Posts Tagged ‘inanimate’
Posting this amazing glimpse into iMappening 2014, the Media Arts and Practice PhD program’s annual show, at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Polyangylene and Book of Luna (with Clea T. Waite) make a colorful appearance!
Book of Luna…
The iMappenning catalog…
Here are shots of the objects I have been gathering and painting white for the Polyangylene sculpture. Polyangylene, my dissertation project, is an interactive installation that consists of a sculpture of found objects onto which I project animations that transform these objects into colorful kinetic stages/props for mini-narratives that are also projected, as text, onto the sculpture. If you are interested in hearing more about Polyangylene, please explore the “bio+” section of the blog!
The origin of these objects is varied: found on the street, in my apartment, at swapmeets, dollar stores…
For some reason, I ended picking up a lot of old toys. Perhaps because toys connote triviality, ubiquity and ordinariness (key qualities in the objects I was looking for) while escaping the type of fixed meaning that functional objects tend to be pigeonholed with. Toys also tend to have pretty weird and interesting shapes. Phones, laptops, printers and monitors also found their way in because they have become, as much as cleaning brushes and cheap ornaments, the material backdrops of our lives. They also have screens – useful for creating this effect of a projection within a projection or story within story that I want to explore in the piece.
Working on the design for my next excursion into sound art and physical computing…
Conceptual Sketch(cast, shot list, reference tables using Prezi )
screen test for my upcoming installation project “Almost Everything Can and Shall Be Cut” featuring one of its stars: jello in all its wiggly, jellyfishy glory. Other materials will include foam core, computer circuitry, ice cubes, wigs, balloon animals, steak, and furry pillows.
This two-channel installation piece examines the friction between texture and violence to bring us closer to the felt idea of flesh. The piece intends to question the relationship between affect and materiality, as well as the psychological economy of desire, destruction, and consumption by simultaneously making the viewer feel uncomfortable and viscerally involved.
A TV monitor presents us with a video of a hand performing different types of incisions using sharp and blunt metal instruments into a large array of materials. The monitor is covered with a loose “tent” of plastic sheeting, allowing the visitor a mysterious view of the video content through the blurring, glowing screen of the semi-transparent material. To get a closer look, the viewer has to unzip the tent’s opening and insert her head into an intimate space shared by the monitor.
The video is a loop of shot after shot of various texturally ambiguous materials or objects being clinically laid out on a chrome table while a hand, alternately gloved in vinyl or rubber gloves discovers the many methods by which each material can be cut up, destroyed, and divided and the specific instruments that do the job in the most satisfying or interesting way.
INCISION is preceded by a tactile prodding of the object followed by the MORCELLATION, FRAGMENTATION OF THE MATERIAL INTO ITS CONSTITUENT FORMS (filaments, bits, crumbs, slivers).The act of cutting can be smooth, swift : sensation of liberation, closure mixed with disquiet of violent end. The act of cutting can be difficult, messy, awkward: sensation of squeamish frustration. The viewer witnesses a Progression in the act of cutting: colorful liquid starts to OOZE out of the harmed materials (recalling old blood or water, displaying a viscous quality)
The second channel of the installation is rear projected onto a sheet of the same semi-transparent plastic wrapping that covered the monitor. The projection is a looping video of luridly colored organic textures (e.g. close-up of a beating heart, a time-lapse of growing mold). The video is processed into anaglyphic images to produce a stereoscopic effect, visible to the visitor with 3D glasses.
breaking down the ontological divide between the virtual and the material…another piece of interactive architexture to consider as flora and fauna for the electronic ecology of the future city.
Responsive Architecture: in Dune, the space (a subway tunnel) is reconfigured as as an electronic interactive ecosystem, while Hyposurface emphasizes the tactile by creating liquid skin for façades much like the Vigo effect in Ghostbusters (when a depicted character looms out its painting). Call it ambient interactivity – there is a debate about whether an intelligent agent must be making decisions in order to qualify a system as interactive. But picking up on the presence, mood and sociality patterns of a crowd can offer a powerful aesthetic and relational experience. The wish fulfillment involved in the ability of objects, surfaces, and structure – the inanimate skeleton of urban life – to react and speak back to you in GESTURAL, non-verbal fashion is a ancient conceit. When inanimate objects respond, their human co-inhabitants start to experiment with different ways of relating to each other.
note to self: when thinking about video art and projection techniques, think SMALL
using techniques pioneered by the imagineers for their Haunted Mansion ride? a real breakdown of the virtual/material barrier, we enter a liminal zone where the virtual animates objects, ensouling them…
Oursler began working with small LCD video projectors in 1991 in his installation “The Watching” presented at Documenta 9, featuring his first video doll and dummy. This work utilizes handmade soft cloth figures combined with expressive faces animated by video projection. Oursler then produced a series of installations that combined found objects and video projections. “Judy”, 1993, explored the relationship between multiple personality disorder and mass media. “Get Away II” features a passive/aggressive projected figure wedged under a mattress that confronts the viewer with blunt direct address. Oursler’s works seem like animate effigies in their own psychological space, often appearing to interact directly with the viewer’s sense of empathy. These installations are consistently disturbing and fascinating and lead to great popular and critical acclaim.
Signature works have been his talking lights, such as Streetlight (1997), his series of video sculptures of eyes with television screens reflected in the pupils, and ominous talking heads such as Composite Still Life (1999). An installation called Optics (1999) examines the polarity between dark and light in the history of the camera obscura. In his text “Time Stream”, Oursler proposed that architecture and moving image installation have been forever linked by the camera obscura noting that cave dwellers observed the world as projections via peep holes. Oursler’s interest in the ephemeral history of the virtual image lead to large scale public projects and permanent installations by 2000.
The Public Art Fund and Art Angel commissioned the “Influence Machine” in 2000. This installation marks the artist’s first major outdoor project and thematically traced the development of successive communication devices from the telegraph to the personal computer as a means of speaking with the dead. Oursler used smoke, trees and buildings as projection screens in Madison Park NYC and Soho Square London. He then completed a number of permanent public projects in Barcelona, New Zealand, Arizona including “Braincast” at the Seattle Public Library. He is scheduled to complete a commission at the Frank Sinatra High School in Astoria New York.
Fowler Museum presents ‘Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth,’ Jan 10–May 30, 2010
Exhibition features 35 of artist’s ‘Soundsuits,’ wearable mixed-media sculptures
By Stacey Ravel Abarbanel October 23, 2009
“Whether Nick Cave’s efforts qualify as fashion, body art or sculpture … they fall squarely under the heading of Must Be Seen to Be Believed.” —Roberta Smith, New York Times
“Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth,” on display at the Fowler Museum at UCLA from Jan. 10 through May 30, 2010, is the largest presentation of work by the Chicago-based artist, featuring 35 of his “Soundsuits” — multilayered, mixed-media sculptures named for the sounds made when the “suits” are performed.
Evocative of African, Caribbean and other ceremonial ensembles, as well as haute couture, Cave’s work explores issues of transformation, ritual, myth and identity through a layering of references and virtuosic construction, using materials as varied as yarn, beads, sequins, bottle caps, vintage toys, rusted iron sticks, twigs, leaves and hair.
Mad, humorous, visionary, glamorous and unexpected, the Soundsuits are created from scavenged, ordinary materials and objects from both nature and culture, which Cave recontextualizes into extraordinary works of art. The Fowler is the first Los Angeles–area museum to feature Cave’s work and the only Southern California venue for this traveling exhibition.
The Fowler presentation of this exhibition holds particular meaning for the artist and for Los Angeles because Cave’s first Soundsuit was sparked by the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 following the acquittal of the police officers involved in the Rodney King beating.
The Soundsuits almost always cover the whole body, erasing the identity of the wearer. Thus, the Soundsuits can be understood as coats of armor, shielding Cave from the day-to-day prejudice he encounters as an African American man and facilitating a transformation into an invented realm of vibrant associations and meanings.
For this exhibition, Cave also employs animal imagery in ways as complex and multilayered as the human-based suits. While conjuring the spiritual strength and power of animal totems used in ancient rituals from around the world, Cave’s Soundsuits also become vessels of transformation and seek to connect us to the Earth and the animals around us. Using wit, humor and a fanciful sensibility, Cave’s Soundsuits beg us to pay attention and to dream of a different future.
Nick Cave received his B.F.A. from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1982 and his M.F.A. from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989. He studied fiber art but is committed to a broad spectrum of interests and disciplines. Cave is an associate professor and chairman of the fashion department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he teaches in the fiber arts program. He has led such workshops as “Extending the Body: Experiments in Clothing” and has designed, manufactured and marketed his own line of men’s and women’s clothing. He has received numerous awards, including a United States Artists Fellowship (2006) and a Joyce Award (2006), and his work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. and Europe.
Matthew Barney, Cremaster I
text: Margaret Morse, Video installation Art: The Body, the Image, and the Space-in-Between
Morse evokes a piece by Muntadas called haute CULTURE Part I, in which two monitors are placed on each end of a seesaw, thereby making an elegant point, couched in physical terms (physical even as in “physics”, since gravity is employed as an artistic device) about the act of comparing both sets of images. This piece offers an example of what Morse calls “kinesthetic” learning, or the kind of information processing and intuition specific to our perception of the organization of objects in space. Kinesthetic perception is synesthetic and active – it involves visuality, sound, and the haptic in a way that allows each sensorial input to complement, suffuse and correspond to another, and using the entire body, including its own position in space relative to other objects, as a sensory organ. The kinesthetic subject is always hyper-aware of her body/herself as key element in the epistemological puzzle posed by the installation piece: all the meaning that can be gleaned from a space must bounce off of her, her critical interpretation changes and accrues only according to her own changing orientation in space. This unfolding signification is also temporally grounded – in fact kinesthetic appreciation can be defined as a temporalized experience of space, a strange, subliminal experience in which we both critically stand outside ourselves to consider ourselves-within-the-world and have an acute consciousness of inhabiting our bodies, of being materially and psychically connected to the outside world. Morse’s term of “body ego” encapsulates this awareness of oneself as an entity, something that participates in both the object and the subject.
Going back to Muntadas’ seesaw, we can see how the artist’s physical demonstration of a conceptual relationship between the two objects/monitors offers us a uniquely visceral insight into an a priori realm of abstract and critical thought. The kinesthetic argument being made is playful – an analogy more than a declaration. Using the evocative power of objects and their wealth of cultural denotations, an artist can articulate kinesthetic phrases, in which different objects constitute a semantic content and their relative positions (taking into account the multiple trajectories of the visitor) operate as syntax. Objects are further mis-en-abime within the virtual windows of screens and video channels – kinesthetic art erases to a certain degree the ontological difference between what is represented (screen-based) and what is presented (anchored in physical space). The resulting aesthetic and epistemological experience is intuitive and multidimensional, blurring the boundaries between thinking and feeling.
the commentary is priceless…
on the playful properties of fluorescent materials: thinking back on Avatar‘s blindingly exciting fluorescent rainforest flora, I’m just wondering on what makes day-glo, phosphorescent and blacklight hues and brilliance so childishly appealing…the spiritual alchemy of electric and organic? Other cinematic delights that rely on fluorescence: Wong Kar Wai’s Fallen Angels – Hong Kong is a nightmare veined with neon. neon sheds color + texture (is that what GLOW means: photo-texture ? ), that radiates with angelic and consummerist vibes…
USE FLUORESCENT PAINT
as part of creating a taxonomy
of material effects/affects
to organize artistic practice.
David Maisles, History’s Shadow (x-rays of antique sculptures from museum archives)
John Divola, Generic Sculpture E and Silhouette C
What emanates from the incongrous presence of a foregrounded object? The face of the object clicks and jars with the body of the background. Color as a personality trait. The Inanimate and its soul – as in spirit photography, the dead body is handed a half-presence (silhouette, smoky) more potent than the Living. The cadaver / the object as a Fetish, a mischevious indexical relationship to Human Matters.
from David Rokeby’s article The Construction of Experience: Interface as Content (1998):
In a similar vein, it’s important to understand the difference between “fractal” complexity and the complexity of life experience. Fractals are fascinating because a rich variety of forms are generated by a single, often simple algorithm. The endless and endlessly different structures of the Mandelbrot set are generated by a single equation addressed in an unusual way. This relationship between the infinite detail of the fractal and its terse mathematical representation is an extreme example of compression. The compression of images, sound and video into much smaller encoded representations is one of the keys of the current multimedia explosion.
Opposed to the incredibly compressible “complexity” of fractals is the complexity of true randomness. Something can be said to be random if it cannot be expressed by anything less than itself… that is to say, it’s incompressible. This rather philosophical notion can be observed in our everyday on-line communication. To move data around quickly and efficiently, we compress it, then send it through a modem that compresses it further. What is left is the incompressible core of the information. As you can hear through your modem when you dial up your internet service provider, the result sounds close to random noise.
Randomness and noise are usually things we avoid, but in the purely logical space of the computer, randomness and noise have proven to be welcome and necessary to break the deadly predictability. But random number generators, used so often to add “human” spice to computer games and computer-generated graphics are not “random” at all. They merely repeats over a fairly long period?a sterile simulation of the real thing.
…In designing environments for experience, we must remain humble in the face of the power of irresolvable, non-fractal complexity. The computer is an almost pure vacuum, devoid of unpredictability. Computer bugs, while annoying, are never actually unpredictable unless this “vacuum” fails, as when the hardware itself overheats or is otherwise physically damaged. This vacuum is extremely useful, but it’s no place to live.
When I started working with interactive systems I saw the “vacuum” of the computer as the biggest challenge. I developed “Very Nervous System” as an attempt to draw as much of the universe’s complexity into the computer as possible. The result is not very useful in the classical sense, but it creates the possibility of experiences which in themselves are useful and thought-provoking, particularly by making directly tangible that what is lost in over-simplification.
from Craig Baldwin’s Sonic Outlaws: