part video projection and one part illumination of plastic and filmstrip transparency. Several of the datasets represented consist of cosmic maps and information relating to the sequence of DNA, I did not recognise the majority though; their contents are not made explicit and so the data exists without context, as an abstraction removed from the phenomena which it was created to describe. Ikeda is also a composer of music, a clicking, pulsing electronic score accompanies the video projection of the data, which runs about 8 minutes. Through the context of the gallery and the "curation" of the data and re-presentation as a film clip, Ikeda disembodies the raw data and projects it into the realm of aesthetics, where it becomes form and experience, information itself interpreted as art.
DHC/ART: Ryoji Ikeda (English) from DHC/ART on Vimeo.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Spent way more time on this project that I anticipated, mostly due to computer issues which reminded me why I hate working on a computer, waking up at 3 and 4am to check whether or not a 90+ minute render has failed. I couldn't even render the full 9x12 image I had planned due to the 300dpi requirement necessary for printing, I changed my plans entirely at the last minute and created a layout of several smaller images.
A schematic montage of a post-urban virtual space, digitally created and accessible as 3D geometry, printed anachronistically. Concrete jungle gives way to tropical cyberspace, ageographical networks driven by efficiency of connectivity, proximity to novelty, the appeal of the city extrapolated into the appeal of the "social network", the malleable, user-oriented virtual interactive environment.
|Plate 1: Ambient Occlusion pass - an approximation of light radiating off non-reflective surfaces, self-occlusion and occlusion of and by surrounding objects|
|Plate 2: Reflections pass - surfaces set to 100% reflectivity, simulated generation of photon radiance emitted from 100% white surface "lights"|
|Designs for both plates printed on film with Xante digital printer which adds halftone dots|
|Copper plates coated with adhesive photosensitive film, allowed to dry then exposed with UV point light in vacuum table, developed like a photo in darkroom|
|Plates going in the acid bath, ferric chloride acts as an etchant on exposed copper|
|Closeup of etched copper plate magnified with jeweler's loupe, areas of photosensitive film that received the most exposure remain on the plate while areas that were occluded by the image remain as exposed copper that can be etched with acid|
|Finally, pulling prints from inked plates|
|"Consistent" edition of 7 prints on Yuki Gampi paper, 16x12|
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
I'm still trying to figure out how to convey the idea of a users engaging in the process of creating the new "urban" or post-urban space, though I think the digital environment on its own is interesting enough to satisfy the requirements of the project.
"The history of city growth is, in essence, man's eager search for ease of human interaction. Our large modern urban nodes are, in their very nature, massive communications systems."
-Webber, M. 1964. Urban Place and the Non-Place Urban Realm.
"Invisible spaces now dominate, as the city of the modernist era is replaced by the non-place urban realm and outer space is superseded by cyberspace." - Bukatman, S. 1993. Terminal Identity: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction.